thWhat does it mean to be loved by the Father? Let the apostle John answer: “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!” (1 John 3:1 NKJV).

“Behold”. See, behold, and understand. God wants us to understand how He loves us. He wants us to see all the ways He has shown His love towards us. God created man to be like Him by giving him an immortal soul. God wants us to be like Him, but Genesis 3 demonstrates just how unlike our Father mankind has become.

“What manner of love”. When man chose sin and death, God refused to let His creation perish. God sent His Son to take men from darkness, hatred and death and bring them to light, love and life. The apostle Paul wrote, “But, God demonstrated His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8 NASB).

“The Father has bestowed on us”. God reached out to man while man was still living in sin and presented him a gift of His love: His only begotten Son, Jesus (John 3:16). This gift was designed that we should learn through Jesus to become more like our Father in heaven, and the first of many brethren (Romans 8:29).

“That we should be called”. That we should be called aloud by name. Some are proud to be called Smith, or Jones, or Brown, some are proud to be known as an award-winning writer, or a life-saving surgeon, or an Academy-award winning actor. God’s children should be proud and humbled to be called by the family name, Christian (Acts 11:26).

“The sons of God”. By obedient faith (Romans 1:5), we are related to Christ and the Father. A good name brings privileges, and wearing the name of Christ as a son or daughter of God means even more than having a human family name. we are servants of righteousness (Romans 6:17-18). We are heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17). We are redeemed (Galatians 3:13). We have become children of God by putting Christ on in baptism (Galatians 3:26-27).

What does it mean to be loved by the Father? It means more than anything.  – John Henson, Dibrill church of Christ, McMinville, TN

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