Through life’s highs and lows, it could be easy to feel the pressure that comes with the decisions we've made. At times, a fight that leaves us downright exhausted is wondering if we'll ever come to terms with our past.
Continuing with our collection, "BC/AD: The Rest is History," Pastor Rich Wilkerson, Jr.’s latest talk, “Wrestling With God,” uses Jacob's story in Genesis 32 to encourage us to take our burdens from the past to God. We can seek him with confidence as we face difficult situations because he's capable of restoring and healing our own story.
In times of desperation, we often reflect on previous mistakes and wonder if there was a different path we could have taken. Similar to Jacob, we may even find ourselves wrestling with God and wanting to fix our past before moving forward in his purpose.
However, it's in brokenness that God shines his power through our lives. God does not want a match with us, he wants a moment with us. And while times of uncertainty may not be enjoyable, they're necessary because they lead to greater blessings than we can imagine.
Scars from the past are part of our testimony, serving as a reminder of God's redemption, and a hopeful future. God positions us to receive his blessings and grace. All he wants us to do is recognize our weakness and surrender.
When studying the life of Jesus, it’s easy to overlook the glimpses of who He is in the Old Testament. After all, Jesus is never directly named. As we enter the second week of our collection of talks titled “BC/AD: The Rest is History” Pastor Rich Wilkerson Jr. explains the different Job Titles of Jesus.
Titles describe what our roles are. They describe our tasks and outline expectations. Jesus had many titles. He came as the messiah to be the answer to the chasm between us and God due to sin. The Old Testament reveals many titles of who Jesus was, is, and always will be. From coming and bearing the title of the suffering servant to the Alpha and the Omega, and even the title of the great “I Am”, Jesus fulfills all these titles and roles. The Job Titles of Jesus create our testimonies, strengthen our relationship with Him, and give us a deeper understanding on who He calls us to be.
Sometimes we get it in our minds that if we could only get that one major victory, we’d be at peace. Our faith would be on cruise control because we’d need only to look to our spectacular success for comfort. Nothing we’d face could shake us. But even the prophet Elijah ran away and isolated himself after a heroic display.
With his latest book of the same title, Pastor Erwin McManus shared the message, “The Way of the Warrior.” He pointed out that our internal battle with anxiety, fear, doubt or any mental illness can be detrimental to our external reality and our fight for peace. Our challenge is to resist the urge to follow the path our negative thought patterns would lead us down.
If Elijah's story tells us anything, it's that we're not exempt from experiencing insecurity, even after our wins. Yes, it's possible to struggle with inner peace, but it doesn't have to be a sign of weakness. In our darkest moments, the God of Peace whispers that he will fight the battle for us, we only need to trust him. Once we do, we're free to boldly share the state of our minds in community and get the restoration needed. With that comes hope for a new and much better day ahead.
Unless you've recently stumbled across a box of Polaroid pictures, or scrolled down to the beginning of your Instagram page, there may be some memories you've forgotten. When we don't reflect on the past, we have a tendency to lose our sense of gratitude.
Pastor Rich Wilkerson Jr. opens up a new collection of talks titled: "BC/AD: The Rest is History." He encourages us to use examples of God's faithfulness in the past as reminders of his consistency in the future. The message "Before I Forget" tells us that remembrance leads to rejoicing in what God has already done.
In Exodus 12, we're led on a journey through the first Passover. It details God's faithfulness to the Israelites during a time of turmoil. Imploring his people to paint their doorposts with lamb's blood, God promised to pass over the homes of those who obeyed him. The annual celebration of Passover showed God's commitment to his promises. Today, it ultimately brings us to recall the once-and-for-all deliverance of Jesus through communion.
When hard times approach, it may be hard to see God's grace through it all. But we must be careful because our faith suffers when we forget his faithfulness. When we take a look back on the times God appeared to guide and protect us, it speaks to a brighter future.
Test-taking can be overwhelming for many of us. There are too many options and too little time. Sometimes the topics we've crammed for don't end up being tested. But when there's an open book test or the questions are revealed beforehand, what relief! More likely than not, it means a passing grade.
In this powerful message, “The 2-Question Test,” Pastor Chris Hodges from Church of the Highlands preps us on what to expect for the ultimate final exam on the day we face God.
