Mama Always Said

Happy Mother’s Day!

I grew up in an environment that would be strange to many children today. My daddy worked and brought home the bacon”. Mama worked too – she was in charge of the household and the three children in it. Many mothers today cannot stay at home with their children, but are forced by a poor economy to work outside the home. Though we were poor, daddy kept enough money coming in from his Upholstery Shop to where mama could stay at home. And mama ruled and taught the kids.

That alone is strange to many parents today. The truth is, many homes are ruled by the children, not by the parents. That’s not the way it’s supposed to be. Evangelist Dwight L. Moody recounted the following event. He wrote:

A mother told me up in Minnesota that she had a little child who took a book and threw it out a window. She told him to go and pick it up. The little boy said “I won’t”. She said “What?” He said again “I won’t”. She said “You must. Go and pick up that book.” … She took him out {and sat him before the book}. Dinner time came and he hadn’t picked up the book. She took him to dinner, and after it was over took him out again. They sat there until tea time. When tea time came she took him in and gave him supper, and then took him out and kept him there until bed time. The next morning she went out again and kept him until dinner time. He found he was in for a life job, so he picked the book up. She said she never had any trouble with the child afterwards.”

Moody ended the illustration with these words.

Mothers, if you don’t make your {child} obey when he is young, he will break your heart.”

Children must be raised, not placated. As the twig is bent, so grows the tree. Thank God for mothers who raise their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord! I thank God for a godly mother and grandmother who taught me the Word of God and the Way of God.

There was a rule that Mama taught us children from the earliest days of our lives. That rule was called “The Golden Rule”. I don’t remember Mama telling me that the “Golden Rule” came from Jesus, but it does.

The Golden Rule is found in Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. Let’s read it together:

Matthew 7:12   Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.

I cannot remember the last time I have ever heard a preacher preach on the Golden Rule. In fact, I myself have never preached on the Golden Rule. But my mama and grandma taught this rule to me. It is time that we examine this rule and get it down into our hearts. We need to start teaching this Rule to our children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. The Golden Rule is the grand theme of the Scripture. C.H. Spurgeon said:

While the golden rule is more admired than practiced by ordinary men, the Christian should always do unto others as he would that they should do unto him. He should be one whose word is his bond, and who, having once pledged his word, swears to his own hurt, but changes not. There ought to be an essential difference between the Christian and the best moralist, by reason of the higher standard which the gospel inculcates, and the Savior has exemplified. Certainly, the highest point to which the best unconverted man can go might well be looked upon as a level below which the converted man will never venture to descend.”

1 This Golden Rule Is A POSITIVE, A DOING Of LOVE. It Has Been IMITATED By Religions But Never Duplicated. Though the dictionaries and many theologians may define Christianity as “religion” I don’t believe this to be true. Christianity is a RELATIONSHIP with God through the Lord Jesus Christ.

As Jesus was and as Jesus walked so we who love Him should be and walk.

When you compare Christ’s Golden Rule with the religions of the world you see an immediate difference. World religions state:

Confucianism

Do NOT do to others what you would NOT like yourself. Then there will be no resentment against you, either in the family or in the state. Analects 12:2

Buddhism

Hurt NOT others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful. Udana-Varga 5,1

Hinduism

This is the sum of duty; do NAUGHT onto others what you would NOT have them do unto you. Mahabharata 5,1517

Judaism
(Hillel the Elder)

What is hateful to you, do NOT do to your fellowman. This is the entire Law; all the rest is commentary. Talmud, Shabbat 3id

Taoism

Regard your neighbor’s gain as your gain, and your neighbor’s loss as your own loss. Tai Shang Kan Yin P’ien

Zoroastrianism

That nature alone is good which REFRAINS from doing another whatsoever is not good for itself. Dadisten-I-dinik, 94,5

These are all called SILVER Rules rather than the Golden Rule because the Silver Rule forbids harm but does not demand a doing of good. The Golden Rule says “Whatever you want others to do to you, do to them”.

For instance, it would be a violation of the Silver Rule to rob someone or to murder or kidnap or otherwise harm a person. The Silver Rule says “do not do the bad thing”. The Golden Rule, on the other hand, states simply “Do the good thing”. Let me use an example I’ve heard before. The Silver Rule says “do not rob a person of their money, because you would not want that done to yourself”. But if you find a purse full of money in a parking lot the Silver Rule says nothing at all about this. This is where the often stated:

Finders Keepers, Losers Weepers

is found. The Silver Rule is a half rule. Wayne Jackson wrote in his article Gold, Silver, and Iron: Three Rules of Human Conduct:

In 1964, there was a case that shook this country at its very foundation. Catherine Genovese was returning from a night job to her apartment in the respectable Kew Gardens area of New York City. As she approached her home in the early hours of that April morning, she was attacked by a knife-wielding assailant. He stabbed her repeatedly, fleeing the bloody scene as she screamed for help, only to return—when no one responded to her cries—stabbing her again and again, until she died. The subsequent police investigation revealed that thirty-eight residents of the neighborhood admitted that they witnessed at least a part of the attack. No one went to her aid; not a soul telephoned the police—until after she was dead!”

