Mentoring Minutes

So, You Got Grace…What’s Next?

So you’ve said yes to Jesus…the Only One Who can save you…and now you’re His disciple.  Remember He saved you not just so you could avoid Hell but for so much more, namely that you are now in a relationship with Him!  What does that look like? What’s next?

Well, let’s take it one step at a time and see what it looks like to live with Him as Lord as that’s what it means to be His disciple and in a relationship with Him.  The only way this relationship exists is with Him as Lord! 

What does all that mean?  In a nutshell, it means you are saved to live for Him, to bring Him Glory!  “Wait just one minute,” you say, “no one ever told me that.  I was just told I’d be saved from Hell and go to Heaven.  That sounded great and since it’s all by His grace I can just keep on doing what I want.  I’m saved. Right?” 

Well, not exactly.  As a matter of fact, according to His Word, that’s not it at all.  He not only saves us to be His disciples but calls us to tell others about Him and help them become His disciples as well…make disciples.

So what is a disciple?  What is discipleship?

Discipleship is studying the teaching of a master and then following that master’s example…in our case Jesus is that Master.  In short, a disciple is a student-servant – one who studies the principles of his/her Lord and then emulates the Model.

One of the greatest ploys of the enemy is to convince the church, either by implication or neglect, that the Bible teaches that the main emphasis of the Gospel is to save us from hell and the rest is optional.  God through Christ has already done the work of salvation.  The choice is yours.   Do you truly believe that or not?

The church has placed the emphasis in the wrong place. By making salvation (the work of Christ) the focus, the church diminishes Biblical teachings and standards, leaving people with the faulty thinking that all they need to do is just be saved and discipleship is a choice. Not according to Jesus.  Salvation is a gift that you choose by His prompting and discipleship is the product of that choice in your life.  If you truly believe He has saved you and placed you in a relationship with God then it must be evident in your life…His Lordship and your discipleship!

Most of the modern church emphasizes salvation with the evidence being much more about your relationship with and service to the church and it’s ministries and programs rather than teaching and helping you to become a disciple of Jesus.  We can do really well and feel really good about ourselves by becoming a “disciple of First Christian or Second Baptist or Main St. Methodist”…you get the picture.

We do a really good job of “making disciples” that attend church, give offerings and serve others that produces actions of our flesh in immature “believers” rather than maturing in the fruit of His Spirit from a surrendered heart.  These activities, while good and needed, consume our time, with little emphasis or accountability on the disciplines that actually make us Christ’s disciple, i.e., building our relationship with God.  It is only from a priority relationship with Him, received in salvation that we can learn and know how to love Him and then our love and service, individually as His disciple and collectively as His Church, flows to others. 

We spend very little time making true disciples and a lot of time, money and energy making converts and sending infants in Christ out to serve others and show them how much He (and we) loves them.  Yet we know very little about loving Him and others.  There are several spiritual disciplines in Scripture that we are called to develop if we are going to walk in the relationship we’re given in Christ and mature as His disciples as well as make disciples…help others know Him as Savior and Lord.

These disciplines are found in our personal lives, relationships, community in His Church and reaching the lost and hurting.  However, there is an order and priority in Scripture as to how this plays out.  That’s the message of Love and Lordship!

In Matthew 28:18-20 (Christ’s Authority and Great Commission) – Jesus didn’t just say,  ‘Go tell people.”  In the original language, “go and make disciples” means that we impact others as we “go along the way.”  Making disciples for Him is a product of our lives.  This requires much more of a relational investment than just telling them or even serving them.  We must first learn and grow in Him and then as we live our daily lives (”Go along the way”), our example of Christ’s truth, love, integrity, etc., in word and deed, guides and builds relationships that influence and impact others to become disciples as we share with and sacrificially serve others to learn and mature as His disciples.

If we take an honest look at how Biblical principles (Truths of God’s Word) are impacting lives, relationship and culture; Marriage and marriages, families, sexuality and gender issues, education, media, government, essentially every area, we see that compromise and license are far more evident than the influence of holiness and righteousness entrusted to His disciples…His Church!  That’s on us. 

God’s Word gives us a different way to live as His disciples, reach others and make disciples.  Over the next few weeks we’re going to focus on several key tenets of Scripture and what it means to be a disciple, to make disciples and to live in Christ’s Love and with Him as Lord…much of it is downplayed and even ignored beyond tacit teachings that do little for obedience, accountability and life and relationship transformation… the product and fruit of faith in Christ!

We can’t continue to be satisfied with growing numbers and shallow disciples!  We are called, commissioned…actually commanded…to make disciples for ChristEvery choice, action and relationship should reflect that we are His disciples and He is our Lord!  This begins in our hearts and homes, multiplies through The Church and then impacts our culture and world “as we go along the way!”

Make it a great day and God bless in Christ!

