Facing Your Kryptonite

Last week I wrote about how we all have superpowers. All of us who have been saved by God’s grace have been powerfully gifted by the Holy Spirit. That’s an amazing gift, and a great responsibility. But if I’ve learned anything from watching superhero movies its that superheros seem to always have a weakness. Superman has kryptonite, Ironman is limited by technology, the Hulk struggles to control his power, Dr. Strange has great hubris, and white noise severely effects Daredevil. While our weaknesses may be a little different, the reality is that we all have krytonites in our lives. We are all have things that tempt us into sin, draw us away from God, and keep us from being the masterpiece God has created us to be. 

I have seen way to many great men of God have their lives and ministries torn apart because they gave into their kryptonite. I had a conversation with my supervisor this week over whether or not we could use a certain book for pastoral leadership training. Its a fantastic book that we’ve seen bless many pastors before. However, since the last time we used it the author has been gripped in a scandal of their own doing. This Christian leader gave into their kryptonite, lost their ministry, and perhaps has lost the opportunity to bless thousands of others. We could argue whether or not its right to have a great career destroyed by one sin, but the reality is that’s how many people see it. I’ve seen this on a smaller scale before too. I once had a recovering addict in my church that was doing a fantastic job or reaching other addicts. On most Sundays there were two rows filled of his previously un-churched friends, and he even helped start an addiction ministry in our community. Unfortunately, he fell back into his addiction, his friends stop coming, and the ministry eventually fell by the wayside. 

The number one way to deal with the kryptonites in your life is to identify them and to make a plan to resist them. Kryptonites are those things that tempt you into sinning and/or not living the life God has created you to live. For many men the list includes lust, greed, pride, entitlement, and selfishness. I can’t count the number of marriages that have been destroyed by lust. I also can’t count the number of bad decisions I’ve seen people make because of their pride or greed. Once you have identified your kryptonites the Bible gives us a number of ways to guard against them. 

  1. Be Careful and Pray: Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. Mark 14:38
  2. Endure Temptation with God’s helpBlessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised. James 1:12
  3. Pursue Righteousness: So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace. 2 Timothy 2:22

 

Other Gods

Judges 21:25 New International Version (NIV)

25 In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit.

What controls you? What is it that you seek? Do you seek power, acceptance, wealth, pleasure, ideology, or whatever consumes your mind? We are studying for the Fall the Book of Judges. We will see the parallels that happened in that era of time that applies to us today.

We live in a culture today that no longer looks to the Bible to be the moral compass. We have chosen that answers in life come from Google, Twitter, Instagram, or other Websites. That is the place of what is right in life.

Our heroes come from Marvel or DC comics where heroes do profound feats but fail greatly in moral character and also fail in what they are called to do.

Sounds like the heroes in the Book of Judges. One of my favorite to read about it Gideon. He does amazing things by faith, yet he questions God. He asks for fleeces to prove God’s promises. Then to fail in the end for another mini god of Baal to rise again.

Reading the Book of Judges is challenging me of who do I serve? Do I trust God in every part of my life? Do I hold to his promises? 

We have all asked those questions and at times we look to other gods in our dependence rather than look to Jesus. Let’s not look to what is right in our own eyes. Instead, let’s do what is right in God’s eyes and what is written in his Word.

Strength and Courage

Michael

 

Vital Ministries News

Wanting to dig deeper in the Book of Judges?

Check out the book for Timothy Keller, Judges for You.

Keller writes, “Judges has only one hero, God. “

Blessed

2 Corinthians 9:6-8 (NASB) Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed;

I have spent the last couple weeks amidst the peaks and forests of the Rockies. It’s been exhilarating and exhausting.  I am blessed.  I’m blessed that I have a wife gracious enough to allow me this time to pursue something that means so much. I’m blessed because I have the health and physical tools to ensure the demands of such endeavors.  I’m blessed that I have a jib that provides me with the vacation necessary to make it possible.  I’m blessed because my God has created a world like this for me to explore and enjoy.  