When we stand in eternity, we'll answer for what we did with the gift of Jesus' sacrifice and the resources we were given. Our response to just two questions will make the difference between eternal glory with God or not. It will determine the weight of our reward in heaven.
For the most important test of our lives, the stakes are surely high. But the questions we'll face give us a clue on how we should live daily. It's our relationship to God and his will for our world that are essential to getting the answers right. The choices we make today have monumental consequences for our eternity.
The message many of us probably got from church on sex was just to not have it. Unfortunately, that left behind the often unanswered question of What happens if we've already tested the waters?
As we round out our "Make or Break" series, the topic possibly most laden with baggage got saved for last—sex. In his talk "Sex Can Make or Break Your Relationship," special guest Pastor Michael Todd from Transformation Church gives us the straight talk on why sex matters and how we can view it the way God does.
Many of the issues we face in relationships arise at the fault of our sexual pasts. Be it sex before marriage, pornography or some other sort of sexual exposure, Pastor Mike tells us that out of context sex is a flood spilling out of control, leaving our relationships in its turbulent wake.
God's word shows us the proper way to contain the overflow so that sex can be reclaimed as the enjoyable, sacred act it was meant to be since creation. Rather than remain prisoners to sexual sin, we can submit our sexuality to the God who knit us together. He will guide us in living saved lives in a sexualized world.
“Watch your mouth.” Growing up, we've likely heard this phrase spoken by adults. But have we ever truly taken the advice?
Our words have the potential to build up or destroy, spark inspiration or act as fuel in a fight. In the talk “Watch Your Mouth,” from the “Make or Break” collection, Pastor DawnCheré Wilkerson challenges us to take responsibility for our words, to explore their meaning and understand how they affect our relationships.
In the Bible, we learn that the tongue is a megaphone for our heart’s desires. What we say reveals the state of our heart. So, to watch our mouth we must first watch our heart, paying attention to the influences we take in. And it’s not enough to say the “right” things because our tone can be as meaningful as the words we use.
The tongue is powerful and, though difficult to master, can make the difference between an enriched or endangered relationship. Because God calls us to speak life, we can invite his guidance. He will teach us to communicate with intention and speak words of healing and hope. Then we'll be able to tear down the structures that sought to divide our relationships.
For a rose bush to flourish, it requires pruning. Removing parts that inhibit growth allows the bush to reach its fullest potential. John 15:1 says we're the vine and God cuts off weak branches so that we may be more fruitful. You can’t produce if you are not pruned.
Continuing the “Make or Break” series with the talk, “Break Up or Breakdown," Pastor Rich Wilkerson, Jr. shows that it’s time for some personal pruning for our relationships to flourish.
Sometimes we make the mistake of breaking off the wrong things. We hurry to quit the person rather than the thought patterns that got us into our mess in the first place. But we ought to break up with the fairytales. The fantasy of “love at first sight” or “happily ever after.”
If we want successful relationships, we should skip mystical thinking and odd superstitions. We must get a clear sense of when feelings are in the way and we start to treat love like a trend rather than a commitment. And while failures are disappointing, they don't mean we should give up on relationships for good.
Love is a decision. If you want your relationships to begin anew, you may need to break up with the thinking that breaks them down.
“There are two sides to every story.” Sound familiar? In our relationships with family, friends, or coworkers, it may be hard to see the other's perspective, but for them to work we must see their side of the story. Humility tells us it's best we seek to understand before we seek to be understood.
Launching “Make or Break,” a new collection of talks on why some relationships last and others don't, Pastors Rich and DawnCheré Wilkerson share “The Other Side.”
When we hold onto the reigns of our past we're led to our defaults. We tend to go back to where we've felt the most comfortable, even though it's not our calling. Peter experienced this when he went back to fishing after denying Jesus three times. Fortunately, Peter got to share his heart with Jesus. And like that, their relationship saw restoration. This example proves we should also lend others the chance to speak, to build empathy for them despite feeling betrayed.
Instead of fighting for ourselves, we should fight for the relationship. It may be challenging to shift perspectives, but when we get over ourselves not only can we make our relationships whole, we can make them holy