Vital Ministries News

Meet for Breakfast Once a Month This Summer

The Vital Men small groups will finish in April. We are asking that each location consider getting together once a month for breakfast or coffee through the summer to stay in touch. Keep watching our vitalministries.org web page for more information.

It’s Mine

Luke 16:10-12 (NASB) “He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much. 11 Therefore if you have not been faithful in the use of unrighteous wealth, who will entrust the true riches to you? 12 And if you have not been faithful in the use of that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own?

We have a problem, one of many, but I’m going to talk about this one in particular.  It’s a problem that I struggle with everyday and one that serves as a tremendous obstacle in drawing closer to God and a living a fully surrendered life. The problem I speak of is “ownership”.  “That’s mine.  I bought it, built it, created it, earned it.  I own it!”  

While hunting in Utah this past fall, my wife and I were blessed with making the acquaintance of a fellow hunter, but more importantly a brother in Christ, Mr. Glade.  At the end of our hunt, after we packed up, we swung by his camp to say farewell.  My wife had developed a nasty heel blister, and upon hearing of her pain, Glade insisted on saddling up one of “his” horses to take her out.  My wife resisted, stating that it wouldn’t be necessary.  Glade was having none of that talk, and proceeded saddling the animal.  As he was doing so, he made a profession.  He said, and I quote, “I own nothing.  Every thing entrusted to my care, belongs to my Father.  Therefore, it’s family property.  So Sister, I figure you’re riding your own horse down off this mountain.”  And that was that.  With a smile from ear to ear, my wife got a 3 mile horseback ride and I brought up the rear just trying to keep pace.  She got to ride, but I got something of greater value.  I got a dose of truth, perspective and conviction. 

Glade is precisely right.  Scripture tells us, both in old testament and new testament passages, that we bring nothing into this world and take nothing out.  We are merely stewards of the gifts God chooses to entrust us with.  Glade understood this principle, and he lived it. 

Now, the things of this life are temporal.  They are not eternal, and therefore have little value in the big picture.  Things of the Spirit, however, are eternal and more precious than one can even remotely comprehend.  If we do not manage the temporal, low value, earthly gifts well, would God entrust us with immeasurable precious gifts of the Spirit?  Clutching, coveting, abusing or mismanaging of the temporal gifts is a certain way to stack an immense obstacle between ourselves and a deeper, more fulfilling spiritual connection with Jesus Christ. 

So, ask yourself, are you an owner or a steward?  Are the blessings you’ve received your’s or are they family property?  Have a blessed weekend

Romans 11:36 For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.

In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,

Scott Pace  

Planning Committee

Monday morning, I checked the radar to see where the snow was and it all looked like it was leaving Iowa and heading through Wisconsin.  Then I sent a message to some friends North of Appleton and asked how things were up there and got the reply ‘everything is closed’ as they had 15-20” of snow on top of ice.  If you live in the Midwest, especially Northern Iowa or Southern MN the past few weeks, you are used to weather changing things.  What do you do when things don’t play out according to how they were planned, or how you hoped it would go?  If you are like me, surely you encounter this on some level every day.  Whether it’s the weather, an illness or accident, a computer problem, someone not doing what they promised, or any number of things, how we deal with adversity each day says a lot about our character.  What do you say to God when things don’t go your way? 

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

Any one of us can look at our live and in one moment say we are miserable, and then looking at another poor soul, and say its not so bad.  When we compare our situation to anyone else, we can always find something to complain about and covet in others, especially if we have a lot of negative self talk.  If we listen to the Word regularly, we may find that we are blessed more than we thought, and when we see someone else in a worse situation, we would seek to help or give an encouraging word instead of gloat or criticize.  Consider how often Jesus gave up what He could have selfishly taken in any given situation.  Instead, he put others before himself because it was best for everyone.  When we think selfishly, we act selfishly.  When we think of others, we act in love.

And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!  Philippians 2:8

Take a few moments to consider where you would be if some things had gone different in your life.  If  you had not had the parents you did, or lived where you are, or met those you have in your life now.  You may think things would be a lot better or could also be a lot worse than what they are.  If everything had gone according to your plans, you surely wouldn’t be where you are today.  Thank God for the blessings in your life.  Be grateful for what you do have, and even for what you don’t have.  Find opportunities to be a blessing to others as well, no matter where your plans take you today. 