Love and Lordship…Food for Thought – “As you go along the way” does your life demonstrate what it means to be Christ’s disciple…obedience, accountability, life/relationship transformation…or are you just “playing church?”

Love and Lordship…Action Item – Spend some time in His Word and in prayer and ask The Lord to reveal where you are in your walk with Him…disciple or “convert.”

Grace! It’s Free! Got It?

We were made for relationship and the one relationship that makes all others work and worthwhile is relationship with our Creator God

However, because of our own rebellion we are separated from God and that negatively affects every other relationship…whether we know or understand it or not.  God knew that we could never be satisfied or fulfilled apart from Him and because of our own sin we cannot stand before or be in a relationship with Him.

All have sinned and the cost is death…can’t stand before a Holy God – (Romans 3:23)

So, God sent Himself in the form of His Son to pay the price that had to be paid and that no matter what we offered it would never be enough.  We deserve punishment, we deserve death, we deserve hell and nothing we could do to change that…BUT 

Jesus came, in the form of a baby (Christmas), lived a human life just as we do with all the bumps, bruises, trials and temptations and never sinned.  That made Him the only One Who could pay the perfect sacrifice for us.  He became sin and sacrifice all in One and received the punishment (death on the Cross – Good Friday) we deserved so that we could receive the gift of salvation.  He didn’t stop there!  He rose from the dead (Easter)!  He conquered sin, death and hell because we couldn’t and offers us the greatest gift ever – a relationship with God The Father, Son and Holy Spirit…that’s Grace!  And with it we have Eternal Life!  (Romans 6:23)

We can move no further than our own sin unless and until we are aware of this.   It is only in His forgiving our sin(s) and us receiving Him as Lord that we move forward, come to know and share what that relationship looks like in His Love and Lordship!

Salvation – Jesus Alone Saves

  1. Jesus is The Only Way/Name – John 14:6; Acts 4:12
  2. It’s an invitation…not a demand –Revelation 3:19-21
  3. Saved by Grace Through Faith (for good works not by them) – Ephesians 2:8-10; Philippians 2:12-13

What is Grace?

The story is told of a rebellious young pre-teen boy who constantly landed in the principal’s office for his bad behavior, disrespect for teachers and his bad treatment of other students.  On his latest “visit” to the principal’s office, he puffed his chest out, leaned his head back and said, “Go ahead, give it to me” referring to the coming punishment

            As the principal talked about all his previous trips to the office and related punishments, trying to get the boy to see the error of his ways, he asked, “How many times have you been here?”

The child sneered rebelliously, “Apparently not enough.”

The principal gave the boy a strange look. “And you have been punished each time have you not?” ‘Do you ever stop to think about the punishment before you decide to break the rules?”

“Nope, I do whatever I want to do. Ain’t nothin’ you people gonna do to stop me either.”

The principal asked the teacher sitting beside him, “What was it this time?”

“He shoved little Tommy’s face into the sandbox.”

The principal looked at the boy, “Why? What did Tommy do to you?”

“Nothin, didn’t like the way he looked at me, just like I don’t like the way your lookin’ at me! And if I thought I could, I’d shove your face into something.”

The teacher, clearly uncomfortable, started to rise but the principal stopped him. He contemplated a moment and then quietly said, “Today young man, is the day you learn about grace.

“Grace? Isn’t that what you old people do before you sit down to eat? I don’t need none of your stinkin’ grace.”

The principal studied the young man’s face and whispered. “Oh yes, you really do…”

The boy continued to glare as the principal continued, “Grace, in its short definition is undeserved favor. You can’t earn it, it is a gift and is always freely given. It means that you will not be getting what you so richly deserve.”

The boy looked puzzled. “So no whuppin? You just gonna let me walk?”

The principal looked at the unyielding child. “Yes, I am going to let you walk.”

The boy studied the face of the principal, “No punishment at all? Even though I socked Tommy and shoved his face into the sandbox?”

“Oh, there has to be punishment. What you did was wrong and there are always consequences to our actions. There will be punishment. Grace is not an excuse for doing wrong.

“I knew it,” Sneered the boy as he held out his hands. “Lets get on with it.”

The principal looked at the teacher. “Bring me the belt.” The teacher handed it to him. He slowly folded it and then gave it back to the teacher. Looking at the child, he said. “You count the blows.”

He got up from behind his desk and walked over to stand directly in front of the child. He gently reached out and folded the child’s outstretched, expectant hands and placed them back in his own lap.  He then turned to the teacher and extended his own hands and in a whisper said, “Begin.”

The teacher cracked the belt across the principal’s outstretched hands. Snap! The startled boy jumped back away from the principal.

His face had turned from defiance to shock, “One” he whispered. Snap! “Two.” His voice rose. Whack! “Three…” In disbelief. Whack! “Four.” Tears began to form in the eyes and the rebel spirit began to soften.

