WHAT IS LOVE? - 1 Corinthians 13

Shabbat Shalom all,

Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 5:3-4 “For this is the love for Elohim, that we guard His commands, and His commands are not heavy, 4 because everyone having been born of Elohim overcomes the world. And this is the overcoming that has overcome the world: our belief.

One cannot get clearer that the words from these two verses – the love for Elohim is that we guard His commands, and in doing so we are overcomers in Messiah, as our belief with works of obedience to the Torah is clear and evident in our lives – or should be!!! While this is so plain and very simple to understand, we find that so many people cannot grasp this truth, as twisted lies and traditions of man have tainted the taught understanding of what love is, or rather what true love for Elohim is!

Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 2:15-17 “Do not love the world nor that which is in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 Because all that is in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – is not of the Father but is of the world. 17 And the world passes away, and the lust of it, but the one doing the desire of Elohim remains forever.

Once again we see some very clear instructions that are given earlier in this letter of Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John! Love is clearly an action and what we must understand is that our choice of action determines our true identity, and we who chose wisely, in choosing to love Elohim and obey His commands, shall remain forever, as we see here that the one “doing” the desire of Elohim remains forever, whereas those who choose to love the world and follow after its twisted ways of lawlessness and pride, shall pass away with the present world – and they will not see the renewed heavens and earth!

In a message tonight called, “WHAT IS LOVE?” I want us to be further strengthened in the clear understanding of what love is, and more importantly what the love for Elohim is, so that we may be found to be faithful stewards and servants of the Most High, when He comes to take up His lovingly-committed Bride, that has set herself apart and made herself ready through the adoring of His Word in active obedience to His commands and the easy yoke of His Torah!

When you ask different people what love is, you may get some very different answers. The majority will most probably tell you that it is a strong affection for another, based on kinship or personal ties. Some might say that it is an attraction based on sexual desires, or an affection felt by lovers, while others may say that it is an affection based on admiration for another that is stemmed out of common interests or desired goals. Still others may tell you that it is a warm fuzzy feeling of attachment, enthusiasm or devotion! While these may certainly be partly correct, especially if one did a dictionary study on what the term ‘love’ is, as seemingly understood by most in the world. A dictionary may even tell you that love is a concern for another and the devotion that one extends to another, as well as the ability to thrive in passion or the experience of desire – as we often hear many say ‘I love it!’ when referring to an experience that they desire and enjoy! But is that all what love is? Tonight I want us to look at what is possibly one of the most popular chapters in Scripture, and dig a little deeper into the Greek text in order for us to gain a better understanding on what love is!

Please turn with me to Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 13 (READ)

When reading this passage one has to understand the context of this letter that Sha’ul is writing to the believers in Corinth. Just before this chapter Sha’ul speaks of the Spiritual gifts and the importance of them in the body and how the body is made up together to be in unity, each part having its unique role, and then he proceeds to explain what true love is, and refers to the truest expression of love as “The Most Excellent Way!In Chapter 14 he encourages the true pursuit of love and the seeking of the spiritual gifts, and in the process warns against any hypocritical outward expression or show that was being done before others, in their vain attempts at trying to show others their love for Elohim and each other!

Sha’ul had already rebuked this assembly at Corinth for still being fleshly, as envy, strife and bitterness was still very active, as they walked according to the ways of man and not the True Way of Elohim (Chapter 3:3)! While he acknowledged in Chapter 1:7 that in Messiah they lacked no gift, their application of these gifts were misguided and therefore their need to understand the true love for Elohim was vital in utilising the spiritual gifts correctly, in order to be the ready Bride that Messiah is coming for!

In a manner of speaking, Sha’ul was putting before them a true “love test”, which can be done when assessing our walk in Messiah, in how we relate to each other and how we are walking in His instructions, with joy and without grumbling.

This chapter describes the love walk – the most excellent way – and in essence can be a love test for us.

