Archive for the ‘Peace’ Category

December 25th, 2015

Peace to You

“Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope, To Timothy, my true child in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.” 1 Timothy 1:1-2 (ESV)

Typically in Paul’s epistles, he greets his reader by wishing upon them peace, a peace that he rightfully acknowledges is only possible with the coming of Christ. This peace provides one of the many things for which we can be thankful on Christmas day, for it is a peace that has been the chief longing of all of creation ever since the fall. The “shalom” or peace written about in the language of the Jewish people was more than simply a cessation of fighting; this word for peace carried with it the idea of completeness or soundness. Peace, then, in the eyes of the Jewish people was a setting right of all creation, which of course was fractured with the introduction of sin. Peace meant a restoration of relationship between God and man; peace meant wholeness.

No wonder, then, we proclaim at this time of year, “Joy to the world. The Lord has come!” Is there any more joyous statement? All of creation feels the tension of sin; all of us feel the separation between us and our Creator, and now we have a way to mend it. Christ came to take upon the weight of our sin and impending punishment. He took upon the brunt of God’s wrath, waging war against the tyranny of transgression, so that you and I could have peace with God the Father through Jesus Christ, His Son and our only hope.

On this beautiful Christmas day, then, fellow brother or sister in Christ, I wish you peace, a peace that is only possible because of the very object of our celebration today: Jesus Christ. Merry Christmas!

Grace and peace,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, December 25th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category 1 Timothy, Peace, Restoration.
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December 13th, 2015

Live in Peace

“Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.” 2 Corinthians 13:11 (ESV)

In the concluding remarks of his last letter, at least that we have record of, to the Corinthian Church, Paul delivers an incredible recipe with four major ingredients for living in peace with your brothers and sisters in Christ. He begins by reminding the people of Corinth to rejoice. Part of living in peace with your fellow man is living in peace with God, remembering His incredible work displayed in the gospel. When you and I spend time rejoicing, we don’t have as much time to focus on the failure or differences of others. Living in peace, then, begins with praise.

The second element that Paul encourages in the people of Corinth is aiming for restoration. Part of being a part of a community of people is cultivating healthy relationships. People are imperfect and they mess up, likely offending others, but our responsibility is not to abandon them. Certainly not! We are to aim for restoration, seeking out whatever means necessary to bring this division to a peaceful resolution. This is what Christ did for us, so how could we do any less?

The last two ingredients of which Paul writes are encouragements to the Corinthians to both comfort one another and agree with one another, shepherding them to both empathize with their fellow man and support them. We are on the same team as members of the Church of Jesus Christ, meaning we are fighting the same battles, winning the same victories, and suffering the same losses. There should be no contention among us, then, as that outside of us is already so great. We should not allow momentary mishaps to distract us from the greater purposes of God.

Today, take these words from Paul to heart and apply them to your life as you seek to live in peace with your fellow redeemed sinners.

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, December 13th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category 2 Corinthians, Peace, Restoration.
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November 24th, 2014

Called to Peace

“And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.” Colossians 3:15 (ESV)

God created us to be relational, not robotic. He designed us for relationship. Sin damaged our relationship with God and He took the initiative to provide for our reconciliation and restoration. In Christ, we have been positioned as righteous before God. Now that our relationship with God has been restored, we are to ensure right relationships with others.

  • “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” Rom. 5:1-2 (ESV)
  • “Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.” Heb. 12:14 (ESV)

Our lives have a vertical and horizontal dimension. We are to have a right relationship with God and with others. We cannot have a right relationship with God unless we have a right relationship with others. Also, we cannot have a right relationship with others unless we have a right relationship with God.

Once you have received the peace of God by being justified through faith, seek to live at peace with others. Let others see Jesus in you. Love others the way Jesus loves you.

Gossip is when you say something about someone you would not say to his or her face. Flattery is when you say something to someone’s face that you would not say behind his or her back. Let the peace of Christ find lodging in your heart and be evident in your conversation and your conduct.

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, November 24th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Christ, Peace, Thankfulness.
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June 6th, 2014

Making Your Home an Oasis

“My people will abide in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.” Isaiah 32:18 (ESV)

Do you dread going home or do you look forward to it each day? Is your home a war zone or an oasis? Does your home drain the life out of you or impart life to you? Is your home characterized by conflict, tension, and chaos or meaningful communication, refreshment, and peace. What’s your home like?

God desires that our home be a peaceful dwelling place. Don’t you just love that word, peaceful? It is so soothing and so inviting. God’s portrait for our home includes security. Our home is to be a place of refuge and safety from the venom of our fallen world. Our home is to be an undisturbed place of rest. That opens a whole new level of living.

