Author Archives: Scott

Obediently Graceful

John 6:38-40 (NKJV) “For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. 39 This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. 40 And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”

The mission entrusted to and expected of Jesus Christ by His Father.  Obedience to the will of God, and grace to all of God’s children who faithfully believe and surrender to the Son.  That’s it in a nutshell.  It’s what Jesus was sent for and it’s what He lived out.

It’s also an expectation He has for each one of us.  He expects us to be fully devoted to Him and obedient to His commands.  He expects us to listen to Him in all matters, and respond appropriately.  To know what His will is, requires knowing Him intimately, walking faithfully and devotedly with Him.

He expects us to extend grace, measured by His standard to our fellow man.  When we get let down, disappointed and injured by others, He expects us to extend grace “7 times 70 times”.  It’s hard, but it’s what He does daily for each and every one of us.  Daily we disappoint, let down, and injure Him, yet grace is His response. 

When we lose hope in others, they hurt or disappoint us, forgiveness is the order of the day.  When someone doesn’t think about or feel about something in the same manner as we do, grace is the order of the day.  We have no right to judge another for what they say or do.  We have no right to withhold grace when Jesus never withholds it from us, despite our repeated offenses.  We are expected to turn our focus first and always to the Son of the living God, pray for our “enemies” and forgive.  We do not know the condition of another’s heart, only they and God have access to that knowledge.  We have no right to presume, therefore we have no right to do anything other than pray, forgive and move on. 

When we walk daily with the Lord, desire to devour the Word, to know Him, focus on Him, obedient gracious responses to all matters become natural, muscle memory.  Have a blessed weekend.

In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,

Scott Pace

 

Pride, Bring it Down

Luke 18:9-14 (NKJV)  Also He spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’ And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

I would say that the thing I struggle with most is pride, thinking too highly of myself, but also thinking too often of myself.

God measures sin equally, sin is sin, none greater or lesser than the other.  All sins serve to build a blockade between us and our Father.  Thankfully, Jesus came to bridge the rift and reconcile us to Him.  However, when sin prevails in any aspect of our lives, it blurs our vision and stymies our hearing.  It renders us of little or no use to the work God has prepared for us.

Although sin is sin, I think pride is a particularly treacherous device.  Most sin, I believe, is rooted in a manner of pride.  Conceit, covetousness, wrath, adultery, theft, lying, etc all stem from a foundational selfishness.  Sin so often flows from a sense of entitlement…”me, my, I”.  Pride manifests itself in so many forms, not just the “I’m awesome, I did… I am… I can…”, but in the “it’s just a little… I deserve… no one will know…” 

Because of its ground level, broad reaching capacity to infiltrate our life from so many angles, I believe it to have the potential to wreak the most havoc in people’s lives.  I believe that God holds a particularly deep seated contempt for pride.  Scripture, New and Old Testament covers pride in sweeping detail, its evils, its power of corruption and its consequences. 

Be humble, be thoughtful, be gracious, be loving and push pride back to the pits of sheol where it belongs.  It’s something I know I will struggle against for all of my years, but struggle against it I must, and so must you. Have a blessed weekend.

In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,

Scott Pace

 

Only In Faith

Hebrews 11:33-40 (NASB) who by faith conquered kingdoms, performed acts of righteousness, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, from weakness were made strong, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. Women received back their dead by resurrection; and others were tortured, not accepting their release, so that they might obtain a better resurrection; and others experienced mockings and scourgings, yes, also chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, they were put to death with the sword; they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated ( men of whom the world was not worthy), wandering in deserts and mountains and caves and holes in the ground. And all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised, because God had provided something better for us, so that apart from us they would not be made perfect.  

I was reading through this passage in Hebrews and it struck me different than it had in previous times through it.  In times passed I had read it in awe of the power of those described faith.  It’s remarkable when you look at the list earlier in the chapter, this who’s who of faithfully obedient people, scripture’s hall of fame.  Despite what they gained or loss, had or didn’t, they heard God’s call, saw His planned promise and pursued.

