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Friday, January 19, 2007

Bridge in Zamora Spain
Bridge in Zamora Spain
(photo by Bill Jackson, missionary to Spain)
(click for larger image and Scripture text)

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Today's background music is "Come Just As You Are."

"The Bridge"

"He told them many things in parables" (Matthew 13:3).

I met a retired man who enjoys an unusual and interesting hobby.  He carves covered bridges from blocks of wood.  Thus far he has made over 2,400!  In our conversation I mentioned that God could use his skill to advance His Kingdom. He eagerly responded that he in fact often uses his carvings as object lessons, using the bridge as an illustration of God's salvation for mankind.

I regularly challenge earnest followers of Christ to impact their world for Christ.  I do so again today! I believe that God has given each of us natural giftings that enable us to creatively spread the Gospel message.  There are many who will never enter a church building or sit and listen to a sermon, but they do share a mutual interest which can provide a golden opportunity for the believer.

There is an excellent illustrative evangelistic tract titled "The Bridge" which is used by a ministry called the Navigators.  It's actually available on the web (see link below).  I challenge each of you to consider Biblical illustrations based upon your line of work or personal interests.  I believe that as we pray and seek the Lord He will reveal appropriate, personal illustrations that we can use to effectively communicate His truth.

Jesus often connected with His listeners using parables. Do you remember the old VBS/Sunday School definition of a parable?  "A parable is an earthly story with a heavenly meaning."  Jesus told these parables not only to illustrate His teaching, but at times it was His complete sermon!  The crowds went home and pondered on the meaning, which created spiritual interest for additional teaching. 

As Christ's representatives let us use our unique God-given gifts in spreading the Gospel.  I would be delighted to hear from any of you who have found creative ways in non-traditional settings to share the message of salvation.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen C. Weber

Daily Prayer: Jesus, I'm so glad for the parables recorded in the gospels where You connect with listeners in their personal experiences in everyday living.  Since we're often perplexed by life's experiences and need supernatural understanding or wise counsel Your parables provide wisdom and guidance to direct us in the daily events that occur.  Thank You for presenting heavenly truths in a format that helps us to relate and grasp its spiritual meaning for our lives.  The parables, though presented thousands of years ago, have not diminished in their application for our lives because You are speaking to the spiritual and physical needs of Your creation.  We continue to need Your divine intervention and Biblical instruction for daily living as we walk this pilgrim pathway.  Amen.

The Bridge  (online gospel presentation)

Bill JacksonToday's photo was taken by Bill Jackson, a veteran missionary to Spain. Over 20 years ago Bill visited our church in northern Pennsylvania when he was first sharing with churches regarding his call to missions. I had not seen him since until Wednesday evening when he and his wife Diane visited our church. Bill is involved in evangelism and church planting in a remote part of Spain. He also runs a Spanish website with an evangelistic intent at www.comoiralcielo.com. (the name means "how to get to heaven" in Spanish!)  Although I'm unable to read Spanish, the photograph he took doesn't require interpretation since it's the same in every language.

As we consider a song to share today we both agree that a song by Point of Grace fits this theme. Unfortunately all I could find was a brief sample clip but it sure has the very portion of the song "The Great Divide" that prompted us!  This is from the Point of Grace website. Scroll down for the lyrics to this song.

Also here's an interesting version of an old 60's song many in my generation will recall.  I always felt this song easily lent itself to a Christian message!

In my search for music this morning I discovered this interesting group and sound!  We Fall Down

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission; and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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