Author Archives: Brandon

I don’t know how…

This week while driving I realized that when I press the gas pedal my truck moves when it is in gear.  I do not know how the truck knows how to change gears or how the gas pedal makes it go. I have a general idea but very limited.  I also preach from an ipad. I type it on my macbook and then the letters appear on the screen and then wirelessly transfer everything to my ipad for me to preach from.  I have no idea how it all work!  That does not keep me from driving or preaching with an ipad. 

26 He also said, “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. 27 Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. 28 All by itself the soil produces grain—first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head.As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.”  As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.” Mark 4:26-29

Last week, I shared how this scripture is a parable about how we need to plant Jesus the seed into the dirt of our lives and let the dirt do its work. This week I want to look at something different:

The principle beneath the parable is that we should not let the fact we don’t understand how something works keep us from sowing seed.  I think when it comes to matters of Jesus we often feel like we need to understand how it is going to work or the results of planting before we sow.

Daniel had a dream of having significant influence even though he was the youngest in a family system where the youngest has no influence. He later gets sold into slavery, falsely accused ending up in prison, and forgotten about by the people he met in prison.  He also gets put in charge of his slave owners home and leads the prison while a prisoner. This was all a set up to make him second in command of Egypt and saves his whole family with that influence.  I am sure in the prison he did not know how.

David is anointed king and goes back to being a shepherd. He kills a giant and becomes the kings body guard only to have the king try to kill him.  He gets put in charge of an army only to find his success getting him demoted. Then he runs away alone only to find himself being chased by a king and the army he is supposed to be leading.  David taking lunch to his brothers gave an opportunity to kill a giant, being a body guard gave insight to being a leader of a state, and running for his life taught him leadership as he raise an army of outcasts. I am sure in the field tending sheep, being demoted, and running for his life cause him to not know how.

What if your journey of struggle is your great set up?  Where is you being discouraged in your “don’t know how” keeping your from planting seed? 

Helping people live a better story

Brandon Sereg

Got Dirt?

26 Jesus also said, “This is what the kingdom of God is like… 

I am sure people listening to Jesus were expecting something profound and amazing.  If it was 2019, I am sure we would expect to hear the Kingdom of God is like Wakanda (home of the Black Panther) or some alternate universe.  Jesus builds this great tension and I am sure it was a little anticlimactic when He shared the rest of the story. 

…a man scatters seed on the ground. 27 Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. 28 All by itself the soil produces grain—first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.” As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.” Mark 4:26-29

Jesus relates the Kingdom of God to a seed.  A seed by itself seems insignificant, when you planted becomes invisible, and often we are ignorant to its potential yield. The parable is let the dirt do its work. There are always layers to parables. One of them in this parable is that when you plant Jesus into the soil of your life, you have to let the dirt do its work.  What is the dirt of your life?
Disappointment
Insecurity
Rejection
Trouble
So pretty munch every part of your story that you wish wasn’t there.  We are often tempted to let Jesus into the pretty parts of our lives and not the mess.  However, Jesus’ power is revealed in the dirt.  Jesus can take your dirt, all the things that you think disqualify you and turn them into a harvest of good.  Either by the work of the enemy or your own bad decisions, or a little of both you have things in your life that you would think should keep God from using you.  The scripture says: No weapon formed against you can prosper and what someone did to harm you God intended for your good. 

I hope you are starting to get it… Jesus is looking for you to let him into your dirt.  You pray a prayer and it is like a seed.  It appears to be insignificant, invisible after prayed, and we often are ignorant to its potential.  You plant a seed and it will not produce harvest for months. Why?  The dirt has to do its work.  The sun has to shine and there needs to be rain.  There is a process to the miracle of planting one seed and get a hundred in return. 

The dirt by itself has little potential until the seed is planted in it.  The seed will take things out of the dirt and put new things in. Jesus said the kingdom of God is like a farmer who plants seed in the dirt.  What dirt in your life needs the Seed to be planted?  

Helping People Live a Better Story

Brandon Sereg

The Pace of Grace pt 2

Joshua was born a slave. He was taught to believe he was property.  It was all his family had known for 400 years.  Then one day a man who grew up in the royalty of Egypt named Moses demands this nation of slaves be set free.  Pharaoh of course refuses.  Then Joshua witnesses God do 10 plagues and set them free. Can you image the first day free?  Then God divides the Red Sea as they walk across on dry land. The Egyptian army follows behind only to have God crush them with the sea.  Then they are led by fire by night and cloud by day where to go.  3,000,000 people wake up each day to food on the ground for them to eat.  God gives this group of people who do not have military training victory in battle miraculously.  Joshua knows God is awesome!

Can you imagine?  Then Moses sends 12 spies including Joshua. 10 spies get intimidated by the giants and the walls they find and convince the rest of Israel not to trust God to give them victory.

I think this happens to all of us.  We know God is able and there are promises He has put in us.  We go and inspect the place He promised and sure enough there are walls and giants that stand in our way. 

Moses dies and Joshua is the new leader to take them into the promised land.  He is grieving the loss of His spiritual dad and now the weight of leadership sits on his shoulders.  He crosses into enemy territory and guess what he finds… A WALL.  

If you are Joshua, you want to make a first impression. Surely a catapult, battering ram, or a trojan horse would do the trick.  

