Archive for the ‘Rest’ Category

October 19th, 2015

The Beautiful Rest of Christ

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28 (ESV )

Religion is hard. Trying to attain a righteousness that measures up to the God of the Bible is an impossible task, and yet we continually beat ourselves up for not attaining the impossible. Once we have failed enough at achieving perfection, we have two choices, humanly speaking: give up or change the standard.

In the midst of our frustration, though, Jesus gives us hope. Religion is not the answer; He is! He invites us to come to Him when we are defeated by religion and find that His yoke is easy and burden light. How is this so? Because He lived perfectly for you! He achieved righteousness and then offered it to you through the gospel. He is not asking you to try harder; He is asking you to surrender.

Will you quit trying to attain the impossible and enter into this beautiful rest? Or will you continue to live in frustration trying to achieve in vain that which Jesus already guarantees?

Dear child of God, remove the shackles of religious activity and find rest in the glory of the cross. Jesus has already paid it all. Let us not take His sacrifice in vain by trying to add to it, for it is more than sufficient!

Grace and peace,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, October 19th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Matthew, Rest, Surrender.
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February 28th, 2015

Practice the Sabbath

“‘Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, a holy convocation. You shall do no work. It is a Sabbath to the Lord in all your dwelling places.’” Leviticus 23:3 (ESV)

God instructed Moses to speak to the people of Israel about the appointed feasts that were to be proclaimed as holy convocations. The appointed feasts included: the Sabbath, the Passover, the Feast of First Fruits, the Feast of Weeks, the Feast of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, and the Feast of Booths. These holy convocations were intentional ways to express devotion, thanksgiving, gratitude, and worship unto the Lord.

The Sabbath is the seventh day, which is Saturday. As Christians, we gather for corporate worship on Sunday of each week in honor of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Jesus died on the cross on a Friday and rose from the dead on Sunday. We come together on the first day of the week to worship God with our fellow believers.

How do we practice the Sabbath now that we operate under the new covenant of grace? God established the Sabbath and modeled Sabbath rest. “For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy” (Exodus 20:11 ESV).

Practice a weekly Sabbath by setting aside one day each week to allow God to put you back together. Rest. Reflect. Refrain from producing and racing toward a deadline. Un-string your bow and cultivate a day of personal renewal. Choose a day each week to get off of the race track and pull onto pit road in order to make a pit stop. Allow God to restore you and to refill your tank.

Riding HIS Wave,

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

 

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, February 28th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Leviticus, Rest, Sabbath.
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December 5th, 2014

The Value of Rest

“And he lay down and slept under a broom tree. And behold, an angel touched him and said to him, ‘Arise and eat.And he looked, and behold, there was at his head a cake baked on hot stones and a jar of water. And he ate and drank and lay down again.” 1 Kings 19:5-6 (ESV)

When Elijah reached the lowest point of his life and prayed that he might die, God provided Elijah with physical nourishment and rest. You will spend one-third of your life sleeping. For your body to operate at maximum capacity, rest is a nonnegotiable. So how’s your sleep? Do you feel rested when you awake each morning? Sleep deprivation will negatively affect your mood, your energy, and your stress level.

To help ease your mind at night, have a notepad and pen close to your bed so you can jot down the items that are bothering you. No need to count sheep, just talk to the Shepherd! Pray through whatever you are worrying about and anything that God brings to your mind. When your mind is at peace, your rest will be sweet.

Your pillow, mattress, sheets, and comforter do impact how well you sleep. If your room is too bright, you may want to think of ways to make your room darker. Another tip is to locate your alarm clock away from your face and place it across the room. If total silence helps you sleep better, then eliminate noise. If soft music helps you relax and fall asleep, then turn on the music.

God wants you to take care of your body, which is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, do whatever it takes to ensure a good night’s rest. When you are well rested, you will feel the difference and you will have more energy to live for God’s glory.

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, December 5th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Depression, Elijah, Rest.
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June 10th, 2014

Creating Space for Rest

“For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.” Exodus 20:11 (ESV)

Do you have room in your life for rest? Of course not! You have too much to do and work is calling your name. “I owe, I owe, so off to work I go!” Work is demanding your time, energy, and attention. Work is biblical isn’t it? Doesn’t God expect you to work? Isn’t work God’s idea?

Consider the reality that the Creator of the universe established a divine guideline for both work and rest. God was not tired after the six days of creation activity. God chose to model the value of working and resting. God established a pattern for us in order to keep life in balance and to do life God’s way.

When your work becomes a space invader, your life is out of balance. God does not want your work to rule your life and to dominate your energy allocation. God wants you to set aside a day each week to cease creating, forming, fashioning, meeting deadlines, and pushing yourself through the performance trap. You need a day to allow God to put you back together. That’s why God created the Sabbath day. You need a day to allow God to re-create you.

Transition off of the race track down pit road and allow God to change your spiritual tires, remove the debris from your spiritual windshield, and to refuel your spiritual tank. You need a weekly pit stop!

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, June 10th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Balance, Rest, Stewardship.
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May 12th, 2014

Embrace His Pace

“‘Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’” Matthew 11:28-30 (ESV)

Jesus is always on time. He knows just what we need right when we need it. His invitation to join Him and to find rest in Him is the antidote to our fast pace lifestyle. As one person said, “If we don’t learn to come apart, we will come apart!”

Why do we feel guilty when we slow down? Why do we gravitate toward the performance trap and end up equating productivity with spirituality? Sometimes the most spiritual move we can make is to slow down and experience the rest Jesus offers.

