In Need of a Light

flashlight-1464714I’m going to man up and admit that, fourteen years ago this month, I totally botched my proposal to my wife. It was working at Inspiration Hills, a Christian camp in northwest Iowa, and I had been planning “the perfect proposal” for quite some time. When Andrea came for the weekend I took her on a hike, leading her to a large hill outside of camp. From this hill you could see Iowa, South Dakota, and Minnesota, and at pinnacle was a large cross. When we got to the cross I knelt on one knee, said something romantic, and reached for the ring… which I could not find in the dark! No problem I thought, I’ll just grab my flashlight and find it…except I couldn’t find my flashlight either! So here I am, at what should be the most romantic moment of my life, flaying around on my hands and knees trying to find the flashlight, while apologizing profusely for ruining the proposal. Andrea kindly joined me in the search and soon {although it felt like an eternity} we were able to find the flashlight. Within seconds of turning on the flashlight we were able to spot the ring and I could finish the proposal. Thankfully {and gracefully} she still said yes, and fourteen years later we remain happily married.

 

It’s hard to find anything in the dark, let alone something tiny like a ring. Likewise, it’s difficult to correctly find our way in the world without someone to guide us. Its certainly not because the world doesn’t try to direct us. Everyday we are inundated with worldly advice on television, social media, in our relationships, in the workplace, and more, and far too often we end up following it. Yet, there is really only one who can correctly show us how to navigate life, and that is Jesus Christ. John 1:4-5 explains it like this:

In him {Jesus} was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

Just as I would have likely never found that ring without a flashlight we are unlikely to correctly navigate life without following the light of Christ. See, Jesus not only came to earth to save us, but to lay out a blueprint for how to live life. His earthly life, perfectly preserved in scripture, serves as a flashlight illuminating the correct path for us. It is a path that is not always easy, but is the right path for us and those around us. It is a path that includes: showing grace and forgiveness, caring for the poor, living sacrificially, loving our neighbor as we love ourselves, following scripture, and standing for God against the sinful ways of the world. May we always be turning to scripture and letting the light of Christ serve as our guide in our dark world.

No Retreat

1 Peter 2:21New International Version (NIV)

21 To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.

When you choose to step into living a life of no retreat, you are truly following the example of Jesus. Jesus committed no sin. You will find in Scripture no deceit ever being spoken. Even when men hurled insults at him, he never retaliated. When hanging on the cross, he made no threats towards anyone. He entrusted his life to God, the Judge who judges justly. He took our sins, your’s and mine, and died on the cross. He showed us a way that we might die to our sins and live righteously by his wounds so that we could be healed.

What an example of living a life of no retreats. We have a choice and a calling. Once you come to know Jesus and the price he paid. You will choose no retreat. The disciples did not experience this until the cross and his resurrection. 

So, how do we live a life of – No Retreats

  • Do not give in – Do not give up
  • Do not retreat or surrender to the temptations that appear to be appealing
  • Do not retreat to a life of spiritual complacency – Be in church and Be active
  • Do not retreat from reading God’s Word daily and spending time in prayer

Men, when we live in retreat, we lose ground to the enemy. He takes over and establishes occupancy. Jesus is calling men who are warriors. Living a life of NO RETREAT fuels your life walk with God, your life as a husband, and your life as a father. Make NO RETREAT a focus in your every day living.

Strength and Courage

Michael

 

 

Vital Ministries News

Are You Searching?

Proverbs 8:17New International Version (NIV)

17 I love those who love me,
    and those who seek me find me.

Are you searching? As men, we are usually searching for something to bring significance to our lives. We hunger in desperation to find it. We look to power, pride, sex, and so called important relationships in order to find what we are searching for. The only problem is that the deeper we go in the depravity of it, we lose ourselves.

The only true reality of finding significance is our commitment to Christ. God truly hears our cries for significance, and so he whispers those longing into our hearts. God put these longings inside us in our search for significance.

The Bible says in Psalms 2:8, ‘Only ask, and I will give you the nations as your inheritance, the whole earth as your possession.’ This tells me I am part of his family, a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession. This is the end of our searching. The end of your searching is Christ.

Up coming couples’ ride: July 16-17 – Ride to Le Claire, Iowa – American Pickers – Overnight Stay – Breakfast – A Nice Ride

Join the Quest – Men’s Event – September 18-23, 2016 – One Week in Mooresville, MO. – Going through Fellowship of the Sword is all about you and finding the passion within you – Go to Fellowship of the Sword for more information

At What Cost?

II Chronicles 7:14 (NKJV) if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

IMG_20160610_004003I’m seeing something very discouraging happening around me and throughout the United States of America.  We have a rather heated and emotional situation unfolding in the race for the presidency.  However, I’m not here today to talk politics.  I’m not here to compare candidates, party platforms, who did, said, is… whatever.  I’m here to talk about God.  I’m here to talk about faith or lack of.  

