Growing Together

God doesn’t need us to do His work for Him but He invites us to share in His good work.

I used to think of mentoring as an end of life endeavor: after I’d lived, seen and heard it all, I would pour it out on a younger woman. I even prayed to God, “Grow me up to be a woman of wisdom.” I hadn’t yet come to the truth that God’s word is living and active. I wasn’t supposed to wait until I was ready but I was to be made mature.

To whatever degree, mentoring is about my mentoree AND me. As God is refining me, He has put me in a relationship with another woman so that I can continue in my humility and vulnerability and thereby point to the beauty of Christ, embracing His transformational love and grace. Being a mentor keeps me at His feet listening for His voice, reading His word, and conforming myself to His will.

And I have discovered a wonderful aspect of mentoring: this younger woman is sometimes my Ebenezer in the sense that she reminds me of what God has done in my life as I walk with her through hers. I recognize that God alone is able to shepherd, protect, teach, rebuke, encourage and grow my younger sister in Christ into a mighty warrior for His kingdom. We are spurring one another on to love and good works.

So, what’s my point? There is no magical age, no arriving at a perfect moment in time to mentor another brother or sister in Christ. In all honesty, God doesn’t need us to do His work for Him but He invites us to share in His good work. “Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” so that not only can you bless another with your service but so that you can be blessed with: greater knowledge and intimacy with Jesus, seeing the transformational power of God in another’s life, and witnessing God’s faithfulness to His children down through the years.

“For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is names, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith – that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” Ephesians 3:14-21

Expanding Grace

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—Ephesians 2:8

Many are familiar with this verse which reminds us that without God’s grace, no one would be saved.  Salvation is a gift.
God’s grace does not stop there. People think it’s up to them and their power and control to be changed into the likeness of Christ.  This is not so!  Transformation, also called sanctification, is also a gift of grace.
And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. –2 Cor 3:18  
Catch phrases like “I’ll try harder,” “I’ll get it next time,” “If only I had more self control,” “I promise I won’t do that again,” may be an indication of a too small definition of grace.
As mentors, we can help in three ways:
1) Help them to see their own powerlessness (We can’t.)
2) Help them to see how God wants us to rely on Him for all power (He can.)
3) Help them to actually depend and call upon Him for His power of grace (He does.)
But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! –2 Peter 3:18
God’s gift of grace is seen in salvation.  It’s seen in sanctification. And so much more.