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Living by Faith (Vol 13) - The Connection between Faith and Love

Sunday English Service - 07 OCT 18

Transcript

Hebrews chapter 11 and verse 3. By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible. Talking about living by faith based on Hebrews chapter 11. It’s a wonderful chapter on faith. It brings together the entire Christian doctrine of faith here with a lot of illustrations and puts it together beautifully in this one chapter. So that is why we are using this chapter to talk about living by faith. Now, we came to this verse and I told you what this verse literally is saying. It is saying that the world is a faith-made world, is a product of faith. And how was it made? It was made by faith through the word of God, using God's word. When this author says it he certainly has in mind Genesis chapter 1 where the phrase, “And God said,” appears seven times again and again. God said, ‘Let there be light,’ God said, ‘Let there be firmament,’ God said, God said, God said. There is… recurring so many times and following that is, “And it was so,” and following that statement is, “And it was good.” All right. So these three things: God said, And it was so, And it was good. So he’s remembering that how the world was created and this author seems to call that faith. “That is the operation of faith,” he says. That is a thing that you need to really make a note of. When he says, “God made this world and He made it through His word. And by faith, everything was made, it is a product of faith,” he means to say that this is how faith makes everything. Everything that is made by faith is made by the word of God by speaking the word of God.

Now, when God spoke there, back then, in the 1st chapter, the world was without form, void and filled with darkness. Three things. Without form means chaos. Void is emptiness, in simple English, and then darkness. These three problems were there. The world was not in a finished state and condition, not usable, not inhabitable. So God did not want that, it to remain in that state. He wanted a different kind of world a man can inhabit, man can live, and everything that a man needs must be there in that world that God envisioned. Therefore, He begins to speak and that is why because He did not like the darkness, He said, “Let there be light.” He did not like the emptiness He made, all those things that you see there and filled it with good things: vegetation, animal life, fish, and birds and all these things, and sun, moon and the stars and so on. And He did not like the chaos. He brought orderliness so that everything functions in harmony, so that men can use all of these things and benefit from all of these things. So, in the midst of chaos, emptiness and darkness, God brought order and filled the earth with good things and then removed the darkness and brought light. He spoke purposely for that. I would say that He spoke what He wanted, what His will was. That's the way I would state it. Whatever His will was that is what He spoke.

Now, God has given us the word of God in the written form today. The written word of God states the will of God for us. I'm going to be talking about this in the weeks to come. So just get this. The written word of God, the Bible that we have in our hands, is the revelation of God's will, what God wants. God in Genesis 1 spoke His will, what He wanted. That's His will. He wanted light instead of darkness. He wanted the earth to be filled with good things instead of emptiness. He wanted order instead of chaos. That’s His will. So when He spoke, He spoke His will, He has given His will here in the word of God for us so that we can know the will of God and speak the will of God over our lives and make our lives like the beautiful earth that He created. We can begin to order our life along the lines of the will of God. If you don't like the chaos and emptiness and darkness, you want it changed; you don't like it the way that it is, you want it to be turned around and made different; you wanted your family life to be made different; you want your job to be different; you want certain areas of your life to be turned around and made fruitful, productive, blessed, meaningful; God says, “Use the word of God because that's how faith operates.”

When God made everything by faith He used the word of God. And how did He use it? He spoke His will, what He wanted. Not complaining about what was not there but what He wanted. And when He spoke it, it came into being and God has made us in His image and likeness so that we may do the same and that is why the word of God is given to us. So this is a very wonderful verse. Verse 3 tells us a lot of things. And I'm going to be talking about that particular aspect in great detail with practical applications of how to do it. But today, I want to continue what we did for the last couple of weeks. I've been talking about faith working by love. It's a very important thing, I think. I told you that faith is a tremendous spiritual force, greater than all earthly powers that we know. The nuclear power is the greatest power but faith is greater, much greater than that because it is spiritual. Therefore, it is greater than anything earthly. Because it is such a great force it has got some safeguards built into it. When we use it, it comes with certain safeguards. If nuclear power will come with so much safeguards, certainly faith’s power is given with a very important safeguard and that's safeguard is love.

If you turn to Galatians chapter 5 a very important verse, a very important statement by Paul, you got to watch out for Paul because he says some very big things just like that and moves on. But the job of the preachers in the New Testament must be to go into what he says and look into what he says and what he means. So he says in 5:6, for in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love. Circumcision was a ritual given to the children of Abraham. God gave it to Abraham and the Jewish people, the descendants of Abraham followed it. The circumcision of the flesh, it is something that is done in the flesh, it was a ritual. Now today we have a lot of ritualistic Christians. And Paul here states he was a ritualistic man also. He was a Jew but he was converted and came to Christ. And he understood that, yeah, God gave that ritual because it had a meaning and to convey a meaning He gave it. Now the reality has come so we don't need the ritual any more. That ritual of circumcision of the flesh is to tell us how it is not just the flesh that needs to be circumcised, that avails nothing, that is no good for anything. The circumcision of our heart is more important. The bad things, the sin and all of those things must be rid of. That is what it signified. Many people leave that and hold on to the ritual. We leave the meaning and hold on to the ritual and become ritualistic Christians many times.

