Dear Brethren,

Today I like to share with you the life of John Wesley (1703-1791). He was a faithful and zealous man whom God used mightily for the saving of souls. It is such faith of our fathers that must challenge us to live for the Lord and put away mediocrity in our spiritual life. Indeed the hymn writer penned it so wonderfully : 

Faith of our fathers, living still
In spite of dungeon, fire and sword,
O how our hearts beat high with joy
Whene’er we hear that glorious word!
Faith of our fathers! holy faith!
We will be true to thee till death!

Born in Epworth in 1703, John Wesley was the fifteenth child of Samuel and Susanna Wesley.  In 1735, John and his brother Charles set sail to the province of Georgia in America to preach the Gospel to the heathen. However, after an unsuccessful mission and a failed romance, Wesley left Georgia for England in 1738 emotionally devastated and drained.

The Lord wonderfully restored John Wesley on 24 May 1738 when he attended a meeting at London’s Aldersgate Street where upon listening to the reading of Martin Luther’s preface to the Epistle of Romans, he had a deep spiritual experience that radically changed his life and ministry forever. 

Leisure and Wesley soon parted company, “Never be unemployed for a minute, Never be triflingly employed. Never wile away time” became his motto. Wesley’s life soon fell into a pattern that was to characterize it for the next 50 years. He would routinely wake up at 4 in the morning for prayers and reflection and preach at the town centre at 5, so that men could attend before beginning their day’s work. He would be on the road at 6 to the next village.

Wesley preached around 800 sermons a year to crowds that sometimes exceeded 20,000. He rode up to 20,000 miles a year on horseback, preaching from village to village. He was consumed by a burning desire to proclaim the beautiful name of Jesus and His Gospel of salvation.

Wesley did not teach theology at a University nor did he write a systematic theology book. However, his theological insights are found in his numerous sermons, treatise, letters and even journal entries. To Wesley, theology is for every Christian, not just for the clergy and the professional theologian. Throughout his ministry, John Wesley opposed the sort of preaching that appeals only to the emotions and arouses a superficial religious sentiment. 

The Lord has indeed used John Wesley greatly for His glory. May our lives similarly glorify God wherever He has called us to be and whatever He has called us to do.

Elder John Leong