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That Golden Rule....

I realize that some folks come to church seeking to learn more about the Christian Faith, or wanting to become converted and become a disciple of Christ, but most of us reading this devotion or here today, do so because we think it’s the right thing to do… out of habit… because we’re coerced…to increase our faith, etc. Most of us are already Christians, but according to scripture, all of us need to be reminded of what we’re supposed to be!

If you read the gospels, its totally clear that He was teaching us at least two things:

1. How those who call God their Father are supposed to be living, and

2. How to get back on track if we’ve lost our way.

So today, I would like to remark about what is foundational for being a true son or daughter of God, and what is perhaps most lacking among adults in the world today. Here’s what Jesus said: “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 7:12 What do you think He meant when He said, “Everything”? All things—-in church, family, work, politics….with friends, enemies, neighbors, aliens—-all things to all people!

Friends, if we were naturally putting others first and treating people well..all of us…all the time, Jesus would never have uttered those words. And if after you became a Christian, you never failed to do live like Jesus preached, , the other books of the New Testament would not have returned and reminded us of the same topic.

But frankly, we often ignore this—even those of us who are older and know better. We’re not always nice to each other. We’re not always fair and we quite often imagine the worse, not the best of fellow Christians.

At camp, and after working with youth and children for 48 years now, I have heard one phrase, in every language I know, every summer. And that phrase is: “It’s not fair.” My sons speak those words every week of the year in reference to school, sports, friendships, and so forth, But Tommy and Tyler never say “it’s not fair”, when they get more than they deserve or when they do not get the punishment or negative consequence they’ve merited. But every child on this planet is aware of what is “fair” and what isn’t. It is one of the arguments a Christian apologist uses to prove the very existence of God! Something within us knows what’s fair and what’s not fair— in every culture of every continent—and it’s not something learned, it is passed down from the image of God within us.

This idea of what’s fair, again, is common to all mankind—it is innate to human beings and how is has nothing to do with animal-like behavior. It points toward our divine creation and our Creator. He wants us to treat people right.

But when my sons are consistently unfair, but fight and cry about what’s not fair to their advantage, I am stuck but just like the boys I sometimes am. To my shame, I sometimes smile when I see a State Trooper pull over the driver of a fancy new sports car, yet I cringe each time a deputy or trooper even starts following me! The last thing I want is for that traffic officer to judge me “fairly” (I have a heavy foot quite often and I am sure that there is something he cold find wrong with my Jeep if he looked carefully enough.)

But imagine today how different—and unpleasant—your life and my life would be if we really got what we deserved! We would be humbled, regardless of how meek and gentle we might try to appear to others. How miserable life would be for all of us if we received exactly what we deserved—-and yet how consistently and piously we want “justice served” to the other person!

Notwithstanding the penalty of sin (something that hangs over all our heads), it’s the little lies and little laws that we break that cause us personal grief and shame. What if we really received each day precisely what we deserved from our fellow man? Be careful of hoping for justice to be served to your enemies—someone might be praying the same prayer against you.

Finally, what if I were treated just like I treated the least person I came across today? What if I truly and literally did to others (the least one) what was done to me? There are times when I have been accused of being too full of grace and mercy, but I think that I am far from that. I am compassionate and merciful to some, but not to everyone, and that’s where I fail. It’s far better that I am treated unfairly, cheated, disenfranchised and wronged than to deny them the same grace and mercy that I desperately need from a compassionate Father.

Do I want to be treated fairly by my fellow man? No, I want to be treated a bit better! Do I want to be treated fairly by God? Absolutely not! I beg for His mercy. But am I not required to give in the same manner I hope to receive? Is anyone here truly presumptuous and blind enough to think he/she should be treated fairly by God. We demand justice from God—but not in our own lives! We need His mercy and grace. And Jesus was crystal clear—-treat others like you want God to treat you.

Let me conclude with this: There’s some truth to adage that what goes around come around. That’s not from the Bible, but it’s a truth taken from the Bible. Here’s what God’s Word say:

Matthew 7:1-2 - “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Jesus said this, not Matthew…..or me!

Galatians 6:7-8 - “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.” Paul spoke those sober words. What seeds of passion did you plant this past week?

Ecclesiastes 7:21-22 -“Do not pay attention to every word people say, or you may hear your servant cursing you—for you know in your heart that many times you yourself have cursed others.” The wisest man to live said this. True words to live by. If you talk bad about others, but 100% sure that others talk bad about you.

Well? Is this true or not? Can God’s Word be trusted or not? Is He trying to scare us or save us from a miserable life!? These are eternal truths for the Christian and non-believer alike. God’s Word is His final pronouncement on all humanity about what’s right and what’s wrong in regard to how we treat each other. So how would you describe yourself right now?

a. Some folks whine and dither about how bad things are—but praise God, some are constantly encouraging, positive and enthusiastic. Which are you?

b. Some folks gossip and spread innuendos—some spread hope and joy and only speak about the good others.

c. Some tear down others—some build up others.

Treat others like you want to be treated, or you might find out that you’re being treated just as bad as you treat others. The most miserable creatures I have ever come upon are the Christians that treat folks unkind, with a lack of respect, dismissively, arrogantly or of little value, and then become bitter because they receive the same thing they’ve meted out—with interest.

I have learned that those that cheat others are usually cheated. Those that treat others shamefully are very often treated shamefully. Those that constantly find the errors, hidden sins and character flaws in others will eventually find out that they are being measured the same way.

Do you want His mercy? Then show mercy. Do you crave to be noticed and accepted? Then notice and accept others. Do you want to be heard, respected and appreciated? The listen to the other, show respect and appreciation to the least in this church!

Consider for a moment the humiliation of our President, Joe Biden, as his son, Hunter, is facing the prospect of a trial, years in jail, and the ignominy of being the first child a sitting president convicted of a felony and sent to prison. It’s embarrassing for all of us! And consider the real possibility of a former President, Donald Trump, being equally humiliated and sent to prison. Hunter and Donald probably broke some laws, thought they were above the law, and acted foolishly. But there but by the grace of God go you and I!

What is so distasteful to me is that Mr. Trump appears unwilling, at least up to this point, to show compassion to Joe Biden. President Biden loves his son, flaws, perversion, lewdness, and stupidity notwithstanding. Hunter is President Biden’s son, for goodness sake. Maybe it would not impress anyone else, but I know my Redeemer, and He would be proud, and I believe that many people around the world might change their negative opinion about Mr. Trump, if he showed to Joe Biden, the same compassion he would appreciate if one of his sons were in such a negative spotlight and mess!

Mr. Trump: take the high road! Consider President Biden’s needs and his son’s brokenness as if it were your own—and see how God blesses your heart, and perhaps your aspirations for re-election.

The same could be said of course for Joe Biden! Mr. Biden: look at the constant, daily attacks Donald Trump endures—and even if he deserves all the humiliating subpoenas and criminal charges, how could it not but help you, and our country, if you showed kindness to him and said something gentle and encouraging to him!

But sadly, the two men that are fighting to become the most powerful man on the planet, are actually very small men, indeed.

We seem to be producing small people in greater numbers of late. Choose to be a giant for Jesus Christ and treat others like you want to be treated. BE the example our politicians and media stars seem incapable of being…

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1 comentário

Kefren Espinoza
Kefren Espinoza
08 de ago. de 2023

amazing, I really like waking up reading the word of Jesus... God bless Dean Barley a man who makes America great!!!

Kefren fromNicaragua.

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