Mentoring Believers

“Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” I Timothy 4:12 NKJV

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Regardless of our age we are called to be an example … not only to the lost, but also to other believers. This is what mentoring is all about. It isn’t just about what we say. Our example includes how we conduct ourselves, how we love, the maturity of our spirit, our faith and purity.

Age has nothing to do with spiritual maturity. When I was a young believer my small group leaders gave me a Bible and wrote this verse in it. It always encouraged me to remember that I am an ambassador for Christ. My life isn’t just about me. How I live impacts others.

Now, living in my senior years I have the privilege of watching a new generation take the helm of leadership in the church. A few years ago God moved me into a church plant during its infancy. Most of the people there are half my age (or younger), yet I can honestly say, I am continually impressed with the wisdom and anointing of my pastor and the leadership team. I have learned SO much from him, and see life and the Word with a fresh perspective.

The wonderful thing is, they don’t “despise” my age either. They recognize that just because I am not as young as they are doesn’t mean God is finished with me. I believe God put me in this particular body of believers to serve, encourage and mentor other women. In fact Titus 2:3-4 exhorts the older women of the church to admonish and teach the younger women. We need each other.

How is your life impacting others? Are you living a life that reflects Christ in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity? If so, be a mentor to someone younger in their spiritual walk. If not, find a spiritual mentor to help you develop these traits of spiritual maturity.

PRAYER: Lord, thank You for the people in my life who lead, guide and direct me to a deeper level in my spiritual journey. I ask You to bless them for their faithfulness to serve You with integrity. Lord, just as they have been a blessing to me, I ask that You use me to pass that wisdom on to others. Thank You for open doors to speak into the lives of women who are hungry to grow in Your Word. Have Your will and Your way in EACH of us, at EVERY stage of our lives. AMEN.

Just Love

I had the wonderful privilege this weekend of joining my friend Eva in jail ministry. She preached a message called, “The sheep, the coin and the Son.” In her message, she explained to the inmates how each of these parables demonstrates God’s heart to seek and save that which is lost. Eva and I have been serving in jail ministry together for a couple of years, but this message moved their hearts in a way I’ve not seen before. Why? Because it is the ‘goodness‘ of God leads men to repent. (Romans 2:4) They were overwhelmed by the love of God. Who wouldn’t want to serve a God who loved them enough to die for them?

IMG_1489People often view God as an angry, vengeful being who creates havoc in the world. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Bible tells us, “God IS love”. (1 John 4:8) The havoc we see everyday is the consequence of mankind’s disobedience to God’s command to “love your neighbor as yourself.” (Galatians 5:14)

You don’t have to look far to see the result of that disobedience in our world. A life of selfishness and greed does not lead to happiness. It leads to misery.

What would it look like if mankind took God at His word and just loved? Medical advances in resuscitation have given many a glimpse into what lies ahead in the moments following death. A reoccurring theme emerges from those who’ve had near death experiences … LOVE. They are sent back with a message that loving God and loving others is what matters in this life. Isn’t this simply a confirmation of what Jesus taught?

Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” – Matthew 22:36-40 King James Version (KJV)

IMG_1490Love is the message of the gospel and the central theme of a purposeful life. When we walk in love for God and others, sin loses it’s power over us. Without love, we are just making noise. (1 Corinthians 13:1)

Yes, I believe in hell. It breaks my heart to think of anyone spending eternity separated from God, especially knowing the price Jesus paid to redeem us. That being said, in all my years as a Christian I have never won one person to Christ by spewing judgement and condemnation at them. In fact, the rebellious nature of mankind causes those who are presented the gospel in this way to rear up in pride and reject God’s grace and mercy. A fear based message should be a last resort in winning the lost, not a first. There is a place for it, but only when the love of God has been rejected, and only out of true concern (love) for the soul of the individual.

Pray: Father, thank You for Your love and mercy. Help me to live a life of love toward You and others. When I see the pain and injustice in the world, caused by the rebellion of mankind remind me to, ‘just love’. Help all of humanity to grasp the simplistic truth that love is the solution to the turmoil we face. Love does not kill, steal or destroy. It heals. It restores. It overcomes.