Rich Villodas began his Orange Conference 2023 talk, telling about his upbringing. After making a decision to start going to church on his own, his father surprisingly also started to go to church. Then his entire family came to Christ. And in between church services, Rich began to question what just happened. His grandfather told him it’s not about the experiences that he just had. It needs to be about a life abiding with God.

In John 15, Jesus has been in ministry for 3 years, and He summarizes His ministry with this phrase: Abide in me.

Abide = Remain in, continue in relationship, be faithful to

Rich says there is something that happens when we abide.

Thinking of how people make tea, Rich explained that some people dip and some let the tea bag sit. We can easily pop in and out of church things, where transformation is on our terms. But there is another way of just sitting in Christ. Rich said, “Something happens when we allow ourselves to dwell.” This generation needs a group of people who have been dwelling with Jesus.

Acts 4 tells a story where people said, “These men have been with Jesus.” Who have we been with?

Jesus also says it’s not enough to abide with me, but we also need to learn how to abide with others — to love one another.

The good news of the Gospel is that Jesus has come near in Jesus Christ. The primary fruit of the Gospel is a new humanity and a new community.

Rich is from a very diverse area. But more different people, more different problems. From this, he realized that the next generation needs examples of people who can come together with our differences, to seek to understand, and learn how to dwell with one another.

When he was young, Rich’s grandfather encouraged him to read and memorize Psalm 27. This is where David speaks of wanting to dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Rich ended by saying, “What our next generation needs is people who have been with God and know how to dwell with one another.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.