The hunting has been tough.  Game is scarce, at least where I’ve been looking.  The days have been long and trying, but there’s no guarantees in this game.  I keep focused on the experience, though.  That’s where the import is.  Daily, this world around me reminds me of God’s awesomeness.  I’ve spent nearly 2 weeks and have barely scratched the surface of a minute fraction of what God created in 6 days! 

My time here is drawing to a close.  I have just a couple days remaining but will try and make the most of it. Regardless of the outcome of the hunt, God has one again restored me physically, but most importantly, spiritually. I pray that His restoration will create in me a better husband, father, friend… a better man.  I pray that the humility He had shown me here will carry over to my day to day life.  I’m grateful.  I’m blessed. 

Where in your life can you see God’s blessings? Where in your life can you see God working to make you better? It’s something we need to take a look at daily.  Have a blessed weekend!

In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,

Scott Pace


 

Grounded

These past couple of weeks, we have been blessed with ample rain, including over 2” in the past 1-2 days.  This has been a change from recent weather, as we received no rain from July 20-August 20 and regular mowing had almost ceased.  In preparation for this time of year, I purchased a large bag of grass seed about 2 weeks ago, as I had planned to improve a few parts of the lawn.  Well, if I had been able to seed the lawn within a few days of getting the seed, it would have been perfect timing with warm weather and ample moisture to get those guys to germinate and grow, without having to run a sprinkler.  Well, hindsight is 20/20 and unfortunately, I did not get the yard seeded as I could have and have to wait a bit for things to dry up in the next week or so.  What is your response when you time things just right, or if you miss a perfect opportunity? 

But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.  Matthew 5:44-45

Another reason they say to plant grass seed in August to September is because most weeds do not germinate around this time and the grass has less competition to grow.  If you have ever had a bare spot in the yard, you know about the only thing that naturally grows there are weeds.  You may even get into battles with dandelions, creeping Charlie, or other weeds and wonder how some of these things can be so resilient to withstand being pulled out, sprayed, etc and still come back strong year after year.  And if you let it go, it will just take over everything around it.  I remember as a kid on the farm, we had a small section of our yard that was basically yellow in the Spring with all the dandelions growing on it.  Not the ideal for most folks.

But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root.  Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants.  Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.  Matthew 13:6-8

These two situations reminded me of some of the parable of the sower and the parable of the weeds found in Matthew 13.  When Jesus related the parable of the sower, he described a variety of conditions in which the seed lands which either encourage or discourage the seed to grow.  You may even look back in your own life and recognize times in your life where these conditions existed and played out as described.  If you are like me, you may have even experienced most of these at different times in your life.  I recall growing up learning about God, but the Word never really taking root in my heart.  I remember when I was first born again and grew tremendously as a Christian, when I was in college, to the degree you would have thought I was a weed.  In recent years, the busyness of life seems to choke out new opportunities to grow and be more fruitful, but I hope it is a season that can still be productive, just in a different way or not as much as it once was.  Maybe this is not the way it was intended, but it seems to fit how my spiritual growth has been at different times in my life. 

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:  a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot.  Ecclesiastes 3:1-2

We may look at the lives of those around us and point to some and say ‘look at that’, and say that someone is a good man, or a horrible person, depending on the situation.  We may look up to some we know or work with and aspire to be like them in some ways.  We may be as quick to condemn others based on what we have heard about them, or a situation we have seen.  Before we start to write off certain people as bad weeds, we should ask if they have ever had a chance to grow good seed in their hearts.  If others had given up on us, like we do to some, we may not have turned out like we have.  Plants grow better when they are cared for by a good gardener, and people do too.  Who has been that good gardener in your life?  Who are you helping to grow better this week? 

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.  And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.  Hebrews 10:23-25

Yours in Christ,
Clark

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