Author Archives: Brandon

The Jesus You See

Do you ever feel like some people’s relationship with Jesus is at another level? It certainly can be.  Now we all know people who give a lot of words to talk about how close God is and see right through it.  Yet then we meet people who are the real deal.  I think in all of us we want a closer relationship with Jesus and just dont know how.  Here is a key I have found:

Mark 6:1 Jesus left that part of the country and returned with his disciples to Nazareth, his hometown. The next Sabbath he began teaching in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed. They asked, “Where did he get all this wisdom and the power to perform such miracles?” Then they scoffed, “He’s just a carpenter, the son of Mary and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas, and Simon. And his sisters live right here among us.” They were deeply offended and refused to believe in him.

Then Jesus told them, “A prophet is honored everywhere except in his own hometown and among his relatives and his own family.” And because of their unbelief, he couldn’t do any miracles among them except to place his hands on a few sick people and heal them.

Now Let me show you another experience:

Mark 10:46 Then they reached Jericho, and as Jesus and his disciples left town, a large crowd followed him. A blind beggar named Bartimaeus (son of Timaeus) was sitting beside the road. 47 When Bartimaeus heard that Jesus of Nazareth was nearby, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”

48 “Be quiet!” many of the people yelled at him. But he only shouted louder, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”

49 When Jesus heard him, he stopped and said, “Tell him to come here.”

So they called the blind man. “Cheer up,” they said. “Come on, he’s calling you!”50 Bartimaeus threw aside his coat, jumped up, and came to Jesus.

51 “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked.

“My Rabbi,” the blind man said, “I want to see!”

52 And Jesus said to him, “Go, for your faith has healed you.” Instantly the man could see, and he followed Jesus down the road.

The Jesus they saw determined the Jesus they experienced.  Some only saw a carpenter.  They heard his teaching and it did not transform their lives and impacted the amount of miracles they experienced.  Now a blind man saw the Son of David, which refers to Jesus as the Messiah. He receives healing.  The experience and relationship is dictated by what they saw. 

So what do you see… Really… what do you really see?  Do you believe Jesus is the I AM?  The I AM is Jesus saying I AM EVERYTHING YOU NEED for this season.  I do not know what you are facing in 2019, but the way you see Jesus will determine if you trust in your own self, your work ethic, your religion, your intellect, or if you trust in the Son of David, the I AM.  I assure you He is for you, and He doesn’t give us what we want all the time, but He does give us what we need.  Some times He gets you out of your circumstances, but often He gets you through your circumstances.

So what do you see Jesus to be?  What are you looking for in your relationship with Him?  Do you see a Jesus that did THAT THERE in someone else’s life, or a Jesus who can do THIS HERE in your life?  Today go to the Jesus has plans to bless and prosper you and give you a hope and a future!

Helping people live a better story

Brandon Sereg
www.thevibrant.church
@brandonsereg

 

Why should you pray…

I spent a lot of my childhood in a religious church.  Many people went to church because they should, they acted a certain way because of a list of rules they should follow, and they prayed because it was a requirement to be a “good christian.” This was not true of everyone in that church but it was very common. 

Language changes over time.  If you have ever read a King James Bible, you will see how english has changed over time.  Word mean different things than they used to.  Religion is one of those words. Today religion means following a list of rules to appease an institution we call church.  Jesus grew up in a similar culture.  Religious people who follow a list of rules to appease an institution of the temple.  The leaders of these religious people were called pharisees. Jesus did not get along well with them.  Jesus was teaching people what it mean to follow Him and not get trapped in religion.  He even warns where religion would leave them.

Matthew 7:21 “Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter.22 On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ 23 But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. 

So what is God’s will for you?  That you would know Him.  Not know about Him, or do great things in His name apart from knowing Him.  God is looking for relationship and not religious behavior.  The pharisees prayed, fasted, gave generously, cared for the sick and the poor, led people into repentance through sacrifice.  Then they started getting wealthy doing it.  They sold the animals for sacrifice, charged a temple tax, took up offerings, and then ate the animals they sacrificed.  They often had the ear of the government leaders not just because of their influence but their wealth.  They prayed on street corners, they made it obvious they were fasting, they helped people but did it so many people could see, they boasted in their obeying the law, and oppressed people and elevated themselves in their own minds above others.

Jesus said we should pray, not out of religious piety, but out of relationship.  God loves you!  He wants you to know Him.  He wants you to make prayer more about conversation than a santa wish list or out of duty.  He gave His Son as payment to remove the barriers that limit our knowing Him.  So do not approach Him in prayer as a distant God but as a close Father.  He once dwelt in buildings and wrote His law on stones, now He dwells in people and writes His law on hearts.  

So real quickly lets talk about law.  God set laws to navigate relationship for the good of the people following Him.  Don’t worship idols is about relationship and trust.  Don’t sleep with people you are not married to, is about your soul and theirs not being led to pain and hurt.  It has always been relational and always will be.

So today, pray to a Father who loves you and want to talk to you!

Helping People Live a Better Story

Brandon Sereg
www.thevibrant.church

 

The Right Goal

Today is January 2!  Happy 2019 and I pray God’s richest blessing over you in this new year.  I pray it is a year where you know God more than ever, find freedom in ways your soul longs for, discover your purpose, and leverage all of it to make a difference in this world.  