This was shocking in 1964 – and yet it is common place today. Those who live by the Silver Rule may do no actual harm or hurt to another … but neither do they act in a positive way to help others. People who live by the Silver Rule may be “good” people, but they are marked by their words and inactions:

It’s not my problem.

Let someone else do it.

What’s in it for me?

Jesus showed the difference between the Silver and Golden Rule in His parable of the Good Samaritan. One day a Lawyer came to Jesus and – as Lawyers often do – asked a Lawyer question. He asked:

Luke 10:25 …. Master, what shall I do to INHERIT eternal life?

How can I INHERIT eternal life. Now this is a good question. INHERIT. An INHERITANCE is something you receive on the basis of grace. You cannot work for an INHERITANCE.

When little Jasper was born into the Tilley Family he was born unable to feed, clothe and protect himself. He can barely hold his head up. But already he has more INHERITANCE in the Tilley Family than I do. I have been feeding and clothing myself for many years, but I have NO INHERITANCE in this family. But Jasper does. Why?

Because he was born into that family. Because his daddy and mommy are Tilleys. The Lawyer knew that Eternal Life is only that which is given to Children of God, that it is an INHERITANCE granted to those born into His Kingdom. The Lawyer asked a Legal Question – so Jesus responded with the Law …

Luke 10:26 … What is written in the law? how readest thou?

The Lawyer – familiar with the Law as all good Lawyers are – said:

Luke 10:27 … Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; AND thy neighbor as thyself.

Those who love God with all their heart, soul, strength, and mind are the Children of God. And Children of God “love their neighbors as themselves”. Jesus once more quoted the Golden Rule. The Golden Rule states:

Matthew 7:12 Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.

Whatsoever you would that men should do to YOU, do to them. Love your neighbor as yourself is just a shortened form of the Golden Rule. Eternal Life is something that is INHERITED, received because you are born into the Family of God. But if you’re born into the Family of God you are to live by the Golden Rule of the Family, not by the Silver Rule of the world.

Jesus went on to illustrate with the Parable of the Good Samaritan.

Luke 10:30-36 … A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.   [31]   And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.   [32]   And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.   [33]   But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,   [34]   And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.   [35]   And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.   [36]   Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbor unto him that fell among the thieves?

In the parable an unknown man – we do not know if he is Jew or Gentile, whether rich or poor, whether “Red or Yellow, Black or White” (they are precious in His sight). This man was attacked by thieves, thieves who stripped him of his clothes and wounded him, leaving him half dead.

The thieves broke the Silver Rule.

When the Priest came by and saw him what did he do? He passed by on the other side.

The Priest DID NOT break the Silver Rule.

The Silver Rule says “do not do what would be hurtful to you to others”. The Priest had nothing to do with this man’s injuries. He just moved on. And then a Levite – a lesser Priest of Israel – came by and did the same thing.

The Levite or Lesser Priest DID NOT break the Silver Rule.

Listen Beloved – If you or I were beaten and left lying half dead on the side of the road I would want someone to help me. The Silver Rule says “Do nothing hurtful”. The Golden Rule says “Do SOMETHING HELPFUL”.

The Samaritan …                        … a man often hated and reviled because of his heritage

… a man despised by Jews and ridiculed by Gentiles

… a man from the other side of the tracks

The Samaritan had compassion on the wounded man. The word “compassion” according to Webster’s Dictionary means “sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it”. The Greek is σπλαγχνίζομαι splagchnizomai (pronounced splangkh-nid’-zom-ahee) which means to feel sympathy or empathy toward another. The Samaritan had been beaten up and robbed in life, and rather than become bitter reached out to help others who were in the same situation …. to do unto others as you would have them do unto you. This is what a Child of God does.

2 The Golden Rule Is Not Only POSITIVE, But It Is ALL INCLUSIVE.

Matthew 7:12 Therefore ALL THINGS WHATSOEVER ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.

