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

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

Kingdom Seeking

July 15, 2010

Kingdom Seeking

July/Holiness

15 July 2010

Four things through which the kingdom of God may be sought: steadfastness and detachment from the world, devotion and constancy.

- Colman mac Beognai, Aipgitir Chrabaid (Irish, 7th century)

"But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you."

- Matthew 6.33

Kingdom seeking is the Christian's calling in life. The Kingdom of God is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit (Rom. 14.17). We are seeking the KIngdom when, in every aspect of our lives, we are striving to know and extend these virtues in the world. From us righteousness should make progress against sin and unbelief. From us peace should overcome fear and uncertainty. From us joy should supplant disappointment, sorrow, and distress.

Here is a call to steadfastness - daily persevering toward a Kingdom horizon in every area of our lives, refusing to allow ourselves to be distracted or deterred. Here is a call for detachment from the world, for we cannot advance the rule of Christ if we are slavishly holding on to the things of this life. Here is a call for devotion, for without a close and vital relationship with the living God, we have no strength for seeking the Kingdom. Here is a call for constancy: we must keep on keeping on even when we see little progress or reason to hope.

Kingdom seeking can become a way of life for us, and we can make a contribution to righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit, when these four disciplines, mentioned by Colman, come to characterize our lives. Oh, but this is hard work, requiring constant attention and prayer without ceasing! Seeking the Kingdom is not just some pious phrase to affirm; it is a way of life to embrace, pursue, endure, and triumph in day by day by day.

Will today find you seeking the Kingdom as your first priority in every area of your life?

Join us tonight at 9:00 to pray for revival. Send me an email and I'll send you the prayer sheet and phone number to call.

July Exercise Part 2: OK, you've been reading and doing some self-evaluation based on the brochure, Called to Be Witnesses. Now, for July 12-18, sit down with some Christian friends and share the results of your first week of this exercise. Make a copy of the brochure for each of your friends and challenge them to begin this exercise as well.

Today in ReVision: Souls on the Mind - What was Paul Giamatti thinking?  Also new at the website today, we begin our next Kingdom Civics series on the "Founding Documents" of the Kingdom, and Every Thought Captive features the next installment of Satan, Bound.

This Week's Download: Called to Be Witnesses - Give a copy to your friends and begin talking together about how you can become more serious about piety.

We hope you'll visit our book store and check out the resources available to help you live the Christian life. And let us hear from you.

T. M. Moore, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Lazy Faith

July 19, 2010

Lazy Faith

July/Holiness

19 July 2010

What is best in religion? Simplicity and sincerity. A lazy religiosity, which avoids much hardship, will have much trial in the fire, will have little reward in heaven.

- Colman mac Beognai, Aipgitir Chrabaid (Irish, 7th century)

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

- Ephesians 2.10

I like that thought of "lazy religiosity." True religion - real Christian faith - is not supposed to be easy. It's like fighting a war, running a marathon, being poured out on behalf of others, bearing a cross, and so forth. All the images of the New Testament which describe the life of faith intend us to believe that this is no easy road.

Fast forward to the present, and the easy road seems to be precisely what most Christians want to walk. Their faith costs them very little (not even the tithe!). The best time of their lives they invest in getting, spending, and mindless diversions, while they give but a portion of their remaining time to the Lord. We're lazy in the work of the Kingdom and frenzied about our material existence and comfort.

A simpler and more sincere approach to the life of faith might find us working harder at spiritual disciplines, being more involved in good works toward the people in our Personal Mission Field, and more consistent in bearing witness for Christ. We would be more diligent and thorough students of God's Word and more fervent and constant in prayer. Worship would be a way of life and not simply a Sunday morning diversion.

The Lord Jesus walked the hard road to give us real life, but He in no way encouraged us to believe that real life was an easy trip. It's a hard slog, but filled with joy and glory for all who undertake it by faith.

