Archive for the ‘Priorities’ Category

April 3rd, 2015

Made to Worship

“Then the whole congregation of the people of Israel assembled at Shiloh and set up the tent of meeting there. The land lay subdued before them.” Joshua 18:1 (ESV)

You were created to worship. God has given you the freedom to choose your object of worship. You can choose to worship creation or you can choose to worship the Creator. God’s will is for you to worship Him as your Creator. The enemy will tempt you to worship yourself, other people, or other things to divert your devotion from God.

  • “Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory.And he said to him, ‘All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.’Then Jesus said to him, ‘Be gone, Satan! For it is written, You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.’” Matthew 4:8-10 (ESV)

The people of Israel methodically received their allotment of land. As you can imagine, the process was lengthy and thorough. The entire congregation of the people of Israel gathered at Shiloh to set up the tent of meeting. The priority of worship was guarded and the activity of worship was perpetual. The land lay subdued before them as they worshiped the One True Living God!

How will you respond to the temptation to bypass God in worship? Will you do what Jesus did? Stand firm in your resolve to worship the Lord your God and serve Him with passion and diligence. Establish the priority of worship in your daily routine and surrender to the Lordship of Christ. Make Jesus your number one priority as you unleash your worship to revere the One who died to set you free.

Riding HIS Wave,

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

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, April 3rd, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Joshua, Priorities, Worship.
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March 3rd, 2015

Focus Your Life

“The Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, The people of Israel shall camp each by his own standard, with the banners of their fathers’ houses. They shall camp facing the tent of meeting on every side.’” Numbers 2:1-2 (ESV)

What is your preoccupation? What do you think about most? What consumes a majority of your energy and attention? Your answers to these questions will help unveil your focus. One healthy discipline is to intentionally assess the trajectory of your life. You need to know where you are heading and what you are giving your life to.

God gave specific instructions related to the massive encampment of the twelve tribes of Israel. God wanted the people to camp facing the tent of meeting. Making His presence known within the center of the camp via the tent of meeting, God wanted the people of Israel to focus their attention and their lives on Him.

  • “I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways.” Psalm 119:15 (ESV)
  • “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Heb 12:2 (NIV)

Are you living the Christ-centered life? Is your life oriented around God’s agenda? Regain your focus and ask God to restore your spiritual sight to be able to see what God wants you to do and where God wants you to go. Obey what God reveals to you. Maintain an unyielding devotion to bring pleasure to the Lord by continuing His ministry on the earth. Make an eternal difference by focusing your life today.

Riding HIS Wave,

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

 

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Focus, Numbers, Priorities.
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November 20th, 2014

First Love

“But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.” Revelation 2:4-5 (ESV)

The church at Ephesus had a lot going for them. They were strong in deeds, hardworking, and known for their perseverance. They sought purity of doctrine, endured hardship, and served diligently. Yet, they bypassed their love relationship with God. The church had forsaken their first love.

There are so many things vying for your affection and devotion. You can give your life to an endless array of commitments and neglect the most important relationship. It is possible to give a little bit of yourself to everything and have nothing left for the most vital relationship. Keeping you fragmented is one of Satan’s goals to keep you from nurturing the life-giving relationship that Christ provides. As long as you are distracted from that which is eternal, Satan knows that your effectiveness in the Kingdom of God will be stifled.

Do you remember when your love relationship with Christ was your top priority? Measure how far you have drifted from that passionate intimate relationship you had with Christ. Repent! Choose to go a new direction by forsaking those things that hinder your love relationship with Christ. Give your full devotion to the One who died sacrificially so that you could live abundantly and eternally.

Return to guarding your love relationship with Christ. Give the best of your life each day to the One who deserves first place in your life. Make a standing appointment with the Lord each morning to spend time with Him. Yield your life to the One who gave you life!

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, November 20th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category First Love, Intimacy with God, Priorities.
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September 16th, 2014

Take Hold of Life

“They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.” 1 Timothy 6:18-19 (ESV)

There are more verses in the Bible about money than about heaven and hell combined. There are more than 2,350 verses related to the issue of stewardship. God is the owner and we are the managers. God entrusts us with the task of being good stewards of His resources.

Order your life to honor God and benefit others. Do good. Be rich in good deeds. Be generous. Be willing to share with others. The activity of living to benefit others produces treasure for yourself in heaven. God rewards your faithfulness in His kingdom economy.

