Author Archives: Brandon

Real Confidence?

When I was in college, I got pretty good grades and often times studied less than the recommended amount.  I had a class that I thought was easy and I knew the content through and through.  So then the first major test came. So as any smart person would do, I did not study after all I am really smart and know the content so well.  I show up to class and look at all the “not as smart as me students” who didn’t sleep because they studied all night.  I sit down get my test and begin.  First few questions were cake.  Then question 5… I had no idea what the answer was.  The rest of the test felt more like question 5 than the previous 4.  Needless to say I was over confident which led to arrogance. 

I am sure many of you have been in this spot before.  You put your confidence in something that did not hold under pressure. 

Psalm 18:28 You, Lord, keep my lamp burning;

    my God turns my darkness into light.
29 With your help I can advance against a troop;
    with my God I can scale a wall.

j_ch0mwbnds-henry-hustava30 As for God, his way is perfect:
    The Lord’s word is flawless;
    he shields all who take refuge in him.
31 For who is God besides the Lord?
    And who is the Rock except our God?
32 It is God who arms me with strength
    and keeps my way secure.
33 He makes my feet like the feet of a deer;
    he causes me to stand on the heights.
34 He trains my hands for battle;
    my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
35 You make your saving help my shield,
    and your right hand sustains me;
    your help has made me great.
36 You provide a broad path for my feet,
    so that my ankles do not give way.

This is a Psalm of David when God rescued him from King Saul.  David had smaller and less trained army with way less resources.  David was not confident in his past victories, which he won decisively in the past.  He was not confident in his personal ability in battle and leadership.  He led armies successfully and killed a lion and a bear as a teenage shepherd boy.  David was confident in the Lord.  David did not see himself weak in comparison to the Lord, but strong because the Lord was on his side.  

My question for you today is not are you confident, but where do you find your confidence?  If you lack confidence ask God for His strength and what He thinks about you… If you find confidence in ANYTHING but God, humble yourself and confess it.  If you want to walk in ALL that God has planned for you, which is the greatest adventure of your life, LET GOD BE YOUR SHIELD, YOUR SWORD, YOUR STRENGTH, YOUR PASSION, AND WHERE YOU GIVE YOUR PRAISE.  This is what you were created to do!  To walk confidently as a child of the Resurrected Savior who created you to bring Him Glory and make His name famous.  He will be found victorious and He has great things planned for you!  Go to Him and let Him do something great in you. 

Recklessly, obsessively following Jesus

Brandon Sereg

Life is Better Together

I am a total history nerd as I am about to show you.  For those of you who are not, I am sorry, but I challenge you to lean in for a second.  I want to show you where real discipleship happens and how you might be missing a crucial piece.  

Between 350-400 A.D. the New Testament get canonized (leaders of the church determine what gospel stories of Jesus and letters written by the early Apostles were God inspired).  In 1440 the printing press was invented.  However public education did not begin until the 1820.  So for about 400 years there was not a Bible that church leaders agreed was God inspired.  Then for 1440 years, the Bible would not make it into the hands of someone who was not a priest.  Even then it was for only the wealthy who could afford one of these Bibles.  However until the early 1800’s only the wealthy got an education to read the Bible if they could afford to own one.  Also even if you could get someone to read you the Bible, for the first 1500 years it was written in two languages few people spoke.  All of that to say, for the majority of the Church and life of the everyday believer the Bible has not been accessible.  

Before I continue, I am by no means suggesting anything other than we are so privileged to have a been educated to read and the Bible is affordable and accessible. Because of this great blessing, you should read your Bible and feel so privileged.  However, knowing the Bible was not available to believers for 1500 years, how did they grow in relationship with God. 

  1. They gathered together in large groups for worship, preaching of the word, and fellowship with other believers.
  2. They gathered in smaller groups to have communion, share stories, and pray.  Small groups were not something that started before Sunday School (If you do not know what Sunday School is, you are blessed.  Imagine women who smell like formaldehyde recreating Bible stories on felt board, and yelling at you… maybe just my experience)

vpxee7s-my4-hudson-hintzePoint being… Though you have a personal relationship with Jesus, you were never intended to have a private relationship with Jesus.   Life is better together!  Most of what I have learned about the Bible, God, and living life Jesus way I did not learn in a prayer room alone or reading my Bible alone.  I learned from other people.  I learned from scholars and pastors for sure, but I have learned more through the stories of other believers who let me into their story to illustrate their weakness and God’s strength. I have learned if you let God into your weakness by sharing with other believers, God lets you into His strength.  If you let God into your struggle by confessing to other believers, God will let you into His victory.

James 5:16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

I pray you get into a group of believers who you let into your story! Life is Better Together!

Recklessly, obsessively following Jesus

Brandon Sereg 

No Rival

This week, I read where Abraham took Isaac to the mountain to be sacrificed.  Abraham had everything.  He had land, silver, cattle, camels, servants, and God’s blessing that multiplied his wealth over and over.  You would think God would want Abraham to sacrifice some of his best animals to follow God’s sacrificial system for the forgiveness of sin.  Sacrificing Isaac a person seems evil and wrong.  Why would God call Abraham to murder his son?

First, God never intended for Isaac to be sacrificed.  God knew something… Abraham’s wealth did not even begin to compare to the value of Isaac.  Isaac was not only his son, but so much more.  God had promised that His descendants would be as numerous as the stars, kings would be among them, and the whole world would be blessed through Him.  Isaac was the promise of God and God asked Abraham to kill the promise.  I can only imagine the inner turmoil in Abraham.  

