Made to Last

Look around your home and how many things can you find that were made over 100 years ago?  If you like antiques, maybe your home was even built over 100 years ago, but it likely doesn’t look now like it did back then.  One constant in life is that things change over time.  Things that seem like they will last forever eventually fade with time if they are not taken care of well.  Just ask someone a generation of two beyond you what the town you live near used to look like when they were young and you may not even recognize their description.  If things come and go that quickly within 50-100 years, what will become of you in that same time? 

For all people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord endures forever.  1 Peter 1:24

I like a good value.  I still have a shop-vac that I paid $5 at a garage sale over 10 years ago and I can’t tell you how many hundred gallons of water and other unmentionable things that device has cleaned up in that time.  All the wheels may be missing, but it keeps on doing what it was made to do, but alas, it will not last forever either.  Surely you have a story of a favorite tool or utensil that your grandparents used and still works just as well as the day it was made.  Or maybe you had a favorite vehicle that has made it over 300k miles without any major mechanical issues and wish they all could last that long.  But as we know nothing lasts forever, or does it?

Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.  Matthew 10:28

What does endure from generation to generation?  I had an interesting conversation with my Aunt a few weeks ago and mentioned to her that I appreciated the $10 I received for my birthday as a child more than any monetary gift today.  A gift when it is greatly needed, is greatly appreciated.  Kids can squander an inheritance faster than you can imagine.  If you think you are doing your family a favor by leaving them a nice inheritance, you are fooling yourself, and hurting them.  Instead of giving them something they will mishandle, teach them the value of work and to be good stewards of whatever they have.  If you have the opportunity, do something good with what you have today instead of taking the chance it will be wasted in the future. 

Freely you have received; freely give.  Matthew 10:8

If money and things won’t last much more than you will, then instill in others things that will endure beyond this life.  Teach your children and anyone who will listen about the truth in the Word of God, which has not and never will change.  Teach them about God’s love and mercy shown to us in Christ, and lives will be impacted for generations to come.  Introduce them to a friend named Jesus and they will never again need to feel alone or afraid.  Our words and actions will impact the lives of those around us for longer than any material thing could ever do.  Give to those in need, but don’t neglect their greatest need.  Give them something that will last!

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.  Hebrews 13:8

Courage in Christ,
Clark

Where am I going?

I use Siri on my iphone all the time.  I will hold the home button and say, “Siri directions home.” Siri will then tell me turn by turn where to go.  I know before GPS people used maps to get places and I do not remember a world like.  When my GPS is not working I get lost and sometimes will not attempt to go at all.  The idea and getting in a vehicle and just going a long distance without a plan, sounds horrible to me.  Like if you hoping to drive to San Francisco and drive towards New York, despite your best intentions you will never get there.

I meet with people all the time and when you ask where they are going they often cannot give an answer, or they give an answer but their actions communicate they are heading somewhere else.  Where are you going? Do your actions and choices line up with where you want to go?  Have you sat down and prayed about the steps to get there? How often do we make plans without God’s wisdom?

 

Proverbs 16:9 We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.

This Proverb assumes we know where we are going and have plans to get there.  So I guess first we have to answer what is the vision for our lives?  What do we hope to look back in 10, 20, 50 years from now and hope we did?  Did our lives help others or just us? Is the world better because we were here?  Is God even in it?  Like for real, did God lay out an assignment for you to live?  Know God has a plan for you and that plan is to make a difference in the lives of others!

If you were to write your obituary (article for the paper after a person dies) what do you hope other people would write? Then comes the plan, if you keep doing what you are currently doing would that be what people would write, or would it be a very different story? Living a life that makes a difference is not comfortable, safe, and certainly not easy.  But when you were a kid, did you dream about comfortable, safe and easy.  Now that you are grown do you think God wants to make you civilized? The God of the Bible, the Jesus of Nazareth, and those that followed where rarely comfortable, safe, or living it easy.  Make a plan of risk, adventure, and faith.

I have a dream in my heart, and when I reach 70 I do not want to look back and wonder… If I had done _______ what could God have done?  I want to look back and say I dreamed, planned, and followed Jesus on the most incredible adventure. I think you do too.  I think it is wired deep in each of us… WHERE AM I GOING?

So do you know where you are going?  Are your plans really going to get you there? Have you sought the Lord for him to direct your steps?

