Dearly beloved brethren,
Let’s turn to 1 Cor. 13:13
And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
Why do you think the greatest of these is love? Well, for one, without love, faith won’t work. Galatians 5:5 tells us that faith works by love. Faith won’t work without hope either. Remember Heb. 11:1 tells us that faith is the substance of things hoped for. You have to be expecting something for your faith to work. But while you’re expecting your faith to work, love is of the essence since Jesus said in John 13:34-35 that He gave us a new commandment to love one another and that by our obeying that commandment, all mankind would know that we are His disciples.
Therefore, it is so vital that we prioritize love above all. We know that Jesus was not talking about natural human love when He gave us that commandment but the God kind of love that is described in 1Cor.13. The amplified translation of 1Cor. 13:4-8 describes that love as:
Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily. 5 It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong]. 6 It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail. 7 Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening]. 8 Love never fails…
Now that’s the God kind of love. The Bible tells us that the Holy Ghost has poured the love of God or the God kind of love in our hearts. If the Holy Ghost is in you, that love is in there. What we do with it is a different story. This love has not been shed abroad on our flesh. So we must choose to follow it at times against our feelings and physical senses. In the natural, you can grow in loving someone by constantly telling them how much you love them. The less you confess that you love Jesus and that you love people, the less aware you are of that love. But the more you talk about it, you’ll find that it grows and becomes more real to you.
Then you must follow up your words with actions. Yes you can practice loving people by constantly doing what 1Cor. 13:4-8 says; and measuring your actions against it. Do you feel like revenging or cutting someone off from your friends list when they wrong you? Practice verse 5 of 1Cor. 13. Love takes no account of the evil done to it. Papa Hagin used to say that this kind of love has never been to a divorce court. I believe that this kind of love has never cut off anyone but always builds bridges.