Mentoring Minutes


The Lord our God is One (Deuteronomy 6:4)

If we are going to fulfill the first and greatest command to worship God alone and love Him with all our being (Mark 12:29-31) then we need to spend the time to get to know Him!

The Lord has laid it on my heart to share the Names of God, where they are found and maybe most poignantly, how each of them is fulfilled in Christ! Over the next few posts we will look at several names each week and explore the character that God is revealing to us about Himself in His Word. We will also look at how that can and should impact our understanding of Who He Is and how we can know and love Him more, especially as each name is revealed in His Son and our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ!

Let’s begin with this understanding from God Himself through His Word…there is only One God who exists as Father, Son and Holy Spirit…all of these are clearly taught in Scripture as being God Himself. (Deuteronomy 6:4; Mark 12:29; John 1:1, 14; 1 Timothy 2:5; John 4:24)

My prayer is threefold: 1) We will all know Him more; 2) We will all love Him more fully…with all our being, and; 3) We will desire to make Him known to all others wherever we have the opportunity to do so!

Elohim (Genesis 1:1)

The Lord our God is One…the only One, the Three in One, The One True Sovereign God. He introduces Himself to us in Genesis, right at the beginning, as ELOHIM.

The word for “god” is el and in order to make His point He introduces Himself as El, capitalized to emphasize that He is the only true God and as ELOHIM…a very personal God (Genesis 1:1).

Isn’t that awesome that The ONE True God of all creation would announce Himself to us as a personal God who wants us to know Him and that He desires to be in relationship with us and know us. That’s exactly what He did with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.

But sin entered into the world and into each of our lives. So God had to make that personal relationship more evident so He sent Himself in the form of His Son, Jesus Christ, and called Him Immanuel…God With Us! How much more personal can you get. He was there at creation and was the active participant in and of creation (Matthew 1:23; Colossians 1:16-18)!

Let’s thank Him for loving us in such a personal way! How much more personal can you get than intimate Love…and God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit is LOVE!

What an awesome God we can know, serve and love as we can do so as a very personal God, desiring a love relationship with us so much so that He gave His one and only Son, Jesus, to give everyone the opportunity to be restored to that relationship! Praise and thanks to Him!

El Elyon (Genesis 14:20)

Our next name for God is found in Genesis 14:20 – “El Elyon” which means “God (or The Lord) Most High.” He is above all powers, principalities, authorities, “gods,” people, idols…He is above ALL!

In this text we find Abram (name later changed to Abraham) as fighting a number of kings in the land of Canaan who had taken his nephew Lot and his family and household into captivity. God makes it very clear that He was (and is) over all those who would come against His people and Him as He is El Elyon, The Most High God, over all other kingdoms and peoples.

Christ is also revealed as above all in Philippians 2:9-11 where we read that after He faithfully humbled Himself and came to earth as fully man and fully God, dying a criminal’s death on the Cross for our sins, He has been restored to His rightful place with God The Father, El Elyon, above all!

God the Father, Son and Spirit are above all! May we worship Him as He alone deserves all our praise!

Jehovah Adonai (Genesis 2:15)

The next Name of God that we focus on is Jehovah Adonai which means God, Lord or Sovereign Lord, first found in Genesis 2:15 in creation.

Notice in each of these names how God is revealing Himself as the perfect and complete One in each situation and with each person or group to let us know He is all sufficient. God, as Sovereign Creator Lord placed Adam (and Eve) in the garden and He desired that they walk with Him as Jehovah Adonai, the one true Sovereign Lord, knowing that only as they accepted Him as Lord could they be fulfilled…even in the midst of Paradise (The Garden of Eden).

We see Christ revealed as The Sovereign Lord, Jehovah Adonai, in many places in the New Testament.  One of the strongest texts is in Peter’s exhortation to all believers to set apart Christ as Lord in every part of our walk with Him in our lives and relationships. In so doing we can always answer according to His Truth and He is the only One that can fulfill us (1 Peter 3:15).

He is The Sovereign LORD of All! The question…Is He truly LORD of your life?

Love and Lordship…Food for Thought – God…and Christ…is The One True God, The Lord Most High (El Elyon) and Sovereign over all (Jehovah Adonai). Yet He makes Himself known to us right from the beginning as Elohim because above all else He desires for us to be in a personal relationship with Him? Do you know Him?  Christ has made the way!

Love and Lordship…Action Item

  1. Read the Scriptures in this article and ask The Holy Spirit to teach you.
  2. Write down what each of the Names of God in this post mean to you. 
  3. Every Name of God is manifested and revealed to us in Christ. How does that affect your understanding of, and relationship with, God in Christ?
  4. What do you need to do to make sure that Christ is The Lord of your life?

