Author Archives: Brandon

How to Keep Your Heart Alive… Part 3

There are things in our lives that shape us. They shape how we think, how we act and how we believe. They are the 5 people we spend the most time with, the magazines or news we regularly read, and the places we trust what they say.  For me I want that to be the Word of God.  I aspire to start everyday in the Word.  I want it to shape my thinking, my world view, and what I build my life on.  

Many people build their lives based on what makes the most sense to them.  If they can reason with it they will believe it. If someone can convince them, they will trust it.  This is why who you spend the most time with matters the most.  So what do you build you life on? The opinions of those you work with?  Your parents?  The Word of God?

King David said, I have hidden your Word in my heart.  Your Word is a light unto my path and a lamp unto my feet.  We all would like to live a life like David.  The new testament says he fulfilled the purpose in his generation.  How?  He build His life on the Word of God.  He trusted it even when his circumstances seemed to contradict it. He obeyed it even when it wasn’t popular.

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.

3 Keys to Keep Your Heart Alive

  1. Prayer
  2. Worship
  3. Word

Today I am going to write about Word.  Here is the key: It is not about getting in the Word… It is about getting the Word in you.  You could spend an hour in the Word everyday, and if you do not let it transform you then you have missed it.  If you do it out of religious duty because it is what “good christians” do, then you have missed it.  If you read it like a treasure hunt knowing there is a verse in there to chew on for the rest of the day, then over time it will transform what you think, then what you believe, and how you build your life.

So here a couple options:  
1. Get a Bible that is easy to read.  I suggest the NLT.
2. Download the YouVersion Bible App.  It is free and can set you up on a free Bible reading plan
3. Get a one year Bible.  You can read through the whole Bible in one year, with only 15 min a day.

The Word of God will stir your soul, shape your mind, and lead your emotions.  It has the power to change every area of your life from your relationship with God to your finances.  It can be trusted!

So today, get God’s Word in you! Keep your heart alive! 

Helping people live a better story

Brandon Sereg
www.thevibrant.church

How to Keep Your Heart Alive… Part 2

A couple years ago, I went to a conference.  I go to a couple every year and they are good.  But this one changed things.   Pastor Robert Morris shared how beginning your Jesus time in worship is key.  Doing this the last couple years has changed my intimacy with the Lord in such a rich way.

Psalm 100:Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth!
    Worship the Lord with gladness.
    Come before him, singing with joy.
Acknowledge that the Lord is God!
    He made us, and we are his.[a]
    We are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving;
    go into his courts with praise.
    Give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good.
    His unfailing love continues forever,
    and his faithfulness continues to each generation.

3 Keys to Keep Your Heart Alive

  1. Prayer
  2. Worship
  3. Word

Today I am going to write about worship.  There are many forms of worship that are valuable.  You can love your family in a way that is worship.  You can work in a way that is worship.  You can sing, kneel, or dance as worship.

Worship means to give worth or value.  Corporate worship is the gathering of believers to collectively declare value and worth to Jesus.  Personal worship is where your heart gets filled and your perspective shifts. 

When we focus on our present struggles our problems look really big.  When we focus on the greatness of God our problems start to look smaller.  Worship here is putting your trust in God who can change your situation or just change your heart toward your situation.  

So here is my rhythm:  
1. 2-3 songs of praise and worship
2. Read the passage from the one year Bible
3. Prayer (1/2 of my time praying through my list, 1/2 listening and praying in the Spirt)

Worship is the fuel for your passion for the Lord and the place your perspective changes.  If you want your faith to be alive… Worship! Seek His Presence!  Seek His Will!  Seek First His Kingdom!

So today, worship! Keep your heart alive! 

Helping people live a better story

Brandon Sereg
www.thevibrant.church

3 Keys to Keep Your Heart Alive… part 1

Have you ever fasted?  Day one you are hungry. Day 2 you have headaches and are getting really hungry. Day 3 you would eat anything.  Day 4 hunger is way less.  Day 5-7 energy is low but you are not hungry.  Day 8-whatever… I have no idea what that feels like.  Could you imagine fasting 6 days a week and only eating one meal on the 7th every week?  Sounds terrible and a recipe for death.  

Many Christians eat only one spiritual meal a week and fast the rest of week. Then their pastor does a couple evangelistic series, and they complain about not being fed.  Then many get stuck in a form of religion (going through motions without any transformation happening in them) or just walk away thinking it didn’t work.

All of us have experienced some part of the above!  I know with 4 kids, 2 jobs, and preparing to plant a church, there is so much that pulls on me that will not keep my heart alive.  So how do you keep your heart alive?

3 Keys to Keep Your Heart Alive

  1. Prayer
  2. Worship
  3. Word

Today I am going to write about prayer.  There are many forms of prayer that are valuable. Talking to God and talking with God are very different. Both are valuable but waiting for God to speak is the single most important way to keep your heart alive.  This is my opinion… Jesus gave us the Lord’s prayer, but I do not think he gave it to us so we could pray it word for word but to teach us how to pray.

Mark 6:9 Pray like this:

Our Father in heaven,
may your name be kept holy.

Start by focusing on who God is and telling Him how he alone is worthy of worship and praise.  Relate to Him as a good Father who loves you as a son. Sons are sons by birth not worth.  Some of you need to read that again. Sons are sons by birth not worth. Approach Him boldly as a dad who deeply loves you and has great plans for you.


