January 2, 2017
READ: John 17:1-26
May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me (v.23).
When my children were small, I often read them the bedtime story Guess How Much I Love You. A baby rabbit stretched his arms high and told his daddy he loved him that much. His father had longer arms, so he raised them up and said he loved his son even more. The baby hopped and said he loved his dad that high. The father could jump higher, and so he hopped to show his love was even greater. Finally, the baby rabbit said he loved his daddy all the way to the moon. The father thought for a moment and said, “I love you right up to the moon—and back.”
I like that story because it impressed upon my children what I couldn’t put into words. How could I tell them just how much I loved them? I know the ache of a parent’s heart when words fail, so I was amazed to hear that my heavenly Father feels the exact same way about me.
In an astounding prayer, Jesus asked His Father to unify us so “the world will know that you sent me and have loved them as much as you love me” (John 17:23). Our heavenly Father loves us as much as He loves His Son? I wouldn’t believe it if it weren’t in the Bible, and even then I wonder if I’m reading it correctly. But without question, that’s exactly what it says.
The God of the entire cosmos loves you as much as He loves anyone—as much as He loves His “one and only Son”! (3:16). Do you know what that means? You could not possibly be loved more—or better.
When I finished reading the bedtime story, I would tuck my children in and give them a goodnight kiss. There wasn’t anything for them to do but accept that they were loved. So it is with us. Snuggle in the warm embrace of your heavenly Father’s grace today.
365-day plan: Genesis 2:15-3:24
Read Ephesians 3:14-21 and consider just how much your heavenly Father loves you.
What prevents you from accepting God’s love? How have you been showing your love for Him?