“The Father loves you.”
The night before He died, Jesus told His disciples that the Father loved them. The word “love” here does not denote a dutiful concern or a self-forgetful, sacrificial devotion. It carries the sense of “demonstrated affection”—love that’s full of warmth and openly shown. This is so important to grasp. The Father’s love is not a dutiful or a formal love. No, the sense of Jesus’ words here is that “The Father loves you deeply, dearly and demonstrably.” What a great love this is! So many earthly fathers are distant, either physically or emotionally. This is not so with our Heavenly Father; when Jesus died and rose again, He ascended to Heaven and from there poured out the Holy Spirit upon His followers. He filled His disciples so full of the Spirit of adoption that they began to cry out “Father!” From that moment on, they knew the Father loved them with a demonstrated affection—with His strong and comforting arms of love. This is what Jesus wants for us too. Let’s ask Him to help us to know this in our hearts, not just in our heads. Let’s experience the Father’s demonstrated affection.
Dear Lord Jesus, I ask You to help me to know in my heart that the Father Himself loves me deeply, dearly and demonstrably. In Your name. Amen.