THE FIRST MILE Matthew 5:33-41
"Whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile - go with him twain." That means: if you
have to go one mile, Jesus says go that extra mile - go two miles - where only one mile
is expected or reasonably required.
When I was 18 years old, I preached my first sermon in a rural church out from Petal,
Mississippi. I didn't know anything about preaching. I didn't even know anything about
homiletics - because I didn't even know that word existed! And so I thought the way you
prepared a sermon ... you'd find another sermon and you'd read it and you would memorize
it and you'd reproduce it.... so in my browsing around - I accidentally - or perhaps -
inspired by the Lord - opened a little book of sermons that many are familiar with ..... by
C. Roy Angell, entitled IRON SHOES. And in that little book is a sermon on this verse,
the second mile, so I just took that sermon and made it mine. And during the early years
of my preaching - if anyone would comment on whether it was good or bad .... my answer would
be, "When better sermons are written - I'll preach them!" And so I took C. Roy Angell's
sermon and was guilty of plagarism and not ashamed of it. I - to this day - can remember
that opening sentence ..... he quotes the verse, "Whosoever shall compell thee to go a mile;
go with him twain." The opening sentence is, "There is an innocent sounding sentence
spoked by Jesus Christ in his Sermon on the Mount, that contains enough dynamite to change
the course of the entire world."
I was dating my wife when I was preaching that sermon and we went over to the house of
one of my aunts - and I got behind a television set and-pushed it out and stood in front
of the TV - and I used that as my pulpit and I made her sit out there and I just preached
to her for a while! And that's the very words I quo ...
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