Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Bridges of Love

Chuckle: "A thoughtful wife is one who has the steaks ready when her husband comes home from a fishing trip!"
Quote: "He who is filled with love is filled with God himself." -- St. Augustine of Hippo
BRIDGES OF LOVE
    "Do to others as you would have them do to you. If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that" (Luke 6:31-33 NIV).
In 1851, James Robling made the shocking announcement that he would build a bridge across the Niagara River Gorge. Engineers said it was impossible. The span was 800 feet. The height was 200 feet. Water flowed over the Falls at 37 million gallons per minute and rushed down the Gorge. It would be impossible to set piers to support the bridge. But true to his vision, he built a suspension bridge so strong that trains could pass over it.
Jesus is the greatest bridge-builder of all time -- across time and space -- from heaven to earth -- from sin to salvation. Jesus is saying to Christians, "I want you to be like me. I want you to build bridges to others so they can walk across that bridge of your life to me." As bridge builders, we must learn two major lessons:
First, we must learn to think like Jesus. Philippians 2:5 says, "Let this mind be in you that is also in Christ Jesus." We must allow His Spirit to give us the mind of Christ. Like Jesus, we must invest ourselves in the lives of others. Jesus said, "As the Father has sent me, so I'm sending you." Jesus said, you're "salt and the light." Both of these must be put to use to have value. Salt can't season unless it is poured out. Light is useless if kept in a closet. God wants us to:
(1) Have Christ's love for hurting people. "When he (Jesus) saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd" (Matthew 9:36 NIV). The lost and hurting are the ones to which Jesus is referring (sick, hurting, hungry, naked, alone,etc.).
(2) Adopt Jesus' methods: Luke 6:36 says, "Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful" Galatians 6:10 says, "Let us do good to all people." Bridges have one purpose - they connect and allow people to move from one place to another. When we build bridges of love, we say, "don't come to our church; we're coming to you." This kind of love results in selfless good deeds. A small act of kindness says "I love you," and "there's a God who loves you."
Second, we must act like Jesus. Like Jesus, our motives must be pure and our love proven. James said in 2:17 NIV, "In the same way, faith by itself, not accompanied by action is dead. . . I will show you my faith by what I do." Jesus came from heaven to where we are and built a bridge of love between us and the Father - Jesus is that bridge, and we should be bridges to others.
Acts of kindness in Jesus' name can have amazing impact on those who have not experienced God's love. If you want to make a difference in your children, take them to where they can help someone who is hungry, sick, old, alone. If we learn to think and act like Jesus, we will build bridges of love to those around us.

Love, Jerry & Dotse

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