If I were building a memorial to honor self-sacrifice, I would put one large plaque in the middle bearing these words:

God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Rom. 5:8)

Through Jesus, God has given you the greatest love there is. In Romans 5:5, we read, “The love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”

Everything in this book is summed up by that great biblical word agape—the heavenly brand of love that’s ours in Jesus. Agape is self-sacrificing love, the kind of love that motivates people to give their all for God and others. In crises or heroic situations, our all may mean our lives. But in normal daily life, it means we will live for God and others, giving them our all with a selfless devotion and godly purpose.

That’s where we’ve arrived in our study of 2 Peter 1:3–11. The apostle began, remember, by telling us we have the power to live a godly life. We don’t need to despair over the difficulty of living in a godless age. The Lord has already given us His power, His promises, and His purpose.

Peter then insisted we do our part in developing a handful of critical life skills: diligence, virtue, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, and brotherly kindness. One by one, like dominos toppling each other, we’ve come closer to the final supreme quality of Christlikeness: love.

And here it is: add “to brotherly kindness love” (2 Peter 1:7).

Love is the final quality on Peter’s list because it’s the most important. It completes and gives meaning to the rest. Even if you cultivated all of the character qualities we’ve explored in this book and mastered them, they would be meaningless if they weren’t saturated with love. Love is your deepest need and your highest blessing.

David Jeremiah, Everything You Need: 8 Essential Steps to a Life of Confidence in the Promises of God (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2019).

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