Vital Ministries News

Come On Men, With An Uncommon Calling

I Corinthians 1:27 God chose things the world considered foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful.

Jesus personally selected 12 men to represent him. They were 12 perfectly ordinary men and unexceptional men. Yet, our Lord took the twelve and invested in them to advance his Kingdom.

The Lord continues to use common men just like us to advance his Kingdom. There was not anything special about them except they all had one thing in common. They were fully obedient to him.

The majority of men do not take time for Kingdom thinking. They are too quick to advance their own kingdom or their own calling in life. This brings me back to the uncommon calling. What is your calling? I believe Jesus is still looking to common men who will step into an uncommon calling.

Vital Biker June Ride for MEN

Do not miss this ride for men on June 3, 4, and 5. The men will ride to Spirit Lake, and then ride off to Loess Hills. It will be an adventure to ride together, hang out, and discuss what is real manhood. This is a great event to bring another man who is looking for something more in his life. We meet downtown Pella on the north side of the square. We will arrive there by 7:00 am. Kickstands will be kicked up by 7:30 am. Do Not Miss This Adventure, MEN!!!

 

Listen

Most have heard this many times, I’m sure, but it’s been on my mind so I’m sharing it. “God gave you two ears and one mouth so that you’d listen twice as much as you talk”. I’m as guilty as most and more than some of this. I think most people have a tendency to half listen and then respond quickly. It’s as if our desire to be heard trumps the need of the other to have us listen. Really listen. Any of you who know me, know I’m a talker, so this will be a hard, slow concept for me to get a handle on. facebook_1463115892554 How can you hear and understand what another is saying, if your focus is on what you will say next? When engaged in conversation, where another is expressing a concern or unloading a burden, I’ve caught myself, as well as witnessed numerous times others interjecting their opinion or taking over the conversation with a story or grievance of our own. Consequently, overshadowing the need of the other and stifling, perhaps what God could have accomplished through you. Empathizing with someone through sharing a similar experience can, most assuredly, be a helpful exchange. However, how often do we allow ourselves and our story to override the need and assume control of the conversation? As broken people, we tend to lean toward self absorption and self-centeredness. This is unfortunate, because through our exchanges, we have a priceless opportunity to be shown the heart and minds of others. When others are sharing parts of their story, we tend to think about our own instead. Because of this, we tune them out and consequently miss an opportunity to know those around us, to learn something and possibly help someone. Even a fool is counted wise when he holds his peace; When he shuts his lips, he is considered perceptive. Proverbs 17:28 (NKJV) Here in Proverbs, the bible is showing us an example of just that. Close your lips and listen. You just might learn something. The bible tells us, A fool has no delight in understanding, But in expressing his own heart. Proverbs 18:2 (NKJV) I’m not saying that expressing your thoughts and feelings is wrong, just that perhaps we should be more intentional about it. After all, how often do you learn something new from yourself? You already knew it, didn’t you? Pause for a moment and hear what the others have to say. Of course there will be times when you are the one who needs someone to listen to you. Wouldn’t it be nice to be known as one who is a great listener, quick to lend an ear and understand the needs of others? When you set yourself as that example, become that trusted confidant, doesn’t it stand to reason that those you’ve listened to would be more likely to do the same? Engage with others as often as is possible, but be intentional about it. Put self aside and really listen to them. Focus on what is being shared. Choose your responses carefully, ask the Holy Spirit to guide you. If the conversation is about them, let it be about them. God Bless you and your daily interactions with others. May God bring those who need your ears and heart, that you may be an answer to their prayers. Amen So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; James 1:19 (NKJV) In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy, Scott Pace

Why?

Sometimes we use the phrase ‘when it rains, it pours’ when it relates to dealing with challenges and difficulties in life.  We may feel like life beats us up sometimes.  We may feel like we really can’t deal with what has happened to us and those around us.  It may be several minor or moderate setbacks, or it can be much more significant.  When we face losing our job, our friends and family, or even our own life, it is normal to deal with frustration and anger or to ask ‘why is this happening to me?’  At various points we may feel abandoned by God or by others.  We may blame others, ourselves, or God, or we may turn to them for help.  How do you cope?  Where do you turn when life doesn’t seem fair? 

