Archive for the ‘Jesus’ Category

December 29th, 2015

The Importance of Christ’s Deity

“But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption.” Hebrews 9:11-12 (ESV)

The sacrificial system was always a temporary fix, both in practicality and in God’s overarching redemptive design. The sacrifices offered were never able to speak to the fullness of sin’s offense, nor compensate adequately in holiness. Yet, the coming of Christ revealed the purpose of the sacrificial system: to establish a process by which Christ could ultimately justify God’s offer of salvation and permanently atone for sin. His deity is essential to this provision. If Christ is not infinite, as God alone is, then His sacrifice cannot even remotely account for the entirety of our sin. Secondly, if Christ is not eternal, then that accounting cannot span the expanse of time from the beginning of creation until His return. Christ, then, must be both man and God for Him to be able to secure an “eternal redemption.”

For centuries, there have been those who try to minimize the importance of Christ’s deity, suggesting that He was simply a good man or a skilled teacher. Make no mistake, though, without the deity of Christ, there is no salvation. If we fail to affirm the fullness of the God-man, then we rob our faith of its power. Defend the teaching of Christ’s deity and be thankful that He became sin Who knew no sin so that we could become the righteousness of God.

Grace and peace,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, December 29th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Hebrews, Incarnation, Jesus.
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December 28th, 2015

Jesus is Greater than Moses!

“For Jesus has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses– as much more glory as the builder of a house has more honor than the house itself.” Hebrews 3:3 (ESV)

The whole Bible is about Jesus.  From Genesis to Revelation, Scripture is concerned with revealing the glory of Christ, initially in revealing our great need for Him, followed subsequently by His unique role in God’s plan of salvation and the anticipation of His triumphant return. Even the great leaders of our faith are meant to point out how Christ was uniquely better than our best. Moses is a great example. Moses did great things for the Lord in leading the people of God out of the bondage of slavery, but even as great as he was, he was still flawed. He was a man who lacked faith in the Lord at times, grew impatient and angry with the people God asked him to lead, and acted impulsively, ultimately leading to his inability to enter the promised land.

The author of Hebrews uses these truths to amplify the glory of Christ for a Jewish audience. Yes, Moses was a great leader. Yes, he was a father of our faith, but he was and is not Jesus. Jesus is greater than Moses, for while Moses was a prophet of God, Jesus is the Word of God incarnate. Jesus is greater than Moses, because although Moses led a specific people out of physical bondage, Christ provides freedom for all people from the bondage of sin and death. Jesus is greater than Moses in that Jesus is the only way to the promised land and will certainly be there when we enter. Jesus is greater and is alone worthy of our worship, praise, and devotion.

As followers of Christ, we must be wary to not fall in love with a leader more than who that leader should be leading us toward. Our devotion must first always be to Jesus, for no leader regardless of his worth on this earth comes close to the glory that is Christ’s!

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, December 28th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Hebrews, Jesus, Moses.
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November 10th, 2015

We Must Lift Jesus High

“And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” John 12:32 (ESV)

The way to draw people into the Kingdom of God is simple: we lift Jesus high and He will draw all people to Himself. How simple the plan of God truly is! Our responsibility as disciples is not to force people into a relationship with Jesus nor to convince them of gospel truth. We simply proclaim. We proclaim His unmerited death and our unmerited favor as a result of this work of grace. We proclaim His victory over sin in the resurrection and our impending victory as a result. We proclaim the abundant life He lived and has given us as a people transformed by His Spirit. We tell the gospel, the good news of Jesus, and as we proclaimed Christ crucified and resurrected, people will come to Him.

Are you proclaiming the gospel of Jesus, the full good news? Or are you proclaiming only part? For many of us, we offer good biblical advice based on principles from the bible, but we never get to the point of challenging people in their sin and depravity and revealing their need for repentance. Christianity is more than good advice. In fact, the advice we give is inherently tied to the gospel. Marriages and relationships only work when we recognize the sacrifice of Jesus and how He has loved and forgiven us. Only then will we work to show that kind of love and forgiveness to others. Advice, then, that is not rooted in the gospel is man-centered and lacks transformative power.

Dear friend, do not lose the message of Christ. Do not forfeit the gospel for an easier, man-centered philosophy. Proclaim this good news and watch as Jesus draws all people unto Himself and brings about restoration as a result.

