Author Archives: Scott

Pursue the Imperishable Crown

I Timothy 4:8 (NKJV) For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.

Last week, I received the news that my best friend and I have successfully drawn a coveted mule deer tag in the high alpine basins of Colorado.  To say I’m ecstatic, is an understatement.  He and I have contemplated, planned and dreamed about this opportunity for the last 3 years.  Now it’s a reality, really a… REALITY!

The unit we are hunting is on the divide, in designated wilderness and predominantly above treeline.  For anyone wondering what that means, it means a long backpack in and 10 days looking for deer in treeless alpine basins at altitudes of 11,000 to nearly 14000 feet.  Needless to say, it will be a physically and mentally demanding experience.  I go out west every year and stay in fairly descent shape year round, ramping up my fitness regimen through the summer in preparation.  However, an endeavor of this magnitude will require a fundamental shift in my regimen.  I have begun ramping that up, and hope that I can discipline myself to its execution. 

I’m training my body to accomplish a feat of endurance, stamina and strength that is outside the norm of most people’s capacity.  My dedication to and thoroughness of my training will have a tremendous impact on whether we are successful in this pursuit.  I train my body to fill a tag, to experience something that I love to do in a place I love to go.  However, it’s temporal, fleeting.  Sure, we’ll create memories that I’m sure will stay with me all my life, but, as the verse above says, ‘profits a little.’  

Isn’t that interesting.  I am covetous about my hunting and adventures.  At times it greatly distracts me from my family, my work, my friends and yes my God.  I don’t mean for it to, but it does.  I’m training my body and mind in a way that has potential to take me from the thing that matters most, for an endeavor that matters little.  Hunting, at times becomes very much an idol to me.  What’s yours… work, money, your home, sports, cars, motorcycles, the opposite sex, yourself? 

We all fall prey to it in one way or another.  It’s a question of balance, knowing everything’s proper place, prioritizing and keeping it there.  There is nothing inherently wrong with hunting, preparing my body for it, or the pursuit of it.  Likewise, there’s nothing inherently wrong with any of the things that I listed.  The wrong is found within our own heart.  What place does that thing or things hold in our heart.  If it pulls an untold amount of your attention from your family, friends and, most importantly, God, it’s an idol, and…idols are bad.  Don’t believe me, read through the Old Testament.  

I love to hunt.  I don’t particularly enjoy going through the necessities of getting fit for it, but I do enjoy knowing that every weight I throw, mile I bike and arrow I send, moves me that much closer to earning my prize.  Some people might say that it defines me as a person.  “Scott, he’s a bowhunter, eats, drinks and dreams bowhunting.  You wanna know Scott, read a hunting magazine.  It’s all in there.”  That’s certainly not true, but if anyone thinks that of me at any time, I need to evaluate what I’m doing, what my priorities are and make sure my life and identity is in balance. 

So, get out there, do what you love, love what you do, run hard, chase your goals, train and better yourself in and for your endeavors.  However, remember to keep it in balance and make sure your pursuit of Jesus Christ comes first, fully and with an exuberance, discipline and determination exceeding the worldly ones.  Have a blessed weekend.

I Corinthians 9:24-27 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize?  Run in such a way that you may obtain it.  25 And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. 26 Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. 27 But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified. 

Lead

Philippians 2:3-7 (NASB) Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.

It’s not all that difficult to convince others of your worth or that you are good at something, if you are.  Most, in my estimate, use that method to advance their position in their careers, activities, church, in life.  You want to know what a truly effective leader looks like?  It’s the man or women who doesn’t see a need to convince the world of their worth, but rather sees the need and benefit of convincing others of their value and worth.  A person who can do that, is a person people follow.

Think about it.  That’s the example Jesus’ life and ministry established, is it not?  He humbled Himself, came down from the throne, saw the worth in each and every man, woman and child and showed them so.  A life lived in Jesus Christ, is a life of daily reminding by Him of our worth.  That’s what He came for.  He came to encourage and bolster our places in this world.  He believes so highly in us, loves us so completely that He spent His life, temporally and eternally, illustrating that to us.  And the result?  He leads, we follow.  

Would you follow a God that spent His time telling you how great He is?  Would you follow a Captain into battle that did?  Would you follow a boss who thinks he’s the reason things work so well in the office?  I don’t think you would.  You believe in and follow the ones who don’t think more highly of themselves than they should, and are constantly seeking to praise and pull from you the best they know you possess.  That’s a leader.  That’s what Jesus was doing 2000+ years ago, is doing today and will do for eternity.

In the areas you are called upon to lead, are you leading that way?  Are you setting that type of example?  You should be.  Have a blessed weekend.

Mark 10:42-45 Calling them to Himself, Jesus said to them, “You know that those who are recognized as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them; and their great men exercise authority over them. 43 But it is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant; 44 and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” 

In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,

Scott Pace

Fear is a Good Thing

Proverbs 9:10 (NASB) The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

You want wisdom, God’s word is pretty clear in this proverb.  It begins with fear.  I think most people misunderstand what is meant in scripture when it references the “fear” of the Lord.  I believe most think, “why would I be afraid of God?  He loves me, He wouldn’t wish me harm.”  I think most people imagine being frightened, running or hiding yourself from the awful.  That couldn’t be farther from what scripture is talking about.

