DEVOTIONALS - from the heart

Bridge to Nowhere. Inland Wanganui - New Zealand

DEVOTIONALS - from the heart

Deep in the heart of the North Island, in dense native bush, lays a forgotten valley. Old fence lines on a fading road, a few stands of exotic trees, and the occasional brick chimney protruding through tangled undergrowth are all that remains of what once was the hope of the settlers of Mangapurua - returned soldiers from the Great War. But standing like an old concrete epitaph is a strangely beautiful structure draped with ponga’s and green ferns. Locals call it the 'Bridge to Nowhere.'

By the bridge is a sign detailing when it was built and how it got to be there but, for those who care to make their way through bush tracks to look and wonder, the ‘Bridge to Nowhere’ serves as a silent reminder: Life is like a road which, without God, does not know where it is going.

That is why Jesus said, "I am the way and the truth and the life." "I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved."

That is why Jesus came.


Please Select

Why Jesus Came
There is a Way
Fathers House
Reach out to Him Again
A Special Sign
John Griffiths Price
Never Give Up

We are spiritual beings. We are not animals whose existence is fulfilled simply by satisfying physical instincts. There is a desire embedded deep within to find meaning to life beyond just eating and drinking and working and dying.

Only a friendship with God can satisfy this basic need. Our problem is that we are separated from him so the relationship is broken before it even begins.

Picture of empty

Consequently, in our life a gap appears. Then we try to replace God with other things:- ambition, money, drugs, alcohol, education, career, sex, music, sport.

Some of these things are good. Some are not. But whether good or evil, we cannot find what we’re searching for because what’s missing is spiritual - not physical - not intellectual either. Finally, our present separation from God becomes a permanent separation forever. This is worse than death, and nothing can reverse it.

That is why Jesus came.


"WHY JESUS CAME"

Christian Gedge
"What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul?"
(Matthew 16:26)

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"No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it."
(1 Corinthians 10:13)

There is a way of escape - a way through to peace and victory, a way that was purchased by Christ's precious blood.

Come through the 'way' into the peace and joy that has been purchased for you. And as you enter in, use the ability that has been given to you to ask on behalf of those who do not have the strength to ask for themselves.

There is a job to do that will be accomplished through prayer. Continue in prayer at all times, not doubting God's love and concern. We must trust and obey for there really is no other way. And when we do trust him in our trials we shall not fall. This is our confidence, because 'he will provide a way out so that we can stand.'

Prayer: Dear Lord, as we face the difficulties in our lives we thank you that you have not left us alone. Please remind us daily of this, even as your mercy is new every day, so that the strength we need can be ours in every situation.


"THERE IS A WAY"

Maureen Gedge
"God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear."
(1Corinthians 10:13)

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"In my father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you."
(John 14:2)

The comfort contained in these words is inexhaustible as we begin to think seriously about how that Jesus has gone ahead to prepare a dwelling place for us to live in for all eternity.

Perhaps one of the most basic fears we have as people is the fear of not having a home. Being without a safe dwelling is a vulnerable feeling. We spend much of our time making sure that our earthly dwelling is safe and secure and rightly so, but how important it is to know that an eternal dwelling is being prepared for us too.

It is interesting to note that Jesus is preparing our place in his father's house. We are to be a part of his father's household, living and being where he is. The reality of this takes away some of the mystery surrounding where we go when we die. We go to be with Jesus in the father's house where we are told there are many rooms. There is a lot of room for us; we do not need to be worried about overcrowding.

Also each room will be prepared with us in mind. A dwelling carefully prepared especially for you and I, a place where we can rest, a place where the cares and distresses of life will have ended, a place where we know that Jesus will actually be abiding with us. Of this we are to be assured.


"FATHERS HOUSE"

Maureen Gedge
"In my father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you."
(John 14:2)

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So many times, it would seem we reach out to grasp a hand and find that there is none to hold. Finally we stop reaching out.

We hold tightly to the reins of our lives, struggling through each day and pay lip service to a God we hope is listening.

He is listening!

"The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their cry."
(Psalm 34:15)

Reach out to Him again. If we could only stretch out our hand and know the comfort that He alone can give. But how do we do that? How do we let down the barrier that separates and binds us back from relating to the Lord when our heart is needing Him most? Perhaps today we should just do it! Let Him know exactly where we are at, expressing honestly how we feel in the language that we find most comfortable.

