Friday, March 15, 2013

The Golden Rule

Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him? 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. - Matthew 7:7-12
At first glance, this passage is about seeking God and asking blessings from Him. But then, the last sentence seems to be completely unrelated, except for the fact that it starts with "Therefore..."

Therefore, whatever you want people to do to you, do to them. We candidly call this the "golden rule." Basically, it means that you shouldn't expect people to do for you what you are not willing to do for them. I shouldn't expect you to make me food and take care of me when I'm sick, if I am not willing to do the same for you, we're our positions reversed.

I could not see how this "golden rule" tied in with the previous verses, and I was praying that God would show me why they seem to be linked together. Then He showed me a beautiful picture of His character...

Vs 11 describes "how much more" the Father will give good things to us. It reminded me of this verse:

He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?- Romans 8:32

The Father freely gave us all things in the gift of His Son, which in reality is a gift of Himself. If an earthly parent gives good things to his children, the Father does infinitely more. God, in the person of the Son, "gave Himself" for us. This is the ultimate gift, giving oneself to another. Another word we use for this is "surrender."

This, then, is what God is like: He doesn't expect us to do for Him what He is not willing to do for us. He doesn't ask us to give all ourselves to Him without first giving all Himself to us. He doesn't ask for full surrender and entire consecration without first doing the same for us.

God lives by His own golden rule.

He does to us what He would have us do Him. From the very beginning of time, He gave Himself and committed Himself unreservedly to a deep, personal, and eternal relationship with each one of us; and He longs to reciprocate this response in us towards Him. This is why John says, "We love Him because He first loved us" (1 John 4:19). God is the ultimate Initiator. He loved us first, and then and only then He asks us to love Him in return.

Interestingly enough, Jesus says that this principle "is the Law and the Prophets." This is because the Law and the Prophets are a picture, a Story, of a God who lives by His own golden rule -- who loves first, gives first, and surrenders first, before He ever asks for the same in return.

And He does ask. He longs. He wants to have that deep, personal, and eternal relationship with us. This is why He gave Himself for us, even to death. It is only after He has given all that He asks the same from us.

God lives by His own golden rule.

What will be your response?

2 comments:

  1. Praise the Lord! Our God is so amazing. His love is beyond words...this tied in so perfectly with what I've been thinking of lately. Thanks for sharing!

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  2. The fact that everything we are called to do is merely a response is what keeps me going. I can have faith because I know that He's faithful. I can take part in the great commission because I know that He's the first and greatest missionary of all time. I can pray for others because He lives to make intercession for me.

    Most of all; I can love. But only because He loved me first.

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