Today I gird myself with the strength of God to direct me. The might of God to exalt me, the mind of God to lead me, the eye of God to hear me, the word of God to speak to me, the hand of God to defend me, the path of God to go before me, the shield of God to guard me, the help of God to protect me...
- Anonymous, Faeth Fiada (Irish, 8th century)
Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.
- Romans 13.13, 14
Augustine's problem was that he could see - or, at least, experience - the desires of his flesh. He knew how to gratify them - indeed, he had become quite good at this. He could not see Jesus Christ, and he had, over the years, accumulated a good many intellectual justifications for not believing in Him.
But, as Luther would later observe, "one little word" was able to fell him. At a moment of great spiritual crisis in his life, Augustine was prompted by a child's song to "take up and read", and he interpreted this to mean the Bible. The page of a nearby copy of Scripture fell open to Romans 13, and Augustine's eyes were drawn to verses 13 and 14.
He was struck to the very core of his being and determined, from that moment forward, to put off all his sinful ways and to be clothed upon with Jesus Christ. He spent the rest of his adult years putting on the Lord Jesus Christ day by day, as our "breastplate" poem directs, and urging others to do so as well. Augustine's justification, as he confessed his faith in Jesus to his mother, Monica, weeping with joy, led immediately and irreversibly to his sanctification - as, we would hope, should always be the case.
Augustine put off what he could see and put on what he could not. And his life was gloriously and permanently changed as a result. What does that mean for you to "put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh"? For Augustine it meant a totally new orientation and approach to life.
How could it mean anything less than this to us?
Today at The Fellowship of Ailbe
The FCC has taken the first steps to regulate the Internet. Great. Just what we need. Don't miss today's ReVision.
We're happy to introduce a new study series in our bookstore. The three Paruchia Studies are the first in a series designed to shore up the foundations of faith. For new believers and those trying for a new start in their walk of faith, these study guide/devotionals can provide the guidance and encouragement you need to get off on the right foot.
Our courses on The Writing Pastor and One in Twelve: An Introduction to Christian Worldview are scheduled to begin in January. Sign up today or write me for more information.
Many thanks for your end-of-the-year gifts. You can donate by clicking the donate button or by sending your gifts to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 100 Lamplighter Ct., Hamilton, VA 20158.
T. M. Moore