Author Archives: Scott

Thankful Stewardship

2 Corinthians 9:6-9 (NASB) Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed; as it is written,

He scattered abroad, He gave to the poor,

His righteousness endures forever.”

God is our provider, forever and always.  The work that we do, the income that we earn, blessings bestowed by God.  One of the many things God would see cultivated in His children is a heartfelt desire to give.  However, this is not something we are to do out of duty or obligation.  This is something He would have us do because we have been blessed, by Him, with the means and opportunity to do so.  This is something that He would see carried out by a loving heart desiring to do the most good with the blessings He entrusts us with.  

This is a matter of the heart, but it’s also a matter of stewardship.  God entrusts us with the responsibility to manage these resources that He provides.  Those resources can and do consist of our money, time, joy, encouragement, wisdom, joy, faith and an unquantifiable host of other things.  As Paul imparts on us in this passage, we reap what we sow.  If we do well with what we have been given, He will continue His blessings upon us.  It’s that simple.  However, notice that there is an important clause in there.  It’s not what we do, the quantity or the material value that is the imperative, it’s the motive of the heart that matters.  Whether you’ve been blessed in fortune, time, personal associations or what have you, the motivation behind the stewardship and application of these resources will determine the measure of blessing you receive in return.  God would see in us a cheerful giver, an attitude of gratitude that leads to the desire to spread the blessings.  He would see in each and every one of us a desire to bless others whenever, with whatever, possible because we love Him and we love them.  The act itself becomes a blessing for the giver often times more so than for the receiver.  

The point is, we give not to get, but because of that attitude, the desire to do all we can with what we’re given, we continue to be blessed so that we can continue to be a blessing.  Be a thankful steward, show off your attitude of gratitude and have a blessed weekend.

In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,

Scott Pace   

 

Change of Heart

John 13:5 (NASB) Then He poured water into the basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded.

It can be very difficult to love someone that you do not particularly like.  On the way to work, they were discussing this very thing on the radio.  The DJs and callers were making some profound points and today’s writing is a compilation of some of those thoughts.

In John 13 is being described Jesus’ display of love, service and humility for His disciples.  I’d never given this much thought, but Judas Iscariot, Jesus’ betrayer was among those being served by the Lord.  The reason that’s important is, Jesus knows the treachery that resides in Judas’ heart.  He knows what Judas will do shortly, yet He serves Him, loves Him all the same.

That is a hard thing to do, isn’t it?  We want to focus on the things we don’t like about someone, or things they have done to hurt us, instead of focusing on loving each other despite those things.  

One of the things mentioned by a caller was the importance to pray, not that God would change the one we have issue with, but rather, pray that God would change our heart and how we perceive and receive that person.  Bottom line is, we all have failings, short comings and sin in our life.  We all have reasons for another to have issue with us.  We all have reasons for Jesus to have issue with us, but He doesn’t.  He focuses on loving us.  And, when freely received and recognized, that love is what will change us.  That love is what will lead us to exemplify it in our own lives to those who don’t “deserve it”.  That love will lead to a change in those who receive and recognize it from us, in an endless wave upon wave of God’s glory washing through humanity. 

Oh… if only we could all learn and live that lesson!  Have a blessed weekend.

John 13:12-14, 34, 35   So when He had washed their feet, and taken His garments and reclined at the table again, He said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? 13 You call Me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am. 14 If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet… 34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,

Scott Pace

Thankful

2 Corinthians 4:15,16 (NASB) For all things are for your sakes, so that the grace which is spreading to more and more people may cause the giving of thanks to abound to the glory of God.  16 Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day.

The other day, Pastor Jeff asked me if I would be willing to come in on an upcoming Sunday and speak about thankfulness.  I agreed and therefore have begun a study through scripture on what it looks like to exhibit genuine thankfulness.  I must confess, as I delve into this subject through scripture, it’s a bit more complicated than I preconceived.  

As I contemplate what thankfulness “looks” like, my mind goes to situation and circumstance.  My initial thought is that it is easy to be thankful when things are going well, as we plan and hope for, but much harder when things turn upside down on us.  

However, it’s been my experience personally, in my own life and heart, as well as what I’ve witnessed from a great many others, often times the opposite is true.  So many times when things seem to be going just as I’d have them, my thoughts of God diminish and my gratitude wanes.  Why?  I don’t know that I realize it at the time, but thinking about it now, I know that I am most assuredly guilty of doing it.  Conversely, when things are difficult I often find pleasure, gratitude and appreciation in some of the simplest and easily overlooked things.  I’m certainly not perfect and can give over to despair, the same as anyone, when difficult times find me.  As I grow deeper and more fully in my faith, as my relationship with the Lord grows stronger, as He works in me a new heart, thankfulness is easier to express in all circumstances. I believe that often times, the downturns may simply be necessary for our realignment.  When things are going along great it seems to be easy to lose sight of our ultimate dependence on God.  When things aren’t going well, seemingly out of our control, where else are we left to turn besides despair?  Perspective shifts and focus is more easily directed where it should be, on Him and all that He is, has done and is, doing for us.  Have a blessed weekend.

