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oh God. come and work in my heart. keep my heart soft. and help me have faith. help me be persistant. i put my trust in you. only you can make the way.
“There are people on this planet whom only you will be able to reach, because of where you live and what God has made you to be. If just one person will be in heaven because of you, your life will have made a difference for eternity” Rick Warren
At the age of six John Wesley was rescued from the burning rectory. This escape made a deep impression on John, he believed he had a second chance and should “do something with his life” for God.
He went on to study and become a minister, and then after the death of his father went to Georgia, America in 1735 to save the native Indians, and deepen the religious lives of the new colonialists. His stint as a missionary to the new world however didn’t last long. John returned home, a depressed broken man, calling his time in America (and himself as a minister!) a failure. God led him to the Moravians, and revealed more clearly some of the fundamental truths which became the basis for his own relationship with God and the future Methodist movement. It was in a Moravian meeting in Aldergate in 1738 that John became born again. He said “I felt my heart strangely warmed” about this experience. Up to that point he had been trying to serve the Lord in his own strength and intellect. After this conversion John was totally different. God gave him a passion for souls that consumed his thoughts, prayers and energy.
Despite his training at Oxford and his passion John Wesley found himself kicked out of and subsequently shut out of the mainstream churches. Partnering with an old friend from his Oxford days, George Whitefield, John began preaching in fields. At first John was hesitant to preach with Whitefield, thinking the method as “almost a sin”, but after seeing the response to salvations from audience John Wesley continued preaching, despite the persecution by “the Church”, in fields, halls, cottages – and rarely churches – for over 50 years. He even used his father’s tombstone as a pulpit to preach from. Traveling on horseback John preached two or three times a day, seven days a week. He rose at 4am every day, beginning the day with prayer before setting of for his next preaching engagement, wherever God may lead him.
John believed that God had called him to bring about revival in his generation. No persecution, physical attack or obstacles could dampen his enthusiasm for doing God’s will, the work of saving souls. Everything in his life was dedicated to this one purpose. Most of the money he received for writing was invested in local community outreach, providing for young evangelists or for establishing new Christian “churches” (which later fell under the Methodist banner). His time and energy was spent preaching, teaching, training, mentoring, praying and traveling. After getting saved John heard the heartbeat of God for the lost. It transformed his heart and gave him renewed purpose for life. It was for “such a time as this” that John Wesley was born, and rescued. He made it his highest priority to serve God where he felt he was needed most, with the lost.
“You have nothing to do but to save souls. Therefore spend and be spent in this work. And go not only to those that need you, but to those that need you most…It is not your business to preach so many times, and to take care of this or that society; but to save as many souls as you can; to bring as many sinners as you possibly can to repentance.”
psalm 89:1 A Poem of Ethan the Ezrahite. I will sing of the mercies of the LORD forever; with my mouth I will make known Your faithfulness to all generations. For I have said, Mercy shall be built up forever; You shall establish Your faithfulness in the heavens.
A while ago I had the privaledge to declare God’s mercy and making known the faithfulness God! I got to share my testimony at our womens meeting at church. A couple of others gave their testimony too – of healing or salvation.
There were some specific things i wanted to share within my testimony – words that i felt had more authority or were hook words…
I shared about growing up as a child going to the catholic church – it was the religious thing to do – as irrelevant to my real life as the no meat on friday rule and the roasary thing. Church on sunday ment wearing pretty clothes and coming home to a roast cooked by dad.
I did however hunger to know if God was REAL and be known by Him. But it didnt seem like there was any way to.
When I was 14 i went to a catholic high school, a co-ed school of 300 students. i was top of my year in Religious Education – but again it was irrelevant to real life and didnt make God real at all. I ended up going to the youth group and they said we were goin to do a course on “knowing the Holy Spirit” – well this was my chance! Finally i was going to find out if God was real! The course got cancelled because of lack of interest. Well that was that. God was OBVIOUSLY not real because if he was real he would have obviously set up the course so i would do it and believe…
So that was great. I could live my life without having to think about God. Make my own decisions with no thought to heaven and God and things like that…
The next year our family moved and i had the culture shock of the century…. I had to go to a girls school – of 1000 students!!!
The next year a friend of mine invited me to go to her youth group… i asked… are there boys there….? There sure were… so off i went! Yes, my sole motivation at that stage for goign to youth group was BOYS! Not the most kosher reason for joining a youth group but God had hoodwinked me… I went and part of the evening was for singing and learning about God. I could survive and sit through anything to meet boys! This young guy (not one of the boys i wnet to meet…) picked up his guitar and then everyone closed their eyes and dropped their heads. i looked around then followed suit. he prayed. and my eyes popped open – he was talking to GOD! and at that moment i also knew that God was REAL and knew me and loved me and was RELEVANT and amazing and awesome and well REAL! i knew at taht point also that if God was real then i had to respond to that. I had to do something. I had to give my life to Him. (NOTE: This is pre being talked to about “giving your life to jesus cliche type things…”)
i went to their easter camp ready to beocme a christian… a what??? i didnt really know… but i know i left a new person. i left knowing God. i left forgiven. i left transformed…
In the 15 years since becoming a christian i have found these 2 things to be totally real in my life:
1. God is relevant – wehre the religious church i had expereinced was irrelevatn to my real life, God was relevant in every area and knew about me and had dreams and plans for me and was working in every area of my life, personal, near… not far away, bearded on a cloud type thing…
2. God is faithful and His mercy covers all things. Life happens and even teh best christians amoungst us have times when we feel cold about God or we make a mistake and turn away from Him – know that God is faithful and merciful and we can always come to Him… the blood of Jesus is enough for my past sins and my future sins and i am secure in God because of it.
Go live for Jesus! Know Him and make Him known!