Summary: Could you go a little farther? What areas in your life do you only go so far, only to find out you missed a blessing because you didn't go far enough. In this message, we look at a few areas in which we could go a little a farther.
This passage of scripture is a familiar one to us. It is often preached out of on “Resurrection Day” in churches across the country. It is a passage that shows us the empty tomb and the frantic state of Mary Magdalene. Mary runs to find Peter and John; she tells them that the Lord has been taken away from the sepulcher. They both run to the tomb, but notice what the bible says in vs 5&6. Notice that John runs to the tomb, only to look in (vs 5) while Peter not only looks in the tomb but goes into the tomb (vs6). All John saw was the wadded up grave clothes, but Peter saw the folded napkin. In vs 8, we are told that John eventually goes in and also sees the napkin. But, what if he had just went a little farther the first time. Instead of having to be told of what was in the tomb, he would have seen it with his own eyes first. I began to think on this thought: How many areas of my life do I go so far in only to miss the blessing if I would have just went a little farther. Sometimes we do what we should, but we don’t go far enough. We need to go a little farther. With the Lord’s help this morning I want to look at a few areas in which we could go A Little Farther.
1) A LITTLE FARTHER IN MY PRAYER LIFE –(Matthew 26:39) The first area that came to mind was prayer. Do we go far enough in our prayer life or could we go a little farther? Over in Matthew 26, we find Jesus and his disciples in the garden of Gethsemane. The place our Lord went to with his disciples after the Lord’s supper and the place of his arrest. But notice what we find in vs 39, it says “…he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed,…”. Jesus went as far as he could go in his prayer life. You can find account after account in the Bible where Jesus spent time in prayer. Even when staring death in the face, he prayed! He prayed so hard that the Bible tells us in Luke 23:43&44, “And there appeared an angel unto him from Heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.”. We don’t know how long he spent in prayer, but I believe he prayed so hard because he was praying for me. I believe he was praying for you, so he went farther. The disciples couldn’t go as far as he had to go, so Jesus went a little farther. If he went that far in prayer, I believe I can go a little farther in my prayer life. I can go a little farther in:
a) PRAYING FOR THE LOST – My loved ones, friends, co-workers and strangers alike need prayer. I need to pray that they may “…open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in…” Jesus Christ (Acts 26:18)! Pray that they “…may know him, and the power of his resurrection…” (Philippians 3:10). We must go a little farther in our prayer for the lost so that God may five them just one more chance!
b) PRAYING FOR THE BRETHREN – Paul wrote in his letter the the church at Thessalonica, “Brethren, pray for us.” (I Thessalonians 5:25). We are to pray for one another! To help with burdens, trials, and situations…to help bear those burdens because we love one another. I can go a little farther.
Ephesians 6:18 says “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.”. We are also told to “Pray without ceasing.” in I Thessalonians 5:17. Could you go a little farther in your prayer life?
2) A LITTLE FARTHER IN MY CHRISTIAN WALK – If I go a little farther in my prayer life, then I can go a little farther in my Christian walk. By that I mean I can become the Christian I need to be, that I want to be and that God wants me to be. I can go a little farther in getting closer to Jesus. I want to be as close to Jesus as I can be for the closer to Jesus that I am, the more that the world sees Jesus in me! My life may be the only Bible that some people ever read. While thinking on this, I thought of our friend the Apostle John. As you know from the scriptures, John was part of the inner circle, the 3 closest disciples. But of those 3, John was the closest! That is why I find our text so amazing this morning; he knew the path that Jesus had to walk (Matthew 16:21) and John saw a lot of amazing things in his life: