Archive for the ‘Perseverance’ Category

November 14th, 2015

Will You Endure?

“But the one who endures to the end will be saved.” Matthew 24:13 (ESV)

The world, indeed all of creation, is moving toward an end. There is a goal to creation and the Lord is working all things to bring about that desired end. That goal, of course, is His glory and every created thing is meant to reflect some divine attribute that displays more fully the glorious reality of our Lord. As the end draws near in which all things will once again glorify the Lord fully, there will be countless obstacles to the Christian’s participation in building God’s Kingdom, causing some to abandon ship as they decide the cost is not ultimately worth the reward. This abdication of Christian conviction and belief based on the circumstance of their time is a clear indication that these who have rejected the faith never truly had it at all.

The true believer, having been called from death to life, cannot commit spiritual suicide; rather, once he or she has tasted life they will cling to that life ultimately knowing that truly nothing else can satisfy them and that nothing this world offers has any meaning apart from its Creator. How could someone who truly met the Master reject Him? There are those, however, who have been converted in name only, never fully repenting of their sin and therefore never recognizing their great need for and provision from the work of Christ. These people should not make us fear that such apostasy is possible for the true convert but rather remind us of the difficulty of our task and the complete sufficiency of Christ in the midst of that difficulty.

Seek this morning to remember the gospel and your time of true repentance. Remember what Jesus has saved you from and how ultimately He will judge all of creation. Rest in that hope, enduring whatever comes your way, and be mindful of the future, remembering the need of those around you who will neither endure the tribulation to come nor the judgment thereafter.

Grace and peace,

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

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, November 14th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Matthew, Perseverance, Second-coming of Christ.
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February 15th, 2014

Adversity and Spiritual Maturity

“And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” James 1:4 (ESV)

Spiritual maturity may involve adversity.

The child of God is not exempt from adversity. Often, God will allow adversity to enter our journey in order to move us toward spiritual maturity. God expects us to grow spiritually. Mediocrity, lethargy, and apathy are foreign to the maturation process. God enables us to grow through seasons of uncertainty and through seasons of drought. We are reminded of our inadequacy and our total dependency upon God. God’s desire is for us to not lack anything. Trials produce the canvas upon which the providence of God is painted for our personal engagement.

  • “Until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” Eph. 4:13 (ESV)
  • “Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ Jesus, greets you, always struggling on your behalf in his prayers, that you may stand mature and fully assured in all the will of God.” Col. 4:12 (ESV)

Our response to adversity demonstrates our level of spiritual maturity. Our response to difficult circumstances can also propel our spiritual maturity to the next level. Here’s the bottom line: Are you becoming more like Jesus in the midst of the trials you face?

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, February 15th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Adversity, Perseverance, Spiritual Maturity.
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November 14th, 2012

Will You Endure?

“But the one who endures to the end will be saved.” Matthew 24:13 (ESV)

The world, indeed all of creation, is moving toward an end. There is a goal to creation and the Lord is working all things to bring about that desired end. That goal, of course, is His glory and every created thing is meant to reflect some divine attribute that displays more fully the glorious reality of our Lord. As the end draws near in which all things will once again glorify the Lord fully, there will be countless obstacles to the Christian’s participation in building God’s Kingdom, causing some to abandon ship as they decide the cost is not ultimately worth the reward. This abdication of Christian conviction and belief based on the circumstance of their time is a clear indication that these who have rejected the faith never truly had it at all.

The true believer, having been called from death to life, cannot commit spiritual suicide; rather, once he or she has tasted life they will cling to that life ultimately knowing that truly nothing else can satisfy them and that nothing this world offers has any meaning apart from its Creator. How could someone who truly met the Master reject Him? There are those, however, who have been converted in name only, never fully repenting of their sin and therefore never recognizing their great need for and provision from the work of Christ. These people should not make us fear that such apostasy is possible for the true convert but rather remind us of the difficulty of our task and the complete sufficiency of Christ in the midst of that difficulty.

