‘But you must always act like your Father in Heaven.’ Matthew 5:48 CEV
Jesus said, ‘Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over.’ (Luke 6:38 KJV) Notice, He didn’t say, ‘Only give to those who can give back to you.’ John Bunyan, the author of Pilgrim’s Progress, said, ‘You haven’t lived today successfully, unless you’ve done something for someone who can never repay you.’
In the days of Jesus, a Roman soldier could legally force a Jewish civilian to carry his heavy backpack for up to a mile. That was his right, and you refused to do so at your peril. So to walk the first mile was to do only what was required. Then Jesus came along and said, ‘If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two.’ (Matthew 5:41 NIV) Why? Because ‘extra-mile service’ gives you an opportunity to impact the lives of others. A person with an extra-mile attitude is someone who cares more than others think is wise, risks more than others think is safe, dreams more than others think is practical, believes more than others think is possible, and gives more than others think is necessary.
Here’s how Jesus bottom-lines it: ‘If you love only those people who love you, will God reward you for that? Even tax collectors love their friends. If you greet only your friends, what’s so great about that? Don’t even unbelievers do that? But you must always act like your Father in Heaven.’ (Matthew 5:46–48 CEV) So always do more than is expected.
SoulFood: 1 Jn 1:1–3:10, Mark 2:13–22, Ps 78:40–55, Prov 20:4–6
The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright © 2020