September 18, 2017
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!
September 4, 2017
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!
August 28, 2017
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.
August 21, 2017
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.
August 14, 2017
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.
August 7, 2017
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.
July 31, 2017
Everyone receives love differently. Some prefer quality time, others physical touch, words of affirmation, gifts, or acts of service. These acts of love are known as "love languages," and understanding them is a powerful way to build healthy relationships. As we've learned from our 1 John study as a church so far, God IS love, and he showed us the greatest act of love by sending his son Jesus Christ to die for our sins and give us access to God. Our reasonable response to God's radical love is to want to show him love in return.
Often times, we feel like we need to "do" or "be" a certain way to show our love to God and win over his affections in return. God loves us no matter what, but in this week's sermon from Pastor Rich Wilkerson Jr., we learn that God also has a love language - obedience.
God's commands are not burdens, but rather blessings set up to propel us into our destinies and open the door for the God dreams in our hearts.
As we obey, we learn that obedience starts as an option, leads way to opportunity, and eventually, becomes overflow in our lives and our relationship with God.
July 24, 2017
What is love? This age-old question has baffled both the poet and the scholar for centuries. This week, Pastor Rich Wilkerson, Jr continues our collection of talks through the book of 1 John by expounding on the realities spread across the pages that paint a very vivid and very definitive answer to this ancient riddle: God is love.
Unpacking it a bit further, we begin to see that the very nature of God is love. Love is not simply something God does, but is in fact who he is. And to not love would simply mean that God would have to cease being. What does that mean for you and me? It means that we can let go of our fears that God will stop loving us, or that he will love us more based on our own merit or good behavior.
On the flip side, if God is love, it also means that when God is in us, we must also love. Despite our feelings, our ambitions, even our self-righteous pride.
July 17, 2017
Sometimes we blame others when we feel disconnected from God. Truth is, instead of placing that blame on someone else, we need to take an inventory of ourselves to gauge if we're truly walking in love.
In our third week studying 1 John together as a church, we took a look at 1 John 3:14, where it tells us that our love towards others is proof that we have passed from death to life. To be alive in Christ means that his enduring love becomes evident in our lives through the way we give. You can give without loving, but you can't love without giving. Through the giving of our time, talents, and money, is where our love is put into action.
When we love, we also gain. We gain confidence knowing what we believe is real. And, we gain a new perspective on the things that truly matter.
Lastly, when we love, we grow. The world of the generous gets larger. You'll see that as you put love into action, you will experience immense growth in so many facets of your life.
July 10, 2017
Growing up, we heard our parents tell us not to waste time, money, or opportunities. These are among the first things that come to mind when we think of things we shouldn’t waste. But, what if we told you that you also shouldn’t waste your love? In his second talk of the 6-week journey through the book of 1 John, Pastor Rich Wilkerson Jr. encourages us to not waste our love on the things of this world, but instead, love the people of this world relentlessly.