Colossians 3:15-17 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.

In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,

Scott Pace 

The End of the Story

This past Saturday I had the honor of officiating the celebration of life of one of our saints.  This was my first time being ask to do this, and with all humility I was honored that they would ask me to be a part of it.

I never had the opportunity to meet this woman in person.  However, I met with the family on Thursday evening.  During that couple hours, and through their incredibly vivid and candid sharing, I felt like I was able to develop a solid sense of the woman we were to honor on Saturday.

As I prepared for Saturday, there was a couple points the family touched on that truly captivated me.  The first of these was something they told me she kept saying to them towards the end of her struggle.  “I want to know how the this story ends.”  She was talking about her family’s story.  She loved, protected, guided and encouraged them.  She didn’t fear death, but rather, feared leaving them to complete the story without her.  What dawned on me was, she knows the “end of the story”.  Afterall, she was a vital author of the story.  Her influences, her legacy will continue to shape and contribute to her family’s story for all future generations.  Secondly, she knew the Lord, she knew His promise, therefore she knows the end of the “Ultimate Story”  That is, there is no end.  

That leads me to the second thing they shared, that had a profound impact on me.  They told me she was at complete and utter peace.  She had no fear as she neared the end of her days here.  She went as far as to encourage her son in her final moments, telling him to “have courage”.  She had peace because she knew that, though her time on earth was drawing to a close, it was merely the beginning of a life in Glory with her Father in heaven.  What a wonderful thing to know.  Notice, I said know, not believe.  Though I’ve not knowingly faced the end of my temporal life, I find it hard to believe that anyone could have that level of peace and comfort by belief alone.  That kind of peace, acceptance and surrender can only come from knowing God and knowing the Son’s promise.  She knew.  

For me, to be a part of this woman’s celebration of life, to hear the things her family shared, to learn about what she wanted and what she knew, brought me peace, joy, hope and reassurance.  In being allowed the opportunity to share a little of the woman they loved, I will forever be connected to them and I become a small piece of her legacy and the “end of the story”.  Have a blessed weekend.

John 14:1-6 (NASB) “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me.  In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.  If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way where I am going.”  Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?”  Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”

In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,

Scott Pace

 

Choose Grace

Matthew 12:35-37 (NASB) The good man brings out of his good treasure what is good; and the evil man brings out of his evil treasure what is evil. 36 But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment. 37 For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”

The spoken word is a powerful thing.  It has the power to build up or the power to destroy.  It has the power to spread the gospel message or to drive people from the good news.  How do you use your words?

The other day, I had the opportunity to move out of the Holy Spirit’s way and disarm hostility with the gospel message of God’s love for me, you and every man woman and child.  

A young man, a person I had never met or ever had any contact, decided to curse at me via messenger.  His anger was directed at another and thus, misdirected.  I could have chosen to ignore it, delete it and move on, but felt the urging of the Holy Spirit to address it.  I asked why he was angry at someone he’d never met.  He explained that just because he didn’t know someone, didn’t mean that he could be angry at them for something he believed they had done.  He said, “that’s just human nature.”  Rather than try to change his mind on the circumstances that lead to his anger, I agreed with him.  I said, “you’re right, that is the fallen nature of man.”  I asked him, what good does that serve to his life or example it leaves on those in the world around him?  “Jesus”, I said, “had more right than any to be angry and vengeful towards others, but chose not to.  He exemplified the antithesis to it by going to the cross and begging His Father to forgive the very ones who had beaten Him and nailed Him to the cross to die.  He advocated for them and every man, woman and child who had a hand, then and still today, in driving in the nail.  That includes me and it includes each and every one of you.  He chose love, He chose grace upon grace upon grace.  If anyone could claim justification for anger and vengeance, it was Him.  He chose love.  If you can’t allow yourself to let go of anger at someone you don’t even know, have never met, what kind of life can you lead?” 

He replied, “you are right.  I admire your way of thinking.”  I thanked him for the conversation, told him that I hope it helped him out in some way, as it certainly had helped me, wished blessings to him and his and said good night. 

Only the power found in the gospel message could alter the course of that interaction 180 degrees.  It got me thinking about all the times that I chose to respond in the “justified” manner only to see grenades get lobbed and the situation turn from bad, to worse, to nuclear, all because of the words I elected to flow from my mouth, and the toxicity I allowed to permeate my heart. 

How many situations could have been avoided or diverted if we chose our words more carefully?  How many relationships would be mended if we elected to listen to the urging of the Holy Spirit, chose grace and love over anger and retribution?  I can think of more than I can count in mere moments.  Have a blessed weekend.

Hebrews 10:24 and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds

In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,

Scott Pace

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