So Paul himself left that. As a Jewish man who followed all the Jewish rituals he left that and he was teaching that. But in that society, in the first century, there was a big conflict. The Jewish people that came from Jewish background still insisted on circumcision. They said, “Okay, you've received baptism, how about circumcision? Have you received circumcision?” And a person says, “No,” They said, “No, we've got circumcision also.” They boasted on the fact that they got circumcision. The guy who did not have the circumcision also boasted in the fact that he did not have circumcision, he’s following Paul's grace teachings. That it's not by circumcision, you're saved. You're saved by grace through faith. So Paul says, neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything. No good. It's not useful. What is useful is this, he says, “Faith working through love is the thing that is useful for you.” That is what is needed for life. Real Christian life is faith working through love. Now I want to show you the real connection between faith and love today. I want to go a little deeper because I have not done that before in any of the teachings. I want to go a little deeper to make you understand that faith and love are inseparably connected, they cannot be separated at all. God has designed it that way. The safeguard is an absolute safeguard, it cannot be undone. If there is faith, there will be love and if there is love, there will be faith. True faith cannot operate apart from love and true love cannot exist apart from faith. I'll show it to you and then I'll show you how faith works by love, or faith’s power is expressed by love.

Let's look at the first part that faith and love inseparably connected. The first thing I want to share with you is, that faith is always accompanied by love. Whenever you see faith, you will also see it accompanied by love. When you see true faith, it will be accompanied by love. Now, how do I say that? Take, for example your Christian life, your faith in Jesus Christ, that must be taken as an example, your faith in Christ. When you started believing in Christ, did you notice that you immediately started loving Christ also. That is not always the case when you begin to trust a person. Many times you have trusted a person you did not love that person, you trusted a person. But in this case, in Christ’s case, this is unique. You cannot trust Him without loving Him because He has given His life for you. He died on a cross for you, to redeem you. He has done everything for you so that you can benefit from what He has done. Therefore, with Christ, you cannot trust Him… it is not possible to trust Him and believe in Him without loving Him. If you believe in Him and truly believe in Him, you’ll love Him. That is why even the Bible talks about, where is your first love? Because the first love is special. When you first found Christ, you loved Him very much, because before that you didn't know Him and you came to know Him of what He did on the cross of Calvary and received Him as Lord and began to love Him so much and that love must be maintained throughout our life.

So faith and love are together. If you believe in Him, you will love Him. If you will love Him, you will believe Him. Have you ever seen a person who loves Jesus but doesn't believe in Jesus? It's impossible. If you believe in Him, you’ll love Him. If you love Him, you'll believe in Him. So it's like the rays of sun when. In every ray of sun, you'll find both light and heat. These two things come together. And that is what provides what every plant needs, what every human life needs. Light and heat. Now, faith and love is like light and heat. Faith is like light and love is like heat. Both of them come and they provide the spiritual life. In spiritual life these two things are very important. So they always come together, they're inseparable. So when faith gets ready to do something you can always see love by faith’s side, brings love by the side. Alright.

Secondly, that love that comes when you begin to believe in Jesus begins to grow. This is a standard thing, this is the way it is. Faith brings love, that love begins to grow more out of faith because you begin to discover more of the beauty of Christ and the beauty of the things that He has done for you. Faith begins to search out these things and understand these things, and see and discover and get a revelation of these things that Christ has done. The beauty of His love, the wonder of His grace, and His mercy and His loving kindness. When you discover that, then you cannot help but love Him. Your love also grows. When faith grows love also grows. As soon as you enter Christian life, you put your faith in Christ, so you're going to love him. Then you begin to learn more about Him, what He has done, His grace, His loving kindness, His mercy, His goodness and so on. You get a revelation of that all the time. And as your faith grows in Him and how good He is, your love for Him also has to grow. The two things go together. See, faith is like an eye, it's like a telescope if you want to look at it that way. Not just an eye, telescope, because it is able to see very far. A telescope you can see hundreds of thousands of miles away, some little star somewhere there that is not visible to your naked eye. You can put your eye in a telescope and look through it and you will see the beauty of it. You will see how wonderfully God has made these things. And there are places that you can go and avail some instruments and look through that and through those telescopes, you can see the wonderful creation of God.

Now faith is like that. Faith is able to, through the word of God, begin to see and begin to see in the distant future what you will be, the things that you cannot even think about yourself in your wildest dreams. Things that you cannot even believe about yourself or conceive about yourself naturally you begin to understand and conceive and grasp by faith. That is why 1 Corinthians chapter 2 verse 9 says, no eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has ever comprehended the wonderful things that God has prepared for them that love Him. What a wonderful statement. Paul says, no eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has ever comprehend the wonderful things. See, he’s had an experience of looking into these wonderful things. He’s looked through the telescope the wonderful things that God has prepared in this life and in the life to come, wonderful things that God has prepared for them that love Him. No eye has seen it, no ear has heard, no mind has comprehended. But next verse, the Holy Spirit has revealed them unto us. We are a people of revelation. We have a telescope. We have the ability to see far into the future. We have the ability to see what our natural heart and mind cannot conceive and see. We have the ability to see what these natural eyes cannot even see. We have the ability to see what God has for us, what God has done for us. That's what faith is all about.