Be sure to notice in our verse for today that there is a prerequisite to encountering His rest. We must be willing to come to Him. We must be willing to take the initiative to respond to His invitation. That just doesn’t fit our adrenaline addicted society! We tend to long for the next high or the next rush. Maybe we can just capture a few more sips of caffeinated coffee. Will that deliver what we need most?

Perhaps the invitation is to come to the place of total reliance upon God. If I yoke up with Him, then I will have to be willing to go where He goes and embrace the pace He sets. Remember, His yoke is easy and His burden is light. Sounds refreshing!

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, May 12th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Jesus, Rest, Yoke.
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February 27th, 2014

Finding Soul Rest

“‘Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’” Matthew 11:28-30 (ESV)

Jesus is always on time. He knows just what we need right when we need it. His invitation to join Him and to find rest in Him is the antidote to our fast pace lifestyle. As one person said, “If we don’t learn to come apart, we will come apart!”

Why do we feel guilty when we slow down? Why do we gravitate toward the performance trap and end up equating productivity with spirituality? Sometimes the most spiritual move we can make is to slow down and experience the rest Jesus offers.

Be sure to notice in our verse for today that there is a prerequisite to encountering His rest. We must be willing to come to Him. We must be willing to take the initiative to respond to His invitation. That just doesn’t fit our adrenaline-addicted society. We tend to long for the next high or the next rush. Maybe we can just capture a few more sips of caffeinated coffee. Will that deliver what we need most?

Perhaps the invitation is to come to the place of total reliance upon God. If I yoke up with Him, then I will have to be willing to go where He goes and embrace the pace He sets. Remember, His yoke is easy and His burden is light. Sounds refreshing!

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, February 27th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Jesus, Rest, Yoke.
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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 15th, 2014

Nurture Physical Health

“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (ESV)

You are the walking tabernacle of the Presence of God. God has chosen to take up residence in your body by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Everywhere you go, the Holy Spirit goes with you because He is living inside of you. Your body is His temple.

As the temple of the Holy Spirit, how should you live? Your lifestyle should be consistent with the Person living inside of you. You are to embrace a lifestyle of holiness, righteousness, and godliness.

As the temple of the Holy Spirit, you should also nurture physical health. Take care of your physical body. Eat properly, exercise regularly, and rest thoroughly. When it comes to eating properly, there are so many options and opportunities to satisfy your appetite in an unhealthy manner. It takes discipline to make wise choices when it comes to deciding what kind of food to eat.

God has designed the human body to respond to physical exertion. When you exercise regularly, your body is strengthened and your energy level elevates. Honoring God with your body includes executing an intentional plan for physical fitness. God created your body to move. As you move, you benefit your physical health.

You also nurture physical health through resting thoroughly. It is possible to sleep and not rest. Your body needs a daily pit stop. You honor God with your body as you allow time for your body to rest, recharge, and rejuvenate. God replenishes your mind, your emotions, and your muscles as you rest.

What adjustments do you need to make to nurture physical health? Pray and ask God to empower you on this journey of honoring Him with your body.

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, January 15th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Exercise, Physical Health, Rest.
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September 29th, 2013

Renewing Your Strength

“But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31 (NIV)

The Christian life has an exciting destination, but don’t minimize the value of the journey. You will experience a varying cadence through the seasons of your life on mission with God. There will be times of sowing and times of reaping. You will experience times of planting and times of watering. Sometimes the pace of life will feel like the turbulence of white-water rafting and at other times, the pace will be more tranquil like a duck treading water on a peaceful pond.

Learn to experience God in each unique setting you find yourself in. If your life feels fragmented, then hit the pause button and allow God to re-orient you to His abiding Presence. Stop fretting and seeking to produce more and more. Allow God to refuel you and to refocus you.

God’s will for your life has a certain rhythm. Find your rhythm. How do you best reconnect with God? How do you best revitalize your passion for God and renew your passion for life? Put your hope in the Lord. Trust Him with your life and entrust your worries to Him. He loves you and knows what’s best for your life.

Are you walking, running, or soaring? Life tends to accentuate a different tempo based on the season you are in. Whether you are walking, running, or soaring, remember to anchor your life to the stable and consistent relationship you have in Christ. He is your source of strength. Jesus is the reason for every season of life. Rest in Him and revel in His love.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, September 29th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Renewal, Rest, Trust.
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August 11th, 2013

Recharge and Refocus

“‘Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates.  For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.’” Exodus 20:8-11 (NIV)

How do you recharge and refocus? In the Fourth Commandment, God reveals the guardrails that prevent burnout in life and in ministry. Here a few essentials to help you embrace the Sabbath God has designed for you.

Essential #1: Assess your pace. One day a safari guide instructed his group, “We are going to rest today so our souls can catch up with our bodies.” Can you relate? It is possible to have so many irons in the fire that you put the fire out. Busyness becomes a tool in the hand of the enemy to distract you from God’s best and to deplete your energy meant for accomplishing God’s will. Is your current pace sustainable?

Essential #2: Build life-giving relationships and enjoy life-giving activities. Seek out relationships that add value to your life and boast your energy. Build relationships with people who bring out the best in you. Carve out time for life-giving activities. What activities replenish you? Refresh you? Renew you? Exercise consistently, eat healthy, and sleep amply.

Essential #3: Disconnect in order to reconnect with God. What do you need to disconnect from? What is your plan for creating space in your schedule to allow God to put you back together emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually? Learn to practice solitude. God invites you into His rest more fully so that you can know Him more deeply in light of eternity.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, August 11th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Rest, Sabbath, Ten Commandments.
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