Have you ever over-estimated someone? Many times in life, people fall short of our expectations, leaving us disappointed, and even jaded. When people let us down, our natural tendency is to start under-estimating people, and expecting less from them. As we continue our collection of talks on “Friend of Sinners,” Pastor Rich Wilkerson Jr. teaches us how to perceive Jesus in a sermon titled, “More Than Pants.” Our perception of people tends to dictate how we receive from them, and if we don’t perceive Jesus as Lord, we don’t experience the fullness of our relationship with Him. The gospel message is one of grace, and it’s important to remember that Jesus is not just a supplement to our daily lives, He’s our savior. Whatever need we have, Jesus is the answer.
Have you ever missed the message? Like, maybe you misread the date of an event, or misunderstood what someone meant over text message? Sometimes when we miss the message, it’s not big deal. But when it comes to the message of Jesus, it’s imperative that we understand the full picture. As we continue our collection of talks on “Friend of Sinners: Missed Message,” Pastor DawnCheré Wilkerson reminds us that when we miss the message of Jesus, we can end up somewhere we never intended to go. When we realize that the gospel message is simple and profound, we learn that grace is for everyone, and we start to include others, even those we might consider the worst, along on the journey to life with Jesus.
Have you ever felt like someone received something they didn't deserve? Maybe high praise, a gift or promotion and you think "that's not fair." Sometimes it feels like those who aren't believers get a shortcut or "fast pass" to God's blessings in life while we try to live Christ-like and get nothing in return.
Oftentimes, God will bless the most unlikely of people and favor isn't always FAIR. But it is the people we tend to overlook who has God's full attention. And as believers, we are called to fulfill the mission of helping bring the lost to Him. In a new series of talks titled Friend of Sinners, Pastor Rich dives into the story of Zaccheus whose curiosity leads to a life-changing encounter with Jesus.
We all love a good story. Our childhoods are filled with fairytales and fables that fuel our imaginations, and give us a sense of wonder. But when we expect those fairytales to become our reality as adults, we can run into some major disappointments. As we continue with our collection of talks, “Love That Lasts,” Pastors Rich and DawnCheré Wilkerson team up to deliver a sermon called The Relationship Formula and show us how we can build lasting relationships with faith in God, hope for the future, and love for one another.
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.