Something that is essential is of vital, foundational importance.
The essence is the simple, crystal-clear, distilled bottom-line.
While the Bible contains nothing but truth, have you ever noticed those short, pithy verses that really sum up the essence of a particular concept? We could also call them maxims or axioms.
For example, if we had to summarize all the commandments in the entire Bible, could we do it? Yes! Yeshua gave us two essential truths that sum up what we have to do:
“‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire Torah and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:37-40)
- Love God with all your heart, soul, and mind.
- Love your neighbor as yourself.
These two simple statements clarify what we need to do, although the actual process of changing ourselves from selfish and rebellious to loving is not easy. With a loving community, daily renewing our mind in the Bible, and worship and praise in our hearts continually, we can change!
“But we all, with unveiled faces beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory—just as from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:18, emphasis added)
Not surprising, the Bible offers many more distilled words that help us focus our minds on His truth. Here are a few more to meditate on over the next days and weeks:
- Give and it will be given to you.
We generally like to receive gifts from others. Whether we want more time with someone or more respect or more money in our bank account, Yeshua set forth this rule, this truth: “Give, and it will be given to you—a good measure, pressed down, shaken together, overflowing, will be given into your lap. For whatever measure you measure out will be measured back to you” (Luke 6:38).
- Forgive and you will be forgiven.
The “Sermon on the Mount” is full of great truths but for me the most poignant is this one found in Luke 6:37. We all mess up. Sometimes even in huge ways with those closest to us. We desperately want to take back those words or those actions but … we cannot. The most we can hope for is to receive forgiveness. Before we expect forgiveness from others, let’s consider, “Who has wronged us?” Then go back and think of the people who really, really messed up and did us wrong. Now, start a conversation today with someone you trust on how you can start forgiving that person who wronged you.
- Whoever loses his life for My sake will save it.
Three of the four gospels record this statement. One gospel even repeats it twice, eight chapters apart. If this wasn’t enough to highlight the importance of this simple rule, let me help: THIS IS IMPORTANT! The full verse states, “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it” (Luke 9:24). We must be that living sacrifice, trusting God will save us in the end.
Meditate on these five essential truths of God’s Kingdom this month, and see what truth can do in you.
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