Sermon Spill-over (6/28/2015) … “The Fearless John Wesley”

Ship_Storm

Founder of the Methodist Movement, John Wesley, was quoted as saying:

“I have never known more than fifteen minutes of anxiety or fear.  Whenever I feel fearful emotions overtaking me, I just close my eyes and thank God that He is still on the throne reigning over everything and I take comfort in His control over the affairs of my life.

Wesley would more boldly say about his ministry and lack of fear about death:  “I am immortal until my work is done.” 

While it may seem like common sense that such a “hero” of the Christian faith would be so fearless…but it wasn’t always so.  Check out this powerful story of how the faith of others fueled John Wesley’s fearless life, which would go on to change the world!

Not long after the first German Moravian missionaries had left for the West Indies, John Wesley, unconverted to Christianity at the time, found himself aboard ship alongside another group of them. It was January 25, 1736, and the weather was rough. Three storms had already battered the boat, and a fourth was brewing. Wesley scribbled in his journal, “Storm greater: afraid!” But the Moravians were trusting God so simply and so completely that they evidenced no signs of fear, and they even persevered in their plans for worship service. In the middle of their singing, a gigantic wave rose over the side of the vessel, splitting the main-sail, covering the ship, pouring water like Niagara Falls between decks “as if the great deep had already swallowed us up.”

The English passengers screamed as the ship lurched and pitched between towering waves. A terrified Wesley clung on for dear life. But the German missionaries didn’t miss a note.

Wesley, awestruck by their composure, later went to the leader and asked, “Weren’t you afraid?
I thank God, no.
Were not your women and children afraid?
No,” replied the man. “Our women and children are not afraid.

Back in London, Wesley was so struck by their sturdy faith that he attended a Moravian meeting on Aldersgate Street on May 24, 1738. He later said, “I felt my heart strangely warmed. I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone for salvation, and an assurance was given to me that He had taken away my sins, even mine.”

John Wesley went on to became a famous evangelist and social reformer, seeing “the world as his parish.” But he. himself, was won to Christ by the power of a small group whose faith in Christ was strong enough to keep them unflappable in a storm.

May God help you to conquer your fears so that others may find faith in Jesus through your fearless living for Him!

Published in: on June 28, 2015 at 3:56 PM  Leave a Comment  
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