VOUS CONFERENCE 2018
WHEN LIFE DOESN'T WORK OUT
When you think of weddings, you can quickly imagine the classic lines: for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part. The words hold weight because there is a level of accountability around them. Upholding the marriage vows becomes the daily determination of the couple.
In our continued talk through the Book of Romans, Pastor Rich Wilkerson Jr illustrates that Christians too have made a vow that holds us accountable to what we profess to believe. Our promise is to live lives of sacrifice, service and submission. But how often do we follow through?
The issue may be that it’s not uncommon, upon hearing the words sacrifice, service and submission, to think that we’re playing from a losing position. And according to the world’s standards, it’s not appealing to take on those acts because it may open us up to be taken advantage. However, Paul makes it clear that we are not operating according to the pattern of the world. Because of Christ’s example, we can powerfully live out our lives.
The primary challenge in living lives of sacrifice, service and submission is to change our thinking. In fact, we’re encouraged to renew our minds, to have a paradigm shift to have forward progress. Once we do, we understand that when we sacrifice, we are giving up one thing for something better. When we act in service to one another, we are building up a stronger church. And when we submit, we are giving over authority to the One who created heaven and earth.
While the world wants us to forget our vows, let’s instead remember that we find our fullest life when we walk them out. Christ didn’t save us so that we’d set up for weak, small or burdened lives. Take heart in following Jesus’ model of sacrifice, service and submission, for by them he conquered death, hell and the grave. Because he rules, we can live victoriously with him.
A constant struggle as humans is the issue with identity: Who are we? What do others see? Where do we belong? Our identity might have been influenced by the time we were born, the family we were born into, what we have done, or the societal class we’ve landed.
But, what if there’s more. More to who we are than what we’ve done. More than the temporary situations we find ourselves. The “more” is to begin with the end in mind – with eternity set in our hearts.
As we continue our collection of talks on The Book of Romans, Pastor DawnCheré Wilkerson reminded us that we were Made for More. That our identity should be unwavering in who we are in Christ – as more than conquerors. We are to be the culture carriers of our world, not led by the pressing needs of today, but by the perspective of eternity.
In his writing, Paul challenges us to live governed by the spirit, and not the flesh. Paul unravels a beautiful picture of our standing as children of God, that we are co-heirs with Christ, sharing in his suffering so we may also share in his glory. That we are made to hope, and not to simply endure the waiting seasons in life.
As God perfects his will in us, this is our conviction: Even when we may not see the pathway to our purpose, we don’t settle for less but hold on to his promises, knowing we have a father who loves us unconditionally. Knowing we’re made for more.
VOUS CONFERENCE 2018
"EYE TO EYE"
VOUS CONFERENCE 2018
VOUS CONFERENCE SUNDAY
When we accept Jesus into our life, we believe turning away from sin means never sinning again. And although justification is the gift of accepting Jesus, the gift of sanctification is a daily process.
In our continued collection of talks on The Book of Romans, Pastor Rich Wilkerson, Jr. teaches on the idea that "The Struggle is Real." So often we struggle with consistency and fulfilling our commitments as well as second guessing our position in ministry because we focus on following the Law. The Law puts the magnifying glass on our sinful nature and in doing so points us to our need for a savior, Jesus.
Because of the Law we are made constantly aware of our shameful condition, even to the point of feeling the need to leave the faith altogether. After all, why risk being called out as a hypocrite? But when we understand grace, it allows us to go through the process of becoming more Christlike. We can avoid the temptation of giving up on our faith. We only become hypocrites when we can’t admit that we continuously fight back guilt and shame. Yes, our struggle is real, but we will not let our internal struggle with sin disqualify us from the victorious life Jesus died for us to have.
And we must remember that it's better to focus on what we've been redeemed to and on getting back up after falling in our sin. We can trust that when God sees us, he sees the finished work of Jesus on the cross. And we will pursue a life of sanctification, not from a place of fear but from a place of love for our savior.
VOUS CONFERENCE 2018
RICH WILKERSON JR
A LOOK INSIDE THE LIFE OF OUR CHURCH
No matter who you are, you've probably struggled with some form of guilt, condemnation, or shame. You may have looked at your situation and believed God was mad at you or you were being punished for your shortcomings. The good news is that God didn't save you to condemn you. In fact, it is quite the opposite story.
As we continue our collection of talks on The Book of Romans, Pastor Rich Wilkerson Jr teaches us how through the blood of Jesus, we have been justified and are now in right standing with God. We have been credited with the righteousness of Christ, wiping away all our past, present, and future sins. Now, when God looks at us, he no longer sees our sinful humanity, he sees Jesus.
When God sent his only son to die for our sins, he demonstrated his scandalous, reckless love. On our worst day, Christ was at his best. Not one bit of our effort deserved His righteousness. While it may sound too good to be true, that's exactly what makes it grace. What was started in the Garden of Eden was finished in the Garden of Gethsemane. Where Adam took the fall, Jesus took a stand. We now have access to incredible blessings, having been justified through Christ. Our trust in Jesus' salvation shatters the bondage of shame, allowing us to walk in the freedom of righteousness.