Joshua 6:You and your fighting men should march around the town once a day for six days. Seven priests will walk ahead of the Ark, each carrying a ram’s horn. On the seventh day you are to march around the town seven times, with the priests blowing the horns. When you hear the priests give one long blast on the rams’ horns, have all the people shout as loud as they can.

God’s plan is to walk and worship.  Does not sounds like a battle plan that builds the glory of man or leader.  I think that is the point.  God want His name to receive the glory.  He wants you to experience victory but simply because He gives good gifts to His kids.  

Before each one of us stands a wall or a giant.  We have spent time trying to strategically bring down the wall or slay the giant.  The battle, it’s victory, and all the glory belong to God.  God will let us wear ourselves out trying to bring down the walls.  God’s has a plan where we rely on the PACE OF GRACE.  We can stride with Him because He does the heavy lifting.  Grace is God’s enablement to do what you cant alone.  The pace is not in a hurry or on our timeline.  Rest easy knowing God is a God who does the supernatural and He wants to reveal His glory and grace through you!

Today, ask God to bring down your wall and stride with him while your soul is at peace.

Helping People Live a Better Story

Brandon Sereg
www.yourvibrantchurch.com

 

Pace of Grace Part 1

I don’t know about you but I am always in a hurry.  When I go to the grocery store, I only get what I need and nothing more, when I get what I need I size up the isles and the cashiers to pick the fastest route.  If I only have a few items then I go to the 12 items or less isle.  Without fail that line will have a guy with 40 items right in front of me.  I wont say anything but if he looks back I will give him a look that will explain everything in me that I wish I could say. 

All of us are waiting for something and hoping that it comes.  I am waiting for $400,00o to come in for my church plant.  You might be waiting for a person to marry, your marriage to be healed, God to give you a child, a job, a better job, or healing. If you are anything like me, you want it now

One of my pastors, told me that “God is never in a hurry.”  I think all of us know that even wish it wasn’t true.

Mark 5:21 Jesus got into the boat again and went back to the other side of the lake, where a large crowd gathered around him on the shore. 22 Then a leader of the local synagogue, whose name was Jairus, arrived. When he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet, 23 pleading fervently with him. “My little daughter is dying,” he said. “Please come and lay your hands on her; heal her so she can live.”

24 Jesus went with him, and all the people followed, crowding around him. 

If you are a dad of a little girl who is dying, you are desperately wanting Jesus to walk a pace that is a little quicker than one a crowd can keep pace.  If you have ever been in the midst of a crowd, you do not move quickly.  If I was Jairus, I would be loosing my mind trying not to offend Jesus yet trying to get Him at least a light jog.  Jairus is left waiting.

Then he receives word, the pace was not enough.  A messenger comes and tell him his daughter is dead.  Grief starts setting in and Jesus says do not be afraid.  Jairus has to think Jesus doesn’t seem to care.  That is how some of you might feel right now…. Jesus doesn’t care enough about what you face to do anything.

Mark 5:40 he took the girl’s father and mother and his three disciples into the room where the girl was lying.41 Holding her hand, he said to her, “Talitha koum,” which means “Little girl, get up!” 42 And the girl, who was twelve years old, immediately stood up and walked around! They were overwhelmed and totally amazed.

Jairus thought Jesus would heal his little girl, but Jesus wanted to do something greater in raising her from the dead. I want to encourage you, God knows what you are waiting for.  He is active. The outcome might not be what you expect.  The timing won’t be in a hurry, but at the right time He will do what only He can do. Today rest that He is good and faithful!

Helping people live a BETTER story

Brandon Sereg
www.thevibrant.church

 

This isn’t working…

I was at the gym last week, and noticed someone “working out.”  I wish I could emphasized the quotations. They were in the gym, they got on a machine, they touched the weights.  When I looked into their effort, to say it was lacking would be a massive understatement.  They could be there for hours seven days a week and not gain any growth or loose any weight. Why… “this isn’t working”

The equation above: failed system + unmet expectations= frustrated person in the gym

Have you ever been frustrated in your spiritual journey?  Have you ever been frustrated in your spiritual results?  Could it be that you are frustrated by unmet expectations?  Could your unmet expectations be because you have a failed system?

Mark 3:1 Another time Jesus went into the synagogue, and a man with a shriveled hand was there. Some of them were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely to see if he would heal him on the Sabbath. Jesus said to the man with the shriveled hand, “Stand up in front of everyone.”

Then Jesus asked them, “Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” But they remained silent.

He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” 

We would like the verse to end like this… “and his hand was completely restored, and he stretched it out.” But it is actually in reverse…

Mark 3:5 He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored.

It was when the man obeyed Jesus command that his hand was completely restored. What if obedience comes from obedience that is done from courage aka faith. What if faith was not a feeling but obeying before what could only be understood or realized after.

Jesus saw a failed religious system.  You could not heal on the sabbath because it was considered work.  Jesus did not pull him to the side to heal him, but had him stand up in front of everyone. This unnamed man was identified only by his issue and not his family name or first name.  Why? His issue was not about him. Your issue is not about you!  Jesus went public with the mans issue so all the people around him could see the issue and the healing. 

Where is God asking you to obey in your issue? Confess it? Let people into it? What if tithing was how God wanted to give you the financial freedom you are looking for?  What if forgiving them was the obedience God is looking for to heal your depression?  What if serving in the midst of your busy schedule was the place where your faith would become real? What if waking up 45 min early was the obedience God wants to have a real relationship with Him?

Where is your issue? What is your next step of obedience?

Helping people live a better story

Brandon

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