Love - it’s a topic that carries a lot of weight in our culture, especially around holidays like Valentine’s Day. Everyone wants to be loved, and rightfully so; it’s how we were created by a loving God. Love is part of who we are, and there’s nothing wrong with desiring to love and be loved, but before we can fully give ourselves to someone else in a loving way, we have to consider the first step - being complete in Christ. This Sunday, Pastors Rich and DawnCheré Wilkerson started a two-week series on love called “Love that Lasts: How To Be Complete.” They remind us that if we don’t allow God to fix the holes in our life, we’ll never be able to give anything to anyone else. No matter how hard we try, no one else will ever be able to fix those holes for us; it has to come from completion in Christ. Before we project unrealistic standards onto someone else, we have to take time to allow God to remove certain things from our lives, repair the brokenness we may have, and refill us daily with Himself. These are the steps that prepare us for relationship, and help us to become secure, healthy individuals that create secure, healthy relationships.
What does it mean to “dig deeper?” What makes us even want to dig deeper? When our lives are going well and we have wealth, or health, or successes, we usually don’t see any reason to want more.
The truth is, it’s most often our weaknesses in life that drive us to dig deeper.
This week, Global Senior Pastor Brian Houston of Hillsong Church reminds us that our pain is a powerful propeller towards God, and to a life that’s constantly going deeper. No one wants pain, but it can be a huge catalyst for God to work in our hearts and keep us desperate for Him. The greater our capacity for pain, the greater the potential of our future. When we learn to shift our perspective and dig beneath the surface of our pain, we can truly experience the fullness of Christ in our lives, and live well beyond our God-given potential.
Every dream needs a team; a group of people who can help you develop the dreams in your heart. As we continue our collection of talks titled, God Dream, Dakota Duron of VOUS Church gives us some guidance on who we want on our team. There are three types of key people we need in our lives that will help us hold on to hope to achieve the God dream in our hearts; people who are FOR us, that PREPARE us, and ultimately people that PROMOTE us. Find out more about how to get the right people in your life to help bring your God dreams to pass.
One of the best feelings in the world is when we hold our miracle; whether it’s a baby we’ve been praying for, a new job, or success in any way, when the God dreams in our hearts come to pass, it’s a great feeling.
But sometimes, the greatest test of our dreams actually manifests a once dream has come to pass. In a sermon titled “Righteous Revenge,” Pastor Rich Wilkerson Jr. teaches us how to ensure that we don’t forget the real reason for our God dream - others.
Are we motivated by the desire to prove everyone wrong, or can we recognize that our God dream is always going to be bigger than us, and will never be just about us? When we remember who we are, and realize why we’re motivated, then we can pass the test of righteous revenge, and give God the full glory He deserves for the realization of our dreams.
We all have a God dream, or a vision for our life’s purpose. Many times, before our dream can be trusted, it must be tested. In a sermon titled “Incubation Through Isolation,” Pastor Rich Wilkerson Jr. of VOUS Church reminds us that one test we may go through is the test of isolation.
Much like a film photograph needs to be developed, or a baby in its mother’s womb needs to grow, often times, God keeps us in an isolated and controlled environment so that we can be prepared for all that our dreams entail. Even though it may seem tough, when we remember that isolation is only temporary, it’s an invitation to go deeper with God, and it leads to elevation, we can take advantage of every season to fully prepare us and propel us into all God has for our lives.
We all have hopes and dreams for our future. Our lives are a series of decisions that can either propel us forward or hold us back from them.
God dreams sometimes take time to come to pass, but no matter how different our present may be from our dream, we need to learn to not give in to the bait of sin or bad decisions that can trap us, and stop our future from being all that God has envisioned for us.
This week, Pastor Rich Wilkerson Jr. continues our collection of talks, God Dream, with a sermon titled, “Don’t Take The Bait.” As we look into Joseph’s life at a point where he had to overcome temptation, we realize that in order to see God’s vision for our life come true, we have to learn not to give in to the appetite of the flesh. From Joseph’s example, we learn to realize the cost of temporary satisfaction. We can resist the urge to give into temptation by understanding that a little bit of pain now will produce a much greater reward in the future. As we wait for our dreams to come true, we know that we are going to have to make difficult decisions, but those decisions in full context create a more permanent satisfaction as we experience God’s dream for our life come to pass.
If you’ve ever had an encounter with God, you know that it can change your life forever. It doesn’t matter if you’re 17 or 107, God has a plan for your life. When God places a dream in your heart, it can be the word that propels you into your destiny. God gives us a dream for tomorrow to help us face the pain of today, so that we don’t settle for what we see directly in front of us. A lot of us are prepared for the potential of our lives to do something great, but we’re not always prepared for the price.
If we expect to live lives of significance, we can certainly expect to face rejection. In a sermon titled “There’s More To No,” Pastor Rich Wilkerson Jr. starts his collection of talks on the life of Joseph by reminding us that our dreams must face the test of rejection. Although it’s easy to get discouraged when we face rejection, it’s important to realize that rejection is often God’s direction in our lives, pointing us toward His dreams for us. By surrounding ourselves with the right people, and remembering that rejection creates resilience, we can keep moving forward in the face of NO, and realize the God dreams for our lives.
The best is yet to come. It’s a phrase that we say often and whole heartedly believe at VOUS Church, in particular when it comes to approaching a new year. As 2017 comes to an end and 2018 is upon us, we’re expectant and excited for all of the new opportunities, experiences, and promises that God has in store for each and every one of us. While looking ahead is important, sometimes, it’s also important to look behind and celebrate the wins and the blessings God’s given us so far. That’s exactly what we did at VOUS Church this New Years Eve, as we took a look at some of the most profound sermons and moments of 2017. From our study of Jonah at the start of the year, to a little flub confusing Jonah for David as a murderer, to some incredible words from our “guests,” who may as well be family, we have had some incredible moments as a church this year. Take a look back with us as we celebrate the wins, and look expectantly towards the future.
Have ever been in a situation where you needed God? Maybe you found yourself in some kind of trouble, or felt lonely, or just had one of those days where the only thing you could say was, “God help me.” This Christmas Eve, Pastor Rich Wilkerson Jr. reminds us of the greatest news of the Christmas story - God is with us. There’s not a moment that passes where God is not present with each and every one of us, even when we don’t notice Him. The story of Jesus’ birth in Matthew chapter 1 assure us that Jesus is Emmanuel, God with us. By believing that Jesus is God and recognizing His presence with us, we can experience the power of the Holy Spirit this Christmas, and in every season of our lives.
In the story of Moses, as the Egyptians are being pelted with plagues, Moses comes before the Pharoah and offers him a chance to rid his people of the frogs that have infested their land. Pharoah, upon being given the choice of when to act on the offer simply answers, "Tomorrow."
Pastor Rich Wilkerson, Jr. leads us to see that frogs actually represent unwanted and often toxic issues in our own lives, and shows us that when we are presented with the opportunity to change, we often have the same response of, "Tomorrow."
We are challenged to take a hard look at ourselves and make changes now rather than later. Don't put another delay on something you can change today. Don't spend one more night with the frogs.