06 Apr The Cost of Love from the Will (Willful Power)
PASTOR WIL: Let’s finish this up, we’re not gonna be long.
The cost of love must also be from your will. This is our last point. Everybody say, “Willful power.”
So, we’ve talked about emotional power — it’s got to be in here. We’ve talked about thoughtful power — you’ve gotta think this thing through. And then, finally, it’s gotta become an act of the will.
DR. GRACE: All of our strength represents our power, or our energy, to act on our will: what we do. So in 1 Corinthians 13:3, and it says, “And though I bestow all of my goods to feed the poor, though I give my body to be burned, and have not love, it profiteth me nothing.”
PASTOR WIL: And so this final cost is, it’s gonna cost you your will. Everybody say, “My will.”
There are gonna be times where you just don’t wanna do it. I’m preachin’. There’s gonna be times that they’re gonna give you a reason not to want to do it. And yet, you’ve got to do it.
I mean, I’m gonna be real clear: I praise God for His divine healing. I praise God for His divine healing. I’ve been a pastor now for 18 years. I’ve never missed one ser— one Sunday, in 18 years. I’ve never missed one Bible study in 18 years. God has given me divine healing. The only time I’ve not been in this pulpit is either I’ve had a guest preaching, or I was traveling somewhere else. But God’s given me divine healing. Look at your neighbor and say, “Divine healing.”
But that don’t mean divine will. Y’all ain’t workin’ with a brother in this place. That, that don’t mean that sometimes I woke up and I’m like, “These people right here, Jesus… These people right here, Lord…” You know, I’ve, I’ve, I’ve, I’ve always walked on that job, but sometimes you walk on that job, you’re like, “Lord, I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know.” There’s been some times where your will didn’t want to do it. I’m preachin’ right here now.
See, sometimes life is easy to do right. Sometimes it’s easy to love people. Sometimes it’s easy, when you first get that job, it’s easy when you first join that church, it’s easy when you first kick off your ministry, it’s easy when you begin that business, it’s easy, it’s easy, and so, you can do that easy — but what do you do when it’s no longer easy? What do you do when you wake up and you don’t feel like doing it? Can I preach to three people in here? What do you do when you, you, you, your will is not in it? Hallelujah, the, the flesh is just ain’t goin’ for it, “I just don’t feel like it.” I, I don’t know about you, but, but, I may be saved, I may be a pastor, I may have the power of God, but sometimes I wake up, and I’m just like, “Lord, I don’t feel like this any longer, I don’t feel like going through this.”
And, and, and, and how many people have realized that sometimes it looks like you just keep going over and over, going through the same stuff over and over? Am I preaching to anybody in here? Hallelujah. Sometimes, when you think you’re comin’ out of it, you go right back into it. Sometimes when you think, First Lady, that you’ve finally made some progress, and then it looks like — bam! — you’re right back in it again. Can I preach to some people in here? It looks like, I thought I had made some progress on my job, I thought I had made some progress with this friend, I had thought I had made some progress with church folk, I thought I had made progress with the person I’m married to, and it looks like, it goes right back to that again.
Somebody say, “Why?” Come on, look at your neighbor and say, “Why?” Does anybody wanna know why? Does anybody wanna know why? I’m tellin’ you next week. (Laughter.)
Okay, I’m just preaching. Didn’t want a cliffhanger.
The why is because life — here, hear me right here — is because life is about seasons. Let me say that one more again: life is about seasons.
The Bible tells us that there are 28 seasons in life, in pairs. Half of ‘em are good — y’all ain’t workin’ with me — and half of ‘em are bad. A time to be born, a time to die. A time to get, a time to lose. A time to laugh, a time to cry. That’s— everybody look at your neighbor and say, “That’s life.” And so, to everybody that wants everything to just get fixed and be perfect for the rest of your life — that ain’t gonna happen. This is what life is. This is what life is.