I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from?  My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.  Psalm 121:1-2

Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him.  Job 13:15

 We tell kids ‘Life isn’t fair.’  We don’t always get what we think we deserve.  We can find injustice around us every day if we open our eyes and listen to what is going on around us.  There have always been and will always be people who take advantage of others.  Bad things will happen to ‘good’ people and those who harm others don’t always get what they deserve, even if that is forgiveness.  What is your response to this?  We can say ‘it is what it is’ and try to ignore it, or we can try to intervene in little ways or make a bigger difference, when we are able.  Whether that is settling an argument between children, or saving someone’s life by walking with them through a difficult time.  We can be the hands and feet of God by showing love each day when we have an opportunity to do so. 

A new command I give you:  Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.  John 13:34-35

When you are dealing with difficulties beyond your control, turn to God.  Ask Him to direct you.  Ask Him to give you strength.  Ask Him to simply walk with you through what you are facing.  We don’t always know how things will turn out, but when we give it to God, and trust Him, we can persevere.   It often does not turn out how we would like, but when does life follow our script?  As many believers have done before, God gives us the ability to endure up to, or even past the point of death.  Ultimately, Christ was our example through his obedience to God, through his life and his death.  Though joy may not be our initial reaction when we encounter life’s difficulties, let us find the joy in serving our Lord, and walking with him through all the trials in life.  Be encouraged today no matter what you are facing.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.  Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.  James 1:2-4

Strength and Courage in Christ,
Clark

The Battle Within

photo-1443683263937-3e377546e8a8 (1)Have you ever felt like there was a battle inside you? You want to do what is right and you want to do what is popular. Then you feel like you have to choose between them. Which one wins out? Do you ever feel like the one you want to win doesn’t? We feel totally out of control. Yet we do not want to feel controlled. Why is it that we are afraid to be controlled by God? I think it is because we have a hard time trusting we would like the outcome of His control.

Romans 8:9 But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to him at all.) 10 And Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life because you have been made right with God. 11 The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.

For us who are in Christ (we have made Jesus our savior and King), the Holy Spirit lives in us. This means you do not fight this battle within on your own, but there is ONE that is greater. The Spirit that took 3 day old dead Jesus and made Him alive again, is the SAME SPIRIT who gives you the power you need to live in victory from your sinful nature.

Now what of the sin that we struggle with even as believers. If we are in Christ, why do we still sin? Great question! It is because salvation happens in a moment, yet is a journey to complete. In Christ, both natures are at war within us. So how does one win out? Is there a way for us to find victory?

If a man has two dogs. These dogs are trained to fight each other. Which one wins? The one you feed.

This is true in battle between our sinful nature and The Spirit within us. The one we feed will win. If we fill our lives with things of this world then our sinful nature will win out. If we fill our lives with God’s word, His presence, and mission he has planned for us then the Spirit will win.

What are you feeding? What is winning the battle within you? Where do you need to go ask the Holy Spirit to help you? GO DO IT!

Recklessly, obsessively following Jesus

Brandon Sereg

Life Under Construction

vital-logo-overlay I write this today while I sit in exile. Well, ok, maybe “exile” is a tad bit extreme. I’m sitting in my favorite coffee shop {sipping some real great blueberry crumble coffee I might add} because one can hardly hear themselves think at our church right now as we are in the middle of a construction project. As our church continues to grow our facility needs to grow, which has led to this building expansion project. The crew is currently in the demolition phase, tearing out concrete, removing old carpets, and tearing off dated “wood” paneling. After the old is stripped away crews will begin constructing a fabulous new narthex, including an elevator, new restrooms, and plenty of fellowship space. It’s an exciting time in the life of our church as we grow and expand!

As I’ve heard the extremely annoying sound of jackhammers I’ve thought about the fact that we are all perpetually under construction. We are always learning, growing, and being shaped into better disciples of Christ. However, I fear many of us {myself included} get to a point where we begin thinking we have everything figured out. We’ve attended thousands of worship service, read shelves worth of Christian living books, attended countless Bible studies, and read thousands of daily devotionals. Not only that, but we’ve even been leaders and teachers in the church. Certainly we’ve reached the point where God has finished construction in our lives, and we have it all perfectly together, right? When you really think about it, the only moment in life when construction is complete is the moment we die and enter into God’s perfect heaven. Until that moment we are all in need of improvement, growth, and change. The problem is we seldom think that way.

Paul sums up the reality that we need to always be growing in our faith and practice in the book of Ephesians. He writes: until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ. Ephesians 4:13-15

What are you doing right now to be growing? Do you have a mentor? Are you truly digging into scripture? Are you actively learning from others? Are you open to listening to new ideas and perspectives? Are you getting better at serving others? Until the day God calls us home we are tasked to constantly be growing as followers and disciples. What will you do to grow this week?

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.