6-Week Series: Against All Odds


Summary: “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” (Luke 6:31)

The gold in the Golden Rule is not its newness but its goodness. This "rule" serves as a perfect summary of the kind of righteousness God expects in respect to Man’s relation to man. Our relationship with God is essential of our relationship with men. Breakdown in one will cause breakdown in the other. Jesus brilliantly précis the entire law into this single principle, taken from Leviticus 19:18: “Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.” The implication is that people are naturally lovers of self, and the command uses that human flaw as a place to start in how to treat others. In these words our Lord commends to us – The highest conceivable excellence is “love”. No force on the planet of earth is greater than the power of love.

Therefore the deepest longing of the human heart is to love and to be loved; we know it innately. But this longing to love and be loved often gets people into trouble because they try to fill that longing with things that simply can’t satisfy. As St. Augustine said, “our hearts are restless until they rest in God.” The longing for love in our hearts is ultimately a longing for God who is love. The Bible tells us that "God is Love" (1 John 4:8).The problem is that we all occasionally make the mistake of misdirecting our desire for love. It is called “lust” When we attach our desire for God to something finite, and particularly to something harmful, we are left empty and ultimately either failed us or failed to satisfy us. When we open our hearts to receive God’s love, our capacity to love Him and others expands. God has always given His people guidance on how they should treat one another. We tend to be selfish, unless trained otherwise. But God wants us to be considerate of others.

There are many passages in the Bible that make a connection between how we live our lives—specifically, how we deal with others—and how God deals with us. Three such verses can be found in the Sermon on the Mount. Among the “Beatitudes” First in Matthew 5, we find this: “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy” (Matthew 5:7). We all want to receive mercy when we need it, but we may not always be so eager to extend it to others! God clearly expects us to be merciful if we expect to receive the same from God. Second in Matthew 6, we notice the same principle being applied to forgiveness and forgiving: “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors” (Matthew 6:12). Again, a clear connection is made—this time between being forgiving toward others and receiving God’s forgiveness for ourselves.

Third In the area of judging others, Jesus made it quite clear that we will receive judgment from Him in the same manner we judge others. “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you” (Matthew 7:1-2). This passage tells us that when we judge others, we are setting the standard He will use in judging us! Golden rule teaches us that the standard we set up for others must be the measure of our own conduct. If Jesus is truly our Lord, then His “golden rule” will govern our life. This is why John Wesley, founder of the Methodist movement, wrote a challenging poem that worth practicing …..

Do all the good you can,

By all the means you can,

In all the ways you can,

In all the places you can,

At all the times you can,

To all the people you can,

As long as ever you can.

May this be the way in which we live and are recognized by those we meet each day.

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