1 John: How To Love 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.

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1 John: He First Loved Us

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. 

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1 John: From Death to Life

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.

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1 John: Wasted Love

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.

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1 John: Life in the Light

July 3, 2017

Pastor Rich Wilkerson Jr. begins a new collection of talks as part of a 6-week journey through the book of 1 John. Until we know who God is, we will never know who we are. So who is God? As we learn in this first sermon from 1 John, God is light. We are encouraged to step into the light, walk in truth, and live life knowing that once we step into the light, God's grace will meet us right where we are.

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Lost Letters

June 26, 2017

If you think about it, our lives are a lot like a letter written to the world around us. What’s written on the letter of your heart? Every letter has a context — does the context of your letter reflect pain or reveal the glory of God? Every letter has content— what does the content of your life reveal about what you consume? Each letter ends with a credit— is your life letter pointing singularly towards yourself or towards something bigger? Pastor Dawncheré challenges us to reevaluate the message that our life is spelling out to the world. What will yours be?

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Act Like Men

June 19, 2017

We tend to measure ourselves against standards we create based off the past, and our peers. But, neither serve us as we are uniquely designed to live up to the potential God has predestined for us. 

This Father's Day weekend, Pastor Rich Wilkerson Jr. spoke to the men of the house, and challenged them to Act Like Men. Reading from 1 Corinthians 16:13, we explore what the blueprint of a Godly man looks like.

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Life In the Wheelbarrow

June 12, 2017

Trusting God doesn’t always feel sturdy and safe. At times, we might even wonder what we got ourselves into, but when we place our trust in Jesus, he gives us a vision, direction, and constant companionship. These things allow us to go on the journey with a sense of confidence and peace, knowing that while we aren’t exactly sure how, we’re going to safely cross to the other side of any trial we may face.

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Luke Barry — Acts of the Apostles: Shipwrecked, Stranded & Unshaken

June 5, 2017

So many of us can name several types of our fears to others -  from fear of heights to being outside. But what about those fears we don’t readily admit like the fear of failure or loss?

We wrapped up our collection of talks entitled Acts of the Apostles as VOUS Creative Director, Luke Barry preached a message titled Shipwrecked, Stranded, and Unshaken. He encouraged us through the story of Paul facing a defining storm with 275 people on a ship where he charged them to take courage and not be afraid for there won't be any loss of life. This, even after the storm left them shipwrecked and stranded, Paul showed them by example, to remain unshaken.

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Acts of the Apostles: God Has a Name

May 29, 2017

What troubles you the most, may be what God is calling you to change. We see this in Acts 17 when Paul notices the pervasive  idolatry in his city of Athens, and becomes determined to transform it. He recognized that many people within the city had spiritual cravings, but were trying to appease them with idols that always fell short. Paul connected them to Jesus by immersing himself in the culture, rather than judging from afar. Like Paul, let's be people who transform our city by connecting with people, rather than correcting people.

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