Author Archives: Brandon

5 Keys to Know God’s Will

If God has a plan for your life how do you know what it is?  So many people ask me how to discover God’s will for their life.  It is such a real question.  I want to encourage you that God wants you to know His will for your life more than you do!

Ephesians 2:10  We have become his poetry, a re-created people that will fulfill the destiny he has given each of us, for we are joined to Jesus, the Anointed One. Even before we were born, God planned in advance our destiny and the good works we would do to fulfill it!

So here are 5 keys to know God’s will:

  1. Pray

Prayer is conversational.  It is not intended to be religious or pious. Think if you were sitting down with the best dad ever who wants you to win, how would you talk to Him.  Heart posture matters.  If you had 30 minutes to have conversation how much do you really want to talk?  I think listening is the most important part of prayer

2. Get in God’s word

So much of God’s will for your life is already in His word.  He has a plan for how to win in  relationships, your finances, and to make how to make a difference.  If you have not read the Bible before a great place to start is in John (that is about 2/3 in). Focus on the words Jesus said. Let His written word be a focus in knowing His will.

3. Get a mentor

Life is not intended to be alone.  David had Samuel, Joshua had Moses, Timothy had Paul.  I could list many more.  God often reveals His will in relationship with people who can help us get where God wants us to be. God speaks to other people on our behalf.  His plan is we not just me.

4. Walk in Faith

Many times God leads us to do things that are very uncomfortable.  Quick hint: if it is easy and you can do it without God, your vision is too small… Faith is doing the things God tells us to do by His strength and power.  Faith is trusting that God is good and faithful.  We are trusting that f you do what He told us to do, the outcome is for good and He will give us what we need to do it.

5. Start Serving

God’s will for your life is to love Him by serving others.  Jesus often spoke of when you use the gifts He gave you to help people, it is as if we did it to Him.  There is no greater feeling than knowing you made a lasting difference in the life of someone else.

So today… Spend 10 minutes talking with God, read one chapter in the book of John, set up a time with a Godly mentor to seek wisdom, take a step of faith that scares you, and serve someone who cannot serve you back.

Live a Better Story

Pastor Brandon

When Scripture Speaks to You…

Several years ago, my life was not in a good place.  My marriage, job, family, finances, vehicles and a few other things were all wrong all at the same time.  I was overwhelmed.  I was completely discouraged.  Everything seemed to be spiraling out of control until one day…

I was spending time in scripture just like any other day. There was one verse I had read many times that just popped off the page. 

John 10:10 A thief has only one thing in mind—he wants to steal, slaughter, and destroy.

I know I have a real enemy. He complicate things that should come easy.   He speaks lies to me that do not sound like lies. He tries to lead me to find comfort in things that do not satisfy. When I partake in these short term comforts, I find myself chained to the thing I went to for comfort. Joy stolen and hope slaughtered. The shame and confusion that follows leads to justifying myself doing what I know is wrong.  Then I do not know what is truth and what is a lie. The problem with deception is I am deceived. You see my enemy is alive and he is working for my complete destruction.

That same enemy is doing the same to you!  Then he tells you that you are the only one with those struggles.  Another lie!

Now here is the second part of the verse…

But I have come to give you everything in abundance,  more than you expect—life in its fullness until you overflow!

For as much as I have an enemy out to destroy me, I have King who is my friend who is out to bless me in abundance, even more than I expect. He said His plan for my life is “Life in its fullness until I overflow!”  When I read that and looked at my life, I saw a massive gap between His promise and my reality.  I had made poor decisions in my marriage, family, finances, etc. and made them in abundance. Ever feel that way?

So I began to pray.  I asked God for mercy because I did not deserve His promise.  I asked Him to forgive me and give me the grace to change.  I asked Him to bless me in the fullness of what He said in John 10:10.  My behaviors began to change.  I had to ask forgiveness for new things even after this for sure.  I sought mentors to help me.  Overtime my marriage was in a great place, we got out of debt but the house, family relationship were restored, and the vehicles story is for another day! My life is far from perfect, but it is far from the day I mentioned above.

Here is what I learned.  We have Jesus and an enemy looking to lead us. We choose who we follow.  God’s mercy and grace are greater than you expect and the life He has planned for you if “fullness until you overflow.”  You can’t change yesterday’s decision, but you can choose today whom you will follow. I pray God’s grace leads you to follow His Son.  It will not be easy. I will be hard often.  But there is faith, hope and love on the journey and that satisfies!

Live a Better Story

Brandon Sereg

Power of Pursuit

When I was a freshman in highschool, I met a girl. She was beautiful in my 14 year old mind that understood the full complexity of beauty.  Or as I said then “she is fine.”  Also she was one of the pretty girls that was not interested in me at all.  So I got in pursuit.  I convinced this girl to go to homecoming with me even though she wasn’t interested in me.  My family moved 6 months later.  I called this girl a couple years later.  She had a boyfriend.  So I asked her to prom.  I told her I would pay to fly her out if she would just come.  While still dating this boy, she came anyway.  It was great.  After prom, my pursuit grew. We started dating a year and a half later.  I did not say I was smart… Again I was 18… Later we got married.  14 years later we have four amazing kids and my pursuit of this girl is still alive.

