Mentoring Minutes

What’s Love and What’s That Got To Do With It?

Dr. Tony Evans said, “Our God is a covenant making and covenant keeping God and every covenant has an order.” 

God is certainly a God of order as is clear not only in all of creation but is stated very plainly in His Word, The Bible.  We would do well to study, learn and apply His order to our lives and relationships. 

Jesus Himself gave us a precise order when it comes to love.  The religious leaders were trying to capture Jesus in his own words so they set Him up with what they thought would be an impossible question, “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”  Matthew 22:36


Jesus not only gave an answer that blew the religious leaders away but did so in a succinct order that gave them (and us) clear direction in how to love and live.  He said, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”  Matthew 22:37-39

We should pay close attention to 3 words in particular, “first,” “greatest” and “second.”  Why?  They signify tremendous importance and priority order for us to learn how to love and teach others to do the same.  WE DON’T BEGIN BY LOVING OTHERS (common default in many churches).  WE BEGIN BY GETTING TO KNOW AND LOVE GOD!  

The ordering of this in the original language (Greek) informs us that the priority is of absolute importance.  If we do not first love God with all we are then we cannot begin to love who we are in Him.  Only when we take the time to know and love Him does He reveal who we are by His design and learn to love ourselves.  THEN we can begin to give ourselves away just as Christ did in loving others.

In 1 John, we see that everything comes from and begins with His Love for us and then His love in us to others – 1 John 4:7-11, 15-21 (emph. v. 19).  Jesus has given us an order and priority to love and we can only love as He overflows through us! 

This is why so much of our service may be rooted in the flesh rather than in God and His Spirit.  We allow and give very little time and effort to teaching and discipling new believers to know and love God above all else and totally…body, mind, soul and spirit.  Where’s our love spring from if we do not first love Him? 

Here is what you will see in your life as you follow Christ’s priority of Love in the Greatest Commandments…

1) You begin to realize that you can only love because of His Love for you (1 John 4:19) – He is Love and is the only true Source of Love;

2) In receiving His love, you are now capable of loving Him with all you are and you desire to grow in doing so;

3) As you receive and grow in His Love you begin to understand you are defined by His Truth and can now love who you are in Christ rather than trying to do so through the world’s false idea of love based on rating, ranking and comparing;

4) Finally, as you mature in your love for God and self, you begin to understand that loving others is giving yourself away for their sake…so they can know His Love!


This is LOVE and it doesn’t come naturally – see Luke 10:25-37.  The best we can do apart from God in Christ is a “pretty good lust” and it falls so far short of all God has for us to experience in His Real Love!  Think about it?

God’s Love is real because it gives completely without demanding anything in return.  His is the greatest example and definition of Love.  If you’re familiar with the story you’ll know who said it, where He was and what He was enduring in that moment.  If not, take a few moments to read the story in Luke 23 (also Matthew 27:11-44; Mark 15:1-41; John 19:1-37).  Think about the real Love shown in these few words in Luke 23:34, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

Let me ask you this as you think about what love is and how you’ve lived it in your life and relationships?  Is it based on feelings?  On reciprocity…give and take?  Or is it based on His kind of love in and through you?


One simple question should suffice to help us understand what love really is and why we can’t discern or live it apart from Him…Based on the story in the Scripture texts above, if love was a feeling where would we be

How do you think Jesus felt socially?  The crowd cried out, “Crucify Him!”

How do you think He felt relationally?  His 12 best friends all abandoned Him.

What about mentally and emotionally?  He sweats drops of blood because of the great anguish that He knew He had to face for us.

How did he feel physically?  To this day, crucifixion is one of the most horrific and painful deaths a person can experience.

Finally, how did He feel spiritually?  “My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?”

So I’ll ask again, if love were (or is) a feeling, where would we be when it comes to salvation and knowing God?  We would be lost! 

But Praise The Lord, He persevered, He stayed the course, He remained committed in spite of the pain and suffering and all He endured…because Love is commitment.  He is Love!  And we can know Love…and love others!

Let’s begin to help people see His kind of Love, help new believers to grow in His Love and in His priority order regarding Love, so we can love and serve them out of an overflow of His Love for us! 

Then we can send out disciples who don’t just serve but know what it means to serve from a heart of Love…His Love!  This is how others will know we are His and know that He loves them and so do we! 

Contact us with questions, comments, if you desire to know The Lord or be encouraged and/or mentored in your life and relationships!  It’s completely FREE!

