What is True Mentoring in Christ?

 

grapevine

 

Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord has made ruler over his household, to give them food at the proper time? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he comes shall find so doing. (Mat 24:45-46 KJ2000)

 

Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven, and gives life unto the world. Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread. And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that comes to me shall never hunger; and he that believes on me shall never thirst. (Joh 6:32-35 KJ2000)

 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whosoever eats my flesh, and drinks my blood, has eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eats my flesh, and drinks my blood, dwells in me, and I in him. As the living Father has sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eats me, even he shall live by me. (Joh 6:53-57 KJ2000)

I have never thought of this passage in Matthew ch. 24 as applying to me until a brother wrote recently and did just that. I still see myself as an “unprofitable servant” and am more at home with this thought than being a “mentor.” I once prayed, “Lord, make me like your Son, that I would only do the works that I see you doing and only speak the words I hear you saying.” I had enough time to think to myself, “Boy, that sure was a righteous prayer.” To this He answered, “No, my son, that is only the starting point!” We all have so much of our selves to lose and so much of Jesus to still be apprehended and walked in.

So this whole experience has got me pondering, “What is true mentoring as we walk in Christ?” We often hear a heart’s cry from someone begging that we would “mentor them.” Is this a true New Testament activity of those whom God calls to lead? If so, how is it done? Paul said, “Follow me even as I follow Christ.” Yet, John said that we have no need that any man teach us, but that the unction we have received as believers in Christ will teach us all things that we need (see 1 John 2:26-27). Was Paul seeking “followers” or was he really saying, “Just as I follow Christ, so should you follow Him”? I believe that the only one who can mentor us is Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit whom He has sent in His place.

 This brings to mind the other passages that I quoted above from John. Here Jesus speaks of Himself as the true bread from heaven and goes on to say, “I am the bread of life: he that comes to me shall never hunger; and he that believes on me shall never thirst.” Couple this with, “Whosoever eats my flesh, and drinks my blood, has eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.” Later in the Gospel of John Jesus referred to Himself as the True Vine to whom all who believe are attached as His living branches. It is from the Vine that we drink and eat of our Life Source. It is from Him that we first receive and then grow in our eternal life (a life without end) as long as we are attached to Him as our Vine (Read what He said in John chapter 15)!

 There was a time I was a conference junkie. I couldn’t get enough of them. I would run to this Christian conference and that one to hear a special teacher, seeking to be filled, and within days after it was over, I was just as empty as ever. It was all so much empty calories and wasted expensive. It wasn’t until I found Jesus as my True Vine who provided all the spiritual food I needed that my spiritual hunger began to be satisfied. I did the same thing with “pastors,” too. I was like a spiritual infant, running around with my umbilical cord in my hand looking for a man to plug-in to. Many of them took advantage of this and sucked me right into their own subterfuge and false teachings as they took the place in my life that belonged to Jesus alone.

 So, what is the responsibility of the older saints that have had years of experience in Christ and have learned from their mistakes (this is what it truly means to be an elder in Christ’s body)? Are we to be such great pastors and teachers that all hang on our every word and follow us around like a bunch of little orphaned puppies? Doesn’t it make sense that if we are to be “a faithful and wise servant… over his household, to give them food at the proper time,” that the only proper food in that proper time that we should be providing the household of God is Jesus Himself? Shouldn’t we be pointing all who hunger and thirst to the Bread and Fountain of Life that they might find Christ as their sufficiency?

 Jesus warned, “But you be not called Rabbi: for one is your Teacher, even Christ; and all you are brothers” (Mat 23:8 KJ2000). Call no man Rabbi or teacher! Only Jesus through His Spirit is to be our Teacher. We are ALL brethren (siblings) under the same Teacher. The goal of the Father is for us to become just as our Teacher! Looking to men for what we need is not going to get us there. The best thing I can do for you or any other person who is serious about their calling in Christ to is keep pointing you to the truth that is only found IN the Christ who is our Truth! How can we become perfected in the eyes of the Father if we are not becoming as our Teacher? How can we become AS our Teacher when we are constantly looking to mere men for what we want. Like Paul said to the Corinthians,

 

And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with solid food… For you are yet carnal: for while there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are you not carnal, and walk as men? For while one says, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are you not carnal? Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers (Greek: servants) by whom you believed… I have laid the foundation, and another builds thereon. But let every man take heed how he builds thereupon. For no other foundation can a man lay than what is laid, which is Jesus Christ… Know you not that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?… Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours; Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours; And you are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s. (1Co 3:1-23 KJ2000)

 The carnal church of today spends way too much time focusing on human teachers and the “gifted” among men. Is it any wonder that most Christians are suffering from milk anaemia? Our true food and true drink is the flesh and blood of the True Vine which came down from the right hand of the Father in heaven who said, “He that eats my flesh and drinks my blood dwells in me and I in Him. As… I live by the Father: so he that eats me, even he shall live by me.” Or as Paul put it, “In Him we live and move and have our being.” First we believe INTO Him by HIS faith operating in us and from that point on we live IN Him and get all our life sustenance from Jesus our Vine. After that the spiritual fruit comes forth naturally as we rest IN Him. Even fruit bearing is all HIS doing.

 By the power of Christ in me I will keep pointing you to Jesus and away from myself and others as long as we communicate. I hope that you have sensed this in all that we write as well. If you see me trying to draw away disciples after myself, let me know for this is anti-christ and so many so-called “ministers” today are doing just that (See Paul’s warning to the church in Acts 20: 29-31).

