Saturday, December 15, 2007

Crossing the border

Today I'm chewing on the following passage from Mark 12:28-34 in the Message translation:

One of the religion scholars came up. Hearing the lively exchanges of question and answer and seeing how sharp Jesus was in his answers, he put in his question: "Which is most important of all the commandments?"

Jesus said, "The first in importance is, 'Listen, Israel: The Lord your God is one; so love the Lord God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence and energy.' And here is the second: 'Love others as well as you love yourself.' There is no other commandment that ranks with these."

The religion scholar said, "A wonderful answer, Teacher! So lucid and accurate—that God is one and there is no other. And loving him with all passion and intelligence and energy, and loving others as well as you love yourself. Why, that's better than all offerings and sacrifices put together!"

When Jesus realized how insightful he was, he said, "You're almost there, right on the border of God's kingdom."

Why did Jesus consider this man insightful?  Is it because he asked an intelligent question? Nope. It's because when he heard Jesus' answer he recognized that zealously loving God and people is more important in God's eyes than all the money we give, all the church committees we sit on, all the times we fast, or how many verses we can recite by heart.

Not that there is anything wrong with any of those things. They are good in fact. But the single most important trait in God's eyes is being loving. Think for a minute what it means to be a loving person.

What would it look like for you to be a characteristically loving person?

What would it take?  That's what it will take for you to live fully in God's kingdom.

I pray that we will not simply dwell on the border of God's Kingdom - rather we will cross over and enter fully in. Let's jump in feet first without hesitation and live each day within these boundaries God has marked out for us. Let's become great lovers!

Keep your eyes peeled today for opportunities to simply be love to those around you.


  1. How beautiful! Sometimes I feel as though I am waiting at the edge, worrying what others will think of me. I fully proclaim to love the Lord my God with all my heart, but wonder if I've really jumped in with both feet!
    thanks for this scripture!


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