I’m not a touchy feely person. I have a friend, CB, who is one of the most godly, “manly” AND affectionate men I know. His “affection” may be partly his personality, but I believe it’s his passionate love for Jesus that makes him so warm hearted and affectionate toward others. When I tell him I’m walking through something tough his eyes well up with tears. If I say something funny he throws his arm around my shoulder and buries his face in my neck, shaking with his laughter. It’s just pure godly affection.
I’m not naturally affectionate. I think it must be the German blood in me. My dad and mom were wonderful loving parents but weren’t particularly affectionate to us kids. As a result I think, I’m not a “huggy” kind of guy. So occasionally as we’re watching TV, one of my kids will try to torture me by holding one finger lightly on my back or shoulder until I can’t stand it and slap their hand away. It usually takes about 8 seconds.
When Jesus first saved me I believed God forgave my sins. Gradually I came to believe God loved me. But perhaps because of my upbringing or my own lack of affection for others I wasn’t sure God liked me. I believed he put up with me because he’d saved me, but didn’t have any sense that he delighted in me. I was wrong. God delights in his children. If you believe God loves you but aren’t certain he likes you let me try to persuade you with a few Scriptures:
The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing. ZEPH 3.17
God said this of Israel. How much more does he rejoice and exult with loud singing over his blood-bought children, for he sees his delightful Son in us. He sees us clothed with the beautiful righteousness of Christ.
…as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you. IS 62:5
Believers are the bride of Christ and he feels a wedding day delight in us.
For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus. PHP 1:8
Paul longed for his brothers and sisters with affection. Not a mere natural affection, but “the affection of Christ Jesus.” The very tender love Christ feels for his redeemed. Jesus doesn’t love you in some cold and distant way, but with a deep, heartfelt warmth and passion.
“As for the saints who are in the land, they are the excellent ones, in whom is all my delight.” PS 16.3.
David delighted in God’s people. He saw them as “the excellent ones.” David expressed the very heart of God for his people. David wouldn’t delight in them more than God himself. This verse tells us how God sees us: as “excellent ones” in whom is all his delight. Believe me now? God not only loves you but he “likes” you – his heart overflows with affection for you because of Christ in you. Let God’s delight in you spur you on to increasingly delight in him, spending time with him in his word and prayer, worship and fellowship with his people.