Grace and peace,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, November 10th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Jesus, John, Proclamation.
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October 17th, 2015

Instead of Worrying

“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Matthew 6:34 (ESV)

Instead of worrying about tomorrow, focus on today. To worry is to be drawn in multiple directions. Worry causes you to feel fragmented and overwhelmed. Someone has said, “Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.” Where does worry take you? Worry takes you to an unhealthy place!

God gives you the grace you need for today. God gives you the provision you need for today. Focus on today. Release the fear and anxiety related to tomorrow. Jesus made it clear that tomorrow will worry about itself and each day has enough trouble of its own.

Aren’t you thankful that there are 365 days in a year, 24 hours in a day, sixty minutes in an hour, and sixty seconds in each minute? Jesus does not want us to worry about tomorrow. Don’t be anxious about the next installment of 24 hours. That’s why Jesus did not teach us to pray, “Give us this month our monthly bread.” Rather, Jesus taught us to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread.”

  • “Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Philippians 4:5-6 (ESV)

Instead of worrying about tomorrow, choose to focus on what God wants to do in you and through you today. God is building you and developing you to fulfill His will for today. Don’t waste one moment today. Every moment matters to God so make every moment count for God’s glory.

Riding HIS Wave,

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

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, October 17th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Jesus, Trust, Worry.
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October 16th, 2015

Chosen by God for God

“And he appointed twelve (whom he also named apostles) so that they might be with him and he might send them out to preach.” Mark 3:14 (ESV)

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.

Riding HIS Wave,

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

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, October 16th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Disciple, Jesus, Ministry.
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October 15th, 2015

Heighten Your Sensitivity

“So Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise. For the Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing. And greater works than these will he show him, so that you may marvel.’” John 5:19-20 (ESV)

Are you experiencing God? I remember the major shift that took place in my Christian journey after my wife and I went through Henry Blackaby’s workbook, Experiencing God. Instead of seeking to do something for God, we began embracing the discipline of allowing God to do His work in us and through us.

The first of seven realities of Experiencing God is recognizing that God is always at work around you. If you want to see God at work, then ask God to heighten your sensitivity to His activity. Jesus was sensitive to God’s activity. Even at age twelve, Jesus announced to His earthly mom and dad, “I must be about my Father’s business.”

Orient your life around God’s activity. Remember, the Christian life is not about your story that you invite God into. The Christian life is about God’s story that He invites you into. Jesus oriented His life around God’s activity so that He could join God in His activity.

Place your “yes” on the altar and make yourself completely available for the Lord’s use. Ride the wave God creates. Look to see where He is at work so that you can join Him in His activity. Seek to turn interruptions into opportunities to join God in what He is doing.

Pray this prayer with me: “Lord, I’m Yours! Help me to see where You are at work today so that I can join You!”

Riding HIS Wave,

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

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, October 15th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Experiencing God, Jesus, Sensitivity.
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October 13th, 2015

What Are You Living For?

“Jesus said to them, ‘My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work.’” John 4:34 (ESV)

God has a mission for you to fulfill. God created you to bloom where He plants you so that you can continue the ministry of Jesus. Your life matters to God. Stay on mission with God.

Jesus lived His earthly life to bring glory to God by doing His will and finishing His work. Jesus was on mission with God. His passion was to do God’s will. When the disciples returned with food for Jesus to eat, Jesus clarified that His appetite was to do God’s will. Jesus recognized the clear mission for which He was sent by God to the earth to fulfill.

  • “When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, ‘It is finished,’ and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. John 19:30 (ESV)

Jesus completed His atoning work on the cross to purchase our salvation. He took the full wrath of God for our sin. Jesus was buried in a borrowed tomb and rose three days later. After forty days of post-resurrection appearances, Jesus ascended to heaven. On the Day of Pentecost, Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to indwell the believers as He promised (John 16:7 & Luke 24:49). Now Jesus is at the right hand of the Father making intercession for us (Rom. 8:34).

Will you embrace the mission of Jesus by doing God’s will and finishing the work He wants to do through you? There are people who need the love of Jesus you possess. Multitudes stand in need of the gift of eternal life that you have received. Bring glory to God by living on mission with Him.

