Have you ever noticed something obvious that after seeing, you realize was there the whole time? Often times we miss things because of the way we are looking at them. Pastor Levi Lusko of Fresh Life Church delivers a powerful message reminding us that the lens we see life through really matters, and even through our own pain we can see God use our situations for good. So what does it mean to know that God can bring good out of our painful experiences? Do we feel hurt because of the experience or do we praise God for the hope he gives us? We’re assured that there is no conflict between these two thoughts and, in fact, God is comfortable with the tension between the two. Hurting with hope still hurts and we are allowed to feel that. Yet, we can hurt with hope and run towards God at the same time.
God has a plan for each and every one of us. But when God gives us a vision of His plans, we learn that those plans are rarely just for us. God’s plans always extend to the world around us, and our role in that plan pertains to the way He wants to use us on a higher level. However, we can’t outwork the plans of God for our lives alone; we need community. In the final sermon of the series Church: it’s a Group Project, Pastor DawnCheré Wilkerson reminds us that rebuilding can be harder than building because you have to go back and face the ruins. By uniting together and preparing to stand against your opposition, we can rebuild the wall, reject the opposition, and protect our position. What seems impossible alone is possible with God as we come together and work towards a common goal.
Have you ever pushed yourself too hard at the gym, and your body pushed back? Maybe your face turned red, or you had to sit and drink water before you could continue. In moments like that, there's a disagreement between what your head says and what your body can do. The same can be said of the head of the church, Jesus, and His body, the Church, when His will and our actions don't align.
In this week's continuation of our collection of talks entitled, Church: It’s A Group Project, Pastor Rich Wilkerson Jr. explores what happens when the body of Christ is divided against the head of the church, Jesus. Through looking at the story of the Tower of Babel in Genesis 11, we learn that nothing is impossible for a group of people who are united.
The easiest way to create division is through lack of communication. At VOUS Church, our mission is for our communication to thrive, so that we are united in bringing God's plans on Earth to fruition, and being part of pushing the church, God's body, forward.
If someone were to walk into your apartment, they’d instantly learn a lot about your personality; are you messy or clean? Do you play any instruments? Is your home welcoming and comfortable, or do you tend to spend more time alone? The characteristics and objects within someone’s home tells you instantly about their character, and the same is true of God. In Exodus 25:8-9, God lays out the plans for His tabernacle, or place of dwelling. Through studying the details of God’s dwelling place, we learn about the nature of God.
This Sunday at VOUS Church in Miami, Pastor Rich Wilkerson Jr. partnered with Pastor Judah Smith of City Church, Seattle and Pastor Chad Veach of ZOE Church, LA for a national collection of talks titled, “Church: It’s a Group Project.” Throughout this collection, we’ll learn about how to find the unique role we all play in the church, and how to bring those roles together to glorify God as one united body.
This week, by studying the detailed layout of the Old Testament Tabernacle, we learn that God is holy, and God is merciful. Thank God that through Jesus Christ, we have constant access to God’s presence and his mercy, and together with the church, we can be a part of representing God’s house here on earth. While the devil isn’t afraid of a big church, he is afraid of a united church. As we gather around this collection of talks as a nation-wide church, we really believe that we can come together and change the world. Together, we can do this! United we stand.
Do you ever go somewhere and find that you can't wait to tell somewhere where you went? For example, you say something like "I went TO Miami," or "I went TO the mall." The truth of the matter is, when you only mention the destination, you're missing a major part of the story - what it actually took to GET there. Whenever you go to somewhere, you always have to go through something.
In today's sermon from Pastor Rich Wilkerson Jr., we learn that whenever God's about to take you to a place, He's gotta take you through some things, even some storms. This rings true in Miami, especially on the heels of Hurricane Irma, a storm that left devastation in much of the southern U.S. and the Caribbean.
Often times, however, the "storms" we're going through are just a "passing through" period in between two miracles.
God always prepares us for the storms he takes us through, and He's always with us in the midst of them, even if we can't always see Him; He always sees us. God uses the storms in our lives to remind us that He's in control, to give us fresh revelation of His character, and to give us the perfect platform for audacious responses.
No matter where we're going or what storms we're going through, when we faithfully and patiently serve God through every season, we can trust that our miracles are just on the other side of the storm! Keep pushing through!
Life is full of challenges. Sometimes, it feels like as soon as we climb one mountain to victory, another mountain pops up and we have to go back to climbing. It can be discouraging and even exhausting to face opposition, especially if we don't feel like we're big enough to fight the battles we face.
As VOUS Church celebrated its two year birthday, our pastors Rich and DawnCheré Wilkerson came together around the idea, "We can do it!" Evaluating where we are is important, and realizing where we've come from is even more important. This perspective helps us plan for the future and step into to God destinies over our lives.
Evaluation is pointless, however, if we can't see clearly. What we see determines what we speak, and what we speak determines where we go. If we view our opposition incorrectly, we will always move backwards, never forwards.
In order to evaluate ourselves properly we must look at our circumstances with a positive and God ordained outlook. This outlook will determine how we see ourselves, how we see our problems, and how we see God. If we have these outlooks aligned with the word and vision of God, then we will always overcome our obstacles, because God is always victorious!
Many times, God's miracles are not visible or measurable at first. On Vision Sunday at VOUS Church, Pastor Rich Wilkerson, Jr. identified five materials present in miracles from Mark 2:1-12. The first is the paralytic, or the problem that needs to be solved. Problems are a prerequisite for a miracle and are a platform for God to show off in our lives. The second material is men. Our biggest ability in the story God is writing is our availability. The third is the house. Every miracle in motion will face real rejection, but obstacles are opportunities in disguise. The fourth is the critic. During every move of God in the Bible, there are always critics on the fringe. The fifth is our Savior, who always delivers the miracle we need right on time.
Have you ever caught yourself mid-prayer wondering if you’re even doing it right? Pastor Rich Wilkerson, Jr. teaches us that there's so much more to prayer than simply talking to God. There's a certain approach we must take in order to show God the honor that he deserves. We must learn to praise before we petition.
In Luke 11, Jesus demonstrates that in order to pray effectively we should first connect with God relationally and declare his greatness.
Next we must submit our will and recognize that his plans are so much higher than anything we could ever imagine. We must also recognize that while in pursuit of his will, we need to become completely dependent on him.
To grow dependent on him means that we acknowledge our need for his grace, and we must also extend this same grace to others.
Only after all of this, may we present our requests to God, and petition our desires.
Ambition and faith are two words that are often considered juxtaposed in the Christian community. We're never discouraged to love too hard, or to forgive too much. But, for one reason or another, being too ambitious can carry a negative connotation. There's this narrative that being ambitious, or having the desire to be great, is something that contradicts the blueprint that Jesus established for our lives. The contrary is true. Jesus was the most ambitious man that ever walked the earth. He came to earth to save a humanity that, in many ways, didn't even want to be saved.
This models exactly how we are to channel our ambition, in a selfless manner that places emphasis on serving others. Jesus instructs us that in order to live a life of greatness, we must first recognize the sacrifice it entails. In or order to be great according to kingdom standards, we must first serve others.
Maybe you've wondered at one point or another how you can know if God will answer your prayer? What if he doesn't hear me? How do I know if what I'm praying for is his will? Wrapping up our collection of talks around 1 John, Manouchka Charles leads us through the final passages of scripture in our study and leads us to understand exactly how we can have a firm confidence in approaching God.