Author Archives: Brandon

Knowing God

Growing up I loved going to the skating rink. In elementary school you had to leave at 9 pm.  The high schoolers could stay until 11. I remember wanting to get in so bad. But it was ” access denied.”  I never liked being told what I could not do.

photo-1428591850870-56971c19c3d9Before Jesus, the High priest could go into the presence of God. So one man one time per year could walk into a small room and meet with God. If you are not a Jew or simply not the high priest which is everyone, you never got to experience the presence of God.  Why is that? I’m glad you asked. Sin separated us from God and the Law (standard found in the first five books of the Bible) kept us from ever gaining relationship with God.  So I grew hearing that I could know God, but before Jesus they believed they could know about God. God could be found in a room by one guy once a year. Separating people like you and me from what was in that room is a 65′ veil (really thick curtain). That veil kept me from knowing God and sin kept me from the veil, and to make things worse because of sin that I can’t forgive I am stuck and helpless.

Have you ever felt the access was totally denied.  Right before Jesus died…

Matthew 27:45 At noon, darkness fell across the whole land until three o’clock. 46 At about three o’clock, Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” which means “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”

50 Then Jesus shouted out again, and he released his spirit. 51 At that moment the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom.

Jesus wanted us to have access to the presence of God which has the power to free us from the bondage of sin and not just forgive us from the consequences.  Jesus died so we could know Him and experience the power that would eventually raise Him from the dead.  When Jesus asked why God had abandoned Him, Jesus was experience gap in relationship that we had with the father because of sin. The Father knew He would have to treat Jesus like us, so He could treat us like Jesus.  

So right now, GO to Jesus and ask to experience His presence.  Let Him change you and make you new. Don’t go with fear or shame because of sin.  Jesus paid all that!! Get in His Word, Worship Him, and get to know His presence.  He loves you despite your past.

Recklessly, obsessively following Jesus

Brandon Sereg

UpSide Down Kingdom

I am teaching my kids about money right now.  My daughter Eden asked about why God needs our money.  I told her that God can do more with 90% than we can do with 100% of our money.  My son Levi was not convinced.  His question is why doesn’t he just bless our 100%.   I asked him how much he likes having money.  He said a lot. I said Jesus knows your heart and your wallet are connected.  Jesus wants your heart.  

Throughout scripture Jesus defies social norms and seems to put culture on its head. So often His ways seemed upside down to other nations.  Jesus told them to work only 6 days a week and rest on the 7th.  Also to give a farmers field a year of rest every 7 years. Later, Jesus disciples were arguing over who was the greatest.  His response was so confusing to them:

Luke 22:6 Those who are the greatest among you should take the lowest rank, and the leader should be like a servant. 27 Who is more important, the one who sits at the table or the one who serves? The one who sits at the table, of course. But not here! For I am among you as one who serves.

photo-1464500422302-6188776dcbf3Jesus says the greatest is not the one who holds the position of influence, a seat of power, or the greatest pedigree but as a servant.  Other translations substitute servant for slave.  In the roman empire, a slave and servant where of the lowest position.  Jesus said to aspire to be like them.  Wait, Jesus wants me to be a slave. Yes, His slave.  Now Jesus said He came not to be served but to serve.  Jesus is not some terrible slave master but a serving King.  

We have been made right with God by grace through faith in Jesus, we have been given freedom from sin and death.  Now our lives are not our own. We have been purchased.  Greatness in the Kingdom now sits with the slaves in Christ.  

Where are you serving?  Jesus wants you to serve His church with the time, talent, talk, and treasure He has entrusted you with. Where do you need to take a greater role as a servant?  Who do you need to serve at home today?  Who do you need to serve at work?

I believe at the end of our lives we will not celebrate the money, things, or accomplishments we have acquired, but the ways we have been able to give, serve, and people we were able to love. So start today!  Serve someone today.  

Recklessly, obsessively following Jesus

Brandon Sereg

Reckless Courage

At the beginning of every football game, the ball is kicked to the opposing team and 22 players sprint at each other with one goal in mind. Destroy someone!  Some of the men on the field weigh around 300 lbs and can run a 40 in less than 5 seconds. To be one of those players you would have to be totally insane or have reckless courage.  

photo-1445771832954-9c7fb748f214This last week, I have been reading through the book of Acts. I got to the story of Stephen.  He stands trial for preaching Jesus to the Jews.  These men who killed Jesus now have Stephen in their grips. So he does the unthinkable. He tells these religious men that for thousands of years religious leaders like them have killed God’s chosen people.  Then to get even more personal he says:

Acts 7:51 “You stubborn people! You are heathen at heart and deaf to the truth. Must you forever resist the Holy Spirit? That’s what your ancestors did, and so do you! 52 Name one prophet your ancestors didn’t persecute! They even killed the ones who predicted the coming of the Righteous One—the Messiah whom you betrayed and murdered. 53 You deliberately disobeyed God’s law, even though you received it from the hands of angels.”

