Love is the motivation (1 Corinthians 13)
Without the right motivation any sacrifice we make is useless. Whether we give everything we own to feed the poor or give up our life because of our beliefs it does not matter unless we have love. Love is the motivation for all works that turn out worthwhile. Actions that aren’t motivated by love become like a Pharisee’s observance of the Law: giving a tenth of everything (including the smallest herbs from the spice garden) and still missing the heart of the matter.
Love looks a certain way though. It isn’t just a warm-fuzzy feeling that we get about a general concept or idea. Love is grounded in God’s self-revelation in Jesus. Jesus commanded his disciples to “love one another”. Love is wholehearted pursuit of Jesus; devotion to sitting at His feet and obeying his every command. Both together. If we strive to do everything we do out of a desire to be in God’s presence and to be obedient to Jesus then our actions are worthwhile. Otherwise they’re only worth throwing in a garbage heap. Actions not motivated by love have no gain in them for us. And love not motivating the right actions isn’t really love at all.