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Not only is the love of God forgiving, God's love is also unselfish. God's love thinks of others first. On the other hand, the flesh is selfish and self-centered. Human love puts itself first.

Sometimes I think that some people get this love business all mixed up. When some Christians talk about love, they are thinking about natural human love. They try to compare divine love with natural human love, and you can't compare human love with divine love. We're not talking about natural human love. We are talking about divine love.

The Bible said, "God is love." Well, God is divine. God is love. God is not anything so much as He is love.

We hear a lot today about natural human love, but there is no love in the entire world like the love of God. Natural human love is selfish and self-centered.

A Sad Excuse For Love
I remember a woman came up to me in a meeting I was holding in a church. She said, crying, "God knows I love my children. I brought them up right, but not one of them will come to church with me except my daughter."

Her daughter played the piano at that church. She said, "There isn't anyone in all this church that has loved their children as much as I have loved mine."

Well, I could look at her daughter playing the piano and see that something was wrong with her. She was about 24-years-old, and she'd taken music lessons and had even been to college. But if you looked at her, she'd duck her head to hide from you.

I said to her mother, "When your daughter was growing up, did you ever allow her to have friends? She must be intelligent because she made good grades in college and she graduated with a degree in music." (I knew a little bit about the family from what the pastor had told me.)

I asked this mother, "Did you ever permit her to have a boyfriend or a friend at school?"

"No," her mother answered, "I just kept her at home. I wanted to protect her because I love her so much."

I said, "You're lying. You didn't keep her at home because you loved her so much. You kept her at home because your love is selfish." I know that's not the way to win friends, but sometimes you have to jolt people to get them to see the truth!

"Well, I just love her too much to let her go," the mother said to me. "She's never been away from home, not even for one night of her life."

I said, "No, you don't love her. You love her with selfish human love. If you really loved your children with the God-kind of love, you'd want them to have friends. You'd want them to mix with people their own age and grow up and live a normal life."

Then she said, "My son is 17-years-old, and he just ran off from home. I don't know where he is. Pray that he'll come back."

I said, "No! I'm going to pray that he'll stay gone. Thank God, he had enough sense to get up and get out of that mess. That poor girl sitting over there at the piano stool probably hasn't got that much sense because you've warped her personality."

We Need Divine Love In Our Lives
You see, here was a woman who was born again and even filled with the Spirit and attended a Full Gospel church, but she really didn't love her children with the divine love of God at all. She loved them with a natural human love, and that can be selfish.

Believers can't say, "But it's impossible for me to love with God's love," because the Bible says that God's love is already in our hearts in the new birth. Everyone in the family of God has it, or else they haven't been born again.

Now they may not be exercising God's love, but they have it. They just have to learn to let that divine love dominate them. If they would learn to walk in love, they would walk in the Spirit because love is a fruit of the recreated human spirit.

If we would learn to walk in love and let that divine love dominate us, it would make all the difference in our lives. It would cure the ills in our homes.

Divine Love Will Never Fail
I'm going to say something that may shock you but it's true: Divine love has never been to a divorce court, and it never will. Natural, human love will go to the divorce court, but divine love won't - and it will never fail.

You see, my friends, the God-kind of love is not self-seeking. Divine love is interested in what it can give, not in what it can get. It's not selfish or self-seeking. Divine love doesn't ask, "What can I get?" It asks, "What can I give?"

Human love is interested in self - "What will I get out of this situation." Human, selfish love says things like, "I'm not going to take that!" Or "I'm going to have my way! After all, I've got my say-so." Self-centered Christians are very easy to locate: "I…," "I…," "I…." All they ever talk about is "I."

Too many Christians are selfish. They let natural human love dominate them instead of the love of God which has been shed abroad in their spirit - their heart.

Natural human love will divide homes, and it will divide churches because it's selfish and it wants its own way.

Did you ever stop to think about it? Selfishness ruins the world. Selfishness ruins marriages, and it ruins the church. But the God-kind of love never fails because it's unselfish, and it always puts the other fellow first.

God's love is giving, and the God-kind of love thinks of other people first, just as God did: "God so loved the world that He gave…" (John 3:16). When sinners in the world were unlovely, God gave His only begotten Son, "…that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16).

You Must Crucify The Flesh
But, you see, we human beings get our feelings hurt, and then we want to strike back and retaliate instead of exercising forgiveness. Our feelings want to show up and our flesh wants to act up.

That's what the Word means when it says we have to "crucify the flesh" (Gal. 5:24). I don't know about you, but I refuse to get hurt feelings about anything.

Some say as they're bawling, squalling, and carrying on, "But you don't know how bad you hurt me!" That's selfishness showing up, not the God-kind of love, because you're only thinking about yourself. When you talk like that, you're allowing your flesh and your feelings to dominate you.

When your feelings dominate you, you're going to have to get out of the flesh and get into the Spirit so you can walk in the God-kind of love! The Bible says,

"…ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you…" (Rom. 8:9).

Come on over and walk in the Spirit! Come up higher and walk in the God-kind of love! It's so much better. And I'll tell you, it pays rich dividends!

If you want to love life and see many good days, you'd better listen! Thank God, the love of God works.

Someone said, "But I've failed so much in the past!" Well, if you've failed in the past, then ask God's forgiveness and put that all behind you. Start over in the present! One thing about it, God will let you start all over again because in His great mercy and in His great love, He is forgiving!

Aren't you glad God is that way? God said, "I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins" (Isa. 43:25).

So even if you do miss it, if you repent, God will forgive you, blot it out, and not even remember that you did anything wrong! So start walking in His forgiveness and mercy and get on with your life.

Source: Love: The Way to Victory by Kenneth Hagin
Excerpt permission granted by Faith Library Publications

Author Biography

Kenneth E. Hagin
Web site: RHEMA
Rev. Hagin served in Christian ministry for nearly 70 years and was known as the "father of the modern faith movement." His teachings and books are filled with vivid stories that show God's power and truth working in his life and the lives of others.

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