I leaned over one afternoon, gave him a hug and said, "I love you Brady."
He paused, and with a smile replied, "I love you too daddy...a lot more than it seems like it."
Was that meant to encourage me, or was that a big insult lobbed across my bow? I guess he meant well, but he pretty much admitted what I don't with my heavenly father. When it comes down to it, if we're real honest with God, we may need to say, "I love you Lord...a lot more than it seems like it."
We know God expressed his extravagant love for us by sending Jesus. Frankly, just believing in Him doesn't mean we love Him back.
Did you know that in the 14th chapter of John, Jesus reveals 4 different times when He feels loved? 4 times in this chapter alone. He must really mean it. Here it is:
"If you love me, you will obey my teaching." Simple. That's it.
I proclaim, "God I love you," but then might as well mumble in a quiet voice, "a lot more than it seems like it." If we love Him we obey. And the great thing is that doing what He desires, helps us know Him better. The more we know Him, the more we obey and so on.
I know my kid loves me, and I realize that at 6 years old he'll have accidents, forget stuff, and decide not to listen. Similarly, God knows I will make poor decisions, say the wrong thing, or fail miserably. That comes with being flesh and bones. So He lets us know what He values in our relationship with Him. Obedience.
We think sometimes we know better. That our insight is better than God's for a given situation. That's never true.
My little guy affirmed his affection for me, but admitted sometimes he may send a mixed-message. I'm not so different than him.
Jesus doesn't want to be admired, He wants to be followed. When we get to that point, we can say, "I love you Lord...period."