I was tellin’ somebody, I said imagine if you are a second grade teacher, and you get those little kids, then you gotta teach them their math, and you gotta teach them their English, and you gotta teach them sentences, and you gotta teach them arithmetic, and you gotta teach them all that stuff. And you finally get through a whole year, and they’ve made progress, and they’ve made progress, and then, they graduate. What’s gonna happen next year? Okay, y’all ain’t workin’ with me. You gotta start all over again. That’s life. That’s life. We go through these circles.
But here’s the deal: 10 years from now, y’all be better at it than you was 10 years ago. Oh, y’all didn’t even catch that. Look at your neighbor and say, “I got to go through it again, but next time I’m gonna be a little bit better.” Oh yeah, oh yeah, I’m gonna frustrate my wife again, but this time she ought to be able to handle me a little bit better. Y’all still didn’t catch that. And so, the next time I wake up feeling a certain kind of way, this time, I should have more power. I’m preachin’ about the power of love. This time, I should be a little bit better at it.
See, Jesus said, “Not my will, by thy will be done.” He was real clear. “I’m ain’t really feelin’ this right now, I’m not really feelin’ y’all right now, but nevertheless, not my will, but your will, be done.” Your will.
Go ahead. Dr. Grace?
DR. GRACE: Even our heavenly father had this moment in his time, in his life, where he realized, that even though he great he was, I mean, he could do great miracles, but there was a time when said you know what, father, nevertheless, this is one of them situations, you can just take this cup because I don’t even want to go through this, you know? And we can understand that, because there are times in our lives where we realize that we need that supernatural strength, we can’t do this on our own. We look at that, our enemy, and say, “You know what? You come at me again one more time like that, you know, it’s gonna take everything and God.” You know, we, we look at some things that are too heavy for us to carry, and we have to go back to our father and say, “God, give me some more, give me some more love, I need the power right now,” because life, circumstances, challenges, whatever you’re dealing with, you can’t handle it, you’ve gotta have that supernatural.
PASTOR WIL: And so, the prophet Zechariah said it like this, he said, “Not by might” — that means your own, personal might — or “not by power” — that means your own, personal power — “but by my Spirit.”
This is why I wanted to take some time to talk to you all about the power of love. Because if we really want this to work — if we really want to have successful ministry, and successful homes, and successful careers, and successful jobs — God says it’s gonna take my Spirit. If you want real love, true love…
Listen, I, when I first met my wife, I had eros love. That was an attractive girl, I was all out of the spirit when I saw her. Why? Because I was attracted to her. Y’all ain’t workin’ with a brother in here. I know some of y’all (indiscernible) say, but I was in church, I wasn’t in the spirit, but I was in church. (Laughter.) That attracted me to her. I got attracted to her. We then became friends. That’s philia love. So first it was eros love, attractive love between a man and a woman; then there was philia love, that’s friendship love, so we became friends.
Let me be real clear, let me be real clear, let me be real clear, let me be real clear, Hallelujah: you can have an attraction for a person, but you better make sure you like that person. (Applause.) ‘Cause, see, let me be real clear, I’m getting, I don’t wanna go too graphic, but, you can, you can have sex with people that you don’t like. But you can’t stay with people that you don’t like.
Okay, y’all didn’t even catch that, y’all didn’t even catch that.
Listen, you gotta like the person. Everybody say, “Philia love.” That’s brotherly love. Greater love than this, than a man that would lay down his life for his friend. Some of y’all, well people, y’all don’t even like him. So you have to develop a friendship. Everybody say, “Friendship.”
How do you like, how do you become a friend? Some getting a whole ‘nother teaching. “He that would have friends must foreshow himself to be friendly.” So, you develop friends by being friendly. I notice that some of y’all, y’all stop making friends. Oh, yeah. Kids make friends all the time. That’s why I showed you the kids earlier. They know how to love, they know how to have friends, they this and that, you know, they have their little fights, they get their little fight over, it’s back to playin’ again. One of them little children hit your child, you be lookin’ at that child across the aisle for the rest of your life. (Laughter.) The kids ready to play! You still lookin’ at them and they mama! (Laughter.) Why? ‘Cause we don’t make friends anymore. I’m preachin’ right here. I’m preachin’ right here.