Get a God sized dream!  Get a Holy Spirit led plan! Live a life of risk, adventure, and faith!

Recklessly, obsessively following Jesus

Brandon Sereg

Amidst the Tragedy

I’m not sure what’s harder right now, climbing Mt. Everest or finding a good piece of news. Between racial tensions, devastation in Houston, nuclear tension not felt since Kennedy administration, and a politically divided nation we are inundated with overwhelmingly negative news (not to mention all the negativity On our social media feeds). Here in Nicaragua I see heartbreak and tragedy everyday. It’s seeing ramshackle shacks built next to luxurious shopping malls. It’s seeing little kids, the disabled, and the mentally ill beging for the opportunity to wash your windshield for a few cents. It’s hearing yet another case of a man killing his wife because she finally tired of his abuse and filled for divorce. The tragedy, injustice, and heartbreak in our world can seem overwhelming.

As I’ve been personally overwhelmed by these things this week, I’ve been reminded of two big things. First, and most importantly, is that God wins for all of us. God created this world awesome and perfect, but we humans have totally messed it up with our sin. Yet, our amazing and loving God chose to come to our rescue, dying on the cross so that all who confess their sins and believe may have eternal life. Listen to how Jesus puts it:

I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one. John 10:28-30.

No matter what tragedy may befall us or others in this world NOTHING can take us out of God’s hands. Nothing can take away the gift of a perfect eternity in Heaven we are gracefully given when we confess our sins. In the midst of sorrow and tragedy we need to keep our hearts and minds glued to the fact we are held in God’s perfect hands for all eternity.

The second thing I’ve been reminded of is that we can all be agents of God’s grace amidst the turmoil of this world. We can pray for the afflicted, give towards organizations lending a hand, take time to serve others, and more. We can be used by God to be part of the solution now and for eternity. As Paul tells us in Philippines 2:15: for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

If the tragedies of the world are getting you down remember these two things. Remember that Jesus died to offer the world the most perfect of gifts: eternal life in a perfect heaven. And, remember that God desires to work through you to make an impact, no matter how small it may seem to you, right here and right now.

How Do You Define Failure?

Proverbs 24:16New International Version (NIV)

16 for though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again,
    but the wicked stumble when calamity strikes.

Webster says to fail means to fall short. In our eyes as men, when we see failure it means to be unsuccessful, to disappoint, to be inadequate, and the ultimate failure of bankruptcy. It all spells failure.

Yet, when I look over my own life you cannot eliminate failures. To each person, failure has a different expectation. So here are a couple of questions I have for us in the concept of failure. Are you all reaching goals, I mean, personal goals in the failure? Will you give into the fear of failure and quit trying?

History is full of men who were thought of as failures. Look at Napoleon. He was 42nd in a class of 43. Yet, this man led his army is success and almost conquered the world until he hit his Waterloo.

David writes this in Psalms 119:6-7, that it was good for him to fail because through failure he learned the consequences of his actions. He recognized that he was going in the wrong direction and could change it to become pleasing to God and successful in life.

Fear itself is a driving component that defines failure. Men, the key to living a fearless life is to be willing to take risks. Being afraid is not a bad thing, it is the coal fire in your soul that ignites the passion of the risk.

Fear and failure tried to keep me from being in full-time ministry. The enemy was always reminding me of how I had fallen. But like the Apostle Paul, my focus is Christ, and in Him I live a victorious life. Even when the world says I have failed.

How about you today? Are you up to your neck in what seems to be failures? Are you looking to the Hand of Christ to pull you out? Be willing to grab his had. As he pulled me out of that miry clay. He will pull you out of the failure and allow it to be a place of learned consequences that change your actions.

Strength and Courage

Michael

 

Vital Ministries News

We are introducing in Oskaloosa only Vantage Point 3 – The Journey.

It will give us in depth answers to 3 primary questions all men ask.

Who is God?

Who am I?

What does God desire to do through me?

Do not miss this in depth teaching that will help you in your life’s trajectory. 

Oskaloosa Vital Men Meet Every Tuesday Night at 116 A Ave. East.

Beginning September 12

6:30-8:30

The Cost will be $125.00 per person

Every Sunday at 8:30 AM

Listen to Mike Sereg on kBOE 104.9FM

LISTEN NOW

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