What Could He Have Done That He Didn't Do?

Francis Asbury was a circuit-riding preacher whose life will inspire you. This 1-minute devotion explains.

"The weather is so bad today that nothing's out but crows and Methodist preachers." – a 
popular colonial saying 

Early American Methodist circuit riders were known for their persistence in spreadiing the gospel, and Francis Asbury (1745-1816) set the standard. 

He rode through dangerous Revolutionary War zones, unfriendly Native American territory, and remote wilderness, facing danger, insults, malaria, and exhaustion. At times he was so sick that he strapped himself to his horse so he wouldn't fall off. He truly understood Christ's words in Matthew 16:24.

Asbury also understood 1 John 3:14-16. He spoke against slavery 100 years before the Civil War, included black pastors on some of his circuit rides, and took the side of his black brothers and sisters in racist debates.

His passion was to share the gospel, and he became a legend in his own time. 

When he died at age 71, his eulogist said, "What could he do that he did not do? [He] wore out his life for the good of man and for the glory of God." Like Paul, Asbury had fought the good fight, finished the race, and kept the faith (2 Timothy 4:7).

May Asbury's faith inspire us to ask, "What one thing can I do today that I did not do yesterday for the sake of Christ?" 


We can't all be Francis Asbury, nor should we try to be, but God has given each of us ways to share the gospel. I encourage you to go through the 1-minute devotions in the Sharing Christ Collection where you'll find practical wisdom in devotions such as Always Witnessing and Should We Mention Hell When Sharing Christ?  

Resource: Francis Asbury, Circuit Rider, by Janet and Geoff Benge
While I recommend this book in the series, I do not recommend the book in the series called "Lottie Moon, Giving Her All for China." Lottie Moon's family had a large plantation and they were slave owners, but the book presents them as victims of the Civil War. I wrote YWAM about my concerns, and they made it clear that they were comfortable with the book.

Francis Asbury was a circuit-riding preacher whose life will inspire you. This 1-minute devotion explains.

Bible Love Notes


  1. Love this one! Thanks, gonna share on FB.

  2. Thank you for such a special post.

  3. Thank you for this post. For more on Francis Asbury, please visit the website for the book series, The Asbury Triptych, at www.francisasburytriptych.com. Enjoy the numerous articles and the opening book in this trilogy, Black Country. The novel brings to life Asbury's early ministry in England before departing for the American Colonies in 1771. Al DeFilippo Author.

  4. Interesting and uplifting post! Thank you!

  5. For some reason, I came across this post again. You may interest in a recent post I did, "Strong Roots Can Buckle the Pavement: The Earth-Moving Efforts and Effects of America’s First Black Leaders." You can find at the Francis Asbury Triptych Series website. Enjoy the article.