Archive for the ‘Selfless’ Category

July 21st, 2013

Reality of Hospitality

“When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home. ‘If you consider me a believer in the Lord,’ she said, ‘come and stay at my house.’ And she persuaded us.” Acts 16:15 (NIV)

Have you ever been to someone’s house and you felt right at home? After being there you experienced a special touch of love and encouragement. You left feeling better than when you arrived. Now that’s hospitality! When someone rolls out the red carpet on your behalf, you feel valued. You realize that they placed your needs before their own. Their conduct benefited your life and made you feel treasured.

After Lydia became a Christ follower, she extended gracious hospitality to Paul and his traveling companions. Lydia rolled out the red carpet to make them feel right at home. She sought to meet their needs and to provide an atmosphere where they could be refreshed. Her ministry of hospitality did not end there. God blessed Lydia’s hospitality and allowed her home to become the meeting place for the church at Philippi.

  • “After Paul and Silas came out of the prison, they went to Lydia’s house, where they met with the brothers and encouraged them. Then they left.” Acts 16:40 (NIV)
  • “Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.” Rom. 12:13 (NIV)

During Paul’s imprisonment in Rome, he wrote a beautiful love letter to the church at Philippi. You can read it now by opening the Bible and turning to the book of Philippians. God used Lydia to touch our lives even today through her willingness to be hospitable.

Choose to practice hospitality. Look for ways to place the needs of others before your own. Capture moments to demonstrate the value of others. Be hospitable!

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, July 21st, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Hospitality, Lydia, Selfless.
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July 21st, 2011

Reality of Hospitality

“When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home. ‘If you consider me a believer in the Lord,’ she said, ‘come and stay at my house.’ And she persuaded us.” Acts 16:15 (NIV)

Have you ever been to someone’s house and you felt right at home? After being there you experienced a special touch of love and encouragement. You left feeling better than when you arrived. Now that’s hospitality! When someone rolls out the red carpet on your behalf, you feel valued. You realize that they placed your needs before their own. Their conduct benefited your life and made you feel treasured.

After Lydia became a Christ follower, she extended gracious hospitality to Paul and his traveling companions. Lydia rolled out the red carpet to make them feel right at home. She sought to meet their needs and to provide an atmosphere where they could be refreshed. Her ministry of hospitality did not end there. God blessed Lydia’s hospitality and allowed her home to become the meeting place for the church at Philippi.

  • “After Paul and Silas came out of the prison, they went to Lydia’s house, where they met with the brothers and encouraged them. Then they left.” Acts 16:40 (NIV)
  • “Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.” Romans 12:13 (NIV)

During Paul’s imprisonment in Rome, he wrote a beautiful love letter to the church at Philippi. You can read it now by opening the Bible and turning to the book of Philippians. God used Lydia to touch our lives even today through her willingness to be hospitable.

Choose to practice hospitality. Look for ways to place the needs of others before your own. Capture moments to demonstrate the value of others. Be hospitable!

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, July 21st, 2011 at 1:00 am
Category Hospitality, Lydia, Selfless.
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July 17th, 2009

The People God Uses

God uses people who are selfless.

“Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up, ‘Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?’” John 6:8-9 (NIV)

The first question people ask during times of transition is, “How will this affect me?” If you have experienced the transition of a child moving onto a college campus, or taking on a new job assignment, or moving into a new neighborhood, or helping a loved one get acclimated to an assisted living center, you have probably have asked the question, “How will this affect me?” We are by nature self-centered and self-absorbed. Often we act as though the earth rotates around our axis. It is so easy to become self-consumed.

Maybe that’s why this encounter that Andrew had with a boy and his sack lunch means so much to me. Here’s a boy who places the needs of others before his own. Here’s a boy who has an aggressively developing appetite, yet selflessly gives up his lunch so that others can eat.

There is a valuable lesson for us to consider. It is not how much you have, but what you are willing to selflessly give in order to bless others. Jesus does not bless you based on what you have, but on how you give. Being selfish comes naturally. Being selfless is a result of walking in the Spirit. Being selfless is the product of an abiding relationship with Jesus. It is not about living the Christian life. It is about allowing Jesus to live His life in you and through you.

