Today’s message is based on the phrase “Whatever you do” in the Bible and it is especially for our graduates and they look to their futures and whatever they do next in life. But these commands in Scripture really apply to all of us. So whether you are a recent grad, younger or older, listen for things you need to be doing in your life to make sure you are obeying and honoring God.

Treat Others Well

Matthew 7:12-14

This passage is near the end of the Jesus’ famous sermon on the mount where He taught the people many basic principles for living a life that is pleasing to God. The Jewish people were accustomed to hearing all of the many laws they were supposed to follow. And you are probably used to having many rules from your parents at home and rules at school. As you graduate and many of you move out of your parents’ home, you will not have someone watching over you to make sure you keep the rules. Well, our three guys in the Navy will definitely have a few people telling you what to do.
But part of maturing and becoming an adult is learning how to act and be responsible for what you say and do.

Jesus said “Whatever you wish others would do to you, do the same for them.” In other words, treat others well. Then Jesus said “this is the Law and the Prophets.” Or in other words, this is overall rule to live by. Over the years, this became known as the Golden Rule. Or as Tolkien would say, one rule to rule them all.

How you treat other people matters to God. You are not doing it just so they treat you nicely back. Jesus is calling His followers to go even beyond that. He said love even your enemies and pray for those who persecute or mistreat you. Don’t try to get back at people when they wrong you. Let God worry about justice.

Do Hard Things: A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations - By: Alex Harris, Brett Harris When I was a youth pastor, we had a series called “Do Hard Things” based on a book written by two Harris brothers. If you are looking for something to read this summer, check it out. It is on Thrift Books and other used book sites for less than $5. These brothers decided they wanted to set higher expectations for themselves. They didn’t want to be called snowflakes or weak and lazy. Instead they wanted to choose to think and act to make a difference. To live to honor God. The book even has a foreword by the ultimate tough-guy Chuck Norris. “One of the most life-changing, family-changing, church-changing, and culture-changing books of this generation.”

Show People God

1 Corinthians 10:31

I preached a whole sermon on this passage back in January called “God’s Glory & Our Neighbor’s Good.” 

After the Apostle Paul explained to the believers in the church at Corinth that they had spiritual liberty or freedom to make many of their own choices in areas where the Bible does not say do this or don’t do that, they should not choose their own liberty and do things that clearly hurt another person. The Jewish Christians grew up with all kinds of rules about food they could and could not eat – today we call those Kosher laws. And the Greek Christians grew up around food that was sold after being offered to pagan idols. They also had special holidays and feasts that they were used to celebrating. They both had past experiences and backgrounds that were very different, and they often judged each other on what they ate and what they celebrated.

So Paul explains that as followers of Jesus Christ, their past rules and laws no longer need apply. They did not need to follow those rules, but whatever they did, they should do it for the glory of God.

Hebrews 1:3
Psalm 108:5
As you start each day your prayer should be to become more like Jesus. And through the Holy Spirit this will happen as you read God’s Word and your thinking changes. Whatever you are doing, show people Jesus in your life – your words and your actions.

Always Do Your Best

Colossians 3:16-17, 23-24

This chapter begins with Paul telling Christians to set our minds on things above instead of things on earth. Our thinking changes as we choose to follow Jesus instead of following our sinful desires and lusts. Paul describes this like taking off our old dirty clothes and then putting on clean righteous ones that been made new by the Spirit. The Word of God dwelling or living in us will make all the difference. You have to read your Bible regularly if you want to think like Jesus and act like Jesus.
Serve God not just people. This means when no one is looking you still do your best. You don’t cut corners. You don’t leave early. You don’t work hard when the boss is there, then sit around and talk when there’s no one in charge. You are not being a people-pleaser – trying to butter up your supervisor. You are always doing your best.

Be sincere. Tell the truth and not just what you think people want to hear. Follow through on what you say you will do. And if you don’t know how to do something, ask lots of questions. Be humble and willing to learn instead of bragging you know it all.

Proverbs 14:23
This proverb, or ancient truth, says hard work is rewarded but just talking leads to being poor. Are you the kind of person who talks big with all kinds of ideas – or are you the kind of person who gets things done and accomplishes something? It’s your choice.
This New Testament verse tells people in the church they should be working if they are capable. Don’t expect to have other people feed you if you are not willing to do anything yourself. Yes, as a church family we should care for each and help each other. But God expects us all to contribute, to serve others, and to help those in real need. We work not only because we can and because we take care of ourselves and our family, but we work so that we can care for and bless others. God calls us to be joyful givers.

Take Aways

Do you treat others well? Do you think about their needs ahead of your own?

When people look at your life – hear your words, see your actions – do they see Jesus? Are you representing God well wherever you go?

Do you do your best no matter who is watching? Do you see yourself as serving Jesus or just keeping your boss satisfied?

None of these things make any sense if you are not a Christ follower. They may all sound impossible or even crazy, but that is because you may not be in God’s family yet. You cannot earn your way to heaven. You cannot get by on your parent’s church membership. You need to confess your sins to a Holy, perfect and just God, accept Jesus’ death on the cross as payment for your sins, and trust in Him as your Savior because He rose from the dead and offers you eternal life.