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Sermon: "Hesed: The Everlasting Love of God."

Introduction:

Good morning, you beloved. Today, I want to share a story about an unexpected gift. Imagine a person walking a long, arduous journey, weary and near collapse, who a stranger gives a cool drink of water. This simple act of kindness—a moment of mercy—is a mere drop in the ocean of God's love for us, an expression of Hesed.


In the Hebrew language, Hesed beautifully captures the essence of God's character. It's often translated into English as "lovingkindness," "mercy," or "steadfast love." But let me tell you, friends, Hesed is much more than these words can convey. It's about a love that endures, a commitment that doesn't waver, and a kindness that knows no bounds.


Scripture Foundations:

In Exodus 34:6-7, God describes Himself as "The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness." Here, Hesed is at the forefront, illustrating God's unwavering commitment to His people.


In Psalm 136, the chorus is repeated 26 times: "For His steadfast love endures forever." This psalm is a testament to God's enduring Hesed throughout the history of Israel, creation, the Exodus, and beyond.


The prophet Hosea lives out a dramatic representation of Hesed. God asks Hosea to marry a woman who would be unfaithful to him, reflecting God's faithful love towards Israel despite their Spiritual unfaithfulness. Hosea's life becomes a powerful narrative of Hesed.


Main Points:

1. Hesed as Covenantal Love

Hesed goes beyond mere feelings. It's a covenantal love, God's binding promise with His people. Abraham's journey, marked by God's promises in Genesis 15 and 17, is a testament to Hesed. God remains faithful despite Abraham's circumstances and failures, showcasing His covenantal love.


2. Hesed as Redemptive Love

Hesed is vividly seen in the redemption stories throughout the Bible. The book of Ruth tells us about Ruth and Boaz, where Boaz acts with Hesed towards Ruth, a Moabite widow, offering her protection and ultimately redeeming her husband's land and marrying her. This story reflects human kindness and points us towards God's redemptive love for us all.


3. Hesed as a Call to Action

As recipients of God's Hesed, we're called to reflect this steadfast love to others. Jesus perfectly embodies Hesed, showing us how to live it out through acts of kindness, mercy, and love. We're called to be vessels of Hesed, to love the unlovable, forgive the unforgivable, and extend grace beyond limits.


Practical Applications:

How can we practice Hesed in our daily lives? We can do this by keeping our promises, even when challenging, forgiving others as God has forgiven us, and actively seeking ways to demonstrate God's love, especially to those who feel unlovable or invisible in our communities.


Conclusion:

Friends, as we reflect on Hesed, let's remember the depths of God's love for us. It's a love that never gives up, never runs out, and always welcomes us back. May we bask in the warmth of God's Hesed and become bearers of this divine love in a world that desperately needs it.


Let us pray. Heavenly Father, help us grasp the magnitude of Your Hesed, understand it with our minds, and embody it in our lives. Teach us to love as You love, extend grace as You have graciously given to us, and live each day as a reflection of Your steadfast love.


Amen.


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