Investing 202

Where does God want us to invest our resources? Let us first consider who owns all these things we so often think of as our own. This is the biggest perspective changer for me. When I quit thinking of everything as ‘mine’ and cease trying to get all that I can for myself, it changes my motives as well. When each penny is not really mine, but is something God is just entrusting me to use for a limited amount of time, I become someone God is trusting with his investment. My talents, knowledge, abilities, influence, etc. all become things God can use to further his kingdom in the few short years I may have here. Just like in the parable of the talents, God prefers to invest in that which will produce the greatest returns. How is that return going with us?

The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it. Psalm 24:1

Each Spring, we see hope all around us when the farmers and gardeners sow seeds in hopes of good growth and a harvest in the fall. Every year I waste food that could come from my garden. Either from plants that do not come to maturity, because I do not plant them well, nurture them, or when fruit is produced, I do not harvest it, consume it, or distribute it to others in time before it rots. This is sad, as much time, work and effort went into getting the crop to begin, grow and produce, but in the end it is wasted. Much the same can be said of our lives. We can have all the world has to offer in a way of riches, influence, and opportunity, but if it was just to benefit us and our already inflated ego, in the end it was all wasted. When we use all that we have been given to lead others to the knowledge of Christ, and to further his kingdom, it is for fruit that will last. Just like in the parable of the sower, all our efforts do not always determine whether the fruit will last or not, only do the work God has called us to do and he will do the rest.

What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ. Philippians 3:8

In my experience, some of the best investments you can make into someone’s life is to check in periodically with them over a long period of time…decades even. Take opportunities to share your faith and live out what it means to follow God to unbelieving friends and people you have regular contact with. Share and encourage fellow believers in their walks as well, as there is always something to help us grow as we share how God is working in our lives. If you have any contact with a younger person, take opportunities to speak the truth found in the gospel into their lives, share with them what you have learned and what knowing Christ means to you. As they grow into adulthood, they will remember even small things you may have done or said to encourage them in their faith. There is no act of service or kindness that God cannot use in some way.

The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. Matthew 13:44

Brothers, let us see the value in see the value of investing our time, talents, and resources into kingdom work. May you have the discernment to know where and when to plant, and which endeavors will produce the most fruit. May you have the patience and perseverance to trust Him with all that we have been given. Lord, may your kingdom come, and further expand in my life and in the lives of those around me as we seek to sow seeds that will last beyond this lifetime. May the fruit of our labors bring glory to your name, now and always!

In His Name,
Clark

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

Turbulence

A number of years ago I found myself traveling from the Midwest to New Jersey. I arrived in Milwaukee to catch my connecting flight to Newark, only to discover that a major winter storm had paralyzed the eastern seaboard. As I gazed as the flight board I saw the dreaded CANCELLED on every flight to the east coast save one: mine! I was, of course, quite excited that I would still get home on time. My excitement disappeared, however, when our flight encountered the storm head on. We hit so much turbulence that the overhead compartments opened and luggage flew everywhere. The majority of the passengers ended up using the “courtesy bags {aka barf bags} because things were so shaky. As we came in for our landing I watched the plane’s wings move haphazardly up and down, and I started wondering if we would make it. We seemingly hit the tarmac ok, and then suddenly began to slide. The plane actually slid out of control, doing a 180 before finally coming to a rest. Once I realized I was not going to die I became very curious as to what kind of pilot a} thought it was a good idea to take off b} thought it was a good idea to continue through the storm and c} thought it was wise to land on a sheet of ice. The cockpit opened to reveal a fresh-faced young buck of a captain whose jacket was about 3 sizes to big. He grinned a “I can’t wait to tell the fellas” grin, and we all thankfully exited the plane. 

Lots of times are lives resemble that airplane ride as we feel constantly tossed and turned about, worried that we are going to crash and burn at any moment. Often times in those moments we are quick to blame God for our predicament, or to even doubt his existence. Here’s what I want us to all ask ourselves today: who is really at the controls of our lives? Are we letting God pilot our life, or have we locked the cockpit door and are trying to pilot our life through storms we are ill prepared for? Checkout these challenging, yet hopeful, words from Psalm 143:
Deliver me from my enemies, O Lord!
I have fled to you for refuge.
Teach me to do your will,
for you are my God!
Let your good Spirit lead me
on level ground!
For your name’s sake, O Lord, preserve my life!
In your righteousness bring my soul out of trouble!
Psalm 143:9-11

We are going to fly through turbulence in life. What we need to decide is whether we are going to attempt piloting through it ourselves, or instead turn the cockpit over to God. Here’s the reality friends: when we turn the controls of our life over to God he will guide us, deliver us, teach us, and love us through whatever it is we are going through. Surrender the controls, and let our loving God lead you through the storms of life.

This Is The Day

Psalm 118:24New International Version (NIV) 24 The Lord has done it this very day; let us rejoice today and be glad. This day I choose to rejoice. Obviously choosing is a choice on our own part. We have often heard this verse quoted, sang, and lifted up, but do we live it? I am walking with the expectancy for what the Lord is going to do in our men’s event tonight at Vermeer Pavilion. Yes, I am hopeful that men will come, but this is what I hold onto today. The Bible says in Proverbs 16:9, ‘We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps’. We have been making plans in the last few months for our event. We have put it on the radio, facebook, posters, and church bulletins. But now I submit it back to the Lord. He will determine our steps. My hope and prayer have been for 300 men to come to our event. We have two great speakers in Andrew and Marty Schmidt, along with the band Now Serving 7. I believe for those who choose to come will be impacted. I realize all the conflicts that occur with ball games, family outings, and whatever life puts in our path. It is all good stuff and much of it important. A good friend and pastor once said this to me, “Mike, rejoice in those that come and leave the rest to the Lord.” Very good and sound advice. To those who have a night that allows them to come, I rejoice in that. To those who have other callings that pull them from tonight, blessings on your night. I choose this day to be glad in it! Strength and Courage – Michael

Vital Ministries News

1 Samuel 22:1-2New International Version (NIV)

David at Adullam and Mizpah

22 David left Gath and escaped to the cave of Adullam. When his brothers and his father’s household heard about it, they went down to him there. All those who were in distress or in debt or discontented gathered around him, and he became their commander. About four hundred men were with him.

When I read these Scriptures, it sounds like the men of today having the same struggles. There are men in distress, in debt, and having a bitter soul. Yet, David was in hiding too. When they all came together it says David was with 400 men. These men were farmers, shepherds, and men who made tools and weapons from iron.

We have an opportunity to come to the ‘cave’ at Vermeer Pavilion on May 2nd. We will open the doors at 5:30 for food and fellowship. We will be able to hear two powerful speakers, Andrew and Marty Schmidt. We will also be lead in a time of worship with Now Serving 7.

In the ‘cave’, we will learn what it means to engage. We will learn how to submit to the Creator for purpose in life. We will learn about how honor is valuable in life. And we will assess life and die to ourselves in order to lead those closest to us. Take all of these principles and be men who engage in life.

We need you there! Will you take the time? 

It will be a night of men who meet at the Cave of Adullam.

Let’s band together for a night of being men of Strength and Courage. It is an important night!

Strength and Courage

Michael

 

 

 

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.