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The Golden Rule of Success

In Touch / Charles Stanley
The Truth Network Radio
August 27, 2022 12:00 am

The Golden Rule of Success

In Touch / Charles Stanley

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August 27, 2022 12:00 am

Hear how your attitude shapes your future and determines your success or failure.

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Welcome to this weekend's In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley. God's laws are in operation all the time. Today's podcast points believers to the principle of sowing and reaping.

Learn why and how this works. Our attitude shapes our future. And when I think about how all this works together, I think about it this way. We have to direct our thoughts, control our emotions if we're going to enjoy success in life. Well, one single verse of Scripture Jesus told us, gave us one of the most important keys of success to be found anywhere in the Scripture. It's a very simple key, but it's a very profound one without which if you and I violate this particular attitude, we're not going to be successful no matter who we are and what we do in life.

In fact, this is so simple that even a child can understand this principle. But it's one that is so profound in the other light that apart from the Holy Spirit, none of us would be able to carry it out. Remember that our definition of success is the continuous achievement of becoming the person God wants us to be and accomplishing or achieving those goals that He's helped us to set for our life. Well, I want you to turn, if you will, to the Sermon on the Mount. And you'll recall that's Matthew five, six and seven. And I want you to turn, if you will, to the seventh chapter of Matthew.

And the title of this message is The Golden Rule of Success. And I want you to begin, if you will, in this particular passage in verse seven, where Jesus is talking about prayer and He says, Asking it shall be given you, seeking you shall find, knocking it shall be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it shall be opened. Or what man is there among you when his son shall ask for loaf, will he give him a stone?

Or if he asks for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him? And then He says, Therefore, that is based on what He had just said, However you want people to treat you, so treat them, for this is the law and the prophets. Now He said, Therefore, because He had just finished saying, How much more will the heavenly Father give you, that is the good things in life, to those of us who ask Him? And then He says, Therefore, based on the fact that God is a good God, and desires the best for us, and is willing to give us the good things in life. Therefore, however you want people to treat you, so treat them, for this is the law and the prophets.

Now what in the world? How could this be a principle of success? Why did Jesus make this statement? And how does this relate to the whole idea of success?

So that's what I want to talk about primarily. I want us to look, for example, at the law of the Scripture upon which this principle and this law is based. So I want you to turn to another passage of Scripture. Turn to Galatians chapter six. Galatians chapter six, and I want you to notice what Paul said to the Galatian church.

Very important message here. Galatians chapter six, look at this. Beginning in verse six, And let the one who is taught the Word share all good things with him who teaches. Do not be deceived, God is not mocked, for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh, shall from the flesh reap corruption. But the one who sows to the Spirit, shall from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we shall reap if we do not grow weary. So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all men, and especially to those who have the household of faith. And you say, what in the world does that have to do with success, and what in the world does it have to do with doing unto others as you would have them do unto you?

It has everything to do with it. Now watch this. What does this passage of Scripture say? Scripture says, Be not deceived. That means don t allow yourself to believe something that is not true. Don t allow Satan to distort the truth in some fashion that you believe a lie.

Do not be deceived. Then he says, God is not mocked. That is, you can t change his law, break yourself over it.

You can t change it, can t circumvent it, can t sneak around it, and you listen, you may try to act as if it s not here, but it is here. God is not mocked. Be not deceived. And then he says, Whatever a man or woman sows, that s what they re going to reap. He says, If you sow to your life corruption, you ll reap corruption. If you sow in your life the Spirit, you ll reap the Spirit, the fruits of it.

So let s look at that for a moment. When he says, We are always sowing and reaping, you think about this, every morning you and I get up, we start, we wake up, we start sowing. In our thoughts, we begin to sow thoughts, positive or negative, good or evil. In our actions, our attitudes, our habits all day long, we are sowing either to the flesh or either to the Spirit.

Now, what does he mean by that? Well, this is simply a principle that s been here all along, from the beginning of time. In fact, somebody says, Well, where did that principle begin?

Well, think about it for a moment. Every farmer believes that because he does not sow wheat and expect to get corn. He does not plant apple trees and expect to get oranges. So he knows that whatever he sows, that s what he s going to reap. But he also knows the law of God. He reaps what he sows more than he sows later than he sows. That is an absolutely irreversible law of Almighty God.

So we see that all around us. Well, where did that all begin? If you go all the way back, first chapter of the Bible, first chapter of Genesis, Genesis chapter one, and listen, if you will, what he says early in this chapter in verse eleven. When he s speaking of the creation, how did God create this world?