Faith goes into these things. Goes into how good God is, what He has planned. The Christian preaching is about the things that no eye has seen, no ear has heard and no mind has ever comprehended. The Christian preaching is a revelation preaching. 1 Corinthians chapter 1 and 2, that's what I'm quoting from. I'm quoting chapter 2 verse 9 and 10, but chapters 1 and 2 are the greatest chapters on Christian preaching. If you want to understand what Christian preaching is about chapters 1 and 2 of 1 Corinthians you must read. What is Christian preaching? It is a revelation, it’s an amazing mighty revelation. Paul says some want signs, some want wisdom but we preach Christ, Christ crucified. He says, “God has made fools out of philosophers through the gospel.” The gospel is such a powerful message, such a powerful revelation and Paul literally boasts about the gospel and what God has done. And the Christian preaching is about bringing out these things, these things that have to be looked at through the eyes of revelation. Now faith looks at it and when faith looks at it, it looks at how good God is, who He is and appreciates what He has done. And this creates very special knowledge. A lot of people don't understand but this Christian who has got revelation begins to understand and his heart begins to bubble with joy and he rejoices. And out of this knowledge comes love. See, this always results in love. See, faith is always about focusing on Christ, focusing on the cross, focusing on His sacrifice, focusing on His death, His bloodshed, His carrying our curses, Him carrying our shame, Him becoming like us, sin for us so that we might become the righteousness...

The teaching on faith is a revelation concerning the cross, literally. Some people have a misunderstanding about faith teaching. Faith teaching is not some kind of a positive thinking teaching. Positive thinking is better than no thinking and positive thinking is certainly better than negative thinking. If you're a negative thinking person, if you're reading a positive thinking book, I think that's a little bit healthier, better, I would say. But faith teaching is not positive thinking teaching, you got to be very clear about it. Faith teaching is not positive thinking teaching. That is different. Faith teaching is the cross teaching. It is a revelation of Jesus Christ and what He has done on the cross and His love and the wonders of His redemption and what it has brought to us. That is what faith teaching is all about. A lot of people don't have an understanding of this. But people that come to this church must understand these things because the world they think like that, “Oh, they’re teaching faith, that’s some kind of positive thinking.” No, we're not teaching positive thinking for your information. We're teaching the revelation of the cross, what God has done for us. And when faith focuses on the suffering of Christ and admires and wonders and learns something fresh almost every day and every hour sometimes...

I've been preaching for 40 years, now immediately you are calculating my age. Calculate that I've been preaching from five years old, you’ll arrive at the right numbers. Listen to me please. I've been preaching for more than 40 years now, from the time I began to preach, and I've been interested in what the Bible has to say from day one since I've been preaching. My interest in the word of God is what got me preaching. I began to go into that and understand that and begin to pour my hours into that and begin to be hungry about what it's saying. And as a result I started preaching. That is what opened the doors for me to begin to preach. But the thing is, after 40 years I still open and read the Bible or things that explain the Bible, every time I'm excited. I'm learning every day something new. I'm always getting something fresh because there is so much. It's like a big ocean. I've come to the conclusion even if I lived 100 years this time and come back - I don't believe in reincarnation and all that - come back and live 100 times 100 years each time, it will not be enough to preach the wonders of the cross and to preach the wonders of Christ’s redemption. That is the meaning of what Paul said when he said, “No eye has ever seen, no ear has ever heard, no mind has ever comprehended.” He really means it.

Isaiah said it in the Old Testament, Paul is simply quoting it. Paul understands what the gospel is. This man who resisted the gospel. He was the enemy of the gospel. He wanted to destroy anybody that preached the gospel. Now, made full of the gospel, three years he went away to Arabia and stayed there and the Lord personally taught him the gospel. He says, “I did not get it from any man. I did not go to see Peter and all these people. Only after the three years I went to Jerusalem and I met only Peter and James, none of the other apostles. They did not teach me the gospel. I got it from the Lord Himself.” That's why he's considered as 12 plus 1 apostle. He's classified with the 12 because even though he has never been with Jesus personally and trained with Jesus, just like the disciples were trained almost three years, he was trained also three years in Arabia. God got him there and put him in Bible College there and taught him everything and then he came back and meets Peter. And Peter must have been stunned and astonished at the revelation this man had. And that man said, “No eyes have ever seen, no ear has ever heard, no mind has ever comprehended the wonderful things that God has prepared for them that love Him. But we know it by the Spirit of God. We have a revelation of it by the Spirit of God.” Now, when you get a revelation of these things, when you look into these things through this telescopic sight, through this ability that faith gives, through revelation, when you look into these things, then that heart which grows in faith because of the revelation also has to grow in love.

