On this date, May 26, 1700, Count Nicholas von Zinzendorf was born. In July 1737 Zinzendorf found documents of the Unitas Fratrum (Unity of the Brethren) of the fifteenth-century Hussite movement in Bohemia and Moravia. At that time, he had religious refugees at his place in Herrnhut, and he shared the documents with them. Together they agreed to restore the older church with Zinzendorf and would later become known as the Moravian Church.
On this date, May 25, 1868, Billy Bray died. A converted alcoholic, he became a powerful Methodist. He was famous for breaking out in singing and dancing while preaching, earning the title as an unconventional preacher. One of his sayings that he used most when people complained about his unique preaching methods, “If they were to put me in a barrel, I would shout glory out through the bunghole! Praise the Lord!”
Today is Aldersgate day. For on May 24, 1738, John Wesley was converted. Wesley opened his Bible at about five in the morning and came across these words, “There are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises, even that ye should partakers of the divine nature.”
That evening he attended a meeting in Aldersgate. Someone read from Luther’s Preface to the Epistle to Romans.
Wesley wrote “while he was describing the change which God works in the heart through faith in Christ, I felt my heart strangely warmed. I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone for salvation; and an assurance was given me that He had taken away my sins, even mine, and saved me from the law of sin and death.”
(NOTE: I wrote this pretty early in the morning and have not edited it for grammar and spelling issues these are my raw thoughts today)
Sometime ago, I came to the realization of how there are times in my life when I don’t appreciate how much my Heavenly Father loves me. Don’t get me wrong, I know God loves me. I know how Scriptures captures the love of God for us. I get that. But sometimes I catch myself not basking in His love for me.
I don’t want to ever allow that to happen again. The past few weeks, I have been drawing parallels between my love for my three daughters and God’s love for me. Here are a few of them.
I take joy in watching how Kalena is maturing into a young lady. She is compassionate. Her hear t hurts when she sees people hurting. She wants to help the broken. She loves learning. She works hard at studying. Reading hasn’t come easy for her this year, but she has diligently worked and is doing so much better. She loves learning about the Bible. I take joy in the fact that she asks me dozens of questions about the Bible and the God. I want her to always be free to ask me questions about God, the Bible, anything.
I love hearing Natalie sing. She breaks out into singing at any given moment A few days ago, I took her to the bookstore with me and after we dropped Kalena off to school, I heard her little voice in the backseat singing “may all who come behind me, find me faithful.” I know that she doesn’t know what half of those words mean, but tears streamed down my face as I listened to her belt out the words.
It is amazing to me to watch Kyleigh be so enamored with everything. She loves to explore, loves thunderstorms and loves making messes and faces. Everything is new to hear and she just lives life to the fullest.
My three girls are not perfect. Arlene and I grow weary sometimes having to correct them and tell them to stop picking on each other, or stop being so loud. It isn’t always easy, but it is worth it.
I want them to know how much I love them. I tell them that multiple times on a daily basis. I would do anything I could to protect them. I think about their futures all of the time. I pray for their salvation. I desire them to love and follow God more than anything else in the world.
Upon reflecting on these thoughts and many others, I realized afresh just how much God loves me. Scripture tells me that He formed me, and loves me. So often I take that for granted!
He loves me.
He isn’t a cold, harsh, distant god waiting for me to do something wrong. He is a God of justice and demands obedience. I know that. But too often in remembering those aspects of God, I don’t bask in His love for me.
I want my girls to always know that I love them. I want them to bask in my love for them.
God guides and directs and leads. I need to obey. I need to follow. I need to bask in the love of God.
One of my favorite songs sums this up pretty succinctly.
“How Deep The Father’s Love For Us”
How deep the Father’s love for us,
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure
How great the pain of searing loss,
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the chosen One,
Bring many sons to glory
Behold the Man upon a cross,
My sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed I hear my mocking voice,
Call out among the scoffers
It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished
I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection
Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom
On this date, May 23, 1498, Girolamo Savonarola, the Italian reformer was hanged for heresy and then his body was burned. Eventually his works would influence many people. In the mid-1500s, Martin Luther praised him as a martyr and indicated that Savonarola’s writings influenced his own studies on the doctrine of justification by faith.
On this date, May 22, 1377, Pope Gregory XI issued five “bulls” condemning the work of John Wycliffe. He feared that Wycliffe was dangerous to his cause and wanted to shut Wycliffe down.
Wycliffe believed that the Bible should be translated into the common language. He completed his translation directly from the Vulgate into English by the year 1382. This translation is now known as Wycliffe’s Bible.
On this date, May 21, 1738, Charles Wesley was converted. He wrote in his journal that the Spirit of God “chased away the darkness of my unbelief.”
Charles Wesley scholars indicate that a year after his own conversion experience, Charles wrote the famous hymn, “O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing,” which he recommended for singing “on the anniversary of one’s conversion.” The song was written with nineteen verses. Here are four of them.
O for a thousand tongues to sing
My great Redeemer’s praise,
The glories of my God and King,
The triumphs of His grace!
My gracious Master and my God,
Assist me to proclaim,
To spread through all the earth abroad
The honors of Thy name.
Jesus! the name that charms our fears,
That bids our sorrows cease;
’Tis music in the sinner’s ears,
’Tis life, and health, and peace.
He breaks the power of canceled sin,
He sets the prisoner free;
His blood can make the foulest clean,
His blood availed for me.
On this date, May 20, 1939, Samuel Logan Brengle died. He was a preacher, author, and major proponent of the second work of grace. He recounted his experience after receiving the second work.
“I walked out over Boston Common before breakfast, weeping for joy and praising God. Oh, how I loved! In that hour I knew Jesus, and I loved Him till it seemed my heart would break with love. I was filled with love for all His creatures. I heard the little sparrows chattering; I loved them. I saw a little worm wriggling across my path; I stepped over it; I didn’t want to hurt any living thing. I loved the dogs, I loved the horses, I loved the little urchins on the street, I loved the strangers who hurried past me, I loved the heathen, I loved the whole world.”
His books include The Soul Winner’s Secret, Helps to Holiness and Heart Talks on Holiness.
On this date, May 19, 1780, New England’s Dark Day occurred. Accounts were written indicating that it was so dark that candles had to be lit from noon to be able to see anything. Initially, some believed it to be judgment day from God.
On this date, May 18, 1808, Jacob Albright died.
During the American Revolution, he was a drummer boy serving the Philadelphia Militia. Later around 1790, he attended a Methodist Class Meeting and was converted. He felt called to take the Methodist message to the German speaking people of Pennsylvania. He was the founder of the Evangelistic Association and influenced the Pennsylvania Dutch people all over Central Pennsylvania and beyond.