This chapter, being a practical definition of love in the daily routines of life, related to the problems the Corinthians were experiencing as they were walking in the flesh as we can see from the words of Sha’ul in this letter to this assembly:

JealousyChapter 3:3 “for you are still fleshly. For since there is envy, and strife, and divisions among you, are you not fleshly and walking according to man?

Bragging – Chapter 4:7 “For who makes you to differ? And what do you have that you did not receive? And if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?

Arrogance – Chapter 4:6 “And these matters, brothers, I have applied in a figure to myself and Apollos for your sakes, so that in us you might learn not to think beyond what is written, so that none of you be puffed up on behalf of one against the other.

Seeking their own good – Chapter 10:24 “Let no one seek his own, but each one that of the other.

Taking wrong into account – Chapter 6:7 “Already, then, there is a failure with you, that you have lawsuits among you. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated?

Rejoicing in unrighteousness – Chapter 5:2 “And you have been puffed up, and did not rather mourn, so that he who has done this deed, be removed from among you!

This letter written to this assembly at Corinth in many ways carries great lessons for us today, as we are able to identify many of the same problems that were happening back then, still happening today. It is therefore vital for us to grasp our need to understand and fully walk in the true obedient love for Elohim that we, as His Set-Apart and Chosen Bride, are called to walk in!

At Corinth we had an assembly that was seemingly exceeding in many of the gifts, yet were failing in their love. When understood in the simple terms of Yoḥanan, that the love for Elohim is to obey Him, then we are able to see how so many today may be excelling in many of the spiritual gifts, on a fleshly level, yet their lack of obedience to the Torah and commands of Elohim, renders them loveless, lawless and in danger of being destroyed and not able to enter into the reign of Elohim! While the world may romanticise love, we are able to see from the words of Sha’ul that his definition of love is not simply a romantic one, but is rather defined in ones actions and choices that are lived out, as opposed to a mere emotional feeling alone!

In the first 3 verses, he begins the explanation of the most excellent way in seemingly negative statements, yet they clearly express Elohim’s love language! To put it plainly – Scripture clearly defines love for Elohim as obedience to His commands, and Sha’ul makes it clear that Elohim is more concerned about the attitude of our hearts than our abilities, and basically is saying that you can have amazing abilities and be able to speak many languages, as well as speak in the language of the messengers, yet if the application of obedience is not present then you are simply a big noise! He continues to say that even if you are able to have extensive knowledge of the Word and are able to prophecy, yet disregard the loving-commitment to obey the Torah, you have nothing at all! In other words, you might be able to sound all spiritual in your speech and assumed knowledge of the Truth, yet if you disregard love for Him by casting aside His Torah and instructions, then you have nothing at all! This is a clear rebuke to those who have positioned themselves in places of authority over others in sounding correct and true, yet they teach lawlessness – and the sad reality is that they have none at all! Sha’ul then brings it a little closer to home and says that it doesn’t matter if you sell all you have and die for your faith – if you lack true love for Elohim, and disregard His Torah, then you shall profit nothing and your labour will have been in vain! So many people today are doing a lot of ‘good deeds’ and are helping the poor, giving their whole lives into serving the church system, yet without Torah obedience they have no profit for their works, due to a lack of obedience! It is to many that יהושע Messiah will say, I never knew you, depart from Me, you who work lawlessness!” (Mattithyahu/Matthew 7:23), in His response to those who will claim to have prophesied and done so mighty works in His Name!

What we see here in Sha’ul’s description and definition of love, he begins by making it clear that one cannot assume to love by the works of the flesh, when true walking in the Spirit (which is according to the Torah) is lacking!

Before we get into this chapter, when understanding what love is, we are able, as I have said earlier, to get various descriptions and viewpoints.

 In 1973 John Alan Lee wrote a book called ‘Colours of love’ and in this book he mentioned 6 types of love as defined from the Greek language, and he described the different kinds of love as follows:

1 - Eros. From the Greek word for "erotic or passionate"; a passionate physical and emotional love based on aesthetic enjoyment; stereotype of romantic love, and seeks to be satisfied through physical intimacy.

