Archive for the ‘Intentionality’ Category

December 4th, 2015

The True Heart of Ministry

“So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us.” 1 Thessalonians 2:8 (ESV)

Paul delivers for us in his first letter to the Thessalonian church a perfect picture of a shepherd’s heart in ministry. He is writing to the church in response to a number of issues, including a number regarding his character. In an effort to squelch the growing Christian church, the Jewish elites of the day who enjoyed the security and prosperity the Roman Empire provided for them began to suggest that Paul was only in Thessalonica for personal gain, not for the sake of the gospel. They wanted to call his character and motivation for ministry into question in order to protect their power. Paul responds by reminding the church of his devotion to them, not for monetary gain but in response to deep, convicting love. Indeed, he loved them so much that he was willing to not only share the message of Jesus with them but also his very life!

Is there a more perfect picture of Christian community and ministry? We are not simply to share words with one another or passing salutations; we are called to invest our lives in one another. This, of course, means a greater commitment on our part but also a greater reward. The type of community Paul exhibits is what we all long for. We want people to know us fully and still accept us. We want to know we are valued, and what greater way can that be seen than by someone giving all of themselves to us?

Now, some people you invest in will leave; some will abandon you. This type of ministry almost guarantees you will get hurt, but for all the heartache, there is a beautiful silver lining knowing that many have come to a vibrant, joy-filled walk with the Lord because of your personal investment in them.

Will you fully invest your life in ministry? Will you love people as passionately as Paul did? I pray you will because deep inside you know that you need it and those around you need it.

Grace and peace,

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

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, December 4th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Intentionality, Ministry, Thessalonians.
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May 15th, 2014

Pointing People to Jesus

And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God, and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared. Luke 1:16-17 (ESV)

John the Baptist was clearly on mission with God. He became known as the forerunner of Jesus. John preached a baptism of repentance to prepare the way for Jesus. John also had the distinct privilege of baptizing Jesus when Jesus began His ministry at age thirty (Luke 3:23). John the Baptist’s personal mission statement would have looked something like this: I exist to bring glory to God by pointing people to Jesus.

What are you giving your life to? Are you living in such a way as to intentionally point people to Jesus? Hopelessness and despair litter the terrain of life on this broken planet. The vast majority of the billions of people who currently inhabit the earth are completely lost and eternally condemned. Our only hope is the Good News of Jesus Christ. Does your life declare the reality that Jesus is the only way?

You bring glory to God as you point people to Jesus. God places you in the display window of life to be an irresistible influence for Christ. People are watching you and observing your conversation and your conduct. They are listening to your life to see if you really possess what you profess.

Don’t conceal your identity in Christ. Reveal your new identity by allowing Jesus to live His life through you. Let others see Jesus in you. Live in a way that other people will desire to have the love relationship that you enjoy with Jesus. Point people to Jesus!

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, May 15th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Intentionality, John the Baptist, On Mission.
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January 6th, 2014

Intentional Love

“But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have him release for them Barabbas instead.” Mark 15:11 (ESV)

Have you ever encountered injustice? Have you ever been treated unfairly? I think we have all been there. It hurts! The scars serve as a constant reminder. In our verse today, we find a word that compels us to contemplate. It is the soothing word, “instead.” Let me take this punishment instead of you. Allow me to receive this penalty instead of you. Jesus will be flogged and crucified instead of Barabbas. The innocent man dies in his place. The guilty man goes free. Jesus receives what he doesn’t deserve while Barabbas receives what he doesn’t deserve. Jesus receives death! Barabbas receives life! Is that justice? Should the guilty go free?

God’s intentional love was clearly displayed. God took the initiative to come to our rescue. “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Rom. 5:8 ESV). Christ died instead of us! Yes, while we were still sinners! How can you demonstrate that kind of love? Who in your sphere of influence needs to know what “instead” looks like?

Forgive instead of holding a grudge. Show acceptance instead of forging a gap. Offer help instead of ignoring the need. Appreciate Jesus instead of taking Him for granted. It’s your move!

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, January 6th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Intentionality, Jesus, Love.
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November 13th, 2013

Intentionality

“Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.” 1 Corinthians 9:26-27 (NIV)

How do you live your life? You can choose to float down lazy river and simply allow the current to take you wherever it wants to go. You can decide to live a life of intentionality and focus your life on God’s agenda. You can live with passion, intensity, and purpose.

Paul was a focused fully devoted follower of Christ. In writing to the church at Corinth, Paul referenced the Isthmian Games that were similar to our modern day Olympics. In our present day Olympics, first place receives a gold medal, second place receives a silver medal, and third place receives a bronze metal. In Paul’s day, only one prize was awarded. That’s why Paul said, “Run in such a way as to get the prize” (1 Cor. 9:24).

