Wise spiritual mentors heed the example of the master mentor, the Lord Jesus Christ. The Gospels’ records concerning the Lord’s preparation of the Twelve Apostles provide many valuable principles on how to help people mature in faith and be prepared for a life of service. This article discusses two such principles.
Focus on the Heart
Throughout His earthly ministry, the Lord primarily addressed people’s hearts. His Sermon on the Mount radiates with emphasis concerning the internal aspects of human life (Mt. 5-7). Christ taught His disciples that the heart is the fountainhead of “evil thoughts” and all kinds of sin. What is in the heart will eventually become manifest in life-defiling actions (Mt. 15:19-20). In several instances, Jesus denounced the hypocrisy of the Scribes and Pharisees before His disciples (Mt. 15:1ff; 23:1ff; Lk. 11:37ff; 12:1). He also affirmed that the two great commands were to love God and man (Mt. 22:37-40). Christ warned against covetousness (Lk. 12:1, 14-15). Ministerial competence—theological knowledge and practical effectiveness—must not satisfy pastor-mentors. They must ever aim for the heart, seeking to cultivate love for God and man, and integrity in the lives of ministerial students.
Emphasize Scripture-Based Life and Ministry
The Lord Jesus prepared His disciples in a manner that emphasized living and ministering according to God’s Word and will. As the gospel accounts confirm, He exhibited an exceedingly high view of Scripture and the Father’s will. Christ taught that the Word of God always takes priority in importance and authority over man’s traditions and commandments (Mt. 15:3, 9). He also instructed them concerning the necessity of possessing a right kind of heart—one that is “honest and good” when receiving God’s Word (Lk. 8:4ff; Mt. 13:3ff); lives are changed only when one shows an appropriate response to divine revelation. For the Lord, hearing and keeping God’s Word is a more blessed condition than Mary’s privilege to be an instrument in bearing the Messiah (Lk. 11:27-28). Christ viewed the fulfillment of God’s Word and will as necessary (Jn. 9:4). The Lord’s firm obedience to drink the cup of suffering demonstrated His utter commitment to the will of the Father.
The Lord’s commitment to God’s Word and will affected all the facets of His earthly ministry. For instance, divine revelation and the Father’s will dictated Christ’s goals and purposes. His meat was doing the Father’s will (Jn. 4:34). He remained faithful to His mission to preach the kingdom of God (Mk. 1:38; Lk. 4:43). He came down from heaven not to do His own will but the will of the Father (Jn. 6:38). What Christ accomplished on earth was the work which the Father had given Him to do (Jn. 17:3). Christ’s pursuit of God’s revelation and will also determined His actions. He kept the Father’s sayings. In a remarkable statement, the Lord said, “I do always those things that please [the Father]” (Jn. 8:29). By the Lord’s ministry, the Father did His work (Jn. 14:10). “As the Father gave Me commandment, even so I do,” Jesus said (Jn. 14:31). In addition to His purposes and actions, Jesus’ message was also permeated with Scripture and submission to the Father’s will. He said, “My doctrine is not mine, but His that sent Me” (Jn. 7:16-18). “As [His] Father hath taught [him],” the Lord Jesus spake “these things” (Jn. 8:28). He uttered that which He had seen with His Father (Jn. 8:38). Additionally, He said that the Father “gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak” (Jn. 12:49). He did not speak from His own initiative and authority (Jn. 14:10).
Pastors must instill in the hearts of future pastors the priority of God’s Word for life and ministry. Ministerial students must understand that Christian ministry is essentially a ministry of the word, a kind of endeavor that must be completely governed by Scriptures. Obviously, this aspect of mentoring can be done only by pastors who are practicing Biblicists. It is a sobering reality that the level of commitment to Scriptures in current ministers will have a significant effect on the ministry philosophy and practice of succeeding generations of pastors.