I tell you that story to show the power of pursuit.  Relationships have to be pursued and the best ones are pursued in both direction. Our relationship with God can be defined in our pursuit. David was a shepherd boy who became a king.  Often his circumstances were bigger than him.  In his youth he faced a lion, a bear, and a warrior giant. As an adult he led a country, was a general in war, and faced his own son who tried to steal his throne. What got him through all of it was this…

Psalms 16:5 Lord, I have chosen you alone as my inheritance.
You are my prize, my pleasure, and my portion.
I leave my destiny and its timing in your hands.
Your pleasant path leads me to pleasant places.
I’m overwhelmed by the privileges
that come with following you,
for you have given me the best!
The way you counsel and correct me makes me praise you more,
for your whispers in the night give me wisdom,
showing me what to do next.
Because you are close to me and always available,
my confidence will never be shaken,
for I experience your wrap-around presence every moment.
My heart and soul explode with joy—full of glory!
Even my body will rest confident and secure.

Do you hear the pursuit?  What marked David’s life was his relationship with God.  He also had great failure.  He was an adulterer, murderer, and had too much blood on his hands to build God’s temple. However he humbled himself before men and God.  He repented of his sin, tried to make things right in the adultery, and financed much of the temple though he couldn’t build it. His constant pursuit was God in his life.

There are many things in our lives that try to draw attention to our pursuit.  Careers, money, cars, power, status, position, sex, sports, or knowledge.  Those things will only leave us lacking and empty in their pursuit.  Most have moments of pleasure and lifetimes of consequence.  When we pursuit God and relationship with Him, He meets us as His kids whom He deeply loves and finds ways to bless them.  

So today what are you pursuing?  How do you know?  Look at your checkbook and your calendar and you find what you are pursuing most.  You can’t change yesterday but you can choose today.  Pursuit God and all He has for your life and discover the joy that comes with it!

Live a Better Story

Brandon Sereg

Matters of Temperature

A couple weeks ago, I walk into a house that felt HOT!  I walked into a wall of heat like I walked into the desert.  My internal thermometer was reading “this is miserable.” So I go to the thermostat and change the temperature.  A couple hours later (yes my a/c unit is weak), the temperature was normalized and it was good.

I could have just complained about the temperature and made other people miserable.  Or I can go set a new temperature on the thermostat. 

Proverbs 13:9 The life of the godly is full of light and joy,
    but the light of the wicked will be snuffed out.

Almost anyone can tell whether a room is hot or cold.  Almost anyone can identify a problem in this life.  You can identify it in your job, your spouse, you parent, your kid, your church, and every once in a while yourself. Anyone can identity a problem.  If you can identify a problem, this does not make you special.  It just makes you human. 

When you can change a situation without making the room too hot or cold, you are a thermostat.  Jesus wanted his followers to be thermostats.  He wanted them to change the temperature of wherever they went.  

Paul and Silas were once in prison because they preached the gospel.  At midnight, they starting singing worship songs out of a heart of joy.  Their circumstances could have made them a thermometer and they could have been angry or discouraged.  Like the Psalm, their life was full of light and joy.  The jail is shaken and the doors open.  The warden comes to find the doors open and Paul and Silas still in their cell.  They lead this man to Jesus and his whole family gets saved. Why?  They were a thermostat.  

How to be a Thermostat?

  1. Don’t let your circumstances shape your internal temperature.  It is easy to let our temporary problems shape our internal temperature.  God has put His Spirit in you so you can choose light and joy. 
  2. Don’t let your emotions cause you to set the wrong temperature.  Remember who you are and whose you are!  God has called you to change the world you are in not be changed by it!
  3. Invite God to give you light and joy.  He is your source and wants to teach you how to be a thermostat, not just a thermometer. 

You are a thermometer.  You can feel the temperature.  A thermostat needs a thermometer to know how to adjust.  So choose to be more than a thermometer and change the world around you.  Set the temperature at home, at work, at church, in your heart.  Don’t let other people taint your ability to set the right temperature.  Gossip kills. Negativity destroys.  Fear corrupts. Joy brings hope. Light dispels darkness. Love covers.

So go be a thermometer!

Live a Better Story

Brandon Sereg

5 Ways to Strengthen Your Prayer Life

It is easy to go days without prayer or get in such a religious habit that our prayers are empty.  Yet there is nothing more important we can do to grow in Jesus than prayer.  To be clear prayer is not one directional, it is more than us giving our requests to God.  Prayer is intended to be conversational. 

John 10:17 My own sheep will hear my voice and I know each one, and they will follow me.

  1.  Get a Rhythm
    One of the keys to being strong in any area of their life is consistency.  The key to consistency is doing it at the same time. I have learned to just start somewhere.  Start on the way to work or take 5 minutes before you go to work.
  2. Start With Praise
    My two year old gets this better than me.  She loves to pray.  She has one prayer language. Thank you for… She never asks for anything just lives in gratitude.  Start your prayers with listing what you are thankful for.  You have something.  It might seem small but let your heart grow in gratefulness.  
  3. Pray Scripture
    Sometimes I do not know how to pray. The book of Psalms is a book of prayers.  Go pray Psalm 1, 23, 126, or 51.  Go read the words in red and ask God to make it live in you.   We know God’s will is in His Word.  When we turn it into prayer we are praying according to His will. There are promises and blessings found in praying His Word. 
  4. Get a Prayer Script
    I have a list of things I pray everyday. I pray for my family, the prayer of Jabez, the freedom found in the crucifiction, our government, and Vibrant Church to name a few everyday.  I will sit a little longer in certain places on different days and certainly go outside the list. This is not religion for me but places where I have conviction to be consistent in prayer. 
  5. Keep a Journal
    There is something special about writing our prayers down and looking back at them a year later. You have record of God moving in your life.  If you want to see how God moves in your life, keep a prayer journal.

Know God wants to talk to you more than you want to hear Him.  He is for you and not against you.  He has a plan for you and it is found in prayer.  So today take one step.  Talk to the God who loves you. 

Live a Better Story

Brandon

 

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