“And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.” – John 17:26
God does not love us because we know Him, for He loved us before we knew Him, even as Paul speaks of “His great love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses and sins.” Jesus has not come to set His Father’s love upon the chosen. Oh, no; He did not even die with that object, for the Father’s love was upon the chosen from everlasting. “The Father Himself loveth you” was always true. Christ did not die to make His Father loving, but because His Father is loving: the atoning blood is the outflow of the very heart of God toward us. So do not make any mistake. Our Lord speaks not of the divine love in itself, but in us. This is not the eternal love of God towards us of which we are now reading, but that love in us. We are inwardly to feel the love which proceeds from the Father, and so to have it in us. We are to have the love of God shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. It is to be recognized by us, felt in us, made the subject of inward joy; this it is that our Lord wishes to produce, that the love of God may be in us, dwelling in our hearts, a welcome guest, the sovereign of our souls.
The love of the Father towards Jesus springs up like a crystal fountain, and then the sparkling drops fall and overflow, as you have seen the fountains do, and we are the cups into which this overflowing love of God towards Christ Jesus flows, and flows till we, too, are full. The inward love so much desired for us by our Lord is…the Father’s love transplanted into the soil of these poor hearts, and becoming our love to Jesus. ~ C.H. Spurgeon