Archive for the ‘Purity’ Category

November 26th, 2015

What God Has Made Clean

“And there came a voice to him: ‘Rise, Peter; kill and eat.’ But Peter said, ‘By no means, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean.’ And the voice came to him again a second time, ‘What God has made clean, do not call common.’” Acts 10:13-15 (ESV)

Is there a more glorious statement in all the New Testament than that spoken by the Lord to Peter in Acts 10? As Peter responds out of a sincere religious devotion regarding that which is regarded as ritually unclean, the Lord responds with a new vision of ritual purity. No longer is our cleanliness concerned with exterior things polluting us in the interior; rather,  now our purity is seen from the inside out. The Lord through the sacrifice of Christ now can proclaim us clean, not from any ritual effort of our own but precisely because of the sufficient work of Jesus!

This is good news. We don’t have to pick and choose what we eat nor which livestock to sacrifice, for the completed ministry of Christ has given us the opportunity, once seen as unclean, to now be proclaimed clean! We can have fellowship with the Lord. We can be free from a future of wrath and judgment. We can have abundant life both here and for all of eternity all because God has proclaimed us clean.

Now there are some, perhaps, that still want to proclaim you as unclean, whether because of some Pharisaical pride or the inability to see past your past. Remember, though, that they do not have the final say. If you have repented of your sin and submitted your life to the Lordship of Christ, your past no longer defines you nor does your lineage, for the gospel is sufficient for all! Give thanks today, dear friend, that you have been made clean!

Grace and peace,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, November 26th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Acts, Purity, Ritual Purity.
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August 12th, 2015

Contagious Conduct

“In the eighth year of his reign, while he was still young, he began to seek the God of his father David. In his twelfth year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem of high places, Asherah poles, carved idols and cast images.” 2 Chron 34:3 (ESV)

What caused Josiah, at the age of sixteen, to begin to seek God? When you look at his family tree, you find that both his father, Amon, and his grandfather, Manasseh, did evil in the eyes of the Lord. It is obvious that Josiah did not receive his spiritual heritage from them. When you look into the life of his great-grandfather, Hezekiah, you find a much different portrait.

  • “Hezekiah was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem twenty-nine years. His mother’s name was Abijah daughter of Zechariah. He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, just as his father David had done.” 2 Chron 29:1-2 (NIV)

I wonder if Josiah was influenced by the godly life that his great-grandfather, Hezekiah, lived. Another possibility is that Josiah began to seek God when he became a daddy, at the age of sixteen, to Jehoahaz. For me personally, when I became a dad my understanding of God’s love and my pursuit of God intensified. There’s something about seeing your own flesh and blood and embracing the awesome responsibility of parenthood that draws you to God. You recognize your dependency upon God.

Regardless of your age or life stage, assess your level of thirst for God? Are you passionately seeking God daily and allowing Him to have full access to your mind, emotions, and will? Is there anything or anyone you desire more than you desire God? I have discovered in my walk with God, whatever you feed grows and whatever you starve dies.

Riding HIS Wave,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor

Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, August 12th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category 2 Chronicles, Josiah, Purity.
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February 25th, 2015

Separate Yourself

“‘Thus you shall keep the people of Israel separate from their uncleanness, lest they die in their uncleanness by defiling my tabernacle that is in their midst.’” Leviticus 15:31 (ESV)

Sin is an intruder. Sin disrupts fellowship with God, sin erodes peace with God, and sin inhibits the will of God. God is holy, righteous, and pure. We are selfish, sinful, and separated from God until we have a life changing experiencing by placing our trust in the completed work of Jesus on the cross. Once we come to faith in Jesus Christ, we are to embrace a lifestyle of moral purity and be set apart unto the Lord’s work. In Christ, our life is reoriented to the will of God and to the ways of God.

  • “Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully.” Psalm 24:3-4 (ESV)
  • “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.” Romans 13:14 (ESV)

God instructed Moses and Aaron to prevent defiling the tabernacle in their midst. God gave them specific instructions related to how to deal with uncleanness within the camp. God values purity and order. He required that His people abide by the rules and regulations He established in order to enjoy His abiding presence. God gave detailed instructions on how to deal with leprosy, mildew, and intimate marital relations. Cleanliness, purification, and holiness are features that God demands.

Is there anything in your life that disrupts your fellowship with God? Confess known sin and embrace a lifestyle of moral purity that reflects the purity of Christ. Separate yourself from sin. Live a life that brings honor to God.

