Archive for the ‘Endurance’ Category

December 18th, 2015

Unity

“May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.” Romans 15:5-7 (ESV)

Unity is important. Unity in the body of Christ is important because of how diverse people from different socioeconomic backgrounds who have different interests in life come together in love to accomplish the overarching purpose of growing the Kingdom of God and reflect the power of the gospel. As Christ Himself said, people know we are His children by how we love one another, as such love is impossible to possess without the spirit of God doing a transforming work within us (John 13:35).  The way we live in harmony with one another says something about the truth of the message of Jesus. Unity is important.

Unity is also hard. Notice that Paul, in writing to the Romans about living in harmony with one another, calls upon God to grant His people both endurance and encouragement. What an interesting combination of attributes Paul asks the Lord to share! Why would he ask for these things? Well, the second is rather obvious, as certainly we are constantly in need of encouragement to remember both the goal of the Christian and the motivation for seeing it through. We must be continually reminded of Christ’s superlative nature in comparison to all other things.

Endurance, though, seems to be a bit more unusual, unless of course you have spent much time trying to protect unity. Even though the true people of the Church are regenerate, they have not yet become perfect, meaning that they still sin and mess up. As a result, feelings get hurt, promises are broken, and relationships fall apart from unwarranted suspicions and careless words. To pursue unity, then, in the midst of such hurt is hard work. To commit to let personal feelings and justified anger go requires a great deal of personal sacrifice for the good of the whole, motivated by Christ’s actions as seen in vs. 7.

We must extend grace to one another as the people of God, committing to live in harmony with our spiritual family no matter the difficulty, understanding that such unity in the midst of enormous diversity reflects the heart of our Heavenly Father and the power of the gospel over sin.

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 18th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Endurance, Romans, Unity.
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July 4th, 2015

Recapture God’s Perspective

“But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he asked that he might die, saying, ‘It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life, for I am no better than my fathers.’” 1 Kings 19:4 (ESV)

Elijah experienced the miracle working, idol defeating, prayer answering display of God’s splendor. A major spiritual victory had been won on Mount Carmel. The 450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of Asherah were slaughtered. The people of Israel responded to the demonstration of God’s power by kneeling and proclaiming, “The Lord, He is God! The Lord, He is God!”

Once Elijah received a threat from Jezebel, he descended from the mountain of public victory to the valley of personal defeat. He ran for his life and entered the wilderness. As he sat under a broom tree, he hit a personal all-time low and wanted God to take away his life. Elijah spiraled down into the depths of depression.

Fear causes you to lose perspective. Fear blurs your focus and exaggerates your circumstances. Recapture God’s perspective on your life and on your circumstances. Remember that you are designed by God and for God’s glory. If God allows you to go through a difficult situation, He will use it for your good and for His glory.

God has the final say. Rest in His sovereignty. God has the power to change both you and your circumstances. Sometimes God removes your obstacles and sometimes God gives you the grace to navigate life in the midst of the obstacles you face.

God provided Elijah with rest, refreshment, revelation, and relationship. Elijah recaptured God’s perspective on life.

Riding HIS Wave,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, July 4th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category 1 Kings, Elijah, Endurance.
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December 2nd, 2013

Living By Faith

“All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth.” Hebrews 11:13 (NIV)

Are you living by faith and longing for heaven? God created you for eternity. Your life on earth is just a short stay in light of eternity. Yet, God has a purpose for your life and a mission for you to fulfill during your earthly existence. Your life is ordained by God and for God.

The Hall of Faith in Hebrews chapter eleven captures the lives of Abel, Enoch, Noah, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, and a host of others. They were still living by faith when they died. They were longing for a better country—a heavenly one (Heb. 11:16). They lived their lives as aliens and strangers on earth.

Don’t get too attached to this life on planet earth. You were not designed to live here forever. God created you with eternity in mind. Your eternal destination in heaven is determined by your faith alone in Christ alone by God’s grace alone. Once you turn your life over to Christ, eternal life in heaven becomes your reality.

Until you get to heaven, God wants you to continue the ministry of Jesus on the earth. Shine the light of Jesus and share the love of Jesus with others. Bloom where God has planted you and allow Him to use you to bring others into relationship with Jesus.

Living by faith involves trusting God to accomplish His plan through your life. Yield to His Lordship and to His leadership and enjoy the journey of being on mission with God. Live by faith and long for heaven. One day you will cross over from this life into the next.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, December 2nd, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Endurance, Faith, Faithfulness.
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December 18th, 2012

Unity

“May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.” Romans 15:5-7 (ESV)

Unity is important. Unity in the body of Christ is important because of how diverse people from different socioeconomic backgrounds who have different interests in life coming together in love to accomplish the overarching purpose of growing the Kingdom of God reflects the power of the gospel. As Christ Himself said, people know we are His children by how we love one another, as such love is impossible to possess without the spirit of God doing a transforming work within us (Jn 13:35).  The way we live in harmony with one another says something about the truth of the message of Jesus. Unity is important.

