‘A MAN CAME AMONG US’ Romans 8:1-17
‘You… are controlled…by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you.’ (v9)
Conversion is ‘the great surprise’ because it can happen in the most unexpected ways and to the most unexpectant people. Just as we cannot predict the precise course of the wind – it blows wherever it pleases neither can we fully anticipate the Holy Spirit’s course.
John Wesley, whose conversion produced an epoch in the life of Britain, was a preacher and a missionary as a young man, even though at the time he did not have a personal relationship with Christ. William Lecky, the historian, tells of the surprise John Wesley received when he went rather unwillingly to a meeting in Aldersgate Street, London, and heard someone reading Martin Luther’s preface to the book of Romans. At about a quarter to nine, while the reader was describing the change which God works in the heart ‘strangely warmed,’ and at that moment he put his trust in Christ for salvation. Later he described that experience: An assurance was given me that He had taken away my sins, even mine, and saved me from the law of sin and death.’ This strange and unexpected warming of the heart – what one biographer called ‘the quarter to nine experience’ – resulted in a moral cleansing of the soul of Britain and the world.
Cornwall, in the south-west of England, was greatly affected by the ministry of John Wesley. Many years after Wesley had died, a visitor to Cornwall commented to a local tin miner: ‘You seem to be a very temperate people here. How did it happen?’ The miner took off his cap and solemnly replied: ‘There came a man among us once, and his name was John Wesley.’
PRAYER LINE: Father, what amazing things You can do through one person who is wholly committed to You. I open myself yet again to the ministry and power of Your Holy Spirit. Fill me to overflowing. In Christ’s name I ask it. Amen. (EDWJ)
A surrendered life is an invitation to the Spirit use.