Summary: Acts 10:38-10:38 Based upon the book "Three Simple Rules" "A Wesley Way of Living" by Rueben P. Job. This is the fifth in the "Three Simple Rules" series, part 2 of "Do Good." We’ve learned it sounds simple, easily understood, but challenging to live out
Matthew 5: 43-45
We continue to explore John Wesley’s “Three Simple Rules” Do no harm, Do Good and Stay in love with God.
You know, just when we think we are ready to buy into the idea of not doing harm, of “Do no Harm,” to anyone or anything, we find ourselves facing an even more difficult choice, “do good.” Now, things begin to get complicated…
Once again, we remember the words of Jesus…”But I say to you that listen, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you” (Luke 6: 27-28)
Wesley’s challenge to “Do Good” is a direct commandment from Jesus. While sounding simple, we’ve learned sounding simple doesn’t mean that living the rule is so simple.
Last week we began by asking ourselves, “What does it mean to do good? Where do I begin, what are the boundaries, the limits? Is this “simple” challenge too hard for me? What does it mean?” What does doing good look like in our divided, hostile, and wounded world?”
We discovered Wesley’s culture had many of the same problems and characteristics we face in our world today. Sometimes doesn’t it seem the more things change, the more they stay the same?
First, we acknowledged, “Doing good,” just like doing no harm, is a proactive way of living. We don’t need to wait until asked to do some good deed or provide some needed help or wait until circumstances cry out for help. We can decide to do our very best to insure our way of living is always focused toward doing good to all in every circumstance and in every way we can. We can decide to choose a way of living intended to nourishes goodness and strengthen community.
I realize this is no small task. To live this way requires careful and constant assessment of our lives and the world in which we live. This will be hard. “Doing good” requires an even more bold and radical step than not doing harm
Last week I shared with you a realization God gave to me when sitting in the back of the sanctuary during VBS; about the enthusiasm of the children; the obvious desire of many of those young boys and girls to learn about Jesus.
I told you, and I think you agreed there is no doubt what so ever that God plants within every soul the desire to know Him intimately and to share in His love and compassion and joy in fellowship with one another. Those children were like sponges, anxious to soak up this love.
I shared how I began to realize as an adult, I’ve become hardened. How I’ve formed opinions. But of course, I never have an opinion unless I’m right! I’ve become hardened because I have failed to keep my eyes and heart on Jesus all the time. 100% of the time. And because of this failure, through life’s experiences, and poor decisions, too often I have failed to live out these three simple rules.
As I watched the children, I remembered how Jesus always had a tender caring heart for children. I remembered He said we should all be like children.
Psalm 103: 13 As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him.
Matthew 19:14 Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
Matthew 23:37 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing.
Matthew 18: 3 And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
For just a moment I was sad because I realized how far away from that childlike desire to know Jesus I have come; to know the simple pure joy of the love of Christ filling my heart and spilling over into my every action, every word, every thought.
The good new is this, if we are sincerely willing to go forward, Jesus always gives us another chance. Remember, he loves us just as we are, but He wants to move us to where we can be.
Now, I don’t think this is what Jesus was talking about… but it does show the genuineness and innocence of a child…
A little boy was overheard praying:
’Lord, if you can’t make me a better boy, don’t worry about it.
I’m having a real good time like I a m. ’
After the christening of his baby brother in church,