Archive for the ‘Commitment’ Category

September 20th, 2015

Fiery Faith

“Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, ‘O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.’” Daniel 3:16-18 (ESV)

Has your faith ever been tested? Have you ever been in an environment that provided you with an opportunity to make a bold stand for the Lord? Maybe your home is a place where your faith is put to the test. Maybe your work environment has been a difficult place for you to express your faith. Swimming upstream is always a challenge. Whenever you decide to go in the opposite direction of the cultural current, you will face resistance and opposition.

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, in the midst of impending death if they chose not to abide by the king’s command, were willing to obey God at all costs. Instead of bowing to the golden image erected by king Nebuchadnezzar, they chose to honor God even if it meant death. They demonstrated their belief in God’s ability to save them from the blazing furnace. They went a step further by declaring that even if God did not deliver them that they would not worship the image of gold.

Do you have that kind of “but even if God does not” faith? Are you willing to obey God in the face of opposition and in the face of being misunderstood by your family or peers? Even if God does not deliver you from your difficult circumstances, are you willing to obey Him and honor Him?

The good news is that God did deliver Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. They would not bow, they would not bend, they would not budge, and they would not burn! God rescued them through the blazing furnace. God allowed them to go through the fire unharmed. Now that’s a life changing experience!

Riding HIS Wave,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, September 20th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Commitment, Courage, Daniel.
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June 9th, 2015

Communicating Value

“Behold, you are beautiful, my love, behold, you are beautiful! Your eyes are doves behind your veil. Your hair is like a flock of goats leaping down the slopes of Gilead. Your teeth are like a flock of shorn ewes that have come up from the washing, all of which bear twins, and not one among them has lost its young. Your lips are like a scarlet thread, and your mouth is lovely. Your cheeks are like halves of a pomegranate behind your veil.” Song of Solomon 4:1-3 (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.

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!

Riding HIS Wave,

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

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, June 9th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Commitment, Love, Song of Solomon.
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May 4th, 2015

Do Your Part

“These are the men whom David put in charge of the service of song in the house of the Lord after the ark rested there. They ministered with song before the tabernacle of the tent of meeting until Solomon built the house of the Lord in Jerusalem, and they performed their service according to their order.” 1 Chronicles 6:31-32 (ESV)

God blesses order. As one of my mentors would often say, “Where there is order, there is fruitfulness.” As you examine creation, you will quickly detect that God values order. God designed order in the family unit as well as in the establishment of government.

David positioned the worship leaders to minister with song before the tabernacle of the tent of meeting. They performed their service according to their order. In God’s economy, everybody matters. Everyone has a contribution to make in God’s order.

  • ” I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.” 1 Corinthians 3:6-7 (ESV)

Who is more important, the one who plants or the one who waters? Who is more important, the one who builds a tabernacle or the one who ministers with song? Neither! It is all about God and all about what God wants to accomplish through His people. God gives the growth. God gets the glory.

We are created in God’s image to fulfill God’s plan. Your function in the body of Christ is vital. You are a crucial component to the redemptive activity of God. Do your part! Invest your time, energy, and resources in doing your part to advance God’s work on the earth. Make an eternal difference right where you are. Bloom where God has planted you!

Riding HIS Wave,

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

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, May 4th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category 1 Chronicles, Commitment, David.
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April 2nd, 2015

Wholly Followed the Lord

“Therefore Hebron became the inheritance of Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite to this day, because he wholly followed the Lord, the God of Israel.” Joshua 14:14 (ESV)

If someone were to shadow you for forty days, what would that person experience firsthand? Would that person be drawn to Christ or repelled? What that person be encouraged in their faith or discouraged?

Joshua and Caleb had shadowed each other for forty-five years? They both had the privilege of shadowing Moses. They both were selected to spy out the land that flowed with milk and honey. They both returned with a positive report in spite of the negative report given by the other ten spies.

In this immediate text, Caleb is eighty-five years old and reflecting on his journey. It is now time for him to receive his allotted portion of the Promised Land. He was given Hebron as an inheritance because he wholly followed the Lord.

Would someone shadowing you say that you wholly follow the Lord? Would your walk with God give evidence to full devotion and complete commitment? Take a few moments to examine your life both internally and externally. Take inventory of your journey with God and try to assess your level of commitment over the years. Be honest about your current reality. Are you wholly following the Lord?

Let Caleb’s life inspire you to a greater level of commitment to the Lord. Make it obvious to others that you are growing in your love relationship with Jesus. Share about your intimacy with the Lord. Commit to take your prayer life to a new level of intimacy and intentionality. Share your faith with those who do not have a personal relationship with the Lord. Wholly follow the Lord!

