The extra mile Jesus mentioned in His Sermon on the Mount is part of our 10 Days of Purpose. In fact, it serves three purposes. First, it’s a great (and brief) teaching opportunity. That’s always true of anything and everything Jesus said. Second, this extra mile post is an extension of our Day 5 post. Third, that extension sets up a great big announcement. And that announcement is how we can go the extra mile!
In the world of the New Testament, Rome ruled the world. And any Roman soldier could legally compel any non-Roman to carry his pack/weapons. That could be quite a load. Just ask any modern soldier the routine weight of their backpacks. The roadside mile marker was in use during that time for this reason!
You can guess that most people would carry the soldier’s pack exactly one mile. They would go no further. But that is not what Jesus taught. So why did He give this instruction?
Questions lead us to the answer. How does God love you? How does He provide for you? Does He only do the minimum? No. Let me give you two familiar passages that tell us our Father doesn’t do things that way:
Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen, (Ephesians 3:20-21).
However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived”— the things God has prepared for those who love Him— these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God, (I Corinthians 2:9-10).
Going the extra mile is something that makes us like our Father. It is far more than the minimum and it is a tangible example of generosity. And those are just two things I could mention. Now, on to our opportunity…
Extra Mile Opportunity
Our Day 5 post was about the orphans in Barahona. The actions of my friend showed us why sponsoring one these boys is a great way to teach your children and/or grandchildren caring and missions. I think sponsorship is something like the first mile. It’s compelling that Scripture defines true religion in terms of how we care for widows and orphans.
But what if we could do more; a great deal more? Well, we can. I am working on it and I am again asking you to pray. I had hoped to everything in place to make a full announcement by now. This and one other item were intentionally at the end of 10 Days of Purpose.
Work is being done to create a scholarship fund to allow some of these boys to attend college. That statement is an idea. There are many details being discussed and addressed. And hopefully I’ll be able to share them soon. But just imagine taking the opportunity to make that kind of difference in an orphan;s life.
First, we can give them food, clothing and shelter. None of us can do it alone. But together, through sponsorships, we can make that difference. That’s the first mile. Now, imagine going the extra mile. We can do more than providing the basics of life. Together, we can help them acquire the knowledge and skills to transform their futures. And that will impact their communities and their nation in ways we can’t yet know. But it’s part of going the extra mile.
Extra Mile: First Step
I have to give a brief acknowledgment to Roger Staubach for the quote I used. He was one of my sports heroes. So think about the quote. It’s true. There won’t be many people in the way when you go the extra mile. So the first step of that mile is your prayers. Please pray this all comes together. And I’ll look forward to sharing the results with you.