Seek this morning to remember the gospel and your time of true repentance. Remember what Jesus has saved you from and how ultimately He will judge all of creation. Rest in that hope, enduring whatever comes your way, and be mindful of the future, remembering the need of those around you who will neither endure the tribulation to come nor the judgment thereafter.

Chronological Bible Reading Plan: (Day 311:  Matthew 24)

Grace and peace,

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

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, November 14th, 2012 at 1:00 am
Category Matthew, Perseverance, Second-coming of Christ.
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February 15th, 2010

Adversity and Spiritual Maturity

“Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:4 (NIV)

Spiritual maturity may involve adversity.

The child of God is not exempt from adversity. Often, God will allow adversity to enter our journey in order to move us toward spiritual maturity. God expects us to grow spiritually. Mediocrity, lethargy, and apathy are foreign to the maturation process. God enables us to grow through seasons of uncertainty and through seasons of drought. We are reminded of our inadequacy and our total dependency upon God. God’s desire is for us to not lack anything. Trials produce the canvas upon which the providence of God is painted for our personal engagement.

  • “…until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” Eph 4:13 (NIV)
  • “Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured.” Col 4:12 (NIV)

Our response to adversity demonstrates our level of spiritual maturity. Our response to difficult circumstances can also propel our spiritual maturity to the next level. Here’s the bottom line: Are you becoming more like Jesus in the midst of the trials you face?

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, February 15th, 2010 at 1:00 am
Category Adversity, Perseverance, Spiritual Maturity.
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October 11th, 2009

Keeping the Faith

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day–and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.” 2 Tim 4:7-8 (NIV)

This verse comes to life when you bury someone close to you. There’s something about funerals that remind us of the brevity of life and the reality of heaven. Maybe it causes us to move closer to the reality of our mortality. The pace of life on earth can sometimes numb our emotions and keep us from dealing with life beyond the grave. Seeing your loved one in a casket is a stark reminder that we are one breath away from eternity.

Paul was at the end of his life and wrote a final letter to his son in the ministry, Timothy. Paul had truly fought the good fight. Paul had finished the race and kept the faith. He finished strong! Paul reminded Timothy of the crown of righteousness that Jesus would be awarding at the finish line.

Think about your life. How are you doing? When you look into the review mirror of life, do you have any regrets? Remember, it’s not how you start; it’s how you finish that matters most! Fight the good fight of the faith. Yes! It is a fight because we are in a spiritual battle that has eternal implications.

  • “Timothy, my son, I give you this instruction in keeping with the prophecies once made about you, so that by following them you may fight the good fight, holding on to faith and a good conscience. Some have rejected these and so have shipwrecked their faith.” 1 Tim 1:18-19 (NIV)
  • “Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” 1 Tim 6:12 (NIV)

Your life has eternity written all over it. Finish strong!

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, October 11th, 2009 at 1:00 am
Category Faith, Paul, Perseverance.
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September 7th, 2009

Still Living By Faith

“All these people were still living by faith when they died.” Heb 11:13 (NIV)

It’s not how you start; it’s how you finish. Commit to finish well. When you study the Hall of Faith found in Hebrews chapter eleven, you will discover great men and women who chose to finish well. They were still living by faith when they died.

What are you giving your life to? Have you determined the focus of your life? Living by faith involves allowing Christ to live His life through you. Living by faith includes surrendering your life to God’s agenda. Yielding to the Lordship of Christ moment by moment validates the reality of living by faith.

  • “Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9 for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” 1 Peter 1:8-9 (NIV)
  • “Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.” 1 Peter 1:13 (NIV)

Determine to cross the finish line of this life living by faith. Don’t let anything or anyone deter you from living a life pleasing to God. Grow in your love relationship with the Lord so that your daily walk will give evidence to a life of faith. Trusting God with the details of your life requires activating your faith. Will you submit to God’s authority? Will you obey God’s Word and embrace His way?  Finish well by demonstrating a life of instant obedience.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, September 7th, 2009 at 1:00 am
Category Death, Faith, Perseverance.
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February 23rd, 2009

A Noble Heart

“‘But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.’” Luke 8:15 (NIV)

How well do you receive God’s Word? Your level of receptivity is a direct reflection of the condition of your heart. Your heart is the soil upon which the seed, God’s Word, is sown. As you hear, read, and feed on God’s Word, the seed is sown in your heart. If you have a noble and good heart, then the seed will take root in your life and produce a harvest.

