A New Look At 2019

Isaiah 43:19 New International Version (NIV)

19 See, I am doing a new thing!
    Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
    and streams in the wasteland.

This verse is the one for me as I look at the New Year of 2019. This year can be a year of restoration and a year of new pathways or roads. Maybe you have a verse that the Holy Spirit has given you for 2019. I encourage you to write it down. Keep it in front of you all year long.

I want you to get a glimpse in your heart of what Christ can do in you and through your life. This verse reminds me that I need to forget the failures of the past. I am called to witness for Jesus in the present and to boldly claim the promises he has for me in my future.

I have learned that New Year’s Resolutions come and go and few realize the completion of them. For better words of saying, we fall off the wagon and go back to our old habits and ways. We soon lose sight of the goal that was ahead.

For 2019, I hold to this verse from the old prophet. It will change my life and my heart. I pray always to have eyes that see the best in people, that I have a heart that forgets the worst, to have a mind that forgets the bad, and most of all, a soul that never loses faith in Christ.

How does this New Year look for you? Ask the Holy Spirit for new restoration in your soul. We serve a mighty King Jesus. Be active in advancing His Kingdom in 2019.

Strength and Courage

Michael

 

Vital Ministries News

Journey to Jerusalem

March 8-18, 2019

Pray and ask if this is a Journey for you.

Contact Mike Sereg if you are interested in going to Israel in 2019.

Forest for the Trees

2 Peter 1:3-8 (NASB) ‘seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust. Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. ‘ 

Throughout our temporal life, we will be a work in progress.  Jesus, will continually be doing a work in us, reshaping us and remaking us, working us ever closer and closer to His image.  That is His work and His work alone, but we have a responsibility, as well.

The other night, a friend came out to the archery shop.  He was having trouble with consistency in his shot.  He was having trouble pin pointing where the break down or downs were.  One shot would break well, feel good and find the X, the next, not so much.  I theorized on multiple possibilities, but as he tested, modified, tried and modified some more, things were not coming back together. 

 

The problem here was, we sometimes do not “see the forest for the trees”.  What’s that mean?  We get so wrapped up in the details, we cannot see the whole picture, our scope is too small and we cannot see the solution in its totality.  As, we worked through a series of shots, things were becoming clear.  He was focusing on all these minute idiosyncrasies (which may have needed some tweeking), but was over looking a much bigger issue.  Once discovered, the addressing of the bigger picture issue, pulled things back together.  What needed corrected wasn’t anything he didn’t know how to execute correctly, he merely lost focus on the big picture because he was caught up in the details.

My point?  Right… here goes.  Don’t get so caught up in the details that you “can’t see the forest for the trees”.  It’s not  “I have to read this many chapters, pray for this many minutes, help this many people, say God bless you that many times, etc., etc., etc.”  Those are the trees.  When you focus on the forest ‘in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love.’ the trees will grow in the places, numbers and size they need to.  Have a blessed weekend.

In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,

Scott Pace

Convictions to Resolve

With the turning of a new year, it prompts us to pause a moment and take a look back and examine our lives a bit.  What has happened, what have we done, where have we succeeded and where have we failed?  What changes do you want to make in your life?  If there are things that you prompted to improve, chances are, this is not something new to you.  We all have things that we struggle with, that we are usually well aware of, on an ongoing basis.  So, whether you actually resolve to make changes in certain areas, or even create a goal for what you want to accomplish, without an action plan, chances are you will see limited success.  Being accountable to someone, other than yourself, for what you want to accomplish may be the best indicator for success.  We can all say we want to be healthier, but in what area of life are you most convicted to make changes?

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.  This is what the ancients were commended for.  Hebrews 11:1-2

The most common area people want to change is with something physical.  This may include restrictions and improvements on what we eat or drink and how that impacts our weight and health.  We should also ask, why am I compelled to eat better or improve my health?  Maybe it is so you can be able to better engage with your family or be able to serve others for more years.  Maybe you want to be able to maintain what abilities you currently have.  I have not been able to run as often as I would like to do over the past 6 months, so I either need to adjust my schedule to better accommodate this, or change my priorities.  I always say the best exercise is going for a long walk with someone else, as it has a positive impact on multiple areas of our health.   Where do you want to improve your physical health?

Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;  you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Another area we may want to grow, is our spiritual live.  This may resemble our relational/social well-being as well.  How we relate to others is often similar to how well we converse and interact with God.  Is it as natural as breathing, or does it feel like a struggle each time you try to pray or spend time in the Word?  With any discipline, the more we do it, often the more natural it becomes.  Also, the more fruit you see from the time invested, the more motivated we are to continue on with each discipline.  Just as the first time you were convicted of sin and trusted in Christ for your salvation, He is willing to renew your spirit each time you turn back to him.  Even if you feel you have so much to do that making time for God is not a good option, commit to pray and talk even for a short time, but more frequently, and watch how that can still make a difference in  your day.  I’ve been doing this for years and can still be surprised how even a small investment to God can make a big impact in my life. 

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.   And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deedsHebrews 10:23-24

What areas of your social and emotional side of life do you feel convicted about?  Especially for men, we don’t feel there is much wrong with how we relate to others, unless it makes others want to avoid us.  One thing that seems to help, is to spend more time and time listening to others.  It doesn’t have to be everyone, but maybe even just one person, e.g. your spouse, and see what a difference that can make.  Simply ask a question, and commit not to interrupt for at least 3 minutes.  Time spent actively listening to someone shows that you value them and what they say.  Try it first with those you love, and then with those you don’t like to see if it can make you care for them more. 

Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.  1 Corinthians 15:58

This is not meant to be a comprehensive list of everything we need to do to become a perfect Christian, but just a personal reflection of things we can do to bring awareness of small things we can do to create changes in our lives that can make a big difference.  If you ask, most of us would like to be more effective and efficient with how we spend our time on things we both have to do and want to do.  If where I spend my time, money, and energy helps me improve my life and further God’s Kingdom, then I want to move in that direction.  May you continue to spur others on to good works, and potentially be all that you can be, regardless of which army you are in!

Yours in Christ,
Clark

The Right Goal

Today is January 2!  Happy 2019 and I pray God’s richest blessing over you in this new year.  I pray it is a year where you know God more than ever, find freedom in ways your soul longs for, discover your purpose, and leverage all of it to make a difference in this world.  

Every new year people start new years resolutions and goal.  All of which are good and I do myself.  I personally use the Full Focus Journal by Michael Hyatt.  It is an amazing tool designed to help you accomplish more.  I write S.M.A.R.T.E.R. goals.  If you want to know more message me in the comments.

Every year I start a new habit and have at least one spiritual goal.  One year it was to spend 15 minutes a day in prayer, one year was to read through the Bible in a year, and this year is to do an extended fast.  I want to encourage you to do something new this year to grow your relationship with Jesus.  I would encourage you to make it about prayer.  Whether you pray everyday for 3 hours or once a month for 15 seconds, I would just say wherever you are in your prayer life increase it! Prayer is not about religious reterique or earning anything.  God will not love you more if you pray more or love you less if you pray less, but you will know Him more when you pray conversationally more. 

Luke 5:15 But despite Jesus’ instructions, the report of his power spread even faster, and vast crowds came to hear him preach and to be healed of their diseases. 16 But Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer.

As Jesus ministry of only 3 years, which by the way if you think you have pressure think about this.  Jesus had 3 1/2 years to convince the world and His brothers that He was God, conceived to a virgin, and the only way to heaven.  If you have a brother, what would it take for your brother to convince you they were God. You would think He would have 40 years, but no just 3.  That is pressure!  In the midst of the pressure, Jesus often to left the fame, growing influence, and need to show the world who He was… to pray.  He know prayer was His lifeline!  It is also ours.  The Jesus who knew the Father for billions of years often got away to talk with His Father.

If you feel pressure, overwhelmed, lost, confused, unsure of where to God, needing to make a decision… Go to the Father God who wants the best for you!  It is not about praying for an hour as much as it is about always being in a posture of prayer.  So today, go pray.  Not big fancy words, not even clean religious words.  Go talk to your Dad, ask for wisdom, ask for understanding, ask for a new heart, ask what He wants for you in this year.  Then listen and wait!

Helping People Live a Better Story

Brandon Sereg
@brandonsereg
www.thevibrant.church

Every Sunday at 8:30 AM

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