First Steps – June 18, 2018

From the Book:  Which Way, Lord?

“When a storm raged on the Atlantic one night, John Wesley’s English companions screamed and cowered; surely Wesley felt fearful himself. But he marveled at a group of German Christians called Moravians who worshiped and calmly sang hymns while the storm raged. What accounted for their composure? One Moravian explained to Wesley that the group was “not afraid to die” – strange words to a man who believed he had to be sanctified, that he had to live a holy life, before God would accept him.

Like Paul’s moment of reckoning on the road to Damascus, the episode began a lengthy period of discernment for Wesley that led him to learn more from the Moravians. Upon his arrival in Georgia, he sought out a Moravian pastor who posed the question: “Do you know Jesus Christ?”

“I paused,” Wesley wrote in his journal, recounting the conversation, “and said, ‘I know He is the Saviour of the world.’ ‘True,’ replied he, ‘but do you know He has saved you?’ ”

Wesley wrestled with this question even as he struggled to bring people to Christ. Two years later he departed Georgia, depressed and defeated. “I who went to America to convert others,” he wrote, “was never myself converted to God.”  Imagine his desperation at this point. How many times do you think he was driven to pray, in so many words, Which way, Lord?…

Wesley realized he didn’t have to earn God’s acceptance. He’d found the starting point to a new, God-inspired direction. His purpose grew from God’s love, and he lived out that purpose by taking the message of this boundless love to his parishioners. Eventually, Wesleyan theology would spread throughout the world.”

I like the last paragraph!  He realized he didn’t have to earn God’s acceptance.  How about you?  Do you know you don’t have to earn God’s acceptance—you have it in Jesus Christ.  Now, go and live knowing that you are accepted into the beloved.



This week’s reading:

  • Monday – 1 Corinthians 7
  • Tuesday – 1 Corinthians 8
  • Wednesday – 1 Corinthians 9
  • Thursday – 1 Corinthians 10
  • ​Friday – 1 Corinthians 11

Please Pray for:

  • Leaders and participants of St. Paul summer activities.
  • The Ukraine Mission Team as they travel to Ukraine and abroad. (Click this link to get a list of needs.)
  • ​Unwillingly absent members.
  • Those grieving the loss of loved ones.
  • Our new mayor and city leaders.
  • Our families, homes, workplace, church, and community.
  • Ongoing Building Renovations, Modifications, and Phase 3: Construction of New Youth Building and rear parking.