In the year AD 389, a boy was born in Britain; they named him Patick. His father and grandfather were both active in the Celtic church… It might surprise you to know that St Patrick was not Irish and he was not Catholic.
When he was a teenager, a band of pirates plundered his village and took Patrick and many other young men captives. They traveled to Ireland and were sold into slavery.
For the next six years, Patrick herded swine as a slave. Although he was reared in a Christian home, he had never embraced Jesus for himself. But during those years of captivity, he realized that he was a sinner and Jesus was the Savior. Patrick put his faith in Christ and was born again. Shortly after that, Patrick escaped from slavery and traveled back to his hometown. His relatives were happy to have him back, but Patrick himself was not happy.
He had a burden he couldn’t shake for the people of Ireland who had no clue about the gospel of Jesus.
Patrick entered seminary to prepare to be a missionary. His family fought him. They were wealthy. Patrick should stay at home.
He turned his back on his money.
In the year 432, Patrick returned to Ireland, the land that held him as a slave. The people there worshipped the sun, moon, wind, water, fire, and rocks. They believed in spirits that inhabited the trees and hills. They practiced magic and sacrifice – including human sacrifice – to placate the angry gods. They did the rites and rituals of the druids and shamans and pagan priests.
Patrick preached the gospel, organized churches, and moved on to places that had never before heard of Jesus. He single-handedly brought the message of Christ to the whole nation. When people came to Christ, they were given intensive training in the Scriptures and encouraged to become involved in the ministry themselves.
Twelve times he barely escaped murder. One time, he narrowly escaped being kidnapped.
Yet, for 30 years, Patrick of Ireland gladly spent and was spent for the gospel. He planted over 200 churches, and baptized over 100,000 converts from dead paganisim into the family of the living God – faith alone in Christ alone.
As his dying words, Patrick wrote these words:
Patrick, the sinner… an unlearned man to be sure, that none should ever say that it was my ignorance that accomplished any small thing which I did or showed in accordance with God’s will; but judge thus, and let it be most truly believed, that it was the gift of God. And this is my confession before I die.
Have you ever found a cause worth giving yourself to, body, soul, and spirit? Have you ever found a mission worth living for, and mission worth dying for? See, we are all spending and being spent for something. What is your something? What do you have to show for all the work of your hands? Where is the fruit of your labors? Are you proud of it? Will it stand the test of time and eternity?