One of the great leaders of New Testament is the Apostle Paul and he gives us this exhortation in 1 Corinthians 11:1, “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 11:1)
A saint has been defined as “a man in whom Christ lives.” The real leader of the church preaches and lives in Christ. Men are captivated by Christians who live out what they believe. Mankind will not necessarily agree with what a man preaches, but they will take note of how he lives.
Around this time of the year, one should consider the life of St. Patrick, especially since there is a day dedicated in his honor. St. Patrick had a season of bondage that opened his eyes to Christ. When he was about sixteen, he was captured from his home in Great Britain and taken as a slave to Ireland, where he lived for six years before escaping and returning to his family. (Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia; Times Herald; Mark Driscroll, Church History; Patrick’s Biography)
His confession, “I, Patrick, a sinner, a most simple countryman, the least of all the faithful and most contemptible to many, had for a father the deacon Calpurnius, son of the late Potitus, a priest… I was taken captive about sixteen years of age. I did not, indeed, know the true God; and I was taken into captivity in Ireland with many thousands of people according to our sins. We were quite drawn away from God. We did not keep His precepts, nor were we obedient to our priests who used to remind us of our salvation. The Lord brought down on us the fury of His being and scattered us among many nations, even to the ends of the earth, where I, in my smallness, am now to be found among foreigners. And there the Lord opened my mind to an awareness of my unbelief, in order that, even so late, I might remember my transgressions and turn with all my heart to the Lord my God, who had regard for my insignificance and pitied my youth and ignorance. And He watched over me before I knew Him, and before I learned sense or even distinguished between good and evil, and He protected me, and consoled me as a father would his son.” (These truths are substantiated in Patrick’s Biography; Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia; Times Herald; Mark Driscroll, Church History; The quote above was taken from a message I read years ago, the preacher unknown to me)
One truth worth grasping, St. Patrick had a genuine conversion, a man making no excuses for his past, a person who realized his need for the Lord. Will you imitate his faith in Christ?