On Sunday November 3rd, 2013, we had our last Chapel services as we prepared to start services in NJ starting the next week. Our very own Youth Pastor Diego Simila closed it out. You can find Rich Wilkerson, Jr.’s message here and Dawnchere Wilkerson’s message here.
SPEAKER: Diego Simila
TITLE: I Love You More
John 8:1-11 MSG
Jesus went across to Mount Olives, but he was soon back in the Temple again. Swarms of people came to him. He sat down and taught them.
The religion scholars and Pharisees led in a woman who had been caught in an act of adultery. They stood her in plain sight of everyone and said, “Teacher, this woman was caught red-handed in the act of adultery. Moses, in the Law, gives orders to stone such persons. What do you say?” They were trying to trap him into saying something incriminating so they could bring charges against him.
Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger in the dirt. They kept at him, badgering him. He straightened up and said, “The sinless one among you, go first: Throw the stone.” Bending down again, he wrote some more in the dirt.
Hearing that, they walked away, one after another, beginning with the oldest. The woman was left alone. Jesus stood up and spoke to her. “Woman, where are they? Does no one condemn you?”
“No one, Master.”
“Neither do I,” said Jesus. “Go on your way. From now on, don’t sin.”
When people are in love they play the “I love you more” game. One person says, “I love you.” The other person says, “I love you more.” And the other person says, “No, I love you more.” And it goes back and forth. Sometimes we do that with God. We’re so back and forth that we can feel that our love for God is equal to his love for us. But his love for us really is so much more.
When you’re caught red-handed you get this guilty feeling and feel shameful. This woman caught in adultery was 100% guilty. The law of Moses said she deserved everything she was going to get.
-God’s love isn’t based off of circumstances. It’s unconditional. It’s not like our love.
-God’s love isn’t a response of our love toward him but rather our love is a response to his love towards us.
-God knows every intricate detail of your life. He created you. Regardless of what you’ve done he will always love you more.
Children are born fully dependent on their parents’ love. They’ve done nothing to earn it or repay it.
-Grace isn’t earned. It’s given.
-God’s grace is given freely. It’s not earned by our efforts. Just embrace it.
Jeremiah 29:11 NIV
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares theLord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
-Grace gives you what you don’t deserve.
-The beauty of grace is that it makes life not fair.
-So many times we fail and think that we have to work our way back to Jesus. But the reality is that Jesus already did everything for us.
Romans 8:38-39 NIV
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future,nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
-Jesus is saying I love you so much more than anything you’ve ever done.
Jesus’ first response to the woman isn’t to condemn; it’s to protect.
-Jesus always protects before He corrects.
Jesus traded His red hands for our red hands.
-It’s possible to have an “I don’t know moment” when you get so overwhelmed by grace that you can’t fathom it.
-It’s possible to be free.
-They wanted her dead but He came to bring life.
John 10:10 NIV
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
-One encounter with Jesus and you can walk out alive.
Romans 6:22-23 MSG
But now that you’ve found you don’t have to listen to sin tell you what to do, and have discovered the delight of listening to God telling you, what a surprise! A whole, healed, put-together life right now, with more and more of life on the way! Work hard for sin your whole life and your pension is death. But God’s gift is real life, eternal life, delivered by Jesus, our Master.
-We can find ourselves accepting the counterfeit.
-Jesus says, “I love you more than your disease could ever make you sick. I love you more than your pain could ever make you feel. I love you more than your insecurities could ever make you doubt. I love you more than you could love me back.”
John 3:16-17 NIV
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
-His love for you never gives up. It never fails. It’s relentless.
-You may not believe in God but that doesn’t change the fact that he believes in you.
-He’s not mad at you; he’s mad about you.
-The Gospel of Jesus Christ has always been about His love for you.
On Sunday November 3rd, 2013, Dawnchere Wilkerson came with her husband, Rich, and talked to us about the friend we have in Jesus. These notes are courtesy of the awesome Danny Peters. You can find notes for Rich Wilkerson, Jr.’s message here and Diego Simila’s message here.
SPEAKER: Dawnchere Wilkerson
TITLE: You’ve Got A Friend
My name is Dawnchere – it’s a good Southern name. I’m so happy to be in New York.
