Mentoring Minutes

The Life God Always Intended

(1 Corinthians 2:9)

I believe The Holy Spirit has led me in a slightly different direction this week due to so many family, friends and loved ones that I know personally have been infected with COVID. In particular there are 3 that have passed away that I knew somewhat or fairly well and all of them in different stages of life and all in some way or another have blessed my ministry and me.

I pay tribute to three Godly people who have impacted my life and in some way have impacted yours through this ministry.  This is The Body of Christ!

JIM SHEEHY – 56 years old with so much to offer as you will see.  (Luke 15:3-5)

I begin with Jim Sheehy, a gentleman who came to The Lord later in life and a close childhood friend, Steve Kitts, introduced me to him.  Steve and I were childhood friends because our fathers sang in a Gospel quartet together for decades.  We reconnected nearly 20 years ago and together have grown in The Lord. 

Jim and Steve started a men’s small group in Louisville, KY, and I was privileged to share with them several times over the last few summers.  Jim became not only a supporter of Love & Lordship (L&L), he was also a great encourager to this ministry and me and for that I’m eternally grateful.  He regularly asked if we could do a couples or men’s retreat and was willing to provide a family cabin on a lake in Indiana for the venue.  We have not yet been able to make that happen but I believe because of Jim’s influence, we will see it come to fruition in God’s good timing and Jim will be looking down and smiling on us. 

Just to give you a sampling of what Jim’s life for The Lord became, here are some excerpts from the men in their group…

“Celebrating today that Jim finished strong and was a true disciple.  He is still affecting and attracting people to The Lord by his life’s work and heart for Jesus.  I pray that I can touch a fraction of the individuals Jim did for Jesus.  “Well done servant!”                — Brad Hicks

From Steve Kitts, “We say goodbye for now to Jim Sheehy. Thank you all for the outpouring of love that you have shown while he was sick and ultimately went ahead of so many to see the Lord. Jim was passionate about Jesus and intentional about sharing God’s love with anybody who would listen. And even some who wouldn’t. He used to meet with an atheist almost weekly and the guy would literally mock him and his faith, but he respected him at the same time. He was always curious about the joy that Jimmy carried inside…He cared about the one. Jesus came to seek and save the lost that don’t know Him and aren’t prepared for eternity. That should be our main focus as Christians today. Jim made an impact for the Kingdom of God that will be felt for decades and beyond.  That impact was not based on a self-promotion formula or strategy, or chasing wealth or status, it was pure love that flowed from Jesus through his heart and shined brightly through this dark world. We can all carry his legacy with us and share God’s love and the hope we have in eternal life. The time is short, the time is now! Don’t let the world distract you. Focus on kingdom work. And if you don’t know Jesus, seek him, find him, knock and the door shall be opened, Jesus and Jimmy… They are looking for you. Waiting for you in paradise. I love my dear brother in Christ and I will see him again! Oh glorious day! His work continues in and through me and you! Even if you didn’t know Jim, go and do likewise!”

Jim leaves behind a wife and two teenage boys.  I know what he would want us to pray for them more than anything…that they know and love Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord and to know that he will see them again.

BOB HALE – 72 years old, a minister of the Gospel all of his adult life. (1 Peter 3:15)

Bob never gave a penny to L&L or any other ministry I was involved with but he had a profound impact on my life and ministry.  Bob and I were introduced to each other when we both taught at a private Christian high school nearly 30 years ago.  I became fond of him right away because of his love for The Lord and his willingness to stand for what was right no matter the cost. 

I had the privilege of being in a couple of small groups with Bob and I never left the meeting without some bit of wisdom or discernment that Bob shared.  Over the past few weeks I’ve been blessed to be in a small prayer group on Tuesday mornings facilitated by Tommy Green in which, until the last couple of weeks for health reasons, Bob never missed.  His prayers always led me (and others) to God’s Throne. 

Bob’s last ministry was with The Lexington Leadership Foundation and their Fatherhood Initiative.  He coordinated classes for struggling fathers and asked me to teach one of them.  While he never donated to L&L, he always encouraged me, and the message of The Lord through this ministry, both publicly and privately. 

