Blog and Articles | Runnymede Christian Fellowship

Blog and Articles | Runnymede Christian Fellowship

Pastors Blog
Living in the overflow of God

Are you living in the overflow? I’m not talking about an overflow of fear or panic. No, not even an overflow of stockpiled supplies.

Inspired to Live in the Overflow

Are you craving an overflow of the Spirit of God, like me so that I’m full of peace, hope, and love and all the things that drive out negative thoughts, fear, anxiety, and doubt?

May every one of you overflow with the grace and favor of our LORD Jesus Christ.Philippians 4:23 (The Passion Translation)

Abundance is More than Wealth

Many only see an overflow or abundance in a physical or monetary sense, even in the Christian realm. And scripture does talk about abundance in wealth, food, and necessity. 

However, on a spiritual level, there’s a place in God where we can live out of the overflow of the Spirit. God doesn’t want to give you just enough anointing and presence so you can experience a personal breakthrough. He wants to give you more than that. I’m a little excited about that! 

I like to think of it as living so close to heaven I can feel the overflow of glory on me. But honestly, staying close to that “shower of blessing” and grace is easily hindered by our circumstances, mood, or thoughts.

How to Live in the Overflow

So how do we get there? How do we break through our personal barriers to being so full of the Holy Spirit that we become carriers of God’s glory? Here are some important keys to help us get us closer:

Make Time for It 

Make time. Think of yourself like a sponge placed in a bucket of water. When you drop it in, the sponge takes a little time to become fully saturated. If you are going to become saturated in the Holy Spirit, you have to spend time with Him. Create regular time to focus on Him, and after a while, you’ll be full to overflowing in His presence. 

Ask for It 

Ask God to fill you and saturate every area of your life. Ask Him to expose and drive out any darkness in your life. Yes, when we accept Christ as our personal saviour His spirit moves in. But we know that the world and its temptations are constantly worming their way into the recesses of our minds. And Paul said to be continually filled with the Spirit. This is how we will be consistently full of The Spirit. 

Pray for It

Pray in many different ways. Prayer is simply a conversation with God. And like any relationship, we’ll never become intimately acquainted if we don’t talk. But like all relationships, we have many kinds of conversations. Prayers are no different, and they create a deeper relationship with God.

Don’t be Intimidated – Soak it Up

I know this sounds exciting. At least it does to me. But it can also sound intimidating. You might be thinking, how will I ever be that close to God?

It’s like any intimate relationship; it’s built over time, not in one night. Deep relationships are not developed during a one-night stand. 

When we take time to make prayer a habit because, let’s face it, we could all be more disciplined, we will get to a point where we become tangibly aware of His presence – ALL THE TIME. It’s like one of those fountains where the top pot pours into another, and then each other pot begins spilling out of its overflow into another and another… 

We will not only be living in the overflow of God’s glory but pouring out of our overflow. We must always be under the overflow from the top. Because when we’re consistently that full of God, there’s no room for things like negative self-thoughts, doubt, anxiousness, and fear.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 15:13

Let's be filled up so we can overflow

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Nurturing in an eagles nest

"Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. 29 He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. 30 Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; 31 but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint."  

Isaiah 40:28-31

Eagles Are Master Fliers:

Eagles are master fliers because they have learned to fly on strong wind thermals. They can fly to heights that no other bird can. They can fly as high as aeroplanes!  Their ability and skill to ride on these strong wind thermals and fly high is amazing!! In the same way, we Christians must learn through God’s Word how to be master fliers daily. Just as eagles depend on these strong winds to lift them to heights that no other bird can reach, so we Christians must diligently seek after God through His Word so that He may take us to heights that we may have never dreamed possible.  Just think how much abundant fruit we could produce and the works that we may accomplish for the Lord if we just study His Word, allowing that same Word to lead our steps unto righteousness daily! But we must be humble and willing to be taught by God about how to walk in righteousness. The Word of God is powerful and can fully equip us unto every good work that we may accomplish what God wants us to do.

