Monday, March 10, 2014

March 10, 2014 … Follow the Leader

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2014 - Day 69

Devotional Song: Go to this link …  Please go to this video link to hear Phillips, Craig, and Dea singing about the most personal of the mentoring relationship, a father and son, in He Wants to be Like Me, … reminding us just how important it is to help the younger generations grow in Christlikeness.

Highlight Passage – NKJV: 1st Corinthians 11: 1 [NKJV] …  
1 Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.
Highlight Passage [Context] – NKJV: 2nd Chronicles 24: 1-1; 15-22 [NKJV] Go to this link  

Reference Passage #1: 2nd Timothy 1: 13-14 [NKJV] … [Especially note verse 1] …
13 Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. 14 That good thing which was committed to you, keep by the Holy Spirit who dwells in us.

Reference Passage #2: Galatians 5: 16 [NKJV] …  
16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.

My Journal for Today: Today, my Our Daily Bread devotional used the biblical example of the youngest king in pre-Christ Israel, the story of Joash (see the 2nd Chronicles passages above), who was raised by his uncle, Jehoiada, who was a wise follower of God. However, Jehoiada died when Joash was still very young and the young king turned away from God to worship idols.

This story, as well as the song link for today above, calls attention to the importance of having a steady and Godly father-figure influence through the formative years of youth, … i.e., the importance of a strong Christian DAD leading an impressionable young mind/heart to Christ so that the young man (or woman) can grow into a deep/abiding relationship with Christ.

I think it’s pretty easy to see these days why our culture is reaping the disastrous social outcomes of a whole generation of children being either raised by Godless fathers or no fathers at all. But this also calls attention to the need for Godly mentors leading younger, less-mature Christians into deeper Christlikeness, which is at the heart of what discipleship in Christ is all about.

You know (see Luke 9: 23) that Christ said … that to be His disciple one must deny himself (or herself) and follow Him. Well, that being truth, one of the most powerful ways for that to happen is for a lesser mature Christian to follow a more mature Christian who can lead the younger believer in the faith. It’s a “follow the leader” principle, … hence the title of this blog this morning.

I was blessed, as a 44 year old, very immature, Christian, to have been led (by God I believe) to a retired physician and Elder in our church, whom I learned when I came under his tutelage, was also a Bible scholar. I met with this man weekly for seven years and biweekly for five years; and my up-close-and-personal relationship with this man helped to shape a former atheist and sex addict into an Elder in my church, who later was Ordained as a Minister of the Gospel. But without that “follow-the-leader” mentoring relationship in my life, this would have never happened.

In the New Testament probably the best example of a strong mentor/mentee relationship was that of the Apostle Paul and his young protégé, Timothy. But Paul in many of his letters to lesser mature Christians, forming the early church, wrote as if he were mentoring these often confused and misdirected Christians. A couple of those leader insights are found in the two passages above from Paul to Timothy and the churches in Galatia; … but probably the strongest statement of Paul’s mentoring leadership can be found in the simple, but powerful, statement he made in the highlight verse above, when he strongly wrote to the Corinthians, ”Imitate me, just as I (Paul) imitate Christ.” 

  If you’re a lesser-mature Christian, like a Timothy, do you have an Apostle Paul in your life? And if you’re a more mature Christian, are you being a Paul to a Timothy in your life? I pray that one or the other is the case; because the best way Christian discipleship can be fostered is for Timothy’s to be following the lead of Paul’s in their growth into Christlikeness.

My Prayer for Today …Lord, thank you for sending a Paul into my life when I needed to be led; and now, thank You for Timothy’s in my life as I attempt to be their Paul. … Amen

Blogger Note: Everyday during this year, my daily devotional blogs are influenced by the reading and study of the online devotional blog entitled Our Daily Bread [TGIF], distributed online via email by RBC Ministries. If you GO TO THIS LINK  on the date of my blog, you’ll find a link to read the Our Daily Bread blogs; or you can subscribe to the blog via email at that site.

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