Author Archives: Scott

Who Are You Talking To?

Psalms 1:1,2 (NKJV) Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the LordAnd in His law he meditates day and night.

One of the foundational passages for our Iron Men groups, the first we’re asked to commit to memory, is Psalms 1:1-6.  Nate chose to revisit the first three verses on Wednesday night.  As I spent the the last few days pondering over this passage and applying it to things that are happening in my life at present, it led to today’s commentary.

This passage sets the tone for the Psalms, contrasting the way of life for the righteous and wicked man.  It sets the stage, directs our focus, Who and What we should focus on and who and what we should not.

The first verse is particularly pertinent to my life at this moment.  The counsel we seek, those we choose to seek and take advice from is of a paramount importance.  Most people I know, would choose to seek advice, counsel or support from those who would most likely agree with their actions, view points, wants and desires.  Most seek out reassurance that what they are feeling, thinking and doing is right and justified.  Therefore, we are reluctant to seek out those we think might tell us something we don’t want to hear or accept.  That’s only natural, right? 

Paul tells us that there’s a problem in doing that, because we are not to be natural men any longer.  We are born again, washed in the blood of Jesus, called to a righteous way of life, thought and action.  That sometimes requires us to do that which we don’t want to do, hear what we don’t want to hear.

That includes seeking counsel from a wise, mature, trusted, righteous source.  Verse 1 above instructs us to not seek counsel from anyone else.  When you are up against it, need help, advice or merely an ear to sound off to, who do you go to?  Do you go to someone you can trust to give you a mature, biblical, spirit filled response?  Do you take it to someone that you know may have something to say that you might not be willing to hear?  Or, do you seek out those you know will never challenge you, how you think, how you feel?  Folks like that are generally easy to find, because most are willing to be that person.  Most choose to placate and not rock the boat.  We are are all, to some degree, broken, injured people and consequently find it easy to slide into that role.  It’s easiest to seek those people out and it’s easiest to be that person for others.  However, to follow that path, on eaither side, merely serves to pull us further from the Lord and hampers our chance to reconcile whatever it is we are struggling with.

My challenge to you is this, think about the last time you took an issue to another, who was it?  What was your motivation for choosing that individual?  What was their response?  Was it edifying or did it serve to deepen the issue?  Did that encounter offer a difficult, but positive evaluation or did it merely serve to justify you, your thoughts and actions? 

We must choose whom we associate with carefully, but never more so when we need guidance.  Sometimes that’s not easy, requiring humility and discernment.  Those qualities require a close relationship with the Lord, a strength of Spirit and a familiarity with His word.  Have a blessed weekend.

Proverbs 15:31,32 The ear that hears the rebukes of life Will abide among the wise. 32 He who disdains instruction despises his own soul, But he who heeds rebuke gets understanding.

In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,

Scott Pace   

 

 

Let It “Break”

Proverbs 16:9 (NASB)  The mind of man plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.

I’m continuing on a theme established with last Friday’s commentary and bolstered by Mike Wilson at Wednesday’s Iron Men’s meeting.  Mike’s verse for the week was Proverbs 16:9.  This is a very good verse to commit to memory as it is applicable to all, virtually every day.  It’s short, simple and yet so incredibly powerful.

Last Friday I spoke about how important it is to keep God’s sight in front of our eye, so that we can stay on target and hit our mark.  I’m going to rely on Proverbs 16:9 to expound on the archery analogy.  Any archer knows that you experience off days, as well as on days.  There are a multitude of reasons that can attribute to one being off their game when shooting, but I’m going to focus on one.  It’s the one I believe to be the greatest and most common reason our accuracy suffers, our head.  Our brain gets in the way.  When a person gets to thinking too much, directing too much, correcting too much… planning too much, things are forced, unnatural and have a tendency to break down. 

When we get wrapped up in “making” the arrow hit the X, the vitals, “oh, oh, oh come on pin stop shaking, stay on the target, now… no… now?!..no…NOW!!!” it goes askew.  Everything in our being is commanding the shot to do what we ask, what we plan, but to no avail.  Why?  It’s not natural.  

