Blog posts of '2016' 'January'

The Golden Rule: Beaten Up But Not Defeated (Part 1 of 3)

Heart and SoulApplying the Golden Rule as Matthew 7:12 says “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” New International Version (NIV) can be challenging but the rewards for doing so no matter what the circumstances are outstanding.  One must dig deep inside one’s heart and soul at times when the rule is to be applied under some circumstances and many of us will find ourselves in a position where this is required.

Forgiveness of Sin: The Living Mercy Seat of Christ

Instead of talking about the Golden Rule today I’d like to discuss Hebrews 9 which is one of the most challenging pieces of scriptures, but it is one that mentions Gold a great deal.  Gold was considered valuable, especially in Old Testament times and it was also considered a symbol of power and strength.  Hebrews 9 is a chapter not about Gold and not about riches, although it mentions copious amounts of the precious metal, but it is a verse about something far more far more valuable when considered fully and understood.

Mercy SeatHebrews 9 pretty much describes a ceremony for the forgiveness of sin.  Inside a very holy room inside a holy room sits a golden altar, gold because Gold was important and valuable and made people drop their jaw because of its awesomeness, and sat on this altar was the Ark of the Covenant.  The Ark of the Covenant was a gold box, again gold because it was a treasured and revered precious metal and this Ark contained three items that symbolised the failure of man, sin – your sin, my sin, anyone’s sin at the time.  The three items inside this gold chest were a “Gold jar of manna, Aaron’s staff that had budded, and the stone tablets of the covenant” each of which was representative of sin.

The Golden Rule: A Bitter Pill

Bitter PillDo unto others as you would have them do unto you.  Some of the most powerful words ever spoken and ever written.  Matthew 7:12 says just that and these words are referred to by many as the Golden Rule. 

In its application one would imagine that the Golden Rule is easy and even fun to follow and making it part of one’s life should therefore be simple.  The truth is often far from easy, simple or fun and there are times when one could be easily forgiven for giving the Golden Rule a miss and there are many, myself included who have said “just this once” when the thought of applying the Golden Rule just sat a little awkwardly. It is at this point where every one of us fails, few if any people are perfect at applying the Golden Rule and every one of us fails a great deal more times that we would truly hope for.

The Golden Rule: Finish the Job

Finish the JobThere is nothing worse than getting something that has not been finished. OK, perhaps there are a few masterpieces that are what they are because they are unfinished, in fact because they are unfinished they are actually more valuable – but if it was a current day portrait of you and your family the value lies in it being finished.  Famously there is also Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony, something that experts discuss continuously and ask why it was left unfinished. And then of course there is my home town of Cape Town where we have the unfinished highway, an elevated freeway that was supposed to have flown over the lower part of the city but was left with a gap in the middle and never completed. Again, like many unfinished items it now has some value, perhaps more than it would have if it was completed as the unfinished highway is used by numerous TV and Film producers and brings in considerable income for the city of Cape Town.