Author Archives: Scott

Inter…Dependent!

…  12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ…  25 Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth each one of you with his neighbor, for we are members of one another. 26 be angryand yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and do not give the devil an opportunity. 28 He who steals must steal no longer; but rather he must labor, performing with his own hands what is good, so that he will have something to share with one who has need. 29 Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. 30 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, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:12, 13, 25-32 (NASB)

As I grow older, wiser and more mature in life, both temporal and spiritual, I’m amazed by God’s plan.  For the sake of today’s discussion, specifically, our intricately woven interdependence.  There are very few things, none actually, that I can claim sole credit for their accomplishment.  Every thing that I am, have, will do or have done is the result of the tapestry of relationships God has woven me into. 

From the very beginning, in the garden, God established man to be an interdependent being.  First, in his relationship with God, Himself.  Secondly, when He brought forth Eve, Adam’s interdependent companion.  That interdependent nature has carried out ever since, despite our pressing desire for independence. 

Our work ties us to one another.  We work to provide for another’s wants or needs, and are rewarded for that labor.  In turn, we pay another for goods or services we want or need, so on and so forth.  Interdependent.

Our relationships serve to fill emotional, intellectual, recreational and physical needs.  We share our time, energy, support, counsel, our lives with others, who in turn do the same for us.  Interdependent.

God Himself is an interdependent being, the Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Each of them contributing to One Another, interdependently.  God the Father, from which all things originate, The Son, the mediator, whom all things most go through and The Holy Spirit, through whom all things are executed… Interdependent.

None of us, despite how vehemently we try to convince ourselves otherwise, have not and will not ever, EVER, accomplish the most minute achievement independently.  Our very individual existence is the result of thousands of years of interdependence on and of God, as well as generations of other interdependents.  What a beautiful tapestry He has woven.  Have a blessed weekend.

In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,

Scott Pace 

Time to Teach… LEARN!

Philemon 1:6 (NASB) and I pray that the fellowship of your faith may become effective through the knowledge of every good thing which is in you for Christ’s sake. 

One of the most intelligent persons I have ever met, was Dr. Dawny Steadman.  She was my forensic anthropology professor at Iowa State.  She was a world renown expert in her field, but so are a number of others, in their respective fields, that I’ve known.  However, most of them would not get the same characterization from me.  Why?  In my mind, what was it about Dr. Steadman that makes me praise her intelligence above so many?

Firstly, she was a brilliant scientist.  She obviously had a firm grasp of her particular discipline.  I’m sure she studied very hard to gain that understanding.  If I had to speculate, though, I would say she leapt ahead of her peers when she began to teach.  She was a remarkable teacher.  She had an ability to convey complex ideas, methods and determinations in a way that a non-anthropology major, such as myself, could understand.  Also, in the process of teaching others, you could see her own understanding of the material growing and solidifying.

In my own life, I hold this concept to be true.  The more I teach on a subject, the more I want to learn.  The more I show and share what I know with others, the more refined and complete my own knowledge and understanding becomes.  This is very evident in my working life.  The more I share knowledge of Harley Davidson with others, the greater my own understanding.  My personal growth and development in the world of archery has grown exponentially faster since opening the shop in 2013.  Daily, I’m given opportunities to have my knowledge tested, to share, teach others what I know.  Every time I do, I learn something new, my understanding is refined and solidified a little more.

This has certainly been true in my relationship and walk with Jesus Christ.  Since being given the opportunity to share with all of you, through this forum, I’ve grown exponentially.  This limb of the tree of ministry God has placed me on, required a stricter accountability.  It forced me into deeper study than I had been engaged in.  It forces me to be more observant, obedient and dedicated.  I’m much more focused and thoughtful when I’m trying to discern what God wants me to learn, so that I might properly convey His message to whomever He directs as an audience.  

The refining and teaching the Holy Spirit has accomplished in me, through me, has allowed Him to move me to yet the next rung of the ladder of the plan He has for my life, preaching.  In the two instances in which I was called upon to deliver a Sunday sermon, I honestly believe I walked away learning as much or more than the people hearing it.  Teaching, sharing, fellowship, a POWERFUL tool, used by God for our own learning. Have a blessed weekend.

In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,

Scott Pace

 

Battle

I have been struggling for the past few weeks.  I’ve been struggling personally, professionally, financially, mentally and most of all, spiritually.  

I had lunch a few days ago with two close friends, Pastor Jeff and Pastor Ben.  These men are solid, go to counsel for me and they were concerned.  These men wanted to talk with me, listen to me, exhort me, and reassure me.  What was truly fascinating about this conversation was when they pointed out something that I know, but hadn’t considered.  This current state, the afflictions, they’re satan.  It’s a spiritual assault.  

Pastor Ben pointed out the victory in the Lord that the three of us shared just a few weeks ago.  The victory was the Lord working a sermon out for me just a couple hours before I had to deliver it.  It was amazing, and it had an impact.  Days later, the onslaught began.

Pastor Ben pointed to a passage in Luke 22, in which Jesus addresses Simon Peter and tells him of his impending denial of Jesus and their (the disciples) loss of heart and personal torment. 

Luke 22:28-30 (NASB) You are those who have stood by me in my trials. 29 And I confer on you a kingdom, just as my Father conferred one on me, 30 so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

Before Jesus tells of the anguish, He proclaims this to them, (sic) “I’m giving you a kingdom.  We will live, eat, drink and judge along side one another.” What a spiritual high!  These men, with Jesus at the Last Supper, have just been told by the Son of God, you will be with me, side by side for eternity!  It doesn’t get much higher than that, does it? 

