Archive for the ‘Preparation’ Category

October 11th, 2015

Prepare the Way

“The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. As it is written in Isaiah the prophet, ‘Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way, the voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight,”” Mark 1:1-3 (ESV)

We are the beginning of the gospel for many of the people around us today. We are called to “prepare the way” as John the Baptist did for the message of Jesus to come into their lives and call them to a place of repentance. We are messengers, proclaiming the most important message ever to be proclaimed: “The Christ has come to take away the sins of the world.”

This proclamation is a verbal proclamation, yes, but it is also a lived declaration. We are to make the path of Christ “straight,” removing obstacles to the impact of this transformative message. In becoming like John the Baptist, then, in our prophetic role, we must be sure that we have not trivialized our message for temporary pleasures. John found his entire identity in speaking forth the gospel. He did not value material things, but rather only valued ministry. Let us be sure that our lives communicate as effectively the unique satisfying power of Jesus.

Are you preparing the way of Christ? Are you making the path of the gospel straight? Consider for a moment some things in your life that may hinder the spread of the gospel. Repent of those things even as you call others to repentance in light of the glorious reality of the good news of Jesus!

Grace and peace,

Jared Richard
Mobilization Pastor (Online Devotional Guest Author)
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/jaredrichard

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, October 11th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Evangelism, Mark, Preparation.
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July 22nd, 2014

The Desert of Preparation

“But Moses said to God, ‘Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?’” Exodus 3:11 (ESV)

Who am I? Why am I here? These two basic questions are innate in every human being. We long to know who we are and we strive to discover why we are placed on this planet called earth. Our security is proportionate to our understanding of our identity.

God allowed Moses to experience forty years in the palace and then forty years in the desert. God wanted Moses to learn some things about his personal identity through a desert experience that he could not learn in the palace. God was preparing Moses for the purpose of delivering the children of Israel from Egyptian bondage. The burning bush encounter was a life changing experience for Moses. The encounter enabled Moses to come to know God in a personal way. God revealed His holiness to Moses and then unveiled His plan for Moses to embrace.

As you can imagine, Moses could not visualize himself as the deliverer of the children of Israel. They had been slaves for over 400 years. Moses began making excuses and tried to deny his usefulness to God. Moses began to focus on what he lacked and missed the reality of God’s ability to do the extraordinary through ordinary people.

Have you ever doubted your usefulness to God? Have you ever tried to convince God that you are not fit for His plan? God is not impressed with our abilities or our inabilities. God is not limited by our limitations. Are you willing to yield to God’s control and allow Him to have His way in your life? God is willing to take you through a desert experience to prepare you for His assignment.

Drawing Near,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category God's Provision, Preparation, Sanctification.
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October 11th, 2012

Prepare the Way!

“The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. As it is written in Isaiah the prophet, ‘Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way, the voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight,”” Mark 1:1-3 (ESV)

We are the beginning of the gospel for many of the people around us today. We are called to “prepare the way” as John the Baptist did for the message of Jesus to come into their lives and call them to a place of repentance. We are messengers, proclaiming the most important message ever to be proclaimed: “The Christ has come to take away the sins of the world.”

This proclamation is a verbal proclamation, yes, but it is also a lived declaration. We are to make the path of Christ “straight,” removing obstacles to the impact of this transformative message. In becoming like John the Baptist, then, in our prophetic role, we must be sure that we have not trivialized our message for temporary pleasures. John found his entire identity in speaking forth the gospel. He did not value material things, but rather only valued ministry. Let us be sure that our lives communicate as effectively the unique satisfying power of Jesus.

Are you preparing the way of Christ? Are you making the path of the gospel straight? Consider for a moment some things in your life that may hinder the spread of the gospel. Repent of those things even as you call others to repentance in light of the glorious reality of the good news of Jesus!

Chronological Bible Reading Plan: (Day 277:  Matthew 3; Mark 1; Luke 3)

Grace and peace,

Jared Richard
Associate Pastor (Online Devotional Guest Author)
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/jaredrichard

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, October 11th, 2012 at 1:00 am
Category Evangelism, Mark, Preparation.
Interact No Comments
July 22nd, 2010

The Desert of Preparation

“But Moses said to God, ‘Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?’” Ex 3:11 (NIV)

Who am I? Why am I here? These two basic questions are innate in every human being. We long to know who we are and we strive to discover why we are placed on this planet called earth. Our security is proportionate to our understanding of our identity.

God allowed Moses to experience forty years in the palace and then forty years in the desert. God wanted Moses to learn some things about his personal identity through a desert experience that he could not learn in the palace. God was preparing Moses for the purpose of delivering the children of Israel from Egyptian bondage. The burning bush encounter was a life changing experience for Moses. The encounter enabled Moses to come to know God in a personal way. God revealed His holiness to Moses and then unveiled His plan for Moses to embrace.

As you can imagine, Moses could not visualize himself as the deliverer of the children of Israel. They had been slaves for over 400 years. Moses began making excuses and tried to deny his usefulness to God. Moses began to focus on what he lacked and missed the reality of God’s ability to do the extraordinary through ordinary people.

