St Patrick, A Preacher of the Gospel to Ireland!

We know about the real St. Patrick (or Magnus Sucatus Patricius) because he wrote a record of his life called Confessions. As a young boy Patrick lived a comfortable life near an English coastal city where his father was a deacon in their church. But at the age of 16, his comfortable life unraveled. Irish pirates attacked his village, abducting Patrick and many of the household servants. After arriving in Ireland, Patrick was sold as a slave to a Druid tribal chieftain who forced Patrick to work with a herd of pigs.

In the midst of the squalor of pig filth, God began to transform Patrick’s heart. In his Confessions he wrote, “I was sixteen and knew not the true God, but in a strange land the Lord opened my unbelieving eyes, and I was converted.” Patrick became convinced that the kidnapping and homesickness were actually opportunities to know Christ better. “Anything that happens to me,” he wrote, “whether pleasant or distasteful, I ought to accept with [serenity] giving thanks to God … who never disappoints.” Knowing that this serenity didn’t come from his own strength, Patrick wrote, “Now I understand that it was the fervent Spirit praying within me.”

After serving as a slave for six years, Patrick escaped, boarded a boat, and found his way back home. At long last, he was on British soil, warmly embraced by his family and his community. In his own mind Patrick was done with Ireland for good. According to Patrick, “It is not in my nature to show divine mercy toward the very ones who once enslaved me.”

Once again, God would change Patrick’s heart. Partially through a dramatic dream, Patrick knew that God had called him to return to Ireland—not as a slave, but as a herald of the gospel. His family and friends were understandably horrified by his decision. “Many friends tried to stop my mission,” Patrick wrote. “They said, ‘Why does this fellow waste himself among dangerous enemies who don’t even know God?'”

Despite these objections, in A.D. 432 Patrick used his own money to purchase a boat and sail back to Ireland. Patrick spent the rest of his life preaching the gospel in Ireland, watching many people come to Christ. He also passionately defended the human rights of slaves. Besides hisConfession, his only other remaining written work is the Letter to the soldiers of Coroticus, a scathing protest sent to King Coroticus and his soldiers after they raided a village, slaughtering the men and selling the women into slavery.

For the rest of his life, Patrick would remain captivated by the grace of God. In his Confessionshe wrote:

And I am certain of this: I was a dumb stone lying squashed in the mud; the Mighty and Merciful God came, dug me out and set me on top of the wall. Therefore, I praise him and ought to render him something for his wonderful benefits to me both now and in eternity.

The shamrock was a teaching tool that St Patrick used to teach the Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) to Irish pagans.

Irish_clover

Patrick was a humble, pious, gentle man whose love and total devotion to and trust in God should be a shining example to each of us. So complete was his trust in God, and the importance of his mission, he feared nothing – not even death.

Here is a poem written by St Patrick entitled “The Breastplate,” that conveys his faith and trust in God:

“Christ be within me, Christ behind me, Christ before me, Christ beside me, Christ to win me, Christ to comfort and restore me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ inquired, Christ in danger, Christ in hearts of all that love me, Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.”

Trust JESUS,
(the Christ!)

Special thanks to preachingtoday.com

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A Word to the …….

Let the wise hear and increase in learning. Let those with understanding receive guidance
Proverbs 1:5

I cannot think unless I have been thought,
Nor can I speak unless I have been spoken.
I cannot teach except as I am taught,
Or break the bread except as I am broken.
O Mind behind the mind through which I seek,
O Light within the light by which I see,
O Word beneath the words with which I speak,
O founding, unfound Wisdom, finding me,
O sounding Song whose depth is sounding me,
O Memory of time, reminding me,
My Ground of Being, always grounding me,
My Maker’s Bounding Line, defining me,
Come, hidden Wisdom, come with all you bring,
Come to me now, disguised as everything.

by Malcolm Guite

 

Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight. For by me your days will be multiplied, and years will be added to your life.

If you are wise,
you are wise for yourself;

if you scoff,
you alone will bear it.
Proverbs 9:9-12

 

Trust JESUS!