The Christian life demands discipline, focus, and intentionality. As a follower of Jesus Christ, you must make moment-by-moment decisions to surrender to the Lordship of Christ and to starve the cravings of the sinful nature. You must make a conscious choice to run with purpose and to focus your life on continuing the ministry of Jesus on the earth.

Being spiritually fit mandates being intentional about exercising your spiritual muscles and being intentional about joining God in His activity. Embrace healthy daily spiritual disciplines such as prayer, Bible study, journaling, meditating on God’s Word, memorizing Scripture, practicing solitude, and practicing God’s Presence. Give sacrificially to bless and benefit others. Share your testimony of God’s saving grace with others. Splash Living Water by being an irresistible influence for God’s glory!

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, November 13th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Discipline, Focus, Intentionality.
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October 12th, 2013

Relational Bridges

“He appointed twelve–designating them apostles–that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach.” Mark 3:14 (NIV)

Can you imagine the honor of being chosen by Jesus to serve as one of His twelve apostles? You would have a starting position on the varsity team that Jesus coached. You would have access to His life behind the scenes in the locker room and on the practice field. You would want to spend all your time in His shadow and under His personal touch ministry. To be like Him, you would want to watch His every move and to capture every word He articulated. It would be so refreshing to be that connected to the Son of God.

As a follower of Jesus Christ, you have that kind of connection with the Son of God. At the moment of your conversion experience, you were adopted into God’s family and placed on the winning team. You have the privilege of drawing near to the Lord and learning how to enjoy His presence.

God did not save you so that you could stay in the huddle. God rescued you from eternal damnation and placed you into His forever family and filled you with His Holy Spirit so that you could continue the ministry of Jesus on the earth. You have been chosen by God to be sent out to portray His love and to proclaim the saving news of Jesus. You have been armed with the cure to the cancer of sin. Every single person who places their faith in Jesus alone for salvation will be saved and adopted into the family of God. You are chosen by God to build that relational bridge to those who are lost.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, October 12th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Evangelism, Intentionality, Soulwinning.
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September 7th, 2013

Intentional Influence

“For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake.” 1 Thessalonians 1:4-5 (NIV)

Be intentional in sharing the gospel. Paul, Silas, and Timothy brought the gospel to the Thessalonians (Acts 17:1-4). The gospel came with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power (I Cor. 2:4-5). Many of the Thessalonians responded by turning to God from idols to serve the living and true God (1 Thess. 1:9). The gospel transformed their lives and influenced their culture.

In Christ, we have the cure to the cancer of sin. We have been entrusted with the gospel of light that delivers people from the kingdom of darkness. God has armed us with the Good News of Jesus Christ and empowered us with the Holy Spirit to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world. God still uses human instrumentality in the redemptive process.

Will you be faithful to share the gospel intentionally? Paul, Silas, and Timothy lived among the Thessalonians to benefit them, to bless them, and to bring Christ to them. Instead of allowing the pagan culture to influence them, Paul, Silas, and Timothy intentionally influenced the culture by continuing the ministry of Jesus.

Be a thermostat, not a thermometer. A thermostat sets the environment while a thermometer reflects the environment. God has not called us to be absorbed by the culture, but to influence the culture with the gospel. Be a spiritual thermostat for the Lord by sharing the gospel intentionally.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, September 7th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Influence, Intentionality, Soulwinning.
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March 16th, 2013

On Your Way

“Then Jesus went through the towns and villages, teaching as he made his way to Jerusalem.” Luke 13:22 (NIV)

In the final six months of His earthly ministry, Jesus stayed on mission with God. Embracing the reality of His impending sacrifice for the sins of the world and enduring the agony of the cross, Jesus continued to travel and teach. Jesus extended personal touch ministry as He remained focus on the mission of seeking and saving the lost. As Jesus did life on the dusty roads, He made room for others.

We spend so much of our time on our way to the next activity or event. Think about how many times each day you find yourself on your way to fulfill a commitment or to meet a deadline. There are so many tugs on your time and attention. As you are on your way, God wants you to make the most of that transition time. Maybe you are on your way to work or on your way to school and you decide to maximize the travel time by praying for others. You could use your daily commute to quote Bible verses or to sing songs of worship and praise to God.

Be creative in how you use your time when you are on your way. Instead of viewing time sitting in a doctor’s office as a waste of time, capture those moments to read God’s Word or to text message notes of encouragement to others. Allow God to use you to be a blessing even during times of transitioning from one event to another or from one meeting to another.

