Love, Knowledge and Sacrifice
1 Corinthians 13:3 NKJV: And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.
Here, we are told that it is possible to make the supreme sacrifice of dying for others and yet not do it with divine agape love, making such a sacrifice unprofitable and without divine approval.
This is why the divine love in us must be developed by our knowledge of God so we will have the divine wisdom to know how to walk in love so our sacrifices will not be in vain.
This why we must pray the following prayer for ourselves regularly, like Paul prayed it for the Philippians:
Philippians 1:9-10 NIV: And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ,
As our knowledge increases so will our ability to walk in true divine love: discerning what is best and not just what is comfortable for our flesh or emotions.
In fact, undeveloped love makes us open to Satanic deception through our minds and emotions, like Peter trying to protect Jesus from going to the cross, making us think that we are walking in love:
Matthew 16:21-23 NIV: From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life. 22 Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!” 23 Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.“
Here, Peter obviously thought that he was walking in love towards Jesus by protecting him from such a horrible fate, he had no idea Satan was deceiving him and speaking through him. This happens to us in many situations and we have no idea we are being deceived by Satan.
So it is vital to understand that love has 3 basic components: wisdom, compassion and power.
Of these 3 the most important or the principal thing is wisdom:
Proverbs 4:7 NKJV: Wisdom is the principal thing;
Wisdom is the ‘engine’ of the ‘train’ of love, compassion and power are simply cars or carriages that are hooked up to the engine of wisdom.
God’s compassion follows His wisdom; His wisdom does not follow His compassion.
In fact, this is the way we are created.
The knowledge you have affects your emotions. For instance if a guilty person has been apprehended and hurt in the process you would initially have compassion on him. Now if afterwards the facts became obvious that he did what he did coldly, deliberately and without mercy and even deceived you into having compassion on him, your compassion for him will turn to a desire for justice, even if tempered with mercy, for the person he hurt.
Like the parable of the unforgiving steward, who was forgiven a large debt, but refused to forgive his fellow servant a much smaller debt. When the King got the knowledge of what happened His compassion for the servant turned into anger. Jesus said so shall my Heavenly Father do (Mat. 18.23-35). In other words, God’s compassion or emotions are controlled or directed by the knowledge of the situation.
So emotions follow knowledge and wisdom and then action follows the emotions that are governed or directed by the wisdom of God.
If you live only by emotions without divine knowledge and wisdom of situations, your sacrifices will profit you nothing and you will wind up frustrated, ineffective and unfulfilled.
So it is vital to develop the love of God by your knowledge of God’s Word, through habitual daily reading, study, confession and meditation and prayer in the spirit, as revealed by Holy Spirit in every situation. So you will act like God acts and not be deceived by Satan through your emotions, like Peter was.