How can you learn these things and not love God? You’ll be ready and willing to give your life or anything for God. When you get a revelation of these things you will love God more and more and more. That is what Christian life is all about. Christian life is not just simply going to church and hearing a sermon and coming back. No, Christian life is a revelation. Every hour, there is something new. Every time you go to the word of God there is something new there for you. All the time you learn something new. You learn more and more. And the more you learn, the more faith grows. And the more faith grows more love grows. When faith is there, love is always there, you can bet on it. And when love is there faith is always there.

Thirdly, faith brings love by grasping and possessing the good things which are in Christ. Faith is in the job of taking. Now you have nothing to take if nothing was given. Grace gives and faith takes. Everybody say, “Grace gives and faith takes.” The grace of God has given. Given redemption and in that package everything comes. The grace has given. Faith takes. That is why the Bible says, by grace are you saved through faith. That means if grace gives everything, it is not enough that grace has given everything, you got to have faith to receive it. Faith is the taking. Somebody deposited crores of rupees for you in the bank, you got to go take it, otherwise you'll starve. You can have all kinds of money in the bank, but yet starve because you never took, never used it. Faith is about taking it and possessing it. So Christianity is not just about mentally getting a revelation or even in heart, getting a revelation of the things that God has provided for us, it is a life of faith where you not only grasp these things by the help of the Holy Spirit, but you possess those things. By faith you begin to take those things and possess those things.

Now when you take and possess those things, your faith grows and your love grows also because you now know how much He has given, how much He has supplied and how much He has given for you. Paul says in the New Testament, in one of his epistles, all things are yours. One fella asked me, “How can that be possible? Is everything ours? How can this man make a statement like this? ‘All things are yours.’” I said, “Think Biblically.” He thinks, “Everything is not mine. How can Paul all of a sudden declare, ‘all things are yours’?” So he thinks Paul is an extreme guy. And so are we, he thinks. “You’re Paul's man? You like Paul so therefore you must be extreme also. All things are yours.” Said, “Think Biblically. What does he mean in the beginning when God created everything, He created for man.” He created everything for man. Man's use and man's utilization. Man needs all of these things that God has created. So He created for man. And put everything under the control and dominion of man.

Psalmist says in Psalm 8 that you've given him dominion over everything and you’ve put all things under his feet. The entire creation has been subject to men so that man can take and utilize it whichever way he wants, for his own use. It’s all God-given provision for man. So all things were his, given to men, which is what man lost when he sinned. He transferred the right and authority over all things to the devil. And that is why Jesus came as the second Adam or the last Adam in the flesh just as a human being, just like you and me. And in our place went and defeated Satan and conquered hell and took everything that Satan has robbed man out of and brought it out and gave it back to man and that is why Paul says, “All things are yours.” So you must think Biblically otherwise you will misunderstand him.

Paul thinks biblically and he's a very weighty person. He knows what he's talking about. So he simply makes a statement and everybody goes berserk, “Oh my God.” One fella said, “if we get rid of Paul we’ll be alright. You must keep just Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, the gospel. Paul is the confusing guy. He comes and spoils.” No, no, no he's not... He's a revelation guy. He’s a guy that truly got a revelation. Mighty revelation pouring forth from him. You got to go in and understand. That is why preachers go into Paul and explain and spend hours together just preaching on what Paul has said in one line. So all things are yours. Everybody say, “All things are yours.” Look at the person next to you and say, “All things are yours.” Now you know what that means? God originally gave everything to man. All creation was made for man and given it to the one man that was there who’s our grandfather, from whom all of us came so all things belong to us. Then entire creation of God except God and His throne, everything is subject to us. All things are there belonging to us. Amen. All right.

Now, fourthly, faith creates love or produces love more by enjoying the good things. See, you’ve not really grasped and possessed. Faith leads you into the enjoyment of these things. And that enjoyment of these good things that God has created begins to lead you to thankfulness, to the One who's the source of these blessings. How can you enjoy all the good things and not be thankful to the One who has given it all to you. So you not only grasp, you not only possess, you begin to enjoy these things, appreciate these things, you're thankful for these things, these blessings that you receive in so many ways. But some Christians have come to the conclusion that the new covenant blessings are locked up in a storeroom and locked up in such a way that nobody can take anything until they die. So a lot of Christians have come to the conclusion that their death is the most important event that is yet to happen. That when they die somehow they will enter into all the... That is why one fella said, “When I die I'll walk on streets of gold.” Until then, what are you going to do? Beg. Just eat one meal a day. Until then you're going to live constantly in lack and want and insufficiency? What are you talking about? He thinks that, “Everything is locked up. Until I die I can't possess it. It's all locked up.”

