Author Archives: Scott

Splendid!

As far as I’m concerned, it’s a toss up.  Which is better September-October or right now, mid April-May?

Most would suspect, “bowhunting”… has to be fall, but I love the seasons.  Fortunately, God blesses us with all of them, for their own reasons, and we are not forced to choose.  

Spring is the time of rebirth, things made a new.  The vegetation is greening up, rains washing things clean.  The world around us teems with new life.  It is the season of preparing the earth, planting and tending.  

In the fall, we will harvest.  For some that means hunting seasons, for gardeners and farmers the harvesting of crops. All things in its season, Amen?

As I have gone about my routine this week, I have been very intentional about taking it all in.  What glory and splendor!  We are surrounded by and supplied with everything we need.  God’s work in creation is astounding.  He thought of everything.  It’s marvelous, always has been.  What’s more, He did all of this for us!  

It’s easy to become blind to it all, to take it for granted, pay it little heed, but this week I have really seen it.  I have paused, taken moments, breathed it in, stood in awe and given thanks.  “Splendid!”

As I look around at the completeness, the perfection, the harmony of it all, I cannot help but be bewildered.  I’m bewildered by the fact that anyone could look upon God’s creation and have the slightest inkling that it came from any other means.  

Go out, take it in, stand in awe and reverence at what God created for you and… be thankful.  Have a blessed weekend.

Psalms 104:24,25 (NKJV) 

O Lord, how manifold are Your works!
In wisdom You have made them all.
The earth is full of Your possessions—
25 This great and wide sea,
In which are innumerable teeming things,
Living things both small and great.

In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,

Scott Pace 

Be Passionate, But…

“I love how passionate you are about this subject. I only wish you were as right as you are passionate.” I listened to these words the other day, when a guest on a broadcast was countering the host’s point. I believed the gentleman was being perfectly sincere in his response and it was not intended as a barb against the host. Recognizing the truth and applicability in that statement, my wheels could not help but twist and turn in analysis.

I could apply that to so many instances in my life. Specifically, instances I allowed my passion to override my ability to receive a counterpoint thus eliminating any opportunity to dissect and discern any possible truth that might exist. We do that, don’t we? We become so emotionally invested at times that we can no longer see the forest for the trees. Our field of view narrows and we can no longer shift to varying perspectives in order to remotely grasp the big picture. Our passionate blindness renders impossible our ability to negotiate the point in which truth and feeling blur.

This passionate handicapping can greatly damage or render our witness ineffective. When we allow the depth of our emotional commitment to blind us to only one possible perspective (our own) we hobble ourselves to one spot and, consequently, miss the potential opportunity for further enlightenment and growth.
Passion is a good thing, a human necessity, meant to be embraced and cherished. Our salvation, witness and relationship with Christ are gloriously emotional, passionate endeavors. However, passion alone can prevent you from being able to uncover and recognize something that God very much needs you to understand. Passions can be used by satan to so engulf you and drown out all else that he has you right where he wants you, in the muck, bogged down, unable to receive or proceed.

II Timothy 3:16,17 (NKJV) All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

I’m not suggesting compromise of what you know to be truth. I’m not suggesting that it is necessary to “go along to get along”. Disagreement of sorts is natural and inevitable. What I am suggesting is to not allow one’s passion to so cloud their judgment that necessary light is not permitted to enter. Allow yourself to be open enough to thoughtfully analyze various perspectives and trust the power of the holy spirit to enable you to discern the truths from the lies. Have a blessed weekend.

In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,
Scott Pace

Tried, Tested and Tempered… Praise God!

I had drafted this week’s commentary and had it ready to post.  However, as He does on occasion, God brought something else to my attention and has compelled me to share it instead.

I preface what I am about to address with a statement;  I have had a fairly good and reasonably easy life.  In comparison to a great many I know, mine has been an easy row to hoe.  So, with that said, today’s is a commentary based in observation and scriptural application, not one born of personal experience.

We had a guest speaker tonight at church.  A gentleman by the name of Jeff Stultz, from North Carolina came to share his personal testimony and give us a glimpse into the path he has traveled in this life.

Before hand, he stopped by the Harley Shop and I was privileged to have an opportunity to spend a brief but rewarding time getting to know a bit about and share some things with him.  For the sake of space, I will not go into great detail, let me just say, Jeff has lived a very dangerous, difficult and tragic life, a great deal of which was his own doing.  His testimony can be found at www.motorcyclemissionary.com, and I would strongly encourage you to read it.

I’ve known a number of people that have walked a path very similar to Jeff’s.  People who have lived lives of addiction, violence, crime, selfcenteredness and destruction.  I’ve known people who have been on the receiving end of people living as Jeff lived.  I’ve known people who have lived through lives of struggle and heartache, told and untold horrors,  by no fault of their own.  My wife, bless her heart, comes immediately to my mind. Whatever the circumstances surrounding the pain and suffering, it’s tragic.  Though, not having experienced anything even remotely comparable, I can scarcely imagine what it is like.  My heart goes out to them.  I want to say that’s horrible and no one should ever have to endure a life like that.  

As we talked, I found my thoughts drifting to another perspective.  I found myself praising God for walking Jeff down the road He did.  I certainly would never wish for anyone to go through and put others through what Jeff did.  I would never want to see anyone go through any of the multitude of anguish I know others have endured.  Yet, praise God that those people did.  

