What Is Submission?

Proverbs 1:23New Living Translation (NLT)

23 Come and listen to my counsel.
I’ll share my heart with you
    and make you wise.

A lot has been written on submission, but for us today, teaching our sons about manhood is essential. Men teaching sons. I think that is why the gap is widening and confusion is happening with men teaching about manhood.

In ancient Sparta, young boys were trained from childhood what it meant to become a soldier. Stephen Pressfield describes their training in his book, The Warrior Ethos.

When they were boys, they were forced to bathe in frigid water, run barefoot till their soles grew as thick as leather, ride all day without food or water, and endure whippings and ritual humiliations. On a rare occasion when they got rest, their trainers would remind them, “While you lie here at ease, the sons of the Persians are training to defeat you in battle.”

Many of you reading these words are thinking that is pretty extreme. It was not in ancient days. Spartan boys were raised to be Sparta men. These men were ready for battle,  were ready to slay evil armies,  were ready to fight wild beasts, and were ready to rescue people in need.

Some of what I have written today comes our of Chuck Holton’s latest book, Making Men. I am challenged not only by his writing but by his thoughts on submission. Being a man of God required submission to Jesus Christ.

When a man knows who he is in Christ, he does not battle the compromise of lust, sexuality, or confusion to world tries to infuse in us each day as men. We are warriors in God’s army. He challenges us in Ephesians 6 to put on the armor every day.

We will get to learn about submission and more this September 14th from 6:30-8:00 at the Pella Christian High School. The speaker is Chuck Holton who was an army ranger, and he is a man of God. This will be a good night for men, sons, and warriors. This kick-off leads us into our series: Conquer – The Battle Plan for Purity. Are you ready?

Strength and Courage

Michael

 

Vital Ministries News

Ephesians 5:25New Living Translation (NLT)

25 For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her

Living in Iowa comes the Iowa State Fair. It goes for 10 days. You will find farm animals, great food, the midway, and the musical entertainment. It is a family event for all who live in our state.

For me, the fair means a tradition with my wife. We go each year to opening day. We look at our favorite sites, she gets ISU posters, and we eat our favorite foods. We both look forward to it each year.

It is a day to go all out in spending time with my wife by paying attention to her and enjoying the moments in the day. Often, men, we can lose moments with our wives if we lose focus in being men of God. Spending time with our wives is vital. Make it a priority as Christ wants us to be all we can be through him who strengthens us.

Coming September 14 – The KICK OFF – Conquer, The Battle Plan for Purity – Guest Speaker, Chuck Holton – Let’s not only honor our Lord, but let us honor our wives as we engage in the battle plan of real manhood – Go to vitalministries.org for all the details!!

 

Let It Go

Born from love, forgiveness is one of the greatest gifts one can bestow upon another.  The personal cost is virtually nothing.  Actually, the opposite is more often the case.  The reward the giver receives is incalculable.  Peace, freedom, joy and unburdening are to name a few, but most importantly a righteous foothold.forgive2

 

Ephesians 4:31-32  (NKJV) Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. 32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.

God’s word tells us in numerous passages of the importance of forgiveness, no its necessity.  It’s frequency in scripture is due, I believe, to God’s understanding of how easy it is for us to lose sight of its vital importance, to cling to our hurt and grudges.  

Speaking for myself, I find it hard to let go of grudges, bitterness and resentment.  Often times I hold tightest to the grudges against those closest to me, my wife in particular.  Presumably, like many reading this, I find myself believing I’m justified in it.  They did it before and I forgave them, only to have them do it again. Why should I be the one to forgive?  Why should they get off so easy?  They should be punished.  They’re only going to continue to do it.  The answer to questions and statements like those is this…forgiving another is as much about you, your freedom, your spiritual health, your peace, your righteousness as it is about freeing the wrong doer.  It’s poison straight to the heart.  Also, it renders any positive outcome or change in the offending party that much more unlikely.  If you want God to work in someone else’s life, you might try showing them God’s work in you.    

Matthew 18:21-22 (NKJV)  Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” 22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.

If anyone has cause, justification to withhold forgiveness it’s Jesus.  I know I cannot get through a day without perpetrating some a front to God, hurting Him.  But, He forgives.  Every time, He forgives.

I John 1:9 (NKJV) If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 

 Even from the cross, that He went to for us, upon which He was being brutally tortured by us, He had nothing but love and forgiveness on His lips and in His heart.  

Luke 23:34 (NKJV) Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”

If you choose Jesus, choose to live out the love of Christ, forgiveness cannot be separated from that love.  It is a vital part of what it takes to free yourself from the burdens and chains of resentment and bitterness.  You will be hurt.  You will be wronged.  But, you too will hurt and wrong.  Will you choose to forgive, regardless?  Will you choose love?  

Colossians 3:13 (NKJV) Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. 