Fear of the Lord is an understanding that God is everything.  He is beyond comprehension.  All things exist because of Him and His will.  He’s the Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last, He always was and He always will be.  Our finite minds cannot even comprehend to a bagillioneth of a fraction of an iota Who God is.  Think about that.  

So, the “fear” that scripture talks about is a complete and utter realization that there is nothing, no one, that can even remotely compare.  The “fear” is a total unwavering reverence to the infinite awesomeness of God. 

That’s it.  That’s the “fear”.  He is everything, nothing compares.  The “fear” is complete and utter humility and acceptance of that.  The “fear” is knowing that we should be testing everything against His standard, because He is and nothing escapes His knowing.  He’s everything, everywhere, all the time.  

So, that’s where wisdom begins.  It begins with the “fear” of knowing that He is everything and anything we are to accomplish or become begins with the “fear”.  To know the Lord is to fear the Lord.  With that fear wisdom takes root because through that understanding we see more clearly and understand more deeply.  

Fear is a good thing.  Hope that helps someone.  Have a blessed weekend!

In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,

Scott Pace

Choices

I Kings 3:9 (NASB) So give Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people to discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?”  

Think about your day in and day out, your week in and week out.  We are, each and every one, faced and tasked with a never ending sea of decisions.  How do you decide?  Most of the choices we are routinely faced with are simple, straight forward and require little if any pondering, but we still have to choose.  I would contend, that God equips you with the tools to make, what you feel, are the correct choices.

Some of our choices have to be more carefully measured, worked through and may have a great deal more hanging on them.  They may have far reaching consequences and may impact one or more other people.  How do you choose? 

Just because there is more or less at stake, the process and means in which we make decisions should not vary, merely the scale of the method.  Solomon could have asked God for anything, wealth, fame, long life, anything.  He asked God for wisdom, a discerning heart.  Big or small, affecting just himself or the entire populace of his kingdom, Solomon understood the importance of his decisions and asked God for the wisdom to get it right.

When you start your day, do you ask God to open your eyes, ears and heart?  Do you ask God for the wisdom to rightly discern between the correct and incorrect path to follow?  When faced with decisions in the moment, do you pray and ask God for clarity?  If your answer is no, you need to be.  Every decision we make, every single choice that is presented to us, should be passed through God’s discernment filter.  Then at the end of the day, we need to be checking in with Him to see how we did.  Have a blessed weekend.

In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,

Scott Pace

Damaged Witness

Ephesians 4:29-32 (ESV) Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ.

It is so very easy, when we feel wronged, slighted or burdened, to lose control of our temper, slip into the flesh, our carnal nature, lash out and rage at someone.  It seems especially easy to lose it on those closest to us, our spouse, children, siblings or co-workers.  We can and do say some of the most vicious, hateful, un-Christlike, wicked things to each other.  

I’d like to say that I’m an exception to that, but regrettably I cannot.  I have said and done horrible things to people closest to me.  Likewise, I have been on the receiving end of some cruel assaults.  It’s devastating, heartbreaking and irrevocably damages relationships.  Though they can and often do heal, they will never quite be the same.  

Even worse than the damage done to the recipient of the assault, or the relationship between the parties, is the damage it does to one’s witness, the Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ Himself.  When we choose to follow Jesus Christ, we choose a new life, we are to die to self, crucified with Jesus Christ, born again a new creation.  We accept the mantle of responsibility of representing Jesus Christ to our born again brothers and sisters and to the unbelieving world.  When we allow our carnal nature to take control, our emotions to erupt and explode all over a situation, what impact does that have on how the world around us sees Jesus? 

One of the greatest obstacles to the advancement of God’s Kingdom, the leading of souls to the Lord, is hypocrisy.  We’ve all heard someone say, “I can’t stand those churchy people.  They talk all high and mighty, think they’re so much better than we are, then go and do…say…”  Perhaps you have even said something to that effect.  I used that as a reason to stay away from church and a pursuit of Jesus for many years.  “Aw those self righteous, church going hypocrits!  Mr. So and So professes to follow Jesus, goes to church, studies scripture, blah blah blah.  I’ve seen him say… Just the other day, I caught him…”  You get my point.  

When we lose control of our emotions, when we let someone have it, rage, curse, name call, belittle the damage goes far beyond the person or people our tirade is directed at.  It damages our witness, those who witness the act, the Holy Spirit that resides within us and Jesus Christ.  God demands us to love one another tenderly, perfectly as we would ourselves.  That’s a tall order, but an order we must determine to fulfill.  So, next time something isn’t going your way, someone isn’t doing what you think they ought to, treating you as you think they should, will you give over to your emotions, your carnal nature?  Or, will you pause, think about how you can best represent your Lord and Savior and act accordingly?  Have a blessed weekend.

Proverbs 29:11 (ESV) A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back.

In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,

Scott Pace

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