Check out this week’s L&L Mentoring Minute Video

Secure in Christ

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work among you will complete it by the day of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 1:6 – emphasis in original)

As we close out 2021 and look to 2022 I think most of us, just as we did in 2020, are hoping and praying that COVID was behind us and the economy would settle down and get back to thriving. We wanted to be able to gather again as families and friends, to worship, visit and shop and entertain without masks or mandates. We wished for a return to happier times and less stress…a return to “normal,” whatever that means. To some degree we have been able to do so. But because we are fallen human beings, it never seems to be enough. We miss the peace because we are never content.

If we stop and ponder all those things mentioned as desiring to return to normal I think we’ll find that, for the most part, it’s the same every year, right? Take away masks, mandates, shutdowns, restrictions and all things COVID related and we still end up pretty much the same. It was in 2020 and 2021. But it was eerily similar in 2019, 2018, 2017…you get the picture.

There are always things that disrupt our plans, pursuits and peace.  Jesus told us they would (John 16:33). COVID just magnified these things. He also promised us a peace that was ours for the taking but not the peace most of us continually desire…it would not be the world’s concept of peace (John 14:27). The world’s idea of peace is that everything goes smoothly and calmly defined by what we want or desire.  But we live in a sinful, broken and troubled world that continues to deceive itself, each other and ourselves and then seek for the ever-elusive calm…“peace.”

The Peace that Christ gives is found only in Him and is in spite of the chaos, uncertainties, trials, losses, pain and death. Yes we can even have peace in the middle of all of these…even as we go through them. 

I pray that you know Him because He offers the only real peace. All other so-called “peace” is only found when we manipulate or wait for the world and all it’s problem to go away, or at least settle down momentarily.  His peace is permanent. The only thing permanent about the peace of the world is that it’s fleeting…always!

He came to give us faith, hope and love and the greatest of these is love (I Corinthians 13:13). If we will learn to live in His Love by faith and with hope we will begin to know His peace. It is found when we choose to rejoice and give thanks in all things (Philippians 4:4-7) because we realize and live with Him on the throne of our hearts and lives.  That’s what real love does…it is the only real love (1 John 4:19) and the only way to have real peace.

I want to share the following with you as an encouragement for your New Year in Christ! I think Oswald Chambers says it best in his New Year’s Eve devotional in My Utmost for His Highest, entitled,


The God of Israel will be your rereward. — Isaiah 52:12

Security from Yesterday. “God requires that which is past.” At the end of the year we turn with eagerness to all that God has for the future, and yet anxiety is apt to arise from remembering the yesterdays. Our present enjoyment of God’s grace is apt to be checked by the memory of yesterday’s sins and blunders. But God is the God of our yesterdays, and He allows the memory of them in order to turn the past into a ministry of spiritual culture for the future. God reminds us of the past lest we get into a shallow security in the present.

Security for Tomorrow. “For the Lord will go before you.” This is a gracious revelation, that God will garrison where we have failed to. He will watch lest things trip us up again into like failure, as they assuredly would do if He were not our rereward. God’s hand reaches back to the past and makes a clearinghouse for conscience.

Security for Today. “For ye shall not go out with haste.” As we go forth into the coming year, let it not be in the haste of impetuous, unremembering delight, nor with the flight of impulsive thoughtlessness, but with the patient power of knowing that the God of Israel will go before us. Our yesterdays present irreparable things to us; it is true that we have lost opportunities which will never return, but God can transform this destructive anxiety into a constructive thoughtfulness for the future. Let the past sleep, but let it sleep on the bosom of Christ.

Leave the Irreparable Past in His hands, and step out into the Irresistible Future with Him. (Italics and bold added here)

Here are four things you can do to live by faith, with hope and in His love to know the peace only found in God through Christ:

1) Give thanks to God every day and in all things (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

2) Spend time with God in His Word and prayer…do it because you know how much He loves you and you want to know Him more and learn to worship Him alone and love Him with all your being (2 Timothy 2:15; Mark 12:29-30)

3) As you spend time with Him, ask Him to show you who you are in Christ and teach you to love yourself as Christ has recreated you to be (Ephesians 2:10)

4) As He teaches you who you are in Christ, learn to be content and confident in who He has made you to be and then give of yourself to love others just like He loves you and you love yourself (Mark 12:31; John 13:34)!

God literally has all the regrets of your yesterdays, the unknowns of your tomorrows and whatever you may face today! By his grace He can turn all of it for your good and His glory (Romans 8:28). Trust in Him every day!

Love and Lordship…Food for Thought – Don’t worry about yesterday or tomorrow…leave them in God’s hands and trust Him. In so doing you can live TODAY and every day by faith in the peace, joy, hope and love found only in Christ! 

