Author Archives: Brandon

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

The Right Place

I have a 5 week old little girl Eliana.  She is beautiful and loud. When she is hungry we will know it and so will the neighbors.  This week Johna (my wife) took our two older kids to school and left the baby with me.  The moment she pulled out of the driveway, Eliana lost her mind.  She woke up hungry and let the world know.  I picked her up and pulled her close, she calmed down… for about 5 seconds until she realized I was not capable of giving her what she needed.  Then she started screaming loader than before. I did not know louder out of an 8 pound baby was possible.

Then I started thinking about it and realize I do the same thing.  I think I need something or face a problem and I go to someone cannot give me what I need.

idt5wzpcgf4-iswanto-arifMatthew 11:28-30 “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

I have learned over the years that instead of Jesus being the last place I go, He is the first place I go.  I thought I was invincible and had a unending amount of energy until I faced some really hard problems and got overwhelmed.  I get tired, worn out, burnt out on religion.  All of this is true to me.

Jesus answer to my struggle was not go to my friends and complain so I can have an enabling ear.  His answer was to come to Him.  Get away with Him.  His promise is “you’ll recover your life”, “I’ll show you how to take a real rest”, and “you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” That is some powerful promises I want to live in!

So let me ask you, where do you go when you are tired, worn out, burned out on religion?  A tv? A friend? Food? Go to Jesus!  Like my daughter I don’t have what she needs, only my wife can give that to her.  Only Jesus can give you what you need.  

For all the busy people, you are too busy not to get away with Jesus and let Him teach you the unforced rhythms of Grace.  Schedule it now! Pray, read the Word, worship and spend time in His presence and find the promise of God! 

Recklessly, obsessively following Jesus

Brandon Sereg

Carry It…

The term “Christian” is a loaded term in our culture. 48% of Americans are considered post Christian.  They know about Jesus and the church a choose not to belong or believe.  Many just do not care.  So how can we be the light of the world in a post christian culture.  The begin years of our nation had Christian culture on the forefront and was considered very positive.

John 1:1 In the beginning the Word already existed.
    The Word was with God,
    and the Word was God.
He existed in the beginning with God.
God created everything through him,
    and nothing was created except through him.
The Word gave life to everything that was created,
    and his life brought light to everyone.
The light shines in the darkness,
    and the darkness can never extinguish it.

mgl4xb26fhy-joao-silasJesus came into a world that did not hold the culture of His Kingdom but the culture of the world.  He came to extinguish the darkness with the light of the Kingdom. So how did He do it?

John 1:14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. 

Today we have a Church culture that tries to champion one or the other.  We have churches that are full of grace and no truth saying live how you want do what makes you happy.  Then we have churches that are truth and no grace.  They have rules and don’t know how to handle rebellion.  Jesus came as the Truth but He led with grace.  

Romans 2:4  Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?

The Father led with grace by giving His Son, then sending His Spirit, that would lead us into truth.  Had he come with truth first we would not have know how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient the Father is.  

We have a world culture that promotes self, pursuit of happiness despite consequence, and pleasure above all else.  Then we have a Kingdom Culture of grace and truth that values selfless ambition, sacrifice, and preferring others.  This culture is not truth in moral compass, but Truth is a person who revealed grace.  It is not a culture of stop doing bad thing so you can belong, but allow the person who is Truth to transform your heart.  Come to Jesus and He will love you out of sin that holds you captive!

So I ask you, whose culture do you reveal? The culture of this world or of Jesus? And before you answer do you lead your life extending grace and from that platform sharing truth in love?  This Christmas people all over are hurting and they do not truth apart from grace but may we lead with Grace and reveal the Person of Truth!

