Summary: How we treat others will largely affect how they treat us, and understanding Christ’s golden rule will bless us as we deal with others.
A Great Rule to Live By
Griffith Baptist Church – 3/2/08
Text: Matthew 7:12
Life is filled with rules
Here are some rules given by different dad’s to their kids:
Never underestimate the power of human stupidity. - Rich Constand’s Dad
An excuse is a poor patch for the garment of failure. - Bruce Ley’s Dad
Always throw away the box when you take the last piece of candy. - Paul Whalen’s Dad
Honesty is like a trail, once you get off it you realize you are lost. - Mark Young’s Dad
Wherever you are in life, first make friends with the cook. - Bill Lewis’s Dad
Don’t shake the tree too hard, you never know what might fall out. - Timothy Davis’s Dad
A closed mouth gathers no feet. - John Beard, Jr.’s Dad
The second time you get kicked in the head by a mule it’s not a learning experience. - Ebb Dozier, Jr.’s Dad
You need to do what you have to do before you can do what you want to do. - Reed Caster’s Dad
This is a democratic family; everyone gets a vote and I get five. - Carolee Wende’s Dad
Never be so broke that you cannot afford to pay attention. - Michael Brose’s Dad
Don’t be foolish just because you know how to. - Maynard Alfstad’s Dad
And last, The golden rule: the guy who’s got the gold makes the rules. - Paul Wagner’s Dad
From U.S.A. Today, Monday, June 15, p. 11c.
Well, some are great and some not so great
When Jesus gives us a rule, it is a good and beneficial one.
Rule = an authoritative, prescribed direction for conduct, a usual, customary, or generalized course of action or behavior.
Here, in this chapter, Christ is confronting us with change in our behavior. Understand this:
o This command can only be applied by those who wish to please God
o Change comes when the will is surrendered first. It may not be our nature to make the change, but as we work on it, our nature will eventually improve by habit (Rom. 7:15-25)
What code of conduct do you live by when it comes to others?
Transitional Statement: We first need to take a close look at the attitude of a changed life so we can execute this command with a proper heart in proportion to the command.
1. Attitudes of a Changed Life
A. Genuine Impartiality (7:1-5)
i. When we see the word “therefore” we need to take a look at the previous text.
ii. We need to be free of partiality
iii. We would expect a fair shake and right judgment from others about ourselves, we should expect no less from ourselves about others. Micah 6:8 - He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?
iv. How do we treat others, the same or with judgmental attitude? - James 2:1-4 – 1My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons. 2For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment; 3And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool: 4Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts? (see also James 3:17)
v. I read about an incident that reminded me of a great principle. In the late 1700’s, the manager of Baltimore’s largest hotel refused lodging to a man dressed like a farmer because he thought this fellow’s appearance would discredit his inn. So the man left. Later that evening, the innkeeper discovered that he had turned away none other than Thomas Jefferson! Immediately he sent a note to the famed patriot, asking him to come back and be his guest. Jefferson replied by instructing his messenger as follows: "Tell him I have already engaged a room. I value his good intentions highly but if he has no place for a dirty American farmer, he has none for the Vice President of the United States." Likewise, the Lord is often pushed aside in our lives because we disregard needy believers of humble circumstances. We forget that Christ may be in the small child who needs attention, the exhausted wife who needs encouragement, or the frustrated laborer who needs recognition. He might be in the grieving grandmother, the lonely shut-in, or the struggling neighbor. They may seem to have little to offer, but if we show kindness to the "least of these," it’s as if we are doing it to Christ. --Daily Bread