Love and Lordship…Action Item

  1. Read the Scriptures in this article and ask The Holy Spirit to teach you.
  2. How is the past impacting TODAY? What do you need to do to let it go? 
  3. How is the future impacting TODAY? What do you need to do to stop worrying?
  4. How can you live TODAY for Christ? In your life? Relationships? Work? Thoughts? Even your motives? This is where you will find His peace!

Have a Blessed New Year in Christ for this is what we have to look forward to… And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And He said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.” (Revelation 21:5)

Check out the following or this related video for more on finding His peace…

The CHRISTmas Blessing

(Matthew 1:21-23)

In CHRISTmas Memories we recognized both the ups and downs that CHRISTmas can bring.  In CHRISTmas Players we shared a unique perspective from the “least” of the CHRISTmas players, the Bethlehem shepherds, and the role they played as well as lessons we can learn from them. 

In this post, I want to turn our focus directly to the choice that Jesus made which makes CHRISTmas a reality and in doing so gave us the model for our lives and relationships…that of humility and sacrificial love.

Before we unpack The CHRISTmas Blessing I thought it would be worthwhile to point out some things that you may or may not have previously contemplated with regard to the gifts of the Magi (Wise Men) and Herod’s killing of the boys under two years old in Bethlehem found in Matthew 2… 

At about one to two years of age Jesus is visited by Magi or Wise Men (we assume there were three because three gifts are mentioned but The Bible does not indicate how many).  They are overwhelmed and worship Him, presenting Him with the familiar gifts that some scholars say signify His roles as King (Gold), Priest (Frankincense) and The Sacrificial Lamb (Myrrh)…certainly something to think about.  This is beautifully portrayed in the movie, The Nativity, albeit the Wise Men arrive while he’s still an infant in the cave, which is highly unlikely.

What God does next is incredible in protecting His Word that is now become flesh…The Magi are warned in a dream not to return to Jerusalem and Herod (God’s providential protection of this Baby)…Joseph is warned in a dream to go to Egypt and then to return with Mary and Joseph to Nazareth after Herod’s death.  Isn’t it amazing how God orchestrates things clearly and plainly and/or totally behind the scenes to fulfill His prophecies?  God has always protected His Word just as He did His Word in the Flesh!

The reality of CHRISTmas is this…nothing else matters if this didn’t happen!  John 1:1…In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:14…The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth

The Rest of the CHRISTmas Story

This is what I call the “The Rest of the CHRISTmas story” in Scripture…Immanuel – God With Us found in John 1 and Philippians 2:3-8.  Follow along with me…

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.

What does CHRISTmas…for God to take on human flesh in Christ really mean?  What is the lesson for us as His followers?  Philippians 2:3-8 describes Jesus love and humility and calls us to have the same attitude which parallels the life that He calls us to as His disciples in Luke 14:25-35.

Jesus Example for us (Philippians 2:3-8) Jesus Calling of us (Luke 14:25-33)

 – Humble Attitude (vv. 3-5) – Christ before all (v. 26)

 – Emptied Himself   (v. 6) – Die to self (vv. 26)

 – Experienced all of humanity (v. 7) – Count the Cost (vv. 27-32)

 – Gave His all for us (v. 8) – Give up all for Him (v. 33)

Casting Crowns in their CHRISTmas song, God is With Us, say it this way, “You’re the Savior we’ve been praying for, In our humble hearts You will dwell, You are in us, You are for us, You are with us… Immanuel.

Immanuel – God. With. Us. From the humble stable in Bethlehem to the humble hearts of mankind!  Each heart must have a Bethlehem experience and find room for Him. Have you received Him into your heart and life?

We must remember the beautiful story of CHRISTmas with all the incredible characters, events and scenes.  However, we must be careful to remember the real purpose of that first CHRISTmas, the Blessing we were given and what it calls us to.

The Beauty of CHRISTmas in a Culture of Self

December Nativity scenes are still quite common (that’s a good thing) even in an age where they have become political fodder in public schools and government facilities.  In the “commonness” we can easily forget how sharply these scenes call to our attention the self-absorbed culture we live in.

First of all, there’s the pure, common teenage virgin, leaning over the manger, who responded with a humble “yes” when divinely charged with bringing about the pivotal point in all of history!  She said, “I am The Lord’s servant, may it be unto me as you have said” (Luke 1:38), knowing full well that the burden of an out-of-wedlock pregnancy would continue far beyond nine months for her entire life.  Her faithful obedience allowed your burdens and mine to be lifted for eternity.

Then there’s the man who stood quietly beside her, remembered by all of history as good and noble because he put this young woman’s welfare, and the Precious Child she bore, above his own reputation.  He raised God’s son, not his own flesh and blood, and he did so without hesitancy or complaint.

