Perish and Provide

Luke 9:23New International Version (NIV)

23 Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.

Before you start thinking today, here we go. I have heard this before. I want you to put a different lens cover on your glasses. Yes, Jesus is saying this to everyone who has had breath in their lungs. Right?

What if we would put it in a way that declared a man’s true manhood? Are we not called as husbands, fathers, and grandfathers to a higher purpose in life?

Too often men hide behind manhood and continue boyhood instead. They are boys in a man’s body. You are probably thinking I am going for the throat today, but I am really not.

Jesus was a real man’s man. He worked hard. He stood in for his earthly father. He provided for his siblings, and he loved his mother well. Only a man who loved his mom so much would tell his closet friend to care for her while he hung on the cross as he fought for each and every breath he took.

We have a choice in life to perish or provide. What I mean by that is was are called to be disciples and follow Christ. Submission to that beginning step into manhood is important. We are to have living life like a boy perish, and we are to step into manhood being called to provide is a life of manhood.

There is a price to being the provider. You get up. Go to work. Hold a job. You do this each and every day, again and again. In doing that, you perish to living for only you.

Yes, every man needs some me time, but me time does not return us to a lifestyle of boy time. One of my favorite me time activities is riding my Harley. I love to ride and ride hard. It gets me into my nothing box, and only men can understand this. But I am still a man in that box. I do not yield to sins of the flesh in those moments.

I am going to leave you today with this thought about perish and provide by a man who faced both and lived it. Here is the quote: “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” By Martin Luther King, Jr.

Strength and Courage

Michael

 

Vital Ministries News

Vital Men Quarterly Event: Growing Up to be Men!

Guest Speakers = Andrew and Marty Schmidt

Music = Now Serving 7

Location = Vermeer Pavilion

Doors Open = 5:30 

Food = Country Catering

Obstacle Course

Bring Sons, Grandfathers, Uncles, Fathers, and Friends

Want More Vital?? Listen on KBOE 104.9 FM Every Sunday from 8:30-9:00

Gun and Run Motorcycle and Shooting Event: Calling All Men

Location = Church of The Way, Newton

Time = Kickstands Up 12:00 Noon

Lunch = Drive to Ames and Eat at Hickory Park

After Lunch = Go To Crossroads Shooting Sports (Bring Your Gun)

Please Pre-Sign Up On Line if you have never been there before @ crossroadsshooting.com

Vital Biker Trip : Three Day Men’s Motorcycle Trip June 3, 4, and 5

Location = Spirit Lake and Loess Hills

Time = Leaving at 7:00 AM for the square downtown Pella on Friday, June 3

Go to the Webpage @ vitalministries.org for more information

Coming Soon!! New Vital Logo

Will present new logo with new t-shirts, polos, and caps

Come to Vital Men’s event for your new Vital Men Clothing

Thought for the Day: We often spend life chasing success but not stopping to define it. Yet, what we call the journey God calls success. As a Christian, success is not a destination. It is the journey. When you go through the trials of life and remain true to God, you are a living example of success, regardless of your destination. By David and Jason Benhain.

Strength and Courage

Michael

 

“And God saw that it was good.”

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”  Genesis 1:26 (NKJV) 

So, it is that time of year again.  I have spent the last couple of months working through research for this fall’s western expedition.  I have poured over units, satellite images, harvest and draw data and completed my wife and my applications for this fall’s hunt.  Awww the Rockie Mountains, back packs, boot tread, bows, big sky, big timber and big game, I love it.  The anticipation is running high and will only continue to climb over the next few months.  

This year, things are different for me though.  I have been venturing into the mountains in pursuit of adventure and big game since 2003.  I enjoy it.  I dream about it.  I have a hard time waiting for it.  As I worked through my process this winter, things were different though.  As I poured over my research and maps, it was with new eyes.  As if it is a different man.  

After last year’s hunt, I had a shameful revelation.  In all the years I have headed into the mountains, I have thoroughly enjoyed and relished every step.  Even when getting cliffed out and spending an unexpected, unprepared night on a near vertical mountainside.  I have filled far less tags than I’ve eaten, got plenty of bumps, bruises and blisters along the way.  Despite all the hardship, the rewards always far outweighed the demands.  Throughout it all, in any situation, I was always able to keep pressing on with a faithful optimism that the next opportunity was waiting around the next bend or over the next ridge.  Filling a tag had always been a very small factor in the equation.  I had always been able to maintain an appreciation for the pursuit and adventure of just being in God’s playground.  Last year I lost sight of that.  Shortly into our hunt, I allowed frustration to set in.  It took root, soured my attitude and it showed.  I was horrible.  I had no appreciation for where I was or what I was privileged to be a part of.  For the first time, I couldn’t wait for the hunt to be over!  It didn’t end with the elk hunt, either.  I allowed it to follow me into my whitetail season, as well.  Who was that guy?!  Shameful!!! 

The revelation didn’t come immediately, but fortunately it did come.  You could say, God and I had a little heart to heart.  Mine was dark and with His grace, we cleaned it out.

The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed.  Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it.  Genesis 2:8,15 (NKJV)  

God created for us a veritable playground!  He created it for us, to care for and enjoy.  How many times I’ve sat on a mountain top, in a tree stand or the bank of a river and been humbled by God’s glorious workmanship.  How many times I’ve sat and marveled at this gift He created for us.  How did I lose that?  How could I allow satan to poison that affection, embitter and deceive me like that.  How dare I allow him to dismantle something that I love, a gift from God?  I’m human.  The devil got to me.  I didn’t let him in as much as I didn’t see him coming.  That’s how he works, the great deceiver.  Whatever he can do to draw your focus from God, from His grace, gifts and love, he will employ.  Satan hates us, because God loves us.  He will never stop trying to pervert and corrupt what God so graciously provides.  

