The following article was offered to us by a beloved brother in the Philippines.
1 Corinthians 13:13 declares, "Now these three things abide, faith, hope, and love, but the greatest of these is love."
According to Hebrews 13, both faith and hope are unrealized and do not exist as tangible ideals except through our deeds. Ya'acob, aka James, states, "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." And "show me your faith by your words and I will show you faith by what I do."
Abba Yahweh showed His eternal love (agape) by giving His only begotten son to die for the whole world's sins (not just those who believe) as seen in John 3:16. "For Yahweh loved the world so much that He sent His only begotten son to die for our sins, so that whoever believes in Him (Meshiach YahwehShua) may have age abiding life."
But have you ever considered the other John 3:16, which is 1 John 3:16? "Hereby perceive we the love (of Messiah), because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” The manner of love Meshiach showed for us should be reciprocated by our willingness to do the same for our brethren!
To give one's own life for the sake of another person or group of people is highly esteemed and honored even among the people of the world of other faiths, or even lack of any sort of faith at all. Our calling is to lay down our lives for the brethren, as Messiah was obedient even to surrender to death for us! We may not think we could give our lives for our brethren, but when we realize what He has done for us, and our hope and faith come to perfection in Messiah, we will ultimately show our love by our death. As Paul said, "...I die daily....", he was not just talking about a one time dying, but he set aside his own desires to accommodate the will of Yahweh, and obedience to Yahweh rather than follow after that which his flesh desired. That is a daily sacrifice, which was continual until he said, "I have run the race; I have fought the good fight (spiritual warfare; not the wars or fighting the people of the world fight); I have kept the Faith!" At that point he made his ultimate decision, because Love had become a reality to him, and soon thereafter he gave up his physical life and died in service for the Body of Messiah, the Brethren.
1 Corinthians 13 says, " When I was a child I spoke as a child, and did childish things, but when I became a man I put away childish things." Paul was talking about growing in the grace of love, not putting away our gifts and talents. Most people think it means to put off the gifts and talents he previously discussed, but it means rather to use them for the Body of Messiah, and not our own selfish desires. Many cannot think of giving everything we own or our bodies to be burned as selfish acts, but if they are to promote our own desires or our own beliefs that is ALL self, and not sacrifice for others. 1 John 3:18 "My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue, but in deed and truth."
Matthew 24:12-13 says, "And because iniquity (iniquity is sin within us as part of our nature or character) shall abound, the love of many shall grow cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved." Meshiach Yah'shua not only warns against sin in Matthew 24, but He also warns against allowing our love to grow cold whether it be because of our sins or the sins of people in the world, and even the sins of brethren who are not perfected in love. Yahchonnan also warns against our denying that we have sin and iniquity, and tells us what to do with it in 1John 1:8-10, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (iniquity). If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us."
We know from the scriptures that Yahweh is eternal love. When Yahweh is all in all and all that is left is Love or the Yahwehkind, then that which we hope for, and that in which we have faith, will become a reality and no longer something intangible such as faith and hope. In this age, scripture says that they [the world] will know us by our love for one another.
Are we willing to selflessly offer ourselves for our brethren? If so, you are made perfect in love as Paul talks about.
Why is Love the greatest, because it is the realization and the reality of both faith and hope, because Yahweh is Love!
1 John 4:7-8 "Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of Yahweh; and every one that loves is born of Yahweh, and knows Yahweh. He that loves not knows not Yahweh; for Yahweh is love."