Here s what he says. Then God said, Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit after their kind, which means apple trees bear apples, not peaches and oranges or pears. And so he says, Trees bearing fruit after their kind, with seed in them on the earth, and it was sowed. That is from the very beginning, here s what God has said. Whatever you sow, that s what you reap.

Cannot change that law. Absolutely unchangeable. So then when he says now, So if we sow to the flesh, what does he mean?

What s the flesh? Well, every single one of us came in this world with an old sinful nature. And that sinful nature is what causes us to be bent away from God instead of toward Him. That s the nature that causes a little child to act up at the age of two or three years of age or whatever it may be. And you say, Do not touch that.

But he s going to touch it anyway. That is certainly not the holiness or the righteousness of God. And when you say to a mother or dad, Your child has a sinful nature, she does not.

Well, yes, she does. And I ll tell you, by the time she reaches two or three, you will agree she has a sinful nature. So it s a matter of your love overcoming the reality of things. So we all came in the world with one of those. Now what happens to us is this.

We keep it. We keep that old sinful nature. And then one day the Lord Jesus Christ transforms your life, redeems you of your sinfulness, gives you a new nature. And you say, Well, the Bible says old things have passed away, all things have become new.

Yes. But what about these feelings I have? These still I have these feelings of maybe wanting to sin once in a while or choose to be disobedient to God and doing what I know is not right. Well, even though He s given you a new nature, He did not take away this body and its five senses and we still have that naturalness left within us, which Paul calls the flesh or carnality. It s that naturalness which means that I still have the capacity and can exercise the desires to sin against God. So when we talk about the whole idea of sowing and reaping corruption, sowing to the flesh, what it means is simply this. We have the capacity and we can choose to allow ourselves to make choices wherein our sinful desires dominate our conduct and dominate our behavior. And so whenever you and I choose, we think first, we choose to allow our flesh, our naturalness to dominate. And so what do we do? We retaliate when somebody wrongs us or we take advantage of someone or say something about them that is not right or abuse them in some fashion.

What s happening? What we are doing is we are sowing bad seed. We are sowing those characteristics of the flesh. That is, we are allowing our naturalness to dominate, rise to the surface, and we are allowing them to control for those moments what we do. Now, what is it we re doing? So we re going to hold it right there.

Then we have another choice. Every single believer, the Bible says, has been indwelt by the Holy Spirit. So all of us who believe us have the Spirit of God living on the inside of us. Now we have the privilege of responding in a different fashion because the Spirit of God, He will always respond in us and through us if we allow Him to do so in a Godly fashion, we ll be able to be forgiving toward those who have wronged us. We ll be able to encourage those who have maybe discouraged us. We ll be able to be generous toward those who have been stingy and greedy toward us. We ll be able to do that.

Why? Because now we re allowing the Holy Spirit who lives on the inside of us, we re allowing Him to dominate our thinking. And therefore if He dominates our thinking, therefore our actions and our behavior will be the result of the work of the Holy Spirit in our life. And so therefore even though we have our naturalness, it does not have to dominate us because we can submit to the will of the Holy Spirit, submit to His controlling our life and we will live a Godly life no matter what someone does that does not do to us. Now what in the world does this have to do with doing unto others as you would have them do unto you?

And secondly, what does it have to do with success? Well think about this. Now remember what the principle is. Whatever we sow, we all sow what? Which means if I retaliate, take advantage of, abuse in some fashion, I m sending forth the seeds that are corrupt by nature, and you know what s happening?

They re coming back. Whatever we sow, we re going to reap. We re going to reap what we sow, more than we sow, later than we sow.

That is the whole basis of what Jesus was saying here. He doesn t want us treating people the way we treat them because you know what? We re going to be the ones who get hurt. Whatever we sow, we re going to reap.

What we sow, more than we sow, later than we sow. So He said, this is the way we treat people. We think about how would we want somebody to treat us? That s the way we want to treat them. If we had wronged someone, would we want to be forgiven?

Yes, we would. Then what must we do? We must be forgiving. So if we fail to forgive, refuse to forgive, then what we re doing is we re sending out both thoughts and actions and behavior that is corrupt by its very nature because an unforgiving spirit is a very corrupt attitude. It is an ungodly attitude. And corruption speaks of decay and death.

Now watch this. What happens to us if we begin to send out that kind of attitude and that kind of behavior? Here s what happens.

