Archive for the ‘Christmas’ Category

December 25th, 2013

Miracle in the Manger

“While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.” Luke 2:6-7 (NIV)

What does Christmas mean to you? What will you experience on this special day? Perhaps this will be a busy day for you as you make your rounds to connect with family. Or maybe for you it is a quiet day with minimal activity. Whether the pace is intense or tranquil, there is a miracle in the manger.

When you contemplate the vastness of God’s love, you have to consider the decision God made to take on human form and to dwell among us. Mary wrapped the Son of God in cloths and placed Him in a manger. Can you imagine the Creator of the universe being place in a feeding trough? The One who could have created a castle for that moment, chose to be placed in a manger.

The miracle of the manger is that God chose to come to our rescue. God was willing to become like us so that we could become like Him. God orchestrated our reconciliation. Our transformation was initiated and implemented by God and for God.

Will you make room for Jesus in your life? Will you allow Him to be evident in your life as your Savior and Lord? He saved you so that you can present the miracle of the manger to those who are not yet connected to Christ. Jesus provided the miracle of your transformation so that you can join Him in providing that miracle to a dark and decaying world.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, December 25th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Christmas, Jesus, Miracle.
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December 24th, 2013

Motivation for Celebration

“And Mary said: ‘My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me–holy is his name.’” Luke 1:46-49 (NIV)

Life moves so quickly that it is sometimes a challenge to slow down long enough to count our blessings. God has lavished us with His love and unleashed His bounty of blessings in our lives. We are so fortunate to be alive and reconciled to God through Christ. Our new identity in Christ is eternally secure. We have instant access to the throne room of God through prayer. The Holy Spirit is living inside of us and Jesus is at the right hand of the Father interceding for us. We have been given every spiritual blessing in Christ. Jesus has given us eternal life and life to the full.

Mary was so overwhelmed by the favor of God in being chosen to bear the Son of God. She celebrated God’s faithfulness by glorifying the Lord and rejoicing in God as her Savior. Mary affirmed God’s attentiveness to her humble state and praised God for the blessings He bestowed upon her. With deep gratitude, Mary expressed her appreciation to God through song. She acknowledged the great things the Mighty One had done for her.

Have you had that kind of experience where you began singing praise to God for all that He has done for you? You may want to carve out a few moments to write or type a response of praise to God for all that He has done for you. Express your gratitude to God for His faithfulness in your life. He will continue to see you through. Remember, you are the apple of His eye!

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, December 24th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Celebration, Christmas, Mary.
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December 23rd, 2013

Fully Yielded

“‘I am the Lord’s servant,’ Mary answered. ‘May it be to me as you have said.’ Then the angel left her.” Luke 1:38 (NIV)

Why did God choose Mary to give birth to the Son of God? In His perfect wisdom, God chose Mary because He knew she would willingly make herself available for His use. Mary affirmed her availability by saying, “I am the Lord’s servant.” She honored God by her posture of availability and humility. She demonstrated such a beautiful portrait of being receptive and responsive to God’s will. Mary declared, “May it be to me as you have said.” In other words, she was acknowledging that she belonged to God for His glory.

God uses people who are available. What is your level of availability for God’s use? Often our lives become so cluttered and overextended, that there’s little room for availability. Can you relate? God wants to use you. God is more concerned about your availability than your ability. In humility, make yourself available for God’s use. Remember that you were made by God to accomplish His plan. God’s plan includes you and your willingness to be His instrument.

What needs to change in your life? Surrender everything in your life to the Lord’s control. Give Him free reign in your life. Make the necessary adjustments in your daily schedule to make room for God. Embrace a posture of humility to allow God to have His way in your life. Be receptive to God’s agenda and respond to God’s invitation to join Him. He loves you so much.

Your availability matters to God. Would you be willing to say, “Lord, I’m Yours?”

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, December 23rd, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Christmas, Mary, Surrender.
Interact No Comments
December 22nd, 2013

Favor with God

“But the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus.’” Luke 1:30-31 (NIV)

God chooses ordinary people to accomplish the extraordinary. Mary was just a teenager when she encountered the angel of the Lord. You can imagine the fear that gripped her when she had this special visitation. The angel comforted Mary and assured her that she had found favor with God. Then he announced that she would be with child and give birth to a son. Mary was instructed that she was to give him the name Jesus.

