Author Archives: BrandonS

3 Ways to Grow

Have you ever seen someone who when they talk about spending time with Jesus, the Word is alive in them, prayer is rich, and the Spirit is strong in them?  I remember meeting these people and wishing my relationship with Jesus looked that way.  Wishing didn’t change anything for me.  Here are three things I have done that have helped me grow in relationship with Jesus:

1 Corinthians 9:26 So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. 27 I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should.

Commit to a plan to win

photo-1462690417829-5b41247f6b0e (1).jpegNot all plans help.  If you plan is to obey one verse a day by randomly opening your bible and reading you might find “Judas went out and hung himself” or “Joshua circumsized all the men of Israel.”  Life goes really bad for you this way.  Pick a good time of the day for you to read scripture, pray, and listen to God.  I like my kitchen table, other people like outside.  I like highlighters, pens, and space to spread out.  Also, get a translation that works for you.  I like the NLT.  It is written at an 8th grade reading level and it is easy to understand.  The KJV was written in 1611, and word do not mean the same thing they did then.

Feel free to change it up.  I have friends who write songs for Jesus.  They sing scripture.  Some go on nature walks, listen to the bible through YouVersion, or use art for engagement.  What I have learned… Have a consistent time, place, and plan.

Get the right coach

Growing up in sports, I recognized really early that I needed someone who could see what I couldn’t see.  Someone with a trained eye.  I ran faster, had better technique, and won games more ofter with a coach.  Not every coach I had was a good one, I learned some bad habits from them.  With the right coach everyone got better.

I have learned that I cannot do life alone.  I grow the most when I invited a man who is farther down the road than me and has a perspective that I cannot see.  Who is someone that is the same gender as you, that you can invite into your life to confess sin, ask for prayer, get wisdom, and seek guidance?

Beware of comparison

I have been married to my wife for 11 years, by far the majority of her adult life.  She has some friends that she has been walking with for 2 years, and they do not know here the way I do.  Isn’t that an unfair comparison.  Yet isn’t that what we do with other people.  Compare our relationship with Jesus to theirs.  They may have been following longer or shorter than you and it is not a fair comparison.  Your relationship is unique.  You have been following Jesus for as long as you have, maybe 3 days maybe 3 decades.  You have one focus… Grow.  They way you grow is to spend quality time together.  There are no short cuts…. just our most valuable non replenish able thing… TIME!!!!

So get a plan, get a coach, and don’t compare.  Go be in relationship with Jesus!

Recklessly, obsessively following Jesus

Brandon Sereg

What is a “Man’s Man?”

Earlier this week, I got a text message from a man I used to mentor.  It was a real question I feel may of us struggle with but at times lack courage to ask.  Asking real questions can leave us feeling weak or spiritual not what we portray.  In front of the people, especial people we admire we want to portray
an image of strength and maturity a real “man’s man”, even when it is not our present reality.  This young man showed real courage in showing his weakness, and I believe the Lord sees it as strength.

His text… “Brandon, if you could just pray for me, I’d appreciate it. Just seems like I’m in a constant battle with wanting to live for the world and living for The Lord.”

I started praying for him right there.  The next morning, I was reading a prayer of David. 

Psalm 86:11 Teach me your ways, O Lord,
    that I may live according to your truth!
Grant me purity of heart,
    so that I may honor you.
12 With all my heart I will praise you, O Lord my God.
    I will give glory to your name forever,
13 for your love for me is very great.
    You have rescued me from the depths of death.

David admits before the Lord that he lacks understanding in the ways of the Lord, purity of heart, and walked into the depths of death and needed rescuing.   When it comes to being “a man’s man” lacking understanding, purity of heart, and needing rescuing doesn’t fit.  However, in the Kingdom it is STRENGTH and HONORS THE LORD to be vulnerable and admit your need for help. 

David took on Goliath as a teenager, led armies against tens of thousands, fought wars on multiple fronts, defeated a real army with a band of rebels, took these rebels and made them his mighty men.  When we think of being “a man’s man” we like this part of the story.  However,  David sounds bi-polar in psalms.  One minute he seems to be questioning God and himself, and the next celebrating how the Lord never leaves him hanging. If you are anything like me, you read this and are like, “David there is something wrong with you.”

