Archive for the ‘Purpose’ Category

August 7th, 2015

Simplify and Focus

“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn;to grant to those who mourn in Zion—to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified.” Isaiah 61:1-3 (ESV)

What are you going to do with the time you have left? Don’t waste your life. Don’t delay in knowing and doing God’s will. You are too valuable and your life is too vital to neglect living in the center of God’s will.

As He stood in the synagogue in His hometown, Jesus quoted Isaiah’s prophecy concerning Himself. “And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. And he began to say to them, ‘Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing’” (Luke 4:20-21 ESV).

God has pursued you with His redeeming love and placed His divine purpose inside of you by His Holy Spirit so that you can continue the ministry of Jesus on earth. You are anointed by God for worship, evangelism, discipleship, ministry, and authentic community. Draw near to God and allow Him to sensitize you to His redemptive activity. You are God’s workmanship and you have been created by God and for God. Make yourself completely available for God’s use today!

Riding HIS Wave,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor

 

Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, August 7th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Isaiah, Jesus, Purpose.
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February 7th, 2015

Identity Crisis

“But Moses said to God, ‘Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?’” Exodus 3:11 (ESV)

Who am I? Why am I here? These two basic questions are innate in every human being. We long to know who we are and we strive to discover why we are placed on this planet called earth. Our security is proportionate to our understanding of our identity.

God allowed Moses to experience forty years in the palace and then forty years in the desert. God wanted Moses to learn some things about his personal identity through a desert experience that he could not learn in the palace. God was preparing Moses for the purpose of delivering the children of Israel from Egyptian bondage. The burning bush encounter was a life changing experience for Moses. The encounter enabled Moses to come to know God in a personal way. God revealed His holiness to Moses and then unveiled His plan for Moses to embrace.

As you can imagine, Moses could not visualize himself as the deliverer of the children of Israel. They had been slaves for over 400 years. Moses began making excuses and tried to deny his usefulness to God. Moses began to focus on what he lacked and missed the reality of God’s ability to do the extraordinary through ordinary people.

Have you ever doubted your usefulness to God? Have you ever tried to convince God that you are not fit for His plan? God is not impressed with our abilities or our inabilities. God is not limited by our limitations. Are you willing to yield to God’s control and allow Him to have His way in your life? God is willing to take you through a desert experience to prepare you for His assignment.

Riding HIS Wave,

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

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, February 7th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Identity, Moses, Purpose.
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August 7th, 2012

Simplify and Focus

“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; 2 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn;to grant to those who mourn in Zion—to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified.” Isaiah 61:1-3 (ESV)

What are you going to do with the time you have left? Don’t waste your life. Don’t delay in knowing and doing God’s will. You are too valuable and your life is too vital to neglect living in the center of God’s will.

As He stood in the synagogue in His hometown, Jesus quoted Isaiah’s prophecy concerning Himself. “And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. 21 And he began to say to them, ‘Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing’” (Luke 4:20-21 ESV).

God has pursued you with His redeeming love and placed His divine purpose inside of you by His Holy Spirit so that you can continue the ministry of Jesus on earth. You are anointed by God for worship, evangelism, discipleship, ministry, and authentic community. Draw near to God and allow Him to sensitize you to His redemptive activity. You are God’s workmanship and you have been created by God and for God. Make yourself completely available for God’s use today!

Chronological Bible Reading Plan: (Day 212:  Isaiah 59-63)

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, August 7th, 2012 at 1:00 am
Category Isaiah, Jesus, Purpose.
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February 7th, 2012

Identity Crisis

“But Moses said to God, ‘Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?’” Exodus 3:11 (ESV)

Who am I? Why am I here? These two basic questions are innate in every human being. We long to know who we are and we strive to discover why we are placed on this planet called earth. Our security is proportionate to our understanding of our identity.

God allowed Moses to experience forty years in the palace and then forty years in the desert. God wanted Moses to learn some things about his personal identity through a desert experience that he could not learn in the palace. God was preparing Moses for the purpose of delivering the children of Israel from Egyptian bondage. The burning bush encounter was a life changing experience for Moses. The encounter enabled Moses to come to know God in a personal way. God revealed His holiness to Moses and then unveiled His plan for Moses to embrace.

