John Wesley’s Flash Cards

Posted by on Mar 2, 2018 in Godprints | 0 comments

Many of us can remember those elementary school days of learning multiplication tables.  Remember flash cards?  Your teacher or parent would hold up a card in front of you that said something like: 
6 x 8 = ?“, and after you answered “52” they’d flip the card over to show you that you weren’t quite as smart as you thought you were.

Where are you in your spiritual walk?  Former PUMC Pastor Rev. Lanie Price would frequently open meetings by asking everyone, “How is it with our soul?”

It can be painful sometimes, but we need to keep evaluating our walk; our paths may not be as straight as we think.


In the March 2 article for the 2018 Lenten Devotional, Linda Sizemore wrote about a “Test for Self-Evaluation” which was a series of 22 questions developed by John Welsey in 1733.    Wesley urged his followers to take this “self-evaluation” daily.  Various versions of these questions were published, one of which appeared in the 2018 Lenten Devotional.  The devotional listed 16 of the questions, and these are presented in the “slider” below.  Ponder each one and see how you measure up.  How is it with your soul today?

Note: You can hover your mouse over the text to pause the slider

Am I consciously or unconsciously creating the impression

that I’m a better person than I really am?

Do I laugh at the mistakes of others, reveling in their errors and misfortunes?


Do I insist on having my own way?


Is there a tendency for me to put others down so that I’ll be thought of more highly?


Do I pass on to others what is told to me in confidence?


Am I thoughtful in expressing thanks to people for what they’ve done for me,

no matter how insignificant it seems?

Am I a slave to dress, friends, work, or habits?


Am I self-conscious, self-pitying, or self-justifying?


Did the Bible live in me yesterday?


Did I disobey God in anything yesterday?


Did I insist on doing something about which my conscience was uneasy?


Did I handle discouragement well or did I have to be coddled?


Am I enjoying prayer?


When did I last speak to someone about Christ?


Is there anyone whom I fear, dislike, disown, criticize, or hold resentment toward?

If so, what am I doing about it?

Is Christ real in me?




John Wesley, a preacher in England in the 1700’s, founded the  “holiness groups” which eventually became the Methodist Church. 



Is Christ Real in Me?

How do you measure up against these questions?!?  If you’re honest with yourself, there are probably several (or many) “Flash cards” that you didn’t do so well with. 

But the good news is that you don’t have to follow a series of rules to get right with God.  If you want, God has already made you good with Him.  Here are some verses that tell us about God’s “Grace”- the way He accepts us even if we don’t deserve it…

1 Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins.  You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil—the commander of the powers in the unseen world. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God.  All of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature. By our very nature we were subject to God’s anger, just like everyone else.

4 But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much,  that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!)  For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus.  So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus.

8 God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.  Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.  For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

Ephesians 2:1-10, New Living Translation


10 This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.

11 Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other.  No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.

1 John 4:10-12, New Living Translation


If God has done this for you, you’ll want to love Him back.  Most of us are familiar with Romans 8:28, but notice the next two verses…

28 And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

29 For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.

30 And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And having called them, he gave them right standing with himself. And having given them right standing, he gave them his glory.

Romans 8:28-30, New Living Translation


God wants us to be like His Son!  Not to earn salvation, but to become complete in His love.

God’s at work!  His grace also helps us become holy.  He’s helping us answer the “Flash Cards,” but we need to keep practicing.  And, we need to let Him help us.

How is it with your soul today?


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