Summary: Reasons why Jesus preached and lived by the golden rule
The Power of the Golden Rule (Matt 7:12-16)
Illustration:George Muller (1805-1898) built many orphanages at Ashley Down, England. Without a personal salary, he relied only on God to supply the money and food needed to support the hundreds of homeless children he befriended in the name of Christ. A man of radiant faith, he kept a motto on his desk for many years that brought comfort, strength, and uplifting confidence to his heart. It read, "It matters to Him about you." Muller believed that those words captured the meaning of 1 Peter 5:7, and he rested his claim for divine help on that truth. He testified at the end of his life that the Lord had never failed to supply all his needs.
1. Jesus knew that the golden rule benefits everyone, especially the first one to apply it. The Lord Jesus said, "Do to others as you would have them do to you." (Luke 6:31)
We are always guaranteed a blessing when we choose to give goodness instead of refusing to love until we have been loved first. Ask the Lord to help you apply the golden rule to every relationship in your life and ministry.
2. Jesus knew that the golden rule is especially applicable when we are criticized by those who oppose us. The Lord Jesus said, "Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you." (Luke 6:27,28)
The best way to win over those who oppose us is through the power of love. Ask the Lord for a special measure of grace to help you love those who abuse you.
3. Jesus knew that the golden rule is especially
needed in our giving. The Lord Jesus said, "Give to everyone who asks you." (Luke 6:30)
It is often most difficult to give to people who probably will not be able to repay us. The great Shepherd knew that God’s love is best evidenced by loving people who give expecting nothing in return because they know their reward is in heaven.
Ask the Lord to help you give, realizing that freely we have received therefore, we should freely give.
4. Jesus knew that the golden rule is necessary to prevent vengeful feelings and actions. The Lord Jesus knew that Paul would write, "Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written, "It is mine to avenge; I will repay, says the Lord." (Rom. 12:19)
Ask the Lord to put you in the frame of mind to give good things, even to those who oppose you. Otherwise, you may be tempted to silently revenge.
5. Jesus knew that the golden rule applies especially between husbands and wives and families. The Lord Jesus said, "Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful."
When you feel wounded, hurt or wrongly criticized by your mate, remember how merciful and forgiving the Lord is to you.
Ask the Lord for an increased capacity to show mercy as you would like to have mercy shown to you - realizing your sins of omission, disposition and commission.
6. Jesus knew that the golden rule applies to the way we should treat non-christians.
The Lord Jesus knew that Paul would write, "When we are slandered, we answer kindly. Up to this moment we have become the scum of the earth, the refuse of the world." (I Cor. 4:13)
Ask the Lord to help you overcome evil with good as it has much greater power and eternal rewards.
7. Jesus knew that the golden rule helps us initiate prayer for others. Jesus said, "Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you." (Matt. 5:44) Prayer has a way of cleaning our mind, will and emotions from anger, envy and resentment.
Ask the Lord to help you pray regularly for those who annoy you.
8. Jesus knew that the golden rule guides helps us avoid self destructive anger. Jesus knew that John would write, "If anyone says, ’I love God,’ yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen." (I John 4:20)
Ask the Lord to help you escape from the self-destructive pattern of hatred, anger and bitterness.
9. Jesus knew that the golden rule helps us withhold judgment on our enemies or our bosses. The Lord Jesus knew what Job had written, "If I have rejoiced at my enemy’s misfortune or gloated over the trouble that came to him - I have not allowed my mouth to sin by invoking a curse against his life..." (Job 31:29)
Only the Lord is in full possession of the facts; has the ability to judge impartially; and holds the right as our creator to judge correctly. Ask the Lord to help you avoid the sins of judging when only the Lord has the perfect right.