 For instance, He put the spotlight on the internal motives underlying the sinful acts of murder and adultery (Mt. 5;21-22, 27-28). He instructed His listeners not perform any righteous deeds for the purpose of being seen by men (Mt. 6:1ff). If the heart is right, good works will follow (Mt. 6:22-23). Matthew Henry, Commentary on the Whole Bible, vol. 5 (Matthew to John) (Grand Rapids: Christian Classics Ethereal Library, n.d.), 150. A good heart “bringeth forth that which is good;” and evil heart produces evil deeds. From “the abundance of [one’s] heart the mouth speaks” (Lk. 6:45).
by Mr. Douglas Bachorik
Life is filled with many activities. Some we choose, some are chosen for us, others just find their way into our lives. Sometimes we don’t even know what we should do, because we feel pulled in so many directions. When that happens, it is time to stop and ask ourselves – what does the Lord expect us to do? The Lord has many expectations of us, and we can find a summary of them in passages like Matt. 23:23.
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.
This echoes Micah 6:8:
He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?
which echoes Deut. 10:12-13:
And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, to keep the commandments of the LORD, and his statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good?
But what, specifically, does God want me to do, today? And tomorrow? One of the best places to look is Revelation 2 & 3, where the Lord Jesus Christ clearly states what is important in the life of a church, and in the lives of believers. He makes 55 commands and commendations, and He criticizes 9 activities. We can organize them into the following 8 ideas - the ‘Revelation list’:
What a glorious calling each one of us has in the Lord – and this has nothing to do with what kind of job you have. These activities are not just for pastors, church workers, or missionaries. They are for all Christians!
When we look at this list, what we see is that we are called to be consumed by our relationship to our Saviour. The Lord Himself told us this in Matthew 22:37:
Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
Think of something that has consumed or obsessed you in the past. Every waking minute it’s on your mind. You make decisions about your day, your work, based upon the object of your obsession; if it is a person you even start thinking things like – ‘how does he like my hair’ or ‘what is her favorite flower’ or ‘he likes this kind of food so I will learn how to cook it’ or ‘she likes to do this, so I like that too’. We are supposed to be obsessed with God!
Can I suggest you keep a weekly spiritual log to help you see what you are doing? Think of it as a way to do #8 – examining yourself to see if you are on track with the other 7 items on the Revelation list. Each week answer these questions:
Remember, many demands crowd into our lives. If we are going to do the things the Lord wants us to do, we probably need to leave some things out of our busy days. Your list of ‘droppable’ activities and expectations will be as good as mine! Facebook, Internet games, surfing or online chatting, constant texting, often staying up very late at night, just sitting around, videos and TV… What should be on your “To Drop” list? As you look at the year before you, don’t you think it would be great to fill it with the things God wants you to do? Activities that will ultimately bring glory to Him, and make you more like Him in this life, while you wait for Him to take you home.
Dr. Phil Kamibayashiyama
Dr. K is the director of BJMBC, teaching theology, preaching and church history.
The Sexual Revolution, Gay Marriage, Theological Liberalism, The Humanist Manifesto, Postmodernism, Atheism. What is foundational to these views? Evolution!!!
To reach today's world, often we must start at the beginning: the Genesis record. If creation and the flood are false, what else in the Bible is false?
But science does not contradict the Bible. True science supports the Bible.
Learn how to defend your faith with science and use creation apologetics to lead unbelievers to faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Skip Tilton is the founder of From Day One Ministries and supervised the construction of Answers in Genesis' Creation Museum under Ken Ham. He is a creation evangelist who has spoken throughout the USA in conferences, retreats, camps, churches, Christian academies, public schools, and universities. He is also an adjunct speaker for Creation Ministries International.
Monday's "Biblical Worldview Seminar" is for spiritually-minded teens and adults (pastors, Christian workers, church leaders, evangelists, SS teachers, Christian school teachers & administrators, and gospel witnesses).
Tuesday's "Dinosaurs & the Bible" seminar is primarily for high school teens (9th - 12th grade) but intermediate students and college students can attend. Both seminars use many interesting and enlightening pictures.
Each seminar starts at 9 am and has a registration fee of P150 (P100 for lunch and P50 for the seminar). P150 registration deadline is Thursday January 26. After January 26, you may only register for the seminar (P50).
Educators who attend both seminars can avail of a free certificate of attendance to apply for continuing professional education units.
Reading, learning, growing. God calls us to be changed through His Word. At BJMBC, our goal is to speak truthfully and clearly about that Word, while we prepare a future generation of students to proclaim it.