John Wesley & the Robber

And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. (Galatians 6:9, N.K.J.V.)

John Wesley was the father of the Methodist denomination. It is estimated that over the course of his lifetime he rode horseback 250,000 miles in preaching the gospel. If you’re counting that’s enough distance to circle the earth ten times!

One night, as Wesley rode across Hounslow Heath near London, a robber jumped in front of him, grabbed the horse’s bridle, and shouted, “Halt! Your money or your life!” Wesley, who was far from rich, politely obliged by removing the few coins he had in his pockets. He even invited the robber to examine his saddlebags which were filled with books. Disappointed in the meager haul, the robber turned away to leave.

It was then that Wesley made a demand of his own. He said to the robber, “Stop! I have something more to give you.” Puzzled by Wesley’s invitation, the robber walked back to him. Wesley then bent down from his horse and said, “My friend, you may live to regret this sort of life. If you ever do, I beseech you to remember this: ‘The blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, cleanses us from all sin.'” Upon hearing those words, the robber scurried away into the night. Wesley, for his part, offered up a heartfelt prayer right then and there that God would burn his words into the robber’s conscience.

Years later, at the close of a Sunday night service in a large building to a large congregation, a stranger stepped forward and asked to speak with Wesley. You can guess where this is going. It was the man who had robbed Wesley on Hounslow Heath so many years earlier. The man had long been a Christian and was now a wealthy tradesman in London.

Wesley remembered his first meeting with the man and was delighted to see him a second time. With virtual reverence the man took Wesley’s hand, kissed it, and said, “To you, dear sir, I owe it all.” Wesley, recalling what he had said to the man that night so long ago, softly replied, “No, my friend, not to me, but to the precious blood of Christ which cleanses us from all sin.”

It’s no coincidence that the text verse for this post is found in the same passage that gives us the familiar verse: “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap” (Galatians 6:7, N.K.J.V.). By putting both verses together we learn that appropriate reaping will surely come from appropriate sowing, but the harvests won’t appear overnight. Patience is required on our part. Perseverance is as well as we are told to not “grow weary” or “lose heart.”

Perhaps, Christian, you have become discouraged because you are seeing precious little harvesting even though you’ve been faithfully sowing good seed. I believe that God led you to this post to say to you, “Hang in there! Don’t grow weary! Don’t lose heart! Keep sowing your good seed! You will reap in due season!”

One night John Wesley sowed a seed in a robber’s heart. Many years later, on another night, Wesley reaped the harvest from that seed. And that type of thing didn’t die out with John Wesley. God will make sure that it still works today. We simply have to be faithful to keep sowing good seed and patient enough to wait for the promised harvests.

This entry was posted in Adversity, Attitude, Comfort, Commitment, Conscience, Depression, Disappointment, Doing Good, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faithfulness, God's Timing, God's Work, Impatience, Influence, Ministry, Patience, Perseverance, Reward, Service, Sowing and Reaping, Waiting, Witnessing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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