Grace For The Journey
Studies have shown that the happiest people in the world are those who invest their time in helping others. How happy are you? The Bible says in Matthew 7:12,
“Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.”
These words from our Lord Jesus Christ’s Sermon on the Mount are frequently referred to as “The Golden Rule.” This teaching of Jesus is rooted in the Old Testament, which makes perfect sense seeing that the Bible is . . .
More than 1,500 years earlier, our Sovereign Lord had instructed the children of Israel in Leviticus 19:18,33-34,
“And if a stranger dwells with you in your land, you shall not mistreat him. You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD” … “The stranger who dwells among you shall be to you as one born among you, and you shall love him as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.”
So, what exactly is this Golden Rule all about? As an authoritative standard . . .
The Golden Rule is above all other rules
In both prominence and purity.
It is designed to govern
Our conduct and to grow our capacity
To bring ultimate glory to God
Incredible good to others.
I have heard it said that Jesus was not really teaching anything new here; that all religions teach basically the same principle, since at the core (“it is said”) all religions are fundamentally the same.
Is that notion true?
Let’s take a look:
The Hindu Religion says – “This is the sum of duty: do nothing to others which if it were done to you, would cause you pain.”
The Buddhist Religion says – “Hurt not others with that which pains yourself.”
The Muslim Religion says – “No one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself.”
Jewish Traditions (Talmud) – “What is hateful to you, do not to your fellow man. That is the entire Law; all the rest is commentary.”
Confucianism says – “What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others.”
Now . . . These are all good rules to follow, but you can see a major difference:
All these other religious rules are primarily negative – Do not do
While Christ’s Golden Rule is positive and proactive – Do!
Jesus is calling us to live a life of surrender to Him that leads to joyful, intentional acts of loving, voluntary service.
Living out the Golden Rule tells the world Whose we are.
By nature, as children of Adam, we all live self-centered lives. But when we turn from going our own way, accept what Jesus did on the cross and the empty tomb, and ask Him to be our Savior and Lord, we are raised from death to life by the power and grace of the Spirit of God, and that leads us to lay our lives down for others with hearts that beat for nothing other than Jesus . . . who, while we were still sinners, laid down His life for us.
So . . .
Does the Golden Rule rule in your life?
It is important that I add one final point before I end today’s blog.
I said earlier that “It is said” that . . .
“All religions are fundamentally the same.”
No statement could be more fundamentally false!
- All the other religions and all the cults require man to strive to ascend to God by living a life of good works that will make him acceptable to God.
- Only Christianity teaches that God descended to man in gracious love, because we are completely incapable of ascending to a perfectly holy God.
- Only Christianity teaches that God alone has done all the work required for our salvation, all the work that makes us acceptable to Him – Jesus last words on the cross were, “It is finished!”
Therefore . . .
We do our good works because God so loves us,
Not to try to make God love us.
This is God Word … This is Grace for your Journey …
Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!
Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”
Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”