Building Bridges to Eternity

If we’re going to partner with Jesus to make an Eternal Impact, one of the ways we do this is by helping to build bridges to eternity. Regardless of whether someone is a follower of Jesus or not, we all have common experiences, common struggles, and coming longings. It’s these areas of commonality where we can best walk with people who don’t yet know Jesus, where we can best show them who Jesus is, and where we can best point them to eternity. Here are three bridges to eternity we can walk with people who don’t yet know Jesus.

1. The Hurts of Life. Every person has experienced hurt and disappointment. The people and things that we place our hopes in let us down because we place a burden upon them they were never meant to bear. As we get to know people, they share what’s really going on in their lives with us. And it’s in those moments of the hurts of life that we have an opportunity to build a bridge to eternity. We can bridge their hurt to a God who will meet them in the midst of their pain.

2. The Hunger to Belong. Everybody wants to belong somewhere. We all know the loneliness that comes from feeling like we don’t belong. Whether that feeling of loneliness comes from our family, at our school, on a sports team, in our neighborhood, or where we work, it’s painful. And it’s in the pain of loneliness that we can show people Jesus’ love in Christian community. When we meet people in their loneliness, we can walk with them over the bridge to Jesus and His love.

3. The Hope for More. Deep down, we know there’s got to be more. We want a better life. So we put our hope in so many things—money, power, relationships, politics. They never provides the “more” we’re looking for. We feel like we’re right back at square one still knowing that there’s got to be more but not knowing how to get there. During this political season, there’s a lot of talk about hope. Let me be a voice you likely won’t hear from the political pundits. Obama and the Democratic party will not provide the hope we long for and so desperately need. Romney and the Republican party will not and cannot provide that hope either. No president or political party will ever be able to provide the hope we’re really looking for. Only Jesus Christ can. When the people around us are talking of hope, longing for something more, invite them to walk over a bridge and meet the only One who provides real hope. Introduce them to the only One who keeps His promises and provides the hope they truly need.

Your turn. How are you walking with the people in your world who don’t yet know Jesus?

Fueling Extraordinary Impact

Sunday’s launch of our new Extraordinary Impact series was incredible. From our worship gatherings to all of our ministries and small groups talking about what it looks like to be a group of Ordinary people making an extraordinary impact for Jesus, the Spirit was and continues to be present in our midst.

At the beginning, middle, and end of the day, it’s all about Jesus! The first-century church grasped this reality. Empowered and emboldened by the Spirit, Peter declared, “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). This reality was their fuel. It formed who they were. Their focus was Jesus.

Can you imagine how exciting it must have been for the first-century church to see over 8,000 people give their lives to Jesus? That’s an extraordinary impact. Peter’s bold declaration of Jesus as the only source of salvation was at the core of the first-century church. Those first followers of Jesus had “seen and heard” the message of God’s unconditional love through Jesus. Many of them listened to Jesus teach about the kingdom of God. Many of them saw Him nailed to the cross. Many of them walked by that empty tomb in absolute astonishment. As the Holy Spirit filled them with the truth of Jesus’ lordship and saving power, they were emboldened to share this message with their world.

My prayer for you and for Northshore is this:

Lord Jesus, fill us with the power and courage of the Holy Spirit. Cause us to believe and trust in Your lordship and saving power so deeply that we will long to live out Your love and share Your grace with our world. Inspire us to give every part of our lives to Your mission and for Your glory. Jesus—our Lord, Master, King, and Savior—thank You for loving us so extravagantly. Thank You for rescuing us from sin and death on this side and the other side of eternity. Thank You for inviting us to join You in Your mission of restoring and re-creating this world. In Your awesome name, Amen!

How will Jesus use you to make an extraordinary impact in your world for Him?