The military has thousands of pages of regulations, covering every conceivable topic, but there’s no regulation governing “love.” Yet love is General Order Number 1 in God’s “regulations,” the Bible! Jesus told us to love God with everything in us: heart, soul, mind, and strength—everything. Then “love your neighbor as yourself.”
Then one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, perceiving that He had answered them well, asked Him, “Which is the first commandment of all?” Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:28-31, NKJV).
Loving God is not just for certain days of the week or when you are with certain people. It’s 24/7, regardless of your company. And loving your neighbor doesn’t mean just the people you like or people who are good. It’s everyone—people we don’t like and even those who don’t like us, our enemies! (See Luke 6:27–29.)
So how does a warrior whose job is to defend the country against all its enemies reconcile loving his or her enemies? The enemies Jesus was talking about loving are not nations or groups who are threatening or attacking one’s country. It’s individuals we meet every day who are belligerent, antagonistic, hateful; it’s the unlovely, the down-trodden, and the ones no one wants to love. We are to love them with the love of Christ. And we can do it because when we are full of the love of God, loving others naturally flows out from us.
God’s General Order No. 1 isn’t hard to carry out if you have the love of God in you. Loving God and loving others is a [super]natural response of a heart that’s thankful for all God has done!
The content of this article comes from “The Warrior’s Bible” (2014) and is copyrighted by Life Publishers International. Used with permission.