Author Archives: Brandon

Dirty Theology

Sever months ago, I was invited to go on a trail run with a friend.  He rans with several runners.  I am not much of a runner, so when they took off I gave everything I had to keep up.  It was a dry day, and their trail shoes threw tons of dust.  There were 4 of them and they were all ahead of me.  So 4 peoples worth of dust cloud lingered infront of me. I already couldn’t breath from running, now add their dust to this and I think I am running in hell.  By the time I got home I looked like I had fallen and rolled in the dust. 

The word “disciple” was a common word in Jesus day.  Everyone went to school until they were 10. The smart ones were invited to another 8 years of school where they would memorize our old testament, while the rest went to learn the family business.  Then at the end of the 8 years, they ask a rabbi if they can be their disciple.  The word disciple comes from the greek work Diakonis, which mean to be “caught in the dust.”  They only had dirt roads and if you traveled close enough to someone you would be covered in their dust.  So when an 18 year old would ask to be a rabbi’s disciple. He was asking to follow them so closely that they would always be covered in their dust.  They would talk like their rabbi. Teach like them. Live like them. 

Matthew 9:9 As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at his tax collector’s booth. “Follow me and be my disciple,” Jesus said to him. So Matthew got up and followed him.

Being a disciple of a rabbi was only for the most intelligent and when the rabbi believed you truly could be their disciple.  So when Jesus invites 12 men to be His disciples, everyone was floored.  Rabbis did not ask and the 12 had already been told they were not good enough.  Jesus was making a huge statement!  You are good enough to be my disciple and I choose you.  Then Jesus invited all of us to be His disciple.  

I am here to tell you that Jesus chose you and you are good enough to “be caught in His dust.”  He was able to look at you through the lens of grace and see you as you could be not just as you are. When He looks at you, he does not see your brokenness and sin.  He sees you as He designed you to be and invites you to become that person as you are caught up in His dust.

So I encourage you to follow Jesus, obey Jesus, worship Jesus, and like Jesus so closely that you are caught up in His dust.  May you ever be caught up in the dust of your rabbi!

Recklessly, obsessively following Jesus

Brandon Sereg

Smite Thy Enemy!

Have you ever had someone go out of their way to make your life miserable?  Like they have an agenda to embarrass and shame you infront of people. Then we play out what we wish we could do to them or we have these fake conversations in out head with them.  We tear them apart in our heads.  Some of us actually do those things.  We get even with them!

Then you come across the words of Jesus:

Matthew 5:43 “You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. 44 But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! 45 In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. 

Most of the time we are like “He is Jesus. He can do that. I can not.”  Or we think ok I will pray for them… “God get them, smite them, destroy them, expose them.” I do not think that is the kind of pray Jesus was encouraging.  Love your enemies.  Love those that go out of their way to make you miserable.  Love those who intentionally hurt you. 

Then if you actually do, something deep in you happens.  The pain of what they did hurts less. The hatred toward them goes away.  Here we feel like they are getting away with it.  What if God telling us to love our enemies was actually about us too.  What if He knew holding on to the pain and resentment would steal life from us? What if we would just let Him have our hurt we walk away free?

Then what about them? What if when they see you responding in love instead of anger, they see who the Father really is?  

So loving your enemies heals you and shows the offender the nature of the God.  So who do you need to forgive?  Who would God have you pray for?  Who do you not want to pray blessing over?  Go do it!

Recklessly, obsessively following Jesus

Brandon Sereg

I LOVE Jesus and 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!

Recklessly, obsessively following Jesus

Brandon Sereg

My Friend Got Robbed…

A friend of mine recently got robbed.  He owns a business that sells used items on ebay.  He was on vacation when he gets a text from his assistant.  Needless to say enjoying the vacation was hard to enjoy!  When he got home and assessed what was stolen it was over $10,000.  I met with him and he was pretty sure it was one of his employees.  He was so angry and felt deeply violated.  This was a guy that he had helped out.  He gave him a job when no one else would.  