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”   Jeremiah 29:11

Yours in Christ,
Clark

My Friend Got Robbed…

A friend of mine recently got robbed.  He owns a business that sells used items on ebay.  He was on vacation when he gets a text from his assistant.  Needless to say enjoying the vacation was hard to enjoy!  When he got home and assessed what was stolen it was over $10,000.  I met with him and he was pretty sure it was one of his employees.  He was so angry and felt deeply violated.  This was a guy that he had helped out.  He gave him a job when no one else would.  

One day, he sets up to take this guy to lunch.  The night before, he went to the Lord.  He told the Lord he wanted to set him on fire and drag him behind his truck.  God said other wise.  On top of robbing him, this employee owed him over $20,000.  God said don’t prosecute, forgive the debt, and bless him.  

So the lunch finally comes.  My friend eats lunch with his employee like nothings wrong and then asks him a question… “tell me about the break in.”  The employee breaks.  He confesses, admits he should go to jail, admits to abusing pain killers and alcohol. My friend had a letter written up forgiving his debt.  He gives it to the employee.  Now the employee is sobbing in the restaurant. My friend says he is not going to prosecute.  Then he starts giving him gift cards for gas and groceries. 

About an hour after this lunch, I get a call from my friend.  He is asking how to get his employee in Celebrate Recovery.  He tells me the story over the phone.  Now I am crying as I see this is what did for me. 

Romans 6:22 But now you are free from the power of sin and have become slaves of God. Now you do those things that lead to holiness and result in eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.

We deserved death and owed a debt we could pay.  Then a good Father sends His Son.  I have a son.  I would not give my son for my enemy.  I, through sin, made myself an enemy of God.  God gave the punishment I deserved to His Son.  He forgave my debt.  He set me free. He blessed me with new life, a Church to help me,  and a purpose inside me.  He has called me a son. 

If you are also following Jesus and received his salvation, thank Him now!  Worship Him!  

If you are not following Jesus and have not received his new life you can now!  If you know you are a sinner and want Jesus to forgive you. If you want who you are now to die and have a new life in Jesus.  If you would trust in the finished work of Jesus on the cross for your freedom.  Then pray this prayer:

Jesus, forgive me of my sin.  I trust what you did on the cross for my freedom.  Give me new life.  i choose to follow you all of my days.  Amen!

If you just prayed that prayer, I am so proud of you! You are BRAND NEW. God loves you!  I would love it if you would comment to let me know your prayed that prayer.

Recklessly, obsessively following Jesus

Brandon Sereg

Why We Live Right

I’ve learned that I need to have a compelling reason to do something difficult, or else I’m unlikely to do it very long. I studied Spanish in school, but I really saw little point to it. It was difficult learning those gnarly conjugation rules and scores of vocab, and I found little reason to pour myself into it. For much of my life I didn’t see the point to eating in a healthy fashion. Pizza, bacon cheeseburgers, and Mt. Dew were plenty fine for me. No need for that abhorrable “green stuff” (except the aforementioned Mt. Dew). Yet, today I speak Spanish every day (albeit far from fluently) and I maintain a relatively healthy diet and exercise regiment (having lost well over a hundred pounds). Why was I able to make such big changes? Because I came to understand how important it was to make them. When my church began working with three Spanish speaking churches in Nicaragua I realized I needed to learn Spanish so that I could lead and minister effectively. When my blood pressure spiked and my health was slipping in many ways I understood I needed to change my diet or risk my long-term health. Once I understood the reason and purpose for behaving in a certain way I became much more dedicated to acting in that way.

I feel that a major reason many of us fall into perpetual sin in our lives is that we don’t always comprehend why we are supposed to be following God’s ways. Why is it really such a big deal to be nice? Why do I have to forgive that jerk in my office? Why do I have to give of my time and money for others? This past week I was reading through Titus and came upon this verse, which really clarified for me why we NEED to live lives that are pure and righteous.

To the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled. They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work. Titus 1:15-16

While none of us will ever be sinless, we can all be living a life closer to the purity and righteousness of Jesus. We do this so we do not defile the many good things God has put in our life. We love and respect our wife to maintain the integrity and purity of our marriage. We speak the truth and use our words in a positive way so that our words bear fruit instead of causing chaos. And we do good works in our lives not to earn rewards, prestige, or warm fuzees, but to profess our love for God. We follow God’s commands so that we may bring the maximum amount of honor and love into the world while minimizing the amount of detestable disobedience. Always remember, we are following God’s ways not simply “because,” but so that we may bring honor and glory to Him and His Kingdom.

Every Sunday at 8:30 AM

Listen to Mike Sereg on kBOE 104.9FM

LISTEN NOW

Sign me up!

  • Yes, I would like to receive the the Vital Men Daily Devotion email. Sign me up!
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.