These are religious fighting words. Stephen has just picked a fight.  So they grab him and they take him to be stoned.  This is when they take rocks and throw them at him until he dies.  Just as he is about to die he says”

59 “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60 He fell to his knees, shouting, “Lord, don’t charge them with this sin!” And with that, he died.

Stephen loved Jesus more than he loved his life.  His courage to stand for his faith to those who opposed it stirs my heart.  He did not spend his days wrestling with basics of faith like serving, tithing, and choosing between the lake and church.  He spent his days so other people would know Jesus no matter the cost. 

I want this kind of courage! The courage it takes to know my life is on the line and I boldly spend my life preaching Jesus no matter the consequences.  

So where do you need courage?  Are you asking for courage for things Jesus wants you to have courage for?  Jesus followers always have one thing in common… Reckless courage! I pray we live it.

Recklessly, obsessively following Jesus

Brandon Sereg

What do I do with this?

I grew up being told I should be well rounded.  I should work on my weaknesses.  The problem with that is my voice.  I cannot sing.  I got put on a worship team one time and they muted my microphone.  Talk about embarrassing.  The only other vocalist was a girl.  So everyone knew what happened.  True story!  I tried playing the cello, violin, trombone, and guitar.   Here is what I learned: all I can play well is an Iphone.  

photo-1442819516624-aa7a9bd24b63I am not good at managing details, God’s wisdom is not what comes first to my mind, and leadership as it makes sense to me does not look like Jesus.  Even the good things I do, at times I do for the wrong reasons.  

Then I look at all the places I have grown and I compare them to the calling God has for me, and I see a gap of weakness in my gifting. So often I do not feel like I belong as a pastor or the role I get to play.  Because of my past, I feel disqualified to tell other people about Jesus. 

2 Corinthians 12:9  “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.10 That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

In the weakness of my sin, Jesus wants me to walk in victory that way I can boast in His freedom.  In the weakness of the gifts I don’t have, I trust in Him to raise other people up who are strong in that gifting.  In the weakness of the gift He gave me I trust him to grow the gifting.  It is hard to walk in pride when you see your gifting and compare it to God’s calling on your life.  Humility acknowledges that we need Jesus to grow the gift in us. 

So where do you need to trust the power of Christ in your weakness.  What sin do you need to confess?  What gifting do you not have that you need to trust someone else to do?  What gift do you have that you need the power of Christ to grow and develop?

Go to Jesus and trust in His power for you to be all you were created to be!

Recklessly, obsessively following Jesus,

Brandon Sereg

How could this be good?

Have you ever had to take a pill so big you had to chew it first?  It is a terrible experience!  Bitter does not even begin to describe the taste, my own vomit tastes better than this!  So why would I do that more than one time? Great question… I want to not be sick more than I want to not taste the pill.  I know the pill is going to be good for me in the long run.

photo-1463114680351-75863cab5bf3When it comes to taking medicine, I rarely feel better the next day.  I have to trust that the Doctor knows what he is talking about.  I think my pill experience is a lot like my faith experience.  

This last week I was singing a song about God being good and He never lets us down.  The song lyrics were “You are good, good” over and over.  Every time I would sing it I would visualize one of the worst days of my life.  I could see one of my spiritual mentors telling me they had an affair.  I can see the room where a pastor fired me twice.  I can see a family member telling me they were hoping for my marriage to end in divorce.  I can remember a coach telling me he couldn’t build a team on a senior quarterback.  I can remember some tense moments in my marriage.  I can remember when my parents told me they were getting a divorce, multiple times. I can remember thinking my wife was going to die when she had miscarriage in our shower.  I can remember when our son was born not breathing and blue.  I can remember sitting at an intersection thinking about driving in front of a semi. I would see these moments in my mind like I was there, I remember where people were in the room, and how I felt. 

Genesis 50:20  You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good

So many times I have experience real pain, and it could have taken me out.  These broken moments have been the times where I have experienced God’s grace, strength, compassion, forgiveness, and love the most.  I can see now how God has taken these dark days and brought me to a new place of understanding who He is.  In all the disappointment, loss, rejection, compromise, and death I believe more than I ever have that God is good and He is for me.  What other people intended to harm me, God intended it for good!

So where do you need to declare God is good in your life?  Where does God need to reveal who He is in your life?  Go to Him now! Let His goodness heal you, restore you, forgive you!

Recklessly, obsessively following Jesus

Brandon Sereg

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