As you can imagine, Moses could not visualize himself as the deliverer of the children of Israel. They had been slaves for over 400 years. Moses began making excuses and tried to deny his usefulness to God. Moses began to focus on what he lacked and missed the reality of God’s ability to do the extraordinary through ordinary people.

Have you ever doubted your usefulness to God? Have you ever tried to convince God that you are not fit for His plan? God is not impressed with our abilities or our inabilities. God is not limited by our limitations. Are you willing to yield to God’s control and allow Him to have His way in your life? God is willing to take you through a desert experience to prepare you for His assignment.

Chronological Bible Reading Plan: (Day 30: Exodus 1-3)

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, February 7th, 2012 at 1:00 am
Category Identity, Moses, Purpose.
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August 5th, 2009

Press On

“Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Phil 3:12-14 (NIV)

Don’t get too comfortable with your level of intimacy with God and your level of spiritual maturity. There’s more to explore! Don’t get too comfortable with your current understanding of the Bible. There’s more to explore!

One indication of Paul’s spiritual maturity was his recognition of lack of spiritual maturity. Paul was not satisfied to coast down lazy river. Instead, he embraced the posture of leaning forward to become everything God had purposed for Paul to become. Paul never lost sight of the past God delivered him from, but he focused on the future in order to press on toward the goal to win the prize.

Remember who you are in Christ and where God has brought you from. Remember why Jesus died for you and why God raised Him from the dead. Remember that you have been adopted into God’s family and filled by His Holy Spirit. Now forget what is behind. Strain toward what is ahead and press on! Keep your eyes on the prize! Keep your eyes on the prize! Keep your eyes on the prize!

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor
(This devotional was originally posted in ’07 or ’08. I’m taking a break from writing for a season of personal renewal.)
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, August 5th, 2009 at 1:00 am
Category Decisions, Discipline, Focus, Passion, Purpose.
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February 1st, 2009

Identity (4)

“All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this. They got up, drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him down the cliff. But he walked right through the crowd and went on his way.” Luke 4:28-30 (NIV)

Jesus communicated to His hearers in the synagogue that a prophet is not accepted in his hometown. He was implying that many would miss the fact that He was the Messiah and forfeit the benefits just as many in Israel did not enjoy the benefits of the ministry of Elijah. The people were so furious with Jesus that they tried to throw him down the cliff. Jesus’ popularity in His hometown was not very positive!

Your identity is not based on what people say about you. Your identity in Christ is based on what God says about you. You are shaped by God’s hand. Your destiny is determined by the loving provision of your Heavenly Father. In the midst of opposition and being misunderstood, you can stand firm in the security of your identity in Christ.

  • “‘You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit–fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.’” John 15:16 (NIV)
  • “‘If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.’” John 15:18 (NIV)

Find a place of solitude and begin to eliminate the voices of falsehood and tune in to the voice of Truth! Speaker and author, Beth Moore, likes to say, “God is who He says He is. God can do what He says He can do. I am who God says I am. I can do all things through Christ. God’s Word is alive and active in me. I’m believing God!”

Now listen for God’s voice and allow Him to affirm your identity in Christ. Remember who you are in Christ!

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, February 1st, 2009 at 1:00 am
Category God's Will, Jesus, On Mission, Purpose.
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January 31st, 2009

Identity (3)

“All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips. ‘Isn’t this Joseph’s son?’ they asked.” Luke 4:22 (NIV)

Jesus shared from Isaiah 61:1-2 in the hearing of those in the synagogue and identified Himself as the fulfillment of that prophecy. The people spoke well of Him. Amazed at Jesus’ gracious words, they tried to reconcile His professed identity by asking, “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?”

The people were confused. Their understanding of the coming Messiah did not position them to anticipate a carpenter’s son from Nazareth as the Messiah. The humanity and humility of Jesus did not line up with their view of the Messiah. They were expecting a mighty military leader with position and prominence who would restore Israel.

As followers of Christ, we can identify with His dual identity. Though virgin born, Jesus had an earthly father and a Heavenly Father. We too have an earthly father and our Heavenly Father.

