YOU CAN BE A BRIDGE OF GRACE!

Building a Bridge of Grace over which the TRUTH can travel…

John 1:17 says, “For the Law was given through Moses; but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.”

YOU CAN BE A BRIDGE OF UNCONDITIONAL LOVE!

Romans 5:8 says, “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

YOU CAN BE A BRIDGE OF PURSUIT!

Luke 19:10 says, “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

YOU CAN BE A BRIDGE OF KINDNESS!

Romans 2:4 says, “Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?”

YOU CAN BE A BRIDGE OF PATIENCE!

2 Peter 3:9 says, “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.”

YOU CAN BE A BRIDGE OF HUMILITY!

Building a Bridge of confessing your wrong and asking the other person to forgive you.

James 4:6 says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble”, and James 4:10 says, “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.”

You have probably heard it said, “people don’t care what you know, unless they know that you care.”

So care enough to extend grace before you extend truth… and care enough to extend unconditional love… show care enough to pursue… care enough to express kindness… and care enough to express patience… care enough about the relationship to confess your wrong and ask for forgiveness

YOU CAN BE a BRIDGE of influence for men, women and young people to have a fresh start for their heart and to experience what it really means to be forgiven, forgiving and free!

And when they are FORGIVEN, FORGIVING & FREE… They can be a BRIDGE to others!

And, remember, IT’S NEVER TOO LATE FOR A FRESH START!

Pastor Steve Peterson
Executive Director
www.freshstartforallnations.org

 

“You know how people say that you forget the pain of childbirth? Well, it’s not true!” Jennifer laughed. “I definitely remember it! And I didn’t think I would be able to bear it.”

Baby Libby cooed, and Jennifer continued, a smile in her voice. “But you know, I didn’t have the grace to go through labor the day before Libby was born. I didn’t even have the grace for it ten minutes before the labor started. But when the moment came, God gave me the strength to get through it. It was hard. It was painful. But I had the grace when I needed it.”

This secret of God’s dispensation of grace at just the right moment is something my friend Jennifer has experienced over and over again the last several years. Her first child, little Libby Anne Hope, was named in honor of Jennifer’s sister, who had died tragically in a car accident seven months earlier. Since then, Jennifer’s had four more children, some with special needs and medical complications. She’s walked through a young son’s chemotherapy treatments for cancer. She’s spent many many nights and days in the emergency room and intensive care unit of hospitals.

And she’ll be the first to say it hasn’t been easy. There have been times of anger, fear, hopelessness, feeling abandoned and forgotten by God. But through it all, she clung to God’s promise – “My grace is sufficient for you” (II Cor 12:8).

Trust God for TODAY

When I look at my future and start worrying about how I’ll be able to handle the hard things that are surely ahead, Jennifer’s words echo in my head. No, I don’t have the grace for the pain of childbirth yet. I don’t have the strength for caring for a sick child, or the fortitude to deal with the grief of a painful loss. Because I’m not there yet.  I have grace for today, I don’t have grace for tomorrow. I don’t have grace for next week. I don’t have grace for 5 minutes from now. Not yet. But I will. When I get there. And not before.

Whatever it is you’re facing, or worrying about, and wondering how on earth you can possibly get through, just know that when you get to that point, the grace will be there. Trust Him for TODAY. And leave tomorrow to His care.

Going Vertical!
MJ

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
Matthew 6:34, NIV

“That will never work,” Hanna declared decisively. Before her husband Jeremy could even finish the explanation of his newest dream for their business, practical Hanna proceeded to expound upon why it was a foolish plan.

“Could you just listen to my idea?” Jeremy pleaded, looking crushed. “But I know it won’t work,” she said simply. “You always have crazy plans, and you don’t think about the potential problems. That’s what I’m here for.”

Sharp-tongued and critical, Hanna was constantly berating her husband and squelching his excitement with her “realism”. Jeremy was all enthusiasm and passion, but Hanna seemed to be all prickles and spines.

But below the surface of Hanna’s “porcupine personality” were deep hurts. Rejected by her mother for not being as pretty as her sister, she’d always felt unwanted, unloved, and not valued. It was hard for her to believe that anyone could really care about her. The pain of childhood wounds that had never healed caused her to bristle when anyone got too close, unknowingly sabotaging her relationships.

The Cat Whisperer

Hanna came to mind this weekend as I chatted with a woman who calls herself a “Cat Whisperer”. She’s a volunteer “foster parent” for abandoned and traumatized animals from the SPCA. Many of the cats who come to her are aggressive, hissing and clawing when she brings them food or tries to pet them.

“I have to ask myself, ‘Why did this cat scratch me? Is it scared? Does it feel threatened?” the “Cat Whisperer” explained. “Then I have to get down on his level and show him that I’m not going to hurt him.” Eventually she builds trust with the skittish felines, overcoming their fear through gentle persistence.

In the case of my friend Hanna, the persistent love and affirmation of friends began to break down the walls of defense around her heart. She was finally able to identify those deep childhood wounds, and to forgive those who had hurt her. The prickles and spines began to fade away, and a softer side was revealed – more of the true Hanna, gentle and loving and compassionate.

Are you a “porcupine person”? Have past wounds made you prickly and spiny? Like those traumatized and abandoned cats, do you claw and scratch people who get too close? Stop and think about why you are responding this way, and ask the Lord to help you identify those wounds that need to be healed. He’s a true “Heart Whisperer” and He’s whispering His love to you right now!

Going Vertical!
MJ

“And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart.”
Ezekiel 36:26 (NLT)