Here is what I am learning.  David was a Vital man because he was willing to reveal his brokenness.  He waited for the Lord to give him strength.  He gave the Lord credit for EVERY VICTORY.  He made them into songs sung by the people to the Lord.  So all of Israel saw David’s brokenness and vulnerability before the Lord, giving them an example of how to engage with the Lord.  So the Lord declares David a man after His own heart.

According to the Lord, “a man’s man” or a Vital Man is a man who walks humbly before the Lord and men open with their brokenness and dependance on God’s strength, wisdom, and rescue.  So where are you showing false strength and need to be real?  Where do you need to not “fix” you but ask the Lord and other men to help you?  What do you need to repent of to find freedom for yourself, you family, your community, and your church?  Go be vital, DO IT NOW!

Recklessly, Obsessively Following Jesus

Brandon Sereg

Legacy

I am reading through the one year Bible.  I am finishing up 2nd Chronicles.  So I have read the story of David multiple times.  The last time I was reading through rather quickly, thinking I have read this so many times.  Then reading it for the last time something hit me.  David was the first Israelite to kill a giant or do anything great from a military standpoint since Samson.  David was a teenager who kills a military champion.  What it unleashed thought I think was even greater than killing Goliath… David raised up 30 men who need an entire chapter dedicated to their superhuman military feats.  Many people after David killed giants or would kill like 800 people in a single battle.

One of my favorite men in the Bible is Beniah.  Here is a snap shot of his story…

2 Samuel 23:20 There was also Benaiah son of Jehoiada, a valiant warrior from Kabzeel. He did many heroic deeds, which included killing two champions of Moab. Another time, on a snowy day, he chased a lion down into a pit and killed it. 21 Once, armed only with a club, he killed an imposing Egyptian warrior who was armed with a spear. Benaiah wrenched the spear from the Egyptian’s hand and killed him with it.

Beniah is a champion killing, lion chasing man’s man.  I want to be like Beniah!  I want to raise up my son and other men to chase lions and kill champions.  Men of great faith and virtue.  I wonder where he finds courage to chase lions and go one on one with champions.  I think it is David.  His leader inspired and called more out of him than he saw in himself.

Unitl 1954, doctors said a 4 minute mile was not possible.  They said a man’s heart would burst before he could break that barrier.  Roger Bannister thought he could do it and he did.  No one before him broke this record, but within 12 months 24 other people broke the 4 minute mark.  He showed people that it could be done and that inspired people to do the same.

I think David had the same effect on the men around him.  David walked in crazy faith.  He would charge an entire army by himself.  Men around him would do the same.

What effect do you have on other people?  If you died today what would your legacy be?  Did you make other people great?  Did you do something great?  What do you want it to be?  If you don’t like it what will you do today to change it?

Recklessly, obsessively following Jesus

Brandon Sereg

A Transformer

Romans 12:2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.

Jesus loves us just the way we are, but he loves us too much to leave us there. He said it was for freedom He set us free, not to go back or stay stuck in the bondage of sin. Sometimes we find freedom in a moment and other times it is a process.  Both are powerful and apart of every believers life.  On day one, if God showed us what all He wanted to transform, we would get overwhelmed and most likely discouraged.  In His kindness, he leads us one step at a time.  Know following Jesus you will still sin.  But when we sin we have Jesus who goes to our defense, first to forgive us then to set us free from sin’s grip.

So how do we get transformed.  You might think it begins with trying really hard.  If we could try hard enough to change we wouldn’t need Jesus in our life.  Then there are times when we really want to change and we just feel stuck where we are.  So where do you begin if not trying harder.  It begins with our identity.  We are in a world that says your identity is based on how much money you have, what you drive, your marital status, and your past.  That is not where a believer finds identity.  I believer finds there identity in Jesus.  Because of Jesus we are fully forgiven, dressed in His goodness, and adopted sons and daughters of the living God.  I don’t know about you but that is way better than the world has to offer.  So what does Identity have to do with transformation?  EVERYTHING, Identity shapes behavior.  We act on what we believe ourselves to be.  If you identify with the overcoming, loving Jesus, then your will find yourself overcoming and loving like Jesus.  If we identify as a messed up worm, then we will act like a messed up worm.

