Author Archives: Brandon

How do you love a God you cannot see?

Have you ever noticed how it is hard to love people you do not see often?  Parents, grandparents, friends who have moved away… Loving them when we do not see them takes a lot of effort.  When I get in my truck I do not think about who to call that I have not seen in a while. I think about listening to a book or a podcast, or think about my day, but rarely about grandma.  Now I love her very much, and would drive for hours to go and see her.  Loving Grandma is hard because I rarely see her. 

I think some of us feel this way about God.  We LOVE Jesus, but struggle to know how to love Jesus when we do not see him.  It is not a lack of desire, but what is out of sight is often out of mind.  So how do we love a God we cannot see?

Matthew 22:36 “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?”

37 Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”

photo-1464195244916-405fa0a82545Now first off, if you are a religious leader in this time, you have spent 30 years learning the law and the prophets and Jesus has the audacity to say it can all be learned in two simple sentences.  You would either feel cheated in the years of learning that could have been a conversation, or you feel like it could never be that easy.  Jesus says the most important commandment is not to not sin, but to show the crazy love of Jesus to the Lord.  Then He tells us the way to love the God we cannot see is to love our neighbor that we can see.

So the next question is, who is my neighbor.  Jesus teaches this in the story of the good Samaritan.  In our culture, this would be like the story of the good “Nazi.” Jesus blows up their thoughts of loving their own people who think, dress, and believe like them and says the good neighbor is the one who crazy loves the GLBT, ISIS, democrats or republicans, atheists, muslims, or anyone else to does not think, dress or believe the way you do.  Jesus said the way to love them is not to argue with them and tell them they are wrong, but to serve them and tell them about Jesus (message of hope not judgement).  Serve people who are different than you by serving them and telling them how Jesus changed your life is loving a God you cannot see.

So who do you need to crazy love this week?  Who thinks you hate them, that you can serve with no strings attach?  Who’s tank can you fill?  Who’s lunch can you buy? Who can you give a ride to? Who’s lawn can you mow?  Who can you sit with at lunch? Go LOVE the God you cannot see by LOVING the neighbor you can see.

Recklessly, obsessively following Jesus

Brandon Sereg

The Biggest Looser

I love the show the biggest looser. I love the peoples stories.  I especially love week 1 where they loose a ton of weight.  That first week their workouts are sloppy, people are crying, throwing up, and wanting to quit.  They have to choose what they want more… Do they want to live a long life, be active with their families, and loose the weight… knowing they will have to embrace pain, vomit, and change.  Or they can choose to be obese, spend their lives sitting, and die at an early age… not have to hurt by exercise, eat whatever they want, and not change.  They have a choice, it seems easy on the surface, but to do the biggest looser they will have to overcome years of bad habits.

I see people all the time that are not spiritually fit.  People who wander why their faith has grown cold and they haven’t prayed in months.  Marriages who are facing divorce but never asked someone for help.  Parents who’s kids hate church, but taught them church was a priority as long as it didn’t interrupt football, baseball, the lake, weekend at home, grandma’s house, or anything else that came up this week.  Then you meet people that spend time getting the Word in them everyday, they have a vibrant prayer life, they serve people everywhere they go, they walk in humility by inviting wiser people into their lives before there is a problem.  They have a joy all over them though they may face the same circumstances of those listed before.  What is the difference?

photo-1453844598634-41bfc63e7b231 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. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.

Where do you need to walk in discipline?  Are you spending time with Jesus everyday?  Are you in the Word? Are you serving others?  Do you have community in your life to lead you?  How much of your prayer time is talking vs. listening?

God is for you and has called us to live focused lives so we can enjoy the results of disciple.  Now hear me.  If you do a disciplined life, God will not love you more.  If you do not He will not love you less.  You are not earning anything here.  You are getting to know the character, confidence, strength, humility, power, refreshing, and love of a Father who wants to put His nature in you.  It is an invitation into a full life of His goodness.

So what do you need to do today to walk in disciple? Plan it, wake up early, go to be late, you are not shadow boxing my friend!  Jesus has great things for you today!

Recklessly, obsessively following Jesus

Brandon Sereg

20 Year Wait

I am one of those people who want everything yesterday.  I do not like to wait.  I want it now!!!! I remember as a kid my parents telling me we are going on a vacation in a month.  I had no concept of time, so I would go ahead and pack my bag.  I was ready to go.  By the time the vacation came I had stopped believing we were going on vacation at all. 

