Author Archives: Brandon

How to relate with Jesus

Like when I first got married, I knew I was supposed to “leave my parents and cleve to my wife” but I had a really good dad.  What is my relationship with him supposed to look like?  I knew I shouldn’t talk about marriage problems or struggles I had with Johna, but what can I talk about?  Money has a lot to do with marriage, can I talk with him about that? I did not know how to relate with my dad.

Have you ever felt that way with Jesus?  Like you know Jesus loves you, died for you, and wants to know you, but you don’t know how to engage with Him.  One way that has really helped me along the way is to know how Jesus wants to relate to me.  Jesus called himself a shepherd and said I am like his sheep.  

photo-1423766111988-c47a5ff6ed06John 10:11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep. 12 A hired hand will run when he sees a wolf coming. He will abandon the sheep because they don’t belong to him and he isn’t their shepherd. And so the wolf attacks them and scatters the flock. 13 The hired hand runs away because he’s working only for the money and doesn’t really care about the sheep.

14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me, 15 just as my Father knows me and I know the Father. So I sacrifice my life for the sheep.

So here are 3 things a shepherd does:

  1. Defend the sheep

A good shepherd does not expect the sheep to defend itself. Now a sheep should stay where the shepherd has designated, and sheep do tend to wander away.  If a lion or a bear come for a sheep, a good shepherd defends the flock.  Even when a sheep wanders, the parable of the lost sheep says, the good shepherd leaves the 99 to get the one that went their own way.  So where are you looking to defend yourself instead of letting Jesus defend you?  Where are you straying from Jesus and need to call out to have Him rescue you?

2. Lead the sheep

Psalm 23 says he leads us to green pasture and still water.  He is our source.  Money, sex, success, GPAs, food, and relationships are all good things, but the make terrible sources for our lives.  They make terrible gods.  The Good Shepherd wants to lead you to live giving places, but might lead you through a desert, wilderness, thorn bush to get there.  He alone knows what lies on the smoother path.  A good sheep learns to trust the the good Shepherd has the best plan.  Where are you trying to make your own way?  What are you trusting in to be your source? Where do you need to be a good sheep and trust where the shepherd is leading you?

3. Care for sheep

A good shepherd cares for their sheep.  They are not concern with only what they get from them, but has great intensions for them.  A good shepherd cleans wounds, carries when exhausted, watches late into the night, lays down his life for his sheep.  That is what Jesus wants to do in you. What wounds do you need him to clean?  Where do you need Him to carry you?  

For Jesus to be your shepherd you have to choose to be His sheep!  Let Him protect, lead, and care for you.  

Recklessly, Obsessively Following Jesus

Brandon Sereg

The Battle Within

photo-1443683263937-3e377546e8a8 (1)Have you ever felt like there was a battle inside you? You want to do what is right and you want to do what is popular. Then you feel like you have to choose between them. Which one wins out? Do you ever feel like the one you want to win doesn’t? We feel totally out of control. Yet we do not want to feel controlled. Why is it that we are afraid to be controlled by God? I think it is because we have a hard time trusting we would like the outcome of His control.

Romans 8:9 But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to him at all.) 10 And Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life because you have been made right with God. 11 The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.

For us who are in Christ (we have made Jesus our savior and King), the Holy Spirit lives in us. This means you do not fight this battle within on your own, but there is ONE that is greater. The Spirit that took 3 day old dead Jesus and made Him alive again, is the SAME SPIRIT who gives you the power you need to live in victory from your sinful nature.

Now what of the sin that we struggle with even as believers. If we are in Christ, why do we still sin? Great question! It is because salvation happens in a moment, yet is a journey to complete. In Christ, both natures are at war within us. So how does one win out? Is there a way for us to find victory?

If a man has two dogs. These dogs are trained to fight each other. Which one wins? The one you feed.

This is true in battle between our sinful nature and The Spirit within us. The one we feed will win. If we fill our lives with things of this world then our sinful nature will win out. If we fill our lives with God’s word, His presence, and mission he has planned for us then the Spirit will win.

What are you feeding? What is winning the battle within you? Where do you need to go ask the Holy Spirit to help you? GO DO IT!

Recklessly, obsessively following Jesus

Brandon Sereg

Four Letter Word

The word we are going to talk about feels like a 4 letter word. It is actually 5 letters, but the word puts many of us on edge. We have allowed this word in our lives and many of us have been burned. People have taken this word and abused us or other people we know. Want to know this word?

Trust… We have given it to people of authority, friends, family, co workers, pastors, and many others. They have taken advantage of our trust and left us keeping our trust in ourselves. Then we have lied to ourselves. We have said we will get up earlier, we will spend more time reading the Bible, we will get with a mentor, we can afford the payment, only one more chip, only one more tv show… we all know how those go. We make new years resolutions and commitments to ourselves and don’t follow through. This leads us to not trust anyone including ourselves. If everyone breaks our trust and we break our own trust, then we put that fear on God. A very big part of following Jesus is trusting Him, but we are afraid to. Then we come across verses like this:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight.

Proverbs 3:5-6 New International Version (NIV)

Now God wants us to trust Him with ALL our heart. Then the what if questions start flowing. What if I trust him _____, and it turns out different than I want it to? What if He doesn’t want me to get married? What if He says no? Then not only does He want me to trust my heart to Him when my “truster” is broken, now He wants me to do it even when I do not understand. Then He wants me to trust him in setting my direction and He wants to choose the paths I take.