It starts with your heart. Ask God to search your heart (Ps. 139:23). The light of His holiness will reveal the true condition of your heart. Does your heart resemble the hard path, or the rocky ground, or the thorn infused ground? You can become calloused toward the things of God. You can become distracted by the magnetic pull of worldliness and materialism. It is possible to choke out the Word of God by the worries of this life.

Purify your heart before the Lord. Remove the impurities that constrict the flow of the Holy Spirit in your life (Eph. 4:30). Take the initiative to purify your body, the Temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 6:19).

  • “Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.” 2 Cor 7:1 (NIV)
  • “Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” James 4:8 (NIV)

Keep your heart noble and good. Consistently intake God’s Word through hearing, reading, and feeding on God’s Word each day. Your level of receptivity will be evidenced through the level of productivity in the harvest.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, February 23rd, 2009 at 1:00 am
Category Obedience, Perseverance, Receptivity.
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August 12th, 2008

Finishing Strong

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day–and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.” 2 Tim 4:7-8 (NIV)

This verse comes to life when you bury someone close to you. There’s something about funerals that remind us of the brevity of life and the reality of heaven. Maybe it causes us to move closer to the reality of our mortality. The pace of life on earth can sometimes numb our emotions and keep us from dealing with life beyond the grave. Seeing your loved one in a casket is a stark reminder that we are one breath away from eternity.

Paul was at the end of his life and wrote a final letter to his son in the ministry, Timothy. Paul had truly fought the good fight. Paul had finished the race and kept the faith. He finished strong! Paul reminded Timothy of the crown of righteousness that Jesus would be awarding at the finish line.

Think about your life. How are you doing? When you look into the review mirror of life, do you have any regrets? Remember, it’s not how you start; it’s how you finish that matters most! Fight the good fight of the faith. Yes! It is a fight because we are in a spiritual battle that has eternal implications.

  • “Timothy, my son, I give you this instruction in keeping with the prophecies once made about you, so that by following them you may fight the good fight, holding on to faith and a good conscience. Some have rejected these and so have shipwrecked their faith.” 1 Tim 1:18-19 (NIV)
  • “Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” 1 Tim 6:12 (NIV)

Your life has eternity written all over it. Finish strong!

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, August 12th, 2008 at 1:00 am
Category Comfort, Faith, Perseverance.
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December 27th, 2007

Doing Life (1)

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4 (NIV)

My dad has had a life of trials. His parents were alcoholics and a few years into his marriage to my mom, he became an alcoholic. My mom and dad divorced when I was about seven. My dad spent most of his adult life in and out of prison and combating the ferocious enemy, alcohol. The last few years have been tranquil as he has aged.

Today, I took him to visit the nursing home he has picked out for his next place of residence in less than seven days. I met with the administrator and signed the paperwork. It’s hard to believe that at age thirty-eight, I would be helping my dad prepare for this type of transition. I think it has been a day of facing this trial and allowing God to test our faith and develop perseverance.

Walking with God for the past twenty-eight years, I have learned that God is serious about spiritual maturity. God uses all kinds of situations and circumstances in our lives to bring us into maturity. He does not want us to lack anything. God also allows us to experience trials in order to reveal His heart of compassion. God cares about you and everything you go through.

Doing life requires trusting in God’s provision. Doing life in a fallen world creates opportunities for us to experience joy in the midst of adversity. God’s character does not shift. He is the Rock. Consider your circumstances and then consider it pure joy. God is up to something special in your life.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Pastor of Leadership and Pastoral Care  

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, December 27th, 2007 at 1:00 am
Category Doing Life, Faith, Perseverance, Trials.
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