Archive for the ‘Cross’ Category

March 25th, 2015

Reverse the Curse

“‘And if a man has committed a crime punishable by death and he is put to death, and you hang him on a tree, his body shall not remain all night on the tree, but you shall bury him the same day, for a hanged man is cursed by God. You shall not defile your land that the Lord your God is giving you for an inheritance.’” Deuteronomy 21:22-23 (ESV)

God values holiness. His laws were established for the people of Israel to keep them from defiling their lives and to keep them from defiling the land He was giving them for an inheritance. God was protecting their covenant community and preserving their future. Consequences for sinful actions were enforced to ensure unity and solidarity.

  • “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree’— so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.” Galatians 3:13-14 (ESV)

In our own effort, we do not have the capacity to generate the holiness that God demands and that God deserves. We fall short and do not measure up to God’s standard of righteousness. The Good News is that Jesus was willing to reverse the curse that our sin caused. Jesus was willing to become a curse for us by taking on our sin and by receiving the full wrath of God for our sin. Jesus paid our sin debt in full and enabled us to receive His imputed righteousness.

In Christ, you have a new identity. Your past has been forgiven. Your eternal security has been established. Now you can join God in His redemptive activity so that others can benefit from the reverse of the curse.

Riding HIS Wave,

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

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, March 25th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Cross, Deuteronomy, Moses.
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April 13th, 2014

Knowing and Growing

“And he said to him, ‘Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.’” Luke 23:43 (ESV)

The thief on the cross received the greatest gift of all, the gift of eternal life. In our vernacular, we would say that he was in the ninth inning with two outs and a full count. His next decision would determine his future. When the thief made the decision to turn to Christ, his forever was radically changed. Instead of going to hell, the thief, now as a newly converted child of God, went to heaven.

We rejoice in the immense mercy and grace Jesus demonstrated upon the cross for this thief. However, this thief had no time to grow spiritually and to develop his spiritual muscles. Was he authentically saved? Yes! Did he have time to develop into a mature follower of Christ? No!

Fortunately, you have the privilege of knowing Christ personally and growing in your love relationship with Him. The challenge for you is not the matter of salvation, but the matter of sanctification. Are you growing? Are you becoming who Christ made you to be? You have both the privilege and responsibility to maximize the time you have in order to grow spiritually.

What have you learned so far in your spiritual journey? Life on earth is a classroom of preparation for the life to come. How are you utilizing what God has given you with the time you have? Are you intentional about your spiritual maturation? Are you growing in your love relationship with Jesus?

Drawing Near,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, April 13th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Cross, Jesus, Spiritual Growth.
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March 15th, 2014

Seeing Others Through the Cross

“For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in,and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, ‘You sit here in a good place,’ while you say to the poor man, ‘You stand over there,’ or, ‘Sit down at my feet,’ have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?”James 2:2-4 (ESV)

The corporate worship setting is sacred. When we gather with fellow believers to express our love to God in corporate worship, we are obeying God and demonstrating a reverence for His glory. The worship environment is conducive to encouraging each other and edifying the body of Christ. However, the corporate setting for worship can also be an environment where discrimination seeps in.

Making a judgment about one’s appearance based on their attire is condescending to the very one Christ died for. For us to give preferential treatment to those endowed with financial prowess would be tragic in the eyes of God. For us to consider withholding our love, affirmation, acceptance, and inclusion of those less fortunate would break the heart of God. We become the judges when we start ranking human beings and attaching varying levels of worth based on externals.

Preferential treatment misrepresents the character of God. We need to embrace God’s perspective on those He created and sent His Son to die for. God took the initiative to establish our value through the atoning work of Jesus on the cross. Every person matters to God. As followers of Jesus Christ, we are to place the same value on others that God does. We are to see others through the saving work of Jesus on the cross.

Is there anyone you are currently looking down on? Have you minimized the value God places on others? Let’s be reminded of where we were when God found us in our sin.

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, March 15th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Cross, God's Perspective, Value.
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June 23rd, 2013

Tabernacle Prayer: Altar of Burnt Offering

“Build an altar of acacia wood, three cubits high; it is to be square, five cubits long and five cubits wide. Make a horn at each of the four corners, so that the horns and the altar are of one piece, and overlay the altar with bronze.” Exodus 27:1-2 (NIV)

When you think about relationships, there are different levels of intimacy. Some relationships are emotionally distant and surfaced whereas some relationships have the capacity to be more consistent and feature an element of closeness. Then there are those relationships where the interaction is meaningful, transparent, and magnetic.

The Encarta Dictionary defines the word intimacy as a close personal relationship; a detailed knowledge resulting from a close or long association. One of my favorite definitions of intimacy is: “in to me you see.”

God desires intimacy with you. In the Old Testament, the portrait of intimacy was the formation and utilization of the Tabernacle. God made a way for His people to experience intimacy with Him through a religious relationship.