But that would be like my finances, my relationships, my dreams, my passions, my Friday nights, and my future. That requires A LOT of trust!!!! How can we give a God we cannot see that much of our heart?

In the 1930’s, a man had a model A car. It was broken down on the side of the road, and another man walks up and offers to help. This man is walking and the driver of the car thinks he can’t trust the walking with fixing his car. However, the walking guys just happens to be Henry Ford, the creator of the Model A. I would say the driver was safe to trust Henry to fix his car.

You have a creator, and your truster is broke. You don’t know how and if it could be fixed, but there is One who can fix you. There is One who can heal you. There is only One who is WORTHY of your complete trust. He gave His life on a cross to prove His commitment to your healing and He is worthy of your trust. His promises to you will not fail, His commitment to you will not let you down. You can trust Him.

Where do you need to trust Him? Where do you need to walk in faith where do you don’t understand? Where do you need to seek Him in how you live? Where do you need to trust Him in the path He called you to?

Recklessly, Obsessively Following Jesus

Brandon Sereg

The Price of Freedom

In our country, freedom is amazing.  You can grow up poor and in your 20’s become wealthy.  You can go bankrupt and start over.  We have freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and the right to own guns. We have the freedom to be educated no matter your social status or race.  This great freedom has come at a great cost.  In the wars we have been apart of, we have had almost 3,000,000 casualties and 1,400,000 deaths.  The price of our freedom is high.  Fathers, mothers, sons, and daughters did not come come come so we can have and keep these freedoms. 

Isaiah 53:5 But he was pierced for our rebellion,
    crushed for our sins.
He was beaten so we could be whole.
    He was whipped so we could be healed.

Jesus endured a great price so we can walk in freedom.  A crown of thorns and wiped beyond human recognition was the payment for your rebellion.  Rebellion is resistance to or defiance of any authority, control,or tradition. God has been very clear of His standard for us to live by and we openly went against that.   We deserve the punishment for our sin and Jesus took our place.  The father allowed His Son to be tortured and brutalized on our behalf. 

He purchased our ability to be made whole!  Not lacking, not depressed, not addicted, not empty and alone, but free to no longer be held back!  He purchased the key that unlocks our chains and bondage.  Our freedom is to be healed.  Healing in marriages, relationships, friendships! Healing in our bodies, our mind, our spirit.

If Jesus purchased all of that freedom, why do we still find ourselves empty, depressed, and broken? I believe it is because we are still trying to pay for it on our own.  We want healing because we have read enough self help books, been kind to others enough,  attended church enough, read our Bible enough… We still think we can cover the bill, and when it doesn’t happen we blame Jesus for it, when He is trying to get us to come to him and be dependent on Him and not our own goodness.  We can’t write a check big enough to purchase freedom in any part of our lives.  What we need is to do is go to Jesus and ask Him to set us free.  We lean into His strength and His performance for our freedom.  

So what role do we play?  We participate with grace by walking in obedience by His power.  The price of freedom is too high for us to ignore it or choose to not have it!  So where do you need freedom?  Where has Jesus purchased your freedom and you have chosen not to walk in it?

Go to Jesus and let him heal, forgive, and make you whole!

Recklessly Obsessively Following Jesus

Brandon Sereg

My Source

I know being a husband, a dad, and working with other people has caused me to ask questions I have a hard time answering.  Then I after sitting in a question for awhile, I have more question. These questions are even harder than the first.  I know I don’t have the answers and feel like they are so far above my ability to understand.  Now I feel discouraged.  So I look to other people and for every person I ask, I get a different answer.  So where is my source that is steady, consistent, and worthy of my submission?

This week, I read…

Psalm 119:25 I lie in the dust;
    revive me by your word.
26 I told you my plans, and you answered.
    Now teach me your decrees.
27 Help me understand the meaning of your commandments,
    and I will meditate on your wonderful deeds.
28 I weep with sorrow;
    encourage me by your word.

I think the Word of God is supposed to be that source!  Think about some of these phrases… You revive me by your word, you answered, you help me understand, and encouraged by your word. I don’t know about you, but revived, answered, helped, and encouraged are all things I need.  Here I find that the source of all of those things is in God’s Word!

29 Keep me from lying to myself;
    give me the privilege of knowing your instructions.
30 I have chosen to be faithful;
    I have determined to live by your regulations.
31 I cling to your laws.
    Lord, don’t let me be put to shame!
32 I will pursue your commands,
    for you expand my understanding.

This starts with a desire to not lie to myself.  How do I know if I am lying to myself? It is by the privilege of knowing God’s instruction, comparing it to my plan, and finding there is a gap. As a result, I can live the last three verses… I have chosen, I have determined, I cling to, I will pursue… because you have expanded my understanding.

So where is your source to be… revived, answered, helped, and encouraged?  If it is anywhere but God’s word, it will always be temporary and lacking.  When you put deep roots into and drink from God’s deep well of wisdom and love, you will find yourself living in the fullness of what He designed for you!  If you need wisdom, encouragement, direction, or help go to the only One who is worthy to be that source for you!

So today, right now, GO to Jesus and ask Him to give you what you need and allow Him to fill you up!

Recklessly, obsessively following Jesus

Brandon Sereg

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