It's not too late to begin shrugging off and laying aside the garments of a lazy religiosity, so that we might be clothed anew each day with the wardrobe of discipline, service, witness, sharing, and joy which are the proper garments of all who name the Name of Jesus.

Friends, thanks again for those of you who are helping to support our ministry with your gifts. You can do so by contributing at the website or by sending your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 100 Lamplighter Ct., Hamilton, VA 20158.

July Exercise Part 2: OK, you've been reading and doing some self-evaluation based on the brochure, Called to Be Witnesses. Now, for July 12-18, sit down with some Christian friends and share the results of your first week of this exercise. Make a copy of the brochure for each of your friends and challenge them to begin this exercise as well.

Today in ReVision: Held in Trust? - Who's watching over the precious heritage of Christian culture?

Also at the website, we have begun our next Kingdom Civics series on the "Founding Documents" of the Kingdom, and Every Thought Captive features the next installment of Satan, Bound (soon to be a Waxed Tablet book!).

This Month's Download: Called to Be Witnesses - Give a copy to your friends and begin talking together about how you can become more serious about piety.

We hope you'll visit our book store and check out the resources available to help you live the Christian life. And let us hear from you.

T. M. Moore, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Mind of Christ

July 20, 2010

The Mind of Christ

July/Holiness

What is best in a mind? Breadth and lowliness; for every good thing can find room in a broad and lowly mind.

- Colman mac Beognai, Aipgitir Chrabaid (Irish, 7th century)

"For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?" But we have the mind of Christ.

- 1 Corinthians 2.16

The mind of our Lord Jesus Christ is certainly broad and lowly. After all, He upholds the universe and all things in it by His Word of power (Heb. 1.3). Can't get broader than that. And He did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself and became a lowly servant unto our salvation (Phil. 2.5-11). Can't get more humble than that.

Breadth and humility. That's a pretty good outline for thinking about developing the mind of Christ which has been given to us. We should ever be seeking to enlarge our understanding and to improve our ability to think clearly. Reading, study, conversation - these are ways to a broader mind.

But a more humble mind comes through prayer and service. Only the Lord can enable us to set aside our own interests and agendas so that we pay more attention to the needs of others, regard them as more important than our own, and conceive ways of serving people with the love of Christ.

What a powerful combination of notions! A broad mind has room for as much new knowledge as we might be willing to embrace, and a humble mind has room for every person in need whom we might encounter each day. When we are submitting to and exercising the mind of Christ, this kind of breadth and humility will increasingly come to characterize our own thoughts and plans.

Let it be, Lord.

July Exercise Part 3: Let's go to the next step in applying the teaching of the free the brochure, Called to Be Witnesses. During the coming week, get together with the friends for whom you made a copy of this brochure, and work through the brochure, My Personal Mission Field, together.

Today in ReVision: Held in Trust? - Who's watching over the precious heritage of Christian culture?

Also at the website, we have begun our next Kingdom Civics series on the "Founding Documents" of the Kingdom, and Every Thought CaptiveSatan, Bound (soon to be a Waxed Tablet book!). features the next installment of

This Month's Download: Called to Be Witnesses - Give a copy to your friends and begin talking together about how you can become more serious about piety.

We hope you'll visit our book store and check out the resources available to help you live the Christian life. And let us hear from you.

T. M. Moore, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Against Instability

July 21, 2010

Against Instability

July/Holiness

21 July 2010

Three things which drive out the spirit of instability, and make the mind steadfast: vigil, and prayer, and labour.

- Colman mac Beognai, Aipgitir Chrabaid (Irish, 7th century)

But let him ask in faith, nothing doubting...For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

- James 1.6-8

Double-minded people confess faith in Jesus Christ, thus, tacitly at least, admitting the existence of an unseen realm of glory and a Kingdom of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. Nevertheless, they continue to live in this world as though their material wants and needs were of primary importance.

