USA (MNN) – 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.”
God’s Love Means Freedom
This message is the essence of Set Free Ministries’ message. God calls and loves His people regardless of their failings. He will set those who trust in Him free and allow them to experience hesed, if only they turn from their sin and seek Him.
Vander Mey explains that this type of love transforms Christians. It is an experience and a transformation, not just information.
The transforming message of God’s hesed love for His people has the power to break addictions, repair relationships, and offer hope in hopeless situations.
Vander Mey encourages Christians to act on this reminder. God does not reveal himself in order for us to remain stagnant.
“We get to let God define love. We get to study how He loved the great men and women of faith and then we get to we get to model that type of love. And that’s laying your life down love. That’s Jesus, in passion week, choosing to lay His life down for us.”
Love in Action
Set Free Ministries has the privilege of working with many people who are hungry to hear about the hesed love of God. Please pray that leaders, counselors, and staff would know how to bring hesed love into conversations with those who need to hear it. Pray that God would soften hard hearts to hear about how He was willing to lay His life down for sinners.
Please also consider supporting the work of Set Free ministries financially as they seek to bring Christ into dark and difficult places.