Her response was very practical. Mary wanted to know how this could possibly be a reality since she was a virgin. She was thinking in practical and human terms. This conception would not be possible without the God factor.

When you factor in the work of God and the will of God, you come to recognize that nothing is impossible with God. The angel let Mary know that the Holy Spirit would come upon her (Luke 1:35). Mary was soon found to be with child through the Holy Spirit (Matt. 1:18).

What is the God factor? The activity of God through ordinary people to accomplish the extraordinary is the God factor. God will accomplish His will in His timing regardless of the obstacles that seem to surface. God is not limited by our limitations. God is not stifled by our deficiencies. God’s agenda will prevail. Will you participate with God in His activity? Are you willing to consider the God factor when assessing your current circumstances?

Don’t underestimate the power of God. There is nothing beyond God’s reach and there is nothing impossible with God.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, December 22nd, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Christmas, Favor, Mary.
Interact No Comments
December 21st, 2013

Anticipation of the Gift

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 (NIV)

Travel down memory lane with me for a moment. Think about your Christmas experiences as a child. What do you remember as the most meaningful gift you received? Can you still feel the excitement of the anticipation of the gift? That experience is locked in your memory because it was special to you.

The ultimate gift in this life is the gift of eternal life. There is no greater gift and there is no greater demonstration of God’s love. The moment you recognized your sin and accepted God’s provision for your forgiveness through your faith in Jesus, you received the ultimate gift. Let me ask you a question. Do you know that God is for you?

  • “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Rom. 5:8 (NIV)
  • “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Rom. 6:23 (NIV)

Consider the individuals currently in your sphere of influence. Have they received the ultimate gift? Have you shared your salvation story with them? Are you willing to be used of God to make Jesus known to those God places in your path? God still uses human instrumentality in the redemptive process. Once you have received the ultimate gift, you can share that gift with others.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, December 21st, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Christmas, Gift, John 3:16.
Interact No Comments
December 25th, 2011

Miracle in the Manger

“While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.” Luke 2:6-7 (NIV)

What does Christmas mean to you? What will you experience on this special day? Perhaps this will be a busy day for you as you make your rounds to connect with family. Or maybe for you it is a quiet day with minimal activity. Whether the pace is intense or tranquil, there is a miracle in the manger.

When you contemplate the vastness of God’s love, you have to consider the decision God made to take on human form and to dwell among us. Mary wrapped the Son of God in cloths and placed Him in a manger. Can you imagine the Creator of the universe being place in a feeding trough? The One who could have created a castle for that moment, chose to be placed in a manger.

The miracle of the manger is that God chose to come to our rescue. God was willing to become like us so that we could become like Him. God orchestrated our reconciliation. Our transformation was initiated and implemented by God and for God.

Will you make room for Jesus in your life? Will you allow Him to be evident in your life as your Savior and Lord? He saved you so that you can present the miracle of the manger to those who are not yet connected to Christ. Jesus provided the miracle of your transformation so that you can join Him in providing that miracle to a dark and decaying world.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, December 25th, 2011 at 1:00 am
Category Christmas, Jesus, Miracle.
Interact No Comments
December 24th, 2011

Motivation for Celebration

“And Mary said: ‘My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me–holy is his name.’” Luke 1:46-49 (NIV)

Life moves so quickly that it is sometimes a challenge to slow down long enough to count our blessings. God has lavished us with His love and unleashed His bounty of blessings in our lives. We are so fortunate to be alive and reconciled to God through Christ. Our new identity in Christ is eternally secure. We have instant access to the throne room of God through prayer. The Holy Spirit is living inside of us and Jesus is at the right hand of the Father interceding for us. We have been given every spiritual blessing in Christ. Jesus has given us eternal life and life to the full.

Mary was so overwhelmed by the favor of God in being chosen to bear the Son of God. She celebrated God’s faithfulness by glorifying the Lord and rejoicing in God as her Savior. Mary affirmed God’s attentiveness to her humble state and praised God for the blessings He bestowed upon her. With deep gratitude, Mary expressed her appreciation to God through song. She acknowledged the great things the Mighty One had done for her.