They praise Jesus on Sunday as Lord of time and creation; then they used the vast bulk of their time and most of their creative energy in materialistic and frivolous pursuits. They protest to believe the Bible to be the Word of God, but then devote very little energy to reading, studying, and meditating in it. They say they believe in prayer, but pray very little.

Double-minded people insist that the story of Jesus is Good News, but then they seldom, if ever, venture to share that story with anyone else. They confess Jesus as Lord, but then try to enlist Him in their aid for all their wants and needs.

I'd add a fourth remedy against double-mindedness to those Colman recommends: sound doctrine, beginning with the Law of God (cf. 2 Pet. 3.17). Prayer, waiting on the Lord, working for the progress of the Kingdom, and grounding our lives in sound doctrine - these are, indeed, remedies against double-mindedness.

But in case you prefer double-mindedness to stability according to such remedies as these, just remember: you may expect nothing - nothing! - from the Lord.

July Exercise Part 3: Let's go to the next step in applying the teaching of the free the brochure, Called to Be Witnesses. During the coming week, get together with the friends for whom you made a copy of this brochure, and work through the brochure, My Personal Mission Field, together.

Today in ReVision: Presidential Judgment - How wise is the President, really?

Also at the website, we have begun our next Kingdom Civics series on the "Founding Documents" of the Kingdom, and Every Thought CaptiveSatan, Bound (soon to be a Waxed Tablet book!). features the next installment of

This Month's Download: Called to Be Witnesses - Give a copy to your friends and begin talking together about how you can become more serious about piety.

We hope you'll visit our book store and check out the resources available to help you live the Christian life. And let us hear from you.

T. M. Moore, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Pressing on to Holiness

July/Holiness

22 July 2010

Anyone, then, who fears God, and loves Him, and does His will and keeps His commandments,will have honour among men here and blessedness with God beyond.

- Colman man Beognai, Aipgitir Chrabaid (Irish, 7th century)

Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God.

- 2 Corinthians 7.1

The promises to which Paul refers have to do with God's dwelling among us, walking with us, making us His people, being our God, and being our Father. There is nothing in us to provoke God to want to do this for us; it's all of His unfathomable grace.

In view of what God has promised, therefore, Paul exhorts us to bring holiness to completion in the fear of God. The promises are there to strive for; holiness is the means to gain the favor of God, both in this life and in the life to come.

We are not here talking about salvation, at least, not in the sense of justification. But we are talking about salvation as it relates to the continual pursuit of holiness (sanctification). God's grace is sufficient for this as well, which we discover as we give ourselves to the pursuit of holiness. This race is beyond our ability, but God meets us as we begin it anew each day, providing the desire and strength to lay aside every defilement of body and spirit and press on in holiness.

Fear God, love Him, and keep His commandments. This is the daily regimen for growing in holiness. To this we are called, and God promises that, as we pursue this, we will know more of His presence with us, engage more of His glory, and become more fully His sons and daughters, glorifying Him in all ways. And there is nothing more thrilling, more rewarding, or more completely satisfying in this life than this daily pursuit of holiness.

May we rise afresh to this challenge with each new day.

July Exercise Part 3: Let's go to the next step in applying the teaching of the free the brochure, Called to Be Witnesses. During the coming week, get together with the friends for whom you made a copy of this brochure, and work through the brochure, My Personal Mission Field, together.

Today in ReVision: Presidential Judgment - How wise is the President, really?

Also at the website, we have begun our next Kingdom Civics series on the "Founding Documents" of the Kingdom, and Every Thought CaptiveSatan, Bound (soon to be a Waxed Tablet book!). features the next installment of

This Month's Download: Called to Be Witnesses - Give a copy to your friends and begin talking together about how you can become more serious about piety.

We hope you'll visit our book store and check out the resources available to help you live the Christian life. And let us hear from you.

T. M. Moore, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Self First

July 26, 2010

Self First

July/Holiness

26 July 2010

When is one capable of bearing witness on behalf of the souls of others? When he is capable first of bearing witness on behalf of his own. When is he capable of correcting others? When he can first correct himself.