Eagles Are Master Fisherman:

Eagles are also considered master fishermen, for they are very skilled in locking in on their prey and swooping down to catch them. Eagles can swoop down on the water to pick up fish with ease and accuracy. They are definitely masters at hunting down their prey. And just as eagles are master fishermen in how they catch their fish, Jesus has made us “fishers of men.” Jesus has commissioned us to make disciples of all the nations. God has commanded that we be fishermen of souls to save them and help them enter the gates of God’s kingdom.

Eagles Live on Higher Ground:

Eagles live on higher ground for the most part. As Christians, we live on higher ground because of who we are in Christ compared to the world lost in darkness. We are born-again children of the Most High God. We are now kings and priests of the Lord. We have the Word of God that helps us to walk in righteousness and holiness. And though we live in this world, we are not of this world, for we must keep ourselves separate from the corruption, lawlessness, pollution, vices, and sins of this world so God can commune with us and we with Him. We live on higher ground because of what Jesus did for us and because we have obeyed His Gospel.

The Nests of Eagles Are Built in the Wilderness:

The mother eagle builds her nest away from everything to raise her newborns in the wilderness when the eagles are first hatched. She does this to protect them from harm. In the same way, the Lord will sometimes build up His eagles in a wilderness type setting. For instance, Moses, who lived in the desert for 40 years before God called him out to complete the most incredible deliverance mission of all time.  David was in the wilderness caves for many years, possibly for 13-15 years, before he was called out by God to become the greatest king that Israel has ever had.  What about us Christians?  The Lord calls us to be set apart from the world, some kind of spiritual wilderness, to raise us up, and allow us to grow up, that we might be devoted to Him and serve Him. Often, in these wilderness type settings, our God helps us grow spiritually and helps us walk upright.

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Giving grows hope

“Hope deferred makes the heart grow sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.” Proverbs 13:12, NIV

Recently when sharing with a gathering of folk, who were people who had influence with those with whom they work and train. I shared we are all guilty of failing to realize the power of the influence that we have. I know when I get busy and perhaps even frustrated, the outflow of my heart can expose negative emotions and that largely it is caused by my selfishness when things are not going my way.

The message I shared with them was along with the context that as Christian leaders, our call is to be hope-givers in all circumstances. True hope looks beyond failures, negative circumstances, and into the eyes of each person where we see the gleam of an Image-bearer of the God of Creation.

The smell of evil can be the stink of hopelessness. Withholding hope from a circumstance happens when we try to be God.

The fruit of the presence of the Holy Spirit has an ever-present aroma of hope at all times, in all circumstances. It is alive with a refreshing renewal and is a vibrant rebuilder of hope, relationships, purpose, confidence, and courage and is an investor in people over things. It is an investor in relationships over results.

Most importantly, what keeps this from being some “feel good” mentality is that if we know our place is to be hope-givers, then we also know the Hope of the Grace of Jesus Christ. Those who don't believe in God think that pain, death, and disappointment are “the real world” and that’s all there is. Believers in the Truth of the Cross know these things are painful distortions and that victory only comes through the Truth-giver. It is through the teachable moments of failures, mistakes, and shortcomings that present us opportunities to lead others to the hope of Hope in the face of Truth and Justice.

Lets be hope givers today.

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There is benefit in being prisoners of hope

“Return to your stronghold, O prisoners of hope; today I declare that I will restore to you double.”

– Zechariah 9:12

The concept of the double blessing has been used and abused by name-it-and-claim-it preachers for longer than I’ve been alive. I understand the dangers of misinterpretation and misapplication as it relates to God’s promises, but we better not throw the blessing out with the bathwater! We must understand what it is and what it isn’t.

The double blessing is not health, wealth, and prosperity. It’s not a 200 percent return on every investment either. It’s something bigger and better than that.

There are half a dozen “double promises” in Scripture. The prophet Isaiah promised a double portion of joy or prosperity, depending on your translation of choice. The apostle Paul conferred double honour on those who lead well. And a double portion of Elijah’s spirit netted twice as many miracles in the ministry of Elisha. But perhaps the most unique binary blessing in the Bible is declared by the prophet Zechariah:

“Return to your stronghold, O prisoners of hope; today I declare that I will restore to you double.”

–Zechariah 9:12

The prophet Zechariah declared this double blessing to Jewish prisoners of war, but he called them prisoners of hope. Those are polar opposites, are they not? So which is it—prisoners of war or prisoners of hope? That depends on your perspective, doesn’t it?

If you let your circumstances define the way you see God, you are a prisoner of perspective. Or worse, a prisoner of your past mistakes! But if you let God define the way you see your circumstances, you are a prisoner of hope.

Please don’t let anyone name you except God. You are not the labels people put on you. You are who God says you are! You are the apple of God’s eye. You are the object of His affection. You are more than a conqueror.

Israel had experienced a bitter defeat at the hands of the Babylonians. They were at the mercy of their captors, who had defiled their temple and mocked their God. But God reminded them of who would have the last laugh. For their pain, He prescribed the promise of double blessing.

The NIV says, “I will restore twice as much to you.”

The KJV says, “I will render double unto thee.”

The NLT says, “I will repay two blessings for each of your troubles.”

We’ve got to be very careful not to turn biblical principles into quadratic equations. Yes, better is one day in the courts of the Lord than a thousand elsewhere. But I’m not convinced that the psalmist was formulating a one-thousand-to-one ratio. After all, the blessing of God’s presence cannot be reduced to hours or minutes any more than to dollars or cents. A day is like a thousand years to God, yet He exists outside our four dimensions of space-time. So time is immaterial to an eternal God.

That said, let’s not underestimate the blessings of God or ignore the fact that God is the one who promises a double blessing. I recognize that this promise was given to Jewish refugees living in the fifth century BC, but I also believe it belongs to us. Why?

Because the God who made the promise is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Because every spiritual blessing is ours in Christ. And because “no matter how many promises God has made, they are ‘Yes’ in Christ.”

You cannot claim the promises of God like a game of “Pin the Tail on the Donkey”, but every promise has your name on it. Every blessing in the Bible is part and parcel of our spiritual birthright by virtue of what Christ accomplished on the cross. 

Positioning ourselves for those blessings begins by kneeling at the foot of the cross and ends with us casting our crowns before the throne of God. In between, we flip every blessing.

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Friday contains, but Sunday remains

Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it. His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. And the guards shook for fear of him and became like dead men.

But the angel answered and said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you.”’ – Matthew 28:1-7 (NKJV)

Jesus is risen! Yes, he is risen from the grave! Hallelujah! Today, we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Christian faith would have been very different without the resurrection. It would have been the same as any other religion on earth. Jesus’ resurrection is what sets Christianity apart; what makes it true, reliable and impactful. His resurrection is what completes the story and gives it purpose. It is a beautiful story indeed!

God sends His only son, in whom He was well pleased (Matt.3:17) into the world to die so that we, his enemies at the time, could live and not be condemned to eternal death.

Jesus’ death was not accidental. It was planned and foretold (Is.53:4-5). His whole mission on earth was to die for us. He laid down his life willingly so he could take it again. It was deliberate and borne out of love for us as John 15: 13 tells us, “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends”.

Jesus’ resurrection is what completes the story and gives it purpose.

By his death on the cross and his resurrection, Jesus obtained redemption for anyone who believes in him and accepts him as Lord. For such a person, there is no more condemnation (Rm.8:1). You are forgiven, redeemed and set apart for God’s glory. Your name is written in the book of life. Sin has no hold over you; neither does death.

“O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” (1 Cor.15:55)

This is what Colossians 2:14-15 says, “having cancelled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which us in the decrees that stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.”