On Friday I was on the beach in 90 degrees in Miami where I live and this feels like winter in New York!
I’m so happy to be here on the 30th anniversary of Hillsong.
I’m so grateful for Brian and Bobbie and also your pastors, Carl and Laura.
Rich and I have lived in Miami for six years.
It wasn’t where I was born.
I’m from Shreveport Louisiana. I’ve got south in my mouth.
I’m from a big family: All six of us kids are “D” names.
We even named our animals “D” names!
My Dad is a preacher and a football coach.
On Friday, I’d be watching football and on Sundays I’ll be on the front row at church.
For the last six years, we’ve worked at Trinity Church, an inner city church in Miami.
I’m thankful the answer for Miami is the same as it is in New York!
Are you ready to get to your word?
John 14:25-27 NIV
“All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
How many of you would say you had a best friend?
This isn’t just middle-schoolers with matching bracelets.
Friendship is important. It’s one of the biggest blessings in life from God.
-The people that you surround yourself will affect who you are.
-Alignment is more important than assignment.
-The friends in life matter.
My best friend is my husband Rich. We’ve been best friends since I was 17 – 12 years.
When Rich walked into my life, things changed quick.
We started a long distance relationship. And one day, my Mom walked in with the phone bill and said “Things gotta change. You can’t talk to him for five hours at a time!”
The struggle was real back then. : )
I’m totally used to having him around even though he travels a lot.
A few months ago, we were in the airport terminal in London and I’m crushing my phone.
I’m not even looking around until I hear: “Dawnchere!” And I’m standing in the middle of the men’s restroom.
When he’s gone, there’s this picture frame on my desk with a picture of us together. It brings up all the memories of that moment. The emotions, the love, you feel it.
Looking at the picture is nothing compared to being with him.
A lot of Christians are like this. We look at the pictures and read the stories of Jesus.
But we can really step into his presence at any moment of the day.
-You can stand and step into the presence of God.
-It’s not enough to listen to the preacher once a week when you can hear his voice clear as day every moment you live.
-You have the power of God in you.
I came here, to remind you: You have a friend today.
-Jesus will never leave you. There’s not a minute you’ll be without me from Monday to Monday.
When Jesus walked on this earth: he forgave sinners. He healed people. He changed peoples’ lives with one encounter.
-Didn’t matter if you were a sinner or a saint, rich or poor, educated or uneducated – whatever your background Jesus was a friend.
But when he left the earth, he promised he would send a comforter –the Holy Spirit – who can be with us who put our faith in Jesus.
-He didn’t want you to walk alone for one day.
-He sets your feet on a new path, and he’ll walk with you every step of the day.
John 14:16-17 NIV
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.
-From the moment you accept Jesus Christ into your life, his presence is in you.
-This is the truth and reality for everyone who puts their faith and trust in Jesus.
Paul wrote much of the New Testament.
-He was the last person you would think would be saved.
-He murdered Christians and God transformed his life.
—The Holy Spirit will bring you through every season of your life. He wants to live powerfully in your life.
1) You’ve got a friend today that brings light to your loneliness.
2 Timothy 4:16-18 NIV
At my first defense, no one came to my support, but everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them. But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the lion’s mouth. The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
-Paul is saying that when you’re on trial, you need someone to stand for you.
—But the Lord stood at his side.
-Paul had the revelation that he was never alone. He had the greatest force in the universe within him.
-We’re so afraid of being alone.
—A baby cries until it’s held: Doesn’t want to be alone.
-People need people.
-Yet, you can be in a room with hundreds of people and feel alone.
-Loneliness has less to do with what’s going on around you and more to do with what’s going on inside you.
-Without the presence of God in your life, I don’t care how much money you have, how many goals you have, how great your life is – you’re completely alone.
—When you’re lonely, you don’t see the blessings.
-Can I tell you that loneliness is a lie?
-From the moment the presence of God invades your life you are never alone again. He will open your eyes to see your family you’re a part of.
-Jesus is the light of the world and he illuminates the darkest places in your life; the places you think are hidden.
-The presence of God brings light into the middle of your loneliness.
2) You’ve got a friend who brings triumph to your transitions.
2 Corinthians 11:26-29 NIV
I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers. I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches. Who is weak, and I do not feel weak? Who is led into sin, and I do not inwardly burn?
