17th November 2016

Above and Beyond 

“And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.”
Matthew 5:41 (ESV) 

It’s a sad fact that many people try to get away with doing the least amount of work possible. But is that the way Christians should behave? There’s an interesting story in the Old Testament which can serve as a model for all of us when it comes to doing that little bit extra.

In Genesis 24 we find the account of Abraham sending his trusted servant to find a suitable wife for his son, Isaac. To ensure a successful outcome, the servant prays “And he said, ‘O Lord, God of my master Abraham, please grant me success today and show steadfast love to my master Abraham. Behold, I am standing by the spring of water, and the daughters of the men of the city are coming out to draw water. Let the young woman to whom I shall say, “Please let down your jar that I may drink,” and who shall say, “Drink, and I will water your camels”—let her be the one whom you have appointed for your servant Isaac. By this I shall know that you have shown steadfast love to my master.’” (verse 12-14). And before too long that prayer is answered. Rebekah arrives and after she had given the servant a drink, she offered to water the camels, too. (As an aside, that was a massive job – there were 10 camels and they can consume copious amounts of water.) Rebekah showed she was more than willing to go beyond the call of expected duty.

So, how is this relevant to us today? We, too, should be willing to go beyond the call of duty. We have a saying in our vocabulary about going the ‘extra mile’. Surprising as it may seem to many people, that’s a biblical principle (see the scripture at the top of this study). Of course, the only way we get to go the second mile is by going the first mile first. But we need to ensure that first mile is covered with care and diligence. We shouldn’t avoid the tasks which may not seem important, just to get to the extra mile and win some credits. Duty is not the key. Our service should surpass what is required of us.

In the story of Rebekah, she gave more than she was asked. The story says that the servant simply asked for a drink for himself – not the animals. She gave more than was expected – and received more than she anticipated. That’s because, of course, Rebekah’s actions landed her a major part in God’s plan, as part of the lineage of Christ.

So, the question we must ask ourselves is this; Are we willing to “draw water for the camels also”?

Father, we have a responsibility to display a spirit of service that shows that we love you and those around us. Help us daily to go beyond what is humanly expected of us. In the name of the greatest servant of all time – your son, we pray.

Study by Philip Stevens


philip StevensAbout the Author:
Philip Stevens attends the Great Baddow Congregation of the Worldwide Church of God UK (near Chelmsford).

Local Congregation:
Worldwide Church of God Great Baddow
United Reformed Church
High Street
Great Baddow

Meeting Time:
Saturday 1pm

Local Congregational Contact:
Tony Goudie
Phone: 01508-498165
Email: tony_goudie@wcg.org.uk

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