Going The Second Mile

Going the Second Mile

 

In the first century, Romans could force the Jews to carry their goods for one mile because it was the law. After the Jews had carried the Roman soldiers goods for a mile, they could tell them this is as far as they were going and were not going to carry their goods any further. Christians should be willing to go a second mile.

 

Matthew 5:39-41: "But I say unto you, that ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.  And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also.  And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.Ē

 

 Notice Jesus gives us 3 different examples, which teach Christians to go beyond the first mile and to continue on to the second mile.

 

1. Jesus tells us not to resist or oppose an evil person and gives an example. He says if they strike on the right cheek turn to him the other one as well. You have to understand that it was a great insult in the first century to strike someone on the right cheek. Most people would not tolerate such an insult and would retaliate. But, Jesus is telling us donít retaliate; donít get revenge; instead turn your other cheek to them as well.

 

2. The second thing he tells us is that the first mile would be if someone sues you and takes your tunic or takes your money, then give him your cloak as well. The giving of your cloak would be the second mile. Again this has in mind not resisting an evil person.

 

3. Jesus says if someone forces you to go one mile then go with him two. In all three of these examples, Jesus is teaching you and me that we are to go beyond the first mile. So this morning, we are going to be examining several principles in which we are to go the second mile.

 

Bible Study:

 

2 Timothy 2:15: "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.Ē

 

We see first mile in Bible study. Paul wanted Timothy to study Godís Word so that he could know what it said and be able to use the knowledge to combat false doctrine. Every Christian should study Godís Word to learn more about Him and His wonderful love, and to make sure that we are living our lives in an acceptable manner before God. Unfortunately there are many Christians today who donít even go this first mile in Christianity. There are so many churches that are slowly, but surely moving away from the true Word of God. They are starting to base their worship to God on how they feel and what they think will draw more people. There a great movement today of people trying to make the church an entertainment business, instead of hearing a sermon from the word of God, rather you will hear lessons that that come from all kinds of neat little stories. Now there is nothing wrong with using stories for emphasis, but thatís not what they are doing. You can sit through a whole service, and you might hear 1 or 2 verses from the Bible. This is a sad situation because whenever we make ourselves the center of worship instead of God then have lost the true meaning of true worship of God. The reason why so many are changing the ways  things are being done is because they are not embracing the first mile of Christianity by studying the word of God. Some were having this same problem in the first century.

 

2 Peter 3:18: "But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.Ē  There is a great danger in not growing in your knowledge of the Lord.

 

Hebrews 2:1-3: "Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.  For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward; how shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation?Ē

 

A Christian must be willing to go the first mile before they can every hope to make to the second mile. We find the second mile described in:

 

2 Timothy 2:1You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.  2 And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.

 

Not only did Paul want Timothy to study the Word of God he wanted him to teach it as well and commit it to other faithful people who would in turn teach to others. This would include him teaching them by word and by example.

 

1 Timothy 4:12  Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.

 

That is what we are to do as Christians today. Donít just study Gods Word we need to live it by good examples and by teaching it when have the opportunity.

 

Worship:

Lets look at the first mile in worship.  Paul tells us,

 

Acts 20:7  "And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.Ē

 

Every Christian should meet on the first day of the week to worship God. We should not view this as something that we have to do, but as something that we want to do. Again, there are a lot of Christians who do not embrace this first mile of Christianity, because many will attend the services of the church, only once a month or 2 or 3 times a year.

 
People who attend sporadically like this, simply do not have their priorities in order. They only come when they feel the need for a little religion, or maybe they want to see some of their old friends. Again, this was a problem they had in the first century as well.

 

Hebrews 10:24-25:  "And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:  Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.Ē

 

When Christians decide to neglect the church, which Jesus purchased with His own precious blood, we miss out on many wonderful opportunities to worship God and encourage our brothers and sisters in Christ. We also miss the opportunity to partake of the Lordís Supper and to give of our means as the word of God commands us to do. We must strive to do these things for the first mile of Christianity if we are even going to come close to the second mile of Christianity which is found in Matthew 6:33.

 

Matthew 6:33:  "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.Ē

 

Not only we are to assemble with the saints on the first day of the week, but also we are to challenge ourselves to put Godís kingdom first in every aspect of our lives. This would include making it to Bible class so that we can learn more about Godís word, and how He wants us to "worship Him in spirit and in truth.Ē (John 4:24) This means that we will do our best to be involved in church activities, and try to spread the good news to those who are around us. According to the Scriptures this is going the second mile.  Notice what we read in Matthew 28:18-20 Ė "And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:  Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.Ē

 

Are you going the second mile for Christ today, or do you say as the Jews said under Roman occupation that I have gone the first mile and I am not going any further?  Remember the words of the Hebrew writer:  "how shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation?Ē
 
Jimmy
02/08/10 AM