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Resurrection power

As we journey towards Easter, God continues to speak about the promise of resurrection life. Not as in ‘one day when I get to heaven’ but experiencing it now, in every area of our lives, that we would surrender to Him. He is asking us if we would invite Him into each area of our life in which we are simply surviving and not fully thriving. 

The Lord speaks specifically about the way we are thinking, the lies, the half-truths we are believing which were keeping us from experiencing the fullness of life.

Will we allow Him into our unbelief and doubt so faith could rise? Will we allow Him into all of the lost hopes and dreams? Will we let the Holy Spirit confront every area of pride in our lives, self-reliance and self-protection? He is leading us into a deeper trust in a faithful God. 

Reading the account in Mark 5, see the faith of a Dad willing to push through to see His little girl live. Our Heavenly Father is just as willing to go to whatever lengths are necessary to see each one of us become fully alive. “This is how much God loves the world: He gave his Son, His one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed. By believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.” ‭‭John‬ ‭3:16-18‬ ‭MSG‬‬

What areas of your life have you not been trusting Jesus with?

In which areas are you just surviving and not thriving?

Name some of the areas where you have no hope?

Invite Jesus into these areas and ask Him for His truth and for His solution.

Expect Him to show up with abundant life.

Now let us pray and see what He will do

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Resurrection life

Oftentimes the resurrection is used by preachers and theologians alike to defend the historical account of Christ’s resurrection and to defend the deity of Jesus. While both of these are truthful realities, they miss the most important aspect of the resurrection of Jesus Christ and His purpose for having risen from the dead. The ultimate objective and hope of the Christian Gospel, which was accomplished in the resurrection of Jesus Christ have a much greater purpose than simply getting into heaven and having a glorified body. It is to allow for the restoration of God’s life to man in Jesus Christ, allowing His life to be lived out in our behaviour NOW, on the way to heaven.

All Christian theologians agree that there are three main events of Jesus’ life; the incarnation, the crucifixion, and the resurrection. The incarnation was necessary so that the Son of God could identify with humanity as the God-man - fully God and fully man. Jesus had to be fully man because only a man could be tempted and only a man could die. The crucifixion was necessary because Jesus Christ had to voluntarily submit to death in order to vicariously and substitutionally take the death consequences of all sin upon Himself. The resurrection was necessary to enact the restoration of God’s life in man by a restorative spiritual rebirth.

It's important to emphasize that the incarnation and crucifixion are not the whole story! If the incarnation and crucifixion were the only acts of God on man’s behalf, then the gospel would cease to be good news. God's declaration to man would be, "I came, I fixed the problem of sin, you are fixed, now go and do a better job of living than you've been doing." That is not good news! That is tragic teaching! The incarnation and crucifixion alone serve only to condemn man all the more. Man's greatest need is Resurrection Life!

Christianity is not a message of merely what has been and what will be, it is the message of what IS; the vital dynamic of the resurrected “I AM” of God, who restores the whole of creation. If we do not understand how the historical event of Jesus’ resurrection connects to the living reality of Jesus Christ in us by the indwelling presence of His Spirit, then we do not understand the gospel.

The Resurrection defines the Christian faith. 

I Pet. 1:3 states that “God according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”

We appropriate and receive Christ’s resurrection life by FAITH, which is our receptivity to His activity. The Resurrection is the basis of everything that can be legitimately called Christian. It is only by the indwelling activity of the risen Lord Jesus that the dynamic life of Christ continues to affect the Christian. Apart from the Resurrection, there is no gospel, no spiritual life, no salvation, no righteousness, no holiness, no hope, and no godliness. Resurrection Life forces the character of Christ out and into Christian behaviour, right NOW. 

Apart from the Resurrection, there is no Christian living. 

All of God’s promises and man’s expectations are realized in the resurrection Life of Jesus Christ in us! As stated in Col 1:27, the riches of the glory of this mystery is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

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Our Purpose - Freedom

Jesus came to reveal the heart of the Father, to restore us to the Father, and to model what it looks like for us to walk in relationship with the Father as His sons and daughters.

