Whom Do We Love?

Whom do we love?

The Celtic Revival: Patrick (9)

           How did I come to know the Lord,
if not through grace alone, and by His Word,
that I should long to follow Him and leave
my homeland and my loved ones there to grieve
for me? When first I left for Ireland’s shore,
they offered many gifts and tears and more
to keep me home; and I offended them
and went against the wishes of the men
who were accountable for me. But I
was guided by the Lord my God in my
decision, and He told me I should not
agree with them or give consent to what
they wanted. He opposed them all on my
behalf and triumphed in my soul, so I
can take no credit for my leaving. So
I came to Ireland so that I might go
among the heathen and proclaim the Word
of God and call them to receive the Lord,
and suffer many insults at their hands.

- Patrick, Confession (5th century)

“If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.”

  - Luke 14.26, 27

Patrick didn’t hate his family or his pastors (those who were accountable for him). He simply loved Jesus more, so much more, that it might have seemed to those he left behind in Britain that he hated them.

Jesus doesn’t want us to hate our loved ones, either. But the love we have for Him should cause our love for them to pale, for it if does not, we will end up wanting to please them, hating the Lord and His will, and failing in our calling to His Kingdom and glory (1 Thess. 2.12).

God has called us to follow Jesus, be His witnesses, grow in grace, make disciples, work at building His Church and seeking His Kingdom, pursue holiness in the fear of God, and seek His glory in everything we do. Others may try to dissuade us from this, counseling us not to be so “fanatic” about our faith, or to insist that we not devote so much time to religion. They’ll say you can be a Christian without having to be so serious about it.

But we will not truly love the people in our lives until we love God supremely and first at all times. Then we can love others as an expression of God’s calling.

When we come to faith in Jesus, God calls us to put everything else in line behind seeking Him and His Kingdom (Matt. 6.33). Everything. Family. Church. Work. Avocations. Possessions. Everything. Love Jesus and His calling, and hate everything else by comparison. That’s the rule.

We cannot be disciples of Jesus if we’re always postponing or down-playing or soft-selling or putting-it-off-till-whenever that calling that finds us seeking first the Kingdom and glory of God in all things. Patrick could not have known everything this would entail. But he knew the next step: leave Britain, go to Ireland. God, he believed, would unfold the rest of his journey from there.

Next Kingdom steps await each one of us day by day, and at every moment. If we love Jesus supremely, we will seek those next steps and take them, no matter who is trying to discourage, dissuade, or divert us. Loving Jesus involves conditions and consequences. Chief among these is that we love nothing or no one more than Jesus, and that we go where He calls and sends us.

Because if we will not do this, we can not be Jesus’ disciples.

Psalm 40.1-5 (Dix: For the Beauty of the Earth)
I waited patiently for God; He inclined and heard my cry,
Lifted me up above the sod, set me on a Rock on high!
New songs in my mouth He gave; may He through me many save.

Blessed are all who trust in You, turning both from lies and pride.
Countless wonders, Lord, You do, and Your thoughts with us abide.
Lord, Your worth who can declare? None with You can e’er compare.

Lord, show me the next steps to take in following You, and I…

Mission Partners Outreach

Our Mission Partners Outreach can help you follow God’s call to share the Good News of Christ and His Kingdom with the people in your Personal Mission Field. The training and materials are free, and the program is available in two formats, and can be used in your Bible study group or Sunday school class. Watch this brief video (click here), and download the informational flyer to learn more.

The Legacy of Patrick
Patrick made a lasting impact on Ireland and Europe, igniting a revival that lasted for nearly four centuries. He has left for us a legacy of priorities which we can appropriate for our own walk with and work for the Lord. Order your copy of The Legacy of Patrick from our online store (click here).

Like Patrick, we depend on the Lord to support our ministry, which He does through friends who pray for us and share their gifts with us, as the Lord leads. As you pray today, ask the Lord whether He might use you to support this work. You can do so by clicking the Contribute buttonat our website, or by sending your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 19 Tyler Drive, Essex Junction, VT 05452. Thank you.

T. M. Moore

All Psalms for singing from The Ailbe Psalter. Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT. 

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