Summary: The Extra Mile The Pleasure is worth the Pain Your can also listen at

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“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.”

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.

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