Our mission follows His: We are called to walk in relationship with the Father, demonstrate His heart to others, and invite them to be reconciled to Him.

Fulfilling this mission requires us to align our hearts with the core values of the Father’s heart for us. As a good Father, He wants nothing more than for His beloved children to grow, thrive, and succeed, to fulfil the design and purpose for which we were created.

Here are three core values of the Father’s heart that we must continually come back to:

  • We were made for freedom.
  • We were made for connection.
  • We were made for honour.

These are the core values that should define our lives, leadership, and relational cultures. When we talk about “fathering” people, either in homes or in churches, schools, businesses, organizations, or cities, these are the core values that must guide our approach.

Let’s take a closer look at the first of these core values. What is freedom? Why does the Father want us to be free? How do we live in freedom, model His heart for people to be free, and lead people into freedom?


C.S. Lewis summed up the Father’s design and purpose for freedom brilliantly in Mere Christianity:

God created things that had free will. That means creatures that can go either wrong or right. Some people think they can imagine a creature that was free but had no possibility of going wrong; I cannot. If a thing is free to be good it is also free to be bad. And free will is what has made evil possible. Why, then, did God give them free will? Because free will though it makes evil possible, is also the only thing that makes possible any love or goodness or joy worth having. A world of automata — of creatures that worked like machines — would hardly be worth creating. The happiness which God designs for His higher creatures is the happiness of being freely, voluntarily united to Him and to each other in an ecstasy of love and delight compared with which the most rapturous love between a man and a woman on this earth is mere milk and water. And for that, they must be free.

God’s ultimate design and purpose for us is love and connection, and freedom is the necessary condition for love and connection to happen. In fact, love and connection are the ultimate expressions of freedom.

In Lewis’ terms, we “go right” when we use our freedom in ways that grow and protect love and connection, and “go wrong” when we violate love and connection. And as we learn through the history of the fall, misusing our freedom leads to bondage.

What is bondage? Well, if freedom is expressed in love and connection, then bondage is being caught in cycles of fear and disconnection with God, each other, and ourselves. This is the reality created by the curse of sin and death, which could only be broken through the cross. When we are born again, we begin the journey of unlearning all the ways we used to live in bondage and learning to walk in freedom.


The world’s definition of freedom basically comes down to being able to do whatever we want when we want it. This isn’t totally wrong; it’s just incomplete and immature.

Our Father wants us to live from our desires—He made us that way. But He knows—like every parent knows—that our desires must be trained. We must learn not only what we really want (love and connection with Him and others), but how to get it in the right way. And we can only do that by learning to trust our Father.

This is where being led by the Holy Spirit comes in. He is the one who awakens our desire for God and leads us with incredible patience down the long road of overcoming all the baggage we’ve picked up from a life of trying to get what we want on our own terms. As we all discover, we are quick to doubt the Father and believe the worst about Him—especially when He’s asking us to trust Him in a difficult area of obedience or allowing us to endure something painful. This is what the enemy taught us in the garden.

But the Holy Spirit guides and empowers us to make the free choice Adam and Eve didn’t make—the choice to trust the Father and protect our connection with Him, even when we don’t understand, even when it’s painful. This is how we grow in freedom.


Good fathers protect and provide for their children. Both are necessary for them to grow in freedom. Leading people with the Father’s heart means learning to help them access His protection and provision as they learn freedom management.

Leading people who are growing in freedom is exhilarating because you get to see them receiving the limitless love and resources the Father generously provides to all His kids. You get to watch their dreams awaken and their hearts start to burn for things. You get to watch them take courageous risks, make profound commitments, and strive for greatness as they pursue their love for God and others.