 

 

 

 

Should Christians Celebrate Christmas? Part 1

The debate about whether or not Christians should celebrate Christmas has been raging for centuries. There are equally sincere and committed Christians on both sides of the issue, each with multiple reasons why or why not Christmas should be celebrated in Christian homes. But what does the Bible say? Does the Bible give clear direction as to whether Christmas is a holiday to be celebrated by Christians? 

First, let’s look at the reasons why some Christians do not celebrate Christmas. One argument against Christmas is that the traditions surrounding the holiday have origins in paganism. Searching for reliable information on this topic is difficult because the origins of many of our traditions are so obscure that sources often contradict one another. Bells, candles, holly, and yuletide decorations are mentioned in the history of pagan worship, but the use of such in one’s home certainly does not indicate a return to paganism.

While there are definitely pagan roots to some traditions, there are many more traditions associated with the true meaning of Christmas—the birth of the Savior of the world in Bethlehem. Bells are played to ring out the joyous news, candles are lit to remind us that Christ is the Light of the world (John 1:4-9), a star is placed on the top of a Christmas tree to remember the Star of Bethlehem, and gifts are exchanged to remind us of the gifts of the Magi to Jesus, the greatest gift of God to mankind.

Another argument against Christmas, especially having a Christmas tree, is that the Bible forbids bringing trees into our homes and decorating them. The passage often cited is Jeremiah 10:1-16, but this passage refers to cutting down trees, chiseling the wood to make an idol, and then decorating the idol with silver and gold for the purpose of bowing down before it to worship it (see also Isaiah 44:9-18). The passage in Jeremiah cannot be taken out of its context and used to make a legitimate argument against Christmas trees.

Christians who choose to ignore Christmas point to the fact that the Bible doesn’t give us the date of Christ’s birth, which is certainly true. December 25th may not be even close to the time Jesus was born, and arguments on both sides are legion, some relating to climate in Israel, the practices of shepherds in winter, and the dates of Roman census-taking. None of these points are without a certain amount of conjecture, which brings us back to the fact that the Bible doesn’t tell us when Jesus was born. Some see this as proof positive that God didn’t want us to celebrate the birth, while others see the Bible’s silence on the issue as tacit approval.

Some Christians say that since the world celebrates Christmas, although it is becoming more and more politically correct to refer to it as “the holidays” Christians should avoid it. But that is the same argument made by false religions that deny Christ altogether, as well as cults such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses who deny His deity. Those Christians who do celebrate Christmas often see the occasion as an opportunity to proclaim Christ as “the reason for the season” among the nations and to those trapped in false religions.

As we have seen, there is no legitimate scriptural reason not to celebrate Christmas. At the same time, there is no biblical mandate to celebrate it, either. In the end, of course, whether or not to celebrate Christmas is a personal decision. Whatever Christians decide to do regarding Christmas, their views should not be used as a club with which to beat down or denigrate those with opposing views, nor should either view be used as a badge of honor inducing pride over celebrating or not celebrating. As in all things, we seek wisdom from Him who gives it liberally to all who ask (James 1:5) and accept one another in Christian love and grace, regardless of our views on Christmas.

 

Trust JESUS!

 

 

 

Special thanks to gotquestions.org

 

Beyond Lamentation

Do not stand at my grave and weep:
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circling flight.
I am the soft starshine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry:
I am not there; I did not die.

by Mary Frye

 

 

Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.

Therefore, encourage one another with these words.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

 

Trust Jesus

 

 

 

 

 

Sin: Muhammad Vs Jesus – According to Their Respective Texts

Muhammad The Sinner

(According to the Quran)

 

So be patient, [O Muhammad]. Indeed, the promise of Allah is truth. And ask forgiveness for your sin and exalt [ Allah ] with praise of your Lord in the evening and the morning.
Quran 40:55

So know, [O Muhammad], that there is no deity except Allah and ask forgiveness for your sin and for the believing men and believing women. And Allah knows of your movement and your resting place.
Quran 47:19

That Allah may forgive for you what preceded of your sin and what will follow and complete His favor upon you and guide you to a straight path
Quran 48:2

 

Jesus The Savior!

(According to the Bible)

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet he did not sin
Hebrews 4:15

He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth
1 Peter 2:22

You know that he appeared to take away sins, and in him there is no sin
1 John 3:5

 

 

For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God!
2 Corinthians 5:21

 

Trust JESUS!