Archive for the ‘Provision’ Category

November 18th, 2015

Jesus is the Way

“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.’” John 14:6-7 (ESV)

Jesus, proclaimed in John as the “Word of God in the flesh,” is divine communication. He represents fully to us the character and nature of God, allowing us to behold our Creator and witness what it looks like to walk in complete intimacy with Him. Jesus, then, communicates our goal. We are to walk in fellowship with God as Jesus walked in fellowship with Him. We are to be one as the Father and the Son are one. The dilemma for us, unlike Jesus, is that we are sinful and, therefore, cannot be one with Him unless our nature is changed. We, who are dead, cannot have fellowship with the life that Christ embodies unless that sin is eradicated.

Jesus allows for this provision. He came to communicate to us, yes, but He also came to make a way for us to have fellowship with God, as we were created to do. Further, He was the only one who could have made this way. His unique incarnation and perfect fulfillment of the law makes Him the only way to the Father. We cannot earn this nor choose a different path, for only Christ do we see the fullness of God displayed both in His life and in His resurrection.

Rejoice today, dear child of God, that the Lord did not abandon you. Rather, He loved you enough to send His only begotten Son, and in this sacrifice we find the ability to be fully satisfied and have our joy be made complete.

Grace and peace,

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

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, November 18th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category John, Love, Provision.
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October 25th, 2015

Why Do You Seek Him?

“Jesus answered them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves.’” John 6:26 (ESV)

Throughout the book of John, we see a progression of miraculous signs performed by Jesus through which He communicates to the world His authority over things both spiritual and physical. Earlier in this chapter, for instance, Jesus takes five barley loaves and two fish and feeds thousands of bystanders, proving His glorious and ample ability to provide and satisfy. The people in the crowd who experienced this miraculous work wake up the next day to find that Jesus and His disciples have crossed the Sea of Galilee (Jesus on foot and the disciples by boat) to Capernaum and decide to pursue Him.

The issue for Jesus, though, in this pursuit is their motivation for doing so. Why were they coming after Him? Were they coming because they had recognized this miracle as a “messianic sign”? Or were they coming after Him because He was a free meal ticket? Jesus suggests that the latter is the true motivation, rebuking them for using Him rather than worshiping the Anointed of God.

Why do you follow Jesus? Have you recognized Him as the Messiah, the only hope of the nations? Have you seen your depravity and great need for a savior and found Jesus alone able to satisfy that need? Or do you simply like what He can give you? Do you like the idea of receiving blessing? Do you like the idea of escaping Hell? Are you just using Him to feel better about yourself, feeling spiritually full? Or do you recognize the bread He offers as something much more profound?

Oh, child of God, do not mistake the generosity of Christ as a license to feel entitled. Do not lose the humility that should accompany the recognition that Jesus is the Son of God, Who has come to take away the sins of the world. Yes, we will receive blessing and, yes, we will escape eternal judgement, but our sole motivation for seeking Jesus should be a result of His greatest miracle, when He overcame sin and death so that we could have life abundant!

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 25th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category John, Provision, Seeking First.
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October 24th, 2015

The Complete Sustaining Nature of Christ

“He charged them to take nothing for their journey except a staff–no bread, no bag, no money in their belts–but to wear sandals and not put on two tunics.” Mark 6:8-9 (ESV)

What an interesting command from Jesus found here in Mark’s gospel. Jesus has called to Himself “those whom he desired” and allowed them to walk alongside Him as they learned (Mark 3:13 ESV). Now, as He is preparing to send them out, He commands them to take nothing with them except what they have on their back. Why would Jesus demand such a thing from His disciples? Why would He not allow them to “prepare” more thoroughly for the task at hand?

Jesus was teaching His disciples (and us) about the importance of fully relying upon Him and His provision for the purposes of ministry. If Jesus sends us under His authority and calling as His disciples, then He will sustain us as we go. If He sends you, He will provide for you. The disciples, like us, had to learn this truth in order to properly submit to the will of the Lord as His representatives, thereby allowing Him to receive all the glory for the work that He would do through them. Further, how could they communicate the complete satisfying nature of Christ without having experienced it themselves? In their mission, they were learning as they were going.

Do you fully rely upon the Lord to accomplish that to which He has called you? Or do you overcompensate, not fully trusting in His ability to work miraculously through you? When we fail to fully rely upon Him to sustain, we often miss the opportunity to be part of something extraordinary, since only in Him is such a work possible.