How far off is your home compared to the home God desires for you? The environment in which you call home is so much more than brick, stucco, and paint. Home is all about relationships and how we interact with each other and how we treat each other. Home is all about how we do life together as a family.

  • Make personal spiritual growth a priority.
  • Model what you want to multiply in your home.
  • Mobilize your family to radiate God’s love beyond your home.

My prayer is that your home will become a holy place where Jesus is honored and spiritual maturity is nurtured so that the population of heaven will be increased and the population of hell decreased.

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, June 6th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Conflict Resolution, Home, Peace.
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March 24th, 2014

The Promise of Peace

“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7 (ESV)

Choose to replace your anxious thoughts with intentional prayer. Your focus will shift from the gravity of your circumstances to the enormity of God’s power. You will gain God’s perspective on the obstacles you face and you will be fortified by God’s peace.

The peace of God is not the absence of adversity, but the presence of Divinity. God’s peace transcends understanding in that it is difficult to fathom. How can a believer have such peace in the midst of a raging storm? The peace of God is not subdued by the intensity of your circumstances. God dispenses His peace in proportion to your need. The stronger the waves of resistance you encounter, the greater the allotment of God’s peace you experience.

God’s peace will guard your heart. The enemy knows that if he can rob you of your passion for God in the midst of your adversity, he will have stolen a piece of your heart. The peace of God will guard your heart from the toxic assaults unleashed by the enemy. You have given your heart to Christ and His peace will reign in you.

During seasons of adversity, the enemy seeks to pollute your mind with thoughts of fear, timidity, and doubt. God’s peace will guard your mind. As you replace your thoughts with intentional prayer, the peace of God will shield your mind. Fear will be replaced by faith, timidity will be replaced with courage, and doubt will be replaced with assurance.

How’s your heart? How’s your mind? Are you experiencing the peace that transcends all understanding? Let the peace of God provide relief to your soul.

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, March 24th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Anxiety, Peace, Prayer.
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March 23rd, 2014

Recapturing God’s Perspective

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Philippians 4:6 (ESV)

Anxiety is the great distraction. All of your emotional energy is diverted to fuel the vast demands anxiety produces. Incessant worry evaporates the tranquil waters of peace and contentment. Instead of living to benefit and bless others, you marshal strength to combat the gravitational pull of self-absorption. During these seasons, the small things of life that would usually not phase you appear as giants. Anxiety has a way of distorting your perspective.

What is the antidote to anxiety? How do you recapture God’s perspective on your circumstances? The first step is to replace your anxious thoughts with intentional prayer. You have the precious gift of unhindered and uninterrupted access to your Heavenly Father through the avenue of prayer. The more specific you are in your prayer life, the more dynamic your experience of God’s peace will be. Be prayerful. Be specific. Be thankful in the midst of your circumstances as you cast your cares upon the Lord.

Consider writing or typing the items in your life right now that are generating anxious thoughts and feelings. Cry out to God in prayer over each item and express your desperation for God’s perspective and God’s provision. God wants you to seek Him and to long for Him. Your abiding relationship with Him is the most important relationship. Draw near to God.

Begin to anticipate God’s response as you specifically present your requests to God in prayer. Watch to see how God brings clarity to your confusion. Take note of the renewed strength God provides to help you navigate the troubled waters. God may eliminate the obstacles or empower you to overcome the obstacles. Either way, you will come to know God by experience!

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, March 23rd, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Anxiety, Peace, Prayer.
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July 24th, 2013

Being Content

“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” Philippians 4:12 (NIV)

The landscape of living in a fallen world is littered with inconsistencies, fluctuation, and instability. Selfishness and sin permeate our planet. People let us down. Deception, injustice, and greed fuel the choices made throughout the earth on a daily basis. Sound hopeless? Don’t lose heart.

Paul understood the cultural current of living on a broken planet. He experienced the extremes of life including being a persecutor of the church and then becoming a preacher of the gospel. Paul knew adversity on a first name basis. Read 2 Corinthians 11:23-28 for a snapshot of his resume of rejection, ridicule, and rigorous suffering. While incarcerated by the Roman government, Paul writes this personal love letter to the church at Philippi to remind them of his love for them and to encourage them in their faith.

You may not be able to control your circumstances, but with Christ’s help, you can control how you respond to your circumstances. You may not be able to control how people treat you, but you can control how you respond to their treatment. Contentment is learned in the laboratory of life. God works through the daily grind in your life to form you and to fashion you. Don’t miss what God is seeking to do in your life in the midst of your adversity.

