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Living by Faith (Vol 11) - Faith Works in Love

Sunday English Service - 23 SEP 18

Transcript

Hebrews chapter 11. Let me again read to you today 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. We've been studying about faith using Hebrews chapter 11. Hebrews chapter 11 is a famous faith chapter, just like 1 Corinthians 13 is a famous love chapter. There's a whole lot of things that is taught here in Hebrews 11. It's a very special chapter because it takes into account all that is taught in the Old and the New Testament regarding faith and brings it together and puts it in a very beautiful way. In the first verse, the definition is given, the definition of faith. What is faith? The substance of things hoped for, it’s the evidence of things not seen. I explained that. Second verse says, for by it our elders obtained a good testimony. By elders he’s referring to the Jewish elders. He’s writing to Hebrew Christians in the first century. These people have come from Judaism to Christianity, and he's referring to their elders such as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Moses, and all those people. They obtained a good report means that those people were successful, they were victorious, they overcame all obstacles and so on, because of faith, because of this thing called faith. And then in verse 3, verse 3 is the most loaded verse in this whole chapter because it makes a statement about how faith really works. And then only all the examples are given. So we need to understand this particular verse very well. So we're spending some time on it. It says, by faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.

Two weeks ago, I showed you how to interpret this verse and what it means. Many people think of it as saying that faith is something that helps us to understand that the worlds were made by the word of God. But I told you that is not correct. Some people look at it like that. They say, “All this is saying is that by our faith we understand that the worlds were made by the word of God. Faith only helps us to understand how the worlds were made.” Well, I disagree with it and so do a lot of other people because the phrase by faith is something that occurs almost in every verse after that. Every time a verse starts with the phrase ‘by faith’, it is followed immediately thereafter by a great achievement, something that was done by faith. By faith Abraham, by faith Isaac, by faith Abel, by faith Enoch, by faith Moses, and so on. Every time it begins with ‘faith’, it is followed by something great that was achieved or done. It's a pattern and this verse is the first in the pattern. Therefore, this must fall in line with the rest of the pattern.

Because it begins with ‘by faith’, it must also say something very significant about something that faith does. Therefore, many believe that this passage must be understood in this way, that it is saying that by faith the worlds were framed by the word of God. That means faith made the world. Faith is the means by which God created the whole world, using the word as the carrier of faith. Words of God are loaded with faith, and He sent it forth and by those words which are filled with faith, releasing His faith through the words He created the worlds. So we looked at that and last week we saw how faith comes. But at the end of last week, where we talked about how faith comes by hearing, I told you about what kind of hearing. Not simply just reading a couple of chapters a day or reading a couple of verses, and so on, all that is good, it's basic, but faith comes by particular kind of hearing, hearing the word of faith.

The preaching from the word of God is called the word of faith. Preaching is so important in God's scheme of things. If you want to understand the glory of preaching, you need to read 1 Corinthians chapter 1 and 2, what place preaching holds in the Christian church. Preaching is very important that is why we spend a lot of time preaching here. Now, what does preaching do? It is the word of faith. That means that preaching creates faith. Because preaching explains what is in the word of God. It shows or brings out and gives to people what the word of God says. It's a particular kind of preaching. It is a preaching that says, our God is a good God. Particular preaching that says that God is on our side, that when God speaks, not even one word fails, whatever God says He’s able to perform. That the power to perform everything that He says is in the word itself. These are the kinds of things that is conveyed through preaching so that as a result, the hearer now begins to trust in God, because He's good, He can be trusted. He never lies, He always does what He says. His promises are ever true. So it creates faith in the heart of the hearer.

So at the end of the preaching, last week, I referred to two verses and I want to begin from there now. You don't have to turn it. I’ll just refer to it and then I want to take you to something from there. Two verses I referred to. One in 2nd Chronicles Chapter 16 verse 9, a beautiful verse where it says, For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those who heart is loyal to Him. Very simply, God is looking throughout the whole world, His eyes are looking throughout the whole earth, for what? He wants to show Himself strong. But how? He's looking for someone whose heart is loyal to Him or someone whose heart trusts in Him, someone who's got faith in the heart, someone whose heart is right kind of heart so that faith can work through that heart. So it is very clear that God simply cannot use anybody with any kind of heart.

If God must use a person, that person needs to have a particular kind of heart, a heart that is trusting in God, a heart of faith, heart where faith can be lodged, faith can work from. So God is looking for such a person. He wants to show Himself strong, that is a very powerful way of saying it. God wants the world to see how big He is, how great He is, how wonderful He is, how loving He is, what He can do for mankind. Every day He wants a demonstration of that in this world. In our communities, in our world, He wants to demonstrate it through somebody. He wants to take a person, who's an ordinary person, bless him in such a way, in every way. Change a sinner into a saint, change a person amazingly and bring about such results in his life so that everyone that sees will understand the power of God, how strong God is, how great God is. So God is looking for a person through whom He can show Himself strong. God's eyes are running to and fro throughout the whole earth, looking for a man with a heart of faith that He can use.

