This morning I am on Holmes Beach, Anna Maria Island, Florida at the beginning of a wonderful vacation. The sun is shining, there is a cool ocean breeze and everything is right with the world. Well, not really.
There is a steady stream of people filling the beach: young, old, families with children, singles, surfers, sunbathers and a myriad of others. To that add the billions of people around the world. The thought came to me that one day we will all be together again but in a different setting.
“We shall all be judged one day, not by each other’s standards or even our own, but by the standard of Christ. It is written: ‘As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God’. It is to God alone that we have to answer for our actions.” Romans 14:12
I look at all the people playing in the surf, searching for shells, playing volleyball etc. The majority of people are not even aware that such a event is going to take place! Which leads me to my second thought: Who is going to tell them? Preachers cannot reach those who do not come to church, so it is up to all of us to share to message.
“Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did.” 1 John 2:6
“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.” John 14:12
Have you ever wonder if Jesus were here today, how would He minister to this world? Think of all the avenues we have at our disposal to spread the Gospel that were not available to Jesus. We can broadcast the Message to people thousands of miles away in an instant. We can speak to someone via Skype, email,text, cell phone, and a host of other means in the blink of an eye. I am not saying there is anything wrong with using these methods; we should use every means possible to reach people.
But I believe that the one thing we have lost today is relationships. “We may enjoy online relationships using social media sites like Facebook or Twitter, for example, but the difference between these kinds of interactions and interactions with people in the physical world is clearly vast….The problem, however, comes when we find ourselves subtly substituting electronic relationships for physical ones or mistaking our electronic relationships for physical ones.” Psychology Today
Without a doubt Jesus Christ was the Master of relationships. I am not saying Jesus would not use these modern inventions but I believe He would still use face-to-face, personal relationships to share His message.
My father was raised in the small town of Mahaffey, Pennsylvania. As a small child, Dad would take us for a visit to see all our relatives. During those visits, we would always go see the Covered Bridge. [Actual photo] I don’t know why but that bridge fascinated me.
Bridges are constructed for the purpose of bridging gaps. As Christ followers, as are to make every effort to bridge the gaps between races, social cultures, and religious denominations.
Jesus does not discriminate between people on the basis of race, nationality, level of education, or social position. He ignores all social distinctions and accepts all people who come to Him in faith. Col. 3:11
But acceptance is not the norm in our world. People constantly make distinctions between each other on the basis of race, gender, nationality, social standing, wealth and power. But God hates distinctions. Acts 15:9 So tear down the walls that separate us and build bridges.