  • “The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.” Romans 8:16 (NIV)
  • “Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness.” Heb 12:10 (NIV)
  • “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.” 1 John 3:1 (NIV)

Your identity in Christ is formed and fashioned by your Heavenly Father. God has created you for His glory. You are God’s workmanship (Eph. 2:10) and you belong to God (I Pt. 2:9). If you ever forget who you are in Christ, look up! You are a child of the King!

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, January 31st, 2009 at 1:00 am
Category God's Will, Jesus, On Mission, Purpose.
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January 30th, 2009

Identity (2)

“The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: ‘The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.’” Luke 4:17-19 (NIV)

As Jesus stood up in the synagogue to read, He was given the scroll of the prophet Isaiah and then He found the place from which He wanted to read. The passage Jesus read was what we now know as Isaiah 61:1-2. Jesus identified the ministry that He was anointed to employ. He identified the focus of His ministry as preaching the good news to the poor, proclaiming freedom for the prisoners, proclaiming recovery of sight to the blind, releasing the oppressed, and proclaiming the year of the Lord’s favor.

  • “Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, and he began by saying to them, ‘Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.’” Luke 4:20-21 (NIV)

Isaiah prophesied some 700 years before Christ was born that the Messiah would be anointed for this particular ministry. Jesus affirmed that He is the fulfillment of that prophecy.

Have you been the recipient of the ministry of Christ? Has your character and conduct been transformed? Now that you know Jesus personally, you are commissioned to embrace His ministry to bring others into His family. The ministry of Christ on earth is now your ministry. You may be the only Jesus others see!

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, January 30th, 2009 at 1:00 am
Category God's Will, Jesus, On Mission, Purpose.
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January 29th, 2009

Identity (1)

“He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood up to read.” Luke 4:16 (NIV)

You make room for what you value. When you value participating in the ministry of your local church, you will make room in your life for that ministry. If you value short-term mission trips, then you will make room in your annual calendar of events to go on a short-term mission trip. Whatever you value will receive your time, energy, and attention. Whatever you value will be a guarded priority in your life.

Jesus valued the weekly worship experience in the synagogue on the Sabbath (Saturday). The synagogue had been a consistent part of His life for thirty years at this particular point. After His baptism and 40 days of temptation in the desert, Jesus returned to Galilee and went to His hometown of Nazareth. As was His custom, He went into the synagogue.

Much of Jesus’ identity was connected to the synagogue. He had grown up being exposed to the reading of Scripture each Sabbath in the local synagogue. On this day, He stood to read. He participated in the flow of the service and contributed to the experience.

You are the sum total of your habits. In other words, you will become what you habitually invest your life in. You are in the process of becoming who you are in Christ. Value weekly participation in the local church. Value connecting with God in worship with other believers. Value weekly interaction with other believers in a small group Bible study. Make it your custom to grow in your love relationship with Jesus. Your identity is found in Christ.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, January 29th, 2009 at 1:00 am
Category God's Will, Jesus, On Mission, Purpose.
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January 28th, 2009

Joining God (5)

“The disciples, each according to his ability, decided to provide help for the brothers living in Judea. This they did, sending their gift to the elders by Barnabas and Saul.” Acts 11:29-30 (NIV)

God blesses generosity. You cannot join God in His redemptive activity and employ a stingy mindset. You cannot be selfish and effectively join God in His redemptive activity. Joining God involves being generous with your resources just as God has been generous toward you.

The church at Jerusalem was instrumental in birthing the church in Antioch. Now the mother church in Jerusalem is in financial need and the daughter church in Antioch responds by generously meeting the need. The grace of God was evidenced by the sacrificial and spontaneous generosity exhibited by the church in Antioch.

Sir Winston Churchill is noted for saying, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” What are you currently giving to fund the Lord’s work? Are you sacrificial in your giving?

Let’s make a life by bringing the life of Christ to a dark and decaying world through our generosity. Placing the needs of others before our own is the first step!

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, January 28th, 2009 at 1:00 am
Category God's Will, Joining God, On Mission, Purpose.
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