Actually I went to Karaikudi many years ago, did a wedding there in a village where never had a Christian marriage happened. And I went and conducted the marriage, two young people from our church. I saw some houses that are as long as maybe two or three times the length of this church. I mean huge palace-like houses in a village big, big houses. The front end is here and the other end is the next street. The back end is the next street. Never seen anything like this. I've heard about this but never seen anything like this. And they had the wedding in one place, in the next house they had all the stuff that the family gave to the boy and all that. And that was like a museum. We walked around and saw everything that was given. Everything from a comb to a powder to toothbrush to... everything was given. All the utensils, everything from a spoon to a big pot, everything was given. Kadai, every little thing that you can think, stove was given, mirror, TV, fridge, everything’s there. Just stacked up, a whole house full of stuff. But the thing is, at the end they said, “See, this is our house, the grandfather's house.” So each family has a big room there. One room means is like almost like half of this church. That's a big room. They said, “We all have one room here. So we take all this stuff and put it there and lock it up.” “Do what?” he said, “because we none of us live here. Everybody lives in Singapore, Malaysia somewhere, nobody lives there. We just go away.” “What will happen to the paste and toothbrush and all this TV and fridge and...?” “It’ll just stay there because where to take it. We already have all of these things, but it's a formality. It’s just done. We just keep it there and go away.” I don't know when they see it again. I think once in a while they come and just open it and see if it's there, I guess, but it's all there.

So this guy who told me about how in the New Covenant the blessings are only after we go to heaven, he envisioned something like that. It's all locked up and available to you only after you die. But the Bible teaches exactly differently. It's not after your death, it's after His death, the keys of the kingdom of heaven is given to your hand so that whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. The keys are in your hands. Some people keep the keys and still starve. They got the keys. Your faith is your key. Whatever you bind will be bound. Whatever you loose will be loosed. The keys of the kingdom of heaven is given to you. So it's wrong to think that everything is for later. Some people are good at postponing everything for later. No, not everything is for later. Yeah, I know that immortality is later and certain things are later, I know that I don't deny that but the thing is, there's a lot of blessing to be enjoyed now. Don't throw the whole thing out. For example, forgiveness of sin is not for later it’s now. Are you enjoying it now? Are you forgiven of your sins? Are you happy about it? The fact that you are a child of God, a son, a daughter of God is something to be enjoyed now. That privilege, that status is yours now.

Heirship, that is you are an heir of Christ, that everything that belongs to God belongs to you. You're a joint heir with Jesus Christ. That is a privilege to be enjoyed now not later. You are now an heir. Paul doesn't say you will be an heir one day, no, you are an heir, joint heir with Christ, right? And similarly, your justification that is, you were a sinner now you're a saint, now you're righteous before God. That is enjoyed now. Adoption into the family of God that is enjoyed today. Your daily provision, how many of you trust in God for your daily needs? You can't tell me that you cannot trust in God for any of your daily needs. No, you can trust in God for your daily needs, that is yours now. You can trust in God for your preservation, for protection, for safety, and so on. That is not just for tomorrow, that's here. And God teaches you, guides you, gives you wisdom, leads you and all of that. That is there for today. It is there. So there's plenty of things to enjoy. There's healing that is to be enjoyed today. All kinds of blessings are there to enjoy today. I don't know why people put it out altogether. But once you begin to enjoy any of these blessings, once you be free from the guilt of your sin, once you realize that you are a child of God, once you begin to realize that you are the most privileged person, you’re the joint heir with Christ, once you realize that you were a sinner now made righteous by the blood of Jesus, and once you realize that you are provided because Jesus said, “Don't worry about what you’ll eat, what you’ll drink, and what you'll be clothed with because your heavenly Father knows that you have need of these things. Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.” That's a promise to me. I find comfort and strength every day that I decide not to worry about these things. That I trust in Him.

When you do that, then how can you not love Him more? When you begin to live like that you begin to love Him more. What I'm trying to say is when you believe these things, and live by faith, you begin to love. More faith creates more love. Faith always brings love with it. And then when a person lives like that, when a person lives grasping, possessing, enjoying the blessings of God and lives by faith, trusting in God, he's able to go boldly to God with all his burdens, and come away with the burdens removed. Whenever he's got a problem, he goes to God, and God helps him. The daily enjoyment of God's presence, the practice of claiming the promises of God, speaking to God face to face as a man speaks with his friend and receiving favors from God, that really is an amazing privilege. You get into that kind of a life that means faith makes you familiar with God. And that produces even more love because you know that no matter what happens, you got somebody to go to. You can just come away from all the problems that are aimed at you, and come and shut your door and close your eyes and you begin to pray and talk to God. Would you love that person? Would you love God like that? When you can come, no matter what the problem is, that you can go alone, sit somewhere and talk to God about your difficulties, the challenges that you're facing, and bring your burdens to God and go away burden free because he assures you that everything is going to be all right. Would you love a person like that? I think I would love Him more than anyone else in this world because He is precious to me.