10 May your Kingdom come soon.
May your will be done on earth,
as it is in heaven.

Pray that Dad’s will would be done and that you would lay your will before His.  Ask Him to open your eyes to see a bigger picture than the one you see on your own.  Pray the Kingdom of Heaven would be in your home, your church, your work, your world.  This is about aligning your values and vision based on what Dad sees and not just what you see.


11 Give us today the food we need,

Remember who is your provider!  You can plant seed but cant make it rain. All the farmers know something about that this year. You can’t make things grow.  You can apply wisdom, great strategy, and great stewardship but if you add Dad’s blessing to that the results can equal whatever God wants.  We do not worry about tomorrow because God is faithful and His principles true. 

12 and forgive us our sins,
as we have forgiven those who sin against us.

Now confess to your great Dad your failure, your sin, and your shame. He will remove it as far as the east is from the west. 


13 And don’t let us yield to temptation,
but rescue us from the evil one.

Remember you have a real enemy.  It is not a boss, a spouse, or a person, but an enemy that wants to steal, kill, and destroy you.  Ask Dad to give you His grace to overcome.  On your own you do not stand a chance to the enemy, but when God surrounds you, we walk in victory and freedom.

So today, pray! Keep your heart alive! Don’t eat one meal a week!

Helping people live a better story

Brandon Sereg
www.thevibrant.church

Celebrate

I went to a birthday party for a friend whose daughter had just turned 1.  I had not spent time with this precious girl, but went because I value my friend.  When it got time for the cake, the immediate family got really excited and everyone else was watching, but did not share the same enthusiasm.  The kids had fun and the adults talk about normal life.  I have 4 kids and we have had first birthdays and I realized this must be how everyone else felt at my kids 1st birthday party. 

I was reading about King Josiah this week in my 1 year Bible.  He became king at 8 years old and followed the Lord in an unusual way.  He destroy all the other places of worship to other gods.  What stood out to me what this. 

2 Chronicles 35:16 The entire ceremony for the Lord’s Passover was completed that day. All the burnt offerings were sacrificed on the altar of the Lord, as King Josiah had commanded. 17 All the Israelites present in Jerusalem celebrated Passover and the Festival of Unleavened Bread for seven days. 18 Never since the time of the prophet Samuel had there been such a Passover. None of the kings of Israel had ever kept a Passover as Josiah did, involving all the priests and Levites, all the people of Jerusalem, and people from all over Judah and Israel.

Passover was a celebration that the angel of death passed over them and killed the first born of Egypt.  The next day they were released from their slavery and their bondage.  This was not only about what they have been saved from but what the have been saved to.  In King Josiah’s rule, Israel had again been made slave and Judah was on the brink of capture.  

It was easy for them to forget what had happened over 1,000 year before.  I wander how often we gather in church, celebrate Christmas or Easter, and forget why we are gathered and why we should celebrate.  Think about this… God gave clear expectations for our lives that we intentionally rebelled against.  That sin requires death.  God sends His own Son to die as payment for that sin.  We receive that forgiveness that we did NOTHING to get. Then we forget to remember and celebrate the forgiveness we have received and the priced paid for it.  Or we go to church out of duty because that is what we are supposed to do and not out of remembering, worshiping, and celebration. 

So today… Remember the freedom you have and the price paid for it.  Remember God owes you nothing, and you owe Him everything.  Celebrate Him in the way you worship, the way you work, and the way you love.  Tell others about the freedom you possess.  Jesus is worthy of our remembering, our worship, our celebration!

Helping People Live a Better Story

Brandon Sereg
www.thevibrant.church
@brandonsereg

3 Guard Rails for Life

Have you ever hit a guard rail?  Most of the time, we drive by them and don’t even notice.  Driving off the road is always dangerous, but when they add a guardrail it is really dangerous.  They know going fast enough you could loose your life if you go off the road in that spot.  You will never be more grateful for a guardrail than when you hit one.  Yes they ruin the side of your car but they save your life.
 
I think in life it is easy in life to treat our roads like our lives.  We only have guardrails that other people put in place for us.  What are the places that God has called us to put up some key guardrails in our own lives?
 
1 John 2:16  For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions.These are not from the Father, but are from this world.
 
Here John identifies three places God has called us to place some guard rails.  Now I want to share how a friend of mine recommended my guard rails should be.  This is an older man of God that wants to protect me from these areas that could keep me from fulfilling what God has called me to. Here is what he shared:
 
1. I will not develop personal relationships with the opposite sex in an isolated place

I know this is culturally not popular, but it is wise.  Friendship involves intimacy of emotion and soul.  I made a promise with my wife 13 years to make her the only woman outside of my daughters who know my heart. The key word is isolated.  I have friends who are the opposite sex, but that is only in the context with my wife and not apart from it.  If you are single your guard rail will have to be different, but please marry your friend and not someone you have known for only a few weeks. 

2. I will not accept an attitude (in me) that someone owes me something or that I deserve something

God does not owe me anything, but I owe Him everything. He has not called me to use people to serve me or for things to be equal or fair.  He has called me to serve others and keep short accounts.  If there is a difference between give and take, I am called to give. 

3. When a win does not involve others, I have bumped up against the guardrail of my own pride, pursuing my personal success and achievements. 

Winning in life is not when I set up my success, but setting up the success of others.  Real achievement, legacy, and transcendence is found in giving until it hurts and risking on other people.  When I am motivated by making myself known and increasing my influence for my pride, I have actually compromised the gospel.  Jesus gave the model of what it means to serve others and not yourself.

So what guardrails do you need to add in your life to keep you from losing what you care most about. 

Helping People Live a Better Story

Brandon Sereg

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