He was a dear friend and his encouragement to me gave me strength and mentored me in The Lord and His Word. 

Bob Hale, you will be dearly missed and I look forward to seeing you again, brother!

Noreen Jacoby, 92 years old, Mother of 17 children with 50 grandchildren and 52 great grandchildren (none of this is a misprint)

“Precious in the sight of The Lord is the death of His saints.”  Proverbs 116:15

I met Noreen while my family attended First Assembly of God, Lexington, KY.  The first time I preached there she was one of the first to greet me after the message, encouraged me and told me she would be praying for the ministry and me.  Little did I know the powerful impact that the prayers of this Godly woman would have on my life and so many others?

She immediately began supporting L&L financially and has sent in a $50 check every month for the past 10+ years.  But that’s not the powerful part.

When she encouraged me after my first sermon at the church she said that no matter what I faced that the message was greatly needed for the making of disciples in loving relationships, especially marriage and family (don’t know why she would have said that…refer back to the number of children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren for a hint) and to strengthen Christ’s Church.  That’s when she told me she would be praying for me every day. 

I was grateful but didn’t think much of it until I received that first envelope with her $50 check and with it a note card with a prayer written on it.  There was a prayer in every single envelope for the next 10 years.

The best way to honor Noreen is simply share some of the dozens of prayer notes I received faithfully every month over the years…what a blessing!

“Greg, may this ministry continue to bless each and every heart as they receive your teachings.  May the anointing of The Holy Spirit not only minister to you but to each and every one seeking healing and restoration in their spirits, souls and bodies.  In Jesus Name I pray.  In His Love, Noreen.”

“Dear Greg, many wounded soldiers in the Body of Christ.  So very very thankful that Our Heavenly Father has chosen you to minister to these precious souls so they can be made whole to be the vessels of God to others.  His Holy Spirit is moving mightily through you to restore what the cankerworm (Joel 2:25) has destroyed.  Rejoicing and praying for The Holy Spirit to refresh your spirit, soul and body.  Hugs, prayers and love, Noreen Jacoby.”

“May our Heavenly Father fill you with the gift of fortitude as you share His Word; may He soften hearts to hear; Know He is well pleased with you.  He is moving mightily in this world.  May these young men and couples grow stronger in their relationship toward our Heavenly Father and each other through His Word and this ministry is my prayer!  Father we thank You that You are doing a new work.  We give you praise, honor and glory both now and forevermore.  Be Glorified in our lives in Jesus Name, be Glorified.  Love in Christ, Noreen Jacoby.”

She was a supporter, an encourager and a powerful prayer warrior like few others and I will greatly miss her notes of prayers but I know she is among the great cloud of witnesses who have gone before us and is interceding on behalf of so many, including me, always pointing us to Jesus.  (Hebrews 12:1-2)

Thank you, Noreen!  You are greatly missed but I will see you again, mighty prayer warrior!

Thanks as always to all those who are praying!  Please let me know if The Lord and His Spirit are impressing on your heart to join this ministry as a Prayer Warrior.  We can’t do it without prayer and you!

Each of these lived and is living the life that God intended and He wants You to know that life as well!

I close with a poem and a video link that I pray encourages you to always trust in The Lord…


“And though beyond understanding,

May this set your heart at rest,

That somewhere in all His goodness,

Our Loving God knows best.”


“Scars In Heaven” by Casting Crowns…

Love and Lordship…Food for Thought – I don’t know how you’ve been affected by COVID or other trials during the past few months but I do know that God is faithful and I pray that you know Jesus as your Savior and Lord.  “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”  Psalm 34:18

I pray this encourages each and every reader that no matter what you are facing, there is a Hope and that Hope is Jesus.  (1 Thessalonians 4:13-14)

Love and Lordship…Action Item(s)

  1. Read the Scriptures in this article and ask The Holy Spirit to teach you.
  2. How are you living out your faith and hope? 
  3. How might it bring you closer to Christ and others in Him?  If you don’t know Him what is keeping you from Him?
  4. Seek out someone who can encourage you in your faith at all times and especially in troubled times.  For those who don’t know Christ as Savior and Lord, seek out someone to guide you to Him. 