Love and Lordship…Food for Thought – Has your concept of love been defined by emotions or the Truth of God’s Word?  What would those closest to you say?

Love and Lordship…Action Item – Take time this week to read the Scriptures from this article with the understanding of Love as a commitment rather than feelings. Make it a great day and God bless in Christ!

Thanks, Jesus, for Saving Me…I’ll Pass on Your Lordship!

Here’s the BIG Question…Are you claiming Christ is Lord but not surrendering to His Lordship in your life?  Remember, we don’t MAKE Him Lord, He always has been and always will be…are you submitting to Him as Lord?

Whether intentional or just careless, often after grace and salvation are taught and “achieved,” we either assume or ignore what we are saved for and called to be…His disciples.  In order to be His disciples, we must submit to Him as Lord.

But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.  1 Peter 3:15

As preachers, teachers and any/all followers of Christ who take seriously the Great Commission, we can’t just assume that mature disciples just happen upon receiving salvation and then send out babes in Christ to show others how much God loves them (and for that matter how much we love them) by simply serving them.  This requires humility and patience…neither of which we have much, or any of, outside of Christ and our maturing as His disciples. 

Don’t get me wrong, we need to be in and be His Church, we need to serve and give. But we first need to understand what it means to surrender to Christ as Lord: 

  1. His Love is the Source – We love because He first loved us and only as a believer can we grow in His Love and Lordship and as we…
  2. Learn to love Him above all else and with all we are
  3. Are set apart for His purposes
  4. Know and learn to love who we are in Christ so we can then
  5. Love and serve others as we do ourselves, then we can…
  6. Build loving relationships that
  7. Glorify Him and draw others to His Love and Lordship!

Grace by Faith

If a person is not moving in faith in Christ then they are not being motivated by His Grace but by something else…emotion, pride, reward/gain, etc. 

For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.  2 Corinthians 4:5

Over the next few weeks we’ll explore some of God’s commands, principles and teachings for the sake of our maturing in Christ and The Holy Spirit.  Only when we take the time to do so can we begin to build loving relationships and make disciples.  Obedience is expected and we should be held accountable, and graciously hold others accountable, upon our decision to receive His gift of salvation.  However, maturity takes time and as mentioned earlier…humility and patience.


How are we doing with the following teachings and principles from God’s Word? How are we to help and expect young followers of Christ to be able to love, share, disciple and help grow others as disciples in Christ if we’re not teaching and training these principles from His Word?  Love (it’s commanded); seeking Him with all our heart and His Kingdom and righteousness as first priority; sanctification (big word that I’ll explain in time); study; discipleship; authority; relationship, including and especially, marriage and family and His Church.

How can we disciple others if we are not growing and maturing in the disciplines of His Word and in His will ourselves?  We will discuss spiritual disciplines as we continue with the L&L message but so we are not pushing folks out the door to serve who are totally unprepared to do so. 

We’ve flipped the script!  And when it’s God’s script that’s flipped, there’s trouble!  Let me ask a couple more questions…Why do we spend all our time trying to “save” people…a work that only God can do?  NOTE: We are certainly to share the Gospel message as the foundation for everything else we’re doing but salvation is ultimately His work and gift to us. 

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Romans 6:23…It is a gift and it is in Christ OUR LORD!

Why is it that we spend so little time and energy doing the very work that He has called us to do…maturing as disciples that make disciples?


We cannot let programs, buildings, pride or “success” get in the way!  We need to move from a corporate success model to His Kingdom fruit model and in faith let Him be responsible for the fruit that we simply bear!  His Fruit is disciples growing together in genuine, loving relationships in Christ…the currency of His Kingdom!  Every relationship flows from our relationship with Him.

For not one of us lives for himself, and not one dies for himself; for if we live, we live for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord; therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.  Romans 14:7-8

If we think that showing up, signing up and serving is what makes Him Lord then we’re sorely missing out on what it means for Him to be Lord and for us to be His disciples.  It is good and worthwhile to show up, sign up and serve but it must be an overflow of who we are in Him.  Are you spending time to know and love Him above everything else?  When you do this it will make all the difference in all you do and especially in all other relationships.

 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.  Ephesians 5:21

It will require all of us who truly know Him as Savior and Lord but He is able!

Love and Lordship…Food for Thought – When you consider your relationship with Christ do your actions reveal Him only as your Savior or are you submitting to His Lordship?

Love and Lordship…Action Item – Spend some time in His Word and in prayer and ask The Lord to reveal areas in your life that you have not submitted to Him? 

Make it a great day and God bless in Christ!

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.”