2 Chronicles 21-24 (NLT link) 

Discover His heart: He loves when our guidance directs others to dependence on Him

A lot of families carry some bad blood in them due to jealousy or unfaithfulness.  Often communication is nonexistent, and sometimes crimes are committed.  However, nothing I’ve heard really holds a candle to a Queen Mother who so desperately desired to rule a nation that she killed all her grandchildren and other heirs to make it happen.  But then what would you expect from the daughter of Jezebel.

The story of the early years of King Joash is about as exciting as they come, and I’m sure the movie industry has produced some variation of it through the years.  Jehosheba, the aunt of Joash, hid him as a baby from wicked the Queen Mother Athaliah when she was on her killing spree.  He was raised by the faithful priest Jehoiada who mentored him through the years and encouraged many Godly reforms for Israel.  Unfortunately, all of Jehoiada’s reforms and counseling did not bring the final results he desired. 

@2 Chronicles 24
“Jehoiada lived to a very old age, finally dying at 130.  He was buried among the kings in the City of David, because he had done so much good in Judah for God and his Temple.  But after Jehoiada’s death, the leaders of Judah came and bowed before King Joash and persuaded him to listen to their advice. They decided to abandon the Temple of the Lord, the God of their ancestors, and they worshiped Asherah poles and idols instead!” (15-18)  It seems Joash did not have a love for God like his mentor Jehoiada.

The specific training and guidance given Joash by Jehoiada are sketchy in the Bible, and because of that I offer no criticism, but apparently, something went terribly wrong in the process.  Some mentees are resistant to the guidance offered to them or choose not to respond favorably to it.  Some mentors have difficulty releasing those they are helping by allowing them to fly on their own.  Mentoring and counseling are serious undertakings, and I’ve never taken the task lightly.

Guiding young hearts in their move forward through life with positive results is challenging, yet so very rewarding.  This is especially true when we see them move past the handicaps of difficult families or circumstances to become thriving adults.  I know I’ve been successful as a mentor when I’m no longer needed.

As Christian mentors, our goal is not for others to be dependent on us forever, even though it may affirm us and make us feel needed.  Our goal is to lead those we mentor to a dependency on the Lord, where they are able to trust His guidance in their lives.  The greatest reward comes when they have matured to the point of teaching and mentoring others.  I would imagine that the apostle Paul was busting his buttons, so to speak, at the fruitful ministry of his young charge, Timothy.  May button-busting be in your future!

Moving Forward:  Once again I am challenged by the role of mentor, praying that my guidance directs others to a dependency on the Lord and not to me.  They deserve to follow the very best, and that could only be Him!

Tomorrow @ Psalm 120-121

Titus (NLT link)

Discover His heart: He calls us to train the young

I was standing in line at the store one day talking on my cell phone to a young mother about her newborn baby and some of the challenges she was facing. I guess when you get a little older, young adults feel you may have experienced enough in life to have some answers to their questions.

When I finished talking, the woman behind me in line said, “You must be a pediatrician.”  That statement brought a hearty laugh out of me, and I replied, “No, I’m just 150 years old with a lot of experience.”  It did cause me to consider that if I had a dollar for every question I’ve answered over the past 50 years, I’d be a very wealthy woman, but then I am wealthy in ways much greater than dollars.  The pure joy I receive from helping out a frustrated wife or mom is beyond value.

Where are all the mentors for our young men and women today?  I question how I would have grown and matured not only in life but also in the Lord without the guidance of my amazing mom and other women in my church? How would I have made it without the encouragement from the pastor’s wives who raised me up in the ministry?  So many young adults have expressed to me their need for some helpful direction in their lives, some mentoring.  Are we just too busy today? 

@ Titus 2
Paul addressed this issue with young Pastor Titus, “Teach the older women to live in a way that honors God. They must not slander others or be heavy drinkers. Instead, they should teach others what is good. These older women must train the younger women to love their husbands and their children, to live wisely and be pure, to work in their homes, to do good, and to be submissive to their husbands. Then they will not bring shame on the word of God.” (3-5)

Sometimes we feel that we are dealing with enough issues in our own lives and feel unqualified to train anyone.  Our lives should reflect wholesome teaching that honors God (1,3), but we need to understand where it is that most young adults receive their training today.  Far too many get their answers from their peers, from television and movies and from the internet but rarely from a Biblical viewpoint.  Help!

No, we don’t really need another responsibility or commitment, and sometimes our help is not appreciated when we do offer it, but all of us can train through example by living a Godly life before those who are watching us.  We can pray for God’s guidance to direct our conversations to those who really need some answers.  We can make ourselves available to help a new homemaker, a new mother or father in a time in their lives when they face the most uncertainty.

“He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.” (2 Corinthians 1:4)  It’s encouraging to me to know that God’s comfort in my difficult moments in life can serve a greater good in helping someone else.  If for no other reason, there is a purpose for some of my life experiences because I am able to help and comfort others who are going through similar circumstances.

At this time each year, Americans remember and honor the lives that were lost on September 11 in the terrorist attack on our country, bringing back difficult memories to be sure.  It just seems that if radical Muslim terrorists can train their young men to fly airplanes into buildings to spread havoc and destruction, we should be motivated to train and mentor our young men and women to spread God’s love and restoration with their lives.  I think we can do that. 

Moving Forward: I open my heart and life today to the young ones who have questions and challenges, praying that He will direct my path to them and guide the words that I say. 

Tomorrow @ Numbers 17-20