Joyce Meyer - Going the Extra Mile
Welcome to, "Enjoying Everyday Life," where I will be teaching you the Word of God. Now, let me just say, before I begin, that the Word of God has changed my life. And it will also change yours. The more time that you spend studying, taking in the Word of God, listening to the Word of God, meditating on the Word of God, the better your life is going to be. There's only one way to do things, that's gonna really work and give us the kind of life we want, and that's God's way. And the only way you can do things God's way, is to know what God wants you to do. And today, we're gonna talk about something that is very, very simple, but it is a huge problem for a lot of people.
I wanna talk to you, today, about Going the Extra Mile. You know in Matthew 5:41 it says, "If anybody forces you to go one mile, go two". And so we often hear messages, preached off of that scripture, go the extra mile. And what does that really mean? It means do a little bit more than what you have to do. Don't be the kind of person that just does what you have to do, to barely get by. But always be the kind of person that does a little extra. The person who goes the extra mile. Those are the kind of people that'll be promoted in life. Those are the kind of people that will be successful. And we're gonna use the parable, of the ten virgins. It's found in Matthew chapter 25, as our foundational scriptures, today. Matthew 25:1, "At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise".
Now, you know, I study Proverbs quite a bit. And it basically, the whole book of Proverbs just talks about, what happens to the wise man, and what happens to the foolish man. And the wise man always does now, what he's gonna be happy with later. The foolish man does nothing, or very little, and hopes that he'll end up with a great result, anyway. The wise man invests. The foolish man gambles. He thinks that he can do the wrong thing, and still get a right result. And you know that's just not, gonna happen in life. If you wanna see the promises of God come to pass in your life, then you have to be willing to do, what God tells you to do, or to not do, what he tells you, not to do. Yes, if you're gonna walk with God there are some things that you're gonna need to give up. But they're all things that are making you miserable, anyway.
You may not realize they are, but they are. So, we always see foolish people, and we see wise people. Which one are you? Ten virgins: five were wise, five were foolish. "The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them". Now, the Amplified Bible says, "They didn't take any extra oil". So, they had oil in their lamps, but they didn't take any extra oil along with them. "The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps". So, they had oil in their lamps, but they also had extra jars of oil, just in case the bridegroom took longer to come than what they might've expected. Things were a little different in those days. And there were always arrangements being made for the marriage between the bridegroom and the bride's father. And sometimes, it took 'em a little longer to negotiate than other times. So, the bridesmaids would have to wait until the bridegroom showed up. The bride would be there, everybody'd be there, the bridesmaids would be there. But nothing could happen until the groom showed up. And they never knew exactly when that was gonna be.
So, the foolish just took a chance. Come on, I want you to get this. They just took a chance that he'd be right on time, and just the oil in their lamps would be enough. But the wise said, "No, we're gonna take some extra along just in case things take a little bit longer, than we thought that they would". Well, sure enough, "The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and began to fall asleep". The foolish only did what they had to do to get by. They did not prepare for any interruptions or delays. And I wanna encourage you, today, in every situation, do a little bit more than what you absolutely have to do to get by. Let's just take a few examples. People who never prepare for delays are always late everywhere they go.
Let's just say that it takes you 30 minutes to get to work, if everything is good, if there's no traffic problems, if there's no weather problems, 30 minutes. So, you have to be at work at 8:00 and you leave right at 7:30. I can almost guarantee you, possibly, better than half the time, you're gonna be late. And you know what's gonna happen? When you realize you're gonna be late, it's gonna start putting pressure on you. And that adds stress to your life that you don't need because you probably already got a high level of stress. And then, when you do get to work, you're gonna end up making some excuse. "Traffic was bad. This happened, that happened".
Well, that's okay, you know, the first one or two times. But when you have that same excuse time, after time, after time, it gets to the point where people know that's all it is, is an excuse. But what happens if you would, leave at 7:20? Well, I understand wanting to wait, till 7:30 because I am not the kind of person that likes to get somewhere early, and sit there and have nothing to do. So, I would be the kind of person that would be tempted to leave right at 7:30. But I have learned the hard way. How many of you know, there's an easy way and a hard way? And I have learned the hard way, that it doesn't pay to take a chance, on being late. The pressure it puts on me is not worth it, and the excuses I have to make up, are not worth it. So, if you leave at 20 after, now you've got a 10-minute window there, that if there is some bad traffic, or if there's an accident, or if the weather's bad, then you're still gonna be able, to get to work on time.
How about people who always think that things are gonna go the way they planned? You know, if you're like that, you're living in dream world. And you know, what's gonna happen? You're gonna always be disappointed. Now, I'm not saying plan for things to go bad. We should plan for things to go good. But if you think that everything in this world is gonna go perfectly, just the way you planned it. I doubt very much if there was ever one whole entire day that goes exactly the way you've got it planned. And see, the key for us is to get to the point where no matter what happens, we can stay peaceful and calm. Oh, my gosh, I remember all the years that every time, something happened that I wasn't planning on, I would get so upset. Say a bunch of things that I shouldn't say, and just end up ruining my day.