I showed another verse, which is quite popular among Christians. 2nd Timothy chapter 2 verse 20 and 21, which says that, in a great house, not only their vessels of gold and silver, but also wood and clay. The gold and silver vessels are honorable vessels, the verse calls it, and the clay and wood vessels are dishonorable vessels. So back in the old days, I somehow got the idea that they were saying that in the scheme of things, in the church, some were in a very honorable position, some are not in a very honorable position. So they seem to have suggested to me, I don't know if I properly understood it or not, this is the way I understood. Maybe you're a clay pot, you're no good. God didn't choose you for anything big, you're just chosen for some ordinary stuff, you're never going to be very useful to God, you're just an ordinary person. So be thankful to God. If He has chosen you as a clay pot then be thankful that you're a clay pot. So I was fine with that, because I was not ambitious person. But then I read one more verse that spoilt everything. The next verse, it says, therefore, after talking about the honorable vessels and dishonored vessels, and so on, the vessels of gold and silver, the vessels of wood and clay, the next verse says, therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, that means, cleanses himself from sin, from impurities, from all kinds of temptations, the world and its impact upon the person. If a person cleanses himself from all that, if you look at the context, that's what he's referring to. If a person will keep himself clean... he’s writing to Timothy, a young man, he's a minister. He’s saying to him that if a person will keep himself clean and cleanse himself, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work.

Now, this tells me that God wants everybody to become a person who's prepared for every good work, be a vessel of honor. The vessel of honor is not the privilege of just a few. The vessel of honor is God's plan for everybody. That everyone should be a vessel of honor, they should be used of God, to glorify God, to be a witness for God. A vessel of honor is not some very special person, a vessel of honor is the thing that God expects everybody to become. Therefore, one must cleanse himself, purify himself so that he can qualify to be the vessel of honor ready for the Master’s use, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work. So it is very clear here that God is looking for people, people with a certain heart, with a kind of heart that God can take and put His faith in there and operate by faith and use them mightily.

Alright, so today and for maybe for one or two more weeks, I want to talk about some issues that are very important from Hebrews 11:3. The thing is this, that for God to use us mightily in this world, to use us as His vessel, we need to start living by faith. And living by faith is something that is possible only for a person with a heart such as this. And therefore I want to talk today about a heart of love that is necessary for faith to work with. Now turn with me Galatians chapter 5 verse 6. Some of you heard this verse but I want to explain the complete meaning of this thing. Galatians chapter 5 verse 6. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything. See in those days, circumcision and uncircumcision mattered a lot even in the Christian church because they all came from Jewish background, at least a lot of the leaders came from Jewish background and there was a lot of people from the Jewish background and they had what is called circumcision in the Old Testament starting with Abraham. They circumcised every male child on the sixth day, which was just a cutting off of the foreskin of a part of the male organ of the child. So that is called circumcision. God gave that as an ordinance to Abraham, demanded that every child be circumcised in order for that to be a sign of the covenant.

It is sign of the covenant and the meaning of this sign is given in the New Testament. Paul talks about how we need the circumcision of heart not just the circumcision of skin. Circumcising a portion of your body, a skin, is not going to matter very much. Circumcision of the heart, where your heart is cleansed, where from your heart the old nature is cut off, the sinful nature is cut off, that is very important. It signified that in the Old Testament that couldn't be done. You know in the Old Testament Jesus had not come, He has not died on the cross. Redemption was not available in the way that it is available in the new covenant. So there was a sign that was given of what will happen but now the real has come in the New Testament. So the sign has lost its significance. The shadow has lost its significance because we have the real now. We really have a circumcision of the heart. Therefore, the New Testament church stopped emphasizing circumcision, particularly when Paul started preaching, he completely quit emphasizing circumcision and that upset a lot of people. So Paul says here, “It is not circumcision or uncircumcision. It's not whether you are circumcised or uncircumcised that matters. It is useless, whether if you’re circumcised or you’re uncircumcised, it is useless. It matters nothing,” he says.

Christianity is not about rituals. Christianity is not about these kinds of religious rituals. Religion is full of rituals like this. Have you done this? Have you done that? On eighth day you have to do this. 40th day you have to do that. That's what religion is all about. What is Christianity? It is neither circumcision nor uncircumcision that avails much. What does avail anything now? It says, but faith working through love. “That is what is going to be of any use to you,” he says. It is not this ritual of circumcision, which had some significance under the old covenant. Now, it is faith that works through love. Notice that expression, faith that works through love. It is talking about how faith works. A better translation is faith expressed through love, faith expressed in love, faith operating in love, and so on. So what he is saying is, faith operating in love is going to be useful for you, that will make a change in your life, that will give you a new future, that will change your circumstances, that will give you victory, that will meet all your needs. Faith working by love is going to change your life.

