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

Loving God

Colum Cille was renowned for his love for God.

" you love me?"

  - John 21.16

Triumphant plea: adoring God, nightly, daily,/with hands outstretched, with splendid alms, with right actions.

  - Beccan mac Luigdech, Tiugraind Beccain (Irish, 7th century)

One of Shakespeare's best-known sonnets begins, "How do I love Thee? Let me count the ways." Colum Cille was renowned for his love for God, and it showed in ways that caused others to love Him as well.

His love for God was truly affectionate. He delighted to be in God's presence day and night. No matter what he was doing, it was apparent to all that he was in communion with God. He stretched his arms out in prayer, cross-vigil style, in order to plead with God, embrace Him, and enter into the sufferings of God's Son. He gave of himself, his time, and every material benefit to care for the needs of God's people. He devoted himself to scholarship, especially the study of God's Word, and the work of disciple-making and missions. All his actions were right actions, and they spoke volumes of his love for God.

How did Colum love God? Poets and hagiographers have counted the ways, and they are impressive, indeed, as this couplet from Beccan indicates.

And what about us? What about you? How do you love God? Can you count the ways? If you were asked by an unbelieving friend what it means that you love God, how would you respond? What is it to love God? How do we show it? What in our lives offers a "triumphant plea", proving our love for God in no uncertain terms?

Imagine how stunned Peter must have been when Jesus asked him, "Do you love Me?" Peter knew that Jesus knew about his betrayal, his doubts, his shame, the horrible example he had set for the other disciples - especially after all that boasting about being willing to die for Jesus. What would he point to in order to prove his love? How would Jesus be persuaded? Or the other disciples?

"Lord, you know that I love you." It's all he could say, and he seems to have said it with shame and regret. And Peter did love Jesus. That would become clear throughout the rest of his life.

But what about you and me? Do we love Jesus like Peter did? Like Colum Cille? To what will you point, when asked, as evidence of your claim that you love God? And if you do, in fact, love God, how can you improve that love, so that you love Him more and more each day?

This question is too important simply to shrug it off by saying, "The Lord knows." Loving God is the first and great commandment.

It's also the greatest privilege any of us can know.

Let's make the most of it, shall we?

T. M. Moore, Principal

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Friends, thank you for your prayers for our ministry and for the encouragement we receive from time to time. We offer ourselves in the service of God for your sake, to strengthen, embolden, encourage, and edify your soul as much as we can. We hope you will make use of the resources at our website - read our columns, get the free downloads, sign up for a free course, purchase a book. Your gifts are also greatly appreciated, and, if you wish to help support the material needs of our work, you can use the donate button here or at the website, or send your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 100 Lamplighter Ct., Hamilton, VA, 20158. Thanks be to God for His unspeakable gift!

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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