Riding HIS Wave,

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

 

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, February 25th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Holiness, Leviticus, Purity.
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September 17th, 2014

Preserve Your Purity

“If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.” Matthew 5:29-30 (ESV)

Jesus uses a hyperbole to illustrate that we are to deal drastically with sin. There is no proper place for sin to reside within the child of God. Sin and purity cannot coexist. A Christian cannot walk in the Spirit and walk in the flesh simultaneously. The righteous life Jesus calls us to requires eliminating sin from our thoughts, conversation, and actions. Embracing a life of moral purity demands confessing sin instantly and overcoming temptation consistently.

  • “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions.” Rom. 6:12 (ESV)
  • “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.” Rom. 13:14 (ESV)

Preserving a lifestyle of moral purity includes dealing drastically with sin and being intentional about staying close and clean. Maintaining daily intimacy with Jesus through prayer and Bible reading fortifies your faith. Drawing near to the Lord enables you to be conscious of His presence throughout each moment of each day. Yield to His Lordship and allow Jesus to take full control of every area of your life. If there is a certain area of your life that Satan seeks to attack, then submit that to God and resist the devil. Put on the full armor of God and make no provision to gratify the flesh.

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, September 17th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Purity, Self-control, Sin.
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July 29th, 2014

Advise Your Eyes

“Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you.” Proverbs 4:25 (ESV)

Eyesight is an amazing feature of the human body. God’s creation throughout the earth is awesome to behold whether taking in the sight of the blue sky in the day or the star-filled sky at night or observing a butterfly dancing from leaf to leaf. From gazing at the flowing wildflowers in the open field to examining the intricacies of a cell under a microscope, eyesight is a gift from God.

There is so much to look at from day to day. To walk in victory, we must very selective in what we allow to come into our minds through the open window of our eyes. Some things we view bring honor to God while other things bring dishonor. Differentiating between the two is a mark of spiritual maturity and a byproduct of the fruit of the Spirit, self-control. Walking in victory while living in a fallen world mandates that we advise our eyes.

  • “But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Matt. 5:28 (ESV)
  • “‘I have made a covenant with my eyes; how then could I gaze at a virgin?’” Job 31:1 (ESV)

Take the initiative to advise your eyes. Tell your eyes where to look. Look straight ahead. Fix your gaze so that you will not be distracted by the lure of lust and the syrup of sin. Train your eyes to bounce off of anything that does not honor God. As Billy Graham has said, “The first look is natural; the second look is sin.”

It is wise to advise your eyes by viewing life from God’s perspective. Feed on God’s Word so that your eyes will be informed and your heart will remain pure.

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, July 29th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Lust, Purity, Self-control.
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July 28th, 2014

Monitor Your Mouth

“Put away from you crooked speech, and put devious talk far from you.” Proverbs 4:24 (ESV)

Have you ever said something that you wish you could retrieve? We have all been there. If only we could have thought about what we were going to say before we said it. Let’s use the word THINK as an acrostic to give us some insightful questions to ask before we speak.

Is it True? Now that’s a great question for us to consider before speaking. What would our world look like if everyone only spoke the truth? Instead of spreading lies and infusing suspicion, everyone would operate based on integrity and truth.

Is it Helpful? Consider your words. Are they beneficial to others? Does your conversation add value to the lives of other people? Let’s commit to speak words that bless and build others up.

Is it Inspiring? God has sealed you by the Holy Spirit so that you can be a vessel of honor. Your life is designed by God to inspire others to come to a saving relationship with Jesus Christ and to mature spiritually. Do your words encourage others to reach their full redemptive potential?

Is it Necessary? Sometimes silence is the best option. When we are about to say something that is not necessary, maybe that’s a good time to hit the pause button.

Is it Kind? I remember hearing Dr. Jerry Vines, pastor emeritus of First Baptist Church of Jacksonville, Florida, say that “a Christian never has the luxury of being unkind.” Before we speak, we might want to ask the question, “Is it kind?” Will our words reflect the heart of Jesus? Will our words demonstrate the value that God places on others?