And this familiarity with Christ results in becoming more and more like Christ. When you become so familiar you become more and more like Christ. If you eat spicy food you begin to smell spices. I found that out when I was living abroad as a young man. I love fish curry but you should not ever make fish curry or eat fish curry over there because you'll be in trouble, because everything is centrally air conditioned so everybody brings mints with them. They're always putting mints in their mouth before talking to anybody because you're bad breath just gets out and is known immediately. Body odor is immediately felt wherever you are. That kind of place it's all shut in. So you got to be very careful. Spray your head to toe with something. Smell good and keep mints in your hand, keep putting it in your mouth. Every time you begin to speak to a person keep putting it. People go to church on the way they stop and get mints. That's the most important thing, Bible and mints. I learned that there. You got to be very careful with that. And if you think you can go to a hotel and have fish curry, wait till you come out and shake somebody's hand and they take their hand to their mouth, they will be smelling something horrible. They can't understand that thing. “Where did this guy come from?” And not only that, if you cook it in your house, your suit, your shirt, your pants, your sofa, your table and chair everything smells fish. So you got to forget fish curry which is very painful. So when I come back in those days, waiting to come to Chennai, just to have the fish curry because the aroma fills everything. When you are with Christ like that, when you associate closely with Christ, and He becomes like a friend to you, and every day you spend time with Him, His aroma begins to be felt in you. People can smell Christ in you. People can see Christ in you. His love is evident. His nature is evident. Everything about Him becomes yours. Amen.

All right, now let me quickly show you how faith is displayed. Our faith’s power is displayed by love. I'm going to just show it by an illustration so I can be really quick. Just imagine a blacksmith. Blacksmith is a guy in the old times, now everything is computerized and these guys hardly do anything. Back in those days the blacksmiths are very strong guys, they got to work with these iron bars and metals and so on. Very strong guys. And they'll have to create a furnace and blow into it and create fire and put the iron into it and have all kinds of instruments to work it. And they usually have very strong body. But I imagine faith and love like this. Faith is like that guy, strong guy, blacksmith. He can do a lot of things. But just imagine if he doesn't have a hand no matter how strong he is, if he does not have a hand he cannot even accomplish what a little finger can accomplish. Because he's got to have a hand. Because the strength and the power that he has can be expressed only through a hand. Hand is the means through which he expresses his strength. So is faith and love. Faith is like that person, strong person, no matter how strong he is in faith, no matter how powerful he is in faith, if he does not have love it's like a person without a hand to express faith. Faith cannot be properly expressed. With all that power that he has in his body, with all that strength he cannot do even a very ordinary task because hand is not there. So imagine like that. Love is very essential. Faith can be expressed only by love.

Love is also like the tool that he uses. If he's got a hand he needs tools. No matter how strong he is, he needs tools. He needs a hammer, he needs anvil, he needs a file and he needs many other things. Every kind of implement he needs to do his work. Now these things can accomplish a lot. These tools can do various things and love is like that. Love is like that tool in the hands of a blacksmith. Love can accomplish a lot. Love can teach a little child. See, if you're teaching children, it is out of love you do it. It is love that can teach a little child. I was very privileged to have a teacher when I was in nursery school, amazing, amazing person. I never failed to think about her very often. Amazing lady. She's the one that found that I can sing and made me sing when I was little. I came from a Pentecostal church so we sang loud. So when everybody was asked to sing I sounded loud and she said, “Come here.” And I was afraid to sing so she would carry me and turn me towards the mic and make me sing in those programs and so on, and then push me to the mic and stand behind me and keep me from running. Make me sing, put me in all the dramas, in all those programs and make me sing because she thought, “This guy can sing a little bit. So let's use him like that.” She showed me the way.

I was preaching one time in Bangalore in a Methodist church when I first came back 35 years ago, and there she was sitting in the crowd, looking at me, smiling like that, after all those years she has not forgotten me. Sitting in that crowd smiling like that she knows every person personally. When children are brought to school, she stands at the steps of that bungalow in that school and receives them. They'll be screaming and crying, some kids, and she will receive them and talk to them and take them in and so on. Every child she’ll receive. So she knows my name, my brother's name, my sister's name, everybody's name after all these years. I have not even seen her for so many years. Love can teach a child, love can evangelize a nation. When a person has love that is what causes him to do a ministry that reaches a whole nation.

I met a guy in my 80s as I was traveling and preaching, a guy from Nigeria, great preacher. And one of my teachers in the Bible college told me about him because he was already being mightily used by the Lord. And he told me that how he was just pushing a cart in the marketplace in Nigeria. And he began to trust in God and believe in Jesus Christ and came into church and this guy was a missionary. My teacher was a missionary back then, and he took him and taught him a few things. Then he went to America and went to Bible college, did not even complete, he came back and built a great ministry, built a big stadium for church and university and all these things and did mighty things. And all the great preachers in Nigeria today that have multiplied thousands of people today are his disciples, it seems. He’s a man that shook up the whole place. I met him personally back there in 80s when I was just starting out preaching and ate with him. And the guy is amazing. He had a book about his life. The name of the book is Fire in My Bones. What is that fire? That fire is the love of God. Love for people, because there is love of God. Wanting to reach his nation. The flames are burning strong inside of him. Because of the flames that were burning so strong inside of him, he went back to his country and he began to preach and became a person who shook up whole of Africa. And many places in Europe also back then back in the 80s and 90s. Amazing guy, fire in the bones.

