“A Methodist is one who has the love of God shed abroad in their heart by the Holy Ghost given unto them” The Character of a Methodist, by John Wesley
John Wesley and the early Methodists believed in the power of the Holy Spirit to convert the hearts of people to the way of following Jesus fully. Unfortunately, this put them in conflict with prominent church leaders of their day, who accused them of saying they had experienced something miraculous that made individuals perfect immediately. Wesley countered and said that a person is converted long before perfection is achieved. We know that God cannot be contained by human desires or controlled by human restrictions. Our God works in the very heart of all of us, transforming us daily into the perfect love that He desires for us to show to all people.
The simple truth is that all of us need to experience conversion! Our culture desires our conformity, but Jesus calls us to the converted life that denies self and takes up the cross to follow him. If we achieve this, it takes something moving in our hearts and lives that is divine and not just good intentions. The Holy Spirits’ task is to spread this love of God abroad in our hearts creating within us something completely new.
Our Wesleyan heritage compels us to share our experiences with our loving God into the whole world. Where ever we go and for so long as we live, may we never stop telling the story of the one who has come searching for us!