Unity is also hard. Notice that Paul, in writing to the Romans about living in harmony with one another, calls upon God to grant His people both endurance and encouragement. What an interesting combination of attributes Paul asks the Lord to share! Why would he ask for these things? Well, the second is rather obvious, as certainly we are constantly in need of encouragement to remember both the goal of the Christian and the motivation for seeing it through. We must be continually reminded of Christ’s superlative nature in comparison to all other things.

Endurance, though, seems to be a bit more unusual, unless of course you have spent much time trying to protect unity. Even though the true people of the Church are regenerate, they have not yet become perfect, meaning that they still sin and mess up. As a result, feelings get hurt, promises are broken, and relationships fall apart from unwarranted suspicions and careless words. To pursue unity, then, in the midst of such hurt is hard work. To commit to let personal feelings and justified anger go requires a great deal of personal sacrifice for the good of the whole, motivated by Christ’s actions as seen in vs. 7.

We must extend grace to one another as the people of God, committing to live in harmony with our spiritual family no matter the difficulty, understanding that such unity in the midst of enormous diversity reflects the heart of our Heavenly Father and the power of the gospel over sin.

Chronological Bible Reading Plan: (Day 345:  Romans 14-16)

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 18th, 2012 at 1:00 am
Category Endurance, Romans, Unity.
Interact No Comments
July 4th, 2012

Recapture God’s Perspective

“But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he asked that he might die, saying, ‘It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life, for I am no better than my fathers.’” 1 Kings 19:4 (ESV)

Elijah experienced the miracle working, idol defeating, prayer answering display of God’s splendor. A major spiritual victory had been won on Mount Carmel. The 450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of Asherah were slaughtered. The people of Israel responded to the demonstration of God’s power by kneeling and proclaiming, “The Lord, He is God! The Lord, He is God!”

Once Elijah received a threat from Jezebel, he descended from the mountain of public victory to the valley of personal defeat. He ran for his life and entered the wilderness. As he sat under a broom tree, he hit a personal all-time low and wanted God to take away his life. Elijah spiraled down into the depths of depression.

Fear causes you to lose perspective. Fear blurs your focus and exaggerates your circumstances. Recapture God’s perspective on your life and on your circumstances. Remember that you are designed by God and for God’s glory. If God allows you to go through a difficult situation, He will use it for your good and for His glory.

God has the final say. Rest in His sovereignty. God has the power to change both you and your circumstances. Sometimes God removes your obstacles and sometimes God gives you the grace to navigate life in the midst of the obstacles you face.

God provided Elijah with rest, refreshment, revelation, and relationship. Elijah recaptured God’s perspective on life.

Chronological Bible Reading Plan: (Day 178:  1 Kings 17-19)

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, July 4th, 2012 at 1:00 am
Category 1 Kings, Elijah, Endurance.
Interact No Comments
December 2nd, 2011

Living By Faith

“All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth.” Heb 11:13 (NIV)

Are you living by faith and longing for heaven? God created you for eternity. Your life on earth is just a short stay in light of eternity. Yet, God has a purpose for your life and a mission for you to fulfill during your earthly existence. Your life is ordained by God and for God.

The Hall of Faith in Hebrews chapter eleven captures the lives of Abel, Enoch, Noah, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, and a host of others. They were still living by faith when they died. They were longing for a better country—a heavenly one (Heb. 11:16). They lived their lives as aliens and strangers on earth.

Don’t get too attached to this life on planet earth. You were not designed to live here forever. God created you with eternity in mind. Your eternal destination in heaven is determined by your faith alone in Christ alone by God’s grace alone. Once you turn your life over to Christ, eternal life in heaven becomes your reality.

Until you get to heaven, God wants you to continue the ministry of Jesus on the earth. Shine the light of Jesus and share the love of Jesus with others. Bloom where God has planted you and allow Him to use you to bring others into relationship with Jesus.

Living by faith involves trusting God to accomplish His plan through your life. Yield to His Lordship and to His leadership and enjoy the journey of being on mission with God. Live by faith and long for heaven. One day you will cross over from this life into the next.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, December 2nd, 2011 at 1:00 am
Category Endurance, Faith, Faithfulness.
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January 28th, 2008

Making Sense Out of Life (3)

“Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.’” Matt 16:24 (NIV)

Life without Jesus doesn’t make sense. You can spend your life succumbing to the current of busyness and end up weary and depleted. You can slither down the fast lane of materialism and land on the island of emptiness. Life just won’t make sense without Jesus.

Jesus says to come after Him you must deny yourself and take up His cross. To take up His cross is to identify with Jesus in His shame, suffering, and death. The cross was a horrific means of capital punishment. The Romans reserved this method of death for their enemies.

  • “And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death–even death on a cross!” Phil 2:8 (NIV)
  • “Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin. As a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God.” 1 Peter 4:1-2 (NIV)

For you to take up His cross daily is to willingly surrender your life to Jesus in every area of your life. Choose to identify with Jesus through your obedience to God’s Word and through your diligence in serving others. Even in the hard seasons of life, choose to identify with Christ.  

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, January 28th, 2008 at 1:00 am
Category Endurance, Making Sense, Surrender.
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