Of all things that one might consider "mandatory" for a Christian, there is one that reigns supreme. Above all other qualities, anyone who want to be and remain associated with Jesus, there is one that tops the list as the most essential.
Love. Love is the most mandatory all off mandatory moves that every Christian must make.
As Peter makes his powerful list of qualities that every Christian should pour their lives and energy out in order to attain, guess where lands? Guess what he tops the list off with? Read for yourself: "Make every effort to add to your faith goodness; to goodness, knowledge; to knowledge, self-control; to self-control, perseverance; to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brother kindness, love." (2 Peter 1:5-7)
Love is the climax of all things Jesus. Difficult sometimes? Yes. But it is the word that God uses to explain all that He wants and intends. He could not have simplified things more for you.
When a Christian wonders what to do in any given circumstance, a Christian need go no further than figure out what it looks like to love in that circumstance.
Everything we've discussed this summer has been building up to, and is best explained by, this. Peter goes on in this passage and makes a claim that few of you will believe. If you would make every effort to add love (along with all of these qualities that come along with it) to your faith, Peter literally says, "if you do these things, you will never fall." (2 Peter 1:11)
What a dramatic promise.
Perhaps this is what Peter meant in his first letter where he says, "Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins." (1 Peter 4:8)
There are only so many words that get elevated in scripture to the place where it is allowed to finish a sentence that begins with "God is __________".
Love is one of those words (the other is "Light," if you were wondering).
It is the disciple John that says this most plainly, and we would do well to really get this, because it includes a powerful warning. He says, "Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love." (1 John 4:8-9)
If you do not love, you have missed everything Jesus.
I do not know any way around this. But why would I want one? Love is what every heart, including mine, needs in endless supply. And love happens to be what God wants to provide, through me, to the world.
Make every effort, church... every single effort... to add to your faith, love.