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Not Far From The Kingdom Of God

March 5 // 1 Corinthians 8:20-21

Scripture

Mark 12:34 “When Jesus saw that he had answered intelligently, He said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God. “After that, no one would venture to ask Him any more questions.” (Speaking to a scribe)


Observation

A scribe was considered an expert of the OT Scriptures, being one who based their authority on other rabbis. Hearing Jesus teach, must have left them amazed, stirring up more questions than answers. In this verse, a scribe declares that loving God is “much more important than burnt offerings and sacrifices.” Jesus commends him for his insight regarding the importance of love, adding a side note; You are not far from the kingdom of God.

“After that, no one would venture to ask Him any more questions.”


Did Jesus mean to silence the crowd by His comment? Or did His commend ring a bell in every heart close enough to hear the conversation... Maybe the scribe walked away, keeping his mouth shut, because he knew what Jesus meant when He said, “You are not far from the kingdom.” I call those moments, flashes of inspiration or OH!!!

OH, you mean its more than just knowing we are to love God and each other. It doing it that brings us in to the kingdom of God. (Inspiration) During times of inspiration we are left with a choice. Do we walk away from Christ and remain silent, leaving the inspired word for another time. Or do we humbly inquire of Jesus on how to change. I bet Jesus would have been open to more discussion, don’t you?

Application

I would have loved to be there that day, watching as silence made its mark on faces in the crowd. In all the excitement I would have blurted out—tell us Jesus, how far is the kingdom? Being a women... It would have come off wrong. Still... I wonder... Why someone didn’t ask him this question, “please Jesus, would you mind expounding on the kingdom for us!”

We know from other passages Jesus did talk more of the kingdom of God, but that is not my point. As I look at this story I see great opportunities missed. I see open doors. I see a burning bush, flaming hot. What I don’t see is anyone willing to take a risk and inquire.

Its one thing to know we are to love God and love others, its another thing to walk in it day after day. Somedays are better than others for me. The days I do well, bring me great joy. Other days, I prefer to forget, requesting a do over. God is quick to forgive me when I ask, and because I ask He is open for more discussion and so am I. Those are the times I feel so close to Him, so loved and so adored. I have learned to ask during times of inspiration, even when the inspired word brings conviction.

Prayer

Lord,

Your word is a lamp that lights my path. It also brings inspiration and conviction which keeps me on the right path. Your word has a way of going right to the point of need, cutting through the darkness. I’m so glad you are always open for discussion when my heart is filled with inspiration. Thank you for making those times safe and free from rejection. Help me to love day in and day out, and thank you for do overs. Where would I be without them!
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This journal entry was posted by Gail. She is currently married with 2 children and has attended New Hope for the past 12 years.

Devotions for March 5

Deuteronomy 1,2
Mark 12

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