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To Live and Die for Jesus

More of Patrick's legacy.

Patrick (15)

Because of this, for all that He bestowed
on me, and all the kindnesses He showed
me, I’ll repay Him with my life, though there
is nothing I can say, no promise dare
hope to fulfill, unless He gives to me
the power to do it. Let the Savior see
into my inner being: For greatly I
desire that I might drink His cup and die
for Him, as others have who loved Him. So
may God permit that all of those who know
His Name because of me, be never lost
to me. And though my testimony cost
my very life, I pray that He may give
me strength, for Him to persevere and live,
until my dying day.

 - Patrick, Confession

For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell. For I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better. Nevertheless to remain in the flesh is more needful for you. And being confident of this, I know that I shall remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy of faith, that your rejoicing for me may be more abundant in Jesus Christ by my coming to you again.

 -Philippians 1.21-26

Patrick is nearing the end of his Confession, and he has three things on his mind: the life he has lived, the work he has done, and the day of his death.

He acknowledges the grace of Jesus to him for all aspects of his life. Nothing that he had become or accomplished can be explained apart from the grace of our Lord and all the kindness He showed him. Our salvation is all of grace. Unless God stops us in our rebellion, sends His Spirit into our soul, and grants us new life in Jesus, we will not be saved. Patrick knew this all too well, and this Good News constituted the core of all his preaching and teaching.

But all our life, in all its parts, depends on the grace and kindness of the Lord. It’s easy to lose sight of these. Apart from Him we can do nothing; we could not continue to exist except for His constant shepherding care. Patrick understood this and was deeply grateful. He called on the Lord to look into his soul and see that the driving force of his life and work was to walk the path Jesus walked and drink the cup He did. His motives were pure, as he argued throughout this Confession. He knew of no lingering sin in his soul, despite the spurious charges laid against him from Britain. And he offered his life to the Lord as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable every day of his life.

As Patrick had begun, so he continued throughout his long ministry—trusting in the grace and kindness of Jesus and resolved to love and serve Him always.

Many had come to faith in Jesus and begun their journey of sanctification because of Patrick’s work. He longed for the Lord to keep them in the faith, that they might never be lost to him so that they would enjoy together the great salvation of the Lord. Patrick’s work was not to enlist followers or attract members to his church or movement. His aim was that people might truly come to know the Lord Jesus Christ, to see Him in His glory, enter His Kingdom, enjoy His grace, and serve Him all their lives. He sought to make disciples, and, in His grace and kindness, Jesus allowed Him to do so. Thus he looked to the Lord to keep those who had come to know Him because he understood that they, like himself, only lived and would live forever because of Jesus.

And, like Paul, Patrick was ready at any moment to die for Jesus. Recall that Patrick worked among people for whom violence was a way of life. Roman legions had twice considered invading Ireland, only to decide that the cost would be too great. It was, after all, violent men who originally carried Patrick away and sold him into slavery. The possibility of violence was driven home by the Coroticus episode. Why should Patrick be spared when the people he shepherded were not?

But Patrick was ready to die. His fervent prayer was that he would be faithful unto death, that when his time came to relinquish this life, he would still be serving Jesus, proclaiming Jesus, and expect Jesus to receive him into glory.

Thanks and praise for the multifarious grace and kindness of Jesus. A heart kept pure and devoted to the Savior. A readiness to die for Christ, in Christ, and unto Christ. These are precious aspects of the legacy Patrick left for those who carried on his work after him, and for us as well.

For Reflection
1. How do you expect to know the grace and kindness of the Lord today?

2. How will you channel that grace and kindness to others?

Psalm 27.7-14 (St. Denio: Immortal, Invisible God Only Wise)
Hear, LORD, when we cry and be gracious, we pray!
LORD, do not deny us Your favor this day!
Our help, our salvation, though others may fall,
preserve our good station when on You we call.

LORD, teach us; LORD, lead us because of our foes!
Hear, LORD, when we plead for release from their woes.
Had we not believed all Your goodness to see,
our heart sorely grieved and in turmoil would be.

Wait, wait on the LORD; persevere in His grace.
Hold fast to His Word; seek His radiant face.
Be strong, set your heart to abide in His Word;
His grace He imparts; therefore, wait on the LORD.

Send me forth with Your grace and kindness today, Lord, so that I…

Patrick’s Legacy
You can read more about the impact of Patrick’s ministry in our book, The Legacy of Patrick. Here you’ll learn how Patrick’s work has affected generations of Christians down to our own day. Order your copy by clicking here.

Support for Crosfigell comes from our faithful and generous God, who moves our readers to share financially in our work. If this article was helpful, please give Him thanks and praise.

And please prayerfully consider supporting The Fellowship of Ailbe with your prayers and gifts. You can contribute online, via PayPal or Anedot, or by sending a gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 103 Reynolds Lane, West Grove, PA 19390.

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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