What do I do with this?

I grew up being told I should be well rounded.  I should work on my weaknesses.  The problem with that is my voice.  I cannot sing.  I got put on a worship team one time and they muted my microphone.  Talk about embarrassing.  The only other vocalist was a girl.  So everyone knew what happened.  True story!  I tried playing the cello, violin, trombone, and guitar.   Here is what I learned: all I can play well is an Iphone.  

photo-1442819516624-aa7a9bd24b63I am not good at managing details, God’s wisdom is not what comes first to my mind, and leadership as it makes sense to me does not look like Jesus.  Even the good things I do, at times I do for the wrong reasons.  

Then I look at all the places I have grown and I compare them to the calling God has for me, and I see a gap of weakness in my gifting. So often I do not feel like I belong as a pastor or the role I get to play.  Because of my past, I feel disqualified to tell other people about Jesus. 

2 Corinthians 12:9  “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.10 That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

In the weakness of my sin, Jesus wants me to walk in victory that way I can boast in His freedom.  In the weakness of the gifts I don’t have, I trust in Him to raise other people up who are strong in that gifting.  In the weakness of the gift He gave me I trust him to grow the gifting.  It is hard to walk in pride when you see your gifting and compare it to God’s calling on your life.  Humility acknowledges that we need Jesus to grow the gift in us. 

So where do you need to trust the power of Christ in your weakness.  What sin do you need to confess?  What gifting do you not have that you need to trust someone else to do?  What gift do you have that you need the power of Christ to grow and develop?

Go to Jesus and trust in His power for you to be all you were created to be!

Recklessly, obsessively following Jesus,

Brandon Sereg

The Stage

on-stage-1480214Years ago I had a student come to my office one afternoon. I small talked with him for a little while and then politely told him I had to get back to work. He remained in my office anyway, as if he expected something amazing to happen at any moment. After about fifteen minutes he looked at me and said: “you are way more boring in person then you are on stage!” He was spot on. For 25 minutes on Wednesday nights I was funny, energetic, thoughtful, Biblical, and {hopefully} inspiring. But that day in my office I was busy, tired, and preoccupied by the seemingly never-ending to-do list hanging above my desk. I always thought it was ridiculous that people expect me to be the same off-stage as when I am on. I work all week for those 25 minutes I am on stage, pouring over the scriptures, reading commentaries, reading and listening to the opinions of other pastors, thinking about creative ways to communicate, and practicing jokes. With all of that preparation I am obviously going to be much better when I’m on stage then when you are around me in person.

Now, I realize many of you aren’t on stage on a regular basis, but I think we all encounter a similar situation when it comes to living out our faith. When we are at church, small group, Vital meetings, and the like we know all the right answers and know exactly how to act. We can even, with preparation, ably lead a small group or Sunday school class. Many of us would never dream of cursing, cheating, putting someone down, or hurting someone while at a church function, but we have no trouble doing so in the other areas of our lives.

It’s fantastic that we tend to give our best effort, and be on our best behavior, when we are at church and around other Christians. But God doesn’t want our best only when we are “on the stage,” but each and everyday. Because, lets be honest about something: we are on the stage more on a daily basis then we ever are at church. Everyday others are, for better or for worse, watching and learning from our actions and behaviors. We hold their attention, and can either impact them for God or make a negative impression.

I love how this idea comes out in the Message translation of Romans 12:1-2: So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Are you giving God your best everyday? Are you preparing yourself everyday to be the best possible servant and disciple you can be? Are you perpetually on the lookout for unexpected opportunities to serve and witness? As Shakespeare famously said, “all the world’s a stage.” May we be ready to be living and serving for God every moment of our lives.

No Reserves

Philippians 2:5-8New International Version (NIV)

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

Who, being in very nature God,
    did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
    by taking the very nature of a servant,
    being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
    he humbled himself
    by becoming obedient to death—
        even death on a cross!

To live a life of ‘No Reserve’ means – nothing held back. It is a life lived full-out for Jesus Christ. Many are probably thinking right now, there is not way I can live up to this statement or live up to the Scripture in the beginning. I am not Jesus!

