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Devotions

The Extra Mile
November 1, 2017

The​ ​Extra​ ​Mile


Matthew​ ​5:38-42;​ ​Genesis​ ​24:12-54

God​ ​has​ ​intricately​ ​woven​ ​the​ ​value​ ​of​ ​love​ ​into​ ​every​ ​fiber​ ​of​ ​His​ ​Word.​ ​Sometimes​ ​the scripture​ ​reveals​ ​it​ ​in​ ​obvious​ ​displays,​ ​while​ ​other​ ​times​ ​it​ ​is​ ​a​ ​subtle​ ​undertone​ ​of​ ​a​ ​message. In​ ​any​ ​case,​ ​it​ ​is​ ​always​ ​clear​ ​how​ ​much​ ​weight​ ​love​ ​holds​ ​in​ ​God’s​ ​eyes​ ​-​ ​both​ ​to​ ​us​ ​and​ ​by​ ​us. Demonstrating​ ​acts​ ​of​ ​care​ ​for​ ​others​ ​can​ ​be​ ​shown​ ​in​ ​many​ ​ways,​ ​but​ ​none​ ​so​ ​pure​ ​as​ ​through serving.​ ​To​ ​present​ ​a​ ​love​ ​like​ ​God​ ​gives,​ ​it​ ​requires​ ​more​ ​than​ ​simply​ ​giving​ ​what​ ​is​ ​asked​ ​of us...​ ​It​ ​requires​ ​us​ ​to​ ​serve​ ​in​ ​abundance​ ​-​ ​a​ ​serving​ ​that​ ​exceeds​ ​expectations​ ​-​ ​just​ ​like​ ​the Lord​ ​does​ ​for​ ​us.​ ​In​ ​telling​ ​us​ ​how​ ​to​ ​show​ ​love​ ​to​ ​others,​ ​Jesus​ ​gives​ ​an​ ​example​ ​by​ ​saying that​ ​if​ ​someone​ ​compels​ ​you​ ​to​ ​walk​ ​a​ ​mile​ ​with​ ​them,​ ​you​ ​should​ ​go​ ​further​ ​and​ ​walk​ ​an​ ​extra mile​ ​(Matthew​ ​5).

Genesis​ ​chapter​ ​24​ ​tells​ ​us​ ​a​ ​story​ ​that​ ​resembles​ ​the​ ​kind​ ​of​ ​love​ ​Jesus​ ​was​ ​referring​ ​to. Rebekah’s​ ​heart​ ​for​ ​servanthood​ ​was​ ​clearly​ ​proved​ ​as​ ​she​ ​so​ ​willingly​ ​drew​ ​water​ ​for​ ​Eliezer and​​ ​his​ ​camels.​ ​Eliezer​ ​only​ ​asked​ ​for​ ​a​ ​drink​ ​for​ ​himself,​ ​but​ ​Rebekah​ ​was​ ​quick​ ​to​ ​offer​ ​more than​ ​a​ ​shallow​ ​service.​ ​It​ ​may​ ​not​ ​seem​ ​like​ ​such​ ​a​ ​grand​ ​gesture,​ ​but​ ​this​ ​was​ ​definitely​ ​no​ ​act for​ ​the​ ​faint​ ​of​ ​heart!​ ​The​ ​pots​ ​used​ ​for​ ​carrying​ ​water​ ​were​ ​substantial,​ ​heavy​ ​vessels​ ​on​ ​their own​ ​-​ ​let​ ​alone​ ​filled​ ​with​ ​gallons​ ​of​ ​water.​ ​And​ ​a​ ​thirsty​ ​camel​ ​drinks​ ​an​ ​insane​ ​amount​ ​of​ ​water -​ ​up​ ​to​ ​25​ ​gallons​ ​after​ ​an​ ​extensive​ ​journey!​ ​That​ ​means​ ​this​ ​young​ ​girl​ ​probably​ ​made​ ​several trips​ ​to​ ​and​ ​from​ ​the​ ​well.​ ​She​ ​went​ ​the​ ​extra​ ​mile​ ​for​ ​a​ ​man​ ​she​ ​owed​ ​nothing​ ​to.

Doing​ ​more​ ​than​ ​what​ ​is​ ​asked​ ​of​ ​us​ ​is​ ​-​ ​let’s​ ​be​ ​real​ ​-​ ​an​ ​inconvenience.​ ​We​ ​all​ ​have​ ​busy schedules​ ​filled​ ​with​ ​other​ ​things​ ​we​ ​could​ ​be​ ​doing.​ ​It’s​ ​much​ ​easier​ ​to​ ​just​ ​get​ ​by​ ​with​ ​the​ ​bare minimum.​ ​But​ ​in​ ​order​ ​to​ ​truly​ ​convey​ ​God-like​ ​love​ ​to​ ​someone,​ ​you​ ​have​ ​to​ ​be​ ​willing​ ​to​ ​make a​ ​sacrifice​ ​of​ ​your​ ​time​ ​and​ ​energy.​ ​Serving​ ​with​ ​love​ ​often​ ​means​ ​going​ ​on​ ​a​ ​journey​ ​with someone​ ​while​ ​carrying​ ​their​ ​heavy​ ​burdens.​ ​It​ ​means​ ​offering​ ​more​ ​than​ ​the​ ​required​ ​and pouring​ ​out​ ​a​ ​sacrifice.

So​ ​how​ ​can​ ​you​ ​show​ ​your​ ​love​ ​for​ ​someone​ ​else​ ​today?​ ​How​ ​can​ ​you​ ​go​ ​the​ ​extra​ ​mile?

Pray:​ ​​“God,​ ​I​ ​pray​ ​that​ ​you​ ​would​ ​make​ ​me​ ​a​ ​lover​ ​of​ ​people.​ ​But​ ​not​ ​just​ ​with​ ​any​ ​love​ ​-​ ​a​ ​love that​ ​is​ ​motivated​ ​by​ ​a​ ​heart​ ​that​ ​yearns​ ​to​ ​serve​ ​others.​ ​Since​ ​the​ ​beginning​ ​of​ ​time,​ ​You​ ​have gone​ ​above​ ​and​ ​beyond​ ​to​ ​show​ ​Your​ ​love​ ​for​ ​us.​ ​You​ ​even​ ​gave​ ​Yourself​ ​as​ ​the​ ​ultimate sacrifice​ ​on​ ​the​ ​cross!​ ​Help​ ​me​ ​to​ ​show​ ​that​ ​same​ ​kind​ ​of​ ​love​ ​in​ ​all​ ​things,​ ​to​ ​all​ ​people.”