Archive for the ‘Abiding in Christ’ Category

November 25th, 2015

The Proper Response to Rebuke

“‘Repent, therefore, of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that, if possible, the intent of your heart may be forgiven you. For I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity.’ And Simon answered, ‘Pray for me to the Lord, that nothing of what you have said may come upon me.’” Acts 8:22-24 (ESV)

Simon was a new believer. To this point in his life, he had been the envy of many men, drawing crowds to marvel at his magic. Yet, when he heard the message of Phillip, he was compelled by the gospel of Jesus Christ and repented. His repentance, though, did not make him perfect, for when he saw the power of Peter and John as they laid hands upon those who desired to receive the Holy Spirit, he desired the same type of power for himself. He wanted the same ability to impress a crowd as before, just with a different source of wonder. Peter immediately rebukes Simon’s attempt to buy their power and favor, suggesting that such a gift was only for the pure in heart. His words were true and direct, and Simon heard them and repented yet again.

Just because we have given our lives to Christ does not mean that we have already attained perfection. In fact, we must guard against the comforts of the flesh taking up root once again in our hearts. As believers, may we not look at Christianity as a new way to get the same things we have always wanted. Rather, let us see it for the gift it is and passionately pursue it for the sake of God’s glory rather than our own. Further, may we seek to have people in our lives to speak hard truth over us when we do begin to forsake the name of the Lord for our own.

Do you have someone in your life that can speak tough truth to you? Do you respond as Simon did here? Remember, the goal for us until Christ returns is progress; we seek perfection but only in as much as it is rooted in that of Jesus.

Grace and peace,

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

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, November 25th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Abiding in Christ, Accountability, Acts, Truth.
Interact No Comments
July 1st, 2015

Set Your Heart to Seek the Lord

“And he did evil, for he did not set his heart to seek the LORD.” 2 Chronicles 12:14 ESV

What an unfortunate legacy left by Solomon, who taught his children to seek their own good rather than the glory of God. As a result, his father’s kingdom was divided and his son turned his heart from the Lord, resulting in turmoil for Israel as God not so gently called them back to Himself.

Let us be warned by Rehoboam’s actions, though, for when you and I don’t set our hearts and affections toward the Lord, we have the tendency to fall back into actions that do not honor the Lord. Even one day in which we don’t place our heart on the altar of the Lord can allow in us a rebellious spirit that turns to old masters and old sins for fulfillment instead of turning to the Lord Almighty.

Paul writes in Colossians 3 that “if then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things on the earth” (Colossians 3:1-2 ESV). When we set our hearts to seek the Lord, we allow our joy to be fulfilled by Him alone, thereby enabling us to “put to death therefore what is earthly in (us)” (Colossians 3:5 ESV).

Rehoboam didn’t focus on heavenly things; rather, he focused on earthly gain. As a result, a nation was divided and people plundered by Egypt. He allowed his heart to turn to evil things because he lost his first love. What about you? What are you focusing on? Set your heart to seek the Lord. Taste and see that He is good!

Grace and peace,

Jared Richard
Pastor of Multiplication and Young Adults (Online Devotional Guest Author)
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/jaredrichard

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, July 1st, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category 2 Chronicles, Abiding in Christ, Avoiding Sin.
Interact No Comments
June 15th, 2015

God’s Will & Your Steps

“The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” Proverbs 16:9 (ESV)

You have a new day before you today. Wonderful opportunities to experience God await your arrival. This day is filled with many options for you to select and decisions for you to make. God has placed inside you a desire to live, a desire to grow, and a desire to know and do His will.

Obey what God has shown you. As you obey, He will show you the way. Be sensitive to His prompting as you navigate the day before you. Look to see where God is at work so that you can join Him.

  • “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV)
  • “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” Philippians 2:12-13 (ESV)

Remember that nothing can thwart God’s will. God has the power to make all things work together in conformity with His divine will. God has a plan for your life that is unique to your life, your personality, your gift mix, and your DNA. God created you so that He can establish your steps and accomplish His will.

God included you in His story of redemption. Make yourself completely available for God’s use today. He has blessed you so that you can be a blessing. Bloom where God plants you and make the most of every opportunity God gives you to spread the fragrance of Christ.

