Posted by: pastormikemcdowell | March 17, 2015

March 17, 2015 “Beside, Before, Behind, Within, Beneath, and Above”

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)

Top O’ The Morning To Ye me Friends!

Sure , and it’s Saint Patrick’s Day again! In honor of this most auspicious of occasions, I’ve gone back into me archives and am repostin’ my wee blog from a year ago. It may not be a pot o’ gold at the end of the rainbow, but I do hope it is a blessing to ye! So without further ado…here it be!

Yes, I be wearin’ the green today in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. I believe it is a travesty, however, that this day that recognizes a true champion of Christ has become more an excuse for revelry and drunkenness. Patrick himself was not one who would smile favorably, I believe, on what this day has become for many. I find him to be an inspiration, not for drinking and carousing, but for remembering the Lord he loved and whose cause he advanced with dedication and fierce conviction. One of my favorite quotes from this man of God was a simple, yet profound truth. He said,

“Christ beside me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ within me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me.”

Throughout his ministry, Patrick knew the source of his strength, He knew Christ was ever-present, surrounding him by his protective hand. He understood the ‘eternal presence” of his Lord.  He once wrote of God’s call on his heart to carry the Gospel from Britain to Ireland. He said,

“I saw a man coming, as it were from Ireland. His name was Victoricus, and he carried many letters, and he gave me one of them. I read the heading: “The Voice of the Irish”. As I began the letter, I imagined in that moment that I heard the voice of those very people who were near the wood of Foclut, which is beside the western sea—and they cried out, as with one voice: “We appeal to you, holy servant boy, to come and walk among us.”

Though just in his twenties at the time, he heeded God’s call and brought the Good News of the Gospel to Ireland per God’s direction. The rest is history. Thousands were baptized by him. Thousands came to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ through his ministry. How many generations that followed came to hear the gospel proclaimed because of his faithfulness, who can say? Was he a man of prayer? I conclude with this prayer attributed to him and invite you to make it your as well. Let’s pray!

I arise today Through the strength of heaven;  Light of the sun, Splendor of fire, Speed of lightning, Swiftness of the wind, Depth of the sea, Stability of the earth, Firmness of the rock.
I arise today Through God’s strength to pilot me;  God’s might to uphold me, God’s wisdom to guide me, God’s eye to look before me, God’s ear to hear me, God’s word to speak for me,
God’s hand to guard me, God’s way to lie before me, God’s shield to protect me,God’s hosts to save me Afar and anear, Alone or in a multitude. Christ shield me today Against wounding.
Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,Christ on my right, Christ on my left, Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down,
Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me, Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me, Christ in the eye that sees me, Christ in the ear that hears me. 
I arise today Through the mighty strength Of the Lord of creation. Amen!

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.
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