 

In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,

Scott Pace

H8erz

It doesn’t take long, just listen to the TV or radio for a few minutes and you can hear the hate.  Republicans and Democrats bashing one another, innocent people shot because of the color of their skin or the uniform they wear, internet forums blowing up with strong words, road rage and anger boiling over in any number of ways.  From all the hate you hear and see in the world around us, you may wonder if we are becoming more or less civilized as a society.  Do you get drawn into it or try to steer clear of any encounters that may raise your blood pressure?  What do you hate?

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”  I Samuel 16:7

Hate groups have been around as long as there have been humans.  It is an ‘us vs. them’ mentality with them being anything different from me, ranging from gender, skin color, age, weight, religion, sports team, wealth status, last name, etc.  I’ve heard some of the most hateful things said at sports competitions.  There are some groups that seek to be known such as the KKK, ISIS, white supremacists, and the like, while others are more subtle such as cliques as school.  Hate can also focus on individuals who have wronged you in some way and then remains in the form of unforgiveness, often creating rifts in families.  Surely we all have been wronged by an individual or business in the past and vowed never to deal with them again.  Hate takes on many forms.

Let those who love the Lord hate evil, for he guards the lives of his faithful ones and delivers them from the hand of the wicked.  Psalm 97:10

Is it ok for Christians to hate anything?  Recently, I seem to have extreme dislike for invasive weeds and one particular tree called the tree of heaven (which I call the tree from hell).  If you ask anyone what Christians are against, you might get a variety of replies from old school drinking, smoking, dancing, gambling, to younger generational replies of sex before marriage, drugs, gay marriage, abortion, sin, etc.  Anything anyone ever criticized or condemned may make the list as well, whether legitimate or not.  So instead of asking the world, let’s see what God hates, as we are to be like him.

There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him:  haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.  Proverbs 6:16-19

Essentially, God hates sin, and so should we.  The closer we are to God, the more we should be repulsed by sin in our own lives and in the world around us.  While we should hold ourselves and our brethren to a higher standard, we may not expect the same from someone of the world who does not know God, but we are to be an example to them.  This is why the world hates Christians, because we hate sin in our own lives, which serves a reminder to others of their own sin.  So instead of repenting, it is easier to rationalize the sinful behavior and destroy the messenger.  Why was Christ crucified?  Not because of any wrongdoing, but because he served as a constant reminder to the people around him of their own sins. 

If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.  John 15:18

You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.  Matthew 10:22

Brothers, if we are not criticized or even hated because of our faith, we have to ask if others even know we are believers.  Does it show?  Christians should be known by their ability to love and forgive others, not for demonstrating hate.  When others see any anger or hate in us, we are no different than the world around us.  Let us demonstrate love to those who hate us, even as Christ did for those who condemned him.  And they will know we are Christians by our love.

 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.  John 15:19

Strength and Courage in Christ,
Clark

The Biggest Looser

I love the show the biggest looser. I love the peoples stories.  I especially love week 1 where they loose a ton of weight.  That first week their workouts are sloppy, people are crying, throwing up, and wanting to quit.  They have to choose what they want more… Do they want to live a long life, be active with their families, and loose the weight… knowing they will have to embrace pain, vomit, and change.  Or they can choose to be obese, spend their lives sitting, and die at an early age… not have to hurt by exercise, eat whatever they want, and not change.  They have a choice, it seems easy on the surface, but to do the biggest looser they will have to overcome years of bad habits.

I see people all the time that are not spiritually fit.  People who wander why their faith has grown cold and they haven’t prayed in months.  Marriages who are facing divorce but never asked someone for help.  Parents who’s kids hate church, but taught them church was a priority as long as it didn’t interrupt football, baseball, the lake, weekend at home, grandma’s house, or anything else that came up this week.  Then you meet people that spend time getting the Word in them everyday, they have a vibrant prayer life, they serve people everywhere they go, they walk in humility by inviting wiser people into their lives before there is a problem.  They have a joy all over them though they may face the same circumstances of those listed before.  What is the difference?

photo-1453844598634-41bfc63e7b231 Corinthians 9:24 Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! 25 All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. 26 So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. 27 I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.

Where do you need to walk in discipline?  Are you spending time with Jesus everyday?  Are you in the Word? Are you serving others?  Do you have community in your life to lead you?  How much of your prayer time is talking vs. listening?

God is for you and has called us to live focused lives so we can enjoy the results of disciple.  Now hear me.  If you do a disciplined life, God will not love you more.  If you do not He will not love you less.  You are not earning anything here.  You are getting to know the character, confidence, strength, humility, power, refreshing, and love of a Father who wants to put His nature in you.  It is an invitation into a full life of His goodness.

So what do you need to do today to walk in disciple? Plan it, wake up early, go to be late, you are not shadow boxing my friend!  Jesus has great things for you today!

Recklessly, obsessively following Jesus

Brandon Sereg

Every Sunday at 8:30 AM

Listen to Mike Sereg on kBOE 104.9FM

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