Dear Prayer Warriors, Hebrews 13:7 & 8 â€śRemember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith. 8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.â€ť
My good friend, Rev. Gordon Chisnall retired pastor of Great Park Street Methodist Church, presented me with a gift of Wesleyâ€™s Journals. It is one of my treasured possessions, not just because of the friendship we share but also because of the wisdom and truth it contains. In these journals, you can find â€śThe Twelve Rules of Guidance,â€ť as laid down by Rev. Wesley for his Methodist preachers.
I have transferred them to my prayer notebook and work through them each week (save #4, which I have already fulfilled.) For many, number four may seem â€ścontrollingâ€ť but not for me. As a new college graduate and beginning high school teacher, before I even considered asking the Lord that He might send someone into my life to be my wife, I sought counsel from my Navigator supervisor--Charles Casebolt, from my pastor Rev. Howard Ochester, from the youth minister who led me to Christ--Rev. Wyman Mitchell and from my father. It is an unfortunate state of the church today that pre-marriage counseling has fallen to the level of pre-baptism counseling. For most parents, unless the pastor â€śrubber stampsâ€ť the childâ€™s decision (not the parentâ€™s but the childâ€™s) in both of these areas, they are liable to leave the church.
Please allow me to leave you with these 12 Rules and ask that you reflect, as I do, upon your own heart. They were the rules that guided lay ministers in leading one of the greatest revivals in church history. It was a revival that literally changed the course of two nations â€“ England and the United States. They were rules to which all laymen in the Methodist movement, who taught or preached Godâ€™s holy, eternal, inerrant Word, submitted. I think that two reflections can be made â€“ first: if before I could teach a class or lead a home group I had to agree to these 12 articles, how would I respond? Second: am I willing to add a list such as this to my daily devotionals and seek to aspire to the same lifestyle that guided these laymen during this great revival?
The Twelve Rules of Guidance Laid Down by John Wesley for His Methodist Ministers Hebrews 13:17 â€śObey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you.â€ť (This passage added by the author of the blog.)
1. Be diligent. Never be unemployed for a moment; never be trifling employed. Never while away time; neither spend any more time at any place than is strictly necessary.
2. Be serious. Let your motto be, Holiness to the Lord. Avoid all... foolish talking.
3. Converse sparingly and cautiously with women, particularly with young women in private.
4. Take no step towards marriage without first acquainting me with your design.
5. Believe evil of no one; unless you see it done, take heed how your credit it. Put the best construction on everything; you know the judge is always supposed to be on the prisonerâ€™s side.
6. Speak evil of no one; else your words especially would eat as doth a canker. Keep your thoughts within your own breast till you come to the person concerned.
7. Tell everyone what you think wrong in him and that plainly and as soon as may be, else it will fester in your heart. Make all haste to cast the fire out of your bosom.
8. Do not affect the gentleman. You have no more to do with this character than with the dancing master. A preacher of the gospel is a servant of all.
9. Be ashamed of nothing but sin; not of fetching wood (if time permit) or of drawing water; not of cleaning your own shoes or your neighborsâ€™.
10. Be punctual. Do everything exactly at the time; and in general do not mend our rules but keep them; not for wrath but for conscience sake.
11. You have nothing to do but to save souls. Therefore spend and be spent in this work. And go always not to those who want you, but to those who want you most.
12. Act in all things, not according to your own will, but as a son in the gospel. As such, it is your part to employ your time in the manner which we direct, partly in preaching and visiting the flock from house to house; partly in reading, meditation and prayer. Above all, if you labor with us in the Lordâ€™s vineyard , it is needful that you should do that part of the work which we advise, at those times and places which we judge most for His glory.
2 Timothy 2:2-7 2 The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. 3 Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4 No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier. 5 Also if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not win the prize unless he competes according to the rules. 6 The hard-working farmer ought to be the first to receive his share of the crops. 7 Consider what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything. (This passage added by the author of the blog) By His mercy, II Corinthians 4:1 Rev. John S. Mahon â€“ Director, Grace Community International â€“ Lifting up Jesus as we minister Godâ€™s holy, eternal, inerrant written Word in Russia.
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