No more.  God saw him coming and knew what he was up to before he did.  He wrapped His loving arms around me and sheltered me once again.  God came in and wiped the slate clean.  He reminded and renewed me, yet again.  

I finished my Iowa archery season with a renewed appreciation and affection for God’s provision.  I set the course for this fall’s excursions with new eyes and a clean heart.  Satan tried.  God won!  He always will!!!  

By the way, that’s my wife Rebecca standing at 11,100 feet above sea level in the High Uinta Wilderness.  Yes, she bowhunts and sorry fellas, she’s taken!!!

Now therefore, please take your weapons, your quiver and your bow, and go out to the field and hunt game for me.  Genesis 27:3 (NKJV)

In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,

Scott Pace 

 

 

To Live

Do you ever get stuck on just one verse?  You may be reading a chapter or section of scripture and one word or phrase leaps out and won’t let you keep going.  I have been considering and dwelling on one verse lately, trying to grasp the full weight of what it means and how it applies to my life in all its various ways.  Often, I find it is an area where God wants me to grow in my life.  It may also be areas where I need pruning, so that I might become more fruitful as I allow his Spirit to work on mine.  What is your response when He gets your attention? 

For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.  Philippians 1:21

We can look at our own lives and ask at any given moment ‘what am I living for?’  How does the evidence of my life answer that question?  Where do I spend most of my time, attention, and money…i.e. what am I pouring my life into?  It is probably good to ask this on a regular, if not daily basis if we want to know what or who we are living for.  If we really don’t want to know, we probably try to avoid these types of questions.  Or take it a step further and ask others what they see us giving ourselves toward the most.  God will surely show you the truth when you ask him.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.  John 10:10

Can we ever fully live for Christ?  It becomes more evident as we surrender more and more of our lives to him. Maybe it is easier to see in others than in ourselves at times.  As we read the words of Paul…was he living this way?  I believe so, after his conversion, his life was fully devoted to one main purpose, while he continued to deal with the struggles of life.  That is evident in many of the words he wrote as he kept surrendering more of his life and work and plans to Christ.  Is this what we strive for also?  What would my faith look like if this were true in my life?  To truly believe that living my life is promoting Christ, and to die is to be with him.  Is that what we believe? 

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.  Hebrews 4:12

Sometimes it’s a song or a catch phrase that gets stuck in your head that gets replayed multiple times.  But when it’s a scripture verse that God gives you which gets mulled over and over, does it take on any new meanings for you?  It often does for me.  Especially when he reveals it in context and how it applies to all areas of my life.  It makes me consider whether I just provide lip service in acknowledging God’s word as true, or whether I am ‘all in’ to Christ and His Word in every part of my life.  It is not often an easy process, but is one that usually needs to be done.  May our desire be for more of Christ in more of our life, so that we become a reflection and a testament to Him.  As we allow him to refine us, may we find hope and joy in the process as we realize we are living for him and because of him. 

To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.  Colossians 1:27

Striving to live for Him,

Clark

Promises to the wise


I was reading the Proverb of the day and I love looking at the promises for those who pursue wisdom and walk in wise council.  Here are the promises in what I read.

Proverbs 13 

Wise words will win you a good meal
4 those who work hard will prosper.
The life of the godly is full of light and joy
10 those who take advice are wise.
11 wealth from hard work grows over time
13 those who respect a command will succeed.
14  The instruction of the wise is like a life-giving fountain; those who accept it avoid the snares of death
18  if you accept correction, you will be honored
25 The godly eat to their hearts’ content,

Verse 9 encourages me so much.  I want my life to be full of light.  Jesus said He is he light, so when I choose to walk in God’s ways I get to overflow with light.  I have learned that happiness comes and goes like the wind.  One day I can feel sad and the next feel great.  Joy is something completely different!  Joy is not an emotion, rather it is something we receive from the Lord.  It does not need perfect days to be strong. Even on a terrible day, joy can win out.  When I walk in God’s ways and ask Him for joy, His promise is that He will fill me with joy!

This also encourages me that correction benefits my future.  In the moment, it does not feel that way, but I have learned that correction from a mentor produces good things over time.

Proverbs also gives warnings for not walking in wisdom:

Proverbs 13
2 treacherous people have an appetite for violence.
3 opening your mouth can ruin everything.
4 Lazy people want much but get little,
9 the light of the wicked will be snuffed out.
10 Pride leads to conflict;
11 Wealth from get-rich-quick schemes quickly disappears;
13 People who despise advice are asking for trouble;
18 If you ignore criticism, you will end in poverty and disgrace;
20  associate with fools and get in trouble.
25 the belly of the wicked goes hungry.

I don’t know about you, but I do not want to live out any of these.   I don’t want to be lazy, prideful, wicked, despise advice, go hungry, or be a friend of a fool. I know if I were to spend the next 5 years living that way, I would hate what those seed planted produced in my life!

So today choose who you want to become!  Wise and invite wise council in your life and be full of light and joy, or a fool and go hungry and live in conflict.

Recklessly, obsessively following Jesus

Brandon Sereg

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.