2 - Ludus. From the Latin word meaning "sport or play”, a love that is played as a game or sport; conquest. It fantasises and engages in playful interactions but carries little or no intimacy and no deep intensity. People with ludus love keep their passions in check – avoid trouble and intensity in relationships. They are uncomfortable about commitment. They easily keep secrets from their significant other and are more likely to have affairs. For them it is ‘all part of the game’, or part of the conquest, and will run from partner to partner.

3 - Storge. From the Greek word meaning "friendship"; is an affectionate love that slowly develops from friendship, and is based on similarity. There is strong companionship and shared values, yet little intimacy.

4 - Pragma. From the Greek word meaning "practical"; this is love that is driven by the head, not the heart; it is practical and non-emotional. It is a combination of storge and ludus love.

5 - Mania. From the Greek word meaning "frenzy"; is a highly volatile love; an obsession; primarily fuelled by low self-esteem. This is what could be classed as ‘possessive love’, and is really a combination of eros and ludus love. It is also known as the troubled love. This love is shaped by jealousy and dependence (often called co-dependency) – it is dependent upon the possessing of another’s love. There is great intensity and little intimacy. People who express love in this way are often very critical of every move their partner makes, always accusing and assuming things that are not there and is the result of having a past of rejection and neglect.

6 - Agape. From the Greek word meaning "mighty-like or spiritual”; is a selfless altruistic love; a spiritual and true love. The highest form of love – the love of unselfish regard and has a devotion to the welfare of others. This love gives without asking anything in return, whereas all of the above expressions of love have an expectation of a return. Agape is a sacrificial love – giving of oneself – it is the purest form of love that can be expressed in action toward and in response to another.

It is an unconditional love for others, in spite of their character flaws and weaknesses, and this is the love that Sha’ul is writing about, as the most excellent way! ἀγάπη agape – Strong’s G26 is used 9 times in these 13 verses of Chapter 13 in Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians!!! This both expresses the love that Elohim has for us, and what we ought to have for Him as we faithfully obey His commands, and this is the kind of love we are to express in our daily lives toward each other, as a body that is being knit together in Messiah!

Let us now take a closer look at what love is and what it is not, as we look at 15 characteristics that Sha’ul mentions here!

LOVE IS…/LOVE…

1 – PATIENTthe Greek word here is μακροθυμέω makrothumeō – Strong’s G3114 which means, be patient, have patience, not lose heart, to persevere patiently and bravely in enduring trials and troublesome times, be patient in bearing the offences and injuries of others, slow to anger, longsuffering; and this word comes from two Greek words: a) - μακρός makros – Strong’s G3117 which means, long, far, distant and b) - θυμός thumos – Strong’s G2372 which means, passion, angry tempers, fierce, wrath, outbursts of anger.

We are certainly able to see from this definition how patient יהוה is with mankind!

Kěpha Bět/2 Peter 3:9 “יהוה is not slow in regard to the promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward us, not wishing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

Ya’aqob/James 5:7-8 “So, brothers, be patient until the coming of the Master. See, the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. 8 You too, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Master has drawn near.

A Greek antonym for this word is ἀδημονέω adēmoneō – Strong’s G85 which means, to be faint, depressed and almost overwhelmed with sorrow or burden of mind, be in distress, distressed.

There are many today who are deeply depressed and are greatly overwhelmed by the trials they face and in the process are unable to express true patient love towards others and toward Elohim, which is revealed in their refusal to walk in the commands. There are also some who claim to walk in the commands of Elohim, yet their lives are riddled with compromise, and total set-apartness is lacking under the burdened pressures of the world that chokes out the Word and causes them to be faint! We are to ‘wait on יהוה’ through diligently obeying His Word and walking in His commands, for then He will renew our strength and we will not grow faint amidst the battles of life! We are to faithfully persevere and endure bravely under trials as we stand steadfast is lovingly obeying the commands of Elohim!