You are absolutely right. None of us are, but the first portion of this Scripture gives us a hint to how we can. Paul said, “Your attitude should be.” I do not know about you, but my attitude is life is only one of the few things that I can really control. So what is my attitude toward a life of ‘No Reserves’ look like?

  • A life of No Reserve means we do not hide behind a spiritual mask.
  • A life of No Reserve means one does not act one way with a set of friends and different with another.
  • A life of No Reserve does not toy around with secret sins when no one else is watching.
  • A life of No Reserve is not about pursuing a career that is focused on one’s self and amassing a fortune for one’s on benefit and pleasure.
  • A life of No Reserve is about being sold out to God’s calling – a calling that sets you up to make an eternal impact for God.

Men, when you live a life of ‘No Reserve’, you live with a burning passion to follow hard after Christ. When you follow Christ with ‘No Reserve’, you are simply responding to all that He has done for you. This is and attitude we can choose to step into.

Strength and Courage

Michael

 

Vital Ministries News

Tribute

1 Thessalonians 5:19

Do not put out the Spirit’s fire

Today, I want to give tribute to a young man who’s life was taken at the early age of 26. His name is Matthew J. Rolffs. This young man was full of life. He lived in such a way that it reminded me of the Dodge Ram commercial, ‘Live life by the Horns’. That pretty well sums it up on how he saw life.

Often people come in and out of our lives. They are intertwined in right moments, challenging moments, and even those moments we do not understand. Some people stay for a time while others are with us moments in time.

This young man brought a mark to my life to push boundaries. He lived life in a way of abandonment. He lived it in such a way that he did not allow other people’s opinions or actions to detour him in the way he lived life.

Matt had a spirit in him, a spirit of fire. Every time he spoke and especially when he smiled, it was all over him. His spirit allowed God to be real in his life. It was not about religion. It was about relationship with the One True God.

This man’s life made a statement and a mark on my life. I pray that all of our lives are challenged in such a way that the Spirit’s Fire radiates from our own lives. Matthew J. Rolffs was a gift to all whom he touched in this life. Until we meet again, Matt. Your life made an impact in those 26 years you lived.

Coming up fast: Men’s Quest – Fellowship of the Sword. Prep begins August 19, 2016 – The event date is September 18-23, 2016 – Trajectory Changing Life Event – Go to Fellowship of the Sword or Vital Ministries.org for more details

 

Do Good…Works?!

IMG_20160603_001542Galatians 6:9 (NKJV)  And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.

My friend, Jay Baker, shared this verse with me the other day.  He shared with me the impact that verse had on him and it, equally so, has impacted me.

In chapter 5 of Galatians, Paul is speaking to the importance of doing good things.  Works.  Be generous and be diligent in good deeds.  I found this interesting.  Works as you know, do not lead to salvation.  Faith in the risen Christ leads to salvation.  Works cannot justify anyone, Galatians 2:16  knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.  Works cannot sanctify anyone, Galatians 3:2,3 This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?  

What Paul is illustrating in chapter 5 of Galatians is how good works are an important fruit of the life of faith in Jesus Christ.  How effective is our witness of the power of the risen Christ, if those around us see no evidence of it in our day to day?  Paul is telling us to be a physical, working representation of Jesus’ power and authority.  Show it to others through our works.  Be diligent, do not grow weary of doing so, do not lose heart and you will reap an abundant reward.  

“And let us not grow weary while doing good,”  very important words.  In doing so, you may lose focus, effectiveness.  If you allow yourself to pause, grow apathetic, lose sight, become complacent, you may just miss an opportunity in which God chooses to use you.  You may be the spark God uses to open another’s eyes.  In that complacency, you may even backslide, lose hope or even faith.  What then?  

Stay focused, do not grow weary, do not lose sight.  Let your works glorify all that you know to be true of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Be fruitful.  May the peace and joy of the Lord be with you all.  God bless you.

Ephesians 2:8-10 (NKJV) For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,

Scott Pace

 

 

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.