Sunday, July 08, 2012



MENTOR AND ENCOURAGE ONE ANOTHER The second universal agreement I believe that any follower of Jesus from any cultural background can embrace in order to walk together in unity, no matter the lesser disagreements, is to MENTOR AND ENCOURAGE ONE ANOTHER.
We tend to operate alone in life. This is due to many factors. Three come to mind. (1) Being self-absorbed. This is a narcissistic way of living life in the smallest package ever-being all wrapped up in yourself. When it's all about you, you are limiting not only others around you, but yourself. (2) Being controlling. This is such a natural tendency due to our deep insecurities; we want to be in control. What's so ironic is that when you are in control, you are limited to only what you can do. (3) Rugged individualism. "If it's going to be, then it's up to me!" Operating alone is the most weakened position of all. True strength comes in relationship-in community.

You know what is puzzling to me? It's that when people are hurting or lonely or in great need, they withdraw from others. Safe relationships with others is precisely what they need, yet they run from them.

Walking together with a few others is actually practicing living in the presence of the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom is wherever the King is and as you are walking with Jesus, the King, He wants you to hear His words and practice them. We walk between two kingdoms-man's kingdom and God's kingdom. When you walk together, you are able to remind one another of how to live out these principles of Jesus in your daily life.

Jesus' Kingdom principles are revolutionary and counter most of the ways we think and live today. Here are just a few Jesus taught: The internal takes precedence over the external. You learn to die in order to live. You learn to lose in order to find. Little is much in God's Kingdom. You learn to give in order to receive. You learn to mourn in order to celebrate. You learn what it means to hunger spiritually in order to find satisfaction. You learn serving is the best leadership. You learn to forgive and you will be forgiven. You learn that individuals are more important than the multiplied masses. You learn to bless when you are cursed. You learn how to eliminate all of your enemies just by loving them.

Jesus practiced walking with a few. He chose three men to be with Him and then added a few more. He sent His disciples out two by two. He was careful to urge them to walk together. He even went so far as to say where two or three are gathered in His name, He will show up!

The early disciples practiced four things when they gathered together: They studied the teachings of Jesus. They enjoyed fellowship and sharing with one another. They ate together and they prayed together. As you look inside their gatherings and relationships you find them befriending one another, bolstering one another, being there for one another, believing for one another and bearing up one another.

I've been sharing 6 steps for walking together that seem to help zero in on what it is that we can do together. FIRST-OBSERVE the God of gods in action all around you. Don't miss out on noticing what God is doing in your world.

SECOND-OPEN yourself up to His presence in your life and the possibility of being utilized in what God is doing. THIRD-OFFER your body to Him. I get this from Romans 12:1: Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God-this is true worship. On the basis of what God has done for you, offer your body back to Him to be used in such a way as to make a positive difference in the world. FOURTH-OVERHAUL your mind. Romans 12:2: Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will. Don't allow yourself to be fit into the mold of this earthly kingdom, but allow your mind to be transformed into the Kingdom of God principles.

The next two go together nicely. FIFTH-OBTAIN a servant's heart. Romans 12:3: For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. For mentoring and encouraging others to function most effectively, it's a must that you don't approach these relationships with a haughty attitude. Humility always works! SIXTH-OPERATE in a small group. Romans 12:4-8: For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. All of the prior steps come into reality when you learn to operate within the power of the few.

In order to mentor and encourage one another you need to live substantially. Living substantially requires that you walk with Jesus. When you walk with Jesus, you are the walking solution to people's needs everywhere. The only way to walk with Jesus is to walk together with a few. You can shine your lights together, sponsor love for one another, support blessing in the midst of being insulted and share your stories-your experience, strength and hope you have found in Jesus. Mentor and encourage one another!