Riding HIS Wave,

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

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, April 2nd, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Caleb, Commitment, Joshua.
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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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January 9th, 2015

God’s Idea

“Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’” Genesis 1:26 (ESV)

You were God’s idea. You are not a mistake; you are a masterpiece created by God and for God. So, what on earth are you here for? Why did God create you? Just look to the Bible to discover your purpose. God created you so that you could come into union with Him and continue the ministry of Jesus on the earth. God removed the barrier of sin by providing Jesus as the atoning sacrifice for sin. Turn from your sin and turn to Jesus alone for salvation.

Now that you are in union with God through Christ, enjoy the abiding relationship made possible to you. Commit to spend time in God’s Word each day and unhurried time alone with God in prayer. Stay connected to Christ and allow Him to live His life in you and through you to fulfill God’s plan. Don’t bypass the relationship in order to go do something for God. Focus on the the abiding relationship you have been given with Jesus and allow Him to feature His life through you.

Commit to read through the Bible in one year. If you would be willing to read God’s Word for twenty minutes each day, in one year, you will have read through the entire Bible. Make a commitment to start today.

Riding HIS Wave,

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

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, January 9th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Abiding in Christ, Commitment, Discipline.
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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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November 19th, 2013

Fully

“Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” 1 Corinthians 15:58 (NIV)

What are you giving your life to? What will be different in eternity because of your life on earth today? Your life matters. Your investment in the work of the Lord matters. Your investment in the lives of others matters. God has created you so that you can join Him in His activity. What will you do with the life God has given you?

Stand firm. Don’t allow the litter of loose lifestyles limit your effectiveness in the kingdom of God. Don’t allow the motion of mediocrity to manipulate you or to draw you away from your devotion to the Lord. Never compromise your convictions. Never settle for the stagnant waters of lukewarmness. You were made for more than that.

Always give your best to the Lord. Always give yourself fully to the work of the Lord. God is using you for His glory. God knows all that you are doing in His Name. Even if you are serving behind the scenes, God is keeping record.

  • “They will not toil in vain or bear children doomed to misfortune; for they will be a people blessed by the LORD, they and their descendants with them.” Isa. 65:23 (NIV)

God blesses you so that you can be a blessing. Give your life to that which has eternal value. Pray perpetually. Give sacrificially. Trust completely. Walk humbly. Share your faith intentionally. Worship passionately. Serve compassionately.

Your labor in the Lord is not in vain. One day you will stand before God and give an account for your life. God will reward you for your service. God will bless you for your obedience.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, November 19th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Commitment, Devotion, Passion.
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September 17th, 2013

Honor God and Finish Together

“However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” Ephesians 5:33 (NIV)

Be the most amazing and fulfilling source of romance for your spouse. Stay spiritually fit and physically fit. Learn your spouse’s primary love language by reading Dr. Gary Chapman’s book, The Five Love Languages. Make intentional deposits into your spouse’s emotional love tank. Communicate understanding. Resolve conflict. Place his or her needs before your own. “Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Phil. 2:4 NIV).

In his book, His Needs, Her Needs: Building an Affair-Proof Marriage, Dr. Willard Harley identifies the top five needs of men as: sexual fulfillment, recreational companionship, an attractive spouse, domestic support, and admiration. The top fives needs of women are: affection, conversation, honesty and openness, financial support, and family commitment. Dr. Willard Harley has found that marriages that fail to meet a spouse’s needs are more vulnerable to an extramarital affair.

Next time you are tempted to look beyond your spouse for romance, ask yourself this question, “Will this decision honor God and benefit my family and our future?” Another good question to ask, “Will this decision allow us to finish together?”

  • “Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you.” Prov. 4:25 (NIV)
  • “Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm. Do not swerve to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.” Prov. 4:26-27 (NIV)

Extend the love you have received from God to your spouse. Choose to extend the grace you have received from God to your spouse. Celebrate your differences. Honor God and finish together.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, September 17th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Commitment, Marriage, Ten Commandments.
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June 17th, 2013

Yes on the Altar

“When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, ‘Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.’ So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten.” John 6:12-13 (NIV)

The lad came prepared to feed himself and perhaps share with his own family. Jesus had a much larger plan for the lad’s meal and the lad’s life. Jesus took what the little boy was willing to give and then Jesus multiplied the five loaves and two fish to feed the multitudes. I remember hearing Pastor S. M. Lockridge preach on this passage in 1987 and  he said, “Jesus is the only One who can multiply two times five and get five thousand.” Jesus not only met the need, but the disciples gathered twelve baskets filled with leftovers.

Just bring Jesus what you have and watch what God does with your life. God can do more with your life fully surrendered to Him in five days than you can do in five decades. Surrender to the Lordship of Christ and place your yes on the altar. Yield to His authority in your life.

Over the years I have periodically taken out a legal pad and detached a sheet of paper from it. Then, I would move to the bottom of the lined paper and sign my name. Then I would pray this prayer, “Lord, I am signing my name and asking You to fill in the blanks. I am willing to do what You want me to do, go where You want me to go, and say what You want me to say. Lord, I’m Yours! Use me for Your glory!”

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, June 17th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Commitment, Stewardship, Talents.
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