It's no use telling someone God loves them if you don't. True love is always demonstrated. God isn't going to ask us one day 'what do you believe about Me?' He's going to ask 'what did you do for Me?'.
He asks for a demonstration of love as proof of our profession. He asks no less from His Son. Jesus went before His Father with His shed blood as proof of His love, both for His Father and for us. He expects no less from us, not as atonement, but as living proof of our devotion to Him.
His special love is for His chosen people, the descendants of Israel. Do we imitate Him in this?