Now think about that. That that person evangelize the nation and many nations in Africa because of the love of God that influenced him that way. He was filled with God's love. Just like Jeremiah says, “How can I shut up? I cannot shut up because there's fire in my bones. I got to speak”, he said. You become like that. Because of love you speak. It's not because you are employed you speak, it's not because they give you a job you got to speak this morning. No, because there is fire, there is a passion, there is a desire. The flames are burning. You cannot shut up. You will rise up and speak. And that is how man reached a whole nation. Just like a tool does many things, it can teach a child, evangelize a nation, love can even stand and burn at the stake. We're going to come to the last passage of Hebrews chapter 11. Many people have said, I've even read commentaries where they say, “Well, all these people that teach faith, let them read 11th chapter at the end, because it talks about how many people were killed and they died. Faith can do great things you say, how did they die?” I said, they died because faith never works without love.

Because of love they died, just like the Lord Jesus died. You think Jesus died because He was powerless. He was hanging on the cross. They said, “If You're the Son of God, prove it. Come down, save Yourself.” He never came down. He hung there and bled and died as they laughed, as they spit on Him, as they pierced Him on His side. He hung there and died. Why? Not because he was powerless. He had all the power. He said, “If I call upon the Father, He will send legions of angels, thousands of angels to protect me.” If He just shook one finger or said one word all His opposers and all the people that mocked Him standing around the cross would have disappeared and become ashes. So much power He had but He had love. The love made Him not to use it. When the disciples said, “Let's bring fire down from heaven and burn up Samaria, the whole town, the town that didn't give you a room to stay.” He said, “No. What kind of spirit is that? No, we don't do that. That's not why we have power. The reason we have power is because we have love and because we have love we will rather die than use this power to destroy.” That is how those people died. I've even heard some people say, “Well, what about that person?” I say, “I'll explain it to you. That's how these people die. It's hard to explain in just five minutes but I'm going to come to that.” But that is how they died. Because of love, not because they are unable to save themselves, not because the power of God won't help them.

When you are passionate and full of love you're ready to even burn at the stake. And love is like a furnace. The furnace for faith. See, faith is the blacksmith, right? And he needs a furnace. Without furnace he can’t do anything. He's got to melt the metal to work with it. So love is like the furnace that melts the hardest metal. And just like I said about this Nigerian guy, his name is Benson Idahosa. Very popular man, amazing story. Amazing from where God brought him and what God made out of him. Love is faith’s furnace and love burns in the hearts of people. And love can be seen in terms of enthusiasm in people. Love produces enthusiasm and passion. Any product and anything that is made in this world, whether medical products or electronic products or anything, even cars, planes, and all these things were made because someone looked at the world and wanted to provide something that will make life more comfortable, be a blessing to people. They were seeking to somehow express their talent that God had given to them in a useful, meaningful way to provide some very wonderful service for some people. That is what they were doing. They were not trying to make money. They were trying to find useful employment of their talents and gifts. They were trying to use it in a very productive way to bless others. It's a love for people, love for the community, love for the world, love to make things better.

I've read about leaders of nations who took a nation in total state of failure and because they loved that nation turned it around with a passion for the better. That means we can take a church and turn it around for the better. That means we can take a family that is failing and turn it around into a beautiful, wonderful thing. That means we can take a business that is failing and turn it around into something beautiful and wonderful. Hello. Love is faith’s furnace. And that can bend anything, that can do anything, that can change anything because faith works by love. Love is also faith’s mould. Love is like a mould. Mould is, what is the shape you want. You create a mould first and then pour into that mould whatever you want to create in that shape. First you create the shape and then pour this thing and it will come out in that shape. So what do you want, what kind of life do you want, what kind of a future do you want, what kind of family do you want, what kind of business do you want? Anything you want. Love is the mould and when love is the mould you see love everywhere. When love is the mould, love shapes everything. You can see in everything that you create love’s signs. It'll say, “This is love product.”

Look at the creation. Hebrews 11:3 says, by faith we understand that the worlds were created or framed by the word of God. Right? Worlds were framed by the word of God. That's how God made the world. God created it by faith, but used the word. What did He create? Look at the world. Every time I eat a mango, I think what a wonderful God. What would we do without mangoes? These poor guys in the Western countries they don't know anything about mangoes. Our mango is so nice and in mango, so many different kinds of mangoes. How many kinds of fruits the apples and oranges and all kinds of fruits, the grapes and all kinds of stuff? We haven’t eaten all the fruits that are available. Somebody said there's more falling down from the tree and perishing every day in the forest than being eaten. He created them in abundance. God has created all these wonderful things in abundance and put them in this earth for us. Why I'm saying that is, you see creation you see love. It has to be the love of God. These are the things that they fail to emphasize.