Christianity is about an inner change that is very real, that brings about change in every area of your life. It is not just mere rituals. So many people are into rituals. I remember one person came in here very disappointed because on the stage there was nothing. So she told me, “What? In your stage there is nothing.” I said, “Did you notice on the stage there was a preacher, there was a Bible, and he preached for one hour? It didn't matter to you?” Said, “But there is nothing there.” She expected something will be here, and I'll be turning that way doing something while you're all waiting for me to get done with all my rituals, because she thought that's what Christianity is, that's what her understanding of Christianity is. I said, “No, no, Christianity is not about rituals. It's not me doing something for you here while you watch, sit and wait for me to get through.  Christianity is where we've all experienced Christ, Christ has come to live in our hearts. So we join together and worship. That's why we have singing and we praise and worship God. And then we take the word of God, and we preach. So all we need in the stage is a podium, a Bible and a preacher who could preach the word. That's all you need. You don’t need anything else. You need the keyboards and the guitar and the drums for people to play so that we can worship and then you need a Bible and a podium and a preacher to preach the word,” and she couldn't believe what I was saying. She was so dissatisfied that she didn't see anything because they're into rituals. Christianity is not about rituals. It is real not ritual. It is very real. It will make a real change in your life.

And what Paul is saying is, it is neither circumcision nor uncircumcision that matters. What matters is faith working through love, operating through love. If faith can operate through love in your life, you're going to see some big time changes, you're going to see significant changes in your life that will positively impact your life. So I want to talk about two foundational reasons as to why faith must work through love. Why can't it work without love? Why it must operate through love? Why has God set it like that? Why must faith operate through love? Two foundational reasons. The first reason, since faith is a spiritual force that God Himself uses... see, we know nothing about spiritual things. We need to understand it by reading the word of God and seeing it demonstrated. So faith is a spiritual force it’s not an earthly force that you can study by studying physics or something like that, it’s a spiritual force. You got to understand it from the Bible, and the person that uses it is God. And Hebrews 11:3 that is why it's very important. You see God practicing faith. By faith God created the world through His word. So you see God using faith, operating in faith.

So because faith is a spiritual force that God Himself uses, and demonstrates, faith can only be used in the way that God uses it and that is in love. Because God is love, He can only use it in love. Love is always there as the motivation for faith. God does not use this magnificent power, this amazing power of faith, except in and through love. Because of love, only He uses. Take for example the creation which Hebrews 11:3 is talking about. By faith we understand the worlds were framed by the word of God. It says worlds were framed. I like the English translation because framed is more specific. It is talking not just about creation, but designing of the world in a particular way, and designing of everything in a particular way. By faith God framed the world. Now behind that framing of the world by faith, the motivation is love. God, who is love, created the world because of love. It is love that motivated Him to create a world, frame a world and to frame it in this particular way. The first two chapters of Genesis are the most fascinating chapters in the Bible, because it talks about what kind of a world God made for him. Look at the world, look at the garden that He planted, the Bible says. And brought man and placed him in the garden and told him, “You may eat all the fruits of this garden,” and so on. He sets up a life for man.

He first created everything for man, and then made man before He made man. Why would He even want man? Because God is a God of love. It is love that motivated God to make man. Before He made man He wanted to make everything that man would ever need. That is why in the story of the creation we have creation of everything first and then man as a last item in creation. Not because he is least in importance, but he is the most important. He is the crown of all creation. So before he showed up, God made everything and put it in place and had it all functioning and then brings man so that man has nothing missing. Nothing wrong there. Everything is fine, it is an inhabitable, wonderful world. All the chaos, emptiness, darkness is gone. Everything is set in order and everything is beautiful and wonderful and God did it. Love did it. God's love created man and God's love created the world for man.

It's very much like this, why do we have a family? Why do we get married and then have children? Because we want a family, everyone has a longing for a family. It is not normal to find people say, why bother with marriage? I don't think I want to marry. You'll find some fellow saying that, I've seen some young people say that, but they're the first ones to get married. So I don't believe them anymore. They say, “Oh, I'm not going to marry, pastor. You see, I'm not going.” Very soon he'll come with a girl, wants to marry. It's in man to seek for a woman, companion, and to live with that woman then to produce children and to make a family and so on. Why? Because man is created in the image and likeness of God. God created mankind because He's a God of love. Therefore, He cannot remain alone. He has so much love, He has so much to give. Such abundance of love is there so He needs to pour it out. Therefore, He wanted a mankind, therefore He created man. And man was created in the image and likeness of God He is also supposed to live in love. Just like fish lives in water man is a love creature, just like God is love, man's most important quality is love. Therefore, he seeks a companion, somebody to show love to. He seeks children. That's the motivation behind marriage.

Sometimes young people come to me and say, “I want to get married.” I asked one fellow, “Why do you want to get married?” He said, “Well, I'm in Bangalore. I'm alone. Every day I’m eating in hotels. It’s very bad. How long can I eat in restaurants? My parents are telling me, ‘Get married.’” I’d say, “You need a nice ayah, nice cook. Because these days if you get a wife there's no guarantee she knows how to cook. She may be used to ordering from the restaurant. So don't be expecting a cook in the form of a wife. It's not a good idea,” I said. He was shocked you know. Just looked at me, “What do you mean?” I said, “Yeah, that's the truth. What are you going to do? Check out to see whether she can cook or not? What do you need? Do you need a cook or you need a wife? It looks like to me that you need a cook and not a wife.”