- Colman mac Beognai, Aipgitir Chrabaid (Irish, 7th century)

Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure. Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil.

- Proverbs 4.26, 27

In the Christian life we are called to put others first. Except in this one area. Before we invest too much energy in commenting on or correcting the walk of others, we need to make sure our own walk is what it ought to be.

The Scriptures exhort us to a careful self-watch, as in Solomon's advice to his son. We need to pay attention to the way we use our time, conduct our conversations, carry out our duties, even enjoy our leisure. Are we seeking the Kingdom of God and His righteousness even in these? Or are certain parts of our lives "off limits" for Kingdom business?

To "ponder the path of your feet" is an ongoing responsibility. The KJV of Ephesians 5.15-17 calls us to "walk circumspectly," that is, paying attention to the whole horizon of your life, making sure that all you do is in order to advance the righteous and peacable and joyous reign of our Lord Jesus Christ. What a challenge!

We are called to be witnesses for the Lord at every moment of our lives, but we won't fulfill this high and holy calling if we aren't vigilant about seeking the Kingdom at every moment, in all our relationships, roles, and responsibilities. How do you carry out this exhortation to "ponder the path of your feet"? Do you have a soul friend to help you in this? Do you plan your time carefully and review it frequently?

If we offer the moments of our lives as offerings to the Lord, seeking His wisdom for how best to use our time (Ps. 90.12), we will be more likely to honor and glorify Him in all we do, and to bring His blessings to the people in our Personal Mission Field, day after day.

July Exercise Part 4: For the rest of this month let's work on developing a plan, following the free the brochure, Called to Be Witnesses and the My Personal Mission Field brochure, for pondering our paths more purposefully, and with greater Kingdom results.

Today in ReVision: On Being Still - Is this even possible?

Also at the website, we have begun our next Kingdom Civics series on the "Founding Documents" of the Kingdom, and Every Thought CaptiveSatan, Bound (soon to be a Waxed Tablet book!). features the next installment of

This Month's Download: Called to Be Witnesses - Give a copy to your friends and begin talking together about how you can become more serious about piety.

We hope you'll visit our book store and check out the resources available to help you live the Christian life. And let us hear from you.

T. M. Moore, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

First, Be

July 27, 2010

First, Be

July/Holiness

27 July 2010

As long as a person is unrighteous, he cannot properly proclaim the truth.

- Colman mac Beognai, Aipgitir Chrabaid (Irish, 7th century)

"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses..."

- Acts 1.8

It's interesting to note that Jesus did not say, "and you will go witnessing..." First, He called us to be witnesses, and this gets at the kind of people we are. If we're going to have an effective and convincing verbal witness to the Lord, we must make sure that our lives are fit vessels to bear such glorious and eternal truth.

Peter understood the importance of this. He emphasized the need to add virtues to our faith as the way to make our calling and election sure (2 Pet. 1.5-11). This is how we grow into the hope which is laid up for us in heaven in our Lord Jesus Christ, so that, as that hope grows stronger, it comes through in our lives in ways that others can see (1 Pet. 3.15).

When others see in us the hope of glory (Rom. 5.1, 2), radiating out from us in love, joy, peace, patience, and all the other fruit of the Spirit, they will know that something is different with us. And some of them will be moved to ask a reason for what they see - the hope that is within us.

Of course, we don't have to wait around for them to ask. We are called to be witnesses and to make disciples, and surely telling the Good News of Jesus is at the forefront of what making disciples requires. It's just that our spoken witness will be so much more convincing if we have a lived witness to back it up.

When it comes to our calling to bear witness to Jesus Christ, the lesson is clear: First, be. The doing will flow from that.

July Exercise Part 4: For the rest of this month let's work on developing a plan, following the free the brochure, Called to Be Witnesses and the My Personal Mission Field brochure, for pondering our paths more purposefully, and with greater Kingdom results.

Today in ReVision: On Being Still - Is this even possible?