As you enter the Tabernacle, the first item you encounter is the altar of burnt offering. The New Testament equivalent is the cross of Jesus Christ. Jesus became the ultimate sacrifice for your sin. As you pray through the Tabernacle, spend some time at the “altar of burnt offering” to praise God for His ultimate love gift and for Jesus being willing to pay the penalty for your sin.

You determine the level of intimacy with God. As you draw near to God, He will draw near to you (Jas. 4:8). God took the initiative to provide the way for you to enjoy an intimate love relationship with Him through faith in Jesus. What are you doing with the relationship God has made available to you?

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, June 23rd, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Altar of Burnt Offering, Cross, Prayer, Tabernacle.
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March 29th, 2013

Convinced by the Crucifixion

“And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, heard his cry and saw how he died, he said, ‘Surely this man was the Son of God!’” Mark 15:39 (NIV)

What was it about the final hours of Jesus’ life that made an eternal impact on the centurion who approved of the crucifixion of Jesus? What were the features of Jesus’ death that convinced the centurion that Jesus was the Son of God? I wonder how many crucifixions this centurion had witnessed before he even knew Jesus existed. Perhaps the centurion had personally witnessed hundreds or thousands of these executions.

There was something about the way Jesus died that changed everything for this centurion. Maybe the centurion overheard the conversation between Jesus and the thief on the cross who said to Jesus, “Remember me when you come into your kingdom”(Luke 23:42 NIV). Jesus responded to the thief, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise”(Luke 23:43 NIV). Perhaps the centurion saw the grace of God in action as Jesus put the needs of someone else before His own.

The centurion could have been standing close enough to overhear Jesus say to His mother, “Dear woman, here is your son” and to the disciple whom Jesus loved, “Here is your mother”(John 19:26-27 NIV). Maybe the centurion detected the deep love that Jesus had for His mother and the compassion Jesus extended from the cross. In the midst of extreme adversity, Jesus made sure His mother’s needs would be met. Of all the crucifixions the centurion assisted in, perhaps he had never seen such love.

Adversity creates unique opportunities to show the love of Jesus as you serve others. Jesus exemplified servitude in the midst of extreme adversity. Are you watching for opportunities to serve others while you navigate the terrain of adversity?

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, March 29th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Christ, Cross, Crucifixion.
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March 25th, 2012

Reverse the Curse

“‘And if a man has committed a crime punishable by death and he is put to death, and you hang him on a tree, 23  his body shall not remain all night on the tree, but you shall bury him the same day, for a hanged man is cursed by God. You shall not defile your land that the Lord your God is giving you for an inheritance.’” Deuteronomy 21:22-23 (ESV)

God values holiness. His laws were established for the people of Israel to keep them from defiling their lives and to keep them from defiling the land He was giving them for an inheritance. God was protecting their covenant community and preserving their future. Consequences for sinful actions were enforced to ensure unity and solidarity.

  • “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree’— 14 so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.” Galatians 3:13-14 (ESV)

In our own effort, we do not have the capacity to generate the holiness that God demands and that God deserves. We fall short and do not measure up to God’s standard of righteousness. The Good News is that Jesus was willing to reverse the curse that our sin caused. Jesus was willing to become a curse for us by taking on our sin and by receiving the full wrath of God for our sin. Jesus paid our sin debt in full and enabled us to receive His imputed righteousness.

In Christ, you have a new identity. Your past has been forgiven. Your eternal security has been established. Now you can join God in His redemptive activity so that others can benefit from the reverse of the curse.

Chronological Bible Reading Plan: (Day 77:  Deuteronomy 21-23)

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, March 25th, 2012 at 1:00 am
Category Cross, Deuteronomy, Moses.
Interact No Comments
June 23rd, 2011

Tabernacle Prayer: Altar of Burnt Offering

“Build an altar of acacia wood, three cubits high; it is to be square, five cubits long and five cubits wide. Make a horn at each of the four corners, so that the horns and the altar are of one piece, and overlay the altar with bronze.” Ex. 27:1-2 (NIV)

When you think about relationships, there are different levels of intimacy. Some relationships are emotionally distant and surfaced whereas some relationships have the capacity to be more consistent and feature an element of closeness. Then there are those relationships where the interaction is meaningful, transparent, and magnetic.

The Encarta Dictionary defines the word intimacy as a close personal relationship; a detailed knowledge resulting from a close or long association. One of my favorite definitions of intimacy is: “in to me you see.”

God desires intimacy with you. In the Old Testament, the portrait of intimacy was the formation and utilization of the Tabernacle. God made a way for His people to experience intimacy with Him through a religious relationship.

As you enter the Tabernacle, the first item you encounter is the altar of burnt offering. The New Testament equivalent is the cross of Jesus Christ. Jesus became the ultimate sacrifice for your sin. As you pray through the Tabernacle, spend some time at the “altar of burnt offering” to praise God for His ultimate love gift and for Jesus being willing to pay the penalty for your sin.

