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Going the Extra Mile




(Matthew 5:41-42 NIV)  If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.  Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.


(Colossians 3:23-25 NIV)  Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.  Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for his wrong, and there is no favoritism.


(1 Corinthians 13:1-3 )  If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.  If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.  If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.


(Romans 12:20-21 NIV)  On the contrary: "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head."  Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.


(1 Peter 3:8 NIV)  Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble.


What makes a car go the extra mile of road?  What makes the train chug along the extra mile of rail? The boat plow through the extra mile of surf?  These, of course, are motivated by energy in various forms.  What makes you go?  Are you motivated by the praises of men (Matthew 23:5-7)?  Or are you after money (1 Timothy 6:10), treasures or possessions (Luke 12:15)?  Perhaps you are after power or control (Matthew 20:25-28)?  I know!  You are after pleasure (Luke 8:14; Titus 3:3; James 4:3) !!! 


Well, we know what makes people go.  All these aforementioned things.  What makes a Christian go?  What compels him/her?  Let’s look at what compelled Christ:


(John 3:16 NIV)  For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.


Which is why He went that extra mile!


(Philippians 2:4-8 NIV)  Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.  Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.  And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death-- even death on a cross!


So, what makes a Christian go?


(2 Corinthians 5:14-15 NIV)  For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. 


Walking the second mile teaches us to think of others before ourselves (Romans 12:3).  It teaches us to die to our personal liberties for the sake of reconciliation and relationship building.  Going the extra mile is doing more than is expected.  Kingdom citizens go above and beyond the call of duty!


The wisdom of submitting to the second mile brings peace (James 3:17, 18).  Persevering in the second mile brings beauty (Romans 10:14, 15; 1 Peter 3:5, 6). Finishing the second mile brings us grace (Ephesians 4:32; Philippians 2:1, 2).  Jesus gave it all, and then some.  If you let opinions, misunderstandings, attitudes and offenses justify why you are not walking the second mile, then you are the Pharisee who walks to look good.  Taking on the second mile is walking In His Footsteps…


In His Footsteps © 1998                                                    


Going the Extra Mile





Read Matthew 5:41, 42.  Is the first mile usually walked by your own will?  Name some things in the past couple of days that you’ve been asked to do or forced to do because of your job, community commitments, family commitments, etc.  Did you just do what you were asked or forced to do, or did you go beyond what you were asked to do?  You see, walking the first mile is what makes you a candidate for the second one.  Read Luke 9:62.  What do you think Jesus means here by “looking back”?  Is the person who looks back 100% committed to plowing ahead in God’s Kingdom?  What is he/she looking back for?  Are you the person always looking to do the minimum requirement?  Is Christianity a religion of the minimum requirement or full commitment and beyond?  The challenge for this week is for you to do something for someone you know who is in need and to exceed and excel in doing it.  Go the second mile with it.  Outdo yourself and lavish on them the love of God as you serve with brotherly kindness (Romans 12:3-18).  Start planning today what you are going to do and how you are going to do it.



Read Romans 14:1-15:7.  What are we to do with each other when we differ on our opinions regarding disputable matters (verse 1)?  Do you have the tendency to look down at the other person because they disagree with your opinion (verse 3 and 4)?  Do you feel like you have to convince them to believe your opinion?  What must be our motivation for anything that we do, whether it is doctrinal or from opinion (disputable matters) (verses 6-8; Colossians 3:17, 23)?  Are we justified in judging our brothers on disputable matters?  What should you focus on instead of judging on disputable matters (verse 13)?  If someone has a problem with your disputable opinion, what should you do that shows love instead of selfishness (verses 14 and 15)?  Going the second mile in this way eliminates misunderstanding between each other.  Walking the second mile establishes sympathy and empathy.  Walking the second mile converges differing opinions.  When you walk the second mile and think of your brother first, does that have lasting impact in God’s Kingdom (verses 17-19)?  What if you don’t walk that second mile and you stick to your guns in expressing your own opinion (Proverbs 18:2), how do you impact the Kingdom then (verses 20-23)?  How do we walk the second mile like Christ did in this matter (verses 15:1-3)?  What is the end result of submitting to each other in this way (verses 15:4-7)? Read 1 Thessalonians 5:14-24.



Let’s talk about what we need in order to walk this narrow second mile.  Read Hebrews 11:6-16.  What motivated these men of God?  What enabled them to walk that second mile in face of such opposition?  What did they believe?  Faith is needed for the second mile.  Let’s look at the next ingredient for second mile people.  Read 2 Corinthians 7:10, 11.  What kind of attitude leads to salvation?  What attitude will produce in you the eagerness and sincerity needed for that second mile?  Penitence is the axle grease that’ll keep you moving along the second mile path.  A third ingredient for second milers is found in Hebrews 5:7-9.  Why did God hear Jesus’ prayers?  What did Jesus learn from His suffering?  What are you learning from your suffering, to resist and be proud or to submit and be saved?  Do you think Jesus would have gone the second mile if he were not obedient?  Obedience in reverent submission enables you to go the second mile.  Unconditional surrender toward each other begets deep love for one another (1 Peter 1:22, 23; 4:8-10). 



Don’t just pray—pray without ceasing!  Don’t just love—love each other deeply!  Don’t just do something good—practice lavishing your goodness on others!  Don’t just give some money for a cup of coffee or a soda to someone—give them something significant that they may need!  Don’t just say “hi” or “bye” to your co-workers or family members—go out of your way to show them you have thought about them significantly.  Take them out to dinner, write a poem for them, throw them a surprise birthday party!  Astound them!   God does it for you all the time, if you keep your eyes open!  Have you fulfilled your challenge for the week yet?  Dedicate today’s’ quiet time to accomplishing the goal you set for yourself Monday.  Pray about it and get it done!



It really does take a lot of energy to go the extra mile doesn’t it?  That’s why we can only walk that extra mile in the love of God.  You won’t be walking that mile while you’re festering in your selfishness.  It just won’t happen.  The measured mile makes the Pharisee, but the second mile makes the Christian.  If you want to run with Jesus you will find Him in the second mile!  So, did you accomplish this week’s challenge?  Did you allow God’s love to flow through you and meet someone’s needs? Going the second mile brings peace (Romans 12:16; 1 Corinthians 1:10; Ephesians 4:3; Colossians 3:13); traveling the second mile brings us beauty (Galatians 5:13, 14; Ephesians 4:2, 32; 5:21; 1 Thessalonians 5:11); finishing the second mile brings us grace, like the grace that is upon us because of the race Jesus finished for us as He gave it all, and then some (Philippians 2:3-16).


Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men. Colossians 3:23


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