Not only is it coming back, but it s coming back, the Scripture says, we re going to reap what we sow. Our very character is going to be hindered because what we re doing, we re going to get the consequences of that. And more than likely, we re going to become more angry and more bitter and more vengeful. And what happens? What we do is we damage our own character by a wrong response.

For example, let s say for example that you wronged somebody and you didn t even know it. And I mean they get upset. I mean they become vengeful. I mean they become hostile and angry and bitter.

You don t even know it. Let me ask you, who s hurting? The one who s feeling the anger and the bitterness and resenting the hostility. When you and I send out bad seed, corrupt seed, when we send out seeds of dissension, when we send out seeds that are ungodly, fleshly things, what happens? Eventually, if we send it out, it s coming back because we re going to reap what we sow. Therefore, it s impossible for us to act ungodly towards someone else and expect in return to receive the blessing of the Lord. This is why the believer who walks obedient before God is going to win every time.

You can t lose being obedient to God. You say, but look what they did to me. They took this money. They did this and they did that. What did he say?

He said, God s going to favor us. You say, well, they ll never pay me back. Now listen to this carefully. My friend, I don t know who s wronged you.

I don t know how much they cost you, but this much I know. I know it for lots of reasons. If you will respond in a godly fashion, God will replace what you lose no matter what. You say, but they ll never change.

I didn t say it come through them. I said, God would favor you. He will favor you in ways that you can never imagine.

And you see, there are some things far more important than money in life. You see, when you and I respond the right fashion, God not only builds up our character, but He builds our faith in Him. He builds our sense of endurance.

He builds a sense of quality into our life. Remember, He said, if you sow to the flesh, you reap corruption. But if you sow to the Spirit, you reap eternal life.

We have two choices. Our conduct and our behavior toward other people can either be expressions of corruption and decay and death, or they can be expressions of life. And so when He speaks of eternal life here, we have the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ. But from the moment you and I are saved, every good work that comes from us, every act of service from us, what s God doing? But He is laying up rewards for us in heaven. So on the one hand, we receive the continuous rewards that we receive by doing good, being obedient to God, having right attitudes as the children of God.

So think about it also in this way. When somebody wrongs you and you turn the other cheek, when somebody requires of you something that you know is not right and you refuse to be obedient to them and you obey God, but instead you have the right attitude toward them, you know what s happening? They are providing you the opportunity for God to bless you, providing you the opportunity of God rewarding you. And remember this, earthly rewards are only temporary. Eternal rewards are eternal. And therefore, whatever rewards God places upon us, some will be here and some hereafter we ll enjoy, they are eternal in their existence.

We will forever and ever enjoy them. So then, the person who wrongs us loses both ways. And when you and I respond right, we win both ways. Because what happens is this, their wronging us gives us the opportunity of being obedient to God, demonstrating a Godless Spirit, and we re going to be rewarded by it.

Secondly, it also gives us the opportunity of responding to that person in the right fashion, making a very clear Godless statement to them. And in the process of sowing good seed, the truth is it is coming back to us and it is going to be not corruption and decay, but life and energy and joy and peace and all the rest. Here is the principle of success.

Treat others the way I want to be treated, whether it s in the business relationships, in church, in family, among friends, even among my enemies. And the promise of God is, because it is based upon the law of sowing and reaping, I am going to come out blessed. I m going to reap good. I m going to have God s favor every single time no matter what. Now it may, listen, His favor and blessing may come from a direction that never even crossed my mind. It may be from someone that I didn t even know.

It may be from somewhere out yonder that I never even thought about. But one thing for certain, God makes no promises He does not keep. The best of life is offered for every single person.

Success in who you become and what you have is yours for the asking. Remember what we said in the very beginning? Our attitude shapes our future. And the attitude of grace and love and forgiveness and kindness and generosity and helpfulness and encouragement, that s the kind of attitude that will shape your future, because as you give it, you ll get it in return. And Father, how grateful we are that this simple principle, even understood by a little child, but so often so difficult to practice by us, that you would impress it upon our heart, entrench it into our thinking, seal it, Father, in our spirit, let it not escape under any condition, reminding us that it is an eternal principle, an eternal law that can never be changed. And I pray that every single person who hears this message will be willing to examine his and her life and ask the question, What does it profit me to wrong others? And what does it prosper me to right others? But we ask it in Christ's name. Amen.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-05 06:42:19 / 2023-03-05 06:49:54 / 8

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