Grace and peace,

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

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, October 24th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Mark, Provision, Sustainer.
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October 20th, 2015

The Importance of Need in Prayer

 ”And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.” Luke 11:9-10 (ESV)

The Lord has given us a blank check! At least, that’s what our flesh wants to hear. We read this passage and think, “You mean, I can really ask for anything? The Lord is seriously promising to give me anything I want?” But we must read what Jesus is saying more carefully. Jesus is not teaching us that we can pray in His name and receive whatever we want. Rather, He is saying that our Father in heaven will meet every legitimate need you and I have. God is good, and He loves His children. Therefore, He will provide for them.

I have seen this first hand in my time in Africa. The children we work with there do not have much, but through the local church the Lord is providing. Consider this truth in your own life. Have you seen the Lord provide for you in times of great need? Have you given Him praise for His faithfulness?

When you pray in supplication, asking for something from the Lord, be sure you have asked yourself whether or not this request is a legitimate need or a selfish desire. The importance in this is striking, since you do not want bitterness to set in when the Lord does not answer your selfish request. See this beautiful promise for what it is, a statement of a Father’s generosity toward His children, rather than an open door to an endless supply of extravagant things which we do not need.

Grace and peace,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, October 20th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Luke, Prayer, Provision.
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April 27th, 2015

Your Help

“I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.” Psalm 121:1-2 (ESV)

Where do you look for help? Where do you turn when life takes a turn for the worse? Lift up your eyes to the hills. Your help comes from the Lord. He made you. He made heaven. He made earth. The Creator of the universe created you and He knows you better than anyone else on the planet. God knows where you have been, where you are, and where you are going. He knows your fears, your frustrations, and your frailty. Lift up your eyes and call out to the One who loves you, who gave His only Son for you, and who has included you in His story of redemption.

  • “Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.” Psalm 124:8 (ESV)
  • “Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord! O Lord, hear my voice! Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my pleas for mercy!” Psalm 130:1-2 (ESV)

Cry out to the Lord for mercy in your time of need. Don’t suppress your pain. Express your heart to the Lord through prayer and receive nourishment for your soul. Your help comes from the Healer. Your help comes from the Maker of heaven and earth. Your help comes from the Creator who designed you and develops you for His glory.

God allows you to experience adversity in this life to build your spiritual muscles and to demonstrate His faithfulness to you. When you are in need of help, your desperation becomes a canvas upon which God can apply His paint of mercy and grace.

Riding HIS Wave,

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

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, April 27th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Help, Provision, Psalms.
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October 2nd, 2014

Pain and Growth

“And Jacob was left alone. And a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day. When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he touched his hip socket, and Jacob’s hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him.” Genesis 32:24-25 (ESV)

Have you ever wrestled with God? Who won? Wrestling is part of being God’s workmanship. Jacob, as God’s workmanship, came to know God in a new way after a night of wrestling. Just like in weight training, without resistance there is no growth.

God allows us to go through seasons of uncertainty. God allows us to experience seasons of silence and yes, even seasons of suffering. We wrestle with God in those seasons. Our faith is challenged and often our prayer life is stretched. We come to know God by experience. Sometimes that experience involves pain.

As God’s workmanship, Jacob came away from the night of wrestling with a limp and a new name. You don’t come into close proximity with the living God and leave the same. God gave Jacob the name Israel, which means God prevails. Jacob was known as a deceiver, but God gave him a new name to live up to. Jacob would become the patriarch of the twelve tribes of Israel.

God is for you. He is willing to go to any length to bring you into a vibrant, intimate, and growing relationship that is personal and eternal. God will pursue you and groom you so that you will be conformed into the image of Christ. Your life matters to God. After you encounter the Living God, you may walk with a limp to remind you of His daily provision.

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, October 2nd, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Jacob, Provision, Wrestling with God.
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August 15th, 2014

In Christ Alone

“I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13 (ESV)

Jesus has saved us to represent Him on the earth. He has instructed us to love our enemies, to pray for those who persecute us, to forgive our debtors, to judge not, to go the extra mile, and to fulfill the Great Commandment and the Great Commission.

  • “‘And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.’” Mark 12:30-31 (ESV)
  • “‘Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’” Matt. 28:19-20 (ESV)

It is impossible to obey Christ’s instructions without His power. Jesus does not expect us to obey Him without His enablement. The Christian life is a life of total dependency upon Jesus and His provision.

How did Paul accomplish so much in the Lord’s service? Paul lived in full surrender to Christ and in total dependency upon Christ’s strength.

Are you relying on Christ’s strength? You can do everything Christ calls you to do in the strength He provides. God can accomplish more through your life in six minutes than you can accomplish on your own in sixty years. Will you be found faithful? Rely on the strength Christ provides.

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, August 15th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Christ, Provision, Strength.
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November 18th, 2012

Jesus is the Way!