God’s Covenant Design – Pts 1 & 2

(Genesis 1:1)

Why is this important? We must remember that God’s design from the beginning moves from the individual to the relational (marriage and family) into the community (Church) and finally into any systems (governments and nations).

When we fail to build up strong disciples in loving relationships in our homes, the best we can do, even with the greatest of intentions, is create a façade of loving community and systems that will ultimately enslave. Even our churches then become primarily a system of programs and governance rather than a loving and united fellowship and family of believers. That’s why God began with a marriage and a family!

This Truth of His Love and Lordship have never changed. We recognize His Greatness by our loving obedience to His plan, design and will! All Glory to You!

God’s Wake Up Call for Christ’s Disciples and Church

We find ourselves still in the middle of the first and continuing global pandemic in a century as well as political and social upheaval in the USA like we’ve not seen in the last half-century. Our faith is being tested. I believe God is calling Christ’s Church to a spiritual awakening in line with His Covenant Design and Order.

That awakening is not just simply to do church services differently, serve more people and accommodate the culture thinking we will reach more. Let’s look at this call in our times…one issue at a time.  It is a call…

1) For personal and collective confession and repentance of idolatry and compromise. (1 John 1:7-10)

We have allowed the culture to convince us that the message needs to be watered down for folks to hear it…and keep coming back to church. What are they coming back for if they continue to live in the flesh and sin as so many are doing today?

As we continue with the call of Christ to His followers, we look at His encouragement and challenge in this call for…

2) Believers to make Christ Lord of every part of your life (Luke 14:25-35).

We are called to absolutely place Him first in every part of life and relationship in wholehearted devotion to Him, dying to self and taking up our cross (calling for His Kingdom) and following Him. Christ says that anything short of this means we can’t be His disciple, i.e., He’s not our Lord! That’s what He has saved us for…to be in a relationship with Him and this is the only relationship we can be in with Him.

This calling is to both salvation and Christ’s Lordship. There is no Christ simply as Savior. While there are levels of maturity from newborn believer to sold-out fully devoted disciple…our hearts must receive Him as Lord. We can be in no other relationship with Him!

Today’s portion of the calling is directed at men according to God’s Word…

3) For men to be Godly relational servant leaders, as husbands who love their marriage, spouse and family above their own success, glory and desires, just as Christ did for His Bride, The Church (Ephesians 5:21, 23-28; Philippians 2:3-8)!

Men are to lead by example in loving relational service to their wife and children.  As men and women, husbands and wives, mothers and fathers, grow as disciples of Christ, His calling continues…

4) For marriages to be a positive testimony to the Gospel of Christ so the world will see and know Him (Ephesians 5:32-33; Colossians 3:18-21)

Your marriage is a testimony to the Gospel and Love of Jesus Christ…what does your marriage tell others about Him and His Gospel?

God’s design and call for marriage is a reflection of Christ’s Gospel and His relationship with His Bride, The Church.  So, is your marriage displaying a good testimony or a bad one? If you want to know how to be sure you’re giving a good testimony, begin with the next portion of the call of God’s Word and Covenant Order. It is the call…

5) To husbands and wives to submit to one another out of reverence for and submission to Christ as Lord (Ephesians 5:21).

The foundation of every loving relationship on this planet is rooted and grounded first in our relationship with, and willing submission to, Christ. Only then can we die to self and lovingly submit to each other.

Interesting that The Holy Spirit through Paul in his letter to the Church at Ephesus makes this powerful statement in v. 21 before giving the commands to wives to submit to and respect their husbands (not a command to husbands to do anything but simply for the wife to be obedient first to The Lord and then show that to her husband) and for a husband to love his wife as Christ did His Bride, The Church (not a command at all to the wife but strictly to the husband to choose to obey or not).

Husbands, look back to your specific calling to see what Christ gave up for His Bride in Philippians 2:3-8…He first gave up the glories and lifestyle of Heaven…and then His bodily life on The Cross.  If He had not given up the first then the second sacrifice would have meant nothing…they are inseparable and we are to love as He did!  This is the example of humble, submissive Love that we are called to give our wife!