4j4Dd6HzTguq2QYQc8bY_DSC_2348I am reading 2 Samuel in my Jesus time.  I had forgotten about David being anointed king on two different occasions, one time by Samuel as a kid and another time when he took the role as king.  In between these two moments had to have been 20 years.  In between, David killed a bear and a lion, killed Goliath, been a worship leader for Saul, been an armor bearer for king Saul, led a portion of the army in victory, almost murdered on multiple occasions by Saul, chased around the country like a criminal, later hears of his best friends death, and takes 300 criminals and outcasts and make them his mighty men.  David did not lack in opportunity to take the role of king in his own strength, but he would not take it apart from God’s timing.  David submitted his dreams to the Lord’s timing. Even when Saul was dead, after treating David so poorly he:

2 Samuel 1:17 Then David composed a funeral song for Saul and Jonathan, 18 and he commanded that it be taught to the people of Judah.

The Lord led David to some really high moments and some really challenging ones.  David learned to take all he was feeling to the Lord.  He wrestled with God with some hard questions (he asked God if he had abandoned him), extreme emotions (he often asked God to break his enemies teeth), with his sin, and with his praise.  David was vulnerable and real before the Lord and the Lord used it to build a foundation a king could be built on.  The person Jesus wants to build in you needs to be built here, not on the opinions and wayward thoughts of others. 

I think sometimes we would rather gossip and slander other people because of “how we see it”, rather than take it before the Lord and let him shape our perspective and how we handle it.  David showed honor to his authority, kindness to his people, controlled fire before his enemies, and humility before the Lord.  What would your life look like in 3 years if you went to the Lord with all your feeling, emotions, behaviors, and habits?  What if your vulnerability and humility before Jesus shaped your relationships and behaviors?  Do it now! Write it out how you feel, how you want to react, and let the Holy Spirit direct your steps.

Recklessly, obsessively following Jesus

Brandon Sereg

Weird Relationships

This week I met with my Life Group.  It is a group of guys who love Jesus, love the church, and love me.  We talked about issues men deal with, what we are learning in the scripture, the challenges we are facing, and the dreams God has put in our hearts.  We ask hard questions of God’s ways, we pray over each other, and encourage each other to keep the faith.  I am so grateful for these men of God!

eae0a1daHebrews 10:19 Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.

The veil is torn and access to relationship with Jesus has been purchased by Jesus, so let us not swerve from the HOPE we have.  When this was written there was a nation in moral decline, the foundations of the nation were crumbling, and leaders were walking in compromise.  Sound familiar?  It is easy to loose hope.  That is why we need each other!  We can’t do life alone.  

24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

Spur each other does not sound fun or feel good, yet we need it to keep the hope.  Do not give up meeting together. Again we can not do this alone.   Then it says to encourage each other as we see the Day approaching.  The Day is referring to the return of Jesus.  This is a reminder that this life is not the end and we have a lot of reason for hope!

So who do you need to be in a Life Group with.  If you ever loose Hope, need a spur, or need encouragement, Jesus designed us to find it in each other through Him. So find a group, make room in your busy schedule, and find hope, a spur, and encouragement.  What if you could do the same for them?

Recklessly, obsessively following Jesus

Brandon Sereg

Weird Time

Have you ever noticed there are more things that want your time than there is time for?  As a husband, dad, pastor, and friend, most of the things that want my attention are really good things, even important things. Then there are things that I want to do.  I would love to lead a high school guys small group, I would love to create a high school discipleship intensive, I would love to do crossfit,  I would love to be in a life group that I am not leading.  All of these are really good things.  All of them would make me more effective at what I do… Or so it would seem. 

photo-1455651512878-0ddbb4c4d0a5What if I said yes to all of those things?  I would not have enough time for my wife, kids, having a sabbath day, or sleep enough at night.  What if doing all of these good things could kill the great things I could do?  I have a tendency to try to live like a super hero, like I don’t need sleep, a day off.  Or I act like my marriage doesn’t need attention.  Or I act like I don’t need to work out. Here is what I have learned.  I am very human.  I need rest, I need to exercise, I need to eat right, I need to go on dates with my wife, I need time with Jesus everyday. 

Luke 5:16 But Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer.

Jesus did not live like he was super human, even though he was.  Jesus made time for the most important things.  He often walked by people who needed healed.  He chose not to leave Israel, though his heart was for the whole world.  We see him sleep, take time to eat, get away from the crowds, and pray.  He chose only few close friends.  You would think for the Messiah who has come to save the world and only take 3 1/2 years to show the world who He is, he would not have time for things like getting alone, only choosing 12 men to pour His heart in, allow Judas to be one of the 12.  

Jesus set the example for us to not live like we are super human.  The Sabbath (one day off per week) was not a suggestion but a command.  What good things do you need to say no so you can say yes to great things?  What values do you need to make a priority and let other balls drop?  Do it today!

  1. Write a list of your values. 
  2. Number them in order of their importance.  
  3. Write down how much time you want to give to them. 
  4. Schedule time this week to make it happen.

Say no to some good things so you can say Yes to great things!

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



Listen Anytime On:

Spotify Channel

iTunes Podcast