You Are Not Perfect

I’m currently reading a biography of Alexander Hamilton, who you’ll find on every $10 bill. Hamilton was not only one of the Founding Fathers of our country, but his life-achievements make him the poster child for being good at everything. Just look at the massive spectrum of his achievements: ivy league scholar, spokesman for the revolution, Revolutionary War hero, primary writer of the Federalist Papers, leading attorney of the early United States, founder of the first bank in New York, founder of the Coast Guard, Army Chief of Staff, first Treasury Secretary, accomplished and published poet, fluent in numerous languages, and much more. That is an amazing breadth of accomplishments that has never been close to duplicated in the annuals of our nation. Yet, one certainly could not say Alexander Hamilton was good at everything. He was a known womanizer, had multiple affairs, was notoriously difficult to get along with, used 1,000 words when ten would have sufficed, and his massive ego led to his death in a duel at an early age. Yes, even the man regarded to have perhaps the most well rounded skill set in American history could not do everything well.

 

I think we would all have considerably more enjoyable lives if we lived with the daily understanding that neither us, nor ANYONE else on this planet, can do everything well. The well known verse in Romans 3:23 that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” should serve as a reminder that all of us have short comings. The key is learning to be ok with that. Instead of dwelling on your shortcomings, especially those things you cannot change, we need to focus on those things God has gifted us to do. I know so many people who feel like useless pieces of God’s Kingdom because they are not gifted speakers, teachers, or singers. While those may be some of the most visible gifts, they are far less effective without the support of other gifts. Even the most gifted preacher is only marginally effective unless supported by those who have gifts such as hospitality, evangelism, mercy, and more.

 

Just like you cannot do everything, neither can ANYONE else. Your spouse, best friend, boss, neighbor, parents, and yes, even your pastor, cannot do everything well. And that’s ok! They all have strengths and shortcomings. Instead of holding others to impossible standards, start thinking about how you can partner with them. Paul compares the Church to the human body in writing in Ephesians 4:16: the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.” Instead of feeling like failures everyday, and being frustrated by the shortcomings of those around us, let’s remember that we all have failings. Instead of feeling inadequate and judging others lets look for ways to work together daily for the glory of God.

Being Optimistic

 

Romans 15:13 New International Version (NIV)

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.

 

Just being optimistic will not necessarily change the outcome of all situations. By nature people will either see a glass half full or half empty. You either live a life of optimism or pessimism. It also does not mean your faith is stronger just because your view of the situation is optimistic.

This past Sunday, I watched the NFL game between the Carolina Panthers and the Seattle Seahawks. These two incredible NFC teams had quarterbacks who are very talented and hard fighters, as well as, leaders of men.

The Panthers had the Seahawks down 31 to 0 at the half. It did not look optimistic for Seattle. Russell Wilson was playing hard along with his team, but Cam Newton and the Panthers were dominate forces. Everything was in Carolin’s favor. Even the announcers were not optimistic of the fate of Seattle.

The Seahawks came out at the second half with guns blazing. First they had a 50 yard kickoff return, and then eventually a score. The Seahawks fought back to be within 7 points, and they had shut down the Panther offense.

With all their optimism the Seahawks ran out of time and were defeated by the Panthers. What I noticed with the remaining two minutes of the game was Russell and some of the players praying.

Biblical optimism is a result of the character of God. This in plain English is hope. When you put hour hope in Christ, you come to the terms of His Sovereign plan. Are you saying that Carolina prayed harder? No, I am not say that. I am saying that God cares and is part of all things in our lives.

Men, it is important that regardless of what happens in this life or what is put on your plate, we must continue to have optimistic out look. It is like the verse in Romans 8:28, ‘All things work together for those who love God’ – “My Version”. 

Godly hope or optimism looks beyond what we understand and views it from God’s perspective.

I believe that Russell Wilson and the Seahawks will get back into the fight next season. Let’s allow our lives to get back into the fight because winning or losing, it is always in the hands of our Lord, Jesus Christ.

Strength and Courage

Mike

 

 

 

Vital Ministries News

 

 

Jeremiah 17:9 New International Version

The heart is deceitful above all things
    and beyond cure.
    Who can understand it?

The heart of every problem is the problem of the heart. God revealed to Jeremiah that God searches the heart and the mind and knows exactly how to reward each person. In order to know the condition of your own heart read the Word of God and allow the Holy Spirit to reveal what is inside you. That is why we need to memorize Scripture. This is our verse for January. Study it and keep it within your heart.

 

Vital Men Small Group

Next week, we are studying James 5:1-6. James gives warnings to the rich. Go to vitalministries.org for your nearest location.

 

                                                                                                   

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Listen to KBOE Radio 104.9 every Sunday morning 8:30-9:00.

 

 

Daily Devotionals for Men and Women

                   You can get Vital Men and Vital Women devotionals each day, Monday’s through Fridays. Go to vitalministries.org and sign up or get it on demand from your cell phone. 

