BUILDING BRIDGES - Overcoming Barriers
According to Barna research group, in 1993, nine 9 of 10 Christians who had shared their faith agreed it was the responsibility of every Christian. In 2018, just two-thirds say so. That’s 64%, a 25-point drop off and we know it has gotten worse. Why is there such a decline? Why is there such reluctance to sharing our faith with others? American culture has embraced the lies of relativism, pluralism, and secularism, that only gets traction in the digital age that we live in. A society that is trending away from truth creates a tension in the hearts of Christians between the command of Jesus to share the good news with others. People are not talking about the Word of God; which we believe is necessary to grow in a relationship with Jesus. Jesus Christ died on the cross to build the only bridge for sinful humanity to be reconciled to a holy God. This is our responsibility to make this known. God has given us the “ministry of reconciliation” and responsibility of building bridges to Jesus. We need to do more. People are dying everyday not having a relationship with Jesus, and we know that they are headed to hell because of this. When will we apply Jesus’ value system to the application of our faith? When will we share the hope of Jesus to those who are completely different than us? Do we have a heart for the lost? These are questions that we need to wrestle with as followers of Christ. In the story of the woman at the well in John chapter 4, we see that Jesus didn’t just invite the woman to church. He invited her to share part of his day, his life, his routine. It’s time for us to build bridges, relationships with people the way Jesus did!
A Muslim man heard the gospel for the first time and asked his friend, “How long has this message been around?” “About two thousand years,” his friend replied. The Muslim man said “Then why haven’t I heard it before? There must not be any Christians in my country?” “Yes, there are.” “Then there must be none in my city.” His friend sadly said “Yes, there are.” “Then how come I have never heard this message before? I can only think of one reason. You Christians do not believe your own gospel!”
Now he had to go through Samaria. So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon. When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans. ) Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?” Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”
do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
Have you ever struggled to step out of your comfort zone to build relationships with people?
Have you ever shared your faith with someone? How did it go?
What are some ways you can get better at building relationships with people who don’t have a relationship with Jesus?
Who are you going to share your faith with this week?