Keep the main thing the main thing. Staying on mission with God is a perpetual discipline that requires sensitivity to God’s activity. God wants to do a work in you so that He can do a work through you. Give God room to work!

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, March 16th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Intentionality, Jesus, On Mission.
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December 4th, 2012

The True Heart of Ministry

“So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us.” 1 Thessalonians 2:8 (ESV)

Paul delivers for us in his first letter to the Thessalonian church a perfect picture of a shepherd’s heart in ministry. He is writing to the church in response to a number of issues, including a number regarding his character. In an effort to squelch the growing Christian church, the Jewish elites of the day who enjoyed the security and prosperity the Roman Empire provided for them began to suggest that Paul was only in Thessalonica for personal gain, not for the sake of the gospel. They wanted to call his character and motivation for ministry into question in order to protect their power. Paul responds by reminding the church of his devotion to them, not for monetary gain but in response to deep, convicting love. Indeed, he loved them so much that he was willing to not only share the message of Jesus with them but also his very life!

Is there a more perfect picture of Christian community and ministry? We are not simply to share words with one another or passing salutations; we are called to invest our lives in one another. This, of course, means a greater commitment on our part but also a greater reward. The type of community Paul exhibits is what we all long for. We want people to know us fully and still accept us. We want to know we are valued, and what greater way can that be seen than by someone giving all of themselves to us?

Now, some people you invest in will leave; some will abandon you. This type of ministry almost guarantees you will get hurt, but for all the heartache, there is a beautiful silver lining knowing that many have come to a vibrant, joy-filled walk with the Lord because of your personal investment in them.

Will you fully invest your life in ministry? Will you love people as passionately as Paul did? I pray you will because deep inside you know that you need it and those around you need it.

Chronological Bible Reading Plan: (Day 331:  1 & 2 Thessalonians)

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, December 4th, 2012 at 1:00 am
Category Intentionality, Ministry, Thessalonians.
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November 13th, 2011

Intentionality

“Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.” 1 Cor 9:26-27 (NIV)

How do you live your life? You can choose to float down lazy river and simply allow the current to take you wherever it wants to go. You can decide to live a life of intentionality and focus your life on God’s agenda. You can live with passion, intensity, and purpose.

Paul was a focused fully devoted follower of Christ. In writing to the church at Corinth, Paul referenced the Isthmian Games that were similar to our modern day Olympics. In our present day Olympics, first place receives a gold medal, second place receives a silver medal, and third place receives a bronze metal. In Paul’s day, only one prize was awarded. That’s why Paul said, “Run in such a way as to get the prize” (1 Cor 9:24).

The Christian life demands discipline, focus, and intentionality. As a follower of Jesus Christ, you must make moment-by-moment decisions to surrender to the Lordship of Christ and to starve the cravings of the sinful nature. You must make a conscious choice to run with purpose and to focus your life on continuing the ministry of Jesus on the earth.

Being spiritually fit mandates being intentional about exercising your spiritual muscles and being intentional about joining God in His activity. Embrace healthy daily spiritual disciplines such as prayer, Bible study, journaling, meditating on God’s Word, memorizing Scripture, practicing solitude, and practicing God’s Presence. Give sacrificially to bless and benefit others. Share your testimony of God’s saving grace with others. Splash Living Water by being an irresistible influence for God’s glory!

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, November 13th, 2011 at 1:00 am
Category Discipline, Focus, Intentionality.
Interact No Comments
October 12th, 2011

Relational Bridges

“He appointed twelve–designating them apostles–that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach.” Mark 3:14 (NIV)

Can you imagine the honor of being chosen by Jesus to serve as one of His twelve apostles? You would have a starting position on the varsity team that Jesus coached. You would have access to His life behind the scenes in the locker room and on the practice field. You would want to spend all your time in His shadow and under His personal touch ministry. To be like Him, you would want to watch His every move and to capture every word He articulated. It would be so refreshing to be that connected to the Son of God.

As a follower of Jesus Christ, you have that kind of connection with the Son of God. At the moment of your conversion experience, you were adopted into God’s family and placed on the winning team. You have the privilege of drawing near to the Lord and learning how to enjoy His presence.

God did not save you so that you could stay in the huddle. God rescued you from eternal damnation and placed you into His forever family and filled you with His Holy Spirit so that you could continue the ministry of Jesus on the earth. You have been chosen by God to be sent out to portray His love and to proclaim the saving news of Jesus. You have been armed with the cure to the cancer of sin. Every single person who places their faith in Jesus alone for salvation will be saved and adopted into the family of God. You are chosen by God to build that relational bridge to those who are lost.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, October 12th, 2011 at 1:00 am
Category Evangelism, Intentionality, Soulwinning.
Interact No Comments