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We all have thoughts

As you know by reading this blog I share each week “A thought to ponder”. Something that encourages and causes you to pause for maybe a few minutes and ponder something you may not have thought of before.

I find myself doing this with much frequency. Especially in the early mornings as is now the case as I am writing this blog. Now that is probably because by the time I get started today, I will be engaged in things that will clutter my mind and demand my attention. I mean that, seriously. I will be driving on mountain roads in Yellowstone a little later today. Elaine really wants me focused when I am driving and for both of our sakes I will.

There are several things that have occurred recently that cause me to ponder. I am not sure I really understand, and the more I think about it I am not sure anyone else does either, why isn’t Jesus enough? Whether in our society or our religious denominations there is so much going on. The thought that just came to mind was “the devil is in the details“. Simply said because of how much focus is being placed into this detail and that because of the detail are we losing or have we lost the focus of the main thing?

I do not and am not going down any rabbit holes in this or any other blog. My desire and I believe the direction of God for all I have or will do has been to encourage and challenge you to simply pause and ponder. God has not, at least thus far, given me that “silver bullet” that makes everything right. If I am totally honest, I am not sure He ever will.I just know that for me when I read His Word and it tells me-

Matthew 12:28-34

28 Then one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, perceiving that He had answered them well, asked Him, “Which is the first commandment of all?”

29 Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord

our God, the Lord is one.

30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment.

31 And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

32 So the scribe said to Him, “Well said, Teacher. You have spoken the truth, for there is one God, and there is no other but He.

33 And to love Him with all the heart, with all the understanding, with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is more than all the whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.”

34 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.

When I read this portion of Scripture, and that it is Jesus speaking, it causes me to understand that from my Savior and his own words that I am commanded to love the Lord first just as Israel was commanded. Then to love my neighbor which actually means all people as I would love myself.

I don’t see how in any way you can read it with a different understanding. Here is the reason why. Jesus told him that because he understood this truth that he was “not far from the kingdom of God”. In other words, whether it was being in Jesus presence, the scribes own mortality or anything else I think it really means, “how we see God and treat others is bringing the kingdom of God to hand now”.

It is the great commission for which we as Christian have our work detailed. Look at these words, again from Jesus, that give us our direction-

Matthew 28:18-20

18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.

19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

I guess what it all comes down to for me, and I really hope you get this, I want to love God, love people and tell others about Him. When I have done that, all that is required of me in Scripture has been accomplished. I have followed His command and I have acted out His commission. There really is nothing else left for me to do than what He has asked.

There are so many things going on in the world, in our country, our communities and our churches that distract us at any moment. Are they of the devil? Well, yes and no. Certainly he is as a roaring lion seeking to devour. However, it is not to difficult for us to become distracted and forget to keep the main thing the main thing. Take care my friend.

A thought to ponder,

Elbert Nasworthy

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