Archive for the ‘Obedience’ Category

November 8th, 2015

More than Lip-Service

“‘Which of the two did the will of his father?’ They said, ‘The first.’ Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, I say to you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes go into the kingdom of God before you.’” Matthew 21:31 (ESV)

What kind of faith do you truly have? Is your faith transformative? Does it cause you to live differently in light of the knowledge of Christ and His atoning sacrifice? Or is your faith empty? How do you know? James, the brother of Jesus, gives us some insight into the answer to this question in his New Testament work writing, “What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him?” (James 2:14 ESV). Is James saying that works are a necessary part to a truly saving faith? No. He is saying, however, that true faith leads to obedience, working for the Kingdom of God.

In the “Parable of the Two Sons” in Matthew’s gospel, Jesus essentially says the same thing to the chief priests and elders who are questioning His authority. These religious men may have the appearance of true faith, but their lack of obedience in spite of their language proves their heart is not fully devoted to the Lord. They say they love the Lord and will obey Him, yet they never truly act in alignment with their “faith,” meaning that it is dead. True faith transforms us and leads us to action.

Christianity in America is in a dangerous place, composed of millions who claim a saving faith but relatively few who live out the gospel. Are you truly obedient? Are you truly driven to serve your Heavenly Father? Or is your Christianity more “lip-service” than substance? Commit today to serve the Lord, affirming your faith by your actions for the good of those around you and the glory of God.

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, November 8th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Matthew, Obedience, Works.
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September 30th, 2015

Embracing the Absolute Fast

“Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai, ‘Go, gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my young women will also fast as you do. Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish.’” Esther 4:15-16 (ESV)

Esther sensed the heaviness of the reality of her circumstances and was willing to invite her people to fast for her. She committed to a three day absolute fast along with them in preparation for standing before the king. Esther was willing to put her life at risk by standing before the king. Her boldness was fueled by the abiding connection she had with God through the spiritual discipline of fasting.

There are times when God will lead you into an absolute fast. This type of fast is characterized by abstaining from food and drink for a set amount of time. You have to be very careful with this kind of fast and make certain that God has called you to it. Going any extended length of time without water can be detrimental to your health. Be certain that God has called you into this type fast.

Fasting and prayer go together. You can pray and not fast, but you cannot fast without praying if it is to be a biblical fast. God calls you to a fast so that you can passionately pursue Him and place your dependency upon Him.

Do you need to hear from God concerning a situation you are facing? Are you in need of God’s wisdom and guidance? God may call you to an absolute fast to remove your dependency upon other things and to enable you to focus your attention on His provision.

Riding HIS Wave,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, September 30th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Esther, Fasting, Obedience.
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June 18th, 2015

Finish

“Thus all the work that King Solomon did on the house of the Lord was finished. And Solomon brought in the things that David his father had dedicated, the silver, the gold, and the vessels, and stored them in the treasuries of the house of the Lord.” 1 Kings 7:51 (ESV)

God created you to know Him personally and to do His will intentionally. You are designed by God to complete His assignment. God invites you into His redemptive story so that you can join Him in His redemptive activity.

Solomon joined God in His activity. He obeyed God’s directives and finished the house of the Lord. As you read the description of the construction process, you will notice Solomon’s careful attention to details.

  • “Jesus said to them, ‘My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work.’” John 4:34 (ESV)
  • “When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, ‘It is finished,’ and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.” John 19:30 (ESV)
  • “But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.” Acts 20:24 (ESV)

Focus your life on the task the Lord has called you to complete. Do God’s will with passion. If you don’t know God’s will, start obeying the last thing God said to you. As you obey, God will show you the way. Practice instant obedience and enjoy the journey God has for you. Trust Him to illuminate the path He wants you to take. Trust God to build the bridges He wants you to cross and to open the doors He wants you to walk through. Keep your “yes” on the altar!

Riding HIS Wave,

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

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, June 18th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category 1 Kings, Obedience, Solomon.
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June 6th, 2015

Store Up God’s Word

“With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments! I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” Psalm 119:10-11 (ESV)

What guides your decision making process? What is your moral compass? How do you know if your decisions line up with God’s will? As you seek the Lord with all your heart, He will make His will known to you. God is a God of revelation. His desire is for you to know Him personally and to obey Him instantly. Passionately pursue God’s agenda. Focus your life on accomplishing His will. Practice moment-by-moment surrender to His Lordship and respond to His prompting.

