By Kenneth J. Fleeman
Bridges are marvelous devices which connect isolated land masses. They provide safe passage over uncertain waters. A bridge can be as simple as a fallen tree or rough sawn plank over which a narrow stream may be crossed. Others are more elaborate spanning countless miles of open water. My favorite bridge was the swinging bridge crossing Archer’s Fork near my great-grandparent’s home. Archer’s Fork was only ankle deep most of the time but come spring that rickety foot bridge was the only access for days, sometimes weeks, at a time.
It has long been sound military strategy to isolate an enemy by destroying infrastructure. Bridges are often targeted as they provide extremely limited means of access. When supply routes are cut off it is only a matter of time until the enemy is subdued. We would do well to employ the same strategy in our war against Satan. Burning the “bridges” to our past behaviors will help us isolate and subdue our passions. All links to our life of sin must be severed. Old acquaintances, old haunts and old habits are all bridges which we must “burn” in order to start down and remain on the narrow pathway (Matthew 16:24, 19:29, Colossians 3:5).
Burning bridges may also be employed as a defensive strategy. I worked a number of years ago for a supervisor who was fond of saying “We’ll burn that bridge when we get to it.” In the business setting it was a humorous way of saying that we would nip a particular issue “in the bud” before it could blossom into a crisis. The problem with burning a bridge prior to crossing is that there will eventually come the day when the bridge is needed. The fault for its absence will then be our own. It is a sign of desperation indeed that one would destroy a necessary resource thinking we will keep the enemy at bay. Every time we sever a vital link to our salvation we become weaker. We play into Satan’s hands when we apply his own tactics!
Despite this knowledge Christians routinely burn the very bridges that provide direct access to Heaven while Satan prowls incessantly in anticipation (1 Peter 5:8). Prayer, study and worship are forsaken (James 5:14, 1 Peter 3:12, 2 Timothy 2:15, Hebrews 2:1-3, 10:25). Profitable relationships with fellow Christians are neglected and severed (Romans 12:10, 1 Corinthians 12:18-26). Faith wanes and the spirit dies, only to awaken in torment. Friends, no bridge spans that great gulf (Luke 16:26). (January 2008)
Are There Any Mules You Are Not Talking To?
One day a visiting farmer leaned on the old fence around a farm, while he watched another farmer plowing with a mule. After a while, the visitor said, "I don't want to tell you how to run your business, but you wouldn't have to work so hard if you would just say, 'gee' and 'haw' to that mule instead of straining and tugging on those lines."
The old farmer stopped and pulled a big handkerchief from his pocket and wiped his face. Then he said, "Reckon you're right, but this animal kicked me five years ago and I ain't spoken to him since."
Some of us hold a grudge for a long, long time. We can remember distinctly the words that were spoken to us, or the way we were mistreated, and "we'll never forgive." Unfortunately, grudges don't hurt others nearly as much as they hurt us. But no matter how hard it may be, we'll tug on those reins until the day we die, rather than seek reconciliation.
"Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tender- hearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you" (Eph. 4:31-32). Are there any mules you're not talking to?
A Powerful Solvent
Alcohol is a product of amazing versatility:
It will remove stains from designer clothes.
It will also remove clothes.
If it is used in sufficient quantity, alcohol will remove furniture from the home.
It will remove rugs from the floor.
It will remove food from the table.
It will remove lining from the stomach.
It will remove vision from the eyes.
It will remove judgment from the mind.
It will remove a good reputation.
It will remove a good paying job.
It will remove good friends.
It will remove happiness from children's hearts.
It will remove sanity, spouse, freedom, relationships.
It will remove man's ability to adjust to and live with others.
It will remove life from this earth and eternal life hereafter.
As a remover of things, alcohol has no equal! (via Pasadena Exhorter)
A Moments Wisdom
--Believing is seeing. It's much more effective than the old notion that seeing is believing.
--The height of your accomplishment will equal the depth of your convictions.
--Snowflakes are one of nature's most fragile things, but just look at what they can do when they stick together.
--The robe of flesh wears thin, and with the years God shines through all things.
--We say that God is everywhere, and yet we often think of Him as somewhat of a recluse.
--Men to whom God is dead worship one another.
Test Your Bible Knowledge of Prophets
1. I was known as the “weeping prophet” __________
2. My name means “angel” __________
3. My wife was not an honorable woman __________
4. I wore another prophet’s cloak __________
5. I was so discouraged that I hid in a cave __________
12/19/21 AM - How to Amaze Jesus; PM - The Apostle Paul’s Mother
12/26/21 Guest Speakers: AM - Scott Black: The Trees of Eden; PM - Larry Winn
1/2/22 AM - Accepting the Blessings and Challenges of a New Year; PM - Singing Service: Congregational Choice of Songs
1/9/22 AM - The Preacher Who Baptized Me; PM - How to Handle the Dishonesty of Others
1/16/22 AM - “Walking in the Fear of the Lord”; PM - “Show Us a Sign”
1/23/22 AM - “You are Complete in Him”; PM - “You Can’t Tell Me What to Do!”
1/30/22 AM - “In the Beginning was the Word”; PM - Guest Speaker: Doug Sanders