We are enjoying a series of devotions written by Pastor Dale. The focus of these devotions is the “kingdom of God” and what that looks like for us.
On Earth as it is in Heaven
The Greatest Commandments
“You are like salt for the whole human race. But if salt loses its saltiness, there is no way to make it salty again. It has become worthless, so it is thrown out and people trample on it. “You are like light for the whole world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one lights a lamp and puts it under a bowl; instead it is put on the lampstand, where it gives light for everyone in the house. In the same way your light must shine before people, so that they will see the good things you do and praise your Father in heaven. Teaching about the Law “Do not think that I have come to do away with the Law of Moses and the teachings of the prophets. I have not come to do away with them, but to make their teachings come true. Remember that as long as heaven and earth last, not the least point nor the smallest detail of the Law will be done away with—not until the end of all things. So then, whoever disobeys even the least important of the commandments and teaches others to do the same, will be least in the Kingdom of heaven. On the other hand, whoever obeys the Law and teaches others to do the same, will be great in the Kingdom of heaven. I tell you, then, that you will be able to enter the Kingdom of heaven only if you are more faithful than the teachers of the Law and the Pharisees in doing what God requires.
- Matt. 5:13-20
The Beatitudes have been spoken (Matt.5:1-10) ... The call to be salt and light has been pronounced, (Matt.5:13-16) so that others may see our good deeds and praise the Father in heaven. (verse 16b) Jesus then gives us an introduction to the Law and the Prophets, of which he is about to reinterpret anew. Jesus has “not come to abolish [the Law and the Prophets] but to fulfill them.” And in this introduction to the commandments, Jesus speaks about being the least and the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven: the least and the greatest!
There is a parallel here between the commandments and position in the Kingdom of heaven. Break even the least of the commandments and you will be considered the least in the Kingdom. Practice the great commandments and you will be considered great in the kingdom. And it is not just practice, but it is teaching others too that is included in this caveat of positioning in the kingdom. You know the two greatest commandments, right? Love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and, love your neighbour as yourself. (Mark 12:30,31) These are the two commands that pervade all commandments. Practice and teach these two great commandments and great will be your honour in the kingdom.
The working out of the kingdom, here on earth as it is in heaven, is dependent upon the living and the sharing of God’s way of life. God gave us these commands to reveal to us the way to live. Kingdom of heaven participation is not just believing it, rather it is to be living it.
Prayer: Father God, thank you for revealing to us how to live out your kingdom here on earth. Help us to not break the least of your commandments, and enable us to live and teach the two greatest commandments. Amen
- Pastor Dale