 

And this is the promise that he has promised us, even eternal life. These things have I written unto you concerning them that deceive you. But the anointing which you have received of him abides in you, and you need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teaches you of all things… you shall ABIDE IN HIM. And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming. (1Jo 2:25-28 KJ2000 – emphasis added) 

 

Dear saints, I entreat you to pray that the Spirit shows you the depth of what it means to abide IN Christ as your only Life source just as the branch abides in the vine. You will never experience the riches of Christ while nursing from the breasts of men and women in your lives who seek to take His place.

 

 

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36 comments on “What is True Mentoring in Christ?

  1. Hosea says:

    BROTHER MICHAEL, I HAVE TO THANK GOD FOR YOUR LIFE BECAUSE YOU HAVE BEEN CONSISTENT EVER SINCE I MADE YOU….I CAN TESTIFY BEFORE GOD THAT YOU ARE A EUNUCH WHO IS NOT LUSTING FOR THE BRIDE OF CHRIST….MY PRAYER FOR YOU AND ALL TRUE SERVANTS OF GOD IS THAT WE FINISH STRONG WITHOUT COMPROMISING THE TRUTH FOR A PLATE OF PORRIDGE…WORDS WILL FAIL ME TO EXPRESS MY JOY AND HAPPINESS MEETING PEOPLE LIKE YOU AND OTHER FAITHFUL SAINTS WHO HAVE NO AMBITION TO GET DISCIPLES FOR THEMSELVES… MORE GRACE TO ALL FAITHFUL SAINTS OF GOD….AGAPE

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  2. Gianna Rio says:

    really loved this post…i never think of mentoring as something of Christ– mentoring seems to be a new thang, a modern relationship type, while the Lord speaks to us as brothas, as His bride, and brings us into th family of God as sons of God…but ur post really brings us back to th Lord fa our sustenance, our whole provision, and just showin how by the sheep feedin on the shepherd ( ‘they turned the world upside down by they preachin’ from the adamic shepherds who see the sheep as food and clothing, etc) we have all we need … Christ alone…

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    • Yes, “the head of every man is Christ.” Paul couldn’t have made it any clearer. He also said that if a saint prays or prophesies with his head covered he dishonors his Head. So much for the doctrine of submitting to church men as our “covering.”

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    • Gianna,
      Even David figured it out when he wrote, “The LORD is my Shepherd. I shall NOT want.” If all who claim to be in Christ would truly depend upon Him alone as their Shepherd, how different the church would be today. Like you said, those who did so in the beginning “turned the world upside down.” It needs to be turned upside down again. Pray that all who are His would turn from following men (see Zachariah 11:7), back to their Lord and find Him alone as their All in all.

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  3. Fatsapostle says:

    For the Head of every Man is Christ

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    • Yes, “the head of every man is Christ.” Paul couldn’t have made it any clearer. He also said that if a saint prays or prophesies with his head covered he dishonors his Head. So much for the doctrine of submitting to church men as our “covering.” Jesus is our Head, our covering, our righteousness, our Lord, our Savior… He is our All in all. Though they try, no man can add to what He has done and who He is.

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    • Dollea says:

      I think It is also important to note that when the New Testament speaks of Christ as the Head the Greek word “kephale” is used. This word more accurately means “source” or “origin”. My friend, Cheryl McGrath wrote on this and said: “The idea behind the word is not our modern Western understanding of “head’ as someone being in charge. Rather, it implies the life spring, the fountainhead, the origin, beginning and source of all life.”
      Christ is our Source. In other words, this would be translated, “the Source of every man is Christ”, and is not speaking of any kind of hierarchy. I don’t believe there is any place for hierarchy in the Body of Christ.

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      • Interesting point, Dollea. Even salvation is not being “born again” (John 3:16) as translated in this famous verse, but literally it mean to be

        inseminated again

        by the Father as a new spirit-being by the Father of all spirits. HE is, through Christ, the Prime Mover, the originator and progenitor in all things eternal. Jesus as the source of all life said, “Apart from me you can do nothing.” Well, there goes all of man’s best religious efforts out the window! Jesus said, “My Father works and I work.” How many religious institutions can say that today? No, religion says, “We are working for you, God, so now we ask you to bless the fruit of OUR hands.” And thus, another Ishmael is born of the flesh.
        Thanks for sharing your heart and insights with us, dear sister.

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  4. Markus says:

    There is always the conflict between the visibls and the invisible world.

    As more we die unto ourselves and Christ becomes manifested in us as more others will see Him in us.
    To understnd this right: With their natural eyes they will see me being Jesus-like!
    And just the carnal mind doesn’t see the invisible source being in me… they will react on what they see: ME!

    You can’t hinder people from “idolizing” any true man of God… just this is the way fallen mankind is programmed to act!
    See how they worshipped Paul and Barnabas thinking they were Gods… just it pleased God to heal a sick man while Paul was preaching.

    I’ve seen that so many times… and it frustrated me more and more.

    There is my heart to vanish completely so Jesus may walk this earth again by my weak human body… just desiring to exalt Him with all I am body, spirit and soul – willingly agreeing with my old man being killed… anf giving praise for every circumstance God blesses me by putting myself to death.
    Just this is after God’s heart He hears this prayer and I’m blessed with opportunities to die daily!

    Well, this death is just one side of the coin! When I die there will be a “free spot” a “vacuum” and this won’t stay empty! It will be filled with Godlife – His very presence! I will be changed from glory to glory into His image!
    Of course for the most I will become a big question mark… clearly, just everything from God is foolishness with man they won’t be attracted to “Godlikeness” at all.
    But God will use me, too… and for all those receiveing grace of God by Him using me… this will be different.
    Unless they are spiritual minded they will start to idolize me! This is the way man ticks… and this since thousands of years!

    You can say every second sentence: It’s not me… I’m just a vessel! … just they will use this humility of yours to idolize you even more!