Of course, there’s the central figure…God as a Baby…Jesus Himself.  As pointed out in “the rest of the CHRISTmas story” from Philippians 2 above, he emptied Himself of His Divine Glory, took on the form of a lowly human servant and, in doing so, bore all our sin, debt and brokenness on the Cross.  Check out Self-Giving in The Nativity for more and note the “beauty” in all that God does in contrast with our culture, to which I would add question displayed by Mary and Joseph…Which is more beautiful and fulfilling, the sacrifice, purity, engagement and marriage that honors God’s love for us or our culture’s alternatives to relationships and sexuality?”

You see, without Immanuel nothing else matters.  If He’s not Immanuel, then Lord, Shepherd, Friend, Brother, Savior…nothing else matters.  God With Us…He not only came to us, He became us, to save us and offer us Eternity with Him! 

Without CHRISTmas there is no Easter – no chance of salvation if Christ doesn’t put on flesh, doesn’t become human and give up His life as the perfect sacrifice and atonement for us.

Oh, He is forever King of kings and Lords of lords…but He could never have been our Savior/Lord had he not become a baby…become us…Immanuel!

That’s CHRISTmas…The womb of a virgin, the manger, the swaddling cloths, the hay, manure, cows, sheep and maybe even a dog or two…That’s God wrapped in our injured, dying, decaying flesh!  Don’t miss this!  Everything else you hear this season…Savior, Lord, Shepherd… everything – could only happen because He became IMMANUEL – GOD WITH US…He came as us!!!

Enjoy all of it because He not only came to us…he became us!  We have every reason, even in the struggles, stresses and trials to rejoice because of CHRISTmas!

Love and Lordship…Food for Thought – Have you considered that God becoming flesh in the Christ Child at CHRISTmas had to happen or there would have been no sufficient sacrifice for us on Good Friday? How does the “Other” CHRISTmas story in this article affect your perspective of CHRISTmas? 

Love and Lordship…Action Item

  1. Read the Scriptures in this article and ask The Holy Spirit to teach you.
  2. How does the Truth of an empty manger, an empty cross and an empty tomb impact you? 
  3. In your prayer time ask The Holy Spirit to draw you closer to Him as He reveals to you the significance of what Christ did for you at CHRISTmas.
  4. Find at least one way to share CHRIST this CHRISTmas.
  5. Highly recommend you take time to watch these with family and loved ones…The Chosen’s The Shepherd and  Christmas With The Chosen (

Before this week’s Top 10, I want to share one song that is my all-time favorite.  It’s included in this post because it so fully encompasses all that God shared with us in Immanuel at CHRISTmas.  Listen to Welcome to our World.

This week’s Top CHRISTmas list… here’s my Top 10 Players in the story of CHRISTmas and what we may learn from them…

10 & 9) Anna (Luke 2:36-38) and Simeon (Luke 2:25-35) – both patient servants of God who waited on Him and their faithfulness provide a powerful testimony to who Christ was and is to Mary and Joseph and to us today! How may God use you as you choose patient waiting on and faithfulness to Him?

8 & 7) Zechariah/Elizabeth (Luke 1:5-25; 39-45; 67-79) – Jesus aunt and uncle, parents to John The Baptist. What role might God have for you?

6) John the Baptist (Luke 1:11-17; 57-66) – Jesus cousin and forerunner announcing Christ as the Chosen One of God…born just months before Jesus Himself. How are you helping others to know Jesus?

5) Shepherds (Luke 2:8-20) – the lowliest, most humble of human beings were the ones visited first by God and the very first to enter into His Presence (after Mary and Joseph) – See CHRISTmas Players for more. The last shall be first…where are you?

4) Joseph (Matthew 1:18-23; Luke 2:1-7) – The humble, virtuous man chosen by God to be Jesus’ earthly father. How difficult and yet what an incredible honorable task to the one who was willing to bear it…what about you and me?

3) Mary (Luke 1:26-56) – The Blessed Mother of Jesus, our Savior and Lord, who by faith was willing to trust in God no matter how difficult His assignment for her would be or become (v. 37-38). Are you walking in faith to trust God for the impossible…have your way in me, no matter what?

2) Jesus – (Matthew 1:21-23; Luke 2:16-20; 29-32) – The Savior of the world, Immanuel – God With Us…in the flesh! Need we say more? Absolutely and that’s what Love & Lordship is all about so we’ll keep doing it every day! I pray you know Him and will do the same!

1) You and Me – (John 3:16; Philippians 2:3-8) Stay with me here…of course Jesus is by far the most important player of CHRISTmas! Without Him there would be no CHRISTmas, salvation or eternity. But think about it…He placed us above Himself (just following His lead) by leaving all of heaven to come to earth at CHRISTmas to save you and me from our sin, death and hell. Each one of us was on His mind. Let’s humble ourselves and do the same…place others above self! This is CHRISTmas!  Make it a great CHRISTmas season with family and loved ones in and for The Lord (Matthew 1:21-23)!