However, when we focus, but relax, allow our training, our muscle memory to take over and control our movements, focus on our target, allow the pin to hover and float naturally and allow the shot to “break” when it wants to, when the moment and natural mechanics dictate, rather than “send” it when we deem appropriate, the outcome will more likely be to our liking.  

Such is life, isn’t it?  For the born again believer in Jesus Christ, that’s something we ought to know, right?  When we are forcing something, directing, correcting, dictating and planning, without, first, giving it over to God, we’re likely going to have an off day, week, month, year, relationship, home, work, etc.  For what we plan is often times not what God is directing.  In planning and pursuing what we want, we’re often times fighting Him, His training (muscle memory) and “sending” an arrow that wasn’t ready to “break” naturally or was never meant to “break” at all. 

When we are focused on God, when we have His sight before our eye, our body trained up, muscle memory firmly established, when we are going to Him first with everything, operating in the Spirit, the pin floats, the target is clear, the tension is gone… and then it “breaks”.  It sails cleaning and precisely to the X.  Why?  Because it happens under God’s direction.  Have a blessed weekend!

John 4:24 (NASB) God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.

In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,

Scott Pace 

God’s “Sight”

Proverbs 4:25-27 (NASB) 

Let your eyes look directly ahead

And let your gaze be fixed straight in front of you.

26 Watch the path of your feet

And all your ways will be established.

27 Do not turn to the right nor to the left;

Turn your foot from evil.

I had today’s topic all worked out.  That is until God mixed it up, so you’re getting this instead.  I had a couple friends in the archery shop this evening until rather late.  Towards the end of our time together, one of the guys suggested a game of darts.  It’s a archery target fashioned like a dart board and you shoot the games.  The problem for me, I sold my bow two days earlier.  “Alright, no problem, I’ll grab one off the wall.”  So, let the games begin.  

The bow I was shooting had a rest and a d loop, but no sight.  For the archers and bowhunters reading this, you’ll understand the difficulty in being competitive with this handicap.  All in fun, right?  I did alright, but it was really no contest.  I got a few lucky arrows in.  The first game of 600, I hung in there, but for every lucky one that found its mark, the next one would be inches out. 

Now, I would certainly never claim to be the best archer around, but would consider myself accomplished, refined.  Despite my proficiency, without the aid of a sight, the best I could do was get close and inconsistently score.  As I pondered on this, I went to the above passage.  Solomon is instructing his son to keep his eyes forward, focused on the Lord, to not wander from the path he’s set his “sights” upon. 

As I thought on this passage and the games we were playing, a parallel began to take root.  If I, as a proficient archer, am made mediocre by the removal of my sight apparatus, could not the same be said of a man who tries to go through life without God’s “sight” before his eye?  A “good” man, same as a “good” archer may get lucky and close on occasion without the aid of the fixed “sight”, but I estimate, more often than not, he will miss his mark.  In archery, regardless of how good I am foundationally, when you take a necessary piece of my equipment away, I can only do so much on my own.  The same can be said for my daily life.  When my focus is pulled from the Lord, or I remove a necessary tool (scripture) from my equipment, on my own I will seldom hit what I aim for. 

Solomon is teaching just that.  He’s teaching us to guard our hearts, protect are minds and what comes in by looking through God’s “sight”  so that we can be accurate, confident and consistent in hitting what we should be aiming for.  Have a blessed weekend.

In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,

Scott Pace     

Righteousness and Peace

Psalms 85:10-13 (NASB) Lovingkindness and truth have met together; Righteousness and peace have kissed each other. 11 Truth springs from the earth, And righteousness looks down from heaven. 12 Indeed, the Lord will give what is good, And our land will yield its produce. 13 Righteousness will go before Him And will make His footsteps into a way.

I was listening to Adrian Rogers the other day, teaching about our High Priest.  He was illustrating and educating on the connection between Jesus and Melchizedek.  It was an utterly fascinating lesson, sparking a much deeper study for me to pursue, one I’m sure I’ll share at some point with you.  However, for today, I want to address the above passage from Psalms.  Pastor Rogers mentioned it briefly in his sermon, but I felt compelled to give it more than passing acknowledgement. 

