Archive for the ‘Christ-Centered Living’ Category

November 15th, 2013

Exemplify

“Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 11:1 (NIV)

The Apostle Paul was so passionate in his love relationship with Jesus that he could exhort the church of Corinth to follow his example. By following his example, they would be following the example of Christ because Paul was in alignment with the example of Christ. If others followed your example, would they be following the example of Christ?

  • “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.” 1 Tim. 4:12 (NIV)
  • “To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.” 1 Pet. 2:21 (NIV)

Exemplify Christ. Spend time reading through the Gospels to learn how Jesus allocated His time. Focus on the interactions Jesus had with others and notice how He treated them. Seek to ascertain what Jesus valued by examining His lifestyle. You can also detect how Jesus responded to opposition and how He stayed on mission with God.

The goal of the Christian life is to be Christlike. Exemplify Christ by doing what Jesus did. Seek to continue the ministry of Jesus on the earth. Allow Jesus to live His life through you to impact others. Ask yourself, “Am I living in such a way that those who don’t know the Lord will be drawn to Him?”

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, November 15th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Christ-Centered Living, Consistency, Example.
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November 15th, 2011

Exemplify

“Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” 1 Cor 11:1 (NIV)

One of my mentors is the pastor of First Baptist Church of Woodstock, Dr. Johnny Hunt. He often says, “The people in your community may not read the Bible, but they will read the gospel according to your life.” That statement connects with me on a deep level. It makes me contemplate what others see when they view my life. Am I living in such a way that those who don’t know the Lord will be drawn to Him?

The Apostle Paul was so passionate in his love relationship with Jesus that he could exhort the church of Corinth to follow his example. By following his example, they would be following the example of Christ because Paul was in alignment with the example of Christ. If others followed your example, would they be following the example of Christ?

  • “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.” 1 Tim 4:12 (NIV)
  • “To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.” 1 Peter 2:21 (NIV)

Exemplify Christ. Spend time reading through the Gospels to learn how Jesus allocated His time. Focus on the interactions Jesus had with others and notice how He treated them. Seek to ascertain what Jesus valued by examining His lifestyle. You can also detect how Jesus responded to opposition and how He stayed on mission with God.

The goal of the Christian life is to be Christlike. Exemplify Christ by doing what Jesus did. Seek to continue the ministry of Jesus on the earth. Allow Jesus to live His life through you to impact others.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, November 15th, 2011 at 1:00 am
Category Christ-Centered Living, Consistency, Example.
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July 22nd, 2009

Peacemaking

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.” Matt 5:9 (NIV)

The Bible opens with peace in the Garden of Eden and was interrupted when man sinned. Jesus made peace a reality again by sacrificing His life upon the cross to destroy the penalty of sin and death. In eternity, peace will be fully restored. As long as there is the presence of sin upon the earth, peace will be challenged.

Christ-centered living involves peacemaking. As a follower of Christ, you have the privilege and responsibility to be a peacemaker. Being a peacemaker is the result of a holy life and the willingness to confront the culture with the claims of Christ. Peacemaking is not the art of being passive and tolerating willful disobedience. Peacemaking is not accommodating ungodly behavior. To be a peacemaker is to build bridges to broken and sinful people in order to show them the love of Christ and the way of Christ.

God raised up Nathan to confront King David concerning his sinful indulgence with Bathsheba. Nathan announced to David, “You are the man!” As a result, David repented and wrote Psalm 51. Nathan was a peacemaker in that he built a bridge to David in order to help David make peace with God.

You have to be willing to get close enough to people to impact their lives. Sometimes that means looking beyond yourself and your circle in order to be used of God to be a peacemaker. Paul reminded the believers in Corinth to be bridge-builders when he wrote,  “All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation”(2 Cor 5:18-19 NIV). You have been given the message. You have everything you need to obey God’s call.

Are you at peace with God? Are you at peace with others? Will you help others make peace with God? Will you help others make peace with others? Remember, we are just fellow beggars who have found bread…the Bread of Life.

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 Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009 at 1:00 am
Category Christ-Centered Living, Peacemaking.
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July 21st, 2009

Brokenness

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” Matt 5:4 (NIV)

Are you constantly broken over your sinfulness? Christ-centered living involves brokenness. In the language of the New Testament, there are nine different words used to describe sorrow. The Greek word Jesus uses here is the strongest of the nine. This level of mourning is equated with grieving over the death of a loved one. Mourning over your sin is a prerequisite for receiving comfort. Brokenness over sin leads to confession of sin which leads to forgiveness of sin. Thus, brokenness precedes blessing.