Riding HIS Wave,

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

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, June 15th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Abiding in Christ.
Interact No Comments
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.
Interact No Comments
December 17th, 2014

Focus on Abiding

“‘I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.’” John 15:5 (ESV)

God will never ask you to do anything without equipping you to do it. God has an assignment for you to complete during your time on earth. God’s assignment requires His empowerment. You cannot fulfill God’s agenda without God’s provision. God’s assignment for your life flows out of your abiding relationship with Christ. God’s command is not for you to bear fruit, but rather to focus your energy on abiding in Christ.

Your fruitfulness will be proportionate to your level of intimacy with Christ. Don’t bypass your love relationship with Christ in order to seek to bear fruit. Your passion is not to be channeled in the area of bearing fruit. As you stay connected to Christ and allow His energy, His strength, and His life to flow through you, you will bear much fruit.

Because He is the vine, you are fruitful. Jesus is the source! Stay connected to Him. Guard your love relationship with Him. Protect your daily walk with Christ. Don’t allow anything or anyone to rob your relationship with Him. Ensure that your abiding relationship with Christ gets your best and not your leftovers. Don’t give Jesus your crumbs. He deserves your passionate pursuit.

Are you connected? Are you abiding? You are the branch. Remain in Him and He will bear His fruit through you. Focus on abiding!

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, December 17th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Abiding in Christ, Decisions, Fruit.
Interact No Comments
October 17th, 2013

Fruitful Connection

“‘I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.’” John 15:5 (NIV)

God will never ask you to do anything without equipping you to do it. God has an assignment for you to complete during your time on earth. God’s assignment requires His empowerment. You cannot fulfill God’s agenda without God provision. God’s assignment for your life flows out of your abiding relationship with Christ. God’s command is not for you to bear fruit, but rather to focus your energy on abiding in Christ.

Your fruitfulness will be proportionate to your level of intimacy with Christ. Don’t bypass your love relationship with Christ in order to seek to bear fruit. Your passion is not to be channeled in the area of bearing fruit. As you stay connected to Christ and allow His energy, His strength, and His life to flow through you, you will bear much fruit.

Because He is the vine, you are fruitful. Jesus is the source! Stay connected to Him. Guard your love relationship with Him. Protect your daily walk with Christ. Don’t allow anything or anyone to rob your relationship with Him. Ensure that your abiding relationship with Christ gets your best and not your leftovers. Don’t give Jesus your crumbs. He deserves your passionate pursuit.

Are you connected? Are you abiding? You are the branch. Remain in Him and He will bear His fruit through you. Focus on abiding!

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, October 17th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Abiding in Christ, Connected, Fruit.
Interact No Comments
October 16th, 2013

Where’s the Fruit?

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV)

Which fruit is most lacking in your life? If patience is lacking, then God will often allow challenging circumstances to come into your life to develop that particular fruit of the Spirit in you. If there is a deficit of gentleness in your demeanor, then God will often engineer opportunities for that fruit of the Spirit to be expanded in your life.

God values you and the display of the fruit of His Spirit through you. Sometimes God will allow difficult people to come into your life in order to cultivate the fruit of the Spirit most neglected in your life. Learning how to love difficult people is a fertile environment for that particular fruit of the Spirit to be developed. Loving difficult people with the same love that God chooses to love you with does not come naturally. Loving difficult people necessitates a supernatural enabling that only comes through the Spirit filled life.

God will develop the fruit of His Spirit in you and through you as you yield to His control. Your flesh will battle to be placed in the display window of life. Therefore, you must choose to allow the Holy Spirit to take full possession of your life in order for His fruit to be displayed. The fruit of the Spirit is featured best in the midst of the trying circumstances you face and the difficult people you embrace.

Crucify the sinful nature (Gal. 5:24) and keep in step with the Spirit (Gal. 5:25). Allow God to develop the fruit of the Spirit in your life so that others will be drawn to Christ.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, October 16th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Abiding in Christ, Fruit of the Spirit, Surrender.
Interact No Comments
February 8th, 2013

Barriers of Busyness

“As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, ‘Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!’” Luke 10:38-40 (NIV)

Busyness is one of Satan’s most effective tools to fragment the life of a believer. We have places to go, things to do, and people to see. We are never finished! There are always more hills to conquer and mountains to climb. The opportunities to get swept up by the current of activity are endless. Busyness abounds!