What struck me about this passage was the affectionate connection righteousness and peace share.  In verse 10, the psalmist writes, “righteousness and peace have kissed each other.”  They are intimately intertwined.  I find that interesting.  To me, it implies that they are bound together, that they need one another for either to exist. 

Ever find yourself asking, “why can’t I have peace in my home?”  Could it be for lack of righteousness?  What about peace at work, in the community, nationally, around the globe?  I think it’s fair to say that most people prefer peace over angst, division or war.  So, if most prefer peace, why do most experience little if any at all?  My contention is that we desire peace, but often times, forsake righteousness.  When things are stressed and strained in my home, at work, within my personal relationships, I can guarantee those are times my focus is not on Jesus, walking as He’d see me walk.  The world around us, exemplifies it.  It’s been the case since the fall.  We seek ways to create “peace”, but cast aside the only way to attain it, the righteousness of Jesus Christ. 

 I can confidently say that I am most at peace when I am closest to God.  Jesus sent us the Holy Spirit, a seed of righteousness to dwell within us.  When I am tending to that seed, watering and nurturing it, I tend to be more observant of others, more gracious, more kind, more understanding, more righteous in my behavior.  As a result, peace settles in on me.  That’s not to say that troubles and struggles no longer exist, but that I can walk through them with a “peace that surpasses all understanding”.

In verse 11 the psalmist speaks of truth springing from the earth and righteousness shining down from heaven.  Walking in Truth (Jesus Christ) yields righteousness from heaven, fruits of the Holy Spirit.  In verses 12 and 13, God shows His faithfullness, fulfilling His promise of blessings and a continued layering of righteousness, a way to peace, His Way!  Just some thoughts to ponder.  Have a blessed weekend!

In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy, 

Scott Pace  

Favored

Psalms 8:4-6 (NASB) What is man that You take thought of him, And the son of man that You care for him? Yet You have made him a little lower than God, And You crown him with glory and majesty! You make him to rule over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet,

There are times in my life, even fleeting moments throughout the day, I believe I do not have God’s favor.  Generally speaking, these thoughts do not linger long.  I converse with my Lord, consult His word and thoughts of His favor are restored.  I imagine a great many of you fall victim to thoughts of falling from or never being in God’s favor.  If you are a born again child of the Living God, those are lies born straight from the pits of hell.  Satan is assaulting you.  He’s manipulating you. 

The truth…

II Corinthians 8:9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich. 

The truth is, that He loves and favors you so much more highly than anything else, including Himself.  He gave up everything.  He gave His Son over to the cruelty and abject poverty of this world, and watched Him surrender His very life blood on the cross.  For who?  You ARE a favored son/daughter of God!  To believe you are not favored is to buy into satan’s lie.  

Blessings are an indicator of favor with the Lord and many, myself included, would say, “well then if I’m favored, where are my blessings?  If I’m favored why does he/she receive blessing x,y,z and I don’t.  Look at my life!  Only a fool would suggest that I’m favored by God.”  Firstly, I would start my rebuttal with, take an honest, sincere, Christlike evaluation of your life and tell me you are not blessed.  Secondly, I would suggest we take a look at a passage in Matthew 25, verses 14-30.  In this passage we see Jesus teaching through the parable of the talents.  He gives each man stewardship over 5, 2 and 1 talent based on each man’s ability.  The one who stewards well is rewarded with greater blessing and responsibility. The one who doesn’t has his blessing rescinded.

“For to everyone who has, more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away.

This passage leads me to believe that, in part, the bountifulness of our blessing/favor results from how we handle and steward what we have already been blessed with.  If we steward well, God can trust us again, and again and again.  This also requires a degree of gratitude and a large helping of humility.  Big or small, great or mini, the blessings are His to do with as He wishes. 

He favors each and every one of us, but can He trust us to do what is right with the blessing He would bestow, and would we use said blessings to advance His kingdom for His glory?  So, let’s take a step back, where in your life has God blessed you?  How did you receive it?  To what use did you put it?  Can He trust you again?  Can He trust you further?  Still think you’re not a favored son/daughter of the LIVING GOD?!!!  Have a blessed weekend

In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,

Scott Pace     

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