But Christ proved God’s passionate love for us by dying in our place while we were still lost. - Romans 5:8

This is love: He loved us long before we loved him. It was his love, not ours. He proved it by sending his Son to be the pleasing sacrificial offering to take away our sins.

- 1 John 4:10

Look with wonder at the depth of the Father’s marvelous love that he has lavished on us! He has called us and made us his very own beloved children. The reason the world doesn’t recognize who we are is that they didn’t recognize him. Beloved, we are God’s children right now; however, it is not yet apparent what we will become. But we do know that when it is finally made visible, we will be just like him, for we will see him as he truly is. - 1 John 3:1-2

Belovedness is being dearly loved—and we are! (See Rom. 5:8; 1 John 4:10; I John 3:1–2.) But experiencing our belovedness is a choice. Letting, allowing, turning, engaging, reaching up to take our Father’s hand, crawling up into his lap ... all of these expressions describe what we need to do again and again to receive God’s love, our part in the collaboration.

Doing so both fills and fulfills our relationship with the Father. His pursuit of us with love is met with our wanting to be caught.

Oh, how a man needs this kind of relationship if he is ever going to truly be a man! And it is not a once-and-done proposition. God is continually offering it because we will continually need it. This connecting with God brings both his heart and ours into alignment, God the giver and us the receiver. Repeatedly receiving his love produces what this world and its imitations never can—a settled heart. We experience the lightness and goodness of being loved! But like a cup with a lid on it, we must uncover our heart and open up to being loved; otherwise, God can’t pour his love into us.

An excerpt from The Heart of a Warrior.