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works of mercy

Works of Mercy

Salvation is not just from sin but for godliness and works of compassion. For Wesley, evangelism and ministries to the poor were inextricably linked and two sides of the same gospel. The holistic gospel that Wesley preached was called the “scripture way of salvation.” When churches stop serving others, then something seems to die. Spiritual vitality requires a personal faith and God working through us to serve our neighbors. (James 2:14-20)

the necessity of grace

The Necessity of Grace

After his crisis of faith Wesley comes to understand that we do not have to prove our love for God or win divine favor but that good works are our response to God sanctifying our lives and an expression of gratitude and the fruits of the spirit. Wesley believed passionately that God longs for humans to know the love and grace of the Creator, and for those who responded, he had a discipleship development plan. (Ephesians 2:1-10).

a crisis of faith

A Crisis of Faith

Today we are going to see Wesley struggling with his faith, wondering if he really is a Christian, whether he has done enough to please God, in other words whether his good works and spiritual actions have saved him. Eventually he comes to an understanding of God’s grace by which we are saved through faith, not our actions. (Romans 4:1-5, 5:1-5)

a longing for holiness

A Longing for Holiness

As a young adult at Oxford University, John Wesley began to question what exactly it means to be a Christian, to glorify God and live a holy life. Wesley sensed that there was more to faith and holiness than he had known before. The first Methodists pursued an intentional and methodical plan for becoming more like Christ. (1 Peter 1:13-16)

precursors to revival

Precursors to Revival

We all go through times where our spiritual vitality waxes and wanes. Paul’s response to the church in Ephesus who had lost their enthusiasm was to tell them to “repent, and do the works you did at first.” The seeds of revival are to be found in the story of our beginning. John Wesley was greatly impacted by his upbringing and his parent’s faith. (Revelation 2:1-5, 3:14-22)

who are we?

Who Are We?

[A sermon given by guest speaker Lynda Jamieson.] Where are we fishing? Have we been casting our nets in the wrong place? The risen Christ calls us to cast our nets on the right side of the boat; we can trust that as we do so we will see experience resurrection and see the Lord. Which is the right side for Sierra Pines UMC? (John 21:1-14)

fools for christ

Fools for Christ

Christ’s resurrection is not an April Fool’s joke or hoax. No one has rolled the rock away from the tomb and stolen Jesus’ body as a trick. Jesus’ crucifixion was not faked so that he could come back and say April Fool! But Christ’s appearance was a surprise. Jesus had cryptically said to them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” (John 2:19) and they had not understood him. But now, death has been defeated. (Mark 16:1-15, 20)

looming shadows - wilderness wonderings on the way of love

Looming Shadows

Judas Iscariot, was one of the 12 disciples and he was the one who held the common purse. So, up to this point, Judas was a well-loved trusted disciple. And then Judas goes to the chief priests and tells them he can lead them to Jesus. Ever since that day, Christians have pointed fingers at…