You see a wife is not for cooking, a wife is not for anything else. A wife is so that you can pour your love out to that person and produce children and pour your love out to those children and give to them constantly and live by giving. Man needs that. That’s how God has made man. And that must be the foundation for marriage. We learn to get married because that's how God has made us. “It's not good for a man to be alone,” He said, and we're not smarter than God. So better get married because you're never going to be really satisfied without that aspect in your life. You need it, you need to give love, you need to have an exchange of love and therefore we have families. Even God He created first animals, fish, birds, and all these things. Those are fine, but nothing equals man because man is created in His image and likeness. There's a difference between those things and man. Man is in the same class as God. Those animals no matter how good they are, dogs and cats are fine but they cannot enjoy the love that is given and give love back in return like a human being with God. Because the human being made in the same class as God. It's like this.

We have animals also, some of us are very fond of dogs and cats. I was talking to one lady, I remember when I was studying in college and she was talking to me, she was mentioning some name, a boy's name, and she was saying, “Well, without me he won't eat, without me he won't sleep, and he sleeps with me,” and all that. And I thought, she's talking about some boy, maybe a son. Then at the end she told me that was their dog. Now, I'm sure that we love animals, but man is made higher than the animals. There's a big difference between animals and man. That's the way Bible teaches. That doesn't mean we disrespect animals. Proverbs says, a righteous man even treats his animals good. So if you're a good godly person, you will feed your animal, take care of your animal, treat your animal well, and all that. So we don't preach abuse of animals. We're not saying like some guys you see as you walk down the street, throw some rocks at their dogs, as you walk by. No, we don't believe in that. We believe in treating them fair and good, and giving them food and raising them up well, and providing them a good place and so on because they are God's creatures also. They are for our enjoyment God has created but they can never be equal to man. They can never be our God, and they can never be even equal to us. This is a Christian doctrine of man and animals, and so on.

Why? Because they cannot relate to us on the same level. We can show love and then the animal also can show love to us. I've seen some wonderful loving dogs, but it's not the same as your own children. You can love and take love from the dog but it's never the same. It's on a different level. And that is how it is between us and God. No other creature, including the angels are made in the image and likeness of God. Angels are made only as servants, they cannot receive and give love like we can receive and give love from God. We are of the same class as God, only regarding God. God said, “Let's make man in Our image and Our likeness.” Man is very special in that way. So it is love that created everything, love that created the world for man, love that created man in that particular way, in the image and likeness of God and given him the highest standing among all creation. It is all a love product.

And motivated by love God used these words to release His faith and created everything and that is what the Bible teaches. When man sinned and fell, God went to work again, to recreate. We have the new creation now. How did the new creation start? Same way. God sent word through an angel to Mary. The angel came and told Mary that she's going to bear a son, His name is going to be Jesus, He’s going to be the savior. She said, “Well, I know not a man. How can this be, because I don't know a man, I'm not married?” The angel says, “Nothing is impossible with God. With God, nothing shall be impossible.” I told you the meaning of those words. In the Greek language when you read it, it is not saying, for with God nothing shall be impossible. You can conclude that that's what it’s saying and that's how they translated. But what it's actually saying is, no word from God is void of power of fulfillment. No word comes out from the mouth of God that cannot be fulfilled. No word from God is powerless. That is what she heard. And that is why she replies, saying, “Be it unto me according to your word.” That reply itself tells what she heard. She heard God's word is good. God never lies. The power of fulfillment is built into the word itself. God will do what He says. He has never failed even once. Therefore, she says, “Be it unto me according to your word.”

That's how it started. See, God is now again beginning the work of recreation of the lost man. That's where it began. He is releasing His word and through the word going into her, and she receiving it and saying, “Be it unto to me according to your word,” she began to conceive. The word became flesh. She conceived and bore Jesus the Son of God, and brought Him into this world. Love did that. Motivated by love, God did that. He brought Him into this world. Then God saw Him die on the cross, suffering such horrible death and on the third day, He raised Him from the dead, exalted Him, seated Him at His right hand, given Him a name above every name, so that there is salvation in His name today. The re-creation is done by God's word.

Finally, we read in 1 Peter chapter 1 verse 23 how we are recreated. Look at this statement. It's all by the word. It is through the agency of the word. God releases His faith in the word. And that is how re-creation happens. Just like the old creation, the re-creation happens by the word. 1st Peter chapter 1 verse 23, having been born again... Jesus talked about being born again, remember, to Nicodemus. Now Peter is talking about being born again. Having been born again. Are you born again? Everybody must be born again, Jesus said, and Peter is talking about it. Having been born again, not of corruptible seed, but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever. How were you born again? How is a person ever born again? This new birth called being born again happens through the word of God. It is a recreation, it is a new creation, it happens by the word of God.

Alright. So the first creation was by God's word which brought God's faith into action. God released His faith through His Word, because of His love, motivated by His love. The new creation also happens the same way. God releases His faith through His word, and the new creation comes into being. So look at the way God operates by faith. Look at the way God created the world. He created the world because of love. Love is the motivating factor behind faith. Therefore, that tells me that faith operates by love. Faith must always have as it's motivating factor love. If motivating factor is not love, faith will not work. It must have love as its motivation, then only faith will work. The second reason why faith must operate through love is this; faith is a powerful spiritual force. I told you, the greatest earthly physical force is the nuclear power but the spiritual force called faith is greater than the physical force called nuclear power. Why? Because spiritual things existed before the natural world. The natural world was created by the spiritual force called faith. If faith created everything, then faith is greater than everything in the natural world. So faith is a powerful spiritual force and therefore, in order to operate that powerful spiritual force, love is necessary.