    I want to tell you what I learned:
    I’m just responsible to do what I got told by Him! Never I should regard the situation… never watch what others will say or do!
    My focus has to be Him and my place has to be at His feet.
    If He wants to open the eyes of the ones I’m sent to HE WILL DO IT! It’s His responsibility to speak to the hearts of the people – AND NOT MINE TO CONVINCE THEM THAT I’M A NOTHING!
    All I have to be is just being HIs mouthpiece, His tool He uses after His liking alone… under what circumstances He likes.
    I may be praised, I may be scorned and stoned, I may be offered a kings bed or have to freeze in a dungeon… this all isn’t mattering at all! Totally irrelevat!
    The only thing I have to keep in focus is HIM… HIM… and HIM alone!
    My mouth has to speak His word, my feet to walk His ways, my hands to do His work… and my eyes have to behold Him alone!

    All the other stuff… it’s not mine! It’s all His!

    We can even learn to respond to weak human praises this way:
    Thank you for your kind words! I so love to see you’re able to see Jesus in me! This is all my heart… this is what I live for I want Him to be displayed as pure as possible! Please, pray for me the Lord will grant me this favor to dispplay Him even more beautifully!

    … and guess what: This is true humility!

    Yes, we can even learn to be dead in such a way that the stupid actions of weak mankind won’t touch us anymore. The very moment we’re completely dead Christ will rule this area, too… so why to be bothered instead of resting in Him ALWAYS!

    WHAT WILL A CORPSE THINK; FEEL AND REACT IT MIGHT BE PRAISED OR KICKED AT???

    Yes, and nothing speaks against being mentored by such a lovely corpse :-)… don’t you think so? It will be Christ’s life mentoring directly to the ones He wants to touch!

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    • Markus,

      You said, “You can’t hinder people from “idolizing” any true man of God… just this is the way fallen mankind is programmed to act! See how they worshipped Paul and Barnabas thinking they were Gods… just it pleased God to heal a sick man while Paul was preaching. I’ve seen that so many times… and it frustrated me more and more.” I have one thing to add to this, Paul and Barnabus DID do something. They tore open their garments and ran in among these idolaters and said, “Sirs, why do you these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that you should turn from these vanities unto the living God, who made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are in them: Who in times past allowed all nations to walk in their own ways. Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness. And with these sayings scarcely restrained they the people, that they would not do sacrifice unto them.” (Act 14:15-18 KJ2000).

      When your typical “man of God” gets the adulations of men after doing a mighty work or preaching a wonderful sermon among them today, what is the response? Few respond like Paul and Barnabus did I dare say, but rather they puff up their chests and posture themselves over the people like we see so often on TBN. Pride behind the pulpit has become a virtue in the eyes of the western church.

      Did Paul use his education and intellect to woo the saints unto himself? Not hardly. He said, “When I came to you, brethren, I did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God in lofty words or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in much fear and trembling; and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.” (1Co 2:1-5 RSVA). I know that this is what you are saying here in your own way. It is when we are weak that Christ is made perfect in us.

      Yes, true humility is “Not I, but Christ.” “I must decrease and He must increase.” He is our Teacher and Great High Priest who ever lives to make intersession for us.” We can not do that for other men, only HE can so we always point them to HIM alone. They are not ours, they have been bought with a terrible price, the very blood of Jesus.

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      • Markus says:

        :-)… yes, Paul and Barnabas tore their clothes in utter despair… but did the people understand? Though offering them as Gods… the next moment this was turned into wanting to kill them… and this not caring about the wonder God gave at all.
        One day they wanted to make Jesus their king… the next they left Him all!

        This is the curse of fallen mankind… it always gets God wrong in the given state of curse being separated from Him.

        … but again: This is God’s matter… not ours! What else are we but dirt He had mercy upon… to open our eyes for snippets of light He revealed to us in His mercy.

        Again, a corpse won’t show any other reactions but being absolutely untouched at all… the more we are in Him He will change our attitude towards ourselves… and complete love will drive out every fear… even the fear of dishonoring Him.
        Accepting the fact I’m an utter failure without Him… and now living in Him alone… Him being the source of my all life… my life being hid with Christ in God… this releases me from any worrying about myself just I’m nolonger existent anymore!

        Meditate a moment about the thought, the implications of being dead. Visualize a corpse and the way it responds to environment surrounding it and you will understand what I’m speaking about.

        I know all the atrocities done by men… and be sure I judge them as you do. It’s idolatry an abomination, directly trampling on His face… BUT… we’re no longer part of this “party”, right? We got killed, right? And all we live since this death is no longer us… BUT CHRIST ALONE!

        If He is my life… so why to bother about “how others look at me”? This just means I do care about something not mine anymore! Logical?
        It’s His problem… and not mine! I’m dead… and He’s MY LIFE!

        All I’m supposed to be worried about is Him alone… and Him in me can well lead me to tear up my clothes if His Spirit wants me to do so!

        When I’m concerned about myself and this concern motivates my actions my focus isn’t on Him but me.
        If He is my concern alone and He motivates my action by His Spirit ruling in me my action may look the same from the outside… but the origin is Him instead of me.

        Do you see the differnece?

        If Paul and Barny tore their robes in “soul-mode” they surely would have missed God’s heart (no, prob with God at all! Our weaknesses are covered)… if the Spirit moved them everything was done after God’s intent.

        Jesus wants us to completely live our lives IN Him… on all levels… not worrying about ANYTHING!
        He is our sanctification… He is our righteousness… our ALL in ALL!

        Dear blessings!!!

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  5. Laurie says:

    Thank you for the Spiritual uplifting!!