Genesis 22:Early the next morning Abraham got up and loaded his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about.

Abraham had a lot of stuff but the stuff did not own him.  Abraham had a promise from God and God wanted to know if the promise owned him.  

7za57brjpj8-elena-saharovaGod has asked me to give amounts of money I did not think I could afford.  He asked me to give up scholarships to a sport I loved to play. He has asked me to give away a vehicle when I did not have money to replace it (I rode my bike for months).  He has asked me to let single moms live in our home rent free.  All of those were not easy to do, but when God asked me to lay down the dream He put in my heart I was crushed.  I had laid down everything, but God knew there was something that owned me heart.  With tear filled eyes I laid it down and told God I wanted to know and walk with Him more than I wanted the dream to be fulfilled. 

God does not want to rival for our hearts.  He wants to sit in the place pf highest value in our lives and does not want to share.  He is a jealous God and worthy of our hearts.  Jesus asked men to leave their homes, jobs, sell everything and give money to the poor, and some to lay down their very lives.  

So what owns your heart?  What would you not lay down? Cars? house? Money? Job? Dream?  Social media? Status?  God does not want to rival for your heart and has more for you in sacrifice than this world has to offer.  I challenge you to go to prayer right now and ask God what owns your heart! If it is money go give some away.  If it is social media take an extended break.  If it is a car sell it or give it away.  Go let Jesus show you who He is.  Abraham received a promised due to his faithfulness to God.  God wants to bless you!

Recklessly, obsessively following Jesus

Brandon Sereg

Death to Religion

I grew up in empty religion.  I am not blaming it on my church or my family, it was probably just me.  I knew how to talk the talk, pretend in the religious behavior, and in the public light act really righteous.  Performance was my middle name… Sunday school, church, Sunday night services, Bible quizzing, mid week service, and the annual revival. Raised hands, memorized verses, sermons listened to (never understood), and worship led often by people who couldn’t sing and sounding like something ancient.  I wanted to be seen as a good Christian boy more than I wanted to live like Jesus.

Like many others, eventually I was done with the show.  I walked away from church.  I saw it as outdated, legalistic, and empty religion.  I was tired of the rules, dressing to be someone I wasn’t, and people who I saw as fake.

Then I heard a message about knowing God like I know a friend.  I did not know this was possible.  I knew the Bible enough to see people in the Bible knowing God like a friend, but I thought they were “special” and I could not know God the way they did.  Then the pastor showed how the people of the bible were just regular people with regular problems.  He said God loved me and wanted to be my friend.  I thought if God was real, He was probably mad at me or had like 7,000,000,000 people on the planet and who was I.  Then He showed me how Jesus intentionally went after the people that were not important in the eyes of society.  He loved tax collectors, lepers, adulterers, women (property in Jesus time), and races religious people wouldn’t talk to.

This night changed my life.  Not all at once, but I began to seek God as my friend believing He wanted to know me and me to know Him.  Over time, I learned to hear His voice, understand what He like, and trust Him with the deepest parts of me.  He became the Person I went to when I was lost, hurting, afraid, needing council, or just wanted to be filled up.  My time with Him is not religion at all, there is no pretending and certainly not earning of any kind.  I have screamed, cried, cussed (not proud of this), laughed, and rested.  I have found true love, hope, joy, freedom, and a friend.  When I miss a day spending time with Him, I do not feel guilty just that I missed out on the best and most important time of my day. 

xuhlr2w5cdu-gary-bendigPsalm 42:As the deer longs for streams of water,
    so I long for you, O God.
I thirst for God, the living God.
    When can I go and stand before him?

Go get alone with Holy Spirit and let Him fill your cup.  Don’t get religious or do it out of duty.  Just go read scripture, journal, listen, worship, cry, laugh, go on a walk, draw… Go do what you like to do with Him and let him fill your cup!

Recklessly, obsessively following Jesus

Brandon Sereg

Peace? Whatever?

Luke 2:That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep.Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, 10 but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. 11 The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! 12 And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in highest heaven,
    and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”

God came to bring peace.  It is the Christmas season and for many it is everything but peace.  For some of you, this Christmas is the first without someone family member, spouse, or friend.  Others gathering with family feels more like “two cats tied together at the tail” than peace.  Still some the business and expense has overwhelmed and created immense tension.  Then you hear at church or reading this that Jesus came to bring peace.

Some of my worst Christmas’:

The Christmas I knew Santa wasn’t real. The Christmas all my family had the flu.  The Christmas before my parents divorce. The first Christmas after their divorce.  The first Christmas without my grandma.

xwohlgfkrrc-alice-donovan-rouseMaybe this Christmas is going to be one of your hardest, how do you find peace in the hurt?  Jesus came to bring peace to his people.  These people were under Roman persecution.  God hadn’t spoken in about 400 years.  They had been waiting for a savior for 1000 years and nothing.  Now God sends a baby to a poor single teenage mom to be the savior of the world and the prince of peace.  When Jesus died the Jews were still under the Roman persecution and for those who followed Jesus, it got worse!  The circumstances got worse, yet when you look at the church they had peace despite their circumstances.

What I am learning is I try to find peace in my circumstances, and when I do I lack peace.  When I am consistent and spending time with Jesus, I have peace no matter my circumstances.

So whether you circumstance are good or the worst ever, where are you trying to find peace? If it is anything other than the presence of Jesus, you will always find yourself short on peace.  So GO to Him today and ask for His peace!

Recklessly, obsessively following Jesus

Brandon Sereg

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