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Sermons from Big Tree Wesleyan Church

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Christians: A Thankful People

Throughout Scripture, we find that the people of God are always a thankful people. Even amidst tragedy, chaos, and uncertainty, the people of God praise and thank God. As Christians, then, we too are called to be a thankful people. But, how can we be thankful for God when we have seemingly nothing to be thankful for? Pastor J.J. encourages us, reading Psalm 146, to be thankful for God for two main reasons: 1) because amidst Chaos, God remains the same, and 2) the character of God is ideal; God's character is deserving of thanks and praise. Because of these two reasons, Christians should be people who partake in the character of God: we give thanks to God by caring about what God cares about.

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Up-Selling Salvation

The Apostle Paul tells us that faith in the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the sole means of salvation for all of humanity. However, the world, the Church, and even our own minds have a way of getting us to doubt our salvation; to doubt that faith is the only requirement for salvation. Pastor J.J. discusses the importance of not letting anyone, even ourselves, "up-sell" us on the requirements for salvation.

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Merciful Heavenly Father; Merciful Children

"Be merciful just as your Father is merciful," says Jesus to His disciples. It is not easy to have an image of a merciful father, in a world which many do not have a father who is an example of mercy. But Jesus speaks of the Heavenly Father, God. God is quick to forgive and gives freely to all of His children. If we wish to be merciful like our heavenly father, you must learn to be a person who forgives and gives. We are empowered by God to do this well--it is not something we can do well all on our own.

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Advent: Hope That Jesus Brings

For the first week of advent, Pastor Doug discusses the beauty of hope in our lives as believers. Repeatedly, life hands us disappointment, and even when we are ready for it to stop, life manages to send us more disappointment. That, is the bad news, but in Jesus, we have hope that will not ultimately disappoint. We have hope--an assurance--that even though the writing is on the wall about how things are, we can look beyond the writing and look to the future expectantly. Not that we deny reality, but we have faith to look beyond our current circumstances.

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Mulligans: The Adulterer

In part 1/4 of the series "Mulligans: Second Chances in the Lives of God's People," Pastor Doug discusses the woman caught in adultery from the book of John. He calls this story an "epic mulligan"--an extraordinary instance of God's forgiveness. According to the law of Moses, a woman who is caught in adultery is to be stoned to death. But Jesus teaches the Pharisees and teachers of the law about forgiveness, by allowing anyone who is without sin to throw the first stone at the woman. Eventually every person leaves, because they recognize that they are not sinless, and Jesus is left alone with the woman. Jesus tells the woman that just as they have not condemned her, he too shall not condemn her. But, he tells her to go on and leave her life of sin. Jesus offers her a second chance, with the encouragement that the second chance be followed by a change of lifestyle. Pastor Doug encourages us all to see our mulligans as opportunities to leave our sins behind. God's grace extends to us, in order that we might overcome our mistakes and leave our sins in our past. Note: there is an illustration at the beginning of the sermon, where Pastor Doug attempts a golf swing and misses, in order to explain what a mulligan is.

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