What stood out to me this time through, however, was the lack of the temporal realization of the promise.  They never make it to the perfect city.  They never fully realize the paradise that God had promised.  Why? We know it’s not because He doesn’t love us enough.  We know that God always keeps His promise, despite the fact that we in no way deserve His promise.  So, why does He not fulfill this promise in this life?

The answer is so very simple, He’s prepared something better than we could ever possibly have here.  All that we do, see, hear, enjoy, endure is to shape and refine us for a life in His perfect world.  Everything He offers in this life pales by comparison.  Paul says it beautifully in Philippians 3:8 More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ.

We get so hung up on the here and now, but the folks listed off in chapter 11 of Hebrews were focused on God, His promise and devoted themselves to that pursuit , no matter the cost, no matter the outcome.  They sought God no matter what it meant they would “lose” or suffer.  They went and… never got there in this life.  Have a blessed weekend.

In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,

Scott Pace 

His Will or Your’s?

Colossians 1:9-12 (NASB) For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,10 so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light.

I spend so much time pushing through life trying to do my thing, execute my will over my day to day.  How often do I stop and seek to know God’s will, direction and purpose in my life?  How often do you?  

There has been so many instances, big and small, where I pushed and pulled, kicked and clawed, only to have what I thought should be not come to pass.  

I believe God has a course for my life plotted out.  I’m talking big picture.  That doesn’t mean I don’t have choice, of course I do.  However, the more I press on in my own will, without consulting and contemplating God’s will, the more I will struggle, run a ground, get detoured and frustrated with my life.  

The more in tune with God I become, the more familiar with Him and His word, the more apparent His will for my life.  Often times that means difficult decisions.  He may close doors that we believe and want to be open, and He may open doors we’d rather stay closed.  His will may  (actually often will) require us to be stretched, to step out of our comfort zone and, in faith, step from a precipice.  His will may lead us from something we want or feel we deserve.  The bottom line is, regardless of where His will guides us, regardless of the path He sends us down, good, bad or indifferent, if we surrender to Him and seek His knowledge, guidance, understanding and righteousness, our path will be perfect, because it’s His path.  All that we are, all that we have, all that we can be is made possible by His endless grace and love for us, gifts, abundant gifts.  So… shouldn’t we be allowing Him to guide and direct our lives in that regard?  Have a blessed weekend.

Proverbs 3:5,6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart

And do not lean on your own understanding.

In all your ways acknowledge Him,

And He will make your paths straight.

 

Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled

Matthew 21:21-22 (NKJV) ‘So Jesus answered and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but also if you say to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ it will be done. And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”

I, obviously, have never lived in any generation other than the present one.  I have nothing to go on but the accounts of others that have.  I would say, in regards to faith, the strength or lack of, has changed little from the previous ones to the present.  

Even here in Matthew, we see Jesus pointing to the lack of faith exhibited by His disciples of first hand witness.  Remarkable, isn’t it?!  Well, not really, when you consider they were mere men, no different, no greater, no worse than we are.

I will not pretend to be a man of endless faith.  I waver, stumble, loose sight and loose hope the same as the men who walked along Jesus, the same as you.  But why?  He tells us plainly, ‘have faith, without doubt and you will move mountains.  Believe, ask and it will be done.’ 

Through out scripture, God shows us how He uses men and women of all caliber, social standing or lack there of for miraculous works.  More often than not, we see them first play into satan’s schemes, his lies of doubt, shame, feelings of guilt, disqualification and lack of justification.  So, what does God do, instance after instance?  He promises to go with them.  Moses, David, Abraham, Gideon, Paul, Mary, Joseph, the list goes on and on.  Bottom line, they weren’t qualified.  They weren’t justified, nor are we.  God is.  The same today as He was then.  And… He goes with us.  

John 14:12-18, 26-27 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it. “If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you… But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

Faith… He says it very plainly.  So, what will you believe?  Have a blessed weekend!

In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,

Scott Pace

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