Pastor Tim Romero
2 minutes reading time (321 words)
Mark 12:34 (ESV): 34 And when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, "You are not far from the kingdom of God."
It's been said, "Many will miss heaven by six inches, the distance between the head and the heart." It's not enough to know the right answers but one must have a personal relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ to enter. He is the only way.
Jesus was asked a litany of disingenuous questions by the religious leaders because they were trying to trip Him up and discredit Him before the multitudes. On one occasion a scriber after hearing the disputing asked Jesus a serious question, "what is the greatest commandment?" Jesus answered, "love God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind and love your neighbor as yourself." The man agreed and said, "this is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices." To which Jesus replied, "You are not far from the kingdom of God."
Don't make the mistake of so many who are near the kingdom of God but still outside of it! The entrance doesn't come through any outward conformity or rule-keeping. It comes through love, in other words, a relationship. The commands are still valid and will lead a person to the kingdom of God but not through strict adherence but love. It's the love of Christ that constrains us! Love God and love people. That is what it looks like to be inside the kingdom walls. Amen?
Father, we thank You for the simplicity of the Gospel. You sent Jesus to pay the penalty for our sins, which is revealed through the law. Works will never get us in but only through relationship can we enter Your kingdom. We pray for all of those who are "not far" from Your kingdom today. Reveal the path to them we pray in Jesus' name, ame