Author Archives: Scott

231,000,000!!!

Psalm 33:12 (NKJV) Blessed is the nation whose God is the LordThe people He has chosen as His own inheritance.

I believe in American exceptionalism.  I believe so, not because I believe Americans are particularly exceptional, but rather that God most certainly is.  I believe that He ordained the formation of this great country and provided the necessary catalysts to bring about it’s creation.  I believe this was possible because the willingness of the original colonists to believe in His sovereignty, the continuation of that belief by the majority of our founding fathers and the conviction of the succeeding generations.  

In 2016 America has reached the brink.  As a nation we have been sliding this direction for the past 60 years. In 2014 most surveys suggest a decline of 8% in adults claiming a christian affiliation.  The number has been declining for several decades, but the decline in the last 7 is greater than all other years combined.  That is a drop of approximately 5 million people.

Now for the good news.  Over 70% of Americans claim a christian affiliation.  That equates to approximately 231 million people.  So, there’s still hope.  

God has long held this nation in His protective embrace.  He has blessed us over and over again.  I believe that blessed Hand is lifting.  It’s lifting, not because we are no longer a nation filled with christians.  It’s lifting because we have become a nation of fruitless christians.  

We’ve had it too good for too long.  Like Israel, we’ve allowed comfort to replace conviction.  As a nation of christians, we’ve lost our zeal because we don’t want to rock the boat we’re riding in.  Too many in this country have turned a blind eye and refuse to stand in the gap.  

We’re weak.  Our faith is weak.  Our relationship with the Lord is weak.  Our knowledge of the word of God is miniscule.  Our witness is virtually unnoticeable.  Because of this weakness we lack courage and conviction in the face of what we know to be wrong.  Worse yet, we are complicit with the world.  I’m talking about the christians of this nation, you and I.  

I draw this conclusion based on the evidence around us, the moral condition of our society.  231 million people claim to be christian and yet this nation is morally bankrupt.  Our beloved nation is being swallowed by the weeds.  Divorce is at an all time high and easier to obtain than a driver’s license.  Drug and alcohol abuse, depression, mental illness, greed, corruption, std’s, violence are at all time highs.  Even basic common courtesy is becoming hard to find.  If we are truly a nation of 231 million christians, how can this be?! 

We have to engage, people.  We have to beat back the fear and stand courageously, despite the cost.   We’ve had it too easy.  There’s a cost to being a follower of Christ that few in this country have really had to count.  Last week I memorized  Romans 12:1,2   I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.  

IMG_20160708_002930It’s time.  If we don’t engage, how many will not come to know the love and grace of Jesus?  If we don’t resolve to strengthen our relationship with Jesus, immerse ourselves in His word, burnish our convictions, how many will not have the faith and resolve to stand when it gets REALLY bad?  The good news is that there is time and that in Jesus we have all that we need.  It’s time.  God Bless you all.

In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,

Scott Pace 

Remember This Verse

Romans 15:13 (NKJV)  Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Paul is reiterating the words proclaimed by David so many times over and over.  How precious, yet powerful at the same time, is this proclamation.  As we progress through our daily lives, I feel this verse is one that we could and should keep readily in our fore thoughts.  

Whether things are going well, as you would have them, or as we many times must, have to deal with stress, turmoil and tragedy, keeping focus on this simple truth can carry and guide us.  

When our hearts are aligned with God, there is most assuredly a peace and joy like no other.  When we are focused and pursuing a strong connection with Jesus, and allow the Holy Spirit to fill and work through us, there is nothing that can erode that.  

When things are great and running smoothly we can lose focus, get complacent or unappreciative. Remember this verse.   

When things seemed to be stacked against us, nothing goes the way would would like, trouble, strife and tragedy befall us, don’t lose heart.  Remember this verse.  

Have a joyous and safe holiday weekend celebrating the birth of this greatest nation on earth, these United States of America.

In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,

Scott Pace

 

Live Well and Leave Well

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Philippians 1:21-23 (NKJV) For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22 But if live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell. 23 For I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better.

In July of 2012, I got sick.  I was diagnosed with a fairly rare kidney disease.  My immune system decided to target my kidneys and before the disease progressed to obvious symptoms, my kidneys were headed for failure.  My disease is incurable, but manageable.  

I tend not to share my aches and pains with others.  When I’m sick or hurting, right wrong or otherwise, I generally keep it to myself.  However, in this case, word got out and the outpouring of love and support was remarkable.

I don’t recall when, exactly, or whom, but a few weeks into my treatment, someone inquired as to how I was doing.  After I briefed him on what exactly was going on, he asked, “is this deadly?”  Until he asked, I hadn’t thought very long on that possibility, “I don’t think that’s a likely outcome, but if not gotten under control, I suppose that’s possible.”  “Wow, I’m so sorry,” he replied.  “That is truly scary!”  Until, that moment, I hadn’t thought of the situation in that way, either.  “Not really,”  I replied.  His expression shifting to bewilderment. “Huh?  How not?  That doesn’t frighten you?!” he asked.  I thought about it for a moment and, “no, not in the least.  You see, I know where I’m going,” I stated.  Again, bewilderment, “what do you mean?”  At that question, it dawned on me.  My friend doesn’t know the saving power of Jesus.  “I certainly don’t want to leave my wife without her husband or my girls without their father.  But, if it is my time, afraid?  Quite the opposite, in fact. I’m going to heaven to be with Jesus and my Heavenly Father.  Why on earth would I be fearful?”  He simply nodded his understanding, wished me the best and headed on.  