A woman was married to a very miserly man – he counted every penny and made her account for every dollar their entire married life. But one thing this man wanted above all else was a good funeral. He set aside $30,000 for his funeral, and made his wife sign a paper agreeing that she would spend every penny on his funeral when he died. One day he died, and the wife contacted the Church, the Funeral Home, and the Caterers. It was a good event, but not as lavish as many expected. The woman’s best friend asked her afterward “Did you really spend $30,000 on your late husband’s funeral?” She said “Absolutely! The casket was $4000, the Caterer and Flowers were $3000 and the Funeral Director’s fee was $3000.” Her friend said “But that’s only $10,000.” The wife replied, “I know, but I spent $20,000 on a Memorial Stone”. Her friend said, “$20,000 for a Memorial Stone! That’s a lot of money. How big is the stone?” The wife replied, “About 2 ½ Carats”.

I don’t think either the wife or her late great husband employed the Golden Rule!

In “all things whatsoever” that you would have someone do to you, do unto them. All things. All things. The Children of God are called to be Positive Additions in a negative world.

Jesus said:

Matthew 5:14 (KJV) Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.

Light does not contribute to the darkness. Light shines, and chases away the darkness. Light and dark cannot coexist – one or the other will always rule. We who belong to God in Christ are Children of Light. Jesus said:

Matthew 5:16 (KJV) Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

It brings glory to God when His Children shine in the midst of darkness, doing good for God’s sake and for His Name. Jesus said:

Matthew 5:43-45 (KJV)43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy. 44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

We are most like God’s children and closest to His design when we are not controlled by evil, but by love. Light shines, and if the love of God has shined in your hearts then we are to do as Jesus said:

Luke 6:31-36 (KJV) And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. 32 For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them. 33 And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same. 34 And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again. 35 But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. 36 Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.

Children of God – changed by the Presence of the Holy Spirit of God – are not those who are to say “What’s in it for me?” We who are Christ’s are to be light – to shine as Jesus shined – to glorify our God in doing the Love of God.

3 It Was Not The Iron Or Silver Rule That God Used In Saving Us, But The Golden Rule.

The IRON Rule Says
“Might Makes Right”.

The SILVER Rule Says
“Do Not Hurt Others In Ways You Wouldn’t Want To Be Hurt”.

The GOLDEN Rule Says
“Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them Do Unto You”.

If God had employed the IRON Rule on us, He would have crushed humanity at the very beginning of our rebellion. If God had employed the SILVER Rule of the worldling on us He would have watched as our foreparents fell into sin and did nothing whatsoever. Yet the Bible says:

Galatians 4:4-5 (KJV) But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, 5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.

God could have left us in our sins. But God did not. God sent forth His Son to a rebellious and sinful people. God sent forth His Only Begotten Son to those who were dead in trespasses and in sins.

Romans 5:8-10 (KJV) But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. 10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

We neither earned nor deserved the love of God, but God offered His love to us even now. Saved by a mercy that we do not deserve we who are God’s Children are called to love the unlovable, to do the good we want done to ourselves to those who will not do good to us. God loved us when we were (and are) unlovable … we are likewise to love Him. Dr. Paul Chappell writes:

“Charles Spurgeon was the most famous preacher in the world during his lifetime. But there were many other well-known preachers with large churches in London. One of them was pastored by a man named Joseph Parker. At one point, Spurgeon ran a large orphanage to take care of children who had no parents, and Parker made a remark about the awful lives those children faced. The remark was reported publicly as a criticism of the conditions inside Spurgeon’s orphanages.

A furious Spurgeon went to the pulpit and harshly criticized Parker. The sermon was, as were all of Spurgeon’s sermons, printed in the papers, and London eagerly awaited the following Sunday to see how Parker would respond. Rather than refuting what Spurgeon had said, Parker simply announced to the packed auditorium that they were going to take up a special offering for Spurgeon’s orphanages. The ushers had to empty the offering plates three times! Later that week Spurgeon arrived at Parker’s office and said, ‘Parker, you have practiced grace on me. You have given me not what I deserved, you have given me what I needed.’ “

God gave us what we needed in salvation – not what we DESERVED (for we all deserve hell) but what we NEEDED. We needed forgiveness. We needed mercy. We needed acceptance into the Family of God. We needed the purging of our sins. We needed a better goal than the finite pitiful goals of this world. We needed God.

God is the Gospel. God offers Himself to us in the Gospel. And if saved, we are to be like our Father.

I close with these timeless words of Scripture:

Romans 12:19-21 (KJV) Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. 20 Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. 21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

May God touch your hearts with His Word.

About bibleteacherorg

A searching pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. I am looking for the Church. Most of what I see today is not the Church, but clubs, where members sit in padded pews and drink deeply of self. I am looking for a people willing to be righteous not self righteous, serving not served, In short, I am looking and praying for a people who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. I hope I find this people before it's too late.
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