Maybe there is a better question for us to ask: “How will this affect Jesus?”

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 Friday, July 17th, 2009 at 1:00 am
Category People God Uses, Selfless.
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October 27th, 2008

Selfless and Sacrificial Love (1)

“When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.” Gen 3:6-7 (NIV)

Have you ever inherited anything? You may have inherited some furniture, jewelry, or money from a loved one who passed away. Perhaps you have not ever been in an official capacity to inherit earthly goods as of yet. There is one thing we have in common with every human being who has ever lived, who is currently alive, or who will be born. That one common thread is inheriting the sin nature from our relatives, Adam and Eve. That’s right! You can trace your family tree all the way back to Adam and Eve. We have inherited their sin nature.

Adam and Eve were both selfish and selfless. Eve selfishly put her way above God’s way by doubting God’s Word and succumbing to the serpent’s temptation. Eve was selfless in that she gave some of the forbidden fruit to her husband, Adam. Adam was selfish in that he also disobeyed God’s instruction and placed his own personal desire above God’s instruction. In their fallen state, they did exhibit selflessness in sowing fig leaves together and making coverings for themselves. Actually, they were trying to cover up their sin.

Why do we do the things we do? Why do we willfully walk through doors we should not enter and cross bridges we should not cross? Why do we operate in the cycle of selfishness? It all goes back to the Garden of Eden. We are simply feeding the sin nature that we inherited.

Hope is on the way!

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, October 27th, 2008 at 1:00 am
Category Adam, Eve, Love, Sacrificial Love, Selfless, Selfless Love.
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July 4th, 2008

God’s Perspective (4)

“If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself,’ you are doing right.” James 2:8 (NIV)

We are by nature self-absorbed, self-centered, and self-focused. When anything happens around us our first question is: How will this affect me? In many ways, we act as though the earth really does rotate around us. The reality of our fallen nature pops up from time to time like a ground hog trying to catch a glimpse of daylight.

Jesus acknowledges the presence of our self-love. We truly love ourselves. As one of my colleagues would often say, “Sometimes you just have to be good to yourself!” We have no problem being good to ourselves do we? We value comfort. We value pleasure. We value looking good and feeling good and sleeping good.

As we begin viewing others from God’s perspective, we will begin to value others the way God values them. The resulting choice will be to love others as we love ourselves. In other words, we will begin to treat others the way we want to be treated. We will love others with the same kind of love that we desire to receive.

James identifies that we are doing right when we love others as we love ourselves. Longing to do right is not enough. Putting our faith in action by loving others brings honor to God.

Do you love others as much as you love yourself? Ouch! That’s a painful question.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, July 4th, 2008 at 1:00 am
Category God's Perspective, Love, Selfless, Selflessness.
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December 13th, 2007

The People God Uses (3)

God uses people who are selfless.

“Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up, ‘Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?’” John 6:8-9 (NIV)

The first question people ask during times of transition is, “How will this affect me?” If you have experienced the transition of a child moving onto a college campus, or taking on a new job assignment, or moving into a new neighborhood, or helping a loved one get acclimated to an assisted living center, you have probably have asked the question, “How will this affect me?” We are by nature self-centered and self-absorbed. Often we act as though the earth rotates around our axis. It is so easy to become self-consumed.

Maybe that’s why this encounter that Andrew had with a boy and his sack lunch means so much to me. Here’s a boy who places the needs of others before his own. Here’s a boy who has an aggressively developing appetite, yet selflessly gives up his lunch so that others can eat.

There is a valuable lesson for us to consider. It is not how much you have, but what you are willing to selflessly give in order to bless others. Jesus does not bless you based on what you have, but on how you give. Being selfish comes naturally. Being selfless is a result of walking in the Spirit. Being selfless is the product of an abiding relationship with Jesus. It is not about living the Christian life. It is about allowing Jesus to live His life in you and through you.

Maybe there is a better question for us to ask: “How will this affect Jesus?”

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell,
Pastor of Leadership and Pastoral Care

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, December 13th, 2007 at 1:00 am
Category People God Uses, Selfless.
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