When I was growing up one man used to say, “Don't enjoy that mango so much. Don't be saying, ah, uh, when you're eating, just swallow it,” because he wanted all of us to live like sanyasis. You're allowed to eat but not enjoy it so much. If you enjoy it, you're a worldly person. You should not have this worldly pleasure. I asked him, “Why then God gave me the nerve in my tongue called taste buds?” “He's the Creator you got to ask Him,” “Why did He put the taste bud? He put the taste in the mango and put the buds in my tongue. What does that mean?” I can understand that, a fool can understand that. That means take that thing and put it in your mouth and go mm-mm, and just enjoy it and have one more. Hello.

What a wonderful God. Even the bitter gourd, Pavakkai, even that has signs of God's love. I like it. It's bitter, but it's so nice. Everything has signs of God. There is something good about it and good in it. Everything is made so tastefully and wonderfully. God is such an amazing person to make everything, thinking about giving us so many different kinds of tastes to tickle our taste buds and give us the fun beyond anything that we have ever imagined. So that we enjoy our life. There's some religious teachers that are teaching, “Don't enjoy it,” but the entire Bible is about enjoying it. Enjoy God and enjoy everything that God made. That's what the Bible teaches. If you truly enjoy God then you are the person who has the right to enjoy everything that God has given. God in all His wisdom has created these things so wonderfully. In creation you see the signs of His love. In everything you see love. He has put medicine in there, He’s put healing properties in there. He's put things that will make strong and good.

I got a message about what is good for your teeth, what is good for your eyes and all these WhatsApp fellows, they send all kinds of stuff. I don't know if it's true or not. But I like to believe it's true because they give a big list of what's good for every part of your body. I said, what a wonderful God. God has put something good in everything for me so that I can take this and enjoy it and build even my body with it, with good health and strength and so on. You see love in all of creation. And I say to you, my friend, you must see love in everything that you bring about in this world. Everything that you create. When you create a family, when you raise a family, the signs of God's love must be there. That son, that daughter must be love child made by love, created by love, full of security, full of joy and peace. Raised in a surrounding of security and peace and abundance. That's what love does. Takes care, meets every need, comforts, consoles, guides, teaches. A love-created family. Hello.

You got to school that must be a love-made school, it’s a love-made world. You got a business it's got to be a love-made business. They shouldn't be saying about you that you kick so many people on the way down. You finished so many people off to come up to the top, no. That is not the kind of people we are. We come to the top we bring a lot of people with us to the top. That is a love-made business. Love builds people. Love encourages people. Love treats people good. Love identifies talents. Love enables people. We're talking about creation. Faith created the whole world. God created it with His words and everything He created was good, and everything that we create and bring about must be good. It must be a love product. It must be a faith product. If it is a faith product it will be a love product. Hello. Are you there? Everybody is awfully silent.

Just think about it today and determine today, my friends, that I am going to have a love family, love children, love future. I'm going to create just like God created a wonderful, a wonderful, wonderful family, a wonderful, wonderful business, a wonderful, wonderful church, a wonderful everything. Amazing where the signs of God's love is seen and felt in that production, in that creation. Are you there? One fella said to me, “Yeah, brother, this baby love only created.” I said, “I didn't mean that.” Not that simplistic stuff. I'm talking about God's love. Building a family and creating that kind of child, the kind of future for that child, the kind of mentality, a kind of quality. Are you there or have you gone home?

Finally, love is faith’s polishing tool. What does love do? Makes sure that everything is done well. In our country, I only miss the finishing touch. You tell them to paint the house, they paint the sofa included and leave all kinds of stains everywhere. And they paint along the sides, curtains everything, and then you have to work on all these things. Finishing touch. Love always finishes everything beautifully. When it touches something, it takes and works on it, produces something and finishes it beautifully, nicely and leaves it in that well done state. Amen.

St. Augustine, you heard about him 426 AD was a great saint before Calvin. Calvin came along in the Reformation times in the 16th century, Augustine was the greatest teacher back in those days. In fact, all these guys got there a lot of doctrine stuff from him. Augustine was a great, great teacher. Lived a very bad, immoral life before he was saved, and then found the Lord and totally changed and became a priest and wrote so much doctrine and so on. Wonderful stuff. But they say at age 72, which by 72 he’s already lived twice the lifespan of those days. Those days, lifespan was only 37 or something. He’s lived already 72 years… very old man at 72. He took everything that he had written and wanted to correct everything that needs to be corrected before he died. What a mind. He wanted to go back and he did what is called retractions. Take back some things, change some things because he has changed his mind on certain things and he wanted people to know this is not so. No, no, no. In my days when I maybe didn't know very clearly, I said like this but this is the way it is. He wanted people to know. See the love of the man's heart in writing a book itself. He wanted to do the right thing and leave a good legacy so that people will be blessed in the future, people that he won't ever see, people that he’ll have no connection with will connect with him through his writing and be blessed through him. And I tell you something that is love that is the finishing touch love gives to everything. Everything you take and work and finish must be top class, excellent. And when you do that, that is a faith product. And if it's a faith product, it is a love product. And if it's a faith and love product, it is a successful product. Amen.

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