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

Whom Do We Love?

Let nothing get in the way of loving Jesus.

The Celtic Revival: Beginnings (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). We will love our loved ones more as we increase in love for Jesus.

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 suggesting 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 always love God supremely and first. Then we can love others as an expression of God’s calling, by the grace and in the power of God.

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.

For Reflection
1. How would you counsel a new believer to keep on growing in love for Jesus?

2. Whom will you encourage today with the love of Jesus?

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 will…

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

It's difficult to overestimate the greatness of Patrick. For an account of this one man’s impact on Ireland and beyond, order a free copy of The Legacy of Patrick by clicking here.

Working your Personal Mission Field
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Thank you
Thanks so much to those of you who faithfully support the work of The Fellowship of Ailbe. God uses your gifts and prayers to reach thousands of people every day in over 160 countries. We praise the Lord for His having moved and enabled you to share with us in this ministry.

If you’re not a supporter of this ministry, won’t you please prayerfully consider making a gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe? Only God can move you to do this, and we believe He intends to support this ministry from within the ranks of those who are served by it. If this includes you, please seek the Lord in this matter. You can click here to donate online with your credit card or through Anedot or PayPal, or 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.


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.
Books by T. M. Moore

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