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One night after a church service, my wife and I went out to eat with the pastor and his wife. This pastor's wife said, "Brother Hagin, you've got me in a mess. Since I've heard you preach, I don't even know if I'm saved or not!"

I knew she grew up in a Full Gospel parsonage, was graduated from a Full Gospel Bible school, and both she and her husband were ordained ministers.

"How did I confuse you?" I asked.

She explained that one night I had quoted from 1 John 3:15, which says,

"Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer; and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him." I had added, "And that includes mothers-in-law."

This woman said, "I hate my mother-in-law!"

I said, "Well, if that's the case, then of course you aren't saved. You don't have eternal life in you." (I was going to rescue her in a moment, but I wanted her to see herself, so I let her stew for a while.)

I knew what the problem was; it is a problem for many Christians. They really do not know what they have or who they are in Christ. They let their mind (un-renewed with the Word of God) or their flesh (which is un-sanctified) confuse them, and that can really get them into a mess.

I decided to rescue this sister. I said, "Look me in the eye and say, 'I hate my mother-in-law.' At that same time, check down in your spirit (not up in your brain). What happens in there?"

She looked across the table and said, "I hate my mother-in-law."

"Now," I said, "what happened down on the inside of you?"

She said, "There is something down there 'scratching' me."

I said, "I know it. It is the love of God that has been shed abroad in your heart trying to get your attention."

"What should I do?" she asked.

I said, "Let that love that's on the inside of you dominate you. Don't let your thinking dominate you. I don't care what your head says. Your head sometimes can say some awful things. Don't let your flesh dominate you. Crucify the flesh. It hurts, but crucify it. Act from your heart. Act like you would if you did love her - because you really do."

A few days later, she came to me and said, "You know, you are exactly right. I don't hate my mother-in-law. I don't hate my husband's family. They're good people. They're Christians. They love the Lord."

It's easy to get in the flesh if you are not careful. I could understand it in this case. This woman's husband was the only son of a widow who had never let him go.

I don't care if people are saved and filled with the Holy Spirit: If they don't get into the Word and let the love of God dominate them, they will walk in the natural. But thank God, the love of God has been shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit.

If we could just get people to walk in love and know what belongs to them because they're walking in love, we wouldn't have to have healing services for Christians! We'd have them for unbelievers instead.

Let's look again at John 13:35 "By this shall all men (That's everybody, isn't it?) know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another."

Isn't it strange how easily we get into error? Some say, "They're going to know that you're disciples because you adhere to all these laws, bylaws, and principles." No - if you have love one to another.

How does God love us?
"A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another" (John 13:34).

That's the love law that belongs to the family of God.

Did God love us because we deserved it? No, He loved us while we were unlovely. He loved us while we were still sinners! The Bible says so: "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Rom. 5:8).

Think about this: If God loved us with such a great love when we were sinners - unlovely - His enemies - do you think He loves His children any less? No, a thousand times no! That's the way we're to love with divine love. This love that the Bible is talking about is divine love - the God-kind of love - the love of God that has been shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit.

We hear a lot today about "love," but what people are really talking about is natural human love, which is selfish. Some say that a mother's love is like the love of God. There may be similarities, but it's still natural love.

Often when a mother has just one son, she thinks there's no girl in all the world who's good enough for him. That's natural love - that's not the love of God. And sometimes if Dad's not careful, particularly if he's got just one daughter, he thinks there's no boy in the world good enough for his girl.

As a usual thing, a mother's love is human - and it's selfish. "That's my baby," mothers say. "Those are my children." Yes, they are, but you ought to teach those children that the time's coming when they're going to have to cut mother's apron strings.

Jesus himself referred to it. In discussing marriage, He said that in the beginning God said a man was to forsake his mother and father for his wife. He didn't mean to forsake them in the modern sense of the word. It simply means, "Don't live with your in-laws!" You're going against the Bible if you do.

Now I realize certain situations arise when a couple might have to live with in-laws temporarily. My wife and I did when we first got married. But don't live with them for very long!

Somebody will complain, "Well, we just can't make it otherwise." Yes, you can. Believe God!

And it's the same with the wife as it is with the husband. When a couple has their own dwelling, there's no mother-in-law to boss the situation. You're getting on un-scriptural grounds when you don't leave mother and father and cleave to your spouse (Gen. 2:24; Matt. 19:4-6). I could really do some meddling here!

If we'd just follow the Bible, it would solve all of our problems!

Source: Love Never Fails by Kenneth E. 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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