And so, a lot of times, we are in relationships with people and we are not even friends with them. We should never stop making friends, but we do. There are some of you that have moved from an old area, you’ve been here for 10 years, and if I asked you, “Where your friends at?” they wave back home. You ain’t got nain, nain, N-A-I-N, nain a friend right here, and you’ve been here for 10 years. The devil! Why ain’t you made some friends? Everybody say, “Friends.” You need friends, you need people that will have you! “Well, I would but, well Pastor, I had some friends and they stabbed me in the back,” well then get some new friends! (Laughter.) Go make some new friends! Go repent to the old ones! Y’all just hold stuff.
But you need eros, then you need philia, but the greatest is agape. And look at your neighbor and say, “That one is spiritual.” Say it again, “Spiritual.”
Without love, we are nothing, and so God says, “Thou shalt love the Lord,” as we’re wrapping this up, “with all thy heart” — that’s your emotions. “With all thy soul, and with all thy mind” — that’s your thoughts. And then He says with all your strength — that’s your will. Without love, we are nothing. Love is a fruit of the Holy Spirit, and without it, we are nothing. You can be married, you can be workin’, you can be doin’ all of this stuff, we can be churchin’, saints, but none of this stuff matters without love.
Dr. Grace wanted to take some time and just break this down, and really teach this to the saints of God. Speaking in tongues is good, but without love, but without love, prophesying, knowledge, and we, we had prophets come to our church, but saints of God, after you have that knock-down, drag-out prophesying service, and you rollin’ on the floor and you levitatin’ and all of that kind of stuff, but if we don’t figure out how to love folk—
Oh, y’all lookin’ at me crazy. I, I, I come from sanctified Holy Ghost (indiscernible)… baptized, runnin’ around on the floor, rollin’ over and speakin’ in tongues, and stuff comin’ out your mouth, and, and, and— y’all ain’t workin’ with a brother in this place. Oh, I come from, from people layin’ hands and healin’ the sick and, and, and, being healed and being delivered and being set free, and we have prophets and we have miracle-workers in our church, we believe in the power of the Holy Ghost, we believe in the gifts of the Spirit. People— our dreams, and, those dreams come to pass, we believe in all of this stuff. God says that stuff is great, but without — I’m preachin’ right now — without true love, oh…
Some of you all are gifted just in your looks, you are very attractive. Some of you are gifted in what you do, you’re very good at it. Some of you are very talented, some of you are very musical, some of you just have the ability to work a job or do a thing, but God said, with all those gifts — I’m preachin’ right now — if you don’t have love…
See, the reason why I keep doing what I’m doing is not because I’m necessarily gifted at it, it’s because I love doing it. I love being a blessing to God’s people. Me and my wife love talking to couples, we love talking to people, Hallelujah. We’re getting ready to go to Baltimore to do another relationship training. Why? Because I love it, I love getting in front of people and saying the reason why this ain’t workin’ is because you lack the knowledge, but once you get the knowledge of it, it will work, it can work, it will work, it shall work. If it worked for me, it’ll work for you.
Goodness, giving, and sacrifice are good, but without love, it’s nothing. Prophecy, knowledge, and faith are good, but without love, it’s nothing. Speaking in tongues and all of these things are good, but without love, it’s nothing. Without the love of God, we don’t have anything, but with God’s love, we have the greatest.