2 – KINDThe Greek word for ‘kind’ is χρηστεύομαι chrēsteuomai – Strong’s G5541 which means, be kind, show oneself mild, show kindness, and comes from the Greek word χρηστός chrēstos – Strong’s G5543 which means, serviceable, good, useful, upright. This word is used in the LXX (Septuagint – Greek translation of the Tanak – O.T.) in:

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 2:21 “For the straight shall dwell in the earth, and the perfect be left in it

It is used for the word ‘straight’, which in the Hebrew text is the word יָשָׁר  ‘yashar’ - Strong’s H3477, and means, right, straight, upright and righteous’.

We, as children of Elohim are called to walk upright and straight, called to walk and do what is ‘right’ in the eyes of יהוה – called to do what is ‘yashar’ – called to walk in righteousness and that is to walk in His Torah!

Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 12:28 “Guard, and obey all these words which I command you, that it might be well with you and your children after you forever, when you do what is good and right in the eyes of יהוה your Elohim.

I encourage you to go and check out the Torah commentary notes on Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 3-7 for a more deeper understanding of what ‘yasher’ means!

In this letter to the assembly in Corinth, Sha’ul was making it clear that being kind emphasises the upright expression of love as seen in being ‘upright, good and functional’, according to the Word of Elohim!

3 – DOES NOT ENVYThe Greek word for ‘envy’ is ζηλόω zēloō – Strong’s G2206 meaning, to be jealous, envious, desire earnestly, and comes from the Greek word ζῆλος zēlos – Strong’s G2205 meaning, zeal, jealousy, fury which is from the word ζέω zeō – Strong’s G2204 meaning, to be hot, boil, fervent. The Hebrew equivalent of this word is קָנָא qanah – Strong’s H7065 meaning, to be jealous or zealous, be envious, ardent, and both the Greek and Hebrew can be expressed as a positive or negative action, but what Sha’ul is referring to here is that true love cannot be expressed in the negative application of this word!

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 23:17 “Do not let your heart envy sinners, but be in the fear of יהוה all day long

Ya’aqoḇ/James 3:16 “For where jealousy and self-seeking are, there is confusion and every foul deed.

Ya’aqoḇ/James 4:2 “You desire, and do not have. You murder, and are jealous, and are unable to obtain. You strive and fight, and you do not possess, because you do not ask.

Do you often find yourself being envious of another, be it because of what possessions they have, or what gifts and talents, or physical attributes they have? If you do then, as Ya’aqoḇ says, you will find disorder and every evil practice.

4 – DOES NOT BOASTThe Greek word for ‘boast’ is περπερεύομαι perpereuomai – Strong’s G4068 which means, to boast in oneself, self-display, vanity, excessive display of pride (especially in one’s achievements), brag, to think highly of oneself.

We are to ‘boast’ in יהוה and in His Set-Apart Name, and not in self which Sha’ul makes clear here.

Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 9:23-24 “Thus said יהוה, “Let not the wise boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty boast in his might, nor let the rich boast in his riches, 24 but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am יהוה, doing kindness, right-ruling, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight,” declares יהוה.

5 – NOT PUFFED UPThe Greek word for ‘puffed up’ is φυσιόω phusioō – Strong’s G5448 which means, to inflate, blow up, cause to swell, make proud, arrogant. This is used in the Renewed Writings figuratively in describing pride and self-conceit. Those who disregard the need to walk upright in the clear Torah of Elohim, are arrogant and proud and inflate themselves to a assumed position or height of safety, yet are simply puffed up in their own drunken arrogance:

Ḥaḇaqquq/Habakkuk 2:4 “See, he whose being is not upright in him is puffed up. But the righteous one lives by his steadfastness.

The Hebrew word for ‘puffed up’ is עָפַל aphal – Strong’s H6075 and means, to swell, be lifted up, presume, be heedless, be proud’.

The assembly at Corinth were boasting and puffing themselves up in their tolerance of sin, rather than dealing with it!

Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 5:1-2 “It is commonly reported that there is whoring among you, and such whoring as is not even named among the gentiles, so as one to have his father’s wife! 2 And you have been puffed up, and did not rather mourn, so that he who has done this deed, be removed from among you!

They were an older version of the television series called “day of our lives”, and were quiet puffed up about it too – this kind of tolerance shows no true love for Elohim!

6 – DOES NOT BEHAVE INDECENTLYThe Greek word used here for ‘behave indecently’ is ἀσχημονέω aschēmoneō – Strong’s G807 which means, behave unbecomingly, indecent, to behave in an ugly, indecent, unseemly or unbecoming manner; to disgrace oneself, treat with contempt, dishonour.

You do not have to look too far today to see how so many people behave in an ugly manner, and we must be on guard against any such behaviour as we seek to love Elohim with all our heart, soul and strength! This word can also render the meaning of being rude – and this we are to guard against – as we show respect for one another and are not rude toward each other!

7 – DOES NOT SEEK ITS OWNThe Greek word used here for ‘seek’ is ζητέω zēteō – Strong’s G2212 which means, seek for, desire, seek in order to find out by thinking, meditating or reasoning, to strive after, demand and the Greek word used for ‘own’ is ἑαυτοῦ heautou –Strong’s G1438 which means, himself, herself, own estimation.

What we see from this is that when we truly walk in love, and guard to do the commands of Elohim and live set-apart lives unto Him, we are not to be seeking our own ways or desires. We are not be spending our days meditating on what we ‘wish for’ and spend our time trying to reason out in our minds how we can strive after the things that are not according to the desire of Elohim, but are simply fleshly desires that can often consume our thoughts and time – we are to meditate on and delight in the Torah of Elohim day and night – for then we will be prosperous in our way!

Pilipiyim/Philippians 2:4 “Each one should look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.

Pilipiyim/Philippians 2:21 “For all seek their own interests, not those of Messiah יהושע.

Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 10:24 “Let no one seek his own, but each one that of the other.

8 – IS NOT PROVOKEDThe Greek word for ‘provoked’ is παροξύνω paroxunō – Strong’s G3947 which means, to sharpen, stimulate, provoke, to incite or rouse to anger. There are many today who simply just ‘love’ to pick a fight and stir up an argument, in order to try to prove that they are right and that they know better – this of course is not true love – no matter how much they love to do it! Gossip and slander is a very powerful tool in provoking people to anger, which we are to guard against at all costs, for we are to build one another up and not break down! Many think that it is just a form of joking around when provoking another in their weakness, and this we must not do!

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 26:18-19 “Like a madman who throws sparks, arrows, and death, so is a man who deceived his neighbour, and says, “I was only joking!

9 – RECKONS NOT THE EVIL -  The Greek word here for ‘reckons’ is λογίζομαι logizomai – Strong’s G3049 which means, an account or reckoning, to consider, take count, think, occupy oneself with calculations and the word for ‘evil’ is κακός kakos – Strong’s G2556 which means, evil, wicked, bad things, loathsome, wrong.

We are not to sit and recount in our mind all the bad and wicked thing that are going on, or have been done to us, for this will only stir up bitterness, fear and resentment and render one unable to bear the true fruit of righteousness expressed in loving-commitment toward Elohim!

What things do you consider and recount in your mind – the good and functional way of Elohim, as given through the Torah, or on the wicked and destructive patterns of a lawless world! This also teaches us that when we walk in true love, that we do not sit and recount everyone’s wicked past and occupy ourselves with past failings! Often people relate their past wickedness and laugh and joke at the things they did, when we ought to be ashamed of our past sins, reckoning our lives as having been plucked from the fire, giving esteem and thanks to our Redeemer and King, יהושע Messiah! Our thoughts and speech must not be riddled with the past reckoning and gloating of a lawless life, but rather be esteeming the good way and walk in it with joy!

10 – DOES NOT REJOICE OVER THE UNRIGHTEOUSNESS – BUT REJOICES IN THE TRUTH!

