The Second Greatest Commandment
A Simple Guideline – Part I
Scripture Reading: Matthew 7:12-14 (NLT)
Key Verse: Matthew 7:12 (NLT) “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets”.
Have you heard people say that they do not read the Bible because it is too hard to understand?
Today’s Key Verse does not fall into the category of “too hard to understand”. It is widely known as the “Golden Rule” and is a simple guideline for anybody wanting to live like Jesus.
Notice that this “Golden Rule” is the essence of all that the law and prophets teach and is very similar language to our month’s theme of loving your neighbor. Jesus summed up the two greatest commands with:
“The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:40 NLT)
If someone were to ask: “How do I love God and my neighbor as myself?”, the simple guideline is to treat others as you would want them to treat you.
An old and wise saying is: “The main things in the Bible are the plain things, and the plain things are the main things”. So, if a person wants to know and live what Jesus teaches, they can read and obey the plain things and not worry about the things they do not understand.
Most scriptures that we find hard to understand become more clear as we go to church on Sunday and listen to teachers and pastors explain them. There are some scriptures that we will never completely understand but they have little to do with the “main things” of our salvation and walk with God.
If we are going to persevere and make it to heaven, we must keep our faith in God’s wisdom and that He shows us all that is necessary to walk with Him. Remember that choosing to go with God by believing in Jesus is not the easiest way to do life. The easiest way to live is follow the crowd and do whatever we feel right.
Jesus warned us about these two paths:
“You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14 NLT)
We must decide which path to take. Will you take the narrow and difficult path with Jesus, fighting the temptations to let the cravings of your flesh have its way?
Or will you simply go along with the crowd and do what is easier but ends in disaster?
The “Golden Rule” shows us how to know if we are on the right path.
Examine the past couple of weeks, have you treated those you live with and those you have been around as you want them to treat you? Have you shown mercy, or have you been critical? Have you forgiven quickly, or have you demanded justice from those who have hurt you?
Father, You have treated me with such longsuffering grace and mercy, I want to live in a way to pass this on to those around me. I ask for Your help. In Jesus’s Name, amen.