If you want to take hold of life that is truly life, then order your life around God’s priorities. Your submission to the Lordship of Christ will be reflected in your stewardship of God’s resources. Lordship and stewardship are inseparable. If Jesus is Lord of your life then His Lordship will be evident in your allocation of resources.

The world’s philosophy to money management is to earn it so that you can spend it. The average American spends $1.20 for every $1.00 he or she earns. God’s way is that you earn it, tithe it (eternal), save it (future), repay it (past), and spend it. Give God the firstfruits of your income. To tithe your income is to give 10% of your gross income (before taxes) to the Lord through the ministry of His local church. Give proportionately, consistently, and cheerfully.

Assess your current financial reality. What do you earn? What do you owe? Where does your money go? Order your life to honor God and to benefit others. Take hold of the life that is truly life!

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, September 16th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Life, Priorities, Stewardship.
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April 7th, 2014

Focusing Your Life

“‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.’” John 12:24 (ESV)

Are you dying to live? God has placed within you unlimited potential. God created you to share His love and to shine His light. Your life purpose is to bring glory to God. There’s no higher calling and there’s no greater commission to give your life to than that of bringing glory to God. Are you living the life God has given?

The seed must die. In order for the potential within the seed to be unleashed, the seed must die. Without death, the seed will not germinate. Growth and development are dependent upon the seed dying.

In the life of the believer, death to self is vital. The child of God must surrender his or her personal agenda, personal aspirations, and personal ambitions. Choosing to sacrifice your personal preferences in light of God’s best for you is a crucial decision.

  • “He said, ‘Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.’” Gen. 22:2 (ESV)

Is there an “Isaac” in your life? Is there something in your life that needs to die in order for you to live the life God has for you? Examine your priorities and identify anything that is hindering your love relationship with the Lord. Anything that comes between you and God is idolatry. Remove that “Isaac” and give God first place in your life. Return to your first love. Die to self and allow Christ to be your top priority.

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, April 7th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Discipline, Focus, Priorities.
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January 16th, 2014

Nurture a Creative Soul

“Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul.” 3 John 1:2 (ESV)

How’s the condition of your soul? Are you at peace? Are you living a life of balance? In order to nurture a creative soul, you have to provide space in your schedule and you have to provide pause in your pace. The Christian life is not a sprint; it is a marathon. To finish strong you must consistently nurture a creative soul.

Create margin in your life. You need space to allow God to put you back together. Margin is the space between your load and your limit. Designate time in your schedule to participate in life-giving activities that replenish your soul. If you like reading, then allocate time for reading. If you enjoy walking outdoors, then carve out time for that life-giving experience. You must find what makes you come alive. You must insert those activities into your schedule that enable you to get your fire back and your passion rekindled.

  • “For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him.” Psalm 62:5 (ESV)
  • “When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul.” Psalm 94:19 (ESV)

Sometimes the most spiritual activity you can employ is rest. When you rest, you allow your soul to catch up with your body. Strategically insert a pause in your pace. Stop periodically to be still before the Lord and allow Him to restore your soul and to restore the joy of His salvation.

Assess your current reality to identify where you are overextended and overcommitted. If you are feeling overwhelmed and burnout in life, then something is out of order. Take the initiative to nurture a creative soul.

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, January 16th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Priorities, Rest, Soul Nourishment.
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January 14th, 2014

Live to Benefit Others

“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others” Philippians 2:3-4 (ESV)

Have you ever written a mission statement for your own life? Let me share a few personal mission statements I have seen. I exist to love God and to love others. I exist to know Jesus and to make Jesus known. I exist to leave the world a better place than I found it. I exist to take as many people with me to heaven as possible.

God re-created you in Christ to reorient your life from selfish ambition to selfless ambition. Instead of living to benefit yourself, God empowers you to live to benefit others. When pride seeps in, your ability to serve others erodes. In humility, you consider others better than yourself. In humility, you esteem others above yourself.

Are you looking to the interests of others? Have you considered how you can invest in others? God has blessed you in Christ to be a blessing to others. You have been planted right where you are by God so that you can bloom for His glory and for the benefit of those in your sphere of influence. In humility, serve them. In humility, love them the way Jesus loves you.

What if you adopted the following mission statement? I exist to bring glory to God by living to benefit others. How would that impact your relationships? How would that affect your attitude about waking up each day? You would be living on purpose and on mission with God. You would begin to see your home, your neighborhood, your campus, your place of employment, and your sphere of influence as your mission field.