Lets take some time even now to articulate the cry of our souls, shutting ourselves in with the 'one who waits,' receiving again the touch of His hand upon our lives. Memories of former days are no more enough to satisfy what only a renewed relationship can bring. Reach out to Him again.

"Put your hand in the hand of the man who stilled the water,
Put your hand in the hand of the man who calmed the sea.
Put your hand in the hand of the man from Galilee."


"REACH OUT TO HIM AGAIN"

Maureen Gedge
"A broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise."
(Psalm 51:17)

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Often when a covenant or pledge is made between two parties a token is given. A case in point is marriage where the ring is the visible symbol.

Thus the glory that God displays in his rainbow, is his tangible token to us that he remembers that we are flesh - merely human - and that he has pledged to care for us. Not only is the sight of a rainbow an object of beauty but, if we will allow him, God will use it to reassure us of his abiding faithfulness. Glimpsing a rainbow is like glimpsing the faithfulness of God. Reflecting upon his covenant will re-create in us a sense of security that is often depleted in the day to day stresses of life.

But God, knowing our humanity took his rainbow and placed it in the clouds so that we could see and understand in part, not only his creative greatness, but also his concern and compassion for us and for all living creatures.

Rainbows, reflectors of light and colour, shades of love, prisms of concern, canopies of care - all the thoughts that go through our minds as we feast our eyes on the heavenly splendour can only serve to reinforce our confidence, strengthening and equipping us for life's journey.

Thank you Lord, for your message in the rainbow. Let the smile that plays on our lips at the sight of your sign in the clouds, spread across our face and let the delight that tugs at our heart defuse into laughter, enabling us to enjoy the gifts of God.


"A SPECIAL SIGN"

Maureen Gedge
"I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth."
(Genesis 9:13 NIV)

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We celebrate easter because Gods ultimate sacrifice saved us. But how often do we think about it from God's perspective? This true story may help.


John Griffith was fortunate. Living during the great depression of the 1930's many were unemployed, but John had found a job as a bridge conductor. He was in charge of raising and lowering so that boats could sail through and trains could cross the mighty Mississippi River.

Sometimes John took his eight year old son to work with him. The little boy thrilled to see his father push the lever to start the massive span rising and watch the ships steaming by.

One day with no trains due for a while, they brought their lunch on to an observation deck over the river. Time whiled away till a distant train whistle reminded them: the Memphis Express with four hundred passengers would be rushing across the bridge in just a few minutes.

Telling his son to stay where he was, John returned promptly to the control room and took hold of the lever. Then to his horror he realized that the boy had somehow climbed and fallen, jamming has leg between the huge gears that operated the bridge. If he set the mechanism going his child would be dragged into the midst of eight tons of whining grinding steel!

But there wasn't a moment to spare. John Griffith heard the second whistle, the rapid puffing getting nearer, and the clicking of the tracks. The lever in his hand, four hundred people rushing to a certain death and his son caught in the gears. That was the price. Numb with shock, he grasped the lever and pushed.


"JOHN GRIFFITH'S PRICE"

Christian Gedge


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Keep trying! It's not a reflection on you personally if you get knocked back with things. It's simply the law of averages that everyone faces nine 'noes' before they get one 'yes'. The ratio may change but essentially it's true of everything from looking for a job to finding a friend.

I learned this lesson by being a salesman. It's a dog of a job if you have a tendency to depression, but one learns to be philosophical. Just pick yourself up, reject the 'rejection' and have another go.

We must fight depression like the plague, affirming on the one hand that we're as good as anyone else, but knowing also the reality that life is hard - especially these days. The ratio of no's to yes's are higher than before; but it's not anyone's fault. Just brush yourself down, ask God to recharge your enthusiasm, and keep trying until you get a 'yes.'

Most importantly, the element, which turns life from anxiety and fear, is faith. Otherwise the things above-mentioned become nothing more than 'positive thinking.'

People get through life at various levels. Some people opt out with drugs or suicide. Others crawl through life too afraid to lift their blinds or talk to people. Most cope more or less but occasionally fall under the shadow. Still others are aggressive and 'go-getting' and seem to have it all together. But you can be sure of this: all people get afraid and discouraged sometimes, even those who hide behind a big success driven front.

Others live by faith. If we can learn to live by faith nothing will crush us. You might be concerned, but not afraid. You may be perplexed but not overwhelmed. You may be disappointed from time to time, but not depressed. "The Lord goes before you." That's the rock we can stand on. So never give up!


"NEVER GIVE UP"

Christian Gedge
"The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged."
(Deuteronomy 31:8)

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