Summary: Learn the keys to building a bridge into tomorrow through this series beginning with a Bridge of Hope
I had dinner Monday night with my parents; my dad was leaving afterwards for a meeting. He was making a life choice to end a habit, which had gripped him for most of his life. He was giving up smoking, proving in your seventies you can change.
I sat with him that afternoon, as he was finishing up on his last pack. My mother, after a heart attack several years ago, out of necessity quit smoking so my parents have a designated smoking area in their home, a place of retreat for dad downstairs. Most of my sisters and I have not picked up the habit…were just addicted to second hand smoke…we sit in the booths in the no smoking section right next to the smokers seating.
We talked about the upcoming life change, how he truly desired to be freed from the addiction of smoking. It is hard to change something, which has become a way of life, even when you can see the benefits of change. We talked about the recent tax increase, 60 more cents a pack, a hefty increase for multi-pack smokers, and as time passed, he puffed on those final cigarettes drawing him closer to the potential time of freedom. With that one question in his mind, Will I be able to do it? Hopeful in the outcome.
I want to talk with you about building a bridge. A bridge which will take us from our circumstance of today into tomorrow. A bridge build one plank at a time with each plank having special meaning. Today, building a bridge of hope.
My dad is no different than you or I when it comes to building a bridge of hope. All of us in this room have something we are hopeful for. It is a hope which will take us from where we are into something better tomorrow. Without hope, we would live lives of despair. What is it you are hoping for? What is it you would like to accomplish, to see changed, to be different in your circumstances of living which could only be done when you begin to lay down the plank of hope in the bridge of your life?
I want to help you to engineer your bridge with the words of the Bible, the truths taught by Jesus Christ, and the practical application of bridge building in your life. Then, over this next month, we are going to walk across the bridge and experience a dynamic difference in our lives. Do you want that for yourself? Do you want it for others you impact with your life? I do…
Lets take a moment to pray…
Lord, it is a struggle to break free from the addictions and co-dependencies of life. It is a struggle in situations were there seems to be darkness, and the walls appear to be closing in and the oxygen of life is just being sucked out. We need your help in building a bridge of hope. I pray for each one of us that you will help us, and most importantly bring us that hope in the midst of our situations so we can have a brighter tomorrow. May Your Holy Spirit speak to us and bring us that hope as we yield our lives to You. In Jesus name I pray…Amen.
I want to share with you from the Message how Jesus brought hope to a woman in what seemed to be a hopeless situation and it brought to her a bridge to tomorrow.
The story comes from John 8:1-11. I have an acrostic for the word Hope.
Hear what is being said.
Jesus went across to Mount Olives, but he was soon back in the Temple again. Swarms of people came to him. He sat down and taught them. The religious scholars and Pharisees led in a woman who had been caught in an act of adultery. They stood her in plain sight of everyone and said, “Teacher, this woman was caught red-handed in the act of adultery. Moses, in the Law, gives orders to stone such persons. What do you say?”
Hope only begins with an understanding of the underlying problem. Daniel 2:21 states He changes times and seasons; he sets up kings and deposes them. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning.
Wisdom comes to the wise and knowledge to the discerning, so we need to be able to hear what is being said and discern how to handle that knowledge in making wise decisions in life.
Jesus heard with discerning ears what was being said. Adultery is an act committed by more than one party. Moses said you are to stone the parties involved. This woman was in a hopeless situation. Stood naked before those gathered, rushed out of the bed where she was committing a capital offense, standing there alone.