-Let me tell you. Paul’s life was one big transition.
-Maybe you’ve moved a couple of times. Paul was constantly on the move. There was no MapQuest, Trip Advisor, Skype to keep in touch.
—But the presence of God allowed him to triumph through every season and circumstance of life.
-In our lives, in 2013, every transition asks us a question. Are you going to trust or doubt God’s plan for your life.
-When you step outside of your comfort zone, you naturally feel anxious, worried, stressed and fearful.
-That’s part of transition.
-You can feel those emotions that it’s a sign you’re doing the wrong thing, when really you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be.
-You’re meant to trust God in your moments of doubt.
-You don’t have to stay in that place. Trust God to move you from transition into triumph.
—The presence of God allows you to step out into places you’ve not been.
-You’ve got a friend.
-And when you finally look into the eyes of your triumph, you forget about the transition.
-You’ve got to keep moving; you’ve got to keep pushing.
-I don’t know what you’re going through, but the presence of God knows.
—It might be a family, a job, a marriage situation.
-You stand your ground knowing the presence of God is with you and triumph is ahead of you.
-The presence of God is on your side.
-Don’t you let the enemy back you down with fear.
2 Corinthians 4:17 NIV
For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.
-It may seem heavy, real and absolutely crushing right now; I’m not minimizing what you’re facing.
—But let me tell you God is doing a work in you that has an eternal impact.
-Don’t minimize what the presence God is doing inside of you and forming in you: the strength, the endurance, the trust.
-Jesus constantly stretched the disciples.
—He wants to do the same for you to mold the image of God in you.
3) You’ve got a friend who brings peace in the middle of your pain.
-I find myself asking God “why” all the time.
—I see the news, natural disasters. How cities and communities are destroyed by violence; friends and family struggling with health.
-God’s not afraid of your questions.
—You can ask him what’s on your heart. He wants to hear them.
-All of us come to a place when we’re broken.
-When there’s no answer, it doesn’t make sense. But God is with us, the presence of God is in you.
-Last year, I got a call from my Dad about my Uncle Ricky, he’s my hero; he broke all his ribs just reaching across the table.
—And they found that 60% of his body was covered with cancer.
—He was healthy. He took care of his body. He ate organic; got up at 5am to work out.
—You don’t understand moments like that.
—We walked through the process with him including two stem cell transplants.
—And yet he walked into that cancer treatment center and he brought the light of Jesus Christ.
—Yeah, he’s the one receiving the treatment and telling the nurses about the love of Jesus, he’s praying with his doctors.
-That place will never be the same because of the power of God within my uncle.
2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
-I’m reminded of this scripture:
Philippians 4:7 NIV
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
-The Holy Spirit will bring a peace to your situation that is beyond understanding.
—If the pain of this world is beyond what we can fathom, isn’t it like our amazing God to give us a peace that reaches even higher?
—If the pain of this world is knocking you out, God’s peace will come in and you won’t be able to explain it.
-You have his peace today.
-The promise of God is that he will give you a peace beyond your understanding.
—It soars above the pain every single time.
-You have a friend.
—Do you know that today?
—Or are you taking all your time to stare at the picture frame? To listen to what others have told you about God? To wait until Sunday?
—Or will you stand and step into the presence of God? You have his power in you.
-The Holy Spirit is a person and he walks with you. And he fights for you. And he comforts you.
-He came here to remind you that he’s in control.
—When you feel like you can’t go on, the pain is too deep.
—The Holy Spirit will remind you.
—You’ve got a friend that’s closer than a brother.
On Sunday November 3rd, the Wilkersons were in town. Rich Wilkerson, Jr. and his wife Dawnchere are from Trinity Grace Church in Miami. Diego Simila (our Youth pastor) spoke at our very last Sunday Chapel services.
SPEAKER: Rich Wilkerson, Jr.
TITLE: Fast Pass
We don’t serve a God who gives us what we deserve.
-Grace is the unmerited favor of God.
-God isn’t fair. He doesn’t give you what you deserve. If you put your faith and trust in him, he gives you what he deserves.
