Going the Extra Mile

This week one of the men at our church approached me about mowing our church’s property.  We have a “mowing schedule” and this week I’m up, he isn’t. But that didn’t matter to him, he simply wanted to know when I was planning on doing it as he wanted to help me. Remember what Jesus said in His famous Sermon on the Mount?  “And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him two” (Mt.5:41).    This is where we get the expression to “go the extra mile” !   Ironically, though it’s not said to folks with a schedule to keep, so to speak, but in reference to the Roman practice of forcibly using the Jews to carry their stuff !   For the Jew who was compelled to do such a task, it would interrupt his schedule to lighten the load of the detested Roman !!  So it’s not without coincidence that not far after this verse the Lord insists as believers that we adopt a radical love which even shows love for our enemies (vs.44) !!!

Imagine how I felt though when this man showed such a desire to help his pastor.  It made me think, something right is happening in his heart. And a lesson for us here is, why do we do what we do?  It’s a critical question to regularly ask ourselves for we will be evaluated on our motives at the Judgment Seat of Christ one day.   It’s easy to do things out of duty, to fulfill the schedule but we are called to a higher ethic. Often we fall prey to a heart that slips into just fulfilling my duties rather than going the extra mile.  There are things we all enjoy doing and things we struggle to do, but  when we lapse into a humdrum work ethic, it’s a sign we’re missing the boat spiritually and it does nothing as to attracting the lost to Christ when they see you just like them and not better in your work.  How ever do we get that back?  We recognize when we’ve become satisfied with mediocrity and our heart is cold and ask His forgiveness and for a new heart, a heart that LOVES to serve the Lord !   We can then move beyond duty to devotion !!    What do YOU have to DO today, friend?  “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might. . . ” (Ecc.9:10);   “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily , as to the Lord, and not unto men.” (Col.3:23) !!

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