Throughout this campaign cycle, I have seen many things that have really made me evaluate the state of this country, its citizenry and the direction we are heading.  Recent events have drawn my attention and focus from the presumptive candidates to the constituency.  Namely, the professed men and women of christian faith.  

There are a great many people of faith, people I held in esteem and believed to be of strong conviction and integrity, that I would like to address.  This can also be applied to christian men and women, who, not in the public limelight but are members of the body of Christ and witnesses to those within their sphere of influence.

I have been witnessing men and women, public figures and average everyday Joes, like you and me, Christians, willing to dump, concede, sacrifice, or modify their beliefs and integrity of late and quite frankly, shame on you. Since when has our security, our identity, our sense of worth rested so firmly in a person or elected office that we would be willing to compromise our beliefs and ethics to try to insure that person A is or is not elected.  When I see men, very public figures, stating that they would be willing to circumnavigate or alter the rules, dump their integrity, just because they didn’t like the outcome or to prevent an alternate outcome, I’m utterly flabbergasted!

Joshua 24:15 (NKJV) And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. 

“The ends justify the means.”  No they most assuredly do not!  If you are a principled man or woman of faith, then stand on that faith!  Your faith and hope should not be wrapped up in any man, woman or child, nor should it rest in the hopes of candidate A or B, so long as it isn’t C.  Your faith and hope should reside squarely and firmly in Jesus Christ your Lord and Savior.  Your faith in Him should carry you unshaken and unafraid, regardless of who is or isn’t elected to this office or that.  Your faith should drive you courageously in conviction and integrity to stand for what is right and good and fair regardless of the outcome.  If you believe in God’s sovereignty, then you know He has a plan, whether we know it or understand it and that His plan is the right and best plan.  

So stand firmly in that knowledge, do not waver, do not fear, put not your faith in men, but in the Lord where it belongs.  Walk uprightly, with integrity and unwavering conviction.  God will produce the outcome He chooses, despite what you or I think.  In the meantime, stay the course, seek God, walk His path with confidence knowing He is directing your steps.  Do not compromise, regardless of the outcome.  The end does not justify the means!  God Bless you all and may God Bless these United States of America.  

Philippians 2:10,11 (NKJV) that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. 

In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,

Scott Pace

Ingredients

FishletsFishlet Ingredients

When it comes to food, I’m fairly adventurous.  I will try most things at least once.  This past week, I saw a jar on the shelf of a store that caught my eye and said ‘what is this?’ as I picked it up.  It looked like uniform meat chunks and had the title ‘fishlets’ on the label, which didn’t help explain it to me.  So, I looked at the ingredients and could then understand better what this was made of…fish, mostly.  As ingredients are listed from greatest to least, thanks to the label, I now had a better understanding what I would be getting into.  I put it back on the shelf. 

But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them.  Matthew 15:18

What are you made of?  You may remember the nursery rhyme “What are little boys made of?  Snips and Snails and Puppy Dogs’ tails,” which for most guys, hearing it once was enough.  No one wants to be told that they are made of garbage, or that they will never amount to anything, or any other derogatory term you can come up with.  But some of that is true.  We all have our flaws and shortcomings, but we don’t like to put those traits out there for all to see.  Just like when we are courting someone, we put our best foot forward and try to downplay those things we know may make a bad impression.  We also know girls are not always ‘sugar and spice and all things nice’, but may be made of the much of the same things as men.  We have all been sinners, and may still fall short in the future, but are more aware of our sin when it happens, and should be quick to seek forgiveness.  We no longer seek to remain in sin. 

And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.  I Corinthians 6:11

What would we find on your ingredient label?  What would others say about you…”he’s mostly a good guy!”   I believe what he says most of the time.  As with anyone, it would probably be a mix of good and bad things including mostly what they would have seen in your actions and the words you have said.  This would be acts of self- sacrifice, lies, anger, worship, actions of integrity, selfishness and so on.  But what is your main ingredient?  It probably depends on the day.  Once we are born again, most of the things that others observe should include a majority of the fruit of the spirit.  While we may not be there all the time, as you grow closer to God, these will be more evident in your life.  Let us encourage one another in our good fruit and acts and try to leave a good taste that will keep others wanting more of what you have as we go through this life! 

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.  Galatians 5:22-23

Strength and Courage in Christ,
Clark

Every Sunday at 8:30 AM

Listen to Mike Sereg on kBOE 104.9FM

LISTEN NOW

Sign me up!

  • Yes, I would like to receive the the Vital Men Daily Devotion email. Sign me up!
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.