One day, he sets up to take this guy to lunch.  The night before, he went to the Lord.  He told the Lord he wanted to set him on fire and drag him behind his truck.  God said other wise.  On top of robbing him, this employee owed him over $20,000.  God said don’t prosecute, forgive the debt, and bless him.  

So the lunch finally comes.  My friend eats lunch with his employee like nothings wrong and then asks him a question… “tell me about the break in.”  The employee breaks.  He confesses, admits he should go to jail, admits to abusing pain killers and alcohol. My friend had a letter written up forgiving his debt.  He gives it to the employee.  Now the employee is sobbing in the restaurant. My friend says he is not going to prosecute.  Then he starts giving him gift cards for gas and groceries. 

About an hour after this lunch, I get a call from my friend.  He is asking how to get his employee in Celebrate Recovery.  He tells me the story over the phone.  Now I am crying as I see this is what did for me. 

Romans 6:22 But now you are free from the power of sin and have become slaves of God. Now you do those things that lead to holiness and result in eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.

We deserved death and owed a debt we could pay.  Then a good Father sends His Son.  I have a son.  I would not give my son for my enemy.  I, through sin, made myself an enemy of God.  God gave the punishment I deserved to His Son.  He forgave my debt.  He set me free. He blessed me with new life, a Church to help me,  and a purpose inside me.  He has called me a son. 

If you are also following Jesus and received his salvation, thank Him now!  Worship Him!  

If you are not following Jesus and have not received his new life you can now!  If you know you are a sinner and want Jesus to forgive you. If you want who you are now to die and have a new life in Jesus.  If you would trust in the finished work of Jesus on the cross for your freedom.  Then pray this prayer:

Jesus, forgive me of my sin.  I trust what you did on the cross for my freedom.  Give me new life.  i choose to follow you all of my days.  Amen!

If you just prayed that prayer, I am so proud of you! You are BRAND NEW. God loves you!  I would love it if you would comment to let me know your prayed that prayer.

Recklessly, obsessively following Jesus

Brandon Sereg

Hope Carriers

I lead an internship of young adults.  Let me tell you they can eat!  We prepare twice as much as we think they can eat and we always run out.  They are bottomless pits.  I think this is preparing us for parenting teenagers for sure.  

How many of you have that favorite dish mom made that when you found out she was making it, you got so excited.  Well the Johna’s dish that got our interns excited about was her enchiladas. We do what we call family dinners and they come over and all they can talk about is whether enchiladas is on the menu.  I have to admit they are amazing.  When they come out of the oven, the smell and the look of them makes your mouth water.  That excitement carries into the conversation and the sense of family.  In a sense, it builds hope.

I know first hand what it feels like to be stuck without hope and that is a dark place. It is a hole that seems to crowd in, and the journey out is just as dark.  When you are there you see people who have hope and when you are around them their hope seems to transfer to you.  I LOVE those people.  I call them hope carriers. 

This is the hope that we have.  This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our soul.  I want to highlight a couple words.  “An Anchor” is what keeps a boat grounded from drifting to a place that was not intended.  Think about that in reference to your “soul.” Your soul is related to your emotions.  So go with me for a minute here… 

Your emotions are anchored from drifting because of hope.  So what is hope? It is like the enchiladas coming.  You know the best is yet to come and that feeling and belief called hope is strong and trustworthy.  So then where do we place our hope?  Is is ourselves? Our gifts? Our dreams? Glass is half full? NO!  Hope is founded in the character of God that He is faithful to His promises.  None of us can see into the future and the future is full of unknowns.  But as believers, we have hope in what lies ahead because God’s plan if full of hope. So even in our suffering, our disappointment, and days of great joy, we get to carry hope to a future that is bigger than us in His story that is greater than us.

So today carry Hope and let it be a strong and trustworthy anchor for your soul!

Recklessly, obsessively following Jesus

Brandon Sereg

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