I want you to understand, if you ever fall in love with somebody who fell in love with your God, if you ever fall in love with a pastor that loves God, I told somebody, you may be going through, but do they still love God? Do they know your God? Do they love your God? Because if I have love, if I have the love of God on the inside of me, I know that I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me! I can stay with one woman for 30 years when I have the love of God! I can stay in a church for 18 years when I have the love of God! When I have the love of God, I can put up with you, and with you, and with you, and with you, even though you’re different, even though you have your idiosyncracies, and your issues, and your problems, but when I get the love on the inside of me, see, I’m trying to make a person, see, we’re trying to make people lovable—
Can I talk in this place? So my problem with you is that you’re not lovable. So I criticize you, and I condemn you, and I complain to you ‘cause I want you to change so that you can be lovable to me. Let me talk right here. And we tryin’ to make folk… If you just stop wearin’ them hats every Sunday, then you can be lovable. (Laughter.) Y’all ain’t workin’ with me. Hallelujah! Praise Jesus! If, if, if, if, if, if you turn that red to purple, then we can be, in your hair, then we can be lovable, if you stop wearin’ that red top and start wearin’ a purple top, then you can be lovable to me. Y’all ain’t workin’ with a brother in this place. If you can just change the number 11, number 12 in your hair, then we can be lovable. If you can’t dress up, get your tips done, then you’re not gonna be lovable! (Laughter.) If you learn how to cook, then you’ll be lovable to me! If you learn this and you learn that, if you stop makin’ me upset and frustrating me, then you can be lovable!
But I stopped by here to tell you, that is not the answer. That person can become everything that you ever wanted them to be, and they still won’t be lovable. Because if they don’t have God — I’m gonna preach by myself — if they don’t have God, they can’t do it, they can’t be it. You’ll spend all your life tryin’ to change and find the right job, you’ll spend all your life tryin’ to change and find the right people, you’ll spend all your life tryin’ to change and find the right church, you’ll spend all your life tryin’ to change and find this and find that! Look at your neighbor and say, “Stop all that.” Say it again, “Stop all that.” Y’all gotta stop tryin’ to find love and just possess it, you gotta stop tryin’ to find people to love and just love the people that you found.
Let me try it over here. Stop tryin’ to find people to love and just love the person that you found! “I’m just tryin’ to find me a man.” You don’t need to find a man! Just love the men that God has placed in your life. “I’m tryin’ to find the perfect woman.” Stop lookin’ for the perfect woman and just thank God for the one that showed up. I’m gonna preach all by myself. “We lookin’ for the perfect church.” Ain’t no perfect church, only the church that God has given you! Stop lookin’ for the perfect pastor, God didn’t say look for the perfect pastor, He said, “I will give you pastors after my own heart, and he will teach you all things!” I didn’t say I was gonna be lovable, I didn’t say you was gonna like me all the time, I didn’t say I would preach what you wanted me to preach. But if you got the love of God — and I got the love of God — all things become possible! (Singing.) I know, I know, I know, I know, I know! You ain’t cooked the shrimp like I wanted, but you know what, if I got love, I’m gonna go on and eat that bologna sandwich, because I got the love of God (laughter), down on the inside of me!
(Speaking.) Somebody scream, “Love!” Somebody scream, “Love!” Push your neighbor and say, “Neighbor, I’m gonna stop tryin’ to change you and just get more love on the inside of me, I’m gonna stop tryin’ to fix my job and find the perfect job, I’m just gonna love the job that I’m in, I’m gonna love the one I got.” (Singing.) Oh, Lord.
(Speaking.) Somebody scream, “Love!” Somebody scream, “Love!” Girl, when you get real love on the inside of you, you will be able to hate— love your enemies. Oh, y’all ain’t helpin’ a brother in this place. There is a love that, if I can love my enemies, what do you think I can do with my spouse? (Applause.) If there is a love that causes me to love people that have hurt me, what can I do with the person that’s tryin’ to love me, even if they don’t know how to love me? If I got the love of God…
Somebody scream, “Love!” Come on, jump on your feet and just say “love” three times. The love of God. When you get real love, you’ll have it in your heart. When you get real love, you’ll have it in your mind. And when you get real love, it’ll be your action. You will walk love, you will talk love, you will do love. It becomes the essence of who you are. And so, look at your neighbor and say, “Neighbor, God is love, and when I get God, I become love.”