Leading free people is also very messy, however, because we fall all over ourselves as we struggle to overcome our old fears and learn to choose love and connection. And the temptation for every leader or parent is to protect by taking away people’s freedom. But the Father doesn’t do that. Even as He walks us through the consequences of misusing our freedom, He does it with the goal of helping us grow and be fully restored in managing our freedom. He protects us without controlling us, and this is how we must lead as well.

The Father is passionate about our freedom and paid the ultimate price for it. May we be passionate about using this gift as it was designed and helping others do the same!

Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you. (Galatians 5:1 MSG)

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Faithful love - our purpose

One of the Hebrew words for ‘love’ is hesed (חסד, pronounced kheh-sed”), which is actually a difficult word to translate into English. That is because there is a range of meanings for hesed. Theologian John Oswalt said hesed is “… a completely undeserved kindness and generosity”.

The prophet Isaiah wrote, “Though the mountains be shaken, and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love (hesed) for you will not be shaken”. (Isaiah 54:10)

Hesed is not just a feeling, but an action. It “intervenes on behalf of loved ones and comes to their rescue”.

Hebrew Understanding of Love

Hesed is not a romantic, infatuation kind of love. It is a faithful, reliable love. When a wife prays for years for her husband to know God. It is parents lovingly caring for their autistic child. Hesed is faithful. It is loyal. And Hesed is love put to action.

And most importantly, hesed is the unfailing love God has for YOU.

Meanings of Hesed in the Bible

Hesed is one of the most fundamental characteristics of God, consistent with what we know about His covenantal nature. Hesed is “wrapping up in itself all the positive attributes of God: love, covenant faithfulness, mercy, grace, kindness, loyalty–in short, acts of devotion and loving-kindness that go beyond the requirements of duty,” elaborates Bible scholar Darrell L. Bock.

Throughout the Hebrew Bible, we see hesed translated in a number of different ways; steadfast love, mercy, kindness, and goodness. While these synonyms develop our understanding, they only just skim the surface of this multifaceted, rich word.

Hesed – Love in Action

Perhaps the most effective way to grasp its meaning is to see hesed in action. Thankfully, examples of hesed abound throughout the Scripture. 

In the book of Ruth, we meet Naomi in nothing less than a bleak situation. She is living in a foreign land and has lost not only her husband but her two sons as well. While she has two beloved daughters-in-law, she makes the difficult decision to leave the life she and her family have established in Moab.

Naomi decides to return to her native Judah and she is ready to start afresh. To this end, Naomi encourages her daughters-in-law, Orpah and Ruth, to stay in Moab with their families, and to find new husbands.

This is a wise suggestion because in those days women without a husband were in a vulnerable position. And these two women could most likely remarry easily – they were still young and had no children.

A Love that Extends to Loyalty

Orpah considers this, and with a heavy heart agrees to stay in Moab. Ruth however remains with Naomi. And she even further solidifies her bond with Naomi, with her now-famous declaration:

Do not urge me to leave you or return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God.” Ruth 1:16

Ruth had every right to start anew and pursue a husband from within her own people. However, by affirming her fidelity to Naomi and the people of Israel, Ruth chose an unknown path. She was a widow and an outsider. But she was also a foreigner from a people the Israelites had an enemy history with.

She affirms how important Naomi is to her, despite these other considerations. Ruth clearly had a strong relationship with her mother-in-law, so much so that she forsakes the easier path. Her display of hesed – the love and loyalty to Naomi are just one of the multiple examples found throughout the story of Ruth. 

Hesed Love goes Above and Beyond

Another tangible display of the hesed love, which goes above and beyond, is an organization called Satmar Bikur Cholim, in New York City. This amazing group provides home-cooked kosher meals to hospital patients and their families, free of charge, regardless of background or affiliation.

Satmar Bikur Cholim began in the 1950s with a small community of Holocaust survivors who recognized the value of supporting other survivors, as they started building a new life in the US. They wanted to help fellow survivors sustain the Jewish tradition they had before the war. And they would travel all around NYC to do just that.

