MentorLink

I AM the True Vine

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Fruit on the grape vine doesn’t happen unless there is a vine from which the grapes come forth and are nourished into ripe grapes.

What is Jesus saying to us? Who is the gardener?

Take a minute to watch Episode 10 from the I AM series and ponder the questions at the end.

Maranatha,
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Leading Like Jesus

ThankYouJesus2 Recently, I did some training on Leading Like Jesus while meeting with leaders from Central Asia. One delegate came up after a session with tears in her eyes and said, “We have only known the ‘Pharisee-way’ in our churches. We thought it was right because everyone used this method. Now we see a different model. This is so freeing.”

We remain amazed at how the Spirit regularly brings repentance when leaders see themselves in the Pharisees and ‘see’ what Jesus thinks of it. They often go through some brokenness in how they have failed Jesus as leaders. This often results in a heart to follow His model.

We praise Him for His patience with us as we seek to more closely align ourselves with His ways.

Following Him,
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I’ve Got Your Back (Guest Post)

Praying you and yours had a wonderful Christmas. Here’s another guest post by a friend of mine, Bill Mann. Have a wonderful new year! – Stacy.

I’ve Got Your Back (Abridged)
Lessons on mentoring from the story of David and Jonathan
By Bill Mann

1. Every David needs a Jonathan
2. Jonathan’s loyalty to David was intentional

There are a couple more lessons to take away from the story of Jonathan and David.

3. Mentors take risks for their friends. Jonathan took risks – he was almost killed himself, and he risked his relationship with his father, and his reward for his actions was that he lost the right to inherit the throne  from Saul. As Jesus said in John 15:13, there is no greater love than one who is willing to lay down his life for a friend. Jonathan was willing to do that, even if it involved risks to himself and his future.

In the same way, mentors can take risks with their friends by sometimes  giving them the “tough stuff” – telling them that their life or conduct is in  need of repair, or helping them figure out how to deal with an area of  their life that is weak or holding them back. Such advice can be invaluable. Sometimes we mistakenly think that ministry to another only takes place  in a church. We forget that most of the life of Jesus as reported in the  Gospels takes place outside a church or synagogue. Being a mentor is  really a ministry to your friends.

4. Mentors dispense grace to their friends. A mentor invests in his friends without an expectation of receiving any benefit. There is no quid pro quo involved. David was in little position to reciprocate with Jonathan by doing similar things in return, although I can imagine that he would have done the same for Jonathan if the situation had been reversed. That’s called grace – unmerited favor, which really is not earned. David did nothing to  deserve Jonathan’s favor. It’s a picture of what God does for us – grace is unmerited favor. We don’t get what we justly deserve. That’s what a  mentor does – a mentor invests in another’s life with no expectation of  personal gain, other than to help his mentee to be the best that he can be.

Do you have a Jonathan in your life? If not, who has your back? Take time to pray about finding a Jonathan or a David in which to invest in each other’s lives. It may be the best ministry you ever had.

Bill Mann

The Lord Ponders Our Heart

A guest post in honor of Mike Harrison, who was promoted into the presence of Jesus on September 10. Mike served as one of the founding team members of MentorLink Philippines and has mentored many Filipino leaders in the Toronto area. He was a regular devotional contributor to MentorLink’s weekly Prayer Update. We will miss his godly wisdom and articulate writing and insight. Please be in prayer for his wife and family.

The Lord Ponders Our Heart

heart reflection handleWe are much concerned with our outward appearance and demeanor before others. What will they think of me if I wear this outfit or perform in that way! The Lord, however, goes to the center of our being, our heart, and “ponders” or “weighs” the heart (Proverbs 21:2, 24:12), and searches (Jeremiah 17:10) the heart in order to “know” (Luke 16:15) the true self and motives behind what we do and say!

To ponder (consider) or weigh (evaluate) the heart indicates that the Lord is most concerned about that which is on the inside and not necessarily concerned with the outside! We remember the call and anointing of David, the youngest son of Jesse, as king of Israel. When asked by the prophet Samuel if Jesse had any more sons, Jesse said, just one watching the sheep! Samuel then made that significant statement, “For the Lord sees not as man sees; man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7).

Furthermore, the Lord searches (examines) our hearts: “I the Lord search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds” (Jeremiah 17:10). Thus the Lord “knows” the heart of man (Luke 16:15) and is most capable of judging our actions, deeds, and motives.

What does our Lord observe and see when He “considers” our heart and why we do what we do? What will He find in your heart today? Is it honorable, respectable, or deceitful as we learned previously from Jeremiah?

Myron “Mike” Harrison
Toronto, Canada