Jesus replied, “You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.” Matthew 22:37, NLT
Two wings of a bird; two halves of scissors; two sides of a coin. Sometimes two things go together so well that, alone, they are only part of the picture. That is true of the Old and New Testament revelations of God’s love.
In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word hesed—“loyal-love” or “lovingkindness”—illustrates the central theme of God’s love. God’s loyalty to, and compassion toward, Israel was demonstrated by His hesed toward them. But there were conditions to be met: the requirements of the Mosaic Covenant. By the time we get to the New Testament, Israel’s failure to walk in God’s covenant resulted in discipline. God’s loyal love was then extended to all the world in an expanded way. Agape is the New Testament word that means unconditional, sacrificial love—love “in spite of.” Even while we Gentiles were sinners, Paul wrote, God loved us unconditionally and sent Christ to die as payment for our sins. Loyal, unconditional, sacrificial love—that is the full expression of God’s love for us.
Toward you, God is loyal and faithful and unconditional. Meditate on how life-changing His love is and what your respond should be to Him.
God’s love for his people is infinite and unconditional. John Blanchard