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  6. amongtheforgotten says:

    Hi Michael. This is one of those subjects I have thought about but have yet to address myself as of yet. Like most of these issues, men usually lean to one extreme or the other (having no need of teachers at all or setting up a platform for certain men to be our primary teachers). I believe both of these to be misguided.
    Obviously our Father has called some to exercise the function of teaching and others do have the specific gift of teaching. Both are necessary as we have a need to be taught. This does not supersede of course our own need to seek Jesus regularly and hear from Him, nor does this mean those who teach are never to be questioned or their words judged, they must be. The problem I hear you addressing is where certain men themselves become the focal point of our attention and when they either claim or demand rights over people. They place themselves in so-called positions of authority, claim spiritual titles for themselves which they think makes them special or anointed among their brethren. From this exalted place, they speak forth “their own words” (even bible words through their own flesh and wisdom, mangling the truth) which deceive the hearers. How different this is from the humble attitude and actions of a Paul and Barnabas and the refusal to acknowledge anything as having derived from themselves.

    The manner in which professing Christians gather today all but guarantees that the focal point will be men and not Jesus. Had God’s people never succumbed to institutionalism and remained in small local assemblies, these silly and vain men could hardly get a foothold. A man can manipulate a system of religion quite easily and work himself up the chain of command, but what is their to gain by courting the praise of a small group of believers? Little in comparison. The money, recognition and power they seek is found among the masses who are all too willing to uplift them provided they receive something themselves at the feet of those in whom they adore.

    I have personally never been opposed to any believer teaching others, frankly I enjoy it- provided this teaching remains within the proper framework and can be judged on the spot. Where men are immediately held accountable for what they say and teach, far fewer individuals will be running or pushing their way to be teachers.

    This subject matter reminds me of how important it is to seek Jesus for His heart in each one of these matters and to rightly discern what the Bible actually says. In 1 Timothy 3:1 most versions of our modern Bibles read as such:
    “It is a trustworthy statement: If anyone desires the office of overseer, it is a fine work he desires to do.” Now many of us have been taught by the Spirit (sometimes through others) that this verse is not translated properly. It places the emphasis upon the word “office” instead of it where it belongs- on the desire to oversee. Young’s shows a more accurate translation:
    “Steadfast is the word: If anyone the oversight doth long for, a right work he desireth.” If the majority of believers knew of these errors they would not be so easily subdued.

    It is tragic that many men have assumed the responsibilities of teaching who not only teach in error but draw men’s attention away from Christ and unto themselves. This is a serious problem for which we should warn others and direct their attention heavenwards.

    This said, it is also tragic that due to these errors, many of us are hesitant to allow members of the body to teach us, gifted men God has called to be channels through which His precious truths can be known and embraced.

    I don’t think any one us here who share these platforms or write upon our blogs are unaware of these things. To whatever degree He leads and inspires, He has called all of us to teach and this has become more and more obvious as the days press on through our posts and even comments.

    The ability to teach is a something every mature saint should have the ability and desire to fulfill. That desire can range from teaching the Bible to showing a brother how to fix his car. One is not really more valuable than the other- they both are necessary.
    Praise God for those like yourself and others who take the lead in this, not for notoriety or filthy lucre, but for the edification of the saints and to the glory of God.

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    • Michael F,
      Thanks for your comments and insight on this. I agree that we tend to go to extremes when we see something new, especially when we feel that God has given it to us. Regarding teaching and teachers in the church, here are two passages that seem to be a contradiction in the New Testament:

      Paul wrote,

      Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; he who teaches, in his teaching; (Rom 12:6-7 RSVA)

      But John wrote later,

      I write this to you about those who would deceive [false teachers] you; but the anointing which you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that any one should teach you; as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie, just as it has taught you, abide in him. And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming.
      (1Jo 2:26-28 RSVA)

      It seems that on the one hand Paul is telling those who have a gift for teaching to teach and on the other hand John is telling the church that they have no need of human teachers. First John two is the only chapter in the Bible that uses the word “antichrist.” It seems that great deception had entered in among the saints through false teachers (by the end of the first century when this was written) and John was trying to get these people to rely on the voice of the Holy Spirit that had been given unto them. Jesus had also promised the ekklesia of God that He would not leave them alone, but would send the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, and that HE would lead them into all truth. He also sent anointed teachers along with other ministries to the church after His resurrection. The key here is the word “anointed.” An anointed teacher teaches under the unction of the Holy Spirit, not from human intellect. It seems to me that a true teacher that is listening to the Spirit when he teaches will be nothing more than a second witness to those who have the Spirit in them for the Spirit does not contradict Himself. A truly anointed teacher only can confirm the saints and speak to them in a way that they are blessed when they hear his words, knowing that THEY heard Him speaking to them already in these terms and can hear the Spirit for themselves after all. All true ministry that is given by God will seek to work themselves out of a job when serving the body of Christ. They will seek to show them that “man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that PROCEEDS from the mouth of God” and that Jesus’ sheep hear HIS voice and will not follow another. True ministry always points the people of God away from themselves to Jesus and seeks to connect them fully with the Good Shepherd as a branch is connected to the True Vine.

      In this post that you responded to, I sought to show His people that Jesus is that Bread which comes down from heaven. We should all come to a place where HE is the only spiritual food we need. A true “pastor” (Greek word: poimen – one who feeds) is one who feeds the sheep with the Bread of Life and leads them to green pastures where they can learn to feed on HIM, and still waters (the Fountain of Life) that they might learn to drink of Jesus Himself. All too often those who desire to “have a ministry” seek to make themselves irreplaceable in the lives of the family of God and because of their vested interest in their (often paid) positions, Ephesians 4:12 (right after the famous “five-fold” verse) never happens… “For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ” (Eph 4:12-13 KJV). It is the saints that are supposed to be doing the works of service (ministry) to edify the body of Christ, not an elite group of paid professionals known today as “the clergy.”