So what about the places in your life that don’t look like Jesus.  Do we just trust that God forgives and keep living in our sin.  NO! Jesus paid way to high of price for us not to overcome!  You can overcome with His strength and grace.  God in His kindness will show you things in your life that need to be transformed.  When you know what needs to change confess it.  First to God and then to another believer.  When you bring sin into light by confessing it to someone who can encourage you to find freedom, there is something powerful that happens.  I know this feels really vulnerable. This is just the way Jesus designed it.  We all have a past, so don’t be concerned with whether your will be accepted by confessing your sin. 

So everyday as you worship, pray and read God’s word, let it change the way you see yourself.  As you look into the life of Jesus, how he talked, treated people, and the power he walked in ask God to change the way you see yourself.  When you do God will show you some things that do not look like Jesus.  It is easy to feel ashamed here.  Don’t!  Confess it to God and to another believer and pray God would forgive you and give you strength to live in His freedom.  Confession is a daily part of a healthy believer. 

Jesus I thank you that you love us just the way we are but love us too much to leave us that way.  I pray you would transform the way we see ourselves, that we would identify with Jesus even when we do not feel much like him.  I thank you that when we confess our sin to you, you forgive us and give us grace to overcome.  I pray strength over my friend that they would find New Life in you.  In Jesus Name. Amen

Dangerous Prayer: Search Me

Growing up I always saw the Bible like a magnifying glass.  I would read it, look at the world, and judge people based on what I read.  It served like a magnifying glass.  The problem with that is you cannot see your reflection in a magnifying glass.  In college, my views changed.  I started reading the Bible like a mirror.  Instead of evaluating with world and other people through what I read, I started to look into me like a mirror.  

The Mirror changed everything.  I saw how far I had to go, not in a “I am bad or stuck” sort of way, but in a I need God to change me to look less like me and more like Him.  I wanted to look in a mirror and see the character and love of Jesus.  Then I came across this verse…

Psalm 139:23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
    test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 Point out anything in me that offends you,
    and lead me along the path of everlasting life.

Search me is a dangerous prayer.  Know my heart… Like all of it. What about the addicted parts, the lustful parts, the selfish parts?  Does a God who knows my heart want to have relationship with me? YES! This is the great exchange.  Jesus took all of that junk and gave us all his goodness.  So when we invite Jesus to know our hearts, he will reveal our mess so we can give it to Him to bear. 

Test me and know my anxious thoughts.  This is not God look at my happy, worshipful thoughts, but know my messed up thoughts that are nothing like yours.  After you know them then I want you to test them.  That is inviting God into your innermost thoughts.  This takes so much trust.  What will God do with these thoughts?  Will he smite me, reject me, or just be silent? Then I think what would Jesus do.  Jesus would be tender yet firm.  He would encourage me, because you know what my anxious thoughts lack… COURAGE. He would IN-COURAGE me.  That might be bad grammar but it is good theology.  I can trust him with my brokenness. 

Point out anything in me that offends you.  When I pray this I never get, “you are doing great, just keep it up.”  

Psalm 23:4b Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.

A rod and staff are designed to redirect and discipline a sheep.  They are not to pet the sheep.  The psalm writer King David, said this redirecting discipline stick comforts him.  How can that be? He knows it keeps him close the that Good Shepherd.  The Shepherd disciplines the sheep he loves.  Discipline is love.  Proverbs goes so far as to say a parent who does not discipline their kids hates them.  

So I dare you to pray this dangerous prayer and then listen to what God says to you…

Search me, O God, and know my heart;
    test me and know my anxious thoughts.
 Point out anything in me that offends you,
    and lead me along the path of everlasting life.

Recklessly, obsessively following Jesus

Brandon Sereg

Vital Mission

Be part of the Vital Mission and commit to a regular monthly donation to help with the costs involved with supporting our Vital Men events and outreach in our communities.

Click the donate button below to setup your recurring monthly donation.

Every Sunday at 8:30 AM

Listen to Mike on kBOE 104.9FM

LISTEN NOW