Second Mile Living

"And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two."
Matthew 5:41

In Matthew 5, Jesus begins the Sermon on the Mount, giving his greatest kingdom message in the scriptures. He begins by talking about how to relate to others and build healthy relationships in your daily life. In all our relationships, it’s easy for us to desire for more, but do our habits create a foundation that allows us to go the extra mile? In this Sunday’s message, Pastor Josh Kelsey explains that you cannot have a second mile life if you do not know the importance of the first mile, presenting five points on how the first mile sets us up for the second. 

1. The First Mile is Duty, the Second Mile is Desire

  • The first mile often represents our basic obligations or responsibilities.
  • The first mile things in Jesus’ time were not questioned. 
  • The second mile transcends duty and stems from a genuine desire to serve others out of love and compassion.
  • If you want to go further in life, you have to desire to go beyond what is obligatory. 
  • The first mile creates the foundation for the second mile.

2. The First Mile is Habit, the Second Mile is Heart

  • The first mile can often be driven by routine or habit, where we do things without much thought or feeling.
  • The second mile engages the heart, where our actions are motivated by genuine love, compassion, and a desire to make a meaningful difference.
  • Leadership is about pace setting: looking to those around us to set our rhythm of righteousness. 
  • If you’re not in an environment with people running faster with you, you will never grow. 

3. The First Mile Follows the Rules, the Second Mile Develops a Relationship

  • The first mile adheres strictly to the letter of the law or rules without considering the deeper relational aspects.
  • The Ten Commandments are in place to help build healthy relationships, but they don’t save you.
  • The second mile prioritizes building relationships and connecting with others on a deeper, more personal level.
  • You open up the potential for a different relationship when you go the second mile. 

4. The First Mile Defines a Minimum Christian, the Second Mile Marks a Mature Christian

  • The first mile sets the basic standard for being a follower of Christ, meeting the minimum requirements of faith.
  • “But someone will say, 'You have faith; I have deeds.' Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds.” James 2:18
  • If you really have faith, deeds will be the result. 
  • The second mile is about a self-sacrificing, cruciform shaped life that has a deeper understanding of God’s grace.

5. First Mile is Legal, Second Mile is What is Pleasing

  • The second mile goes beyond legality to what is pleasing to God, seeking to align with His will and bring Him glory.
  • There is nothing sacrificial about the first mile, but we can do what is pleasing to God when we go the second.
  • “And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.” Hebrews 13:16

Dinner Party Questions

  1. Do a “Habit Audit” this week, looking at your habits in the morning and evening, around relationships and work, health and wellness. As you look at your habits, which ones set you up for a great second mile? Which would you like to shift?
  2. In what ways are you self-sacrificing in your relationships? How have you seen others love you in a self-sacrificial way?
  3. Who are your “pace setters” in following Jesus? How does healthy community challenge and grow your faith?

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