Luke 22:31,32 “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”

Then Jesus drops this on Simon Peter, (sic) “satan asked to shake you to your core, put the screws to you.  But don’t worry, I prayed that your faith may not fail you and that you’ll return full of fire, vigor and serve as my ambassadors to your brethren of this world!”  What?  He didn’t say, “no way! I’ll never let you mess with them!”  And… just as surely as the Lord lives, that very thing happened.  

You see, God knew the condition of their hearts, the depth of their faith.  He had a purpose that was best served by men who’s world had been rocked, their faith tested.  Why?  Because He knew through the midst of it, their endurance would be witnessed and God glorified.  He knew that when they came out the other side, they would be challenged, bolder, stronger, more effectual in the work He had prepared for them to do.  

Does God allow satan access to His children, yes… absolutely!  Scripture shows us here in Jesus’ own words.  He shows us the same in Job.  Paul speaks of it  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:12)

He does so, however, knowing that He has prepared us, or He would not allow satan to war against us.  These spiritual battles so very often come on the heals of a spiritual high, a victory.  That makes them the even more crushing.  The stronger we grow in our faith, the more effectual the work that God is able to do through us, the greater satan’s desire to have at us.  As we mature in our faith and we learn to recognize these attacks for what they are, satan’s attempt to render us ineffectual, to question God and the reason’s for our Hope and faith, we can glory in them.  Glory?  Yes, absolutely revel and glory in them!  Shout from the rooftops, “thank you Lord for empowering me and trusting me to the point that you would allow satan the opportunity!”  As He matures us and develops in us the ability to discern these attacks from the outset and utilize the tools He has equipped us with, satan is rendered impotent.  

I want to thank God for sending Pastor Ben and Pastor Rabe to be the tools of my rescue from these attacks.  Be watchful and vigilant.  Remember, when you’re under attack by the “god of this world”, it merely means that God knows He’s prepared you to glorify Him in that battle!   Have a blessed weekend.

In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,

Scott Pace

 

 

Righteous Rise

II Timothy 4:18 (NASB) The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed, and will bring me safely to His heavenly kingdom; to Him be the glory forever and ever.  Amen.

It’s difficult to suffer under the hand of falsehood.  For most of us, this consists of simple misunderstandings or deliberate distortions meant to discredit us or do us some form of harm.  Others, like Paul, will suffer severely under a heavy hand of falsehood, deceit, corruption and contempt. 

I have known people who have suffered greatly at the hand of deceivers, people who have lost or nearly lost everything they had including their public reputation.  I know one such person currently suffering under just such a yoke.  What amazes me is the resilience God grants to those who stand on TRUTH.  It may not be easy, and one would certainly never desire to be on the receiving end of such treatment, but when sided with truth, righteousness will always rise to the surface. 

When I see those under extraordinary persecution, it is heart wrenching but inspiring at the same time.  In these examples, to see God hold them securely and lovingly in His right hand, to grant them the strength necessary to stand under such strain, shows me how little I have to fear in the rather minor occurrences of my life.  Their example offers assurance that no matter what it is, with that kind of faith, God will rescue us from evil big or small. 

So, to those reading this, who embody this virtue, I thank you and God Blesses you.  Hold fast, stand with truth and let the promise of God’s righteousness carry you through to glory!  Have a blessed weekend.

Isaiah 41:13 “For I am the Lord your God, who upholds your right hand, Who says to you, ‘Do not fear, I will help you.’

In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,

Scott Pace

My Portion

Lamentations 3:22-24 (NASB) The Lord’s loving kindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. 23 They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. 24“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I have hope in Him.”

This was my memory passage for this week.  As I recited this over and over, really meditating on the power in this passage, I was hit with a revelation.  God was telling me that I rely on myself far more than I rely on Him.

That, my friends, is a frightening realization.  I, and I’m betting a great many of you, tend to count more on God’s gifts than God Himself.  An person gifted with high intellect will tend to lean on that.  A person of wealth, will count on His money, gifts, blessings from God.  When I struggle, I most often think and act on what I can do rather than first call on God.  Pridefully, I believe that I can handle this and work my way over, around, under or through the obstacle.  Why?  I’m gifted!  In these instances, our strengths, His gifts become extraordinary weaknesses.  Our pride and illusioned self determination and self reliance becomes an immense stumbling block to our discipleship and oneness with Christ.

Often times struggles fall upon us after a time of peace, plenty and closeness with Christ.  When we ask something of God, and He doesn’t provide in the manner we believe He should, subconsciously, if not consciously, we abandon Him.  We push ahead under our “own” power, determining that it is up to us.  Instead, we should be thanking and praising Him in these times.

Faith is not a bargain that we’ve made with God… “give me this, do that for me and I’ll trust You, I’ll follow You.  If you don’t, well I think I’ll do it my way.” 

Our faith MUST be firmly rooted in Him, not His gifts.  Who do you go to first, Him or you?  What to you lean on, the gifts or the Giver?  Have a blessed weekend.

Proverbs 16:19-20 It is better to be humble in spirit with the lowly Than to divide the spoil with the proud. 20 He who gives attention to the word will find good, And blessed is he who trusts in the Lord.

In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,

Scott Pace

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