You determine the level of intimacy with God. As you draw near to God, He will draw near to you (James 4:8). God took the initiative to provide the way for you to enjoy an intimate love relationship with Him through faith in Jesus. What are you doing with the relationship God has made available to you?

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, June 23rd, 2011 at 1:00 am
Category Altar of Burnt Offering, Cross, Prayer, Tabernacle.
Interact No Comments
April 22nd, 2011

Convinced by the Crucifixion

“And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, heard his cry and saw how he died, he said, ‘Surely this man was the Son of God!’” Mark 15:39 (NIV)

What was it about the final hours of Jesus’ life that made an eternal impact on the centurion who approved of the crucifixion of Jesus? What were the features of Jesus’ death that convinced the centurion that Jesus was the Son of God? I wonder how many crucifixions this centurion had witnessed before he even knew Jesus existed. Perhaps the centurion had personally witnessed hundreds or thousands of these executions.

There was something about the way Jesus died that changed everything for this centurion. Maybe the centurion overheard the conversation between Jesus and the thief on the cross who said to Jesus, “Remember me when you come into your kingdom”(Luke 23:42 NIV). Jesus responded to the thief, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise”(Luke 23:43 NIV). Perhaps the centurion saw the grace of God in action as Jesus put the needs of someone else before His own.

The centurion could have been standing close enough to overhear Jesus say to His mother, “Dear woman, here is your son” and to the disciple whom Jesus loved, “Here is your mother”(John 19:26-27 NIV). Maybe the centurion detected the deep love that Jesus had for His mother and the compassion Jesus extended from the cross. In the midst of extreme adversity, Jesus made sure His mother’s needs would be met. Of all the crucifixions the centurion assisted in, perhaps he had never seen such love.

Adversity creates unique opportunities to show the love of Jesus as you serve others. Jesus exemplified servitude in the midst of extreme adversity. Are you watching for opportunities to serve others while you navigate the terrain of adversity?

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, April 22nd, 2011 at 1:00 am
Category Christ, Cross, Crucifixion.
Interact No Comments
April 17th, 2010

Knowing and Growing

“Jesus answered him, ‘I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.’” Luke 23:43 (NIV)

The thief on the cross received the greatest gift of all, the gift of eternal life. In our vernacular, we would say that he was in the ninth inning with two outs and a full count. His next decision would determine his future. When the thief made the decision to turn to Christ, his forever was radically changed. Instead of going to hell, the thief, now as a newly converted child of God, went to heaven.

We rejoice in the immense mercy and grace Jesus demonstrated upon the cross for this thief. However, this thief had no time to grow spiritually and to develop his spiritual muscles. Was he authentically saved? Yes! Did he have time to develop into a mature follower of Christ? No!

Fortunately, you have the privilege of knowing Christ personally and growing in your love relationship with Him. The challenge for you is not the matter of salvation, but the matter of sanctification. Are you growing? Are you becoming who Christ made you to be? You have both the privilege and responsibility to maximize the time you have in order to grow spiritually.

What have you learned so far in your spiritual journey? Life on earth is a classroom of preparation for the life to come. How are you utilizing what God has given you with the time you have? Are you intentional about your spiritual maturation? Are you growing in your love relationship with Jesus?

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, April 17th, 2010 at 1:00 am
Category Cross, Jesus, Spiritual Growth.
Interact No Comments
March 15th, 2010

Seeing Others Through the Cross

“Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in shabby clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, ‘Here’s a good seat for you,’ but say to the poor man, ‘You stand there’ or ‘Sit on the floor by my feet,’ have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?” James 2:2-4 (NIV)

The corporate worship setting is sacred. When we gather with fellow believers to express our love to God in corporate worship, we are obeying God and demonstrating a reverence for His glory. The worship environment is conducive to encouraging each other and edifying the body of Christ. However, the corporate setting for worship can also be an environment where discrimination seeps in.

Making a judgment about one’s appearance based on their attire is condescending to the very one Christ died for. For us to give preferential treatment to those endowed with financial prowess would be tragic in the eyes of God. For us to consider withholding our love, affirmation, acceptance, and inclusion of those less fortunate would break the heart of God. We become the judges when we start ranking human beings and attaching varying levels of worth based on externals.

Preferential treatment misrepresents the character of God. We need to embrace God’s perspective on those He created and sent His Son to die for. God took the initiative to establish our value through the atoning work of Jesus on the cross. Every person matters to God. As followers of Jesus Christ, we are to place the same value on others that God does. We are to see others through the saving work of Jesus on the cross.

Is there anyone you are currently looking down on? Have you minimized the value God places on others? Let’s be reminded of where we were when God found us in our sin.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, March 15th, 2010 at 1:00 am
Category Cross, God's Perspective, Value.
Interact No Comments