      Paul went on to say… “Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we [henceforth] be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine [teaching], by the sleight of men, [and] cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, [even] Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.” (Eph 4:13-16 KJV). It is the body that builds itself up in love. It is the body that does the works of service as member one of another as it grows up INTO Christ who is its Head (not men). It is the joining (“joints”) together of these members where God sends His supply of all that it needs from the Head. It is the body that is to be effectually working in and by each member’s “measure” (Grk. metron). Too often today the opposite is true. We have a vast amount of Christians who are “children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine [Greek: didaskalia – teaching], by the sleight of men, [and] cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive.” Rather, let us grow up and be “looking unto Jesus who is the Author and Finisher of our faith.” Amen?

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      • Mike you said….”It seems to me that a true teacher that is listening to the Spirit when he teaches will be nothing more than a second witness to those who have the Spirit in them for the Spirit does not contradict Himself. A truly anointed teacher only can confirm the saints and speak to them in a way that they are blessed when they hear his words, knowing that THEY heard Him speaking to them already in these terms and can hear the Spirit for themselves after all.”

        This is so true and when that confirmation happens it is so wonderful and uplifting. It’s so exciting for me to realize that I do hear the Lord speak to me.When I was in the system my prayer was always “Lord help me hear your voice” or “Lord do I really know your voice?” and since coming out He has confirmed over and over that, Yes!, I do hear His voice 🙂 It’s so wonderful to be part of the Body of Christ and the Lord is going to perfect us. He will be glorified in us!…….And just to let you know I received the book yesterday. Thank you!

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      • Johanna,
        Thanks for your confirmation. I also need confirming that I am hearing His voice. It is so wonderful to see the body building itself up in the love of Christ this way. What a difference between the attitude of the worldly church whose leaders want to be the be all and end all in everything spiritual and what Jesus has called us to be as members one of another “building one another up in our most holy faith.” There are teachers and then there are teachers. What better thing can be taught than to bring someone to understand by experience that the Unction, the Spirit within them is all the Teacher they need?… that very same One whom Jesus has sent into our hearts to lead us into all truth?
        “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:” (Joh 10:27 KJ2000). “And when he puts forth his own sheep, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.” (Joh 10:4-5 KJ2000)

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  7. Mike says:

    The Father miraculously gave me a new heart in 1986 and I ran right into the desert otherwise known as the kingdom of men or church. It wasn’t until 8 years ago the Lord rescued me and pulled me out of that darkness, NOW the walking, learning, discipling, wrestling starts. Oh how I want to be found faithful!

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  8. oikoskrk says:

    Thank you for sharing your heart here Michael C. Jesus is indeed the only person we should ever follow. I find that we grow in Christ the most when each part of the Body does its work. It is through deep personal relationships that Christ uses one another in ways in which we can grow. When others simply are able to observe us abiding in Christ as we live and face life with its ups and downs…it is then that Christ shines through us best. It is never about a SHOW and a PRESENTATION. It is simply about a life well lived in Him.

    Like

  9. amongtheforgotten says:

    Yes Michael, Amen and Amen. I’ll take your explanation over mine any day. Thanks for filling in my holes for the saints.

    Like

  10. Dollea says:

    Michael, thanks for the article. I loved what you wrote: “…the only proper food in that proper time that we should be providing the household of God is Jesus Himself. Shouldn’t we be pointing all who hunger and thirst to the Bread and Fountain of Life that they might find Christ as their sufficiency?” Truly Jesus is our Bread of Life and Living Water. I, personally, don’t think we need to seek to mentor anyone. If others see something in us and want to ask us about it, we should be more than willing to share what Christ has done for and in us. It is something we don’t need to pursue but will, rather, be pursued if and when we are living a life of “Christ IN us”. In other words, it’s like Show and Tell. SHOW the world what God is like by the way we live, then when they ask us about it…we TELL them. 🙂 That’s not called mentoring; that’s called living! 🙂

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    • Dollea,
      You have nailed it. Thanks for sharing this. Mentoring is not something we set out to do for another, neither is “witnessing”… it is who we are, or rather who Jesus IS within us as He shines forth. One time a pastor asked me how I was doing. I said, “Not too bad under the circumstances.” To this he replied, “What are you doing under there?” Good question! Peter wrote, “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and [be] ready always to [give] an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:” (1Pe 3:15 KJV). We are to live with Jesus living HIS life with in us, not that old down-in-the-mouth Adam. It is all about the exchanged life. When He IS our life we have nothing but hope in every situation we go through and the more adverse the situation the more does He and His hope within us shine forth. This leaves no room for moaning and being down-cast by the circumstances of this life, but always abounding in faith and hope IN Christ, knowing that greater is HE that is in us than he that is in this world. Oh, to be like Stephen with a face that shines like that of an angel in the face of certain death! Now, THAT is a witness of something within that is NOT of this world.

      “But if the ministry of death, written and engraved in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not steadfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away: How shall not the ministry of the Spirit be more glorious? For if the ministry of condemnation be glory, much more does the ministry of righteousness exceed in glory.” (2Co 3:7-9 KJ2000)

      Like

    • Amen sister! Beautifully put 🙂

      Like

    • Markus says:

      Great post, Dollea! Love your words:
      Shouldn’t we be pointing all who hunger and thirst to the Bread and Fountain of Life that they might find Christ as their sufficiency?

      … and add:
      Shouldn’t we willfully and with all our affection call out to Him to radically go against all hindering Him to shine through us?
      And wouldn’t this attitude of heart… the reality of a life lived IN and BY Christ… this I NO LONGER LIVE BUT CHRIST LIVES >>THROUGH<< ME qualify us to say: COME BE MY IMITATOR! BE AS RADICAL AS I AM! Share in all-consuming love… and come let’s “dance” together… let’s show off HIS BEAUTY in us… let’s enjoy provoking each other to even more LOVE OF HIM! Come let’s be the fire setting all ablaze coming in touch with us… with HOLY, ALL-CONSUMING FIRE!
      This is the way Paul meant to imitate him. He never meant to idolize the man Paul, but to be challenged to join in his race… forgetting all about ourselves completely… consumed by all-out love for Jesus… provoking each other to even love Him more!