Also at the website, we have begun our next Kingdom Civics series on the "Founding Documents" of the Kingdom, and Every Thought Captive Satan, Bound (soon to be a Waxed Tablet book!). features the next installment of

This Month's Download: Called to Be Witnesses - Give a copy to your friends and begin talking together about how you can become more serious about piety.

We hope you'll visit our book store and check out the resources available to help you live the Christian life. And let us hear from you.

T. M. Moore, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Where Wisdom Begins

July 28, 2010

Where Wisdom Begins

July/Holiness

28 July 2010

Wisdom without learning is better than learning without wisdom.

- Colman mac Beognai, Aipgitir Chrabaid (Irish, 7th century)

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practiceit have a good understanding.

- Psalm 111.10

I'm reading a most interesting book about wisdom. The author is not quite sure what it is or how we acquire it, but he's searching eagerly. A materialist, one who does not believe in spiritual realities, the author is convinced that the beginning of wisdom is in brain activity - prompted by external stimuli which provoke chemical and electrical responses leading to what looks like it might be wise action. Or something like that.

The author not only does not believe in God, the spiritual realm, or the soul, he has convinced himself there's no such thing as free will, either. We are all just responders to whatever happens around us, building up repertoires of behavior that work to get us what we want without totally upsetting the world around us.

So the beginning of wisdom is in the random movements of matter. And this, we're supposed to believe, is science? This is knowledge? This sounds more like an act of faith to me, and one that considers 4,000 years of teaching and exemplary living, grounded in the idea that the beginning of wisdom is the fear of God, is an explanation that can simply be dismissed as untrue, unreliable, and unscientific.

And why? Because once you allow God into the equation you have to make room for all the moral baggage He brings with Him. People prefer to believe their own half-baked and barely credible accounts for such things as wisdom than what has been believed and lived for milenia, because then they're free to pipe their own moral tunes.

But then, we do the same, don't we, whenever we hear God speaking in His Word and decide we don't have to listen. For example, when He says, "You shall be holy." Or "You shall be my witnesses." How wise is that?

July Exercise Part 4: For the rest of this month let's work on developing a plan, following the free the brochure, Called to Be Witnesses and the My Personal Mission Field brochure, for pondering our paths more purposefully, and with greater Kingdom results.

Today in ReVision: On Being Still - Is this even possible?

Also at the website, we have begun our next Kingdom Civics series on the "Founding Documents" of the Kingdom, and Every Thought Captive Satan, Bound (soon to be a Waxed Tablet book!). features the next installment of

This Month's Download: Called to Be Witnesses - Give a copy to your friends and begin talking together about how you can become more serious about piety.

We hope you'll visit our book store and check out the resources available to help you live the Christian life. And let us hear from you.

T. M. Moore, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Desire of God

July 29, 2010

Desire of God

July/Holiness

29 July 2010

Desire of God grows in one when worldly desire decays.

- Colman mac Beognai, Aipgitir Chrabaid (Irish, 7th century)

Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

- Psalm 37.4

Two things about the so-called "prosperity gospel" alarm me. The first is that those who preach it dole it out as though it were the true Gospel, using texts like Psalm 37.4 to encourage people to get as much as they can/want out of God. If only they really love Him and really want to please Him, He'll give them whatever they desire.

The second thing that bothers me is the ease with which multitudes of people, supposing themselves to be saved, gobble this garbage up, using a form of the gospel as a way to attain an easy life - no pain, no sickness ("It is not God's will for you to be sick!" Creflo Dollar hollered last Sunday), and all your financial needs and desires divinely supplied.

But if we read the text of Psalm 37.4 carefully, something entirely different emerges. Delight in the Lord - love to be with Him, to be enthralled and captivated by the vision of His beauty, enraptured with His goodness, thrilled by His holiness, trembling before His power, resting in His love - delight yourself in the Lord - deeper, more consistently, more constantly with you all day long - delight yourself in the Lord, make Him the sole desire of your heart, and He will indeed give you all your desire.

