February 26, 2018
READ: 2 Corinthians 2:1-17
I wrote that letter in great anguish, with a troubled heart and many tears. I didn’t want to grieve you, but I wanted to let you know how much love I have for you (v.4).
After an appointment, I reached for my phone to see the messages I had missed. “Do you have a minute to pray over me?” The text was simple, but knowing the season of life my friend was in, I quickly dialled her number. Our relationship had been built over many years, and though there were moments invested when I was uncertain of the outcome in her life, she was now not only walking in truth but, in turn, using her God-given gifts to reach out to others.
The importance of Scripture’s call to disciple others is often ignored (Matthew 28:19-20), but even the secular world recognises the importance of mentorship.
Possessing authority gives leaders the ability to give guidance, but there’s a vast difference between having a title and making a deep relational investment. Paul, as an apostle, used his authority to help lead the early church. But his letters give evidence that he also made a deep connection with those God put in his care (1 Cor. 4:15; 1 Th. 2:7).
Finding great joy in investing in others, Paul knew that only Spirit-led mentorship leads to a mature faith (1 Corinthians 2:4). Satan will always attempt to create disruption in believers’ lives, but when we understand the power of discipleship, the kingdom of God can flourish—in our individual lives as well as collectively as the church gains strength (2 Corinthians 2:9-11).
Because relational hardship can come when we invest in others, the means of mentorship must always be love (vv.1-4). We don’t mentor to bring others into compliance with our personal expectations (v.17). Rather, through discipleship we seek to effectively build up the body of Christ and generate a “Christ-like fragrance” (v.15).
365-day plan: Deuteronomy 34:1-12
Read Matthew 13:52 and consider how through discipleship we can share ‘gems of truth’ with others.
Think about those whose influence in your life made you hunger for holiness. How did they invest in you, and what choices did you make as a result? What practical steps can you take to mentor someone in your life?