Love is more than passion, a friend’s kindness, or even a familial bond. Set Free Ministries reminds believers that loving like God means the commitment of hesed.
The Mark of Faith
When a person professes to be a Christian, it’s a claim to follow Christ. Dean Vander Mey, executive director of Set Free Ministries, explains that the mark of Christian life is not just following Jesus with words, but to become like Him in action.
John 13:34-35 spells this action out. “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Vander Mey says, “Sons of light then have to emulate the one they’re following. The sheep have to follow the shepherd. So we have to be very careful then that we know what type of love we’re talking about. And our culture has really taken love to some crazy places and it’s not who God is. So, hesed love becomes very important.”
So what does it mean to love as God loves? What is hesed love?
Persistent Love: Hesed
Throughout the Bible, God talks about and demonstrates His love for His people. Vander Mey explains that beginning in the Old Testament, God describes himself as “The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.” This love culminates in Jesus’s sacrifice on the cross and His resurrection.
The history in between shows that God’s love is different than human love. He is slow to anger despite frequent rejections of His truth. He is long-suffering and committed to His people. Consider God’s response to Moses breaking the tablets of the law. Look at God’s forgiveness of David.
Vander Mey says, “So hesed love is I’m going to love you but also hold you accountable. But I am committed to you even when you fail. Even when you miss the mark, I’m still with you. Hesed love is, ‘I’m going to love you and I’m going to be committed to you, which is the setting of my will to love you, even when you’re unlovable.’ That’s hesed love. It’s regardless of the person’s response.”
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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Anna Deckert