DOING MORE THAN WHAT'S REQUIRED OF YOU
Many years ago a group of young people willingly gave up part of their summer vacation to go on a mission trip. They paid to go and help neighbors they didn't know and probably would never see again after they left. One of their work projects was replacing gutters and the rotten wood underneath. In one of the gutters over a third story window they found a nest of crying baby birds.
The young man carefully came down the ladder cradling the nest against his chest. The whole work crew of youngsters gathered around him as he stepped down onto the ground. The birds were nervously chirping in hopes that mama would soon show up with some food. The excitement lasted a few minutes and then was replaced by a worried discussion about what to do with the little chicks.
Putting them in a tree and hoping the mother bird would find them was not a good idea. There were several hawks in the area and the baby birds would most likely become a meal instead of being fed. We found a phone number for an animal rescue organization and called them. They said it was unfortunate, but there wasn't much they could do. Baby birds need the special juices from their mother's regurgitated food to survive. It was very hard to try and duplicate the natural juices of the mother. They said they would try if we could get the birds to them.
Even if there wasn't much hope, I had to let the kids know I would go the extra mile for those birds. It was kind of like an action that said, "I will never leave them or forsake them." In an old pickup truck, with the windows down and music off, I drove 17 miles with my chirping companions on the seat beside me. Yes, I did talk to them and try to encourage them on the way.
The birds were handed over to the animal rescue specialists and that's all we'll ever know. Some things you don't need to know. Just go the extra mile and let God handle the rest. His sovereign will is better than our best desires. When I got back to camp, I let the young people know I was proud of them. They faced a challenge, did the best they could and went the extra mile. The rest is up to God.
We need to become "Extra Mile People." Mediocrity is a measure of being barely adequate. Average people do what's expected of them and nothing more. We don't discover new things by staying in our routines. We never discover greater ways to show love by loving the same way everyday. If you had a surprise birthday party everyday, the surprise would become commonplace and no longer be a surprise. Your birthday would become loathsome and repulsive. Relationships do not flourish and grow without effort. Organizations do not survive if they're not striving to keep pace with a constantly changing world. Do what you need to and then some. Extra Mile People love in more excellent ways, on all of their days in as many ways as possible.
DAY 13 WORD
And should people in authority take advantage of you, do more than what they demand.
Matthew 5:41 TPT
And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two [miles].
Matthew 5:41 AMPC
I pray with great faith for you, because I’m fully convinced that the One who began this glorious work in you will faithfully continue the process of maturing you and will put his finishing touches to it until the unveiling of our Lord Jesus Christ!
Philippians 1:6 TPT
And I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ [right up to the time of His return], developing [that good work] and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you.
Philippians 1:6 AMPC
The Cure for Anxiety (A bird story!)“Therefore I tell you, stop being worried or anxious (perpetually uneasy, distracted) about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, as to what you will wear. Is life not more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow [seed] nor reap [the harvest] nor gather [the crops] into barns, and yet your heavenly Father keeps feeding them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by worrying can add one hour to [the length of] his life?
Matthew 6:25-27 AMP
DAY 13 PRAYER
Thank you God for never giving up on us. Everyday You create circumstances for us to go the extra mile. You help us continue the process of Your good work in us until someday we'll be complete in You. That's a glorious reason to keep going the extra mile no matter what happens to us. You never give up on us.Help us to never give up on each other. In Jesus name. Amen.
DAY 13 DEEP THOUGHTS
The Beatitudes are great examples of what happens when we go the extra mile - we get blessed!
The Sermon on the Mount;
When Jesus saw the crowds, He went up on the mountain; and when He was seated, His disciples came to Him. Then He began to teach them, saying,
- “Blessed [spiritually prosperous, happy, to be admired] are the poor in spirit [those devoid of spiritual arrogance, those who regard themselves as insignificant], for theirs is the kingdom of heaven [both now and forever].
- “Blessed [forgiven, refreshed by God’s grace] are those who mourn [over their sins and repent], for they will be comforted [when the burden of sin is lifted].“Blessed [inwardly peaceful, spiritually secure, worthy of respect] are the gentle [the kind-hearted, the sweet-spirited, the self-controlled], for they will inherit the earth.
- “Blessed [joyful, nourished by God’s goodness] are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness [those who actively seek right standing with God], for they will be [completely] satisfied.
- “Blessed [content, sheltered by God’s promises] are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.
- “Blessed [anticipating God’s presence, spiritually mature] are the pure in heart [those with integrity, moral courage, and godly character], for they will see God.
- “Blessed [spiritually calm with life-joy in God’s favor] are the makers and maintainers of peace, for they will [express His character and] be called the sons of God.
- “Blessed [comforted by inner peace and God’s love] are those who are persecuted for [c]doing that which is morally right, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven [both now and forever].
- “Blessed [morally courageous and spiritually alive with life-joy in God’s goodness] are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil things against you because of [your association with] Me.
Matthew 5:1-12 AMP