Start today! Bring glory to God by living to benefit others!

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, January 14th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Personal Mission Statement, Priorities, Selfless Ambition.
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January 12th, 2014

Make Room for Marriage

“However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.” Ephesians 5:33 (ESV)

Being selfish requires no effort. Selfishness comes naturally to us. If we aren’t careful, we will operate our lives on the assumption that life revolves around us. Being self-centered and self-absorbed is the antithesis of marriage. In the marriage relationship, the husband and wife must release selfishness and embrace selflessness.

The husband is to love his wife as he loves himself. The wife is to respect her husband. In his book, Love and Respect, Dr. Emerson Eggerichs identifies what he calls the Crazy Cycle: “When a husband feels disrespected, he has a natural tendency to react in ways that feel unloving to his wife. When a wife feels unloved, she has a natural tendency to react in ways that feel disrespectful to her husband.”

Our culture is not marriage-friendly. The pace of life and the demands on our time can strain a marriage relationship. As a partner, you have to make room for marriage. You have to conscientiously and intentionally make room for the one you love. In order to have a healthy, vibrant, and growing marriage, you have to create space for the relationship. It takes time to nurture a meaningful relationship with your spouse.

Busyness is the prominent enemy to intimacy. We divert our energy to parenting, to our career, to recreation, and to other things to the neglect of our marriage relationship. It is so easy to neglect the sacred union God calls us to with our spouse. We can give our best to others and give our spouse the crumbs. That’s a recipe for an unhealthy marriage. Remember, you will make room for what you value!

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, January 12th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Commitment, Marriage, Priorities.
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January 11th, 2014

Start Your Day with God

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. ” 1 Peter 2:9 (ESV)

If you have become a child of God through faith in Jesus alone, then you are a priest before God. Your new identity in Christ has given you direct access to God. You do not need to go through a human mediator. The priesthood of every believer is the reality for those adopted into God’s forever family.

As a priest before God, start your day with God. Make it your daily spiritual discipline to start your day with the One who saved you. Do as Jesus did during His earthly ministry. “And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.” (Mark 1:35 ESV). Carve out time to start your day with your Creator. No one knows you as intimately as God does. No one loves you as intensely as God does. You are His treasure.

Start your day with God by feeding on His Word, communing with Him in prayer, and receiving His daily provision. Guard your daily intimacy with the Lord. You will have to strive to protect this most important daily spiritual discipline. Many other things will tug at your time, energy, and attention.

What needs to change in your daily routine in order to start your day with God? Have you found a place to have your time alone with God without interruption? Prepare for this daily spiritual discipline. Develop a plan for reading through the Bible. Try to read from the Bible each morning. Remember that if you choose to read four chapters each day, you will read through the entire Bible in one year.

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, January 11th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Intimacy with God, Priesthood of the Believer, Priorities.
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September 27th, 2013

Seeking God

“In the eighth year of his reign, while he was still young, he began to seek the God of his father David.” 2 Chronicles 34:3 (NIV)

What caused Josiah, at the age of sixteen, to begin to seek God? When you look at his family tree, you find that both his father, Amon, and his grandfather, Manasseh, did evil in the eyes of the Lord. It is obvious that Josiah did not receive his spiritual heritage from them. When you look into the life of his great-grandfather, Hezekiah, you find a much different portrait.

  • “Hezekiah was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem twenty-nine years. His mother’s name was Abijah daughter of Zechariah. He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, just as his father David had done.” 2 Chron. 29:1-2 (NIV)

I wonder if Josiah was influenced by the godly life that his great-grandfather, Hezekiah, lived. Another possibility is that Josiah began to seek God when he became a dad, at the age of sixteen, to Jehoahaz. For me personally, when I became a dad my understanding of God’s love and my pursuit of God intensified. There’s something about seeing your own flesh and blood and embracing the awesome responsibility of parenthood that draws you to God. You recognize your dependency upon God.

Regardless of your age or life stage, assess your level of thirst for God? Are you passionately seeking God daily and allowing Him to have full access to your mind, emotions, and will? Is there anything or anyone you desire more than you desire God? I have discovered in my walk with God, whatever you feed grows and whatever you starve dies.

Make Jesus your top priority. Draw near to Him and He will draw near to you. Let Jesus quench your thirst!

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, September 27th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Priorities, Pursuit, Seeking First.
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