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Friday, September 25, 2015

Building Bridges

Engineering
My undergraduate degree was civil engineering.  I never practiced, after graduation I went directly, next day, into Undergraduate Pilot Training in the Air Force.  After that – well rather than repeat my resume – I never practiced CE.
Building Bridges
One of the things one studied in that discipline is structural beam design in both concrete and steel.  Those are the primary materials used in the construction of bridges and overpasses.  The process is fairly straight forward, one figures out the load that will be on that member and then designs it to handle that load.  But there is a safety factor.  You design for a percentage higher than the load the member will carry.

Living as an Engineer
1 Peter 3:15 is essentially bridge building for believers.  We are to live our lives in such a way that we have bridges to people who are non-believers strong enough to carry the gospel.

Intentionality
Engineering a bridge is an intentional process.  One does not simply throw some sticks across a river and expect to drive a semi across.  One of the reasons we are still here as believers – if I am reading Matthew 28:18 – 20 correctly – is to make disciples of all the nations.  If that is the assignment, then in each nation or person for that matter, we have to intentionally build bridges of communication.

Consistency
One can walk in and share the gospel.  I have done that.  At times God honors that.  But, the more effective bridge is one that is built by one’s verbal association with Christ and a life that demonstrates the reality of the effect of that relationship.

That is not as easy as it sounds.  It requires a complete, intentional commitment to the task.  1 Peter 3:15 implies that is a full time commitment, not just something we do in a season.  It is all in, all the time.  Hard.  Essential.

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