God has given you His Word. As you read and feed on the Bible, God will unveil His will. You will discover what God loves and what God hates. You will begin to discern what God has for you to join Him in. God invites you to join Him in His activity so that you can experience His love and benefit His kingdom.

Choose to meditate upon God’s Word. Read through a few chapters of the Bible and slow down on the verses that speak into your life. Ask God to illuminate His Word as you read. Meditate on what you sense God is saying to you and then apply that truth in practical living. Obey what God shows you.

Seek the Lord with all your heart and demonstrate obedience as you hide God’s Word in your heart. Internalize God’s Word so that you can live a life of instant obedience. Hide God’s Word in your heart and embrace a lifestyle of moral purity. God’s way is always the best way!

Riding HIS Wave,

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

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, June 6th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category God's Word, Obedience, Psalms.
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March 19th, 2015

No Other God

“Know therefore today, and lay it to your heart, that the Lord is God in heaven above and on the earth beneath; there is no other. Therefore you shall keep his statutes and his commandments, which I command you today, that it may go well with you and with your children after you, and that you may prolong your days in the land that the Lord your God is giving you for all time.” Deuteronomy 4:39-40 (ESV)

As I am writing this devotional, my team and I are about to board our plane to return to America after spending a week serving the people of East Asia. If you have ever had the opportunity to fly on a commercial jet, you will recall the unique perspective you gain by looking through the widow of the plane down to the earth below. You begin to realize how small you are and how big the earth is. Your daily pressures and the basic anxieties of life are suspended for the duration of your flight.

You don’t have to board a plane and ascend to an altitude of 37,000 feet in order to gain a new perspective on life. Simply acknowledge and take to heart that the Lord is God. He is God of heaven and He is God of earth. He created the entire universe and He created you. There is no other God. He is the One true living God who rules and reigns. All other gods are simply gods. We serve the God of all creation.

One way to demonstrate your acknowledgement of God is by obeying His commands. God reveals Himself to you so that can know Him personally and intimately. God reveals His Word to you so that you can obey Him immediately and consistently. Your obedience to God’s Word is a true mark of spiritual maturity and an indication of your new identity in Christ.

Riding HIS Wave,

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

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, March 19th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Deuteronomy, Moses, Obedience.
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March 15th, 2015

Yes Lord

“And the people of Gad and the people of Reuben answered, ‘What the Lord has said to your servants, we will do. We will pass over armed before the Lord into the land of Canaan, and the possession of our inheritance shall remain with us beyond the Jordan.’” Numbers 32:31-32 (ESV)

When you surrender to the Lordship of Christ, you are placing His agenda before your own. Lordship is a decision of stewardship. Stewardship is caring for what God has entrusted to you. Your devotion and commitment to Christ is demonstrated through the way you steward what God has entrusted to your care. Surrendering your life to the Lordship of Christ places Him in charge of your life and your decisions.

The people of Gad and the people of Reuben were willing to submit to what the Lord had said. They acknowledged that they were servants and their lives were marked by instant obedience. They were willing to do what the Lord said. Obedience to the Lord was not only valued, but also demonstrated by their actions.

  • “‘Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.’” Matt 7:24-25 (ESV)
  • “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” James 1:22 (ESV)

Start demonstrating the Lordship of Christ by being a hearer of God’s Word. Consistently read and feed on God’s Word. Grow in your understanding of the Bible. Move into becoming a doer of God’s Word by putting God’s Word into practice. Apply God’s Word by practicing instant obedience. Live your life by perpetually saying, “Yes, Lord!”

Riding HIS Wave,

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

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, March 15th, 2015 at 3:00 am
Category Commitment, Numbers, Obedience.
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February 10th, 2015

Obedience and Blessing

“All the people of Israel did just as the LORD commanded Moses and Aaron. And on that very day the LORD brought the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt by their hosts.” Exodus 12:50-51 (ESV)

God keeps His word. He is the ultimate promise keeper. What God starts, He finishes! God was faithful to provide for Moses and the children of Israel throughout the process of their deliverance from the bondage of Egypt. After sending the nine plagues upon Egypt, the tenth plague was the turning point for Pharaoh and for the people of Israel. God instructed Moses to have the people of Israel sacrifice a lamb for each family and to take some of the blood and put it on the doorposts and lintel of the houses in which they ate the lamb.

