Author Archives: Scott

Joy Fulfilled

John 6:38-40 (NKJV) “For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. 39 This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. 40 And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”

In a world, especially here in the United States of America, where we have been given much, have so much to be thankful for and can do so many wondrous things, you’d think joy would flow abundantly from the hearts, minds and actions of the majority.  Yet, as I allow myself to observe others more and more closely, I find joy to be a rather rare commodity.  We have sooo much, so why?

Jesus Christ had so little in comparison.  The disciples during and since Jesus’ earthly ministry, also had so little.  Yet, as I read the words above, Jesus’ words throughout the gospel, the words from the disciples, there is joy, abundant, fervent, unending joy.  So ask yourself, in a world where we can have and do so very much, why does it seem to be painfully lacking in joy?  

I would contend that true joy is found in the execution of the purpose, our mission, for which we were created.  Jesus’ joy was found in the perfect execution of His purpose.  He knew why He had been sent, His mission and He joyfully fulfilled it.  The disciples, despite the deprivations and persecutions, found joy in knowing their mission, recognizing their particular ministry and fulfilling it.  Their joy, true joy, was not found in doing a thing, but rather found in executing God’s will in their life.  

Each and everyone of us is “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalms 139:14), purposefully created and tasked for a mission, a ministry.  Upon understanding what our ministries entail, God will equip us.  

Hebrews 13:20-21 (NKJV) Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, 21 make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.  

There is a saying, “God does not call the equipped, He equips the called.”  This phrase is not found in scripture but is certainly an accurate summation of a number of verses.  However, if we are to be equipped, or use that which we have been equipped with, we must know our purpose, God’s will for our life, our ministry He has set for us.  

To know this, you must know God’s heart.  To know God is one thing.  It is quite another to have a deeply committed relationship with Him.  To realize true, unending, unabashed joy, the same joy as the disciples, Jesus’ joy, you have to fully pursue a deep, unwavering, intimate relationship with God.  You must desire to know His heart, partner with Jesus, so that you can uncover His will for your life and aspire to the perfect fulfillment of His purpose.  Your life’s value is found SOLELY in the fulfillment of that ministry.  Your joy.

You have a mission, a ministry.  Do you know what it is?  Are you passionately pursuing a perfect execution of it?  If not, why?  Is the mission you’re pursuing yours or His?  Have you asked?  Have a blessed and JOYOUS weekend!

Romans 20:24 (NKJV) But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.

In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,

Scott Pace  

Sojourn

Hebrews 1:10-12 (NKJV) 

And:

“You, Lord, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth,

And the heavens are the work of Your hands.

11 They will perish, but You remain;

And they will all grow old like a garment;

12 Like a cloak You will fold them up,

And they will be changed.

But You are the same,

And Your years will not fail.”

I just returned from my annual sojourn in the vast Rocky Mountains.  Sojourn… what a great word.  It means a temporary stay.  Nearly every fall since 2003 I have been blessed with the opportunity to sojourn in the Rocky Mountains and pursue game.  I stay, temporarily, then return to my home and my day to day life.  

This year marked the fifth year that I have hunted the same area in Utah.  It has been interesting for me to witness the changes in this area over that time… trees that have toppled, paths that have faded, new ones that have appeared, change in stream flow and course, variations in vegetation, the difference in four legged inhabitants and how they use their domain.  Seeing this landscape but once a year, aides in my ability to easily discern the differences marked by time.

As stated in chapter 1 of Hebrews, this is God’s creation, His workmanship, and yet it ages, perishes.  It’s temporary, as are we, but God is eternal, never fading, aging or perishing.  

Throughout scripture, we see the term sojourn, or its equivalent, repeated over and over again.  We see it as a mark of time, residency for people to a specific locale.  It always implies a temporary place for them, a place for now, but not a place of permanence.  I love going to the Rockies.  I love back packing in, spike camping, the peace, solitude, immersion in nature and His immense creation, communion with God.  However, as much as I enjoy it, I know I am but a sojourner there.  My place is at home, raising and loving on my family.  My place is at the work God prepares for me, in stewardship over the ministry He has placed in my charge.  So, I sojourn, am grateful for the respite, then return home and resume my place in the order that is my life.  

Though ever so small in scale, this image paints a vivid representation of our temporal life on earth.  We are but sojourners on this earth, in this life.  Though we love it here, are grateful for the gift, we know, at least I see more and more all the time, this is not where we belong.  It is a temporary stay.  Our home is with our Father.  Though I love the mountains and the adventurous solitude, there’s always something to be said for coming home.  So, like my annual sojourn in the great Rocky Mountains, I will endeavor to make the most of this temporary stay, but look forward with eager anticipation to the day my Father calls me home to sojourn no more.  Have a blessed weekend.

John 14:1-4 (NKJV) “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you.  I go to prepare a place for you. And 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 where I go you know, and the way you know.”

In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,

Scott Pace   

Grandeur!

Job 12:7-10 (NKJV) “But now ask the beasts, and they will teach you ; And the birds of the air, and they will tell you; Or speak to the earth, and it will teach you; And the fish of the sea will explain to you. Who among all these does not know That the hand of the Lord has done this, 10 In whose hand is the life of every living thing, And the breath of all mankind?

I sit at the foothills of the Rockies, drafting this day’s devotion.  As, you read this, I will be atop an 11000 foot ridge in the Uinta Mountains of Utah.  I do not know if tags have been filled yet.  However, I know I’m surrounded by God’s glorious creation, one of my favorite gifts of the Lord.