The first ‘rejoice’ is the Greek word χαίρω chairō – Strong’s G5463 which means, be glad, joyful, thrive, give one’s greeting and approval.  The Greek word for ‘unrighteousness’ is ἀδικία adikia – Strong’s G93 which means, unrighteousness, iniquity, wrong, deed violating law and justiceand comes from the word that means to be without justice or penalty. This is a very clear and sobering warning of what love for Elohim is not – it does not rejoice over lawlessness!!! Love for Elohim does not rejoice in the nullification or the disregard of the Torah of Elohim. Those who ‘rejoice’ that the ‘law has been done away with’ do not know what love is – and they certainly can never love Elohim!

The second ‘rejoice is the Greek word συγχαίρω sugchairō – Strong’s G4796 which means, rejoice with, rejoice together, share joy, congratulate. It is from the previous word we looked at for ‘rejoice’ but also has the preposition  σύν sun – Strong’s G4862 which denotes union, togetherness! The word translated as ‘truth’ is the Greek word ἀλήθεια alētheia – Strong’s G225 which means, truth, truly, according to truth - the Master יהושע Messiah tells us clearly in Yoḥanan/John 14:6 that He is the Way, the Truth and the Life – and to walk in the Truth is to walk in Him – in Him in whom there is no spot or blemish – to walk in Him is to walk according to the Truth and in the purity of the Truth, as we hear, guard and do His commands – And in this we rejoice together as a Bride that is being built up in the Master!

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 14:9 “Fools scoff at guilt, but among the straight there is delight.

The foolish who rejoice over lawlessness scoff at their guilt, while with the upright and straight – that is the lovers of Elohim -  there is true unity in rejoicing!

11 – COVERS ALL – The Greek word here for ‘covers’ is στέγω stegō – Strong’s G4722 which means, to cover closely, to bear up under, endure, put up with. In other words, as we walk in true love, we are to ‘put up with each other’, which for many may be hard to do at times!!! This means we are to make a concerted effort at not getting irritated with each other, and be able to share openly with each other and have the freedom to speak into each other’s lives without the fear of being rejected or offended!

12 – BELIEVES ALLThe Greek word here for ‘believes’ is πιστεύω pisteuō – Strong’s G4100 which is a verb that means, to trust, to be committed to, be entrusted with, be persuaded and placed confidence in to do, and comes from the root noun πίστις pistis – Strong’s G4102 which means, faith, faithfulness, pledge, conviction of the Truth which in turn comes from the primary root verb πείθω peithō – Strong’s G3982 which means, to persuade, to put confidence in, to follow, have confidence and rely upon. When looking at these root terms it is very clear, even in the Greek mind-set, that ‘to believe’ involves action and a confident response to the one you put your trust in and follow.

13 – EXPECTS ALLThe Greek word for ‘expects’ is ἐλπίζω elpizō – Strong’s G1679 which means, to expect, to hope, to anticipate, and from a spiritual perspective it can render the understanding of, wait for salvation with joy and full confidence.

Romiyim/Romans 8:24-25 “For in this expectation we were saved, but expectation that is seen is not expectation, for when anyone sees, does he expect it? 25 And if we expect what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with endurance.

Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 11:1 “And belief is the substance of what is expected, the proof of what is not seen.

True love for Elohim is expressed in the complete trust in him, by guarding to do all His commands with joy in the sure expectation of our deliverance to be made complete when He comes for us, His set-apart Bride! This complete expectation in regards to love is understood by staying steadfast in walking in the truth, knowing that the expectation of that which is to come will not disappoint, and therefore we expect ALL His Word to be the Truth and actively choose to believe His Word and guard to do what is commanded, holding firm to the assurance of the sure expectation we have in Messiah!

Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 1:13-16 “Therefore, having girded up the loins of your mind, being sober, set your expectation perfectly upon the favour that is to be brought to you at the revelation of יהושע Messiah, 14 as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts in your ignorance, 15 instead, as the One who called you is set-apart, so you also should become set-apart in all behaviour, 16 because it has been written, “Be set-apart, for I am set-apart.”