“OK stop! That’s enough. Stop!” Crack! Another blow on the worn, reddened hands of the principal. Crack! The child tensed with each blow and now the tears were flowing freely down his face.

Schmack! Schmack! “No more, please”, the former rebel pleaded, “Stop, I did it, I deserve this. Stop! Please. No more…”

Still, Crack! Crack! One right after another. 10 blows! Finally it was over.

The principal stood with sweat shimmering all over his face and beads trickling down his cheeks.

Slowly he knelt and looked into the tear filled eyes of the once defiant boy.  He extended his arms and puffy swollen hands to gently grasp his bowed head.

“That’s Grace…”

Grace never comes as a command or a demand from me or anyone and certainly not from Jesus…I just want you to know The Truth of who He Is, what He’s done for you and me and what it looks like if you choose Him as Savior and Lord of your life! 

Jesus is a Gentleman…He sacrificed all and made it completely available to you and me!  That’s Grace.  It’s your choice by faith?  But know this…everything else you do in your life will be affected by whether you choose Him as Savior and Lord or not?

We’re going to explore these Truths in Him so we can understand what it means to walk In His Love and Lordship in every part of our lives and relationships so that not only do we have His Peace and wholeness but we can let others know who He is so they can have the opportunity to truly know Him as well!

It is absolutely essential that you be in a relationship with God The Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  The only way is by faith through His Grace in Christ’s sacrificial death and then you can walk victoriously in His resurrection!

BTW – the only way to know His Love and live in His Lordship is to receive this free gift!  There’s no other way!  You cannot be in a relationship with Christ where He is not Lord.

That’s our desire for you and it begins with believing, submitting and yielding to Him!  It cost Him everything…It’s free to you and the only way you can know Him!  It will cost you everything not worth having…and it will be worth it! 

Check it out and give us your feedback!  We want to interact and share on those things that are on your mind as well when it comes to love, relationships, discipleship and Lordship! 

Make it a great day and God bless in Christ!

Why Love & Lordship? A Story

A young, recently married gentleman walked into my office and sat down with a thud.  I had been sharing a series on marriage in our “Sunday School” class and he asked if we could meet to talk further.

He arrived on time and after the usual pleasantries I asked him what was going on.  He proceeded to tell me all that had happened since he got married and how his wife was just nagging him to death.  He was no longer able to do any of the things he’d done as a single man.  No more hours at the bars with the guys.  No more tennis with his friends.  No more spending all his time at the office.  No more this. No more that…he couldn’t even keep track of all the “no mores!”  He was incredulous at what his marriage and life had become.

He “wanted” it to work but she was not “the same person” that he’d dated, fallen in love with and married.  What could he do to make this work?  Better yet, how could he get his wife to see that if he could just be the same guy as he was when he was single everything would be fine? 

I heard his wife’s side of the story from time to time in our class.  Divorce was inevitable and soon became a reality.  Neither was willing to give up themselves for the sake of their spouse nor their marriage.  Marriage and life for both of them was all about self…and that never works.

I’d like to say that their situation was not the norm but unfortunately over the last 30+ years of teaching, mentoring and talking with men and couples, it is far too common.  It hasn’t always ended in divorce but I can say that unless at least one of them, preferably both, learned to die to self, even when they stayed in the marriage it was tolerable at best and miserable at worst. 

Does this sound familiar to you?  It doesn’t have to be.  There’s Hope! 

Here’s what I’ve found over the past 3 decades…the problems aren’t in the conflicts or their resolution, lack of communication, finances, in-laws, your past, even your sex life!  These are all just symptoms.  We can work through all the issues if we’re willing to address and deal with the problem…and that lies much deeper. 

Love and Lordship matters and makes all the difference.  It’s not just the name of this message and ministry, it’s what we are called to in Christ and until we begin in our homes and churches to make His Word the Authority in our life, relationships, marriage and family, we’re not going to find it anywhere else.  This is the only way to negate the relativistic “love” of the culture and a find a Lordship, His Lordship, that is seldom talked about and/or largely ignored!

Christ is not only the Savior of the World; He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords! He is the Authority because He is the Author! Isn’t it incredible that The Creator and Author of all that exists would offer Himself as THE sacrifice so we could be in relationship with Him? However, there is no relationship in Scripture that allows for Him to be Savior and not Lord.

Let me put it this way … If He’s Lord of all that exists and He’s saved you for a relationship with Him, then who’s Lord in your relationship? If He’s not, then He needs to be. He is patient, loving and certainly gracious and merciful, giving us time to learn and grow in this incredible relationship with Him. However, He knows our heart and whether we are deceiving ourselves or truly desire Him as Lord of every part of our lives.

“Every relationship built on the Love and Lordship of Jesus Christ!” Join us on this journey!