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, July 28th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Heart, Purity, Speech.
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July 27th, 2014

Guard Your Heart

“Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” Proverbs 4:23 (ESV)

God loves you and has a plan for your life. Satan hates you and also has a plan for your life. God’s plan is for you to stay close and clean. Satan’s plan is for you to stay distant and dirty. God saved you and set you apart so that you can walk in His holiness and enjoy His abiding presence. God rescued you from the dominion of darkness and placed you in kingdom of light so that you can continue the ministry of Jesus before you go to heaven. The enemy, Satan, will not cease trying to devour your devotion to God.

Guard your heart! Don’t allow Satan, sin, or selfishness to invade your heart. Blockade your heart with the truth of God’s Word and fasten the breastplate of righteousness in place. Don’t give the devil access to your heart. Post guard! You are to love God with all your heart and to preserve your heart for His rightful place as Lord!

God wants you to have a pure heart and to embody pure motives. Be single-minded and render undivided loyalty to Christ. Allow Jesus to reign in your life. Invite the Holy Spirit to take full possession of your heart. Leave no room for the enemy to confiscate any fraction of real estate within your heart. Post a “no trespassing” sign at the entrance of your heart to alert the enemy that he is not welcome to occupy any portion of your heart.

Your heart is the wellspring of life. In the language of the Old Testament, the heart represents the inner person, the seat of motives and actions. The heart includes the thinking process and the will. You have the capacity to obey God with all of your heart. Guard His treasure, your heart!

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, July 27th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Heart, Protection, Purity.
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July 16th, 2014

Positional and Practical Purity

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” Matthew 5:8 (ESV)

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. The righteousness of Christ is deposited to your account. Your new identity in Christ provides you with a righteousness that you could never produce. In Christ, you are positionally pure and fit for heaven.

The Christian life is a journey of working out what God has worked in. As you grow spiritually, you learn how to exhibit practical purity as a result of your positional purity.

  • “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight.” Eph. 1:7-8 (ESV)
  • “So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions.” Rom. 6:11-12 (ESV)

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.

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, July 16th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Beatitudes, Jesus, Purity.
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March 31st, 2014

Embracing Moral Purity

“For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness.” 1 Thessalonians 4:7 (ESV)

Is it possible to stay clean while living in a dirty world? Every possibility for contaminating our lives is available to us. Sin is rampant. We face trials from without and temptation from within. The cultural current is moving in the opposite direction of the Christ honoring flow. We must make a conscious and continuous decision to walk in purity.

  • “Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God.” 2 Cor. 7:1 (ESV)
  • “Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.” 1 Tim. 4:12 (ESV)

Purify yourself and perfect holiness. Purify your heart and set an example for the believers in purity. In Christ, you are positionally pure. In Christ, you are a new creation. Live out practically what you are presently and positionally in Christ. The only way to reign in this life is to allow Christ to reign in your life.

Staying clean while living in a dirty world is only possible in the strength Christ provides. Jesus has already set the example. Jesus has demonstrated the life of purity in a sin-polluted culture. Jesus lived a sinless life and died a sacrificial death so that you can walk in victory.

Embrace moral purity by yielding to the Lordship of Christ. Make Jesus the Lord of your life. God called you to live a holy life. Now give Jesus His rightful place in your life and allow Him to live His life through you.

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, March 31st, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category God's Will, Holiness, Purity.
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March 18th, 2014

Favoritism and Sin

“But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors. For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it. For he who said, ‘Do not commit adultery,’ also said, ‘Do not murder.’ If you do not commit adultery but do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law.” James 2:9-11 (ESV)

Have you ever heard of the domino effect? If you accidentally tip one domino, it triggers an effect that ultimately impacts every other domino. Tip toeing through life in a fallen world is very similar to the domino effect. It doesn’t take much to sin. One impure thought is sin. Failing to do what God wants you do is sin. Doing what God does not want you to do is sin.

  • “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Rom. 3:23 (ESV)
  • “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” 1 John 1:8 (ESV)

Our sin nature causes a chain reaction. The more we sin the more our sin nature craves sin. Whatever you feed grows and whatever you starve dies. Crucify the flesh! Make no provision for sin!

Favoritism is a sin that we can succumb to subtly. It can sneak up on us. We can drift from having God’s perspective and then fail to see others through His eyes.

Let’s commit to stay sensitive to the presence of sin. Sometimes favoritism is not as tangible in our own lives. We may not even realize that we are showing favoritism. Let’s ask God to help us detect even a fraction of favoritism resident in our lives.

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, March 18th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Disobedience, Favoritism, Purity.
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