 

Vital Men Event at the Newton Church of the Way

February 1, 2016 is our next quarterly event in which you can bring your sons and friends. Brandon Sereg will be our guest speaker. We will have the Vital Men Band leading us in worship. Come hungry because Country Catering will have food for us at the low cost of $7.00. The doors will open at 5:30. Do not miss this event!

Strength and Courage

Mike

 

 

 

Press Your Luck?

 

So, if you woke up today and found out your lottery ticket was one that won, what would you do different? The American dream…to get rich quick, and expend as little energy as possible to do so. That pretty much sums up the hopes people put in the lottery. The same can be said of any type of gambling (cards, casino, stock trading, new business ventures, etc), most of which I am not a fan. To be honest, for fun, I bought a ticket this past weekend and made some promises to people that they would get part of it, if I won. I would have honored my word, but it is easy to make promises with money you ‘might’ win. It is also interesting to talk about or consider what you would do if you did win (or earn) $1million, $1billion, or any amount of money. Would your values or priorities change at all? Would your relationship to God change?

I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.  I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do all this through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:11-13

In my experience and from what I have heard in the media and comments by friends and others, the lottery basically promotes greed, jealousy, and false hope. Chances of winning are slim to none and those who play the most are usually those who can’t afford to play. You can list all the benefits gambling may provide in tax revenue, jobs, etc, but you may ask if the benefits outweigh the costs. It may be fun to dream, but what is it doing to your heart?

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. I Timothy 6:10

If you win the lottery, does that mean God likes you better than others? If you never win the lottery, what does that mean…either you are not good at math, or God is not happy with you? I had a friend state a prayer the other day that one of us would win the lottery. I am sure God heard lots of these prayers this past week, but is that a prayer we should even be saying? Really? Honestly, the lottery would likely be one of the last things God would use to bless you. God doesn’t need me winning lots of money to further His kingdom.  If we put our hope in the riches of this world instead of God, who are we? A people who think, or at least act as though they don’t need God.

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven.   Matthew 19:23

Another question you should ask is ‘what would you do if someone gave you/you won $10,000?’ What you do with the small amount of money you have to steward, is indicative of what you will do with $1 billion. You may need more guidance, but your motives will be about the same. The same comparison can be made if you got promoted, or doubled your income somehow, would you be more or less wise in how you spend the money you have? The more disposable income you have, the more frivolous one tends to be. There are always exceptions, but that is the trend I see and have experienced firsthand.

If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities. Luke 16:10

The truth is, if you have come to know the joy of salvation found in Christ, you are better off than having won any lottery. Is there anything you know of which is more valuable? The irony is that the most valuable thing we can find in this life is relatively one of the easiest things to obtain. When you come to the knowledge of God’s plan for you in Christ, you can simply repent, receive Him, and follow Him.  While many people will spend their lives chasing after a little more money, they may miss out on the greatest riches available to them.  Share this wealth!  I would not trade my salvation for any amount of money. What is your price?

And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19

Richly Blessed to be His,
Clark

What is Worship?

Have you ever been in Church, engaged in the music, left, and wondered if that was it?  I know I have.  Don’t get me wrong… Often throughout the scriptures, you see music and worship hand and hand.  But is that it?  If I sing a fast, medium, and slow tempo song at the weekend service, did I worship in the way I was created?

The first time worship appears in the Scripture is when Abraham takes his son to be sacrificed in obedience to the Lord’s command.   So here worship is obedience unto the Lord.  Where is the Lord calling you to obey?  Can you imagine God asking for your son.  Sacrifice and obedience are NEVER easy and often necessary… However, it is true worship

Jame 1:27 Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.

Here worship is caring for the needs of those who cannot help themselves.  Widow in this culture cannot own property and are often forced into prostitution to take care of themselves and their kids. Orphans are at the mercy of slave traders just to live.  Who are the people around you that you can help get out of their impossible situation?

Revelation 4:9 Whenever the living beings give glory and honor and thanks to the one sitting on the throne (the one who lives forever and ever), 10 the twenty-four elders fall down and worship the one sitting on the throne (the one who lives forever and ever). And they lay their crowns before the throne and say,

11 “You are worthy, O Lord our God,
    to receive glory and honor and power.
For you created all things,
    and they exist because you created what you pleased.”

So here worship is men sitting on thrones with crowns, bowing down, laying their crowns before Jesus, and declaring that He is worthy of glory, honor, and power.  We were crowns as well.  They are not sitting on our head, but in them. They are the successes, accomplishments, gifts we have given, and the good things we have done.  These elders give us an example of real worship… To bow before our King and lay our crowns at His feet, for apart from Him we would not have them, this is worship!

Vital Men, Jesus is calling you to worship Him!  It all comes down to love… Obey, sacrifice, care for others, and give ALL the credit to that one who created you for worship. GO BE VITAL

Recklessly, obsessively following Jesus

Brandon Sereg

 

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Contact Mike by emailing: mike.sereg@gmail.com