Recklessly, obsessively following Jesus

Brandon Sereg

When God Shows Up

Have you ever wondered why you do what you do?  Like you brush your teeth in the morning, comb your hair a certain way, or drive with the same hand.  The reason is you have a habit.  There is a cycle to a habit.  There is a cue like the last thing you do before you go to bed is brush your teeth.  The cue is it is time to go to bed.  Then there is a routine.  You will brush your teeth the same way without thinking, this is your routine.  Studies show you will actual brush the same number of strokes each time you brush. This is your routine.  Then there is the reward… We like the way our teeth feel when we are done.  The tingly feeling we get is from chemicals that do not actually help make our teeth cleaner, but toothpaste companies know they will sell more toothpaste if they generate that feeling.

Just like a habit cycle of Cue- Routine- Reward, I have learned there is a Spirit Cycle.  When God shows up we often want to know what He wants us to do also known at “His will.”  

  1. Purify our hearts

q1wd1q2lyhc-jakub-krizWhat He wants to do in us first is purify our hearts, because if we do what He wants but we don’t reflect His Character or if we do it for the wrong reasons.  

John 16:13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future. 

Purifying is vulnerable, and being set apart is a process.  But it is one of the primary purposes God wants to do when He shows up in your life.

2. Prompt Obedience

God love to speak to His kids.  He will do it though scripture, impressions, confirmation, council, and sometimes dreams and visions.  Many times God will have something for you to do, and He wants you to obey.  This is the Holy Spirit who Guides us.

Acts 16:6 Next Paul and Silas traveled through the area of Phrygia and Galatia, because the Holy Spirit had prevented them from preaching the word in the province of Asia at that time.

God prevented Paul and Silas from preaching the Gospel in a certain area because He wanted them to go somewhere else.  God wants to prompt you too.

3. Produce Life

When you allow God to purify you and you promptly obey Him, it will produce life in you and in others.  The other side of this is the sin cycle.  Which is temptation, an act of sin, and then produces death in you and in others.  We like the produce life part, but it begins in the purifying process followed by obedience.  God has great things He wants to do through you but it begins when He does something great in you!

So I want to challenge you to pray three dangerous prayers:

  1. God would you give me your heart
  2. Prompt me to obey you Holy Spirit
  3. Produce Life out of me

Recklessly, Obsessively Following Jesus

Brandon Sereg

We can’t do life alone…

Imagine you meet someone that has not tried chocolate.  It has such a distinct flavor unlike any other.  You really cannot compare it so another flavor.  You know when this person tastes it their life is about to change.  But before they taste it they have no idea what they are missing, and they think you are over valuing it… Until they try it.

This it how I fell about groups! I meet Christians who attend Church but do not have a Spiritual family.  A family that we know and trust knows the four parts of us…

photo-1461948573049-a5ab4efb6150.jpegArena- I know and you know

I need people who know the real me.  We all have our public face.  It is not a fake us, but it is not the full us.  We show the world the parts of us we want to reveal

Romans 12:5 There are many people who belong to Christ. And yet, we are one body which is Christ’s. We are all different but we depend on each other.

Mask- I know, but you don’t know

When it comes to secretes, I am not safe if no one knows.  Fear is one thing that keeps us from sharing the real us.  If people knew my secretes, would they look at me different or would they tell other people. It doesn’t matter whether you follow sports, politics, or church leaders we all have seen what happens to people who keep secretes in the dark. 

James 5:16 Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.

So who knows the real you?  Or do you keep people in the area version of you?  Do you keep people at arms length trying to protect yourself or your ego?  I want to encourage you today, it is like the chocolate you haven’t tasted.  When you get past the area and you let people in, you will find a level of life you never have before.  Unfortunately I have to be clear on something, the person you go to this level with is NOT a person of the opposite sex (unless you are married to them).  Engaged, promised, dating is not married!  Pick someone who can help you get where you are trying to go. 

Take off the mask.  Get the secrete out of the dark and let them loose their power.  Let confession bring healing.  I pray today you take courage and get the right people in your life and you let them into the real you!

Recklessly, obsessively following Jesus

Brandon Sereg

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