SOME PERSONAL REFLECTIONS ON THE LP AND WL STUDY DAY AT UPHILL METHODIST CHURCH, WESTON-SUPER-MARE ON JUNE 8TH, 2019 LED BY THE REVEREND ROD INGROUILLE ON THE THEME OF JOHN WESLEY – REASONABLE CHARISMATIC
What a day this was and I for one went away with a new spring in my step on the realization that God by his grace, and as ‘proven’ by Rod, has given each one of us not just a handful of spiritual gifts but up to thirty! Yes, thirty. I told Margaret when I got home that I never knew I had that many and she quite agreed!
Seriously, some of those gifts I know for a fact I haven’t got (e.g. speaking in tongues and interpretation of same, physical healing, celibacy (!), craftsmanship (I’m the worst handyman out!) and performing miracles). I could probably go on but that will do. The interesting part of the day was that Rod had found biblical references for each and every one of the thirty gifts and I believe our Superintendent will be making sure that each church has a copy of the list. It cannot help but make us feel good and worthy (even if we do not all have the same measure of all 30 gifts if at all. They are there and that is what matters.
I start here for it soon became obvious during the day that our founder, John Wesley, possessed a great many of these gifts and we only need to look at the history of Methodism to see how he put so many of them into action during his lifetime. However, even John did not possess each and every one of them – by his own admission he did not speak in tongues – but he was always keen to encourage and enable those gifts he saw and heard in others and never ever limit the ability of God’s Spirit to do wonderful things. May we do likewise, encourage and enable the free flow of the Spirit. I have always seen this as one of the greatest gift of a minister, to enable and encourage the flock by teaching and exhortation (and both of these gifts you can read about in Romans 12).
John Wesley had his own views on being slain in the Spirit and on Miracles. For example, on the matter of the first he wrote in his journal 22.06.1739 “This may be from God, and it may not” and he went on to say that the proof would be to what degree what happens to the person can change lives, not only his or her own but that of others too. And with regard to Miracles, John Wesley believed that these were not necessarily caused by faith but that it is God only who determines the location and the timing of miracles taking place. They are for His glory not for our own selfish purposes. And so, says John, “Never judge people for their lack of faith.” John also believed that true signs and wonders were – and are – those that lead to conversions from fear, honour and despair to love, joy and peace.
I can only speak for myself and my impressions of the study day but I left with the impression of John Wesley as a man small in stature but great in Spirit, able and willing to appreciate everything he saw in others but not necessarily in himself and dedicated to the uttermost in following and obeying God and trusting in His purpose for him and for all of us. Accepting, excited about the calling God had given him and modest and truthful to himself and to His Lord as he said, “Though He slay me yet will I trust Him” (Journal, 23.05.1783).
I could carry on and perhaps I should but I rather hope and pray that some of my study colleagues on the day may have something to say also. From me, a big thank you to Rod for a brilliant day with much to encourage us and even more to take in that I for one never knew about our founder, John Wesley.
On the list of 30 spiritual gifts with which I began I cannot trace the gift of cooking which can so wonderfully keep body and soul together but let me just say that this gift was amply illustrated at the chapel in the splendid lunch we all enjoyed. I am sure John Wesley too would have been impressed.
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