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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Cedar Run railroad bridge on Pine Creek rail trail 8/16/15
Cedar Run railroad bridge on Pine Creek rail trail

"A Cross To Bridge The Great Divide"

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"For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile everything to Himself by making peace through the blood of His cross—whether things on earth or things in heaven. Once you were alienated and hostile in your minds because of your evil actions. But now He has reconciled you by His physical body through His death, to present you holy, faultless, and blameless before Him— if indeed you remain grounded and steadfast in the faith and are not shifted away from the hope of the gospel that you heard. This gospel has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and I, Paul, have become a servant of it" (Colossians 1:19-23).

Oh, the love that drew salvation’s plan!
Oh, the grace that brought it down to man!
Oh, the mighty gulf that God did span
At Calvary!

Today let us consider a "link" we use most every day and rarely give thought to it; the transportation link is what I am speaking of, otherwise known as the bridge. In our trip this last weekend to the Grand Canyon region of Pennsylvania we crossed many, many bridges (surely hundreds). Most we gave no thought to at all but in hindsight I'm sure glad they were reliable! But some bridges, such as those featured today in our photos, are so distinct as to catch our attention.

Royal Gorge bridge
Our most memorable bridge crossing was in Colorado over ten years ago. After attending a family reunion we rented a van and visited several notable tourist sites throughout the state. We drove to the Royal Gorge which for many years was the world's highest suspension bridge, crossing over the Arkansas River at nearly 1000 feet. *

We parked the van on the west side of the canyon although we were heading east. We slowly approached the bridge on foot and, with a knot in my stomach, proceeded to walk across. My fear is not really heights but being near or looking out over the edge. Well, as you may have already ascertained, we made it across safely and we visited the various attractions on the east side.

However the next part was harder. After visiting for awhile we crossed again to our van to resume our trip east which meant... we had to drive over the bridge. Now I really got the weebie jeebies and was just about ready to head back west and drive many, many miles out of my way just to avoid crossing the bridge in our vehicle.

But I went for it, reasoning that many others had already done so and surely the bridge was well inspected. Surely they knew what they were doing in posting a weight limit considerably more than we needed. Well again, by now you know that we made it across safely!

Today let us consider the absolute reliability of another Bridge in securing our salvation.

Bridge To Salvation
So many souls have tested Him throughout the course of time.
So many still reach out to Him with broken hearts and minds.
And every one of them will say,
Without exception that they find... Jesus never fails.

Bridge To Life tract coverSalvation is often graphically depicted as a bridge between sinful man and a holy God. In fact a ministry I have appreciated through the years, the Navigators, has a small tract explaining salvation called "The Bridge To Life" illustrating that a great chasm separates sinful humanity from a holy God. But Jesus Christ, in dying on the cross, bridges that mighty chasm. The cross is God's only appointed means for man to reach Him. It is supremely trustworthy. 

This bridge may be expressed as a cross. 
Bridge To Life

Pastor Rich Moore writes, "God is an amazing bridge builder. His Son built a bridge across the grandest canyon known to us. He bridged between us and God, by offering forgiveness and love to us in the free gift of His sacrifice. Jesus built this bridge with only two pieces of wood and three nails."

Bible teacher Kenneth Wuest comments concerning today's passage, "Our Lord, by His death on the Cross, bound together again a holy God and sinful man who placed his faith in the Saviour."

There's a cross to bridge the great divide
A way was made to reach the other side
The mercy of the Father cost His son His life
His love is deep, His love is wide
There's a cross to bridge the great divide

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer:
Heavenly Father, just like a grand canyon, sin cuts and digs deep chasms between us and a holy God. Thank You for providing Your only Son, Jesus, to act as a redemptive bridge so that we can cross over the great divide and transition from sin to forgiveness, from death to life, from punishment to mercy, from despair to eternal hope. We are now One with You, Father, and can act as a channel of Your mercy when we invite needy souls to walk over the bridge of salvation. It is because of Jesus that we can approach You, our holy God, and pray to You as our heavenly Father. Amen.

More bridge photos in the Pennsylvania's Grand Canyon region.

Cedar Run railroad bridge on Pine Creek rail trail 8/16/15
Another view of the Cedar Run railroad bridge on Pine Creek rail trail.

Cedar Run railroad bridge on Pine Creek rail trail 8/16/15
A view of Pine Creek from the Cedar Run bridge.

Railroad bridge on Pine Creek rail trail near Blackwell 8/16/15
An open railroad bridge near Blackwell. In my mind I, Brooksyne, traveled through memory lane upon observation of the old telegraph pole still standing on the left. I considered the early days when people received important information via telegraph - either very exciting news or very sad news. Consider all the ways we communicate now and the instantaneous ways we reach others right from our home, car, or even on a bike trail (if there is service).

Berlin bridge at Slate Run, PA 8/16/15
This single lane Berlin bridge near Slate Run was built in 1889.

Berlin bridge at Slate Run, PA 8/16/15
This modern bridge curves as it crosses Pine Creek and enters Blackwell, which is at the lower end of the main Grand Canyon gorge. The next road crossing the river to the north is 17 miles upstream.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"The Great Divide "  Video   Point of Grace

"Jesus Never Fails"  Video  Originally by a group called "Truth" as I recall

"At Calvary"  Video  Collingsworth Family

"Bridge Over Troubled Water"  Video  Sammy Hall Singers

Devotional on Grand Canyon by Pastor Rich Moore

The Bridge to Life  Plan of salvation by the Navigators

The Royal Gorge Bridge

* For the terminally curious -  Sidu River Bridge in China built in 2009 is now the tallest bridge in the world.

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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, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. 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 make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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