Have you ever doubted your usefulness to God? Have you ever tried to convince God that you are not fit for His plan? God is not impressed with our abilities or our inabilities. God is not limited by our limitations. Are you willing to yield to God’s control and allow Him to have His way in your life? God is willing to take you through a desert experience to prepare you for His assignment.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, July 22nd, 2010 at 1:00 am
Category God's Provision, Preparation, Sanctification.
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August 9th, 2009

Heaven: Your Home

“In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.” John 14:2 (NIV)

Heaven is a place you can call home.

When Jesus spoke these words of comfort to His disciples, He affirmed the reality of heaven and the specific rooms, mansions, or abodes in heaven. Jesus was not going to build what was already in heaven. Rather, Jesus was indicating that He was preparing a place for them and us in heaven by going to the cross to pay the penalty of their sin and our sin.

  • “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.” Heb 1:3 (NIV)
  • “But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.” Phil 3:20-21 (NIV)

Jesus has prepared a place for you in heaven by becoming the atoning sacrifice for your sin. Jesus has purchased your salvation with His death, burial, resurrection, and ascension. As a result, your citizenship is in heaven. You are an alien on this earth. God made you not for time, but for eternity.

Don’t get discouraged. Don’t lose hope. Don’t get too enamored by this life on planet earth. You aren’t home yet. Heaven is your home!

There’s no place like home…

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor
(This devotional was originally posted in ’07 or ’08. I’m taking a break from writing for a season of personal renewal.)
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, August 9th, 2009 at 1:00 am
Category Appreciation, Cross, Heaven, Preparation, Sincerity.
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May 30th, 2009

Preparation for Your Next Assignment

“But Moses said to God, ‘Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?’” Ex 3:11 (NIV)

Who am I? Why am I here? These two basic questions are innate in every human being. We long to know who we are and we strive to discover why we are placed on the earth. Our security is proportionate to our understanding of our identity.

God allowed Moses to experience forty years in the palace and then forty years in the desert. God wanted Moses to learn some things about his personal identity through a desert experience that he could not learn in the palace. God was preparing Moses to deliver the children of Israel from Egyptian bondage. The burning bush encounter was a life changing experience for Moses. The encounter enabled Moses to come to know God in a personal way. God revealed His holiness to Moses and then unveiled His plan for Moses to embrace.

As you can imagine, Moses could not visualize himself as the deliverer of the children of Israel. They had been slaves for over 400 years. Moses began making excuses and tried to deny his usefulness to God. Moses began to focus on what he lacked and missed the reality of God’s ability to do the extraordinary through ordinary people.

Have you ever doubted your usefulness to God? Have you ever tried to convince God that you are not fit for His plan? God is not impressed with our abilities or our inabilities. God is not limited by our limitations. Are you willing to yield to God’s control and allow Him to have His way in your life? God is willing to take you through a desert experience to prepare you for His assignment.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, May 30th, 2009 at 1:00 am
Category Burning Bush, Moses, Preparation.
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May 8th, 2008

Heaven (3)

“In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.” John 14:2 (NIV)

Heaven is a place you can call home.

When Jesus spoke these words of comfort to His disciples, He affirmed the reality of heaven and the specific rooms, mansions, or abodes in heaven. Jesus was not going to build what was already in heaven. Rather, Jesus was indicating that He was preparing a place for them and us in heaven by going to the cross to pay the penalty of their sin and our sin.

  • “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.” Heb 1:3 (NIV)
  • “But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.” Phil 3:20-21 (NIV)

Jesus has prepared a place for you in heaven by becoming the atoning sacrifice for your sin. Jesus has purchased your salvation with His death, burial, resurrection, and ascension. As a result, your citizenship is in heaven. You are an alien on this earth. God made you not for time, but for eternity.

Don’t get discouraged. Don’t lose hope. Don’t get too enamored by this life on planet earth. You aren’t home yet. Heaven is your home!

There’s no place like home…

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, May 8th, 2008 at 1:00 am
Category Citizenship, Cross, Crucifixion, Heaven, Preparation.
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June 22nd, 2007

Preparation

“Then God said, ‘Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about.’ Early the next morning Abraham got up and saddled his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about. On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. He said to his servants, ‘Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.’” Gen 22:2-5 (NIV)

Abraham prepared for worship. Worship is our response to God. Our worship reveals our level of obedience to God. Abram demonstrated absolute passion and submission to God through his worship of God.

I once heard someone say, “We don’t come to church to worship, we come to church worshipping.” That’s sounds like the lifestyle that Abraham embraced. His preparation for worship was in fact an outflow of his lifestyle of worship.

Everybody worships something or someone. Who is the focus of your worship? How do you prepare for that expression of worship?

Worship is expressing your love to God. Abraham expressed his love to God both in preparation for worship and in the presentation of worship. So, how’s your worship?

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Pastor of Leadership and Pastoral Care

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, June 22nd, 2007 at 2:00 am
Category Preparation.
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