Do you have mentors? People who have discipled you in the faith, under whose tutelage you have been privileged to mature for a while? These are special individuals who seem to reflect the light of Christ to us more than others as they help us grow in our knowledge of Him. If you have been blessed to know such people, acknowledge them, thanking the Lord for their influence on your life, but realize also that it is only for a period of time that we are typically privileged to do so. Recognize, too, that at some point He expect us to pick up the baton and reflect His light to others.
“So that you may become blameless and pure, ‘children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.’ Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life.” (Philippians 2:15-16 NIV)
Once Christ has called us, our job is to “hold firmly to the word of life,” and by doing so to reflect Him to others, a feat we can only accomplish if we ourselves spend time in His presence–in His Word and prayer. And while all of us are to spend time with our Lord, it seems that some people have been specially called to lead us into a closer relationship with Him. This can be through books, sermons or conferences, or through personal relationships, but regardless of how they disciple us, it is important that we recognize this blessing, nonetheless, has an expiration date.
In my own life, I think about Ramune, who invited me to her church when I was fifteen years old, and about the followers of Jesus at the various places I’ve worked which reminded me that God has His people everywhere, and that “…the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” (2 Chronicles 16:9 NIV)
I think of Sharon at the Pines who advised me when I was a younger mother and wife, and Pat who taught the first Precept class I took at Countryside and took a special interest in us students. I think of Pastor and Mrs. Smith who lived their faith and selflessly mentored and prayed with me, and of Pastor Kim, who now preaches God’s Word every week and Annette, his wife, who teaches the ladies Bible study. But also, I’m reminded of people like Kay Arthur, who wrote the Precept Upon Precept study series and taught and recorded countless hours to disciple other women in the truth, and of the myriads of other such faithful individuals.
Yet the nature of our human existence is that it is tenuous–we bloom for a time, and then we’re gone. The Bible expresses it like this: “For, ‘All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall.'” (1 Peter 1:24 NIV) It is true of our mentors–of those who influence us and encourage us in our faith–and it is true of us too. God gives each of us a moment of time, a period during which to make an impact for Him and for eternity, and after that our time is over. Jesus said of Himself, “While it is daytime, we must continue doing the work of the One who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work.” (John 9:4 NCV) The same can truly be said of us.
God revealed to Daniel certain truths about the end of time, part of which is that “…Everyone whose name is written in God’s book will be saved. Many people who have already died will live again. Some of them will wake up to have life forever, but some will wake up to find shame and disgrace forever. The wise people will shine like the brightness of the sky. Those who teach others to live right will shine like stars forever and ever.” (Daniel 12:1-3 NCV)
May we recognize and appreciate His faithful people whom He has sent to mentor us by helping us grow in our knowledge of and love for Jesus. Then, may we ourselves be of those who also teach others to live right!
Thank You for Your many faithful servants who have helped us; help us too to lead others into Your righteousness! Amen.