Archive for the ‘Deception’ Category

June 30th, 2015

Be Careful of the Counsel You Keep

“And he said to him, “I also am a prophet as you are, and an angel spoke to me by the word of the LORD, saying, ‘Bring him back with you into your house that he may eat bread and drink water.’” But he lied to him.” 1 Kings 13:18 ESV

The Kingdom had been divided, and one of the new kings, Jeroboam, had transformed from a figure like Moses, who delivered the people of God from oppression, to one like Aaron,  who fashioned golden calves and led the people of God into idolatry. As Jeroboam was preparing to sacrifice to his golden calves, a prophet of the Lord came to speak over him the Lord’s judgment. The man of God had specific instructions from the Lord: speak your peace and leave immediately without taking food or drink from anyone.  The man of God, of course, did this in the presence of the king but was persuaded by an older prophet on his return home to eat with him when the older prophet lied about receiving a vision from the Lord that made the younger prophet’s partaking of food and drink in his home acceptable to the Lord. The younger prophet, who just called Jeroboam to repentance by speaking the truth of God, lost his life because he allowed a false prophet to alter his course before the Lord.

Beware of false prophets. If the word of someone who claims to know the word of God does not line up with the Lord’s already revealed word, do not listen to them. Trust what God has already spoken, for the Lord does not contradict Himself. Trust in His words and His provision; otherwise, you may encounter a lion on the road who takes your life and guards over you as a reminder. Pray this morning for a discerning heart and a mind filled with God’s truth.

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 Tuesday, June 30th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category 1 Kings, Deception, Truth.
Interact No Comments
December 14th, 2013

Delete Doubt

“Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, ‘Did God really say, “You must not eat from any tree in the garden”?’” Genesis 3:1 (NIV)

We combat three enemies in this life: Satan, the world, and the flesh. In his pride and rebellion, Lucifer sought to dethrone God (Isa. 14:12-14). In response, God de-heavened Lucifer and one-third of the angels fell with him (Rev. 12:4). He showed up in the garden in the form of a serpent to tempt Eve. Through temptation, the enemy sought to get Eve to meet a legitimate need in an illegitimate way. The serpent caused Eve to doubt God’s Word. Instead of doing life God’s way and obeying God’s Word, Eve yielded to the promptings of the enemy and disobeyed God.

Satan is still active in our world today. Through temptation, he seeks to get believers to meet their legitimate needs in illegitimate ways. The enemy tries to get children of God to take short cuts and to doubt God’s Word. God’s way is always the best way, yet the enemy will put seeds of doubt into the minds of believers.

The seed of doubt will cