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.

Additional Resources

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

Tom Felts Was My Friend

Colonel Tom Felts died in the service of his country in Iraq on November 14, 2006, due to an improvised explosive device. To the very end Tom lived a sacrificial life.

Tips for new group leaders

For those who have never led a small group, the prospect of starting such an endeavor might appear daunting and overwhelming given the busy lifestyle of those in the military. Here are tips for the new leader to consider both before and after his or her first meeting.

  • Photo by Heather Cortright

Time, Talent, Treasure: Warrior Forge

Before Army ROTC cadets can be commissioned as second lieutenants, they must successfully complete what is now known as the Leader Development and Assessment Course (LDAC), a training event developing their leadership skills while evaluating their officer potential. Once held at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington, LDAC —Warrior Forge—now takes place at Fort Knox, Kentucky.

Time, Talent, Treasure: Retirees

For Christians serving in our nation’s Armed Forces, even when their active duty days meld into retirement, God’s call to serve Him remains evergreen, for in age’s autumn years “…they will stay fresh and green” (Psalm 92:14), still bearing fruit. 

Time, Talent, Treasure: Academies

Exceptionally demanding—that is the four-year journey through one of our nation’s military service academies, deliberately designed as such to forge finely tuned military leaders from out of the fires of continual challenge. Cadets and midshipmen juggle jam-packed schedules that stretch them beyond the max physically, emotionally, mentally.  And spiritually. 

Thriving in the Unbalance | Episode 005

When it comes to the various parts of your life—family, military profession, friends, relationships with others, and your relationship with God—should you be striving to find a balance among all those things? Or should you learn to thrive in the unbalance?

Three Looks

As Christian officers desiring to exercise biblical leadership -- faced with constant flux and in the process of growing in our capacity to lead -- how can we best prepare for our next leadership role?

The Wounded Healer

A co-worker named Diana is a Gold Star mother. This remarkable woman lost her oldest son to combat action in Iraq, leaving behind a grieving wife, their baby, and other heartbroken relatives and friends. Despite her faith, and the support of family and community friends, Diana’s wounds are profound, constant companions she will likely carry with her until her dying day. By embracing her wounds through the loving embrace of the great Suffering Servant, Diana has become His partner in the lives of others. Still carrying the scars of her wounds, Diana is a visible instrument of God’s healing for others. 

The world needs solid, biblical leadership

In my thirty years on active duty, I witnessed phenomenal leaders who inspired, encouraged, and built teams that accomplished great things. Sad to say, I’ve also seen those who used their positions to advance their own agendas, bully others, and feed their own egos—always at the cost of those around them.

The View from the Top

On my RMH adventure I had a close-up encounter with God and great fellowship with other Christians in stunningly beautiful scenery.

The Ultimate Freedom of an Uncaged Eagle

Victory over adversity. It's something Dick Toliver knows well, this great-grandson of a slave, who grew up in dark days of the pre-civil-rights-era South. Despite the shackles of poverty, racism, injustice, he fought to become a highly decorated and accomplished Air Force pilot.

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