“Therefore, O King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision, but declared first to those in Damascus, then in Jerusalem and throughout all the region of Judea, and also to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds in keeping with repentance.”
- Acts 26.19, 20
...while it was not of my own choice that I arrived in Ireland at that time when I was almost a lost soul, it was a good thing for me, because I was reformed by the Lord and He prepared me to be today what was once so remote from me; so that, whereas once I did not even consider my own salvation, now the salvation of others is my care and concern.
- Patrick, Confession, British, 5th century
Like the Apostle Paul, Patrick’s life was dramatically turned around by a heavenly vision.
After six years of slavery and an arduous escape and return home, Patrick received a vision from the land of his former captivity, and made up his mind to go back and serve them. He was “almost a lost soul” when he returned to Ireland, where he prepared for the work that would occupy 60 years of his life.
God does not often speak in heavenly visions these days, but His Word is clear enough: “As the Father has sent Me, so I am sending you” (Jn. 20.21).
Like Patrick and Paul, God is seeking to reform our lives according to the pattern of Christ, and to prepare us for the work He has in mind for each one of us. But, like Paul and Patrick, we must submit to the reforming and preparing work of His Word and Spirit, and go in obedience into the mission field He has determined for us.
Paul and Patrick were mightily used of God, because they heeded His call, embraced their mission field, and worked faithfully to proclaim the Good News of Jesus. They provide the model for each of us.
God is calling us to the fields, now white to be harvested. But we must be transformed. We must be equipped. We must be made ready for the great work of proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom.
Are you willing? Are you ready? Are you available to the Lord for whatever His glorious purpose may be?
Once, we did not consider our own salvation, yet the Lord Who loves us from eternity past saved us by His glorious grace.
Will we now, thus saved, give ourselves for the salvation of others?
Today? This week?
Psalm 145.1-6 (Brother James’ Air: “The Lord’s My Shepherd, I’ll Not Want”)
I will extol You, God my King, and ever praise Your Name!
I bless You, Lord, for everything, each day, and e’er the same!
Great are You, Lord, my praise I bring; unsearchable Your fame!
To ev’ry generation we Your wondrous works shall tell.
The splendor of Your majesty we contemplate full well.
We speak of all Your mighty deeds and all Your greatness tell.
Lord, I do want to be used for Your Kingdom! Help me to know what You’ve called me to do.