Love is necessary to operate it. Why? You can’t play with this force. This is very powerful. You can’t give it in the hands of a person that cannot be trusted, does not have love, that is not motivated by love and dominated by love because it's very powerful. You wouldn't take nuclear power and hand it over to a man who's irresponsible, who can get mad and just press the button. Everything will be over. You don't do that. This is far greater power. Therefore, God does not allow a person to use this except through love. Now, you better be  thankful to God for that because if everybody can just use that... when you talk about faith, everybody is interested. One fellow came to me and said, “I like your message about the mountain-moving faith,” when I first started talking about it. He was very excited, “Brother, I can move mountains. I like that.” Now, he's not even a believer. “I like that. I'm going to come next week, I want to hear about that mountain-moving faith because I want to move some mountains.” He's talking about mountains, like his mother-in-law and the neighbor who's giving him problem and all this business, do some damage to them because now he wants to learn this power and use this power to his advantage to put them out. Some of these guys will bring fire down from heaven and the mother-in-law's house, if they had the ability to do it. So he said, “This is very interesting, brother. Faith, my goodness. I want to learn faith, I want to use it. This is amazing power you're talking about.” I said, “Look friend. In order for God's faith to operate in you, first you must become a child of God. You must give your heart to God. And then you must cleanse your heart from all impurities. Cleanse your heart and fill your heart with God's love and God's word.”

God is looking to and fro throughout the whole earth to find a person with a heart that is loyal to Him, that is trusting in Him. A heart that is devoted to Him. A heart that will do only what He says. A heart that will only accomplish God's purposes. God is looking for such a heart. Only a person with such a heart can use faith. Faith will be operated only through a person like that. Why? Because God uses love like a safety valve. Why does Galatians 5:6 say faith works or operates or is expressed in love. It can work only through love. Why does it say that? Because that's the safety valve, so that nobody misuses it and does all kinds of bad things. Remember the disciples said about Samaria, the town which refused to give Jesus a room overnight. He sent them to find a hotel room and they refused because He was a Jew and they were Samaritans. They came to Jesus and said, “We need to show them who You are. Let's bring fire down from heaven like Elijah and destroy this thing. We’ll remove Samaria from the map.” That was their attitude. I'm talking about Peter, John, James, all these guys that we call apostles. They were that kind of people. Then Jesus said, “What kind of spirit is that?” I mean, just for the sake of being refused for a room, you're going to bring fire down from heaven and destroy the whole city? Certainly, faith is not going to work from such a man's heart. God is not going to risk His power in the hands of such a person. Faith therefore works only by love because love provides the safe use of faith. Faith is an enormous power, bigger than all powers. Jesus said, “If you have faith like a mustard seed, you can say to the mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and be planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.” Faith is such an amazing power. It will do what you said. If you had mustard seed-like faith. He chose the smallest seed deliberately, therefore you must be careful with it.

So God has put love as a safety valve. Only by love it will work. You can't just by your whims and fancies, bring down everything. I know that when you hear some people talking all nonsense and stuff you want to bring fire down, you want to say, “Well, I want to call fire down” I've even seen some people, Christians, curse. “I curse you,” they say. I remember one time two preachers were fighting when I was little. I was just there and they were both fighting. It is just a small thing. Those days, they didn't use photos for your advertisement. So this preacher was getting little ahead of his time, he used a photograph for his handbill because I instigated him to do that. I said, “It's a good idea.” So he used the photo and they printed the handbill and that was unusual in those days. It was in the south. And so these young boys from the church went and gave the handbills everywhere and they met a preacher on the way and they gave him the handbill also. And that preacher is an old-time preacher. He looked at the thing and he got mad and said, “What kind of a man is he? He has printed his photo, he wants fame.” And he started fighting with the young people and young people fought with him and they came and told this guy. We were waiting for the meeting to start. I was a singer. And all of a sudden that man walked in and they both met. The guy who put the photo on the handbill and the guy who criticized it both met and the guy who was supposed to preach was already mad at the guy for criticizing him. So they started talking and things got heated and this fellow said, “I curse you in the name of Jesus.” And that follow got all perturbed and all. In the heat of the moment that guy thought that he’s going to be cursed and die at the same moment or something. I had to calm them down. Nothing happened. After that both of them were sitting on the stage and we had the meeting. No problem. There was no problem. In anger he just said that.

And I've seen others also use it very often. I've seen it used by some guys for two people that don't show up in church and stuff. Curse them out and tell them God is going to break your leg and hand and all that, I speak that thing on you. That kind of a thing. So just imagine even among Christians what will happen if the safety valve is not there. My goodness, so many people will be without legs and hands because they'll be cursing out everybody because they're not obeying them or something like that. For some silly reason we’ll be cursing people out. One fellow said, “I curse you just like Jesus cursed the fig tree.” Thank God the power never worked. I told that other preacher, actually I was very young and I didn't know but I pacified him. I told him, “No, no, don't worry, it won't work. It won't do anything.” But he was really worried about the power working. God has put the safety valve called love. Only people whose heart is filled with love - for them this power will work. That is how faith is operated. That is the meaning of faith worketh by love. It only operates through love. You cannot use it for your convenience. You cannot use it to sin. You cannot use it to satisfy your own desires and whims and fancies. You cannot use it for this kind of worldly purposes to achieve your ambitions and so on. You cannot use it for that. It has to be motivated by purest love, the love of God. Hello.