Luke 19:1-10 NKJV
Then Jesus entered and passed through Jericho.Now behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus who was a chief tax collector, and he was rich. And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not because of the crowd, for he was of short stature. So he ran ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Him, for He was going to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him, and said to him, “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.” So he made haste and came down, and received Him joyfully. But when they saw it, they all complained, saying, “He has gone to be a guest with a man who is a sinner.”
Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.”
And Jesus said to him,“Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
Jericho wasn’t Jesus’ destination. He was on his way to Jerusalem and was only passing through Jericho.
-We tend to discount the places on our way to our destination.
-All of us want to reach our purpose but few of us want to walk out the process.
-Jesus always sought out to be a blessing to everyone no matter where He was.
—We can’t keep everything we have. Let’s be Jesus people. Let’s seek out the opportunity to be a blessing to broken and hurting people.
Zacheaus was wealthy because he was the chief tax collector in the town.
-When the Roman army took over, they completely destroyed the area, killed the men, and raped the women, and put the children into slavery. Zacheaus decided to work for them and take money from his own people. You can see why he wasn’t liked by anyone.
Zacheaus was so short but he was trying to see Jesus.
-People are desperate to see who Jesus is. They may not be desperate to see your religious actions or your church but they are desperate to see Jesus.
—Many times Christians don’t get out of the way in order to let people see Jesus. We’re alive but we live like we’re dead. We’re found but behave like we’re lost.
-You shouldn’t even have to open your mouth for someone to see Jesus through you.
-It’s not about what you know. It’s about what you show.
Zacheaus does 2 things that are crazy for a man of his stature:
1) He runs in front of the crowd
-For a wealthy man of that time to start running indicates that whatever he’s running toward is more important than him.
-He’d have to roll up his tunic and expose his legs while running which was considered shameful and dishonorable.
-In Luke 15, Jesus tells the story of the prodigal son who squandered all his inheritance and comes humbly back to his father. Jesus says that before his son gets to the house, the father runs to meet the son.
—Slow are the feet of repentance but swift are the feet of grace.
—Our heavenly father is running toward a disobedient, broken, prodigal society. He’s rolled up his tunic and taken our shame that we might be saved. It’s scandalous.
2) He climbs a tree
-You can’t climb a tree and look cool.
—You can’t come to Jesus and be cool. You come broken, desperate, and hurting
-Zachaeus climbed a tree for Jesus. Jesus was crucified on a tree for Zachaeus. Zachaeus sat on a tree for Jesus. Jesus hung on a tree for . Zachaeus got tired on a tree for Jesus but Jesus died on a tree for . Zachaeus sweat but Jesus bled. Anything you’re willing to do for Jesus He’s already done that much more for you.
Zacheaus has done nothing for Jesus to come to his house. The only credit you can give him is that he was curious. Jesus picked out the least deserving person in the crowd.
-God knows your name.
John 10:4 NIV
When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.
-We serve a savior who knows your name and declares that he wants you.
-He doesn’t care about the crime. He cares about the criminal.
Jesus doesn’t request this. He demands that he’s coming to Zacheaus’ house.
-He can find you wherever you are: in your broken marriage, the club, the streets, etc.
-Our salvation is by God, for God, and through God.
The people began to mutter.
-People on the fringe will always mutter when there’s a move of God.
-When was the last time you were a guest of a sinner? Do sinners even like you? Is there anything about your life attractive to someone caught in darkness?
-Jesus will always be welcomed by sinners and shunned by the religious.
-Religion shouts “Do! Do! Do!” and Jesus says, “It’s already been done.”
-Be thankful God didn’t give us what we deserve but what he deserves.
-The law can break a hard heart but grace can heal it. The law has the first word but grace has the last word. The law accuses but grace acquits. The law exposes but grace exonerates. The law diagnoses but grace delivers. The law says “cursed” but grace says “blessed”. The law says “slave” but grace says “son”. The law says “guilty” but the grace of Jesus Christ has been declaring that you are forgiven.
We only see the result of Jesus’ presence with Zacheaus. We don’t get his sermon. But we’d rather have his presence than a sermon.
Luke 19:10 NKJV
..for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
-Jesus didn’t just come to save the lost but to seek them and find them.
In Disney you can get a “fast pass” to skip the line at rides so even though we deserve the back of the line we can go to the front.
-Jesus is your fast pass. He gives grace when we don’t deserve it. The first shall be last and the last shall be first.