For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8.38, 39
Oh, love of God! How rich, how pure,
how measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure –
the saints’ and angels’ song. (Frederick Lehman, 1917)
Saints and angels continuously sing of and celebrate the love of God, as we see in Revelation 4 and 5. They dwell in His Presence and bask in His glory, and the right and proper response to this is singing and praise.
How easy it is for us to lose sight of this measureless and strong love of God. Columbanus reminded the novitiates in his monastery, “For He created us to this end, that ever reigning with Him, we should praise Him unto ages of ages, and continually give thanks to Him” (Sermon IV). Why do we find it so difficult or tedious or uninteresting to give more praise and thanks to Him from Whom we are not even now separated, but Who remains with us always?
We get distracted. Or become discouraged. Or we’re simply undisciplined where praise is concerned. But Columbanus would accept no such excuses: “Therefore, knowing these things, under no toils, no trials let us fail, by no sorrows let us be conquered, by no wars fatigued, let us be moved from our place by no agonies of training, again let us be distracted by no blandishments, beguiled by no charms, and let us say as with the Apostle’s voice, ‘May no one and nothing separate us from the love of Christ…’”
One of the biggest challenges pastors face is connecting their people with Jesus at a depth sufficient to enable them truly to know the love of God that passes knowledge, or to experience the reality of His steadfast love and faithfulness, caring for and guiding them throughout the day. If we could get this right in our own lives, we might be better at helping others into a more consistent experience of the rich and pure and strong love of God.
This must be constantly in our focus and prayers as we work to equip the saints for ministry, for without this knowledge of the love of Christ, this first-hand and real experience of the risen Christ, all their exertions in His Name will be little more than merely superficial.
Resources for Shepherds
To possess eternal life is to know God and Jesus Christ. To know our God is to love Him, and to love Him is to serve Him. This applies to every person, in every walk of life, throughout every day of our lives. Our book, Know, Love, Serve shows how to make this a constant perspective. Order your free copy by clicking here.
To love Jesus we must see Him – clearly, consistently, and continuously. Our ReVision study, “We Would See Jesus”, can help church leaders understand how to shepherd God’s flock for a deeper love for Jesus. Order your free copy by clicking here.
From the Celtic Revival
Gall, one of Columbanus’ students, was, shall we say, serious about the Gospel:
When they were come together, Gall cleared his throat and poured out into their ears and hearts, mellow words entreating them to turn to Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who would reveal to poor lukewarm human nature the approach of the kingdom of heaven. Then in the sight of all he raised the images of their gods and threw them into the lake.
- The Anonymous Monk, Life of St. Gall, German, 8th century
Salvation comes to those who turn to Jesus and turn away from sin. Jesus will not share a soul with idols of any kind, so whenever we discover one in ourselves, we must heave it into the lake, repenting and seeking the Lord. You can read more about this in the current issue of Crosfigell, our twice-weekly teaching letter tasting the writings of Celtic Christian leaders.
Check out our Celtic Legacy podcast and the other resources available on our dedicated Celtic Revival home page.
You can also download a free copy in PDF of our book, The Celtic Revival: A Brief Introduction, by clicking here.
T. M. Moore.
Considering Membership in The Fellowship of Ailbe
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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
 Bispham, p. 15.