And Jesus said it like this: “Here’s how you gonna know my disciples: because of their love, one for another.” They were still crazy. They were still deranged. They were still — y’all ain’t helpin’ a brother in this place — but they had love. They were still messed up, discombobulated, frustrated, constipated, but they still loved. Somebody scream, “Just love, just love, just love!” There’s a love on the inside of you that will cause you to love people, not because they are lovable, but because, because you got the love of God.
First Lady, I’m gettin’ ready to tag you in, you better grab that mic, you better grab that mic, you better go ahead and grab it ‘cause I’m gettin’ ready to tag you in, ‘cause I’ve been preachin’ about the love of God that conquers a multitude of evil, and some of these folk are evil. But God’s love is so bad, God’s love is so strong, God’s love is so powerful — look at your neighbor and say (singing), “I can love you, I can love you, I can love you,” oh, Lord!
(Speaking.) First Lady, you in.
DR. GRACE: And what we really need to know is that love is the greatest thing in this world, amen. When you have love, you can give love away. And love is nothing ‘til you give it away, and you’ll end up having more. God is love and He wants us to love, He wants us to show love, and when we show love, we show God. When we give love, we receive love. When we show love, love will come back to us. Love is the greatest thing. Love is also one of the nine fruits of the Spirit. We’ve gotta develop love. We’ve gotta pray about love, amen. We’ve gotta study love, and we’ve gotta live love. We’ve gotta demonstrate that love, and when we demonstrate the love of God, the love of God will overwhelm us.
I want you to know on today that the Holy Spirit will give you what you need. If you need it, you can ask for it. I dare anybody that don’t have enough love today, you ask God. Say, “God, give me some more love.” I believe that He’ll give it to you, press down, He’ll give it to you, shake it up, He’ll give it to you, runnin’ over, He’ll give you love ‘til you don’t know what to do with it! God will give you the love that you need, and He will give you more. All you’ve gotta do is ask. I want you to go ahead and throw your hands up right now, amen, ask for it. The word of God says ask and ye shall receive, seek and ye shall find. If you don’t know where to look for love, begin to look at God. We wanna study the word of God, and we’ll know where to find love. Love is nothing ‘til you give it away. We’re gonna practice that, we’re gonna give love away so that we’ll receive love from the Lord.
PASTOR WIL: Look at your neighbor and say, “Neighbor, I’m gonna stop looking at you and start looking at God.” Say, “I’m gonna stop expecting it from you, and start receiving it from God.” Now give Him a great big praise right there. Hallelujah.
Everybody stand to your feet, we’re getting ready to close with prayer. Everybody stand to your feet, we’re getting ready to close with prayer.
God says, “If an evil man will give good gifts to his children, how much more should your father give you? The Holy Spirit, if you ask for it. This love is spiritual, it’s holy. And all you gotta do is ask for it. All you gotta do is ask for it.
The reason why, Hallelujah, certain things I won’t do is because I have love for God’s people. The reason why certain behaviors I won’t conduct myself in, it’s not that I’m not tempted, because we all are tempted. Oh, y’all ain’t workin’ with me. It’s not that there isn’t a, a, a, a sin in my heart, ‘cause Paul said, “When I do good, evil is present.” But, because I have the love of God fighting against, Hallelujah, the enemy, I can do the impossible. And if you want that kind of love, lift those hands up, lift those hands up, lift those hands up.
(Singing.) Oh, Lord. (Speaking.) With those hands raised, there may be someone that the Lord is leading to the altar. Hallelujah. You just want more of God. Hallelujah. I, I just wanted to pray that there may be someone, Hallelujah, that I need to touch and agree with. Maybe there’s something that’s going on in your home, in your family. Maybe there’s something that’s going on with a friend, with a couple — something going on — and what we spoke here today ministers directly to you. If you’re in this atmosphere, you feel the presence of God. I want to touch and agree with you. Make your way down here to this altar real quickly, make your way down here.