Are you learning the secret of being content in any and every situation? What’s the secret? “I can do everything through him who gives me strength” (Phil. 4:13 NIV). Christ Jesus is the curator of contentment!

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, July 24th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Contentment, Peace, Prayer.
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July 23rd, 2013

Finding Peace

“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7 (NIV)

Choose to replace your anxious thoughts with intentional prayer. Your focus will shift from the gravity of your circumstances to the enormity of God’s power. You will gain God’s perspective on the obstacles you face and you will be fortified by God’s peace.

The peace of God is not the absence of adversity, but the presence of Divinity. God’s peace transcends understanding in that it is difficult to fathom. How can a believer have such peace in the midst of a raging storm? The peace of God is not subdued by the intensity of your circumstances. God dispenses His peace in proportion to your need. The stronger the waves of resistance you encounter, the greater the allotment of God’s peace you experience.

God’s peace will guard your heart. The enemy knows that if he can rob you of your passion for God in the midst of your adversity, he will have stolen a piece of your heart. The peace of God will guard your heart from the toxic assaults unleashed by the enemy. You have given your heart to Christ and His peace will reign in you.

During seasons of adversity, the enemy seeks to pollute your mind with thoughts of fear, timidity, and doubt. God’s peace will guard your mind. As you replace your thoughts with intentional prayer, the peace of God will shield your mind. Fear will be replaced by faith, timidity will be replaced with courage, and doubt will be replaced with assurance.

How’s your heart? How’s your mind? Are you experiencing the peace that transcends all understanding? Let the peace of God provide relief to your soul.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Comfort, Peace, Prayer.
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July 22nd, 2013

Antidote to Anxiety

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:6 (NIV)

Anxiety is the great distraction. All of your emotional energy is diverted to fuel the vast demands anxiety produces. Incessant worry evaporates the tranquil waters of peace and contentment. Instead of living to benefit and bless others, you marshal strength to combat the gravitational pull of self-absorption. During these seasons, the small things of life that would usually not phase you appear as giants. Anxiety has a way of distorting your perspective.

What is the antidote to anxiety? How do you recapture God’s perspective on your circumstances? The first step is to replace your anxious thoughts with intentional prayer. You have the precious gift of unhindered and uninterrupted access to your Heavenly Father through the avenue of prayer. The more specific you are in your prayer life, the more dynamic your experience of God’s peace will be. Be prayerful. Be specific. Be thankful in the midst of your circumstances as you cast your cares upon the Lord.

Consider writing or typing the items in your life right now that are generating anxious thoughts and feelings. Cry out to God in prayer over each item and express your desperation for God’s perspective and God’s provision. God wants you to seek Him and to long for Him. Your abiding relationship with Him is the most important relationship. Draw near to God.

Begin to anticipate God’s response as you specifically present your requests to God in prayer. Watch to see how God brings clarity to your confusion. Take note of the renewed strength God provides to help you navigate the troubled waters. God may eliminate the obstacles or empower you to overcome the obstacles. Either way, you will come to know God by experience!

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, July 22nd, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Anxiety, Peace, Prayer.
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July 18th, 2013

Accentuating God’s Peace

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27 (NIV)

The Holy Spirit lives in you to accentuate the experience of God’s peace. Happiness is based on happenstance. If the circumstances are just right, then happiness can result. Happiness is conditional and is rooted in the condition of the circumstances surrounding you. Peace is not connected to circumstances. Whether you are on the mountaintop or in the valley, God’s peace can be experienced completely and perpetually by the Holy Spirit living inside of you.

When you come to realize that living in a fallen world and occupying a fallen planet generates unfavorable conditions at times, then you are positioned for the experience of God’s peace. The Holy Spirit accentuates the reality of God’s peace in your life regardless of your circumstances. In your darkest moments, you can know the peace of God on an intimate level because the Holy Spirit accentuates the presence of God’s peace in your life.

His peace will sustain you when nothing else can. The peace God gives will help you triumph through seasons of tribulation and turbulence. God’s peace will catapult you through the storms of life and advance you through adversity. Trials will become the megaphone of God’s peace in that you will come to know the peace of God in the midst of your desperation. The Holy Spirit living inside of you will enable you to encounter God’s peace personally.

Are you in need of the peace God provides? Have you been in a season of uncertainty or riding the wave of anxiety? Rest in the peace God provides through the indwelling Holy Spirit. You are inhabited by the One who accentuates the peace of God.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, July 18th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Faith, Holy Spirit, Peace.
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