Archive for the ‘Seeking First’ Category

October 25th, 2015

Why Do You Seek Him?

“Jesus answered them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves.’” John 6:26 (ESV)

Throughout the book of John, we see a progression of miraculous signs performed by Jesus through which He communicates to the world His authority over things both spiritual and physical. Earlier in this chapter, for instance, Jesus takes five barley loaves and two fish and feeds thousands of bystanders, proving His glorious and ample ability to provide and satisfy. The people in the crowd who experienced this miraculous work wake up the next day to find that Jesus and His disciples have crossed the Sea of Galilee (Jesus on foot and the disciples by boat) to Capernaum and decide to pursue Him.

The issue for Jesus, though, in this pursuit is their motivation for doing so. Why were they coming after Him? Were they coming because they had recognized this miracle as a “messianic sign”? Or were they coming after Him because He was a free meal ticket? Jesus suggests that the latter is the true motivation, rebuking them for using Him rather than worshiping the Anointed of God.

Why do you follow Jesus? Have you recognized Him as the Messiah, the only hope of the nations? Have you seen your depravity and great need for a savior and found Jesus alone able to satisfy that need? Or do you simply like what He can give you? Do you like the idea of receiving blessing? Do you like the idea of escaping Hell? Are you just using Him to feel better about yourself, feeling spiritually full? Or do you recognize the bread He offers as something much more profound?

Oh, child of God, do not mistake the generosity of Christ as a license to feel entitled. Do not lose the humility that should accompany the recognition that Jesus is the Son of God, Who has come to take away the sins of the world. Yes, we will receive blessing and, yes, we will escape eternal judgement, but our sole motivation for seeking Jesus should be a result of His greatest miracle, when He overcame sin and death so that we could have life abundant!

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, October 25th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category John, Provision, Seeking First.
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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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October 25th, 2012

Why Do You Seek Him?

“Jesus answered them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves.’” John 6:26 (ESV)

Throughout the book of John, we see a progression of miraculous signs performed by Jesus through which He communicates to the world His authority over things both spiritual and physical. Earlier in this chapter, for instance, Jesus takes five barley loaves and two fish and feeds thousands of bystanders, proving His glorious and ample ability to provide and satisfy. The people in the crowd who experienced this miraculous work wake up the next day to find that Jesus and His disciples have crossed the Sea of Galilee (Jesus on foot and the disciples by boat) to Capernaum and decide to pursue Him.

The issue for Jesus, though, in this pursuit is their motivation for doing so. Why were they coming after Him? Were they coming because they had recognized this miracle as a “messianic sign”? Or were they coming after Him because He was a free meal ticket? Jesus suggests that the latter is the true motivation, rebuking them for using Him rather than worshiping the Anointed of God.

Why do you follow Jesus? Have you recognized Him as the Messiah, the only hope of the nations? Have you seen your depravity and great need for a savior and found Jesus alone able to satisfy that need? Or do you simply like what He can give you? Do you like the idea of receiving blessing? Do you like the idea of escaping Hell? Are you just using Him to feel better about yourself, feeling spiritually full? Or do you recognize the bread He offers as something much more profound?

Oh, child of God, do not mistake the generosity of Christ as a license to feel entitled. Do not lose the humility that should accompany the recognition that Jesus is the Son of God, Who has come to take away the sins of the world. Yes, we will receive blessing and, yes, we will escape eternal judgement, but our sole motivation for seeking Jesus should be a result of His greatest miracle, when He overcame sin and death so that we could have life abundant!

Chronological Bible Reading Plan: (Day 291:  John 6)

Grace and peace,

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

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, October 25th, 2012 at 1:00 am
Category John, Provision, Seeking First.
Interact No Comments
September 27th, 2011

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 Chron 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 daddy, at the age of sixteen, to Jehoahaz. For me personally, when I became a daddy 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
Executive Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, September 27th, 2011 at 1:00 am
Category Priorities, Pursuit, Seeking First.
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November 9th, 2007

Seeking First

Take a look at your priorities and assess your life. See where you are allocating your time and energy. One of Satan’s most effective tools to diffuse a believer’s focus is busyness. Your life becomes consumed with keeping too many plates spinning. Before you know it, you have over-committed and over-scheduled your life. Jesus has the answer.

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matt 6:33 (NIV)

Jesus offers a promise that is activated upon your obedience. To seek first the Kingdom of God is to align your life with God’s agenda. To seek first His Kingdom is to embrace God’s priorities. Jesus includes the pursuit of His righteousness. When a person is born again, that person receives the imputed righteousness of Christ. The believer’s position is that of being in Christ. In order to seek His righteousness, you allow the righteousness on the inside of you to be worked out. It is the process of working out what God has worked in.

Make it your priority to seek His Kingdom and His righteousness. All the other things that you need will be provided to you as well. Before seeking things, seek God’s agenda. Seek to love what He loves and to hate what He hates.

What has first place in your life? Who gets the most of you?

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Pastor of Leadership and Pastoral Care

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, November 9th, 2007 at 1:00 am
Category Seeking First.
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