We’ll continue next week with the call of Christ on our lives with Him as Lord and us as His sold-out, wholehearted disciples, as we move from our personal walk with Him and our relationships, especially in marriage into families, communities and systems! 

Love and Lordship…Food for Thought – We cannot do this alone. It must begin with Christ and our walk with Him and then we learn to walk together in unity and peace with one another.

Love and Lordship…Action Item(s)

  1. Read the Scriptures in this article and ask The Holy Spirit to teach you.
  2. How is God’s Covenant Order being lived out in your life and family?
  3. What priorities in His Design are lacking or missing in your life?  Determine what you can do to change these.
  4. Find someone more mature than you in the faith to disciple you.  In time, look for those who you can disciple.


(Romans 12:2)

Reaching a lost world begins with our own changed lives by the grace and salvation of Christ. But that’s just the beginning…that’s why we’re called infants in Christ!

He calls us to a new life with changed hearts and minds that no longer live for our own selfish flesh and desires but by His grace and for His Kingdom and glory.

This is done through real discipleship under His Lordship where He takes priority over every aspect of our lives. In order to gain our lives we must lose them for His sake (Luke 9:23-24). We also must understand that we are called to obedience as His disciples and as we mature in His Word and Spirit we take His message of new life to a lost and dying world. That’s why Jesus came and we need to share His Love and Lordship with all that we can.

I’ve said it many times but Biblically this begins and is to be done first in our families. If we are not doing the job as disciples in our homes the evidence is clear that just going to church is not getting it done. We must build up our families in The Lord that will strengthen His Church and prepare us to face a world that doesn’t even know they need Him or has outright rejected Him. This takes faith, humility, courage and Truth in Love!

Why Love & Lordship?  Authority is The Author’s Design

Lordship (Authority)–>Discipleship–>Relationship–>Sin/Issues/Problems

We must practically deal with the brokenness of our relationships and impurity of our sin and the related consequences and problems. To truly change and deal with the sin in our personal and relational lives and help those who are lost requires a heart change and there is ONLY ONE who has paid the price to change your and my heart and life. We must not only accept His free gift of salvation and Him as Savior, we must make Him Lord and walk as His disciples! (John 13:34-35)

Walking as Christ’s disciples ultimately means that we understand and mourn for those in the world around us who do not know Christ and certainly don’t know Love or how to love. Even many of those who sit in our churches do not understand His Love and Lordship (Authority). (2 Timothy 4:2-4; Colossians 2:8)  This is not a condemnation, just something we must recognize and work on as disciples of Christ.

They will likely be living by many, if not all, of the false assumptions covered in these posts. It is imperative that we understand His Word, that He reigns in our lives, and our desire is that we share it with others by word and deed. We must not make the mistake of thinking that most of the people we interact with grasp what this means in their lives and relationships.

Look around, folks. Even in many of our churches we’ve placated based on these wrong assumptions of His Love and Lordship. The evidence is overwhelming. We’re not getting it or passing it on as disciples making disciples in our homes, churches, or communities. There are a lot of converts but not a lot of disciples.  His final command and Great Commission to us is to be His disciples who make His disciples, teaching and training all who will receive His salvation to walk in obedience and grace in Truth and Love!

We can’t continue with the status quo! Christ’s prophetic warning in Matthew 7:21–23 has everything to do with a right relationship with Him that is lived out and observed by the world in our relationships, first in our families and then in His Church. We must truly receive by His grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8-10), and then strive to live out this priority relationship with Him (Philippians 2:12-13). This is what gives us His Authority in the lives of others as they will see it and invite us to have influence in their lives—His True Authority lived out in Love!

Living for Christ…or for people (Colossians 3:17, 23; John 2:24)

When we fail to place Christ above all else, as His Word commands us to do, we make many “good” things idols…good works, accomplishments, giving, success, people…even church. This is true in marriage, family, friendships, workplaces and yes, even in our churches. All of these things can and will be served and attained in His good will and for His Glory as we place him first!