      Who would be honored by this? Nobody but Jesus alone!

      … and what is wrong with putting ALL we’re able to give into “mentoring” others to “follow us” this way? Oh, how I love they would take up the challenge… and even would outrun me! THERE'S NO LIMIT FOR LOVING HIM MORE!

      :-D… and it’s such a delight to see… we’re all doing this here! We’re challenging and “mentoring” each other to glorify Him even more! Hallelujah!

      I so love to have so wonderful "mentors" as you are… and Jesus has all smiles over His face just He so loves to see us doing so 😀 😀 :-D!

      C'mon! Let's even get better!!!

      Like

      • Dollea says:

        Yes, yes, and yes! Let’s press on toward JESUS, the Author and Finisher of our faith, AND the Source of all we are and ever hope to be. Christ IN us…the Hope of glory. Thanks, MarKus.

        Like

  11. Mia says:

    Dear Michael
    I am a bit late with reading this post but we were in PE and only came back this afternoon. Such true and wise words. I have often wondered why people love and crave to have power over another person until I realised that power had been an aphrodisiac ever since the Garden of Eden! The subtle promise from the evil one that man can be like God!

    I have often been amazed at all the people that have been targeted as the Anti-Christ. Yet, people fail to really understand what is meant by the term anti-Christ! Anything or anyone that is thought of or placed in stead of our dearest Lord Jesus, is part of this spirit! It can be something as innocent looking as Bible reading or church attendance.

    Anything actually that we put in stead of our Lord Jesus as our redemption from the kingdom of darkness.

    Like I wrote in my post about tithing; if we start trusting our giving to others, which is in and of itself not a bad thing, to ensure that Pappa will provide in our needs, we are back at trusting ourselves and then we are playing in the court of the anti-Christ spirit!

    Another thing that has been drawn out of proportion and that has become another idol amongst Christains, is spiritual gifts. The way I see it, we don’t get spiritual gifts, but our Pappa works in different ways in and through all of us to ensure that we all become mature in our dependance and faith on our Lord!

    Can you imagine Paul or Peter handing our forms to fill in to find out what your spiritual gifts are! Preposterous, to say the least.

    Well, may we never say a word that will take any glory away from our Lord Jesus. You know, Michael, I have found that there is not much for us to know but our Heavenly Father and His love! Eternal life is just that: to know Him, to hear Him, to receive Him, His life, His grace and love. And then to love Him in return and those around us. So simple actually. But like always, man made a complex monstrosity of the simplicity of Christ in me, my hope of glory.

    Much love to you and Dorothy

    Mia

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  12. Mia,

    Thanks for sharing your insight. Oh, what a seemingly godly goal to “be like God.” So many Christians today want to be like God. How many are ready to die a cruel agonizing death in their efforts to be like Jesus? And even more so, how many are willing to take on the lowly life of a slave all their lives in obedience to Christ just as He was obedient to the will of the Father? Yet, that is exactly what Jesus told the disciples that true leadership in His kingdom must do (see Mark 10:42-45 RSV)

    As for knowledge, there is a snake in that tree…

    For God does know that in the day you eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and you shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
    (Gen 3:5-6 KJ2000)

    Carnal man would rather gorge on knowledge because knowledge is power. People look up to the knowledgeable and heap honors and money on them and give them lofty titles. Oh, how so many church leaders today are no different from that of the world… always climbing the ladder of knowledge and grasping for loftier positions and titles over the saints of God as they posture themselves over them to make them cower in their presence.

    There is only one kind of knowledge that God is interested to see in His saints and that is KNOWING HIM intimately in a two way knowing relationship. How many will stand before Him with their degrees, titles and high looks and say, “But Lord, we cast out demons in your name, we healed the sick and we did many wonderful works in your name.” And they will hear back from the Lord, “I never KNEW you.”

    knew – ghosko

    Of this Greek word that our salvation seems to hang on W. E. Vine wrote:

    In the NT ginosko frequently indicates a relation between the person “knowing” and the object known; in this respect, what is “known” is of value or importance to the one who knows, and hence the establishment of the relationship, e.g., especially of God’s “knowledge,” 1Co_8:3, “if any man love God, the same is known of Him;” Gal_4:9, “to be known of God;” here the “knowing” suggests approval and bears the meaning “to be approved;” so in 2Ti_2:19; cp. Joh_10:14, Joh_10:27; Gen_18:19; Nah_1:7; the relationship implied may involve remedial chastisement, Amo_3:2… The verb is also used to convey the thought of connection or union, as between man and woman, Mat_1:25; Luk_1:34.

    Just as our salvation must be a seminal act of the Father or we will never be “born of the Spirit,” so must all the works we do be a seminal act by Him. Our works must be born out of the heart of the Father into us or they will remain dead works at best and at the worst, acts of religious rebellion. His Spirit must come INTO us then the fruit of that abiding relationship will come naturally, just as the fruit of intimacy between a man and a woman will brings forth a child.

    As for being “like God,” only Jesus the Son of God can be like God and as much as HE is allowed to manifest freely in us will we be seen to be “like God.” Our old nature is not reformed, but rather crucified IN Christ and replaced by the life of the Son.

    “The flesh profits nothing.” “Unless a kernel of wheat falls into the ground and dies it abides alone, but if it does die it will bring forth much fruit.” “For me to live is Christ and to die is gain.”

    Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can you, except you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches: He that abides in me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit: FOR WITHOUT ME YOU CAN DO NOTHING. If a man abides not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. (Joh 15:4-6 KJ2000 -emphsis added)

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  13. bill says:

    greetings saints….

    O.K. I am going to do it. I’m going to bring up a couple of scriptures that have been buggin me. It’s 1Cor.4:15&16. “though you have countless/ten thousand instructors/tutors(gk3807 in Strongs; translated schoolmaster in Gal.3:24 in reference to the law being the schoolmaster that brings us unto Christ) you do not have many fathers. For in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.”

    And then we have John’s first letter chapter 2 verses12-14 where he addresses little children, young men, and fathers.

    I’m throwing these out there to perhaps get some comments. I believe I’ve been given some light on these but will defer for now.

    Oh, and one more thing. I do believe the hour is upon us when a very strict spiritual diet of solid food will be the only thing to give us the strength to endure the race set before us.

    For I do believe that the saints of this hour are the final leg in the relay of LIFE; that the torch of the testimony of Jesus Christ is being passed onto us by the great cloud of witnesses, who are incomplete without us, and we incomplete without them. Heb11:39&40

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    • Bill,

      Good to hear from you again. You quoted Paul in 1 Corinthians. Funny, but I have read this many times before and heard it used by church men to get people to submit to their “authority” as I know you have heard it uses as well, but this time when I read it my eyes focused on one thing, “…IN CHRIST I have begotten you through the gospel.” He did not say, “in ME I have begotten you through the gospel.” This makes all the difference in the heavens and on earth, my brother, and I think you know that. Now take a look at the other verse you mentioned,

      I write unto you, fathers, because you have known him who is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because you have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because you have known the Father. (1Jo 2:13 KJ2000)

      Spiritual fathers know Him who is from the beginning? “In the beginning was the Word (Jesus Christ)…” Not in the beginning was John or their fatherhood. Spiritual fathers are all about Jesus Christ being formed in the saints of God, not themselves being formed in them. Paul wrote, “My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you” (Gal 4:19 KJ2000). HE did not say, “I travail in birth until I be formed in you.” Then John ends this verse by saying, “I write unto you, little children, because you have known the Father.” His children in Christ KNOW THE FATHER. He did not say, “I write to you little children because you know ME as your father.”

      All this confusion sewed into the minds of the saints by false teachers who are doing just as Paul said they would, “Men will rise up from among you, teaching perverse things to draw away disciples after themselves.” Jesus warned us of all about this confusion and to avoid it when He said,

      But you be not called Rabbi: for one is your Teacher, even Christ; and all you are brothers. And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, who is in heaven. Neither be you called masters: for one is your Teacher, even Christ. But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.
      (Mat 23:8-11 KJ2000)

      The question is are we going to listen to HIM or to men who seek to draw away disciples after themselves? Only by eating of Christ will we have the Bread of Life for this “final leg of the relay of life” as you put it. So many are still nursing on the breasts of men and not able to digest strong meat. When they should be old enough to teach others and point them to Christ they are still needing to be taught the most rudimentary things about the faith (See Hebrews 5:10-14 & 6:1). How many saints have fully digested what the writer of Hebrews went on to teach regarding the NEW Covenant, that we who are of Christ have; a Great High Priest in the heavens, are ourselves of a NEW holy priesthood, have a New Law we walk by written upon NEW hearts, have a NEW Spirit put within us, and have no need that other men teach us for that same Spirit is our teacher who leads us into all truth? Yes, Bill, it is time we all grew up and started to look to Jesus alone as our sufficiency in ALL things.

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      • Markus says:

        Perfect answer Mike!

        Just let’s look at God’s creation “man” to see it perfectly! Man is made in the image of God… so we should expect to get a good, solid – and spiritual balanced – position by looking at man a little closer.
        As Michael rightly said KNOWING THE FATHER BY BEING IN CHRIST even children don’t NEED any other source of FOOD! If we got HIS LIFE by the rebirth we got it perfectly… just – and this is important… we’re in immature state.
        It was the INSEMINATION of the FATHER who first created HIS LIFE IN US… but this life is created in a womb where it has to grow and develope till it is ready to be born INTO A NEW DIMENSION!
        Is a newborn able now to live on it’s own? NO! Though being born with everything perfectly made… a man is born IMMATURE… in complete dependency on a MOTHER!
        We all wouldn’t be here we wouldn’t have had the loving care of a mother feeding us with her PURE MILK… the best food a newborn can get!
        Even the first milk a woman produces after birth is of utter importance by GIVING THE BABY “HER” RESILIENCE AGAINST THE GERMS ATTACKING IT IN ITS NEW ENVIRONMENT!
        As long as the baby was in her womb it was protected by her – now living by its own she enables it, by giving her milk, to win the first battles it has to face!
        Later the milk is changing… still the best food for a baby… but now the priority is on nutrition.
        Of course the baby won’t feed on its mother all its life… would cause anegative developement, for sure… but each time of developement it needs the APPROPRIATE NUTRITION so a child can develope healthy.
        The day will come it will push away its pot of baby food: Mummy, I want to eat what you eat! 🙂
        The child will learn to walk and all the others skills needed for life… it will develope from DEPENDENCY to INDEPENDENCY!

        OK, so far the natural image… now to the spiritual equivalence:

        First: God is God… and by this He is the source of every life we have! By His word all of us are created… and all our days are written in His book before we’d been made in our mother’s womb.
        He can reveal Himself to everyone… in very way… and there are no limits for Him!

        However He loves to chose TOOLS He uses… to get His work done: Right, you and me!