How many of you are happy that it's protected? This is such a big power. Therefore it is protected with love. Let me ask you to turn with me in Mark chapter 11 please, quickly.  It is a familiar passage but a lot of people don't go this far. Mark chapter 11 verse 22. Remember Jesus cursed the fig tree and when he cursed the fig tree nothing happened immediately. 24 hours later, they come the same way, the disciples notice, particularly Peter noticed that the tree that Jesus cursed has withered away. So he reports to Jesus saying, “Lord, the tree that You cursed, withered away.” And Jesus in the first place cursed the tree so that He can teach a lesson on faith to these guys. So he said, “Lord, the tree that You cursed, withered away.” He seemed a little surprised. And Jesus says in verse 22, “Have faith in God.” I would even read it like this, “Use faith like this”. This is how faith works. Use it like this, understand how it works. That's what He's saying. And look at the next verse. “For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.” So He's basically saying, “If any man will say to the mountain, ‘be removed,’ and doesn't doubt it, but believes whatever he said will come to pass, he'll have whatever he says.” That the mountain will be removed, right?

And then verse 24, it continues. Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them. So He's saying, use that faith in the prayer. Remember to use it in prayer. Now, a lot of people are interested in prayer, but not interested in faith. Prayer without faith is useless. Many times Christians are interested in how many hours you pray. Well, that's fine but the thing is, no matter how many hours you pray, if it's not a prayer of faith then it's useless. Faith must be there. So Jesus says, “Use faith in prayer.” How do you use it? He says, “Whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.” “So if you have faith, whatever you ask you can receive,” He says.

And then verse 25, it continues. This is where a lot of people miss it. It continues, He says, “And whenever you stand praying...” Now, He continues. See, first it’s mountain moving and then use that faith in prayer. Now he's continuing with prayer. While you're praying, He says, “if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.” Now, He brings in forgiveness. He’s talking about mountain-moving faith and all of a sudden he went from there to prayer and from prayer he went to forgiving someone. “When you pray, remember to forgive,” He says. In other words, He's basically saying, to put it very simply He says, “If you don't forgive your prayer is not going to work.” Even if you use mountain-moving faith in your prayer, even if you understand the God kind of faith... and I've taught about God kind of faith here. I’ve taught this verse extensively. Even if you understand all the principles of this God kind of faith and do just like Jesus said, “Speak to that mountain,” and all of that, if you don't forgive when you pray, it's not going to work. “Your faith is not going to work, your prayer is not going to work,” He says. Now that is a very significant statement. In other words, He's saying, “Faith works only by love.” Faith is operated only through love. Faith is expressed or used only in love. If you don't forgive it's not going to work. You can have mountain-moving faith and pray, but if you don't forgive, it's not going to work.

Turn with me to Luke chapter 17. That's where the mulberry tree thing comes. If you have faith like a mustard seed. But look at that, look at the context there also. That verse about, if you have faith like a mustard seed, that is verse 6, right? But read from verse 3. Take heed to yourself. What a warning. He says, “Let me warn you,” He says. What is He warning about? If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, ‘I repent,’ you shall forgive him.” He says seven times in a day if he comes and say, “Sorry, I repent.” Seven times in a day, not seven times in a life. Seven times in a day if he comes and says, “Sorry, please forgive me, you forgive,” He says. Now I'm sure, I know about myself. I'm sure you've also crossed the seven times limit many times. We've gone over. But thank God, we're still alive because God is gracious and God is good, right? Sometimes even 7 times 70 is not enough, that many times we have erred and sinned and done wrong but God is so gracious He keeps forgiving and forgiving and forgiving. God is an expert forgiver. Now He stands in flesh before the disciples and He says to them, “If somebody does something against you and comes and repents, forgive him, even if it's seven times a day.”

Now, seven times is not a particular limitation that he's placing, seven times is a expression that is used in the old times to say, for example, here as many times as you need to forgive. Seven means perfection. You cannot count any more than that. That's what He means. As many times as they ask you, you forgive. If they come and repent, you forgive. And now the disciples have a problem. Now these are guys just like you and I. One time it's alright, two is fine we can be gracious, third time also we can give, fourth time you want to just slap the guy, because how many times? You can't keep on forgiving. You'll hear people say, “There is a limit.” That's our famous thing that we all say, there is a limit to everything. So we are limited in that way. Our love is limited, our forgiveness is limited, therefore our faith also gets limited. You can't go very far in life. So the apostles have a problem with it.

The apostles said to the Lord. Next verse. Increase our faith. In other words, they're saying, “Whatever You’re talking about, give us that power to do this. We need more. As it is right now we can't do this. Seven times a day, are you kidding me? We can't do that. Increase our faith.” And look at Jesus’ answer. So the Lord said, “If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.” You know what He was saying? He says, “You mean to say it's impossible? You mean to say it's such a big thing? If you have faith like a mustard seed, if you have the smallest amount of faith, you begin to speak through that bitterness, that unforgiving mentality and attitude, that anger, that animosity that is in your heart, you speak to it and say, ‘Be uprooted from my heart. Be gone in the name of Jesus. Don't be there anymore. I don't want it. Be uprooted and be gone from my life.’ It will obey you, it will happen,” He says. Hello.