Prior to my friend asking, why had I paid death no never mind? My conclusion, why should I.  Three years prior, I guarantee my mind would have been drowning in the idea of death.  I would have been submerged in fear.  But not anymore.  I had hope and faith in the promise from my Lord Jesus.  I had peace, knowing that the end of this life is merely the beginning to life ever after in heaven with Him and my Father.  Like Paul, I now have a “desire to depart and be with Christ”.  It’s far better!  

In the meantime, I know that my time here is measured and He would have my life be fruitful.  So, I’m trying to do just that.  I’m trying to allow Him to use me in a way to help lead others to this same hope, faith and peace that carried me through that conversation with a friend, through the battle with this disease and that carries me from one day to the next.  This disease may get me yet.  If so, it’s alright.  We are all departing this world eventually.  I would just like to make the most of the time I’m allowed, live well and leave well.  God bless you and have a glorious weekend my friends!

In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,

Scott Pace 

God’s Standard Not Mine

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Before accepting Jesus Christ as Lord of my life, I had a great many areas in my life that weren’t Christ like.  I certainly didn’t give thought to how Jesus would have me think or behave in any given situation.  So, why am I so often surprised and appalled when a non-believer thinks and behaves like a non-believer?  It’s a fair question.  I imagine a good many of you do the same.  

Galatians 2:14 But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter before them all, “If you, being a Jew, live in the manner of Gentiles and not as the Jews, why do you compel Gentiles to live as Jews?

When a non-believer doesn’t act as a christian should, what right have I to be upset?  What right have I to turn my back, shun and exclude them?  God doesn’t.  I know this, because He didn’t turn His back on me.  Instead, He exercised patience, showered me with love, kindness and compassion, not contempt.  He placed others in my path that could reflect the values He wanted to see in me.  He persisted until He got through.  

As representatives of the transforming power of Jesus Christ, isn’t that an obligation we have to honor?  I’m not saying turn a blind eye, condone or participate.  I’m not saying remain silent.  I’m saying reserve judgement for the One whom it belongs.  I’m saying don’t you dare turn your back, because “I just can’t associate with that ‘type’ of person”.  How can we hold other’s to a standard that, though we strive for, we ourselves will not attain?  What if everyone who aided in bringing us to the saving grace of Jesus Christ, had instead stood in judgement, condemnation, saying we just don’t measure up?  

Be reflective of Jesus.  Give those who have not seen the truth reason to pursue it.  Be a light in the darkness for those trapped in the bondage you were once captive yourself.  You can share what it right and good when you see something wrong, but remembering that you didn’t know, until you knew.  God bless you and have a joyous weekend!

James 4:17 Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.  

In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,

Scott Pace 

 

At What Cost?

II Chronicles 7:14 (NKJV) if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

IMG_20160610_004003I’m seeing something very discouraging happening around me and throughout the United States of America.  We have a rather heated and emotional situation unfolding in the race for the presidency.  However, I’m not here today to talk politics.  I’m not here to compare candidates, party platforms, who did, said, is… whatever.  I’m here to talk about God.  I’m here to talk about faith or lack of.  

Throughout this campaign cycle, I have seen many things that have really made me evaluate the state of this country, its citizenry and the direction we are heading.  Recent events have drawn my attention and focus from the presumptive candidates to the constituency.  Namely, the professed men and women of christian faith.  

There are a great many people of faith, people I held in esteem and believed to be of strong conviction and integrity, that I would like to address.  This can also be applied to christian men and women, who, not in the public limelight but are members of the body of Christ and witnesses to those within their sphere of influence.

I have been witnessing men and women, public figures and average everyday Joes, like you and me, Christians, willing to dump, concede, sacrifice, or modify their beliefs and integrity of late and quite frankly, shame on you. Since when has our security, our identity, our sense of worth rested so firmly in a person or elected office that we would be willing to compromise our beliefs and ethics to try to insure that person A is or is not elected.  When I see men, very public figures, stating that they would be willing to circumnavigate or alter the rules, dump their integrity, just because they didn’t like the outcome or to prevent an alternate outcome, I’m utterly flabbergasted!

Joshua 24:15 (NKJV) And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. 

“The ends justify the means.”  No they most assuredly do not!  If you are a principled man or woman of faith, then stand on that faith!  Your faith and hope should not be wrapped up in any man, woman or child, nor should it rest in the hopes of candidate A or B, so long as it isn’t C.  Your faith and hope should reside squarely and firmly in Jesus Christ your Lord and Savior.  Your faith in Him should carry you unshaken and unafraid, regardless of who is or isn’t elected to this office or that.  Your faith should drive you courageously in conviction and integrity to stand for what is right and good and fair regardless of the outcome.  If you believe in God’s sovereignty, then you know He has a plan, whether we know it or understand it and that His plan is the right and best plan.  

So stand firmly in that knowledge, do not waver, do not fear, put not your faith in men, but in the Lord where it belongs.  Walk uprightly, with integrity and unwavering conviction.  God will produce the outcome He chooses, despite what you or I think.  In the meantime, stay the course, seek God, walk His path with confidence knowing He is directing your steps.  Do not compromise, regardless of the outcome.  The end does not justify the means!  God Bless you all and may God Bless these United States of America.  

Philippians 2:10,11 (NKJV) that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. 

In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,

Scott Pace

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