Daily Dose, June 5 — Moments to Remember

One of the scribes came near and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, he asked him, “Which commandment is the first of all?”

Jesus answered, “The first is, ‘Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one; you shall 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, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these."

Then the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher; you have truly said that ‘he is one, and besides him there is no other;’ and ‘to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the strength,’ and ‘to love one’s neighbor as oneself,’—this is much more important than all whole burnt-offerings and sacrifices."

When Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” After that no one dared to ask him any question. (Mark 12:28-34)   Dr. Bill Floyd is one of the best preachers I ever heard. He could really “bring the thunder,” as a Kentucky friend of mine likes to say. Dr. Floyd worshipped here at Alpharetta Methodist for a time, and I always enjoyed chatting with him after worship.

I invited him to breakfast at the local IHOP to talk the art and craft of preaching. We agreed on Wednesday morning at 8 a.m., and I was there at 7:50 a.m. Dr. Floyd had not arrived at 8:15 a.m., and at 8:20 a.m. I remembered there are two IHOP’s on Highway 9. I immediately called him to apologize. He answered, and I heard him loud and clear, because he was seated on the booth on the other side of the opaque orange glass that separated us by about a yard.

The experience added new meaning to the statement Jesus made to the scribe who wanted to know “which commandment is the first of all?” Loving God with all you’ve got in you and on you is commandment number 1, and number 2 is loving people. Knowing these two commandments means that you are not far from the Kingdom. But close is only good in horseshoes and hand grenades. You are not actually inside God’s Kingdom circle until you put the commandments into practice. Love is something you do. -- Y’all come, Dr. Don