He says, “Just speak that bitterness will go. Just command it to go. Just command it to be uprooted.” Every plant that the Lord has not planted must be pulled out. And bitterness and animosity is not something that God planted in our hearts. It happens in this world. It must be uprooted and you uproot it by faith. Faith must be used for that, it work because you want to uproot it. You want to keep it and you want to bring fire down on that guy, it won’t work. You want to uproot it, it will work very well because it is divine. It is a matter of love. If you have the smallest amount of faith and you say to that bitterness, “Be uprooted and be gone, it will be gone,” He says.

Now, in the world Jesus said, “Take up your cross and follow me,” that's one of the most misunderstood verses. Some people say, “Well, I'm carrying my cross, brother, that's my sin.” I say, “No, your sin Jesus carried. That's not the cross you're supposed to carry.” Some people even believe their cross is this and that. Wife is the cross, husband is the cross, my job is a cross, everything is a cross for some people. None of these things that a cross, even sickness is not a cross, poverty is not a cross. These are not crosses that God meant for you to carry and bear and walk in this life. These are things that Jesus carried on the cross to put it away from you. So when Jesus said, “Take up your cross and follow me,” He didn't mean that. There is only one cross that Jesus cannot and will not take up. And that cross is this unlovely, unkind, unforgiving, selfish, self-centered, childish, ugly people that live around you and that will always live around you as long as you live in this world. That cross you need to carry. Hello? That cross you need to carry. They'll always be talking like that. They'll always be saying something, they'll always be finding fault. They will always have something bad to say.

Some people have never anything good to say. They’re very gifted in that. They're so used to speaking only bad things that nothing good comes out of their mouth. It's amazing. Every day I hear things like that. People come and say about what happens in their life. Even today someone was telling me. I said, “Why did they say like that?” Said, “That's what they said.” Said, “My God, this is surprising that something like this can come from human-being’s mouth.” But that's the cross that Jesus meant for you to carry. They'll always do that. In this world there's a lot of trouble, a lot of lot of persecution, a lot of things. The world that hated Jesus, hates you because you belong to Jesus. So what are you going to do? You're going to curse them back? You want to call fire down from heaven? Hello. What are you going to do to them? The Bible says, forgive them. You got to constantly forgive. How many times? As many times as needed, keep on forgiving. Keep on forgiving. And if you keep your heart in that shape, faith will really work from such a heart. Faith will really work from a heart where forgiveness is there.

Now, let me just say one more thing and then close. You know, Jesus said to Peter, “I pray that your faith fail not. Satan wants to sift you, trouble you, and do all these things to you. But I'm praying that your faith fail not,” He says. You know, the Bible says that love never fails. 1 Corinthians 13:8 says love never fails. Have you ever read that? All my life I've read Tamil papers which talks about love failure. But Bible says love never fails. It's a new kind of thing. Love never fails. Talking about God's love, the divine love, agape love, unfailing love. Love never fails, because God never fails and God is love. Love never fails. And if your faith is operating through love, your faith will never fail. If you exercise your faith in love, and use your faith in love, motivated by love to do good things, your faith will never fail because love never fails. That is why love is meant to be the motivation. Faith will not disappoint, the Bible says. Your faith should not disappoint. If it's used in the right way as the Bible says, it should not disappoint. Nobody believes and then says, “I'm disappointed that my belief went to waste.” No, it'll never disappoint if it is used in the right way. If it used in love it’ll never fail.

Finally, let me say this. You remember the story of Samuel’s mother Hannah, going and praying before the Lord because she didn't have a child. Her husband had another wife who was taunting her all the time. And every day she had to go through this trouble. So she went before the Lord one day and she cried before the Lord and prayed. She was crying and weeping so much that the priest thought that she was drunk. He called and said, “How long you’re going to be drunk still?” Said, “No, no, no. I'm not drunk. I'm just weeping before the Lord because of a problem.” At one point during her prayer she prays this prayer, she says, “Lord, if you give me a male child, I will give that child to you all the days of his life. All the days of his life I'll give that child to you.” I say this because one of the biggest hindrances to our prayers and our faith working is the me factor. Lord, everybody has a child. I'm the only who didn't have a child. All my siblings have a house. I don't have a house. Everybody's got a nice job. I'm the one without a nice job. Everybody's got a nice earning. I'm the one without. What about me, Lord? Look at me. I have nothing.” So people, most of them, because we are human beings, we concentrate on this, the us, me, me, me. The me is the thing that stops them from getting any answers because they want it for themselves. What about me? I need a car, I need a house. I need this. I need that, I need earning. All that is justified, you need it but the way it is put is wrong.

