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

Obedience in All Things

Obedience begins with the Law.

Edwards on the Ministry (10)

“Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5.19

Ambivalence toward the Law of God is troubling. Theologians discard the Law, and pastors either reject or neglect it. Jesus said that keeping and teaching the Law of God was a mark of Kingdom greatness (Matt. 5.17-19). Apparently that’s not a goal many of us aspire to. He also said that when the Law of God is neglected, love grows cold (Matt. 12.24). The ubiquitous lack of love in our world today is undoubtedly related to our failure to teach and live according to the Law of God.

Obedience to God’s Law and flourishing in the love for God and neighbor (Matt. 22.34-40) begins with pastors and teachers. In his sermon, Christ the Example of Ministers, Jonathan Edwards wrote, “Ministers should follow Christ’s example, in his strict, constant, and inflexible observance of the commands which God had given him, touching what he should do and what he should say: he spake nothing of himself, but those things which the Father had commanded him, and continued in thorough obedience in the greatest trials, and through the greatest opposition that ever there was any instance of.”

Pastors have three main resources for the work and business of ministry: The Word of God, prayer, and their personal example (Acts 6.4; 1 Pet. 5.1-3). If any of these fails, their ministry will as well. Especially must pastors be seen to be men zealous for the Law of God, to obey all the counsel of the Lord in His Word and to resist the devil and overcome every temptation. Jesus did. Paul did. John said this is the way love flourishes (1 Jn. 5.1-3). Throughout this generation, failures of obedience on the part of highly visible pastors have contributed to the Church’s becoming an object of scorn by many unbelievers, while believers have been largely silent about their failings. We must be diligent in obeying Christ if we would teach others to do so and thus fulfill our calling to the Kingdom and glory of God.

Resources for Shepherds
Our book, An Essay on Preaching, is now available. You can order your free copy by clicking here. An Essay on Preaching considers the views on preaching of poet and hymn writer William Cowper. He observed much that was wrong and lacking in the preaching of his day; and he offered sound advice for all those called to the ministry of the Word.

Don’t forget to visit the Resources for Shepherds page at our website. Here you’ll find short reviews of important resources, insights for growth and ministry, and other websites that can help you grow in the Lord and in your work of shepherding God’s flock. Today we ask, Why are lost people lost? And it’s not because they aren’t religious.

Not quite sure about the Law of God? Our book, The Ground for Christian Ethics, explains why the Law still matters and how to understand and apply it. And our compilation, The Law of God, brings all the statutes and judgments of God’s Law together under the Ten Commandments. Both books are free here and here.

From the Celtic Revival
Our present series in Crosfigell, our Tuesday and Thursday teaching letter, offers a devotional history of the Celtic Revival (ca. 430-800 AD) through the words of those who led it. Here is an excerpt from Patrick explaining his view of Jesus as God’s true Sun:

                        His purpose to
obey, the sun arises every day,
and yet its splendor is a passing ray
of brilliance. All who worship it will be
to grievous punishment subjected. We,
however, who the True Sun, Christ the Lord,
adore, will never perish. All who guard
His teaching will abide forever, just
as Christ Himself. So likewise all who trust
in Him will with Him reign, Who reigns on high
with God the Father and the Spirit, by
the power of God.

  - Patrick, Confession (5th century) [1]

You can read the commentary accompanying this excerpt by clicking here.

Read more from the leaders of the Celtic Revival in recent issues of Crosfigell by clicking here.

Would you like to learn more about the Celtic Revival? Write to me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., and I’ll send you our free book, The Celtic Revival: A Brief Introduction, in PDF. Or go to the bookstore and order your free copy of The Legacy of Patrick (click here).

T. M. Moore

Spring!
We go through many seasons in our life, and not just those that mark the passage of a year. Our latest book of poems, Seasons, explains. Order your free copy by clicking here.

Please pray
It is our privilege to provide resources and opportunities to equip and encourage church leaders in building the Lord’s Church and advancing His Kingdom. Please pray that God will move many of those we serve through this ministry to share with us financially in its support. If the Lord moves you to give, you can use the Contribute button at the website to give with a credit card or through PayPal, or you can send your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 360 Zephyr Road, Williston, VT 05495.

Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

[1] Verse translation excerpts of Patrick’s Confession from T. M. Moore, Celtic Flame (forthcoming).

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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