Tag Archives: new birth

John Wesley and New Birth

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Monday, May 22, 2017

John Wesley statue

John Wesley and New Birth

John Wesley and his brother Charles were instrumental in leading one of the great revivals of recent centuries.

When John was in his teens and a student at Oxford University, he and his brother Charles began to follow Christ with great enthusiasm. Although ordained as an Anglican minister, John began to preach to large crowds out of doors. He continued this itinerant preaching ministry “to large assemblies of poor, working-class people throughout the British Isles. His preaching tours took him (chiefly on horseback) more than a quarter of a million miles; he delivered forty thousand sermons.” [1]

That was a lot of miles traveled, and a lot of sermons preached. Talk about an itinerant minister, a circuit-riding preacher! This excerpt comes from a sermon titled “The New Birth.” After showing some examples of various kinds of sins, John Wesley takes the next step: “It is fitting that we try to draw some practical inferences from all this.” [2] Wesley highlights Romans 8:33: “Who will be the accuser of God’s chosen ones? It is God who pronounces acquittal; then who can condemn?”

Wesley’s words pack a punch, indeed: “All the sins you have committed from your childhood right up to the moment when you were accepted as his sons through Jesus Christ” (Eph. 1:5) are driven away as chaff. They are gone. They are lost. They are swallowed up. They are remembered no more. You are now “born” from spirit (John 3:6).” [3]

He closes with “Just love God who loves you. That is sufficient. The more deeply you love, the stronger you will feel.” [4]

Yes, some will quibble with Wesley’s statement of forgiveness, grace, mercy and love. Some might say, “There is great danger in becoming overconfident about our salvation!” However, as we pour out our hearts before God, God will understand us completely. God knows there is no perfection in this life, only progress towards becoming more and more like our Lord.

Dear God, please help us leave behind the sin that so persistently clings to us. Thank You for Your mercy, grace and forgiveness. May we follow Your ways in all of our lives, every day a new day, a fresh day. In the risen Christ’s name we ask these things, amen.

 

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my companion blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.  #PursuePEACE. My Facebook page, Pursuing Peace – Thanks! And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

[1] Spiritual Classics, edited by Richard J. Foster and Emilie Griffin. (San Francisco, California: HarperSanFrancisco, 2000, 337.

[2] Ibid, 340.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid, 342.

Prayer? Praying into the Center.

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Holy Spirit as a dove -  Orthodox Church mosaic

Holy Spirit as a dove –
Orthodox Church mosaic

Prayer? Praying into the Center.

I still am at the very very beginning of this marvelous book. I can’t seem to get past this beginning part. I re-read the portion of the first chapter where Margaret Silf discusses prayer the way St. Ignatius spoke about it in the Spiritual Exercises.

“Prayer is Sabbath Time.” Time to separate myself from the hectic hustle and bustle of everyday life. Prayer is meant to be a calming interlude, yes. Yet, much more. Prayer is meant to be a foundation for my day, for my night, at any and all times. Prayer is an act of transformation.

“Prayer is time taken out of the linear journey of our days, and it is also our most profound reality. When we pray, we move inward to our God center.” [1]

While I’m able to discuss prayer in general, I am having a bit of a problem approaching the specific suggestion for prayer at the end of the chapter. Perhaps that is why I am reflecting again and again on the material in this chapter, and not charging ahead to the prayer and reflection.

I know I have been able—in the past—to pray using this passage. A passage from Luke 1, where the angel Gabriel announces the pregnancy and upcoming birth to Mary. However, I am shying away from it this time. Perhaps I need to find out additional things from the very first chapter. We’ll see, I’m sure.

Meanwhile, I’m still dancing around this Annunciation passage. God, in Your mercy, reveal one or two insights to me from these words of Dr. Luke. Whenever I get to this passage, anyway.

Dear Lord, gracious God, thank You for giving me such wonderful children. I have a slight glimpse, a bare inkling of what Mary heard, one fine day in March. Help me to be a good pray-er, especially when praying about people and their families.. Thank You, God, for the biblical account of Mary and the angel Gabriel. For, that is what this Annunciation passage is all about. New life, new birth, new glimpses of You. Help us to reach for You, in all that we do.

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza And, read sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er .

[1] Silf, Margaret, Inner Compass: Introduction to Ignatian Spirituality (Chicago: Loyola Press, 1999), 4.