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Summary: The Extra Mile The Pleasure is worth the Pain Your can also listen at www.preaching.co.nr

“The Extra Mile.” (Matt 5:41)

This week a Government web site began with this statement: “The 2009 Queen’s Birthday Honors List has been published. Most of the awards are for those who have gone the extra mile to make a difference to the lives of people around them.” http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Nl1/Newsroom/DG_178691

I believe God wants to honour His people. He wants to acknowledge the good work you are doing on His behalf. If you know you have worked your socks off for the Lord in whatever task He has brought to you, then just accept this from the Lord, “well done good and faithful servant.” You can even have an MBE, which stands for "Mature Believer at Emmanuel" or an OBE, "Obedient Believer at Emmanuel" or CBE, "Courageous Believer at Emmanuel" and you can just call me "Sir Pastor Joe."

I want to begin this year with a theme God has stirred in my heart, from Matt 5:41, titled “The Extra Mile.” Going the second or extra mile sets a person apart from the people who ‘do just enough’ or those who claim ‘I have done my share’ and those who just say ‘I just cannot do any more.’

Jesus spoke about the Extra Mile to His followers, to encourage them do more than was expected by the Religious Pharisees, who lived according to the letter of the law, and so demanded ’an eye for an eye.’ The extra mile is all about grace that does more than is required.

Jesus spoke about the Extra Mile to His followers, to encourage them to bless those who sought to take advantage of them; the extra mile gives more than is demanded.

Jesus spoke about the Extra Mile to His followers, to encourage them to forgive those who hurt and insult them; the extra mile shows mercy.

The simple point to what God is reminding us of is, “The Extra Mile” can change a life and win a soul to Jesus. To me that makes the pain of going the extra mile a pleasure.

I listened to an interview on Jeremy Vine show this week on Radio Two. At 10 years old, Martin Pestorious was taken ill with a sore throat and flu ,and within a year was in, what they called, a “vegetative state.” Doctors said there was no hope and sent him home to die.

For 14 years Martin existed in a home for the profoundly disabled, living in his own world but fully aware of the world around him, hearing every conversation and comment about him, but unable to respond.

Martin lived a lonely, bored and frustrated life, desperately wanting to communicate all that he was thinking and feeling and on many occasions wishing he would just die.

Nurses and Doctors did all that was required to keep Martin alive, believing there was nothing more they could do, and most likely thought he would be better off dead.

A turning point came in Martin’s life at 24 years old, when a volunteer came into his care home and took the time to talk with Martin. For two years she spoke to him like he was there and he understood. This volunteer watched a TV program about augmentative and alternative communication. She got excited and believed this could help Martin. She spoke to Doctors and Nurses but they were not interested. She spoke to Martin’s parents who, for a year, worked at helping Martin with augmentative and alternative communication.

Martin, today is still totally paralysed but, with the use of an inferred device attached to his head, a computer communicates what he feels and thinks and, what’s more, Martin now works as a web designer and tells the amazing story of falling in love over the internet and getting married this year.

Martin’s life and future was transformed because one volunteer went the extra mile. She did more than was required. Doing just enough for Martin would have meant he would still be living his lonely, bored frustrated life, wishing he was dead.

A man lay on the road naked, beaten, battered and bruised, most likely close to death. But his turning point came when, unlike the many religious people who past him by, a Samaritan went the extra mile to help and restore this stranger. Luke 10:25-37

A young woman who was widowed last year, cried on Radio because an unknown neighbour cleared the snow from her pathway, saying “there’s still good people in this world.”

The pleasure of going the extra mile, like the volunteer who helped Martin, or the good Samaritan, whose names are not mentioned, is seeing a life changed, a soul saved and to be thanked and appreciated. You may even have your name mentioned honourably in Heaven as a Mature Believer at Emmanuel or Couragous Believer at Emmanuel.

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