It has been some years since I spent real time going through John Wesley’s journals. Thankfully they are available online and I’ve been going through them again each night along with study of Scripture.
One thing quite clear- he not only dealt with personal pain but also opposition, at times great and serious opposition from people who did not walk with Jesus in a life-changing way. His personal issues had much to do with his faith, his own unbelief or struggles to make sense of the grace of God –for him-.
Though he had been a preacher for many years and been serving in varied areas of ministry and via mission trips, he himself struggled to be assured of his own salvation by faith in Jesus and His grace alone.
That wonderfully changed.
What did not change was his commitment to a personal and real holiness in his walk including thoughts, speech, service to God and others. He (and the larger Church on earth) can learn much from his simple lifestyle, sacrifices, preaching “outside the box” of the then-common requirement of the Church of England “inside the church walls” and his continual confrontation with church norms of his time and place which shut so many outside it’s doors.
He went into places of business, fields, shared the Good News of God’s salvation in Christ throughout homes, on horseback, during meals in inns and truly where ever he went to whomever would listen. Some did yet others responded with disdain and even violence.
His work for the needs of widows and orphans, incarcerated people, his sharing the Gospel to Native Americans and servants -the marginalized, those considered “less than” to many professing Christians of his day as well as ours… continues to cause reflection and inspiration in me and others. The link below contains a bit re. Wesley’s impact and ministry in English prisons.
As I’ve emphasized for years, Jesus being sent by God the Father was no mistake and His sending those of us who claim to be His disciples isn’t either. Opposition will rise at it always has, sometimes due to the unloving, self-righteous, even racist attitudes and do-nothing people in the pews as in the street. And yet… and still… and regardless -I choose to grow in love and grace not only for myself and to please my Lord but to extend His love and grace “to the least of these” no matter who they are.
I’m no Wesley but am greatly encouraged to thank God for His servant, flawed, troubled, sifted, inspirational and a continuing witness via his journals, life and works!
As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn