Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. Romans 13.10
Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith… 1 Timothy 1.5
What is the goal of preaching? Is it just to cover all an outline? Make a doctrinal point? And what of all the programs we run in our churches? What are they trying to do? How do we think of them when we plan them, devote budget to them, secure spaces for them, advertise and promote them, and then conduct them through to the end? What is all this unto?
The growing isolation of churches from their communities, our indifference to the lost, our demonizing of those who oppose us, our lack of interest in evangelism, and our tendency to leave whatever lessons we receive on Sundays at the door of the church – all this suggests at least this much: Our many, varied, and expensive efforts of instruction are not bringing forth the fruit of love in those who name the Name of Jesus.
Is love just too much trouble?
Columbanus didn’t think so: “Love is no trouble; love is more pleasant, more healthful, more saving to the heart. For if the heart has not become enervated in its vices, love is its own health, besides being what is dear to God; yet nothing is dearer to God than love, especially spiritual love, since is it the sum of His law and of all His commands, according to that saying of the Apostle, But he who loves his neighbour has fulfilled the law” (Sermon XI).
Paul reminds us that love is to the outcome we must seek from all our preaching and teaching (1 Tim. 1.5). It’s not enough for the people we serve to know sound doctrine or to feel as though their personal needs are being met by the ministry of the Word. We must fit and send them for love; and this should be no trouble, since it’s what the Lord is seeking, what the Spirit works to bring forth as fruit, what all men desire, and what we find to be the most fulfilling and satisfying way to live in relationship with others.
Love is what motivated Columbanus and the thousands of other Irish peregrini in their selfless and tireless efforts to bring Jesus to their world. May we recover love as the goal of all our ministries and all our ways.
Resources for Shepherds
If you have not been following our ReVision series, “Let God Be True”, let me encourage you to do so. In our day, lies are rampant and truth is rare. How must we as believers respond? Only by knowing the truth that is in Jesus and setting Him forth against the lies of this age. To download the installments in “Let God Be True” available to this date, click here. To continue in the series, use the Subscription button to update your subscriptions and include ReVision.
Pastors and other church leaders are the shepherds of God’s flock. But what do shepherds do? How do they care for and nurture the flock of the Lord? Our workbook, Shepherding God’s Flock, provides a Biblical foundation for doing the work of shepherding. Following the teaching of Jesus in John 10, this workbook provides Biblical and practical instruction in shepherding that can bring the work of disciple-making to every member of your congregation. Order your free copy by clicking here.
From the Celtic Revival
Our present Crosfigell series (Tuesdays and Thursdays) is considering a remarkable Christian worldview statement by an anonymous 7th-century Celtic scholar. Here’s an excerpt from a recent installment:
The sun and the moon, then, the two great lights were established in the firmament of the heaven, the one which is greater to rule the day, the second which is smaller to rule the night…For while they were ordained by God the Creator to serve human uses, when people had lived without blame and had continued under the Creator’s law in which they had been established, they too performed their work adorned with the fullness of their own light…
- The Book of the Order of Creatures V.2, 3
Celtic Christians were creation-conscious. All of creation has a purpose assigned to it from God. The more we understand about creation, the more we will appreciate its inherent goodness, and the more we’ll know how to use it for our benefit and God’s glory.
Subscribe to Crosfigell today (click here to update your subscriptions, be sure you click each one you want, including Pastor to Pastor) and follow us through our study of this remarkable document.
Check out our Celtic Legacy podcast and the other resources available on our dedicated Celtic Revival home page.
If you’d like to explore a 28-day sampler of our Crosfigell teaching letter, order a copy of our devotional guide, Be Thou My Vision. In it you’ll find excerpts from writings of the period of the Celtic Revival, together with Scripture and meditations to help you grow in your vision of Christ, exalted in glory. Order your free copy of Be Thou My Vision by clicking here.
T. M. Moore.
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 Anedot, or you can send your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 103 Reynolds Lane, West Grove, PA 19390.
Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
 Davies, p. 7