Affections For God2019-09-30T12:50:21-06:00

Affections For God


In the well-known “Great Commandment,” Jesus directed His followers to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” How do we develop and sustain this love relationship with God?

Scripture references

Study the following biblical references and consider how they address the questions listed below. If using this outline with a small group, consider assigning questions and Scriptures to different individuals, or take one or more of the questions per week, adding scriptural references from the group as you meet. Then, perhaps in later weeks, scroll down the page to review our recommended resources for the topic of Affections for God and consider how the various articles or podcasts provide further insights relating to this topic.


  1. Why should we love God? Matthew 22:36-40; 1 John 3:1, 4:19; Psalm 31:21-23
  2. How do we show love for God? Psalm 18:1-3; John 14:15, 21; I John 4:7-21
  3. How do we develop love for God? 2 Thessalonians 3:5; Jude 21; Psalm 100; Psalm 101:1-2
  4. What are some things which distract us from love of God? Matthew 10:37-39; Mark 4:18-19; Matthew 6:24; Revelation 2:4-5
  5. We have titled this sub-domain “Affections for God” as opposed to “Love for God.” Are we right to do so? The New Testament translates two Greek words as “love,” phileo and agape. The former may be translated as “tender affection,” as of a parent for a child or a friend for a friend; the latter is difficult to translate directly because it is almost unique to the New Testament. Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words says of agape “…it expresses the deep and constant ‘love’ and interest of a perfect Being toward entirely unworthy objects, producing and fostering a reverential ‘love’ in them towards the Giver, and a practical ‘love’ towards those who are partakers of the same.” Jesus uses agape in the Great Commission, but then apparently accepts Peter’s phileo as a profession of Peter’s love for Him. What are we to make of all this? 1 Corinthians 13:1-7; John 21:15-17
  6. Do you love God? How do you know?

Recommended Resources

The following resources are meant to get you started in the subdomain of Affections For God.

Two General Orders

As we seek a warrior's ethic for today we can reasonably look back 3000 years to another man of arms—arguably the greatest soldier ever to serve the nation of Israel, David, youngest son of Jesse. The ethic of David may be seen as consisting of two general orders: Do the Right Thing and Trust in God.

Stoking the Fire

Got fire for the Lord? Keep it burning by stoking your flame. We must tend to the fire-to the love relationship with our Lord. Anything less is abandonment. Remembering, repenting, and returning stokes that fire and results in peace and power.

Growing your affections for Christ | Episode 007

LTC Tom Schmidt, USA (Ret.), chats with CH(MAJ) Mark Winton, USA, on the topic of “affections for Christ.” Our affections are typically rooted in our answer to this question: “What are our heart longings for?” As CH Winton suggests, our answer ultimately shows what drives our hearts and where our affections lie.

Calling All Daniels: Do You Know God?

The world desperately needs to hear about Jesus, and we’ve been called to share Him. I encourage you to become competent in your knowledge of Him. Draw people through your professional excellence. Be prepared through your life and words to shine His life-saving light.

44. Brigit Jogan: Experiencing God on the mountaintop

First Class Cadet Brigit Jogan, a senior at the United States Coast Guard Academy, hiked the summit of Mount Antero in Colorado’s Collegiate Peaks during her time at Rocky Mountain High this past summer, and it was during that physical climb to the mountaintop that she experienced the Spirit of God moving in a mighty way. Today, Brigit is going to talk about that experience as she shares her story.

Additional Resources

OCF offers many extra resources as you continue digging into the subdomain of Affections For God.

The Lord—your refuge in a high optempo

As Christians, we have the privilege of serving the King of kings and Lord of lords. But He also invites us to come aside and just enjoy being His children. That time will stoke the brightness of His light within us and our faces will reflect that glory He gave us! Where’s your refuge?

Strong to the Finish

God is at work in the midst of your struggles, helping you learn more about the love, strength, wisdom, and peace that only He can provide.

A Salve for the Scars

So much of today’s culture dwells on victimhood, on wounds that seem resistant to heal. Christ-followers don’t deny the wounds but come alongside the struggling wounded to offer the salve secured by the scarred, yet now Risen Lamb’s victory over sin and death.

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