Well, just a couple of weeks ago, I was makin' a cup of coffee early in the morning. I'm talking like five A.M. My dog was there with me, and I was makin' a cup of coffee and the coffee had just all run through the machine, and so the coffee cup was full. And I walked by it, and somehow or another, I caught my little finger in the handle of the cup, and I turned it over on my granite countertop, and it busted into, what seemed like, a million pieces. And coffee went all over the place. So, I not only needed to clean up the coffee, I had to clean up the glass too. Well, yes, I ended up cutting my finger. Then my dog who is only 8 months old, decided to try to eat a little glass. And so she got some glass in her mouth, he did. And I had to try to catch him, take care of that.
Well, it took me a long time to clean all that up. And then, because there's these, little bitty shards of glass, I had to go and get the hand vacuum. Vacuum a lot of the floor, even after I thought, I had the mess cleaned up, just to make sure. And I had some throw rugs there, that are kind of a deep pile. So, I had to make sure there was no glass down in them. And I am very happy to tell you, that at five A.M. I did the whole job, and did not get upset. I didn't get mad. I didn't get upset. I just cleaned it up. Now, that's progress, in your walk with God.
Now, it's taken me 45 years to get there. But it's so amazing, what a difference it makes in your day, if you can manage to not get all upset about things that don't go your way or things that happen. And you know, it was just a little tiny cut on my finger. But that thing has been so sore, just because of the place it's in. Well, I haven't got upset about that either. I just keep thanking God that he's healing it. And believe me, I'm probably sounds like I'm bragging on myself. But let me tell you, I had many, many, many, many, many, many years in my life, where that would not have been the case. I would've been like, "Well God, why did you let this happen? I don't understand why this stuff always happens to me. Now, I've got this big mess, and my day is ruined". I'll tell you what, if you can have things like that happen and stay calm, that's when you are having a victory, over the devil in your life.
Proverbs 16:9 says, "Man's mind plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps". I'm asking you to be realistic. I'm asking you to plan a little bit for things that may not go your way. So you're not so shocked when they don't go your way, that you're all upset. You know, we talk about the promises in the Word of God. But Jesus also made a promise, in John 16:33, he said, "In the world, you will have tribulation, be of good cheer, I have overcome the world". "The joy of the Lord is your strength". If you can stay happy and calm, when tribulation comes, you are having a big, big victory. Something else that happened, to me just a few days ago. Right now, our dog is not old enough to be trusted in the whole house. So, we have gates that are two open doors going into the kitchen. And they're not attached to the wall except by suction cups.
Well, I went out one evening and he was out in the kitchen area with my husband, and I leaned over the gate to pet him, not realizing that I was putting pressure on the gate. The next thing I know I fall flat on my face. I'm saying, "Flat on my face". I hit my face, my elbows, my knees. I did something to one of my feet. You should see, I mean, I've got a toe that's just literally almost black. But the interesting thing is, is it doesn't hurt. I mean, I coulda broke teeth. I coulda broken bones. And you know what? God protected me. Now, instead of thinking about being upset because of what did happen, Dave and I were thanking God for what didn't happen. Let me ask you a question, "Instead of getting mad about the things that happen that you don't like, have you ever thought about all the things that could happen, that don't happen"?
Most mornings I pray that God will send his angels to protect me and to watch over me. Psalm 91 says that, "His angels will protect us in all of our ways of service and obedience". That's the Amplified translation. You have angels. Everybody's got a guardian angel. But there's all kinds of angels. Make use of 'em. Give 'em something to do. "Angels hearken to the Word of God". Say, "I can stay calm. When tribulation happens, I can stay calm". Think about that. I could've really hurt myself bad. And Dave and I are still thanking God for what didn't happen. I wanna say it again. Some of you are upset, right now, about something that happened in your life. But did you ever think how much, worse it coulda been than what it was? Did you ever think about the things that could've happened, that didn't happen?
There's so many things that God protects us from, that we don't even realize. And we should be thanking God for those things. Things that you can do to go, the extra mile. Give a little bigger tip than you would have to, when you eat in a restaurant. Hmm... Get to work a little bit early, and stay a little bit late. If you work from 9 to 5, don't clock in at 9:01, and leave at 4:59, stay an extra five or ten minutes. You say, "Well, why should I do that"? Well, because you're the kinda person that goes the extra mile. And you know what? Do it unto God. Don't do it to be noticed by man or to be appreciated, or to be thanked. Do it as unto God. And you know what? When an opening comes for a promotion, you just might be the one to get it, because you've been recognized as somebody who goes the extra mile. Offer to do things for people, that you don't have to do. Even when you're in a hotel room, don't trash the hotel room, and just see how big of a mess you can leave it in because somebody else is gonna clean it up.