Have you had that kind of experience where you began singing praise to God for all that He has done for you? You may want to carve out a few moments to write or type a response of praise to God for all that He has done for you. Express your gratitude to God for His faithfulness in your life. He will continue to see you through. Remember, you are the apple of His eye!

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, December 24th, 2011 at 1:00 am
Category Celebration, Christmas, Mary.
Interact No Comments
December 23rd, 2011

Fully Yielded

“‘I am the Lord’s servant,’ Mary answered. ‘May it be to me as you have said.’ Then the angel left her.” Luke 1:38 (NIV)

Why did God choose Mary to give birth to the Son of God? In His perfect wisdom, God chose Mary because He knew she would willingly make herself available for His use. Mary affirmed her availability by saying, “I am the Lord’s servant.” She honored God by her posture of availability and humility. She demonstrated such a beautiful portrait of being receptive and responsive to God’s will. Mary declared, “May it be to me as you have said.” In other words, she was acknowledging that she belonged to God for His glory.

God uses people who are available. What is your level of availability for God’s use? Often our lives become so cluttered and overextended, that there’s little room for availability. Can you relate? God wants to use you. God is more concerned about your availability than your ability. In humility, make yourself available for God’s use. Remember that you were made by God to accomplish His plan. God’s plan includes you and your willingness to be His instrument.

What needs to change in your life? Surrender everything in your life to the Lord’s control. Give Him free reign in your life. Make the necessary adjustments in your daily schedule to make room for God. Embrace a posture of humility to allow God to have His way in your life. Be receptive to God’s agenda and respond to God’s invitation to join Him. He loves you so much.

Your availability matters to God. Would you be willing to say, “Lord, I’m Yours?”

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, December 23rd, 2011 at 1:00 am
Category Christmas, Mary, Surrender.
Interact No Comments
December 22nd, 2011

Favor with God

“But the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus.’” Luke 1:30-31 (NIV)

God chooses ordinary people to accomplish the extraordinary. Mary was just a teenager when she encountered the angel of the Lord. You can imagine the fear that gripped her when she had this special visitation. The angel comforted Mary and assured her that she had found favor with God. Then he announced that she would be with child and give birth to a son. Mary was instructed that she was to give him the name Jesus.

Her response was very practical. Mary wanted to know how this could possibly be a reality since she was a virgin. She was thinking in practical and human terms. This conception would not be possible without the God factor.

When you factor in the work of God and the will of God, you come to recognize that nothing is impossible with God. The angel let Mary know that the Holy Spirit would come upon her (Luke 1:35). Mary was soon found to be with child through the Holy Spirit (Mt. 1:18).

What is the God factor? The activity of God through ordinary people to accomplish the extraordinary is the God factor. God will accomplish His will in His timing regardless of the obstacles that seem to surface. God is not limited by our limitations. God is not stifled by our deficiencies. God’s agenda will prevail. Will you participate with God in His activity? Are you willing to consider the God factor when assessing your current circumstances?

Don’t underestimate the power of God. There is nothing beyond God’s reach and there is nothing impossible with God.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, December 22nd, 2011 at 1:00 am
Category Christmas, Favor, Mary.
Interact No Comments
December 21st, 2011

Anticipation of the Gift

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 (NIV)

Travel down memory lane with me for a moment. Think about your Christmas experiences as a child. What do you remember as the most meaningful gift you received? Can you still feel the excitement of the anticipation of the gift? That experience is locked in your memory because it was special to you.

The ultimate gift in this life is the gift of eternal life. There is no greater gift and there is no greater demonstration of God’s love. The moment you recognized your sin and accepted God’s provision for your forgiveness through your faith in Jesus, you received the ultimate gift. Let me ask you a question. Do you know that God is for you?

  • “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8 (NIV)
  • “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23 (NIV)

Consider the individuals currently in your sphere of influence. Have they received the ultimate gift? Have you shared your salvation story with them? Are you willing to be used of God to make Jesus known to those God places in your path? God still uses human instrumentality in the redemptive process. Once you have received the ultimate gift, you can share that gift with others.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, December 21st, 2011 at 1:00 am
Category Christmas, Gift, John 3:16.
Interact No Comments