Compassion comes from a deliberate identification with another person until we see things as he sees them, and feel things as she feels them. That’s the place to which God seeks to bring all of us.
Wesleyan teaching affirms that all aspects of salvation come by the gift of God’s grace. Because grace conveys power to us, though, it gives us the ability—the freedom—to join in the very work God is doing for us.
Elizabeth Glass-Turner ~ Folk Religion & Ford Pick-Ups: How a Missiological Approach can Transform Small-Town Ministry
In this age of Starbucksation, small local churches often feel they’re unable to offer anything of worth compared to large, shiny metropolitan churches pastored by impeccable grins; which is tragic, because both churches offer Jesus Christ; and that is the only thing of lasting worth that either church has, no matter what the insurers say.
You will be so tempted to think this is about you – and your needs, your wants and your desires. But remember it is Jesus who transforms your people and your church, not you; it is Jesus who takes words of truth deep into the heart, not you; it is Jesus who is Lord, not you.
I often talk about “speaking faith,” which for me means (among other things) giving life to our ideas and beliefs by speaking them aloud. Moving them from the realm of our personal, interior selves to an external realm where they can become infectious and dynamic. That’s the kind of thing I want to happen to my prayers, to my fasting, to whatever self-denial I decide to undertake.
Charles Wesley wrote songs for sinners. For those who were lost in sin, his hymns promised salvation, and for those who had come to Christ they were hymns that celebrated the day when it happened… These hymns are as true as ever and it is only our spiritual and doctrinal naivete that keeps us from seeing it.