The refusal to be disillusioned is the cause of much of the suffering in human life. It works in this way — if we love a human being and do not love God, we demand of him every perfection and every rectitude, and when we do not get it we become cruel and vindictive; we are demanding of a human being that which he or she cannot give. There is only one Being Who can satisfy the last aching abyss of the human heart, and that is the Lord Jesus Christ. Why Our Lord is apparently so severe regarding every human relationship is because He knows that every relationship not based on loyalty to Himself will end in disaster. Our Lord trusted no man, yet He was never suspicious, never bitter. Our Lord’s confidence in God and in what His grace could do for any man, was so perfect that He despaired of no one. If our trust is placed in human beings, we shall end in despairing of everyone.  —Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest

I continue with more poignant and provocative thoughts in the following quotes…

Christ’s commission to the disciples is his commission to the church and is his plan for every single believer. No one has been chosen to be just a recipient of the redemptive work of his kingdom. No, everyone who has been chosen to be a recipient has also been commissioned to be an instrument of the work of that kingdom as well…It is sad so many of God’s people spend their lives searching for some significant endeavor to give themselves to when they have been chosen to be part of the most powerfully transformative work in the history of the universe. Part of our problem is that we tend to carry around with us an unbiblical definition of ministry that allows us to live comfortably as Christian consumers. (Matthew 5:13-16; Luke 14:34-35) —Paul David Tripp, New Morning Mercies

One of the quotes from our book, The Authority of Love, says, “When we place the body above the Head we are in idolatry.”

More from New Morning Mercies by Paul David Tripp…

Your spiritual life is…way bigger that the surface Christianity to which it is often reduced. You could read your Bible every day and the entire Bible each year and still live for yourself. You could be faithful in your attendance at all your church’s scheduled gatherings and still live for your little kingdom. You could regularly place your hard-earned money in the plate and still not live with god’s kingdom in view. You could be an expert in the theology of the Word of God and still shrink your life down to what you want and what you tell yourself that you need. You could participate in ministries to the poor and needy and still not live for the big kingdom. You could do all these thing, and the trajectory of your life could still be more toward the kingdom of self than the Kingdom of God.  (Matthew 23:13, 23-26)  True Christianity is always a matter of the submission of the heart to God, something that only rescuing grace can produce.

One of the greatest ploys and draws of the enemy is to make us think that we must be liked and accepted in order to be effective. We must be gentle and respectful (1 Peter 3:15) but His Truth has always flown in the face of our sinful flesh and culture. We must be more concerned with speaking His Truth in Love (Ephesians 4:14-16) even when the world rejects that Truth and in many cases us…we are to love them and share His Gospel with them anyway.  Unless they simply reject it and we are told to move on (Matthew 10:14; Mark 6:11; Luke 9:5). Compromising His Truth leads to the following quote from The Authority of Love

Talk of civilization or society crumbling over bogus and pseudo rights is not the problem. We won’t crumble because these are not protected, rather we will crumble with the lawless, immoral and unethical continuation of so-called “rights.” Every global power that has existed and subsequently “died out” did so from moral collapse within – and every bit of it posited as something good, right, just and fair – actually to mask the indulgent, selfish and pleasurable! How stubborn or downright blind do we need to be to see that the exact same immoralities posed as moral, right and good are what is deteriorating our culture and society today? It is happening (and is evident) in every part of our culture – government, media, education, religion (church) and home/family! Who will stand for the Truth about right, good and morality? That is who will either make a difference in pointing people to Christ and making disciples or be persecuted for trying and either way in the end will be proven right!

Love and Lordship…Food for Thought – We need to quit playing church, doing church and even being church…we need to be Christ’s disciples and that is only done in loving relationship and fellowship…everything then follows from our relationship with Him. Let’s live for Him and be a Church the gates of Hell cannot stand against!

Love and Lordship…Action Item(s)

  1. Read the Scriptures in this article and ask The Holy Spirit to teach you.
  2. Discuss the areas in your life where Christ is Lord.
  3. Now the fun part…discuss the areas in your life where Christ is not Lord?
  4. Find someone more mature than you in the faith to disciple you.  In time, look for those who you can disciple.