Matthew 5:44-45 “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those that spitefully use you and persecute you, That you may be sons of your Father in heaven;”
Although I didn’t see it firsthand, I had the opportunity to listen to a sermon by the Rev. Kenneth E. Hagin. His message was a simple one that stemmed out of John 15:7 (If you abide in me and my words abide in you, you will ask what you desire and it shall be done for you) and also Ephesians 6:18 (Pray always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit…). But his message was simply this: walk in love.
“This is the first thing we’re told to pray about,” Rev. Hagin said about Matt. 5:44. “But in the natural, we can’t do that. Thank God, though, with the Spirit of God in us we can.”
We have to determine to walk in love, showing others the same love that Christ showed us. That is a constant decision, as Rev. Hagin said: “I determined to walk in love whether anyone else did or not. I passed up some wonderful opportunities not too.”
“…Faith works by love” (Galatians 5:6). It is so important that we walk in love, for many reasons. But as the Bible says right here, faith works by love. In the message I heard, I listened as Rev. Hagin drove this point home.
“If you’re not walking in love, you can’t get your faith to work,” he said. “You’re not like the world is, so don’t get down in the mud with them. You’ll get dirty!”
That really shocked me. All these years I’d wondered why I hadn’t had the spiritual breakthrough I’d been expecting. When I sat down and began to examine my heart, I found it was because I wasn’t walking in love.
I was harboring anger and resentment against my father for leaving my mom, even though I had a good relationship with him. I wasn’t showing the love of Christ to many others that I knew, including friends, schoolmates and family members. My faith wasn’t working the way it should have been, because I wasn’t doing what God said to do!
Now walking in love is not any easy task. I have to determine every day that I will love others as Christ loved me, no matter what. And like Rev. Hagin, I have had many glorious opportunities to not walk in love. Early on, I even caught myself reverting back to my old ways. I then had to stop in my tracks and say ‘Lord, that’s not you, that’s my flesh. Take that away now and help me walk in Your love.’
Sometimes that was a daily thing, sometimes it was an hourly thing. But I determined that I wasn’t going to allow myself to be any less then what God wanted me to be because I wouldn’t do what He said. After all, as Christians, we are to be of a different persuasion than that of the world. If we live like them – if we’re wallowing in the mud like them—how can we possibly show them the love of Christ?
We can’t on our own, it’s that simple. But praise God, Him working through us can!
Check your heart today and ask God to reveal anything that is keeping you from walking in His love. Then determine that you will change. You’re faith depends on it.
Pastor Devin Kroner
Howell Campus Pastor