“AND TO LOVE HIM WITH ALL THE HEART AND WITH ALL THE UNDERSTANDING AND WITH ALL THE STRENGTH, AND TO LOVE ONE’S NEIGHBOR AS HIMSELF, bis much more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.” 34 And when Jesus saw that he had answered thoughtfully, He said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” after that, no one would dare to ask Him any more questions.” (Mark 12:33 LSB) https://accordance.bible/link/read/LSB#Mark_12:33

 

What does the One True God require of all of us? To love Him with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength and to love our neighbor as ourselves. Not complicated, simple to understand. What else would the One True God require from us than that? What is greater than to love Him and to love each other, the children of God? No other religion has such requirements demonstrating that they are man-made religions for they focus on petty rules and regulations determined by men of power and if obeyed benefit those same men. If there is a God, and i would say there certainly is, He would require us to love Him and to love each other. But knowing this and doing this are not the same. The man who knew this in our lesson today was considered ‘not far’ from the kingdom of God. Not far is not in the kingdom of God. Why was he not in the kingdom, he knew the right information? We must believe it is because he did not do what he knew to be necessary for entering the kingdom of God. Assessing our own lives how are we doing at truly loving God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength? Does He really get this kind of attention, energy, and commitment from us? What does that look like for you? What about loving our neighbor? We are to love every neighbor. The relative that hurt us, the co-worker who steps on us, the neighbor who violates our space. Loving others as we love ourselves is required by us for all of those who live in our lives. The impossibility of measuring up to perfection is obvious, this is why we need a Savior Who can pay the penalty of our sinful shortcomings and appropriate to us perfection for entering into the kingdom of God. This is the Christian tension. Christ has done all we need for entering the kingdom of God yet He requires us to live as people who have been granted lives in the kingdom of God.

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