“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.’” John 14:6-7 (ESV)

Jesus, proclaimed in John as the “Word of God in the flesh,” is divine communication. He represents fully to us the character and nature of God, allowing us to behold our Creator and witness what it looks like to walk in complete intimacy with Him. Jesus, then, communicates our goal. We are to walk in fellowship with God as Jesus walked in fellowship with Him. We are to be one as the Father and the Son are one. The dilemma for us, unlike Jesus, is that we are sinful and, therefore, cannot be one with Him unless our nature is changed. We, who are dead, cannot have fellowship with the life that Christ embodies unless that sin is eradicated.

Jesus allows for this provision. He came to communicate to us, yes, but He also came to make a way for us to have fellowship with God, as we were created to do. Further, He was the only one who could have made this way. His unique incarnation and perfect fulfillment of the law makes Him the only way to the Father. We cannot earn this nor choose a different path, for only Christ do we see the fullness of God displayed both in His life and in His resurrection.

Rejoice today, dear child of God, that the Lord did not abandon you. Rather, He loved you enough to send His only begotten Son, and in this sacrifice we find the ability to be fully satisfied and have our joy be made complete.

Chronological Bible Reading Plan: (Day 315:  John 14-17)

Grace and peace,

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

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, November 18th, 2012 at 1:00 am
Category John, Love, Provision.
Interact No Comments
October 25th, 2012

Why Do You Seek Him?

“Jesus answered them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves.’” John 6:26 (ESV)

Throughout the book of John, we see a progression of miraculous signs performed by Jesus through which He communicates to the world His authority over things both spiritual and physical. Earlier in this chapter, for instance, Jesus takes five barley loaves and two fish and feeds thousands of bystanders, proving His glorious and ample ability to provide and satisfy. The people in the crowd who experienced this miraculous work wake up the next day to find that Jesus and His disciples have crossed the Sea of Galilee (Jesus on foot and the disciples by boat) to Capernaum and decide to pursue Him.

The issue for Jesus, though, in this pursuit is their motivation for doing so. Why were they coming after Him? Were they coming because they had recognized this miracle as a “messianic sign”? Or were they coming after Him because He was a free meal ticket? Jesus suggests that the latter is the true motivation, rebuking them for using Him rather than worshiping the Anointed of God.

Why do you follow Jesus? Have you recognized Him as the Messiah, the only hope of the nations? Have you seen your depravity and great need for a savior and found Jesus alone able to satisfy that need? Or do you simply like what He can give you? Do you like the idea of receiving blessing? Do you like the idea of escaping Hell? Are you just using Him to feel better about yourself, feeling spiritually full? Or do you recognize the bread He offers as something much more profound?

Oh, child of God, do not mistake the generosity of Christ as a license to feel entitled. Do not lose the humility that should accompany the recognition that Jesus is the Son of God, Who has come to take away the sins of the world. Yes, we will receive blessing and, yes, we will escape eternal judgement, but our sole motivation for seeking Jesus should be a result of His greatest miracle, when He overcame sin and death so that we could have life abundant!

Chronological Bible Reading Plan: (Day 291:  John 6)

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 25th, 2012 at 1:00 am
Category John, Provision, Seeking First.
Interact No Comments
October 24th, 2012

The Complete Sustaining Nature of Christ

“He charged them to take nothing for their journey except a staff–no bread, no bag, no money in their belts–but to wear sandals and not put on two tunics.” Mark 6:8-9 (ESV)

What an interesting command from Jesus found here in Mark’s gospel. Jesus has called to Himself “those whom he desired” and allowed them to walk alongside Him as they learned (Mark 3:13 ESV). Now, as He is preparing to send them out, He commands them to take nothing with them except what they have on their back. Why would Jesus demand such a thing from His disciples? Why would He not allow them to “prepare” more thoroughly for the task at hand?

Jesus was teaching His disciples (and us) about the importance of fully relying upon Him and His provision for the purposes of ministry. If Jesus sends us under His authority and calling as His disciples, then He will sustain us as we go. If He sends you, He will provide for you. The disciples, like us, had to learn this truth in order to properly submit to the will of the Lord as His representatives, thereby allowing Him to receive all the glory for the work that He would do through them. Further, how could they communicate the complete satisfying nature of Christ without having experienced it themselves? In their mission, they were learning as they were going.

Do you fully rely upon the Lord to accomplish that to which He has called you? Or do you overcompensate, not fully trusting in His ability to work miraculously through you? When we fail to fully rely upon Him to sustain, we often miss the opportunity to be part of something extraordinary, since only in Him is such a work possible.

Chronological Bible Reading Plan: (Day 289:  Matthew 14; Mark 6; Luke 9)

Grace and peace,

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

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, October 24th, 2012 at 1:00 am
Category Mark, Provision, Sustainer.
Interact No Comments