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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Spreading my love for the Lord

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Charles Wesley published an 18-stanza poem in 1740 that spoke of his strong desire to give praise to God for changing his life. He wrote the poem to commemorate the first anniversary of his renewal of faith in Christ.

Many Christian churches have this poem in their hymnbooks today, and it has become a favorite hymn for Christians around the world.

Wesley wrote, "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."

As a Christian and a minister of the gospel, I have the awesome responsibility to tell others about the life-changing power of Jesus Christ. Every Christian has that responsibility.

The ministry of Moravian Bishop Peter Bohler had a great impact on the lives of Charles Wesley and his brother John at a time in their lives when they were seeking for deeper truths.

Bohler made the statement to them, "If I had a thousand tongues, I would praise God with them all." Those words helped to change Charles's life.

I have had the privilege at different times to worship with people of different cultures and different languages. It is a blessing for me to hear people sing a hymn I love in a language I don't understand.

I know that those people are praising God. I feel the presence of God's Spirit during the worship service and I am able to rejoice with them.

I make a trip out to Arizona just about every year to visit the Navajo Reservation. I have many Navajo friends out there, and I enjoy worshipping with them in their churches.

I have preached in tent meetings, revival services, and in Sunday worship services, and I have an interpreter who will preach with me in Navajo. I don't understand what the interpreter is saying, but I do know they are preaching my words in another tongue.

Some people have the ability to speak more than one language. I am not gifted in that way. I am still learning to handle English. But, I wish I could praise God like Wesley declared, in a thousand tongues.

Many Christians are quiet about their faith, and don't take the time to talk about their relationship with God with other people.

I believe sharing our love for God should be a normal part of our lives. If we claim to be a Christian, one whose life has been changed by the power of God, then let's tell others about it.

I love my wife. Her name is Lynn, and to me she is the most beautiful woman I know. And I am not afraid to tell people about my love for her.

And I am not afraid to tell you about my love for my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ either. I thank God that I have been given opportunities to do that, too.

If I had a thousand tongues, if I could speak a thousand different languages, I would tell all who would listen about the amazing grace of God that has changed my life.

I have only one tongue. I can only handle English. So I will tell my world how Jesus Christ has changed my life, and how He can change their life too.

Doug Dezotell is the pastor of Mt. Lebanon United Methodist Church and a former staff writer for the Shelbyville Times-Gazette. He can be reached at dougmdezotell@yahoo.com.

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Doug Dezotell
Memories and Musings
Doug Dezotell is pastor of Cannon United Methodist Church and a former staff writer for the Times-Gazette.