Devotional For January 20, 2024

Now when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, He said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” But after that no one dared question Him.
‭‭Mark‬ ‭12‬:‭34‬

In Mark 12:32-34, the scribe acknowledged the importance of loving God with all one’s being and loving one’s neighbor as oneself. Jesus commended the scribe for his understanding, affirming that he was close to the kingdom of God. This exchange highlights the centrality of love for God and others in fulfilling God’s commandments.

The point Jesus is making is that genuine understanding and practice of these foundational commandments bring one close to the essence of God’s kingdom. The scribe’s recognition that love for God and others surpasses religious rituals and sacrifices aligns with Jesus’ teachings about the heart of true spirituality. The kingdom of God is not merely about external observances but is found in the sincere love, devotion, and ethical treatment of God and fellow human beings.

The application here is profound – you can worship and follow religious practices but until you truly love God and love others, something is still missing. Following Jesus closely allows us to express our love for God and toward each other.

Pray

Lord, grant me the wisdom to understand and follow Your commandments. May my actions reflect a heart that seeks Your kingdom. Draw me closer to You as I grow in understanding and obedience. Thank You for the guidance Your Word provides. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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