I remember a couple came to me many years ago, and they didn't have a child and they were very educated people, up in the field that they were working in, very smart. But when they came and sat and started talking about the problem, the lady began to weep profusely, just like Samuel’s mother. I felt so sorry, I didn't even know what to say. And she said, “Everybody's asking me that. Everybody has children, I don't have. In my family everybody is asking, everybody has children. Even this fellow has but I don't have.” What do I say? She started weeping. And finally, God gave me something to say to her. I said to her, “Listen. Hereafter you do something. You change your prayer. Don't say, ‘Lord everybody has a child but I don't have a child. He's got it, I don't have it. This woman has it, I don't have it. How come I alone don't have it?’ Change that prayer,” I said, “instead of praying like that, pray what the Bible says.” I said, “In Ezekiel chapter 20, I think, verse 16, it says, the children you bore for me,” they were offering their children sacrifices and God was reprimanding them, the people of Israel. Said, “The children you bore for me,” He says. God is claiming that the children born to the Israelites belong to Him. “You bore for Me,” He says. And I told her, “Pray like this, ‘God, let me bear children for You. If I bear children for You, my children will belong to You.’ Change the prayer, put the me out, I out, my problem out, me, me, me out and pray, ‘Lord, if I ever have a child, I will dedicate that child to You and that child will be Your child all the days of his life, I'll give him to You.’ Pray like that.” Now she has two children.

Two children now. Hannah prayed that day. It’s on that basis also. It’s like Hannah's prayer. She prayed, “Lord, if You give me a child, I'll give him to You all the days of his life.” Next year, she was with a child. God opened her womb. All of a sudden it's working. The womb that was shut, not working, all of a sudden is working. Why? Faith worketh by love. All of us many times, as human beings, we only concentrate on our needs. I remember the time I was very sick, and I was very seriously ill and I used to pray this prayer, “Lord, if you give me life and years and give me health and strength, I will work for You. I'm trying to do my best whatever I can. But I want health and I want strength. I want many more years. And if You’ll give it, every single day, all through the my life, I will give it to You. I will preach Your word. I will work for You. For Your glory, I will do it.” It is for that and you turn the prayer from what you want to for your own purposes to something that will achieve God's purposes. When you pray like that, I'll tell you, God will raise you from that sick bed. Save you from dying, quicken you with life, give you new life, give you a new future, change everything. This was 11 years ago, I prayed. 11 years ago I would have gone but I prayed and God gave life. God gave strength. Till this day I'm preaching, I’m determined that every day I live, I will preach for the glory of God and do God's work and God's will.

I'm asking for life and strength, asking for life and strength, not just for myself, but for the sake of God. I think that's the way we all should pray. For our job, for our business, for everything. You pray, saying, ‘Lord, raise me up in my profession. Make me a success in the work of my hands. Allow me to prosper immensely in this difficult world because when I prosper, I will do what You tell me to do with that prosperity. I will dedicate my prosperity to You. I will do Your will. I will accomplish Your purposes. I will be what you want me to be and I will do what You want me to do.” You do that I'll tell You your life will take on a new turn, things will begin to turn for the good because faith will begin to work. Faith works from the heart of love. Because you are doing everything now out of love for God, not love for your well-being but love for God. When you do everything for the love of God, because you love God, you're motivated by that love. You want to live to do God's work. You want to live to do God's will, you want to accomplish what God wants done. Then I'll tell you faith begins to work. Mountains begin to move, trees begin to be uprooted. Hindrances are gone. Victories show up and a new turn happens in your life and things begin to change by faith. Amen.

Let's all stand together. I want you to pray. I want you to take one minute to just open your mouth and pray today and pray that kind of prayer. Not me, Lord. I need this Lord. I need... no, no. But pray this kind of prayer. Lord if You’ll bless the work of my hands, if You’ll prosper me that prosperity will be for Your glory, to accomplish Your purposes, to do Your will. Lord if You’ll give my sick body, if You'll take me and give me strength and life, health and healing and many more years of life, I will live it for You. I dedicate it to You, Lord. I will glorify You. May people see and know that You are God. May people know that You are strong, You are mighty and You do great things. Pray that. Open your mouth and pray. Whatever your need may be, whatever your problem is, whatever you want done today, pray in that way, put it in that way. When you put it in that way, I'll tell you that is love motivation.

Fill your heart with that. It is for God. Everything good happens to me is because of God's glory. It is to show forth God. It is the show forth how good and how great He is, what He can do in an ordinary person's life. Hallelujah. Praise You, Jesus. God's eyes are looking to and fro throughout the whole earth wanting to find a man whose heart is right, so that He can show Himself strong. Just reach out to God and say, “I am here, Lord. I'm ready. I offer you my heart. Cleanse me, purify me. Use me for Your glory. May Your purposes come to pass. Lead me to Your destiny that You have for me. Not me, Lord, You. You must increase I must decrease. Your will must be done. Your purposes must be accomplished. Father God, we thank You and we pray this prayer in Your name. We know that this prayer is accomplished in the name of Jesus because it is not for us. It is for Your glory. It is motivated by love because faith works by love. May a new future be created for many people. May they see new turning points in their life. May there be new rescues from all kinds of difficulties and problems and situations. May there be a new day in their life. May the blessings of God abound in their lives and every day may they remember it's all for God's glory. It's all for God's purposes, it is all for Him. It is all for God and I pray that everyone here will glorify You on this earth as long as they live on this earth oh God. We give you all the glory in Jesus name we pray.

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