Saturday, June 28, 2014

The Bridge

By David A. Sargent

     Once upon a time two brothers who lived on adjoining farms fell into conflict. It was the first serious rift in 40 years of farming side by side, sharing machinery, and trading labor and goods as needed without a hitch. Then the long collaboration fell apart. It began with a small misunderstanding and it grew into a major difference, and finally it exploded into an exchange of bitter words followed by weeks of silence.
     One morning there was a knock on John's door. He opened it to find a man with a carpenter's toolbox. "I'm looking for a few days work" he said. "Perhaps you would have a few small jobs here and there. Could I help you?"
     "Yes," said the older brother. "I do have a job for you. Look across the creek at that farm. That's my neighbor, in fact, it's my younger brother. Last week there was a meadow between us and he took his bulldozer to the river levee and now there is a creek between us. Well, he may have done this to spite me, but I'll go him one better. See that pile of lumber curing by the barn? I want you to build me a fence-an 8-foot fence-so I won't need to see his place anymore. Cool him down, anyhow."
     The carpenter said, "I think I understand the situation. Show me the nails and the post-hole digger and I'll be able to do a job that pleases you."
     The older brother had to go to town for supplies, so he helped the carpenter get the materials ready and then he was off for the day. The carpenter worked hard all that day measuring, sawing, nailing.
     About sunset when the farmer returned, the carpenter had just finished his job. The farmer's eyes opened wide, his jaw dropped.
     There was no fence there at all. It was a bridge – a bridge stretching from one side of the creek to the other! A fine piece of work, handrails and all – and the neighbor, his younger brother, was coming across, his hand outstretched. "You are quite a fellow to build this bridge after all I've said and done."
     The two brothers met at the middle of the bridge, taking each other's hand. They turned to see the carpenter hoist his toolbox on his shoulder. "No, wait! Stay a few days. I've a lot of other projects for you," said the older brother.
     "I'd love to stay on," the carpenter said, "but I have so many more bridges to build." *
     When WE were separated from God due to our sin (Isaiah 59:1-2), God, because of His great love for us, sent His Son Jesus to “build a bridge” of reconciliation.
     Actually, Jesus WAS and IS the bridge that reconciles man to God, for Jesus died on the cross to pay the price for our redemption (Ephesians 1:7).  Through Jesus, we are reconciled to God (see 2 Corinthians 5:17-21).
     To access the Bridge of reconciliation to God... we must place our faith and trust in Jesus (Acts16:30-31), turn from our sins in repentance (Acts 17:30-31), confess Jesus before men (Romans 10:9-10), and be baptized(immersed) into Christ for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38).
     Don’t remain separated from God!  Cross the Bridge of reconciliation through your trusting obedience to His Will.
     Won’t YOU?

- David A. Sargent, minister for the Church of Christ at Creekwood in Mobile, Alabama, is also the editor of an electronic devotional entitled Living Water." To learn more about this excellent resource contact David via their website: http://www.creekwoodcc.org

* From illustrations data base at www.bible.org, Author Unknown

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