Archive for the ‘Word of God’ Category

December 31st, 2015

Will You Endure Sound Teaching?

“Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.” 2 Timothy 4:2-4 (ESV)

Truth is becoming more and more relative, or so it would seem, in our culture today. To say something is absolutely true, especially in religious or philosophical circles, is unpopular at best. Sometimes such statements are even met with anger and animosity. The true follower of Christ, however, should take care to not fall into our culture’s trap, recognizing that there are certain things that are absolutely true, including the gospel of Jesus Christ. Because the gospel is absolutely true, we should welcome both its preaching and its proclaiming in our lives. We should welcome its preaching to us because we know that in hearing the gospel, we can become more like Christ. Our purpose is to reject sin and pursue holiness, and we need people in our lives to remind us of the gospel to push us toward that end. We should also welcome its proclaiming in the midst of any circumstance and regardless of consequence, knowing that without it the people around us will perish under the wrath of God.

Does your heart come alive when the Word of God is taught, or would you rather hear the philosophies of man? Do you feel encouraged when the truth of Scripture is spoken over you, even in rebuke? Or do you prefer to be flattered even when it is not genuine? We are not perfect yet and need pruning on occasion; the true follower of Christ welcomes the truth, even when it is inconvenient, in order to achieve that end. Will you endure sound teaching? Will you demand it? Will you teach soundly even when it costs you for the good of those around you?

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, December 31st, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category 2 Timothy, Teaching, Word of God.
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December 26th, 2015

Teach Sound Doctrine

“But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine.” Titus 2:1 (ESV)

As the people of God, we have a responsibility to teach His revelation faithfully. The Word of God was given to us to reveal the character of God and His eternal plan to unite all things to Himself in Christ. Scripture is precious, and every follower of Christ should do his or her best to diligently study it and read it, seeking to know Him more as a result. We should be passionate about this pursuit, as in reality it is a pursuit of God. We should desire daily to spend time in Scripture, knowing that in so doing we are spending time with the Lord.

Many today, however, do not make the time to study and meditate on God’s word, strengthening their knowledge of doctrine. They believe this kind of practice to be the responsibility of only the “called,” and rely upon them to feed them their acquired knowledge, as a caring mother does for her baby. But this is not the mandate given to the Church. Pastors are called to equip, not spoon-feed. Every individual has a unique responsibility to both learn the essentials of their faith and proclaim it to those who do not know.

Do you know the Word of God? Have you allowed scholars to sharpen your understanding of doctrine? Do you seek out trusted perspectives to shed light on issues in Scripture that are hard to understand? Commit today to take ownership of your faith, reading and meditating on truth so that you may be able to follow Paul’s challenge to Timothy and teach sound doctrine.

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, December 26th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Doctrine, Titus, Word of God.
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November 22nd, 2015

The Purpose of Scripture

“Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” John 20:30-31 (ESV)

John reveals his purpose in recounting the works of Jesus in this gospel: that upon reading this account of Jesus the one who reads will be overwhelmed by its testimony and find abundant life. Incidentally, John also provides us with a larger purpose for Scripture generally. All Scripture functions in this way. The Word of God is meant to testify to the redemptive work of the Lord amongst first a particular people and now among all people. The Bible anticipates the need for a savior, reveals Jesus as that savior, and lays the groundwork for His ultimate victory over all things in His second coming. He is the promised hope for all of creation and John’s gospel exemplifies in a microcosmic way that truth, showing Christ’s authority over things both physical and spiritual.

Be thankful for the revealed truth of God’s Word today. Treasure it, for it is meant to be used by the Spirit of God to seal up belief in your heart. As you read the accounts of God’s redemptive activity, the Holy Spirit will open your eyes to how He has worked redemptively in your life in similar ways. Allow the Word of God to do what John desires to do in His gospel: affirm in you correct and saving belief in Jesus Christ. Read the Bible and be amazed at God’s provision and miraculous work for His people.

Grace and peace,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, November 22nd, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Holy Spirit, John, Word of God.
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September 7th, 2015

The Lord Has Spoken

“And all the trees of the field shall know that I am the LORD; I bring low the high tree, and make high the low tree, dry up the green tree, and make the dry tree flourish. I am the LORD; I have spoken, and I will do it.” Ezekiel 17:24 (ESV)

You never have to worry if the Lord will follow through with what He promises. Time and time again, throughout the scripture, we see the Lord speak a promise over His people and bring that promise to fruition. Why? Because, God’s character demands that He uphold His word! The Lord is holy in every way, and as a result there is no darkness within Him. His perfect holiness demands that what He says also be perfect. His “yes” will always be “yes” and his “no” will always be “no.” The Lord does not take into account circumstance nor opposition when following through with His promises, because nothing is more important to Him than protecting the reputation of His holy name.