One cannot come into the Kingdom of God without being broken over sin. Without true repentance, there is no salvation. Once a person becomes a child of God, he or she must be continually broken over his or her sinfulness. We must love what God loves and hate what God hates. Those who are continually mourning will be continually comforted by God. 

  • “For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are proved right when you speak and justified when you judge.” Psalms 51:3-4 (NIV)
  • “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.” 2 Cor 7:10 (NIV)

Step 1: Demonstrate godly sorrow for your sin.

Step 2: Confess and repent of your sin.

Step 3: Receive God’s forgiveness and comfort. 

Don’t ever get numb towards sin. Allow God to keep you sensitive to sin. Sin should break your heart just like it breaks the heart of God. Now walk in the freedom you have in Christ. 

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 Tuesday, July 21st, 2009 at 1:00 am
Category Broken, Christ-Centered Living.
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July 20th, 2009

Christ-Centered Humility

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matt 5:3 (NIV)

Christ-centered living involves humility. Recognizing your spiritual bankruptcy apart from God is imperative for the follower of Christ. You cannot come into the Kingdom of God without acknowledging your utter hopelessness outside of God’s provision. To be poor in spirit is to identify your true condition of lostness and separation from God apart from His divine initiative of salvation. In other words, don’t ever lose sight of where you would be had God not come to your rescue in Christ.

To be poor in spirit is to continually recognize your dependency upon God. It is embracing the attitude opposite of self-sufficiency. Our culture rewards those who come across as independent and self-sufficient. In God’s Kingdom economy, He rewards those who place their sufficiency in Christ. Operating in daily dependency upon God is a true mark of the Christ-centered life.

As Rick Warren says, “Humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.” The standard that Jesus raises in the Beatitudes is that of being selfless. That attitude does not come naturally. To be selfless is to place the needs of others before your own. Selflessness is a fruit of Christ-centered living.

  • “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” Eph 4:2 (NIV)
  • “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” James 4:10 (NIV)

Center your life on Christ and embrace His way of living the victorious life.

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 Monday, July 20th, 2009 at 8:52 am
Category Bankrupt, Christ-Centered Living, Humility.
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January 15th, 2008

Christ-Centered Living (8)

“Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matt 5:10 (NIV)

It has been estimated that as many as 160,000 Christians are martyred each year worldwide. Godliness generates hostility. To live for Christ is to live in constant opposition to Satan and his crafty agenda to undermine God’s agenda. You cannot wholeheartedly follow Christ and never anticipate opposition. If you are a threat to Satan, then you can expect to encounter persecution at some level. Christ-centered living involves being persecuted.

You may not face martyrdom as a result of your Christianity. But, you may be harassed for your faith in Christ in a culture that is anti-God and anti-Christian. Our culture is not Christ-centered and thus as a child of God, you will never be completely accepted and understood.

The level of persecution for you may be that of trying to live out your faith in a home environment that does not honor Christ. Maybe for you it is a work environment that tempts you to compromise your convictions. Persecution may come in the form of an unhealthy relationship that stretches your faith and pushes your patience to the limit.

Jesus says that you can be blessed in the midst of the persecution. You can know His abiding peace even in the darkest places and most difficult situations. Jesus promises to give you the ultimate relief from persecution by allowing you to experience the abundant life His gives on earth and eternal life in heaven. It is a win-win situation.

Jesus gives us His perspective on persecution. “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you”(Matt 5:11-12 NIV).

There’s no one who can comfort you more than Jesus. He knows persecution first hand.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Pastor of Leadership and Pastoral Care

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, January 15th, 2008 at 1:00 am
Category Christ-Centered Living, Persecution.
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January 14th, 2008

Christ-Centered Living (7)

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.” Matt 5:9 (NIV)

The Bible opens with peace in the Garden of Eden and was interrupted when man sinned. Jesus made peace a reality again by sacrificing His life upon the cross to destroy the penalty of sin and death. In eternity, peace will be fully restored. As long as there is the presence of sin upon the earth, peace will be challenged.