It is possible to get so busy doing life and fulfilling expectations that you bypass meaningful communication with people. You can become so task oriented that you neglect the relationships that God sprinkles along your path. The most vital relationship that gets hindered by the culprit of busyness is our love relationship with Jesus.

Martha was exercising her gift of hospitality to benefit Jesus within her home. However, she got lost in her busyness and missed the opportunity to simply abide at Jesus’ feet. Martha thought the most important activity was extending hospitality. Yet, Jesus brought clarity to the confusion by affirming that Mary had chosen what was better (Luke 10:42).

What if we replaced busyness with abiding in Christ. Sometimes the most spiritual activity we can embrace is sitting at the feet of Jesus! It’s hard to sit at His feet when you are sprinting!

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, February 8th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Abiding in Christ, Busyness, Family.
Interact No Comments
November 25th, 2012

The Proper Response to Rebuke

“‘Repent, therefore, of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that, if possible, the intent of your heart may be forgiven you. For I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity.’ And Simon answered, ‘Pray for me to the Lord, that nothing of what you have said may come upon me.’” Acts 8:22-24 (ESV)

Simon was a new believer. To this point in his life, he had been the envy of many men, drawing crowds to marvel at his magic. Yet, when he heard the message of Phillip, he was compelled by the gospel of Jesus Christ and repented. His repentance, though, did not make him perfect, for when he saw the power of Peter and John as they laid hands upon those who desired to receive the Holy Spirit, he desired the same type of power for himself. He wanted the same ability to impress a crowd as before, just with a different source of wonder. Peter immediately rebukes Simon’s attempt to buy their power and favor, suggesting that such a gift was only for the pure in heart. His words were true and direct, and Simon heard them and repented yet again.

Just because we have given our lives to Christ does not mean that we have already attained perfection. In fact, we must guard against the comforts of the flesh taking up root once again in our hearts. As believers, may we not look at Christianity as a new way to get the same things we have always wanted. Rather, let us see it for the gift it is and passionately pursue it for the sake of God’s glory rather than our own. Further, may we seek to have people in our lives to speak hard truth over us when we do begin to forsake the name of the Lord for our own.

Do you have someone in your life that can speak tough truth to you? Do you respond as Simon did here? Remember, the goal for us until Christ returns is progress; we seek perfection but only in as much as it is rooted in that of Jesus.

Chronological Bible Reading Plan: (Day 322:  Acts 7-8)

Grace and peace,

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

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, November 25th, 2012 at 1:00 am
Category Abiding in Christ, Accountability, Acts, Truth.
Interact No Comments
July 1st, 2012

Set Your Heart to Seek the Lord

“And he did evil, for he did not set his heart to seek the LORD.” 2 Chronicles 12:14 ESV

What an unfortunate legacy left by Solomon, who taught his children to seek their own good rather than the glory of God. As a result, his father’s kingdom was divided and his son turned his heart from the Lord, resulting in turmoil for Israel as God not so gently called them back to Himself.

Let us be warned by Rehoboam’s actions, though, for when you and I don’t set our hearts and affections toward the Lord, we have the tendency to fall back into actions that do not honor the Lord. Even one day in which we don’t place our heart on the altar of the Lord can allow in us a rebellious spirit that turns to old masters and old sins for fulfillment instead of turning to the Lord Almighty.

Paul writes in Colossians 3 that “if then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things on the earth” (Colossians 3:1-2 ESV). When we set our hearts to seek the Lord, we allow our joy to be fulfilled by Him alone, thereby enabling us to “put to death therefore what is earthly in (us)” (Colossians 3:5 ESV).

Rehoboam didn’t focus on heavenly things; rather, he focused on earthly gain. As a result, a nation was divided and people plundered by Egypt. He allowed his heart to turn to evil things because he lost his first love. What about you? What are you focusing on? Set your heart to seek the Lord. Taste and see that He is good!

Chronological Bible Reading Plan: (Day 175:  2 Chronicles 10-12)

Grace and peace,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, July 1st, 2012 at 1:00 am
Category 2 Chronicles, Abiding in Christ, Avoiding Sin.
Interact No Comments