UpSide Down Kingdom

I am teaching my kids about money right now.  My daughter Eden asked about why God needs our money.  I told her that God can do more with 90% than we can do with 100% of our money.  My son Levi was not convinced.  His question is why doesn’t he just bless our 100%.   I asked him how much he likes having money.  He said a lot. I said Jesus knows your heart and your wallet are connected.  Jesus wants your heart.  

Throughout scripture Jesus defies social norms and seems to put culture on its head. So often His ways seemed upside down to other nations.  Jesus told them to work only 6 days a week and rest on the 7th.  Also to give a farmers field a year of rest every 7 years. Later, Jesus disciples were arguing over who was the greatest.  His response was so confusing to them:

Luke 22:6 Those who are the greatest among you should take the lowest rank, and the leader should be like a servant. 27 Who is more important, the one who sits at the table or the one who serves? The one who sits at the table, of course. But not here! For I am among you as one who serves.

photo-1464500422302-6188776dcbf3Jesus says the greatest is not the one who holds the position of influence, a seat of power, or the greatest pedigree but as a servant.  Other translations substitute servant for slave.  In the roman empire, a slave and servant where of the lowest position.  Jesus said to aspire to be like them.  Wait, Jesus wants me to be a slave. Yes, His slave.  Now Jesus said He came not to be served but to serve.  Jesus is not some terrible slave master but a serving King.  

We have been made right with God by grace through faith in Jesus, we have been given freedom from sin and death.  Now our lives are not our own. We have been purchased.  Greatness in the Kingdom now sits with the slaves in Christ.  

Where are you serving?  Jesus wants you to serve His church with the time, talent, talk, and treasure He has entrusted you with. Where do you need to take a greater role as a servant?  Who do you need to serve at home today?  Who do you need to serve at work?

I believe at the end of our lives we will not celebrate the money, things, or accomplishments we have acquired, but the ways we have been able to give, serve, and people we were able to love. So start today!  Serve someone today.  

Recklessly, obsessively following Jesus

Brandon Sereg

Law, Love, and Light

stones-1470279-640x480Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12

These are some of the most familiar, beloved, and memorized words in all of scripture. Yet, as familiar as these words are, we often don’t know the context in which Jesus uttered them. Jesus spoke these words to the assembled crowd right after he told a group of religious leaders that whoever was without sin should cast the first stone {v. 7}. Do you remember that encounter?

Jesus was at the Temple in Jerusalem early one morning, when a crowd sought him out to hear his teaching. Soon a group of religious leaders came to him, dragging in their wake a woman who had recently been caught adultery. Adultery was considered one of the two most serious sins at the time, and was thereby punishable by death by stoning. These religious leaders thought they could use this woman’s case as the perfect trap for Jesus. If Jesus {who was known to preach love and forgiveness} forgave her then the leaders would be able to show that he did not fully follow the law. If he did follow the letter of the law, allowing the woman to be executed, then the leaders would be able to show Jesus’ followers that he was not really all that loving and forgiving after all. All in all it seemed as if they had laid the perfect trap for Jesus.

Jesus’ response, however, proved to completely turn the world of the leaders on its head. He turned to them and proclaimed “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her” {v. 7}, to which the leaders all the leaders turned away, letting the woman go. Jesus managed to show that he was both perfectly loving and perfectly followed the law. This encounter speaks to three major teaching about Jesus.

  1. The law Reveals Our Guilt: The commandments and teachings of the Bible are meant both to give us a road map to life and to shine guilt on our sins. God’s commands are not there to simply point out the flaws of others, but to reveal our own sins. This guilt should lead us to confessing our sins and, like Jesus told the woman that day, to “go, and from now on sin no more” {v.11}.
  2. The Love Reveals God’s Grace: Jesus’ love reveals the grace God has for all of us. This incident shows us that Jesus’ love is so great as to gracefully forgive all of our sins so that we may all avoid the punishment we deserve.
  3. The Light Reveals Our Hope: The summary of this whole story, as laid out so beautifully in verse 12, is that Jesus offers his love and forgiveness to all. Jesus shines a bright light into our world, giving us all the hope of a PERFECT eternity with HIM in Heaven. 

No Regrets

Hebrews 12:2-3New International Version (NIV)

fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Every man who reads this devotional today could say, ‘If I could only go back, undo, fix, or make it right’. You you agree? Yet, I have learned in life that regrets are a waste of valuable time and energy. There are no do overs in life. What happened, happened.

What if we were challenged with this thought today. What if I committed my life, my one and only, with the time that remains, no matter how old you are to live life God’s way. It would be a way with no regrets. You have done your best no matter of the outcome, right?

I like this thought by Theodore Roosevelt, “It is not the critic who counts, not the person who points out how the strong person stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the person who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred with dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes up short again and again because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who actually strive to do the deeds; who knows enthusiasm, the great devotions who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, as least fails while daring greatly, so that person’s place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory or defeat.” 

The decisions you make today, men, will determine if you live with great regrets tomorrow, or with satisfaction of today. What if we wrote in our Bibles, “No to self. Yes to Jesus every time.” It would surely be said that you lived a life of no regrets.

Strength and Courage



What Is Your Heart Condition?

Proverbs 4:23New International Version (NIV)

23 Above all else, guard your heart,
    for everything you do flows from it.

How is your heart? Is it a hardened heart or a soft heart? The Bible says the heart is deceitful and desperately wicked. I believe that it is because we are so easily influenced by the world around us and our hearts need guarding. 

We find in Scripture in the Bible that is teaches us that the real issues of life are spiritual and are really matters of the heart. Maybe this is why we find the word ‘heart’ threaded throughout the Bible so many times.

I find in my own every day life, if I do not guard my heart, it becomes hardened and numb from disappointments in people to the disappointments that come in life.

My thought for us today is how do we keep from having hard hearts? It is through the giving of yourself. It is in giving that we allow our hearts to be vulnerable. A giving heart gives us accountability, and a giving heart means that I am involved in the lives of other people.

The handbook for having a hardened heart or a soft heart is found in the Bible. Reading the Bible keeps the heart softer. How is your heart condition?

Vital Biker Rides – Our two remaining motorcycle rides are couples rides – Yes, bring your wife – July 16-17 and August 5-6 – This is a great opportunity to meet other couples and see God’s creation – Go to for more details – Let’s Ride!!


God’s Standard Not Mine


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 


Every Sunday at 8:30 AM

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