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

A Witness of Word and Deed

Our witness must be the same.

The Celtic Revival: Beginnings (16)

A faithful minister of God, and a splendid messenger,
he gave to the good the example and form of an apostle,
preaching to the people of God with both words and deeds
so that he might with a good act inspire the one whom his words did not move.

  - Sechnaill, Audite Omnes Amantes, Irish, 5th century[1]

And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people.

  - Matthew 4.23

Sechnaill was writing about Patrick, to explain the widespread success of his ministry. Patrick went to Ireland as Jesus had been sent to the earth – to bring the saving mercy and Kingdom of Christ to lost souls.

Patrick’s mission to Ireland succeeded in large part because he kept such a good balance between words and deeds. He taught people literacy, advised rulers, cared for the sick and outcast, showed mercy to the downtrodden, paid to liberate slaves, made disciples, ordained pastors, and always – always – brought the message of grace and truth through Jesus Christ our Lord.

In other words, He did what Jesus did, because he understood that he had been sent to Ireland in the same way Jesus was sent to earth.

Jesus said, “As the Father has sent Me, so I am sending you” (Jn. 20.21). Jesus was sent to a particular time, place, and people, with the mission of bringing the Kingdom of God and His righteousness to a sad and weary world.

We have been sent into our own Personal Mission Field to live as Jesus did – as Patrick did. As the Father sent Jesus, so He sends us, every day. The people we see each day need the grace of God. They need to know His love and forgiveness, and His power to bring new life into even their most mundane experiences. They need to experience His Kingdom – His rule of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit – as we bring it near to them by our words and deeds.

For God has sent us to them to embody and proclaim His grace and truth. We have been sent by Jesus, like Jesus, to bring the Kingdom of God near to them by good words and good works. This is what Patrick did, and it’s what all do who realize that God has called us to His Kingdom and glory in all the day-by-day activities of our lives (1 Thess. 2.12; 1 Cor. 10.31).

If we have mapped out our Personal Mission Field, we’ve made a good start. We can get to know the people we encounter there, pray about ways to encourage and serve them, and make the most of every opportunity to show them that Jesus is alive and tell them of His love.

Working your Personal Mission Field, like Patrick, is a matter of prayer, waiting on the Lord, looking for open doors of opportunity, and being wise as serpents and harmless as doves as we speak and do for others what grace and truth require.

But if we aren’t even thinking about this, preparing for it, planning for it, and having others to encourage and support us in our mission, how will we ever follow in the steps of Jesus?

Every day, each of us has opportunities to serve as Patrick did, and like the mission of Jesus. Each of us is a Patrick to the people around us. More important, each of us can be Jesus to them, as the old hymn reminds us, “You’re the only Jesus some will ever see.”

Let each one of us strive to be “a faithful minister” of the grace and truth of our Lord, reaching out with the Good News of the Kingdom in a witness of word and deed.

Draw near to Jesus daily, in His Word and prayer, and let the Holy Spirit transform you into His likeness (2 Cor. 3.12-18). Then, as you are going, make the most of every opportunity to make disciples by living like Jesus did, and like Patrick as well.

For reflection
1. What does it mean for you to “make the most of every opportunity” to live like Jesus today?

2. How can you make sure you are ready for each such opportunity?

Psalm 2.7-10 (Agincourt: O Love, How Deep, How Broad, How High)
Proclaim the message far and wide, that God has exalted the Crucified!
From heav’n He sent us His only Son, Who has for us salvation won.

To Christ the Lord be given all who humbly embrace Him and on Him call.
Be wise, be warned: His judgment comes to break the prideful, sinful ones.

Help me each day to go as You went, O Lord, sent to my Personal Mission Field as You were sent to the world, so that I…

Working your Personal Mission Field
We hope that you have discovered our monthly Personal Mission Field Workshop. Here you’ll find brief but useful instruction, encouragement, exercises, and resources to help you realize more of the presence, promise, and power of Christ’s rule in and through your life. Click here to view any or all our workshops. To read or listen to our most recent Workshop, click here. If you need to map out your Personal Mission Field, watch this brief video (click here), then download the workshop and get started.

Our books, The Gospel of the Kingdom and Joy to Your World! can also help you in working your Personal Mission Field. You can order them both for free by clicking here.

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.


[1] Carey, p. 153.

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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