        And it is HIM using each of us to bless each other… even in our wonderful, God-given diversity.
        Christ IN ME the hope of glory… means it is HIM who works through weak human vessels to accomplish His will here on earth!
        Jesus says this clearly by saying that He chose the disciples… even determining their fruit… and it is Him through us ministering to His body.
        So clearly “mentoring” after the rule of the Spirit isn’t wrong per se… but completely after the plan of God! Yes, He will lead us into solitude and loneliness… but not for ever! There we have to learn about Him… how He truly is… and get stripped from everything hindering Him… but…
        God has a body in mind… and not a bunch of “lone rangers”!

        Just one thing is paramount… the essential precondition… we can sum it up to these few words:
        YOU AND I HAVE TO BE DEAD IN CHRIST JESUS! Not half dead… or three quaters… we have to fall into the ground, being stripped by Him from all the viles sticking to humanity, disabling us to function in the blessed way after His original plan.
        Unless we’re dead we’re unfit to do anything “right” in the kingdom of God!

        Every true “Father” and “Mother” in Christ Jesus is a precious saint no longer living their own life… but their life is hid with Christ in God.
        They’re precious tools – oh, may the Lord give us more of these – in the hand of the Master.
        Knowing God intimately, doing His very will in utter dependency on Him they are able to give to the “newborn in Christ” the so needed “pure milk of God” – they have received from Him – so they can resist the tricky schemes of the enemy.
        Being “mentored” by those “tools” they make their first experiences in faith… just those “mentors” will push them always to the true source of life: Christ
        They know, they’re nothing without Him, but they recoice to see His kingdom grow by Him ruling them completely.
        Normally a newborn is surrounded by all the poisonous, faith-crippling and malforming influences we have today… and no wonder so many are sufferig FROM NOT HAVING HAD A TRUE MOTHER OR FATHER IN CHRIST pushing them towards Him… warning them from deceptions… speaking life to them.
        There are many instructors we read – but few “fathers”! Though I’m against any man-cult… we need those fathers and mothers not rivaling God’s place but being a fountain of His life flowing to others.

        Though we all know the misuse of the fake harlot Babylon with all her titles, honors and idolatry of man… there is a God blessed position for a “true father” and a “true mother” IN Christ Jesus… who will never point towards themselves but having their delight to see “their kids” becoming dependent on HIM alone… growing up to the full measure of Christ and becoming such fathers and mothers, too.

        This is the “circle of life”! As God installed it in the natural… He wants to install it IN YOU AND ME!
        May God make all of us “fertile” in this barren land, this swamp of deception… may we all lay down our lives and start living on His word alone. No matter how He will use us… as “father”, “mother”, as “warrior” or “doctor”… it doesn’t matter at all! As long as it is HIM IN US… everything is alright… even if the whole world is against us!

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      • bill says:

        Michael. You ask the question………”how many saints have fully digested what the writer of Hebrews went on to teach regarding the NEW Covenant, etc., etc.?”

        I would venture to say very few. Maybe 10%….a tithe. hahaha That letter is all about coming “out” and “up”. Coming out of the earthly copies, and up into the Heavenly originals. Tangibles are much easier and comfortable, however.

        I just love the way chapter 8 begins….”Now this is the main point of the things we are saying: we have such a High Priest, Who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, a minister of the sanctuary and of the TRUE tabernacle which the Lord erected, and not man.”

        I capitalized *true* above because I believe when we come across the word *true* we should definitely pay attention.

        And it’s the TRUE sanctuary(holiest place) of the TRUE tabernacle where the saints truly gather. Any other place is forsaking the assembly.

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      • Dollea says:

        Wow, I really like your comment(s) on “the true tabernacle”, and that gathering in “any other place is forsaking the assembly.” That really rings true for me. Thanks for that insight.

        Like

  14. Dollea says:

    Indeed, “as long as it is HIM IN US…everything is alright”!
    That’s for sure. Christ is All and in all. He is our ALL! Thanks for the reply, Markus, and the encouragement. Onward and upward for Him…showing the world/nations the love of Father…the passion of our Bridegroom, and the power of His Spirit! THAT…is heaven on earth…IN US!

    Like

  15. Patricia W. Orr says:

    Great word.

    Like

  16. Michelle says:

    It IS Jesus Christ who teaches. It truly is the Holy Spirit who convicts us of our sin. God blessed me so very much when He made this clear to me.

    I was a seminary student interning in a congregation of a denomination that had been (at least officially) open to women in all ministry positions. Both the senior pastor and the associate pastor were not going to be available to preach one Sunday, so I was asked to do it.

    I prayed very hard and worked very hard on the sermon, using everything that I had been taught about exegetical preaching. As the congregation left, people came by and thanked me, congratulated me, complimented me, etc. I replied as I had been taught I should with a (humble?) “You are so kind to say that.” I was rather pleased with how good a job I had done, when a women came up to me in tears. She told me that I was a true messenger of God and that I had changed her life. She asked if we could talk after the crowd thinned out, and I agreed to meet with her in the office.

    Well, we met, and she told me everything that she had been so moved by about my sermon. The funny thing was that as she talked, the only thing I recognized from her description of “my” sermon was the word “repent”, which she had decided to do. The Holy Spirit had spoken his own sermon to her while I had been talking. Her change was permanent (at least for the number of years I remained in that town). And I was taught a wonderful lesson. We do what we are called of God to do. But WE are not teaching, healing, or “saving souls”. Only God can do those things.

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    • Michelle,
      I am not a “trained” preacher. Every time I looked into going to a Bible School and had the application in front of me the Lord told me, “NO, I will be your Teacher!” I can see that on a larger scale He has done in my life what happened to that woman who heard your sermon that day. Same lesson, but one that has stretched across the breadth of my life. Jesus said,

      No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, `And they shall all be taught by God.’ Every one who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me. (John 6:44-45, rsv)

      Thanks for sharing your experience and lesson learned, dear sister.

      Michael

      Like

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