How far are you from the Kingdom of God? For a Christian I guess this is the million-dollar question. Or should I say the billion-dollar question. Once you believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and follow Him in water baptism you become born again. In this new state, old things are passed away and behold all things become new. Part of this newness is being granted access to the kingdom of God. I praise and thank God, that a nobody like me, has become a somebody and given citizenship status in the best kingdom there is and ever will be; The Kingdom of God.

God’s kingdom is not only given to us, but it is at hand. Jesus told us in Mark 1:15 (KJV) “… The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel”. Our Lord was admitting that the Kingdom is now close to us; but are we close to it?

Yes my friends, this is a direct question I am asking you! As a heavenly citizen, how far are you from the Kingdom of God? If you attend church every Sunday, listen to gospel music in your car while commuting to work, or have snippets of prayer time with God during the week then you will be inclined to answer an immediate Yes to this question. But this question is not one of those that you briskly read over then quickly tick the answer box with a yes. You need to put down your pen, lean back in your chair and start to think long and hard.

Ok, what was your answer? Well, I don’t really need to know your answer, but what I want to know is this. How do you know that your answer is correct? Now that’s a million-dollar question. The only way to know is by testing it against the word of God so let’s do that.

In Mark 12:28-34 (NIV) a teacher of the Law came up to Jesus and asked him what is the greatest commandment. Without hesitation Jesus replied, “The most important one, is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.  Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:29-31 (NIV))

The teacher who asked the question did not disagree, in fact he fully AGREED and supported Jesus comment by saying the following:

Mark 12:33 (NIV) “To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”

This teacher knew, that giving (sacrificing) other things without displaying Genuine Love to God and Neighbor amounted to very little. With all his heart, mind, strength and being this man understood and applied the commandment that, LOVING GOD AND NEIGHBORS ARE OF PARMOUNT IMPORTANCE.

When Jesus realized that this man’s zeal and passion was FIRSTLY and ONLY for applying love. He openly proclaimed to the man and all present:

Mark 12:34 “When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God…

In other words, Jesus was saying that Love draws us closer into the kingdom of God and makes us less afar off!

My Fellow brothers and sister in the Lord, the Bible is about love, the kingdom is about love and GOD IS LOVE! If you want to draw closer to the Kingdom of God today, then focus on loving God and your Neighbor with everything you have!

My Personal Prayer: Lord, teach me how to have fellowship with you and love my foes and friends as you command. Lord teach me to love…!

Dane A. Miller