Hessed is the Hebrew word for Agape, God’s love, our namesake. We believe that joy is found in Hessed connection with God and our Christian community.
How do we walk with each other in a hessed community that fully engages with God? The most practical answer is connection with Him in praise, worship, prayer, and intercession that keeps going back to hessed. A deeper look at the center of God’s holiness is His mercy seat. The center of manifestive presence is loving kindness, a place where forgiveness flows; but there were also the tablets containing the 10 Commandments. The fellowship of believers dwelling in hessed is identically modeled: a place of love; but also purity. This mercy is not just functionally the way we treat each other’s weaknesses; but it is who we are aspiring to be by walking out the life He has called us to—holiness!
Holiness was made possible by one Man (who is forever God) coming and fulfilling the Law by being sinless (perfect in keeping the righteous requirement) but also taking our punishment (for our disobedience to that Law). In light of Jesus’ hessed, our own righteousness would still be filthy rags. Even a strong attempt to “keep or perform” the Law would still pale in comparison. So, what does the Lord require, especially in the light of hessed?
A proper way of understanding the Law hebraically would be to actually “guard” the Law. I guard the Word of God by loving what it says, agreeing quickly with its truth (even if I have disobeyed); and I begin to see that abiding in His word has made me free of my bondage. I now guard that truth by continuing to abide in deep relationship with Him…(His name is The Word of God).
As Jesus was in the garden praying with His disciples, He admonished them to be on guard — “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matthew 26:41). Jesus’ prescription to temptation is to be on the guard. What a beautiful way to guard His ways He has fulfilled for us, that we would be free to follow Him fully!
We are also told to “Keep (guard) your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life” (Proverbs 4:23). The reality of not sinning isn’t to just do more good things. Psalm 119:11 tells us, “Your word I have hidden (guarded) in my heart, That I might not sin against You.” The Scriptures are clear that guarding the places His Word/Law dwell is of utmost importance.
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace (Shalom) of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7). This is how hessed works when engaged with our Abba who created us! We guard the way He has asked us to walk in, and He meets us with grace to overcome.