Devotional Life in the Wesleyan Tradition by Steve Harper

I just finished reading a little book called Devotional Life in the Wesleyan Tradition (by Steve Harper).  It’s a small book packed with things John Wesley taught those being impacted by a renewal movement in the 18th Century.  Allow me to share some thoughts on the last chapter.

What’s the difference between the “instituted means of grace” and the “prudential means of grace”?  Asking this type of question creates a problem.  The “instituted” ones focus on prayer, studying the Bible, Communion, fasting, and so on.  The “prudential” ones are how we treat others (feeding the hungry, caring for the sick and needy, being concerned with the redemption of others, etc…).

John Wesley, who advocated for both, saw the need to keep these together.  This is why his General Rules combine the two.  These Rules are:  (1)Doing no harm, (2)doing good, and (3)staying upon the ordinances of God.  The first two clearly focus on the prudential means of grace while the third hones in on the instituted means of grace.

For those of us seeking to be wholly Christian, we are called to a life that encompasses all three.

John Wesley Portrait

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