I stay in hotels all the time. And I'm not saying that I clean, the hotel room before I leave. But I don't trash the place. And we're always careful, turn all the lights off when we leave. "Well, why should I do that? I paid for the hotel room". Well, why shouldn't you do that? You're an excellent person, who always goes the extra mile. Clean up a mess that somebody else made and don't complain. Oh, my goodness, how long did it take me to pick, Dave socks up out of the floor, and put 'em in the dirty clothes without letting him know that I did it. There's little things like that, that we can just go the extra mile. Here's a good one, be kind to someone who has treated you unjustly. Wow. The virgins fell asleep because it took longer than they expected. A perfectionist will expect, everything to go perfectly, and it almost never does. So, they fell asleep. They got lazy. They got passive. They weren't doing what they, shoulda been doing.
Now, they went to the, "Then the virgins all woke up trimmed their lamps," because, "At midnight the cry rang out: 'the bridegroom is coming, come out to meet him'. The foolish ones", I love this, "The foolish one said to the wise, 'give us some of your oil: our lamps are going out'". Foolish people always go to wise people and want the wise people to do for them, what they should've done for themselves. And you know what? That gets tiresome and it gets old. Stop expecting somebody else, to do for you what you should be doing for yourself. Go the extra mile. "'no,' they replied, 'there might not be enough for both of us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves'. But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. And the virgins who were ready went in to meet him".
If Jesus comes tonight, are you ready? "The virgins who were ready went in to meet him". Let me say again, if Jesus comes tonight, are you ready? You know, especially the times we're living in right now. So many people are asking, "Are these the last days? Are we in the end times? Is Jesus gonna be coming back soon"? You know what? I don't know for sure. But I'm not worried about it. You know why? Because I'm ready whenever he comes. Don't be the kind of person, that when you think Jesus is coming back, you hurry up and try to get ready. Just live ready? Be the kind of person that's always ready and then you won't have to be concerned about what kinda times, we're living in. Most things take longer than expected. And realizing that could probably happen, is not negative, it's simply wise planning. Because they had not done, what they should have done, they asked the wise virgins to give them some of their oil.
Don't be the kind of person that always needs somebody else to give you something. But be the kind of person, that's always got more than enough and you're ready to give to somebody else. You know, there's so many things that you can do to just go the extra mile. Every time you get something out and use it at home, when you're done with it, put it away. It's just a little thing. But it'll keep your house so much neater, so much cleaner. Go the extra mile and make sure that you say, "Thank you," to people, who do things for you. Use good manners, say, "Please," say, "Thank you". Tell people that you appreciate them. Tell the people that you love, that you love them. Here's a way you can go the extra mile. When there's strife between you, and someone else, when there's been an argument, be the first one to apologize.
You say, "Well, why should I do that? I don't think I was the one that was wrong". You know, the Bible doesn't tell you to forgive and apologize only if you were wrong. It tells us to be peacemakers. "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God, the sons of God". That's amazing. So many ways that you can go the extra mile. Do a little extra reading in your Bible. Listen to a little extra teaching, when you're on your way to work. Listen to a podcast. Listen to a radio program. Listen to something that's going to benefit you and add to your life. "But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. And the virgins who were ready".
Let me say again, are you ready? "The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut. Later the others also came. 'Lord, Lord,' they said, 'open the door for us'! But he replied, 'truly I tell you, I don't know you'". Don't be the kind of person that ends up with things being too late. Maybe you have some kinda desire to minister. Maybe you wanna be a teacher, or maybe you wanna be a pastor. Well, what are you doing to prepare? I don't care even if you wanna be a bookkeeper or a secretary, what whatever you wanna be. Are you doing anything to prepare? We need to get prepared.
You know, many, many years ago when I had a desire in my heart to minister, I didn't know the word. I had to learn something before I could teach something. And I felt like God put it on my heart to quit my full-time job and study for this ministry that was just in my heart, and in my head. But I believed it would happen, but I had no proof. And so, I did that to get prepared. And every day, I would work my whole day around being able to study for the couple hours, that I had free in the afternoon when my children were taking their naps.
You know, you never know when the right door of opportunity is gonna open for you. And you need to be ready. You need to be prepared. And here again, when it comes to end times, Jesus is coming back. And the Bible says that he's coming back with his rewards to give to each person, according to what they've done. Now, your salvation is not based on what you've done. But there are rewards that are gonna be handed out, and I don't know about you, but I don't wanna miss mine. I don't wanna be like the foolish virgins: the door got shut, and it was too late. I wanna be prepared. I wanna stay prayed up. I wanna stay ready. I wanna know the word. I wanna meditate on the word. I wanna be good to everybody, and always go the extra mile.
Are you ready to be the kinda person that does that? The kind of person that always goes the extra mile? Well, let me just ask you a question, "What are you doing that's extra"? You say, "Well, I'm eatin' a little extra. I'm sleepin' a little extra. And I'm watchin' little extra tv". Well, that's not the kinda extra I'm talking about. That's the kind of stuff that, gets us in trouble. Do extra good things. Give more than you have to. Give compliments. Be the kind of person that always does more than enough, and that's always ready. God bless you, and you have a great day.