By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren (1 John 3:16).
Jesus is always our example. He gave up His life for us. There are people who put themselves in harm’s way in order to save us from evil, like the military, the police, and fire fighters, and we are grateful for their sacrifice. However, these people are not specifically offering their lives for us as individuals, as unique people deserving of taking the bullet ourselves. Jesus gave His life to pay for every evil we have ever committed. Even if no one else accepted His sacrifice as payment for sin, He would have suffered, died and been resurrected just for you and me. And now we lay down our lives for our fellow believers. We, like the military, stand up in prayer for them, decreeing the defeat of the enemy in their lives. We, like the policeman, help and protect them in whatever way we can. We, like the fireman, use our faith to oppose the blaze of fiery darts coming against them. These are offerings to God: giving up time and money for our fellow believers, giving up our lives for our brethren. This is called living a life of love.