Building Bridges

We’ve all heard the saying; ‘Don’t build walls, build bridges’. Like most cliches, though it can be viewed as corny and redundant, it still carries a significant weight of truth. While it is imperative that we build boundaries in our lives and we maintain our doctrinal beliefs, yet it’s crucial that we eliminate any barriers that would keep unsaved people from being drawn to us and receiving our message. Instead, we must become adept at building bridges to those who are separated by the chasm of sin.

In the Great Commission found in Matthew 28:19 Jesus said, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen.”

The teaching and baptising part is something that we understand well but perhaps the greatest challenge has been the part where we are ‘to make disciples’. It’s not as easy as going to a stranger on the street and simply saying, “Hey I want you to be my disciple.” It may work but I’ve rarely seen it done.

What we must do is learn to be a bridge builder to those who are unsaved, so that we can bring them to a place of salvation and personal experience with Jesus Christ. The bridge is called ‘Trust’ or ‘Leverage’. A person will not step foot on a bridge to cross to the other side unless they trust that the bridge will hold their weight. In the same way, many people will be reluctant to take a step of faith towards God unless there’s someone whom they trust that could show them the way. Jesus was a master bridge builder in the way He sought relationship before ministry. What a great example to follow.

Developing ‘trust’ must be done intentionally. It may be becoming a friend to someone, inviting them over for a meal and simply sharing life experiences. It takes time to build a bridge but once the trust has been created, at their pace and in their way, our unsaved neighbours, work mates, people we see on the way to work everyday, may begin to cross the gap to Faith. They will do so because they trust you. Be a Bridge Builder today.

1 Cor 9:22 To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.

Obedience Today

Obedience is a word and a concept that today is considered old fashioned and misplaced in an “enlightened” and post-modern world. Especially with the prevailing worldview of relative truth and subjective reality in our society. The idea of obedience then is misconstrued by such perspectives, that it’s relevance becomes subject to convenience, social acceptance and immediate gratification.

As followers of Christ however, we are required to obey God’s Word unequivocally. That means that we are to do what God commands us to do, even at the expense of what is convenient for us personally or what may or may not be popular in the world. There is also the great temptation to delay obedience for another time for the sake of personal gratification now. As parents we teach our children about delayed gratification in order to instill resilience and discipline in them and in like manner, as Christians, it’s our personal desires that must take a back seat to immediate and radical obedience.

It’s of vital importance for us to understand that God gives us his laws and statutes to follow, not because He is some egotistical megalomaniac as suggested by modern atheists but because obeying his word is of great benefit to us spiritually and physically, as well as every other aspect of human life. On the contrary, a life that is without rule and boundaries is often destructive and unfulfilled.

Radical obedience to God’s word is not laborious or mundane but it is life and life more abundant because it is obedience borne out of a love relationship with our Creator and Saviour, Jesus Christ. We don’t instruct our toddlers not to walk on the railway track because we want to be controlling parents and make life miserable for them, we do it out of love, even if they don’t completely understand the why. Obedience is so powerful that without it, we can not go to heaven but to reiterate, it is an outflow of our passionate love for Christ and as such, it is not a chore or a burden, but a privilege.

John 14:21 Those who accept My commandments and obey them are the ones who love Me. And because they love Me, My Father will love them. And I will love them and reveal Myself to each of them.

John 15:6-7 Anyone who does not remain in Me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. But if you remain in Me and My words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted