Tuesday 24 May 2011

Bible Book:

"... and hope does not disappoint us, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us." (v. 5)

Romans 5:1-11 Tuesday 24 May 2011


24 May is a special anniversary for Methodists and otherChristians as we remember John Wesley's heart-warming experience ofGod in a church on Aldersgate Street. Wesley was already a priestin the Church of England and had travelled to America as amissionary, which had not gone at all well. On the voyage there hisship was caught up in a storm and he was impressed by the calmfaith of a group of Moravian Christians, who prayed and sang andshowed no fear amidst such danger.

Not long afterwards he felt led, reluctantly, to attend worship ata Moravian church on Aldersgate Street in London. Despite hisreluctance, it was during this service he felt his "heart strangelywarmed" - he experienced God's love in a most personal andlife-giving way. Until then he had known God in his mind butnot in his heart, now he understood the value of a personalexperience of God that would bring assurance to the believer.Paul's words in verse 5 point us all to the possibility of Godpouring love into our hearts through the Holy Spirit. Wesley, whobegan the Methodist movement, was convinced that all people couldknow the love of God. This is clear through the "Four alls" thatare still quoted by Methodist people today.

All people need to be saved.
All people can be saved.
All people can know they are saved.
All people can be saved to the uttermost.

Paul has something similar to say in Romans, making it clear thatJesus did not die just for those who were righteous but that he"died for the ungodly" (v. 6). All people fall within the scope ofGod's love and Christ's saving action, and all people canexperience this for themselves as God's love fills their heartswith love through the Holy Spirit.

To Ponder

Can you remember an occasion when you feltassured of God's love in a powerful way? How does that support andencourage you today?

Some people despair of the state of the world,how might you share with them the idea of a God who loves allcreation?

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