As the people of God, we should seek to emulate the Lord in this. As we seek to display the character of God, may we hold fast to our word when we give it, knowing that our actions as Christians say something about the God we serve. That was Israel’s problem. Their actions didn’t match their words nor their covenant. Therefore, the Lord, for the sake of His holy name, had to call them to repentance through judgment. May we be more wise than our predecessors. May we commit to speak in truth at all times, holding our promises in the same esteem with which the Lord holds His. We are His people and we are to put on display His character to the nations. Today, make a commitment to do what you have spoken as God Himself would do.

Grace and peace,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, September 7th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Ezekiel, Faithfulness, Word of God.
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September 3rd, 2015

Feast on the Word of God

“And he said to me, ‘Son of man, eat whatever you find here. Eat this scroll, and go, speak to the house of Israel.’ So I opened my mouth, and he gave me this scroll to eat. And he said to me, ‘Son of man, feed your belly with this scroll that I give you and fill your stomach with it.’ Then I ate it, and it was in my mouth as sweet as honey. And he said to me, ‘Son of man, go to the house of Israel and speak with my words to them.’” Ezekiel 3:1-4 (ESV)

After receiving one of the most glorious visions ever recorded in scripture, Ezekiel now receives his calling. The Lord speaks over him a prophetic mission to go to the rebellious house of Israel and call them to repentance. Within this prophetic calling, the Lord also delivers Ezekiel a promise that the words he speaks will not be his own; rather through the anointing of the Holy Spirit, Ezekiel will proclaim “thus says the Lord.” The Lord so passionately wants Ezekiel to recognize the importance of proclaiming His word that He calls him in the vision to actually eat the scroll before him containing His written words. Ezekiel must feast on the word of God before he can adequately proclaim the word of God.

Ezekiel’s preparation, while not as dramatic, is an example for us today. We too have been called to proclaim repentance to a rebellious household, but in order to proclaim faithfully we must first have an intimate knowledge of God’s truth. Otherwise, what would we proclaim? Human wisdom or intuition? Opinions of men based on experience? The words of man cannot help those in rebellion, but the words of God certainly can. Know the word of God and pursue truth. Then, having feasted on the word of the Lord, call others to join you at His bountiful table.

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, September 3rd, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Ezekiel, Wisdom & Understanding, Word of God.
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August 31st, 2015

God’s Word is Sure

“And in the thirty-seventh year of the exile of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the twelfth month, on the twenty-fifth day of the month, Evil-merodach king of Babylon, in the year that he became king, graciously freed Jehoiachin king of Judah and brought him out of prison. And he spoke kindly to him, and gave him a seat above the seats of the kings who were with him in Babylon. So Jehoiachin put off his prison garments. And every day of his life he dined regularly at the king’s table, and for his allowance, a regular allowance was given him by the king according to his daily need, until the day of his death, as long as he lived.” Jeremiah 52:31-34 (ESV)

The Lord never forgets His promises and His promises never fail. Even in the midst of the promised exile, for no explicit reason, the king of Babylon, Evil-merodach, invites the king of Judah, Jehoichin, out from prison to his dining table. Whatever could have caused a foreign king to show mercy and favor to the king of his servants? Undoubtedly, the Lord is at work in this passage, remembering His covenant with David in which He promised him a permanent kingdom resulting in a messiah to fully deliver the people of God.

Even in hard times when we can’t explicitly see the presence of God, may we not forget that He is faithful and His words never fail. Yes, in this chapter we see Him upholding the hard words of judgment but also the beautiful words of redemption. His promises are true and they will always bring about His glory and our good.

Do you know the promises of God? If not, how can you hold on to them when you are sitting in prison as a king? Do you speak the promises of God over times of trouble, taking refuge in His ultimate provision and plan for you and all things? God’s word is sure! Know it and take refuge in it. Further, when you see His promises come true in your life, take a minute and thank Him for His faithfulness.

Grace and peace,

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

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, August 31st, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Faithfulness, Jeremiah, Word of God.
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August 24th, 2015

The Word of the Lord Stands Forever

“Take a scroll and write on it all the words that I have spoken to you against Israel and Judah and all the nations, from the day I spoke to you, from the days of Josiah until today. It may be that the house of Judah will hear all the disaster that I intend to do to them, so that every one may turn from his evil way, and that I may forgive their iniquity and their sin.” Jeremiah 36:2-3 (ESV)

Once again we see the prophet, Jeremiah, coming against an ungodly king with the word of the Lord. In this particular instance, the Lord commands Jeremiah to write down all that He has revealed concerning His people and present the document to the king. Upon hearing the prophetic word, the king commands the seizure of both Jeremiah and his secretary, Baruch, and burns the word of the Lord. In response to this rash act of the king, the Lord simply instructs Jeremiah to recreate the scroll and speak over Jehoiakim a vision of wrath.

The word of God stands forever and cannot be destroyed. God has given us His revealed word to display His glorious nature and direct our steps as His creation. The words written by Jeremiah were not simply Jeremiah’s words or ideas regarding God’s people; they were inspired by God Himself and, therefore, carry His authority. Jehoiakim missed the point. Instead of seeing the scroll as God’s way of allowing him to repent, the king responded in anger, attempting to destroy that which he did not like. God’s word, though, is eternal and will stand against any attempt to destroy it.

May you and I both marvel at and respect the eternal word of God! God has spoken over mankind His will for all of creation, and we must choose to respond faithfully rather than reject that truth in anger simply because we don’t like it. Treasure God’s word for in it you will find blessing and hope as you obey its commands.

Grace and peace,

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

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, August 24th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Jeremiah, Word of God.
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January 1st, 2013

The Prophetic Word

“And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation.” 2 Peter 1:19-20 (ESV)

“Is the calling of Christ worth dying for?” This was the central question on the mind of early Christians as they watched their friends and family be put to death for the sake of Christ. In order to encourage them, Peter reassures them of the certainty of God’s faithfulness evidenced in Scripture. Peter’s assurance in the worth of this cause rests not in miraculous events nor myths devised by man, but rather the Holy Spirit inspired Word of God.

To make his point in a greater way, Peter takes us on a journey back in time to the Mount of Transfiguration, upon which Peter experienced the glory of Christ unlike any other. He saw the glorified Son of God conversing with Moses and Elijah! What an incredible spectacle! For Peter, though, this event only had significance when placed in the greater narrative of salvation collected in the Prophetic Word. The Prophetic Word, then, is a more sure foundation for our sacrifice than even the Mount of Transfiguration! You don’t need a mountaintop spectacle to sure up your faith, for you hold God’s full revelation of Himself every day in your hand.

Take comfort, dear friend, in knowing that the Bible (inspired by the Holy Spirit of course) is source enough for our faith, reminding us of God’s faithfulness in calling us to redemption and providing a path for that redemption. Treasure this W0rd for the jewel that it is. Rely upon it in times of distress and call upon it in times of persecution. The Prophetic Word is the most sure instrument we have in reminding us of Christ’s great worth and encouraging us to persevere even when times get hard.

Chronological Bible Reading Plan: (Day 359:  2 Peter, Jude)

Grace and peace,

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

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, January 1st, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category 2 Peter, Prophecy, Word of God.
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December 31st, 2012

Will You Endure Sound Teaching?

“Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.” 2 Timothy 4:2-4 (ESV)

Truth is becoming more and more relative, or so it would seem, in our culture today. To say something is absolutely true, especially in religious or philosophical circles, is unpopular at best. Sometimes such statements are even met with anger and animosity. The true follower of Christ, however, should take care to not fall into our culture’s trap, recognizing that there are certain things that are absolutely true, including the gospel of Jesus Christ. Because the gospel is absolutely true, we should welcome both its preaching and its proclaiming in our lives. We should welcome its preaching to us because we know that in hearing the gospel, we can become more like Christ. Our purpose is to reject sin and pursue holiness, and we need people in our lives to remind us of the gospel to push us toward that end. We should also welcome its proclaiming in the midst of any circumstance and regardless of consequence, knowing that without it the people around us will perish under the wrath of God.

Does your heart come alive when the Word of God is taught, or would you rather hear the philosophies of man? Do you feel encouraged when the truth of Scripture is spoken over you, even in rebuke? Or do you prefer to be flattered even when it is not genuine? We are not perfect yet and need pruning on occasion; the true follower of Christ welcomes the truth, even when it is inconvenient, in order to achieve that end. Will you endure sound teaching? Will you demand it? Will you teach soundly even when it costs you for the good of those around you?

Chronological Bible Reading Plan: (Day 358:  2 Timothy)

Grace and peace,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, December 31st, 2012 at 1:00 am
Category 2 Timothy, Teaching, Word of God.
Interact No Comments
December 26th, 2012

Teach Sound Doctrine.

“But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine.” Titus 2:1 (ESV)

As the people of God, we have a responsibility to teach His revelation faithfully. The Word of God was given to us to reveal the character of God and His eternal plan to unite all things to Himself in Christ. Scripture is precious, and every follower of Christ should do his or her best to diligently study it and read it, seeking to know Him more as a result. We should be passionate about this pursuit, as in reality it is a pursuit of God. We should desire daily to spend time in Scripture, knowing that in so doing we are spending time with the Lord.

Many today, however, do not make the time to study and meditate on God’s word, strengthening their knowledge of doctrine. They believe this kind of practice to be the responsibility of only the “called,” and rely upon them to feed them their acquired knowledge, as a caring mother does for her baby. But this is not the mandate given to the Church. Pastors are called to equip, not spoon-feed. Every individual has a unique responsibility to both learn the essentials of their faith and proclaim it to those who do not know.

Do you know the Word of God? Have you allowed scholars to sharpen your understanding of doctrine? Do you seek out trusted perspectives to shed light on issues in Scripture that are hard to understand? Commit today to take ownership of your faith, reading and meditating on truth so that you may be able to follow Paul’s challenge to Timothy and teach sound doctrine.

Chronological Bible Reading Plan: (Day 353:  Titus)

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, December 26th, 2012 at 1:00 am
Category Doctrine, Titus, Word of God.
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