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Called for A Purpose

By Bishop Mark J. Webb

“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.”  – John 15.16

The rescue of John Wesley from the fire by William Smith.

Just a few weeks before the COVID pandemic shut down the world, my wife, Jodi, and I traveled with a group to England for a Wesley Heritage Tour. Some of the individuals on that trip had also traveled with us to the Holy Land just a few years prior. As I was preparing teaching and devotional times for that England trip, I must admit I was doubting I would experience that same “pilgrimage” experience that I did in the Holy Land. That all changed the day we went to Epworth and visited the rectory where the Wesley family lived.

As we toured that home, I came face to face spiritually with perhaps the most significant event that occurred in that home. On February 9, 1709, an angry mob (that’s a topic for another time) set fire to the rectory where the Wesley family lived. Everyone got out of the house safely, except for five-year-old John. Just as the whole house was about to be consumed by fire, John was rescued through a window by a man standing on the shoulders of another. After the fire, John’s mother, Susanna, believing God saved her young son for a reason, often used the words of Zechariah 3.2 to refer to John – “Is this not a brand plucked from the fire?”

On that February day in Epworth, England, I was reminded of God’s call upon my life in a significant way. The spiritual pilgrimage God had for me was to trust anew the truth that God has chosen and called me for a purpose. God has chosen me to be loved and transformed by Him.  God has chosen me to offer my life in response to His love by choosing His way, bearing fruit, and giving witness to the good news of Jesus Christ.

The mission of the Global Methodist Church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ who worship passionately, love extravagantly, and witness boldly. Mission statements can be dangerous, because too often we only print the words instead of radically living into them. As the Global Methodist Church continues to move forward, it will be blessed by God when I, you and everyone who joins this movement understands clearly that we have been called by God for a purpose.

When we trust more fully the depth, width, height, and length of God’s love for us and then go deeper, wider, higher, and longer in our love for God, we become disciples who worship passionately. When we encounter the fullness of God’s redemptive work in Jesus Christ, the undeserved favor of God’s grace bestowed on us, transforming us, we become disciples who love extravagantly. When we experience the fullness of God at work, plucking us from the fire, transforming our lives and offering us new and abundant life, we have no choice but to witness boldly, so that one more person may know that Jesus offers that same reality to them.

We live amid a culture where darkness seems to be winning. The ways of our world are crushing and filled with deceit. People are looking for hope, significance, and truth. Let’s be people who love God deeply, have God’s heart for the least, the last and the lost, and look for every opportunity to be the hands, feet, and voice of Christ within the world. We must be people who proclaim and demonstrate that there’s a different way, a better way.

There is a light that overcomes darkness, there is a truth that defeats lies, and there is a person who offers healing, hope, peace, significance, and life – His name is Jesus! Let’s meet the world with the love of Jesus. Let’s offer the world the hope of Jesus!

I’m humbled to begin this journey with the Global Methodist Church. God is at work. John Wesley was used by God to renew a church, spark a revival, and spread scriptural holiness across the land. He was “plucked from the fire” for a purpose. My prayer is, “Do it again God! Do it again in me and through me. Do it again in us and through us.”

For those who desire to be a part of the Global Methodist Church but have not yet been able, don’t allow Satan to create doubt and discouragement as you navigate what seem to be impossible barriers. Ask and trust God to do the work of changing hearts and destroying barriers. Don’t be afraid of the fire of your circumstances because our God is a God who rescues us from that fire. In every action and encounter do nothing but demonstrate a heart changed and formed by the grace of God. God has called you for a purpose. Live it boldly and fully every moment of every day – invite others to do the same. Watch God move!

One last thing – don’t forget that Wesley was saved from that fire because one person was willing to let another stand on their shoulders. Thanks be to God for the saints upon whose shoulders we stand in the birthing of this new movement. Let’s invite and welcome others by allowing them to stand on our shoulders. We need each other if we are going to live the mission and be the people God has called for a purpose. We need each other if we are going to be the people of the Global Methodist Church who partner with God to make disciples of Jesus Christ who worship passionately, love extravagantly, and witness boldly.

I’m grateful to be on this journey with you. I’m praying for you!

Bishop Mark J. Webb is an episcopal leader in the Global Methodist Church.

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