Day 28 – Cardio Training

We looked at Matthew 6:33 last week and we talked about getting our focus on the Kingdom and letting Him take care of the rest as we look at the feeding of the five thousand and the importance of compassion for others, particularly the lost. This week we will be looking at Matthew 7:12 which is probably best known as the Golden Rule.

Scripture Reading

Matthew 7:12-14 (MSG)
12 “Here is a simple, rule-of-thumb guide for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you, then grab the initiative and do it for them. Add up God’s Law and Prophets and this is what you get. 13 “Don’t look for shortcuts to God. The market is flooded with surefire, easygoing formulas for a successful life that can be practiced in your spare time. Don’t fall for that stuff, even though crowds of people do. 14 The way to life—to God!—is vigorous and requires total attention.

Matthew 7:12 (NIV)
12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

The Golden Rule is the principle for how we are to treat others, how we are to relate to others, it is the relationship principle.

Most of you would probably agree that relationships can get really complicated. What am I supposed to do, what I think they are supposed to do. How I feel when they don’t do what I think they are supposed to do. How they feel when I don’t do what they think I was supposed to do.

Matthew 7:12 gives us the answer in our relationships with others. It is not do one to others before they do one to you. It is not treat people the way they have treated you. It is, treat people the way you would like to be treated. You do your part, what they do is on them. Isn’t that simple?

The point is this, that love in the Kingdom of God is different than love in the world. The biggest difference is what I would call the law of reciprocity. A mainstay in our society is the idea that I will treat you the way that you treat me. You scratch my back, I’ll scratch your. If you are nice to me, I will be nice to you. This “law of reciprocity” is an important part of what keeps our society intact. However, as the people of the Kingdom of God, we have a different standard. We are to treat people the way we want to be treated. By that I mean we are to initiate love, not just respond to it. We are to be kind to everyone, not just to the people that are kind to us. It is a completely different concept than the one that most of us are used to. We treat others right, regardless of how they treat us. All of us probably need to take a pretty good look at how well we are doing in this area of our lives. I would guess that we are way more influenced by the “law of reciprocity” than we are the “golden rule”.

Fortunately, Jesus is our model for life and ministry. He shows us how to live in relationship with God and others. To live out the golden rule we need to follow His lead and

1. Do what He did (does)

John 14:12 (NIV)
12 I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.

2. See what He saw (sees)

Matthew 9:36 (NIV)
36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.

3. Think as He thought (thinks)

Philippians 2:5 (NIV)
5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:

4. Serve as He served (serves)

Mark 10:45 (NIV)
45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

5. Love as He loved (loves)

John 13:34 (NIV)
34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.

Things look a lot different His way. I will end with this little illustration about how we tend to look at life with a pretty narrow self focus and perspective. When you look at a photograph of a group of people, which includes you, do you know how you determine whether or not you think it is a good picture? How you look. If you look good, it’s a good picture. If you look bad it’s a bad picture. That is our self focus. Life is not based on or found in how we look, but in living for Him. Loving God, loving others and loving ourselves.

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