He'll give you more and more and more of Himself. The paltry promise of the prosperity gospel pales into insignificance when compared with the unfathomable privilege of having God, knowing God, being in the presence of His glory, and delighting in Him. The idols of prosperity preachers will all fade and disappoint. The one true God, known to us through Jesus Christ, will never fail us nor forsake us.

Delight in Him, and get ready to know real life.

July Exercise Part 4: For the rest of this month let's work on developing a plan, following the free the brochure, Called to Be Witnesses and the My Personal Mission Field brochure, for pondering our paths more purposefully, and with greater Kingdom results.

Today in ReVision: Imagine This - Government and God's Law: do these belong together?

Also at the website, we have begun our next Kingdom Civics series on the "Founding Documents" of the Kingdom, and Every Thought Captive Satan, Bound (soon to be a Waxed Tablet book!). features the next installment of

This Month's Download: Called to Be Witnesses - Give a copy to your friends and begin talking together about how you can become more serious about piety.

We hope you'll visit our book store and check out the resources available to help you live the Christian life. And let us hear from you.

T. M. Moore, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Most Prudent

July 30, 2010

Most Prudent

July/Holiness

30 July 2010

Who is most prudent? He who praises before death what he fears after death.

- Colman mac Beognai, Aipgitir Chrabaid (Irish, 7th century)

"And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul.Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell."

- Matthew 10.28

I onced asked a group of men why we should praise God. There was a long silence, then one of the group spoke up and said, "Well, I praise God for all the good things He does for me, all the ways He's blessed me."

"And what," I asked, "if He never did any of that? Would He still be worthy of your praise?" I had to answer my own question. Which simply points to a problem in contemporary Christianity that is so common and subtle that we might not even notice when it begins to affect us.

It's the problem of Me. Is God really worthy of praise primarily because He does something for me? Is Christianity all about me and whatever happiness or good things come to me because I'm a Christian? I thought Christianity was about knowing God and, in knowing Him, finding fullness of joy and pleasures forevermore?

Certainly there is much in God - in His being, attributes, and unceasing work - that is worthy of praise. We can never exhaust the many reasons we have to give praise and thanks to God, quite apart from anything He ever does for us! Thus, it is most prudent for us to praise Him, increasingly, day by day.

Is there enough praise in your life? If not, it may indicate not so much an ignorance of how to praise as a very shallow knowledge of Him Who is worthy of all your praise, all day long. Let us praise God, beloved, all we can, as often as we can. It's a good warm-up for dwelling with Him forever.

July Exercise Part 4: For the rest of this month let's work on developing a plan, following the free the brochure, Called to Be Witnesses and the My Personal Mission Field brochure, for pondering our paths more purposefully, and with greater Kingdom results.

Today in ReVision: Not God's Will? - Good news: God doesn't want you to be sick (sorry, I'm having a little trouble letting this go).

Also at the website, we have begun our next Kingdom Civics series on the "Founding Documents" of the Kingdom, and Every Thought Captive Satan, Bound (soon to be a Waxed Tablet book!) features the next installment of

This Month's Download: Called to Be Witnesses - Give a copy to your friends and begin talking together about how you can become more serious about piety.

We hope you'll visit our book store and check out the resources available to help you live the Christian life. And let us hear from you.

T. M. Moore, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Wanderers for Christ

August 02, 2010

Wanderers for Christ

August/Peregrinatio

2 August 2010

St. Columban...was born on the island of Ireland...Here lives the race of the Scots, who, although they lack the laws of other nations, flourish in the doctrine of Christian strength, and exceed in faith all the neighbouring tribes.

- The Monk Jonas, Life of St. Columban (Italian, 7th century)

They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated - of whom the world was not worthy - wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.

- Hebrews 11.37, 38

Irish Christians were known for peregrinatio, the practice of wandering about under the leading of the Lord, looking for people who needed the Gospel of the Lord. Columban, or, Columbanus, was only the best known of the multiplied thousands of monks and priests who left their native country to walk around Europe, bringing the Good News of Jesus, throughout the 7th century.