They strive to maintain the same ambition as in their founding days to help whoever needs it. Preparing and delivering home-cooked meals to others in the community extends beyond a simple act of kindness. You could even say it’s… lovingkindness.

Hesed: Lovingkindness in Hebrew

Lovingkindness is an interesting word in the English language. Built out of two other words, it combines the definitions of both and then some.

It means tenderness and consideration towards others. Those are the keywords capturing the essence of lovingkindness; it is always towards others. This is an outward expression, not one of self-seeking motivation. If this sounds familiar, it is easy to understand why.

While “lovingkindness” can be considered somewhat archaic, many English Bible translations use it in Psalms. Alternatively, some translations use “steadfast love”. Try studying the Psalms with translations that use loving-kindness and you’ll discover a new depth of meaning and understanding to these passages.

Here are a few examples to get you started:

“Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities,

heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from destruction, who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies…” (Psalm 103:3-4 NKJV)

“Shall thy lovingkindness be declared in the grave? [or] thy faithfulness in destruction?” (Psalm 88:11 ASV)

“Let not the floodwater overflow me, nor let the deep swallow me up; and let not the pit shut its mouth on me. Hear me, O LORD, for Your lovingkindness is good; turn to me according to the multitude of Your tender mercies.” (Psalm 69:15-16 NKJV)

Each time we come across lovingkindness in these passages the Psalmist is suggesting hesed as the covenant love. Even though it’s not a word we commonly use, it has a unique way of pointing to the enduring love of God.

Hebrew Definition of Unfailing Love

“Hesed is never merely an abstract feeling of goodwill, but always entails practical action on behalf of another”, describes author and biblical scholar Dr. Will Kynes.

How can we tangibly show our love to God and His people? Hesed. It is through a hesed kind of love that we worship Him and serve others. Through the abundance of hesed that God shows us, we can in turn be abundant in our expression of hesed love for others.

This is a strengthening truth, a reliable foundation. As pastor Rick Warren said, “God’s love is like an ocean; you can see its beginning, but not its end”. Today, no matter what you face, you can rely on God’s hesed. In the best way, His love is predictable, tenacious, and unchanging.

Though the mountains be shaken, and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love – hesed – for you will not be shaken.” — Isaiah 54:10

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Giving God the glory

In Hebrews 11:1 of “The James Moffatt translation of the Bible”, faith is defined as follows: “Now faith means that we are confident of what we hope for, convinced of what we do not see.”

As we release our faith for supernatural miracles and provision, we must be confident that God is a miracle-working God and able to perform the thing we hope for.

We must be convinced that He is the God of the impossible, the God of no failure and the God of limitless power. We must be confident, He is the same God who delivered Daniel from the lion’s den, the same God who parted the Red Sea, the same God who raised Jairus’s daughter from the dead, and the same God who raised Jesus from the dead.

Acts 14:8-10 NKJV states, “And in Lystra, a certain man without strength in his feet was sitting, a cripple from his mother’s womb, and had never walked. This man heard Paul speaking. Paul observing him intently and seeing that he had FAITH to be healed, said with a loud voice “Stand up straight on your feet!” And he leapt and walked.”

As I look at this scripture, I observed that this miracle took place in the town of Lystra. (The name Lystra means ransomed or set free.)

This man was without strength and was born crippled having never walked. He needed to be ransomed or set free. Before hearing the man of God, he did not have the faith or confidence to hope that he could ever walk. He was not convinced of what he did not see.

When Paul spoke the word of the Lord in Lystra, the lame man listened intently. His spirit man was awakened. Hope was stirred and faith arose in his heart. He gained the confidence to receive a miracle.

What heightened his faith? It was the preached Word of God. Romans 10:17 says, “So then faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.” As we continue to hear, read and study the Word of God, our faith will rise to the level of believing we can be ransomed or set free from whatever situation or circumstance we are facing.

We will be convinced of the bigness of our God and confident of the fact that He is the God of all power.

Let faith arise!

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