Saturday, March 19, 2016
A LESSON FROM ST. PATRICK
Dearly Beloved, A LESSON FROM ST. PATRICK “Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord. On the contrary: ‘If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.’ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:19-21 NIV). March 17 is set apart in the island of Ireland and many other parts of the world to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. St. Patrick of Ireland born in Roman Britain was captured by Irish pirates during a raiding party when he was around fourteen years. He was a slave tending sheep in Ireland until when he was twenty when he was able to escape. He later became a priest and was sent to evangelize Ireland where he was able to do many marvellous things and convert many people to Christianity. In fact, he is considered as the one who brought Christianity to Ireland. He died at Saul, where he had built the first Irish church. He is believed to be buried in Down Cathedral, Downpatrick, Northern Ireland. Someone has written this about him: “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 of the importance of his mission, he feared nothing - not even death.” However, an important lesson from the life of this great man of God is his love for his enemies who made him slave and treated him cruelly for almost seven years before he could escape. Although, he was supposedly moved by dream to go back to Ireland and preach the Gospel there, he could have out of hatred refused to go to Ireland and instead go elsewhere to work for God. He did not repay the Irish people with evil they had done him. Rather, he overcame their evil with good by going back to the place to become a channel of God’s blessings to that generation. Today, he is being celebrated not only by the Irish people who used to be his enemies, but by people throughout the world. It is unfortunate that many people today do not want to be of help to their perceived enemies. They would rather wish those enemies dead or ill-luck. Some even waste their precious prayer times in praying against their enemies while Jesus Christ teaches that we should love and pray FOR our enemies (see Matthew 5:44; Luke 6:27-36). He demonstrated this on the cross (see Luke 23:34) and Stephen followed His example (Acts 7:60). Who are your perceived enemies? Are you ready to help them if you have the opportunity? Or, are you in the habit of praying against your enemies? Love your perceived enemies and do good unto them. The Lord will reward you greatly for this. In His service, Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor). Prayer Point: Pray that you will be able to pray for your perceived enemies and even help them if you have the opportunity.