It would be difficult to calculate the impact for good such people made. Thomas Cahill suggests the magnitude of that impact in the title of his book about the Celtic revival, How the Irish Saved Civilization. These were not wealthy people. They were, however, men of faith, learning, and deep conviction. They had experienced the power of the Gospel at first hand, and they knew it was the great need of every human being.

These peregrini subsisted on meager food; their only possessions were the clothes on their backs and the books in their sacks. They taught, preached, counseled, and served the people they met wherever they went. They embodied the "as you are going" spirit that our Lord commands of all His followers about as well as any ever have in the history of the Christian Church (Matt. 28.18-20).

What can we learn from them? We, too, are peregrini - wanderers - in our own journey with the Lord. We are called to "flourish in the doctrine of Christian strength" and to "exceed in faith" all those around us, so that we might convince others, by our words and deeds, that Jesus has, indeed, been raised from the dead.

In your "wandering," whom do you meet? Who are the people who cross your path week-in and week-out? Do you know their names? Where they stand with the Lord? And are you prepared to begin reaching out to them with the love of Christ and the truth of the Gospel?

T. M. Moore, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Mentored Well

August 03, 2010

Mentored Well

August/Peregrinatio

3 August 2010

When [Columbanus] left his native place, he betook himself to a holy man named Senilis, who at this time was distinguished among his countrymen for his unusual piety and knowledge of the Holy Scriptures. And when the holy man saw that St. Columban had great ability, he instructed him in the knowledge of all the Holy Scriptures.

- The Monk Jonas, Life of St. Columban (Italian, 7th century)

So he departed from there and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen in front of him, and he was with the twelfth. Elijah passed by him and cast his cloak upon him. And he left his oxen and ran after Elijah...

- 1 Kings 19.19, 20

Who are your companions in this journey with Jesus Christ? With whom do you associate to keep yourself sharp and on the growing edge of faith and ministry? The apostle Paul reminded us that bad company corrupts good manners (1 Cor. 15.33). The opposite is true as well: good company, holy company, Biblical-steeped company makes you a better person in following the Lord.

Celtic Christians understood this. No one would be foolish enough to go off on peregrinatio without first spending a significant amount of time with a holy and knowledgeable mentor. Typically, such mentoring was done in a school or monastery, and focused on learning Scripture, growing in piety, mastering the disciplines of growth, and learning ministry skills.

Columbanus studied first with Senilis before going to the monastery at Bangor where Comgall was his master. At the age of 50 Columbanus, by then a renowned scholar and teacher, determined that his time for peregrinatio had come, and he set off with a handful of companions for the continent.

There he faithfully replicated what he had learned: win men to Christ, teach them to follow Jesus, ground them in the Word, and thrust them our for mission.

Do you have someone in your life to do this for you? Who is your primary teacher? Does he or she insist that you grow closer to Jesus each day? That you take up the challenge of Gospel ministry with everyone in your life? That you press on to bring holiness to completion in the fear of God?

If you have no one like this, ask the Lord to bring someone your way. And, while you're praying, ask Him whom you might begin to mentor in this way as well. We all need a mentor, and we should all be seeking to mentor others. This is the way the Gospel accelerates, as it did in Columbanus' day, to reach and renew people in the grace of the Lord.

Exercise for the Month: We'll be working on this all month long. This week begin making a list of all the people you meet, day-by-day. Start praying for them, using some of the promises of Scripture. Pray daily and throughout the day, asking the Lord to give you a heart to reach out to these people whom you encounter throughout your peregrinatio. All this week, just concentrate on prayer. Drop me a line and tell me how it's going.

Today in ReVision: Ethics - Remember ethics?

This Week's Download: Coming this week, stay tuned.

Don't forget to visit our book store to discover the resources available there.

T. M. Moore, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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