Every new year people start new years resolutions and goal.  All of which are good and I do myself.  I personally use the Full Focus Journal by Michael Hyatt.  It is an amazing tool designed to help you accomplish more.  I write S.M.A.R.T.E.R. goals.  If you want to know more message me in the comments.

Every year I start a new habit and have at least one spiritual goal.  One year it was to spend 15 minutes a day in prayer, one year was to read through the Bible in a year, and this year is to do an extended fast.  I want to encourage you to do something new this year to grow your relationship with Jesus.  I would encourage you to make it about prayer.  Whether you pray everyday for 3 hours or once a month for 15 seconds, I would just say wherever you are in your prayer life increase it! Prayer is not about religious reterique or earning anything.  God will not love you more if you pray more or love you less if you pray less, but you will know Him more when you pray conversationally more. 

Luke 5:15 But despite Jesus’ instructions, the report of his power spread even faster, and vast crowds came to hear him preach and to be healed of their diseases. 16 But Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer.

As Jesus ministry of only 3 years, which by the way if you think you have pressure think about this.  Jesus had 3 1/2 years to convince the world and His brothers that He was God, conceived to a virgin, and the only way to heaven.  If you have a brother, what would it take for your brother to convince you they were God. You would think He would have 40 years, but no just 3.  That is pressure!  In the midst of the pressure, Jesus often to left the fame, growing influence, and need to show the world who He was… to pray.  He know prayer was His lifeline!  It is also ours.  The Jesus who knew the Father for billions of years often got away to talk with His Father.

If you feel pressure, overwhelmed, lost, confused, unsure of where to God, needing to make a decision… Go to the Father God who wants the best for you!  It is not about praying for an hour as much as it is about always being in a posture of prayer.  So today, go pray.  Not big fancy words, not even clean religious words.  Go talk to your Dad, ask for wisdom, ask for understanding, ask for a new heart, ask what He wants for you in this year.  Then listen and wait!

Helping People Live a Better Story

Brandon Sereg
@brandonsereg
www.thevibrant.church

New Discipline

Along with this new word for the year I start a new discipline every year. The last few years have been work out 6 days a week, read a book a week, get up at 5:30 am, and read through the Bible in a year.  Everyone of these were a struggle and were not easy to start.  I am not a disciplined person naturally, ask my dad and he could talk for days about my lack of disciple growing up.

2 Corinthians 9:24 Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! 25 All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. 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. 

What is my prize I am trying to win? I want to walk in closer fellowship with Jesus every year. I want to die married to the woman I am married to.  I want my kids to know God and serve Him with all they are.  I want to fulfill my purpose I was created for.  I want my character and integrity to be as strong behind closed door as in public.  I want to make disciples that do the same as I do.  All of these things are HUGE, and so far beyond what I can do in my own strength.  JESUS IN ME IS STRONGER THAN THE WRONG DESIRES IN ME.  So daily I submit to Jesus keeping my eyes on the prize to finish the race with purpose in every step.

This devotional is a little shorter so you can spend the extra time doing the following. I challenge you to get alone with God and ask Him to give you a word for this new year.  I challenge you start a new discipline that will help you finish the race.  GO DO IT NOW!!!  God has great plans for you this new year, go and seek Him in what they are! REMEMBER GOD IS NOT LOOKING FOR SACRIFICE BUT OBEDIENCE!

Helping People Live a Better Story

Brandon Sereg

I Love Jesus but hate church…

That was the story of my senior year.  I had an encounter with Jesus the summer before that changed my life. Before then I didn’t believe in Jesus or like church. But the summer of 2003, I met Jesus and He changed my life.  My prayer life was real and God was speaking to me.  The Bible that bored me was now alive.  My burden for my lost friends was deep.  Yet when I brought them to church, they didn’t want to come back and neither did I!  

I loved Jesus and hated church.That year God called me to be a pastor in a church and I was so confused.  I reluctantly said yes.  I thought church was a building and a way of doing ministry.  I was so wrong.  You see I loved people who went to church but did not see people as the church.  Then I came across this verse:

Matthew 16:18 Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means ‘rock’), and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it. 19 And I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. Whatever you forbid on earth will be forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven.”

God began to show me that the Church was actually people and not a building. These people were powerful and carried Kingdom authority. God started to change my heart toward the church.  I saw God was calling me to lead the church (the people) to advance the kingdom of God into enemy territory and together we had guaranteed victory!  Then I began to love Jesus even more and love the church. 

So do you love Jesus? I am not asking if you read the Bible or pray… Do you love (the verb not the feeling) Jesus? By the way action evokes feelings.  If I cut you off in traffic it will evoke a feeling.  I am talking do you with your whole being worship, follow, and obey Jesus? If not I pray you experience Jesus the way I did 15 years ago! I pray your heart would not grow cold but would burn with love for the Savior who purchased your freedom! Worship Him and Serve Him. He is worthy of nothing less!

Do you love the church? Not the building, not the style, not your denomination, not your music preferences, not your preaching preferences… Do you love God’s bride?  If you came to me and said I like you but not your wife, we couldn’t be friends.  Is my wife perfect? Not at all!  Is God’s bride perfect?  Far from! Jesus gave His life for His bride and we are called to love her and serve her.  Remember action evokes feelings.  Where you spend your money and your time, there your love will be.  Love is a verb! Give to your church and serve her and your love for her will grow!

Helping People Live a Better Story

Brandon Sereg

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