  • “‘The blood shall be a sign for you, on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you, when I strike the land of Egypt.’” Exodus 12:13 (ESV)

The grace of God was evidenced as the He did not allow the destroyer to enter the houses of those who obeyed His command. Instead, God chose to passover their houses. The passover is a clear indication that God blesses obedience. God brought the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt.

Do not bypass the grace of God as evidenced by the shed blood of Jesus Christ. If you have not turned from your sin and turned to Jesus alone for salvation, your first step of obedience is to make that decision right now. Don’t delay! Trust in Jesus alone for salvation. Place your faith in the completed work of Christ on the cross. He shed His blood for the removal of your sins. Trust and obey and He will show you the way!

Riding HIS Wave,

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

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, February 10th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Blessing, Moses, Obedience.
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January 27th, 2015

Jehovah Jireh

“And Isaac said to his father Abraham, ‘My father!’ And he said, ‘Here I am, my son.’ He said, ‘Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?’ Abraham said, ‘God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.’ So they went both of them together.” Genesis 22:7-8 (ESV)

Abraham demonstrated absolute loyalty and devotion to God by his willingness to sacrifice his promised son. Abraham and Sarah were beyond child bearing years. Yet, God provided the miracle of Isaac’s conception. Now God is asking Abraham to sacrifice that which was promised to him.

  • “And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son.” Gen 22:13 (ESV)

Is there anything in your life that takes priority over your relationship with Jesus? Are there any allurements sifting your affection away from your devotion to Christ? Do you have an Isaac in your life that you are unwilling to sacrifice?

What is standing in the way of your realization of unbroken fellowship with God? What is taking the number one place of prominence in your life which is reserved for God? Whatever that item, ambition, or person is may be your Isaac.

Could it be that God wants you to sacrifice that Isaac in your life to enable God to have top priority in your life? God wants first place in your daily walk. God wants to be the supreme object of your energy and affection. He not only deserves it, but He demands it.

Spend a few moments taking inventory of your current priorities and identify what is preventing God from being your top priority.

Riding HIS Wave,

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

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, January 27th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Abraham, God's Provision, Obedience.
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January 24th, 2015

God’s Provision

“Now the LORD said to Abram, ‘Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.’” Genesis 12:1-3 (ESV)

Without trust, there is no authentic relationship. Relationships are built on the foundation of trust. As you know, to be trusted one must be trustworthy. Without question, God is worthy of our trust. He is holy, righteous, immutable, eternal, and perfect. God honors His Word. God keeps His promises. God has impeccable timing and matchless integrity.

When God revealed Himself to Abram, the relationship of trust was demonstrated. God commanded Abram to leave his comfort zone and to embrace the unknown. God promised to bless Abram and to make Abram a blessing. At this time, Abram was seventy-five years old and he and Sarai had no children. Even though God’s promise did not make logical sense in that Sarai was well along in years and childless, Abram took God at His Word and obeyed Him.

What are you doing with what God has said to you? Have you obeyed what you already know? God blesses obedience. When you obey God, you come to know God by experience. You will discover God’s will as you obey God’s will. Walk in the light God gives you and watch to see how God unveils the next step that He wants you to take. As you obey, God will show you the way.

Riding HIS Wave,

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

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, January 24th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Abraham, God's Provision, Obedience.
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September 11th, 2014

Life Is Fragile

“‘O Lord, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am! Behold, you have made my days a few handbreadths, and my lifetime is as nothing before you. Surely all mankind stands as a mere breath!.’” Psalm 39:4-5 (ESV)

When you compare your life to that of a breath, it makes life seem to be so insignificant. Yet, the psalmist is not measuring the value of life. God has already established the value of life. The psalmist is asking God to give him a glimpse of how fragile life is and how temporal life is.

How would you respond if God let you know that you only had thirty days to live? What would change about your current lifestyle? What adjustments would you make in order to live like you were dying in thirty days? If your remaining time on earth became a specific number of days that was clearly communicated to you, perhaps you would rearrange your current priorities. Maybe the way you allocate your time and energy would demonstrate radical adjustments once you found out that you only had thirty days to live. The number of your remaining days would directly impact how you would spend each moment.

Our tendency is to take life for granted. We so often feel invincible and act as though we are guaranteed several decades of life on earth. God has a way of reminding us how fleeting life is. Are you ready to die? Are you ready to live? Have you made reservations for eternity in heaven?

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, September 11th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category God's Provision, Obedience, Stewardship.
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