As I read 12:7-10 from Job, I’m struck with an epiphany.  I’m headed to the mountains, a beautiful awe inspiring place.  Most reading this would be rocked by the majesty of God’s creation in this instance.  How many are equally awed by it in their every day life? 

God’s workmanship is all… ALL around us.  It is in every single facet of the world around us… in us, down to the smallest singular component of existence, an atom.  AWE-inspiring!!!  How many can say they really think about our everyday in this light?  The beasts, birds, fish, the earth itself knows and screams the might and majesty of God, His creation and the breath He gives.

I’m headed to the mountains and I will ask the beasts, birds and earth to teach me.  They will and I will learn.  It’s a humbling experience to be there and see such grandeur.  However, thanks to Job and the witness of ALL of God’s creation, I will be more mindful of the grandeur about me every single day, as well.  Have a blessed weekend.

In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,

Scott Pace 

I Don’t Idol Worship! Do I?

Psalms 115:4-8 (NKJV) 

Their idols are silver and gold,

The work of men’s hands.

They have mouths, but they do not speak;

Eyes they have, but they do not see;

They have ears, but they do not hear;

Noses they have, but they do not smell;

They have hands, but they do not handle;

Feet they have, but they do not walk;

Nor do they mutter through their throat.

Those who make them are like them;

So is everyone who trusts in them.

I owe you all an apology.  Last Friday’s devotional completely slipped from my mind and I failed to get something drafted and posted.  However, it actually worked to give wings to what I had intended to write.  God’s timing and intentions are perfect and I believe He worked last week to this week’s benefit.

I received a phone call from a good friend last week.  He was driving and listening to an audio recitation of Psalms chapters 113-117.  He told me that as he was listening to it, I came to mind and he felt compelled to call.  After our conversation, I couldn’t help but to explore the chapters he mentioned.  Chapter 115 really came to life for me.  The psalmist is speaking about idolatry in this chapter.  He speaks about how shallow, empty, pointless and ultimately dangerous it is.  As I thought about what was being said and God was conveying to me, I couldn’t help but examine the idolatry in my life.  Ironically, idolatry is precisely what led to my forgetting to write for last week.  You see, I was tied up, working in the archery shop until late.  I had a number of customers, a couple that were there late.  By the time they had left, I had forgotten all about writing.  My thoughts were squarely on my work.  My work in the archery shop is not a bad thing.  It is something I enjoy and am passionate about.  I am good at it and in many instances God has used it as a platform for me to glorify Him and witness to another.  It becomes an idol, however, when it serves as a wedge between Him and I.  It becomes an idol when its position on the list of priorities shifts ahead of God, my relationship with Him and the purpose He expects me to be serving.

As I evaluated this, I began to see just how many and how often idols distract me from God and our relationship.  Idols can take many forms and in and of themselves often are not necessarily bad things.  The way they become bad is measured by our motives of heart and the hierarchy we give them.  Idols can be our work, relationships, our spouses, children, hobbies, materialistic pursuit, and a great host of many others.  It is an idol when we lose our grip on what is most important, giving to it more than we are giving to God.  

Those people and things have a place in our lives and there is room for them, just make sure they are in their proper place.  Where are you ranking God in your day to day?  Is He paramount or does He get the remnants?  Pursue those people and things God blesses you with, but make sure it is to His purpose and glory first and foremost.  My wife and I are preparing to head west on Saturday for our annual hunting excursion.  As we do so, I will be mindful that it is held in its proper place, giving thanks and praising God for His glory and generosity, being vigilantly obedient to how He’d use this to His purpose.  Have a blessed weekend.

In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,

Scott Pace

Trust His Light

Matthew 6:22,23 (NKJV) “The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!”

I was riding home on the bike the other evening, right at dusk.  As I rode along, I marveled at how difficult it was to see.  This is not a new observation, but the ponderance it led to is.  

In my opinion, this time of day is the most dangerous to be riding your bike.  For one, the deer are moving.  They are transitioning from their bedding to feeding areas.  There is just enough ambient light to drawn out your headlight and render it virtually useless.  However, there is not enough to enable you to see.  The colors blur together, contrast is lost and it is very hard to quickly discern things.  It’s this little bit of light that intrigued me, though.  You see for most, it’s just enough to lure them out, lead them into a false sense of security, make them believe they can see when they really cannot.  Therefore, off they go to “beat the dark.”

I couldn’t begin to count the number of times I’ve heard, “sun’s setting, we better get going before it gets dark.” These people are fooled into believing that weak glow that melts everything together, makes it so incredibly difficult to discern, is safer than a dark path illuminated by the headlight.  Guess what… it’s not.

So it is in our faith walk.  I believe so many are tempted to travel down the sunset lit path of life, lured by the illusion of blurred, dimly lit sight. When, they should have waited until darkness set in, and allow God to turn on the headlights at a time that we can realize how much better our sight can be.  So many get lured into easy believe-ism, or the notion, “well I’m not that bad… it’s only… I can always…”  So, they set off down the highway at dusk, full of false securities, hazarding their way to possible catastrophe.  

Isaiah 5:20 (NKJV) Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

To know your path fully and confidently, you need clear vision, a good light.  The light of dusk is a trap, an illusion.  Sometimes one must faithfully wait for the darkest hours and trust in His light to pierce through to spectacular clarity.  Have a blessed weekend 

In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,

Scott Pace 

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