Loving God2021-01-28T15:12:46-07:00

Loving 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 Loving 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. 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 Loving 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 Loving God.

Worrying or waiting?

Life in general is complicated. Life in the military is extremely difficult and challenging and carries with it an increasing amount of angst with the operations tempo, separations, threats to life and limb, and the increasing challenges from within our own nation.

Will you embrace the Christ of Christmas?


Soon, Christmas nativity scenes and all the Christmas season trappings will be packed away into storage for another year. But the unopened package-the Christ of Christmas-remains for the taking, offering lasting hope and future beyond our often dreary, heart-breaking world.


When PCSing, build a RAFT for teens

When PCSing, the most common strategies teens use with one another involve simple avoidance, picking a fight to create distance so it’s easier to leave, disconnecting through moodiness or hyperactivity, or adopting the “It’s all cool” act. This is why we need to build a RAFT.

What’s Your Altitude

Did you know that your altitude determines your attitude? Jesus, the highest being there ever was and ever will be, voluntarily lowered Himself.

What you do and how you lead does matter

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Congratulations to the OCF Class of 2012! We who have gone before welcome you to the profession of arms and the start of your great race the Lord has set before you. Crossing the threshold, you now carry two commissions simultaneously: one conferred on you from our Commander in Chief and one from the King of kings. 

What supporting the chaplaincy looks like | Episode 021

CH(COL) Marc Gauthier, USA (Ret.), shares his story of how God called him into the military to serve as a chaplain, how to encourage chaplains outside the Christian faith, a story of what it looks like when a leader integrates his faith and profession, and his thoughts on who the two loneliest people are in the military, and why.

What Right Looks Like

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With the ability of the media to reach out to all corners of the globe and to report on the conduct, or misconduct, of soldiers, leaders have an even greater responsibility than ever to demonstrate what right looks like.

What is Stewardship?

In Part 1, we ask: What do you think of when you hear someone mention stewardship? Money, talents, or ownership? For many, money is the first thing on their minds and that often leads to uncomfortable feelings.

What is OCF?

It’s not unusual to hear people ask, “What is OCF?” or “What does OCF do?” They may wonder if OCF is a club of officers like-minded in their Christian faith, or just the local Bible study fellowship they attend.

What is Christian Mentoring?

According to the Barna Group, a market research firm specializing in studying religious beliefs and behavior, as of 2015 only 17% of practicing Christians said they meet regularly with a spiritual mentor.

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