Another aspect of  love ‘accepting all’, when understood from the perspective of true love for Elohim is obedience, is that we, as obedient believers, expect all that is written in the word, as we trust the written Word of Elohim and firmly believe all that has been written and live as such, by walking in obedience to the Torah:

Yoḥanan/John 5:45-47 “Do not think that I shall accuse you to the Father. There is one who accuses you: Mosheh, in whom you have set your expectation. 46 “For if you believed Mosheh, you would have believed Me, since he wrote about Me. 47 “But if you do not believe his writings, how shall you believe My words?”

Love expects all! This certainly means that when you walk in the True Love for Elohim you expect all that they Word says to be true and valid for giving you direction and instruction for living set-apart lives. Having said that it is clear then that when you expect all that is written to be valid for instruction and teaching and training in righteousness, then there is a greater urgency in ensuring that no compromise to obedience is entertained in one’s life, for the true effects of disobedience and the result of continued resistance to walking in disobedience is very clear in Scripture – and that is the disobedient shall not see, nor inherit the reign of Elohim – this too we can certainly expect! You either believe the Word and live accordingly or you do not, as there is no half measures in living according to the kingdom reign of Elohim!

14 – ENDURES ALLThe Greek word for ‘endures’ is ὑπομένω hupomenō – Strong’s G5278 which means, to stay behind, to await, endure, which comes from the two words: 1) ὑπό hupo – Strong’s G5259 which means ‘under, in subjection to’, and 2) μένω menō – Strong’s G3306 and means, to stay, abide, remain, stand’ – this word is the word used in Yoḥanan/John 15 where we are told to ‘stay in, remain in’ Messiah! As faithful talmidim (disciples) of Messiah, we recognise that while He ascended to the Most Set-Apart Place, where He continually intercedes for us as our High Priest, we who are here, and have ‘remained behind’, need to endure and be steadfast in staying in Him as we walk in subjection to His clear Torah.

15 – LOVE NEVER ENDS! The Greek word for ‘never’ is οὐδέποτε oudepote – Strong’s G3763 which means, neither at any time, NEVER, and the Greek word for ‘ends’ is πίπτω piptō – Strong’s G4098 which means, to fall, break down, fail, fallen, be destroyed. Wow! This is very clear – Love never ends – and when we realise that love for Elohim is to do His commands, then we realise that our obedience His commands will never end and can never be broken down or destroyed through compromise and the false and misled teachings of lawlessness!

Walking in the most excellent way – that is true and pure love for Elohim will cause us to never fail – for it is the sure way – the only way, as we stay steadfast in Messiah!

Love (true joy filled obedience) enables us to endure everything; and it enables us to keep on believing in every circumstance; to keep our confidence in יהוה and to remain patient no matter what happens to us. We are to grow up in these things and put away childish attitudes, which are sadly embraced by many grownups! If we truly desire to show יהוה that we love Him, we have to be more than willing to simply say “I love You יהוה”. We must commit ourselves to יהוה’s language of love – the love that pays more attention to heart matters like attitude, compassion and obedience. As you consider this ‘love chapter’ so to speak, and assess your life in taking this much needed love test – how are you doing?

This is a call to obedience of love – obedience to יהוה. Are there any areas of love where you have been disobedient? You may have been using your gifts, just like the Corinthians, but without love? Have you or are you holding a grudge, or are you envious, or have you been boastful? Have you rejoiced in evil and called it light fun? Perhaps you have not forgiven someone and have kept score on those who have wronged you. Perhaps you have retaliated, whether it be in thought or action and not exercised patience in affliction. As you carefully consider what true love for Elohim is… then heed this call to walk in the Most Excellent Way as you guard to do all He commands us with great joy and rejoicing as a body being built up in unity, aměn! Love is a choice and an action – choose to act according to יהוה’s most excellent way.

יהוה bless you and guard you; יהוה make His face shine upon you and show you favour; יהוה lift up His face to you and give you Shalom!