Riding HIS Wave,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, October 13th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Focus, God's Will, Jesus.
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September 8th, 2015

A Righteous Man Shall Surely Live

“If a man is righteous and does what is just and right–if he does not eat upon the mountains or lift up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, does not defile his neighbor’s wife or approach a woman in her time of menstrual impurity, does not oppress anyone, but restores to the debtor his pledge, commits no robbery, gives his bread to the hungry and covers the naked with a garment, does not lend at interest or take any profit, withholds his hand from injustice, executes true justice between man and man, walks in my statutes, and keeps my rules by acting faithfully–he is righteous; he shall surely live, declares the Lord GOD.” Ezekiel 18:5-9 (ESV)

God has a standard for us. This standard is not some power-play from on high, in which the Lord seeks to show His creation just how much authority He has over them. Rather, this standard is for the good of creation. The best thing that God can give to His creation is Himself, knowing that He is the fulfillment of everything that we seek. If a man needs love, he should turn to the Lord because the Lord is the perfect and infinite source of love. The same truth applies to all of our most basic needs. The problem, though, arises when you and I fail to remain holy, for when any sinfulness comes into our lives it affects our access to the fullness of God. When we don’t act as God indicates above and throughout the law, we defile ourselves and become unworthy of the presence of God and, thus, are unable to find true fulfillment.

This dilemma, however, reveals to us once again the beauty of Christ, who did do what was right and just. He never lifted His eyes to idols nor became ritually impure as directed by the law. He came not to oppress but give freedom and restoration. He never robbed anyone, forsook anyone in need, nor sought to harm someone in order to advance Himself. He was the perfect picture of righteousness, and because of that we can surely live! You see, He, in spite of His righteousness, took upon our punishment for our shortcomings and gave us His righteousness. Because of that, we can now find true satisfaction and, having been satisfied, seek to communicate that truth to those in need around us.

Grace and peace,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, September 8th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Ezekiel, Jesus, Satisfaction.
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August 7th, 2015

Simplify and Focus

“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn;to grant to those who mourn in Zion—to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified.” Isaiah 61:1-3 (ESV)

What are you going to do with the time you have left? Don’t waste your life. Don’t delay in knowing and doing God’s will. You are too valuable and your life is too vital to neglect living in the center of God’s will.

As He stood in the synagogue in His hometown, Jesus quoted Isaiah’s prophecy concerning Himself. “And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. And he began to say to them, ‘Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing’” (Luke 4:20-21 ESV).

God has pursued you with His redeeming love and placed His divine purpose inside of you by His Holy Spirit so that you can continue the ministry of Jesus on earth. You are anointed by God for worship, evangelism, discipleship, ministry, and authentic community. Draw near to God and allow Him to sensitize you to His redemptive activity. You are God’s workmanship and you have been created by God and for God. Make yourself completely available for God’s use today!

Riding HIS Wave,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor

 

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, August 7th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Isaiah, Jesus, Purpose.
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August 2nd, 2015

Behold My Servant!

“Behold my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights; I have put my Spirit upon him; he will bring forth justice to the nations. He will not cry aloud or lift up his voice, or make it heard in the street; a bruised reed he will not break, and a faintly burning wick he will not quench; he will faithfully bring forth justice. He will not grow faint or be discouraged till he has established justice in the earth; and the coastlands wait for his law.” Isaiah 42:1-4 (ESV)

Isaiah 40 marks a transition in the writings of Isaiah from warnings about exile to words of comfort in exile. The people of God have now been conquered by the Babylonians, as foretold in the previous chapters, and now Isaiah offers them a message of hope that actually foreshadows a greater hope for all of us. In chapter 42, we find the first of four “Servant Songs” in this epic prophetic work that promise the restoration of the Jewish people and foreshadow a coming messiah, who will achieve greater things for the good of the nations. This “chosen servant” will carry the favor of God and His Spirit and will establish justice upon the earth.

What an incredible message this is! When you look at this world and you see all of the injustice that exists, know that we are not without hope as the people of God in Babylonian captivity were not without hope. We have hope in this coming servant, Jesus Christ. He will establish justice and hold all of mankind accountable for their response to the one, true God of Israel and for their stewardship over what He has created.

When you see injustice, do not lose heart. The Lord has not forgotten us, for His Son suffered far greater injustice than we can see or imagine so that you and I could experience peace.

Grace and peace,

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

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, August 2nd, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Isaiah, Jesus, Justice.
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