As Jeff and I conversed about that perspective, drawing from memory he immediately recited Genesis 50:20 But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive. (NKJV)  There’s our reason for praise!  Though we would never want to see someone afflicted in such ways, nor if we’re being honest, choose to be plagued with such, but… what if they or we never?

If Jeff or so many others had not been walked down the road God had set forth for them, been tried, tested and tempered by fire, He could not use them for the work He had prepared for them beforehand.  How many people have been brought to the foot of the cross by the witness that Jeff and so many others testify to?  Through baptism by fire, how mighty are these testimonies of restoration, endurance, God’s eternal grace and His miraculous hands of healing?!  

Ephesians 2:10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

Whether our choices led us down the path or the path was directed by circumstances beyond our control, there is peace in the knowledge that God holds the map.  Though it maybe painful, unfair, even horrific, through faith in God we can praise Him for it, it’s effect on us and the fruit that He would have it produce.  We each have our own stories and men and women like these have been purposed by none other than God Himself, to reach those who could not be reached by people who’ve walked paths similar to mine.  Praise God for that!!!  Have a blessed weekend.

In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,

Scott Pace

 

Seek, Then Tell Them

Colossians 3:1 (NKJV) If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.

        I read this verse the other day and it was the first time that I read it for what it really says. Every time prior, I had read this as a question, a matter of doubt, “if then you were raised…” When I read it this time, Paul’s intent was made clear to me. This is a statement of confident victory.  Paul is flatly stating, “YOU WERE RAISED…” This is a proclamation. Christ died, God raised Him from the dead, and with Him so too were you raised. Now, focus, fix your gaze, heart, mind, every ounce of your being resolutely on the things above.

Colossians 3:2,3 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

Too many Christians freely receive the gift of salvation and that’s where the journey ends. In other words, they carry out their days on earth with two minds, their Christian mind, and then their secular mind, bouncing back and forth as they deem the situation calls for.

A.W. Tozer talks about Christians being 30, 60 or 100-fold Christians. The 30-fold receive Jesus’ gift of saving grace, but go no further. They stay trapped, catching a glimpse of the promise that lays just outside their grasp, because they refuse to let go of the things of this world. They refuse to resolve to live in one mind. They refuse to fix their gaze and, “seek those things which are above.”

The 100-fold Christian sells out 100 percent. His gaze is firmly affixed on Jesus and the promise He lays before him. He is determined, unwavering and because of it, he is fruitful. God can use men like this and men like this get to experience the fully promised life in Christ.

John 17:17-22  Sanctify them by Your truth.  Your word is truth.  18 As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.  19 And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth.  20 “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word;  21 that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. 22 And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one:

In John 17 we read Jesus’ prayer for His disciples.  He prays for our protection from evil, but in 17-22 He prays that God would sanctify us in truth.  Why? It is so that we can go out into the world, with our gaze perfectly affixed to “those things which are above,”  and proclaim the gospel message to those still trapped in darkness.

Where is your focus? What do you live for, think about? Why do you do the things you do, in the way that you do them? You were raised for something far more exquisite than any of us could ever imagine, but it requires of us. You must look to, focus on, and pursue the unimaginable glory of God.  Then you must go out into the world and tell them what you see!  Have a blessed weekend.

Colossians 3:4 When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.

In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,
Scott Pace

He Went

As I prepared to write this week’s commentary, it was not lost on me that it would publish on Good Friday.  I pray that I do some honor to this day for my Lord.

Romans 5:7  (NKJV) For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. 

As I think on what it was that God did for us through His sacrifice of His only begotten Son, I am humbled.  I’m drawn to a passage in Romans chapter 5 beginning with verse 7.  I think about all the instances in my life, past and present, in which I have withheld forgiveness, grace.  How much bitterness do I hold to for a slight, real or perceived?  I imagine, there is likely not one of you reading, that could not ask him/herself the same and answer zero.  I would like to think that I would, should the occasion arise, be willing to lay down my life in sacrifice for another.  Yet, I read this verse and am ashamed.  Under a load of conviction, I realize that I cannot even bring myself to forgive some for even minor offenses.  I hold grudges, to varying degrees, but hold them all the same.  If my heart is unwilling to let go and forgive another, why should I believe myself capable of laying down my life for another? Why should I believe that I would be capable of the service to others God would see me perform?  What kind of example am I projecting for my Savior?

We’ve all done it, justify to ourselves and others the validity of our withholding.  “If he hadn’t done… if she would have just…why should I…when it was them that…”  As we prepare to celebrate Good Friday and gaze upon the bloodstained cross, ask yourself, did Jesus withhold?  Did Jesus justify to Himself, others and God why He shouldn’t have to go?  He could have.  In fact, He’s the only Man in the history of the world who had that right.  Yet… He didn’t. 

Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 

He went.  He chose to pay the price, sacrifice Himself, though we did not deserve His grace and were “unworthy” of His love.  He asked nothing of us.  He chose not to wait for us to rectify the situation, clean up our act and prove our worthiness.  He loved us, and He went. He went for all of us, despite the pain and offenses we riddle Him with, He went.  

Romans 5:9-11 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. 10 For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. 11 And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.  

Read through those verses again, please.  Jesus went to the cross for us, the undeserving, the enemy, for love.  Will you go?  For love?  Have a blessed weekend.

In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,

Scott Pace

 

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