Christ-centered living involves peacemaking. As a follower of Christ, you have the privilege and responsibility to be a peacemaker. Being a peacemaker is the result of a holy life and the willingness to confront the culture with the claims of Christ. Peacemaking is not the art of being passive and tolerating willful disobedience. Peacemaking is not accommodating ungodly behavior. To be a peacemaker is to build bridges to broken and sinful people in order to show them the love of Christ and the way of Christ.

God raised up Nathan to confront King David concerning his sinful indulgence with Bathsheba. Nathan announced to David, “You are the man!” As a result, David repented and wrote Psalm 51. Nathan was a peacemaker in that he built a bridge to David in order to help David make peace with God.

You have to be willing to get close enough to people to impact their lives. Sometimes that means looking beyond yourself and your circle in order to be used of God to be a peacemaker. Paul reminded the believers in Corinth to be bridge-builders when he wrote,  “All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation”(2 Cor 5:18-19 NIV). You have been given the message. You have everything you need to obey God’s call.

Are you at peace with God? Are you at peace with others? Will you help others make peace with God? Will you help others make peace with others? Remember, we are just fellow beggars who have found bread…the Bread of Life.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Pastor of Leadership and Pastoral Care

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, January 14th, 2008 at 1:00 am
Category Christ-Centered Living, Peacemaking.
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January 13th, 2008

Christ-Centered Living (6)

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” Matt 5:8 (NIV)

Christ-centered living involves purity. God’s standard of perfection is Christ. The purity of Christ is the bull’s-eye for the believer. To be pure in heart is to be right with God. You cannot have a right relationship with God without having a relationship with others. You cannot have a right relationship with others without having a right relationship with God.

Purity is impossible without the righteousness of Christ being imparted. The impartation and imputation of the righteousness of Christ takes place at the moment of conversion.

  • “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.” Eph 1:7-8 (NIV)
  • “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God– 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.” Eph 2:8-9 (NIV)
  • “In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires.” Romans 6:11-12 (NIV)

The righteousness of Christ is a grace gift from God. God is holy and demands His followers to be holy. Live in light of your position in Christ. Pursue holiness in private and in public. Stay in God’s will by staying in God’s Word.

“But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.” 1 Tim 6:11 (NIV)

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Pastor of Leadership and Pastoral Care

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, January 13th, 2008 at 1:00 am
Category Christ-Centered Living, Purity.
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January 12th, 2008

Christ-Centered Living (5)

“Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” Matt 5:7 (NIV)

Christ-centered living involves being merciful. Has the Lord been merciful to you? Capture a snapshot of what shape you would be in right now had you not been a personal recipient of God’s mercy. God is not asking you to do anything He has not already done for you.

  • “But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions–it is by grace you have been saved.” Eph 2:4-5 (NIV)
  • “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Heb 4:16 (NIV)

You need God’s mercy for salvation and in sanctification. You need God’s mercy day by day in order to live the Christ-centered life. His mercy is both inward and outward. You receive God’s mercy inwardly and express God’s mercy outwardly.

Sing with me, “Mercy there was great and grace was free; pardon there was multiplied to me; there my burdened soul found liberty, at Calvary.” God, in His mercy, did not give you what you deserved. God placed on Jesus the iniquity of us all. Shouldn’t that transform how you view others? Shouldn’t your treatment of others flow out of the mercy you have received from God? 

The most merciful act you will ever employ is sharing the Good News of Jesus with others.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Pastor of Leadership and Pastoral Care

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, January 12th, 2008 at 1:00 am
Category Christ-Centered Living, Mercy.
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January 11th, 2008

Christ-Centered Living (4)

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” Matt 5:6 (NIV)

Christ-centered living involves holy ambition. There is nothing more appealing to a starving person than food. For the follower of Christ, the spiritual appetite is a craving for righteousness. At salvation, you receive the righteousness of Christ and a resulting passion for righteous living.

  • “This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” Romans 3:22-24 (NIV)
  • “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Cor 5:21 (NIV)
  • “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God.” Psalms 42:1 (NIV)

As you seek the Lord and His righteousness, He satisfies your soul. You cannot pursue worldliness and godliness at the same time. The paths are in opposition. To grow in Christ likeness is to daily pursue Jesus and His agenda for your life. Continual prayer and consistent intake of God’s Word will feed your passion for His righteousness.

Remember, whatever you feed grows; whatever you starve dies.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Pastor of Leadership and Pastoral Care

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, January 11th, 2008 at 1:00 am
Category Christ-Centered Living, Holy Ambition, Hunger, Maturing, Righteousness, Thirst.
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