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Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.
Crosfigell

Into Danger for Joy

This is where we learn to trust the Lord.

For there were many who hindered this mission. They even talked among themselves behind my back, saying: “Who is this fellow going into danger among enemies who do not know God?”

  - Patrick, Confession, Irish, 5th century[1]

“In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

  - John 16.33

Patrick’s own pastors and bishops opposed his going among the Irish as a missionary. After all, he had no training, and the Irish, well, you know what those people are like!

Mission among the wild Irish could be dangerous. Which is probably why none of those bishops or priests ever thought to go among the Irish themselves. It’s certainly why the Roman legions declined to mount an invasion of the Emerald Isle.

Patrick had been a slave in Ireland for six years, and his heart ached for those lost souls. He was determined to resume his “mission” among them, but this time as a slave to a different Master, One Who ruled unto righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit (Rom. 14.17, 18).

It can be scary talking to people about Jesus. Even Christian people. I suspect Patrick felt some of that fear as well.

But unlike many of us, Patrick understood that the Lord had not commanded the unsaved world to go to church, but just the opposite. And he also knew that Jesus had promised that His followers – those who take up His mission and carry it forward – should expect trials, tribulations, and difficulties; but they muist not shy away from them.

Instead, we must lean on Him, which is precisely what Patrick did, and what faithful witnesses in every age have done. Every trial or difficulty holds the possibility for developing our character and nurturing courage in our soul (Rom. 5.1-5). If we embrace our trials and fears with joy and rejoicing (Jms. 1.2-8), we will grow in hope, and the Lord will enable us to rise above our trials to greater dependence on Him.

Patrick believed this, and he proved the truth of it many times during his ministry.

The Christian movement in our day is losing ground. The world is not beating a path to the door of our churches just because we’ve changed our music and worship setting to be all contemporary, and promised only to talk about positive and happy things. And Christian people are not beating a path to the world, for fear of being rejected, scorned, or worse.

If we want our lost neighbors to know Jesus, first, we must make sure that we know Him (2 Cor. 13.5). Growing in knowledge of and love for Jesus will strengthen us to embrace His calling to be His witnesses (Acts 1.8). And we must daily encourage one another in our walk with and work for the Lord.

It can be a little scary being an agent of God’s grace to your world. But this is the work for which God has commissioned us. As we grow in His joy, He will overflow from us, like rivers of living water, to refresh and renew the people around us (Jn. 7.37-39).  The more we are faithful in every little opportunity the Lord presents to us, the more our faith will grow, our joy will increase, and our fear of any danger will subside (Philem. 1.4-6).

Being a witness for the Lord may be risky, but the blessings that flow from obedience – both to those with whom we share and to us as well – are certainly worth whatever risk we must take.

Jesus has promised: “I am with you always” (Matt. 28.20). Know His Presence, and all your fears will melt away into joyous obedience.

For Reflection
1. How do you access the Presence of Christ with you always throughout the day? Why is it important you do so?

2. What opportunities for being an agent of grace are before you today? How should you prepare for these?

Sing Psalm 71.12-16, 3
(Solid Rock: My Hope is Built on Nothing Less)
O God be not too far from me; my ever-present Helper be!
Consume and shame my enemies; let them reproached and humbled be.
Refrain, v. 3
A Rock of habitation be; command Your Word to rescue me.
My Rock and Fortress ever be!

But as for me my voice I raise to sing in hope and constant praise!
With saving grace my voice will swell Your never-ending grace to tell.
Refrain

Lord, help me to know Your Presence with me throughout this day, so that I…

Joy Bringers

We are called to know the joy of the Lord and to bring that joy to our world. Our booklet, Joy to Your World!, can help you identify your own mission field, and show you how to be a more joyful and gracious presence there. You can order a free copy of Joy to Your World! When you order, we’ll include a copy of the booklet, The Gospel of the Kingdom. Just click here.

This Way to Courage
If you’re not following our current ReVision study on “Encouragement,” here’s a link to all the installments. You can download each one for free, and learn to grow in courage and to help others do so as well.

Thank You
We pray that, if Crosfigell ministers to you, you’ll consider sharing with us in the financial support of our ministry. If the Lord moves you to give, you can use the Contribute button at the website to give with a credit card or through PayPal, or you can send your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 360 Zephyr Road, Williston, VT 05495.

T. M. Moore
Principal
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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.

 

[1] Da Paor, p. 105.

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 the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
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