The Father has two kinds of love: a general love for all sinners and a special love for all who are in his family. God’s general love for mankind can be embraced by anyone who comes to him in repentance, but God’s heart is also filled with a distinctive, exceptional love for his children.
God has always had a chosen people for himself upon whom he bestowed his great love. Israel once was the sole object for this special love: “For you are a holy people to the Lord your God; the Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for himself, a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth. The Lord did not set his love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any other people, for you were the least of all peoples; but because the Lord loves you ... [He] has brought you out with a mighty hand ...” (Deuteronomy 7:6-8, NKJV).
God directed these words to Israel. Yet, if you have received Jesus as your Savior and Lord—if you have been adopted into God’s family, and he is your loving Father—you too must come to grips with how special you are to him!
You are the recipient of God’s extraordinary love, and here are his words to you: “You are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, his own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy” (1 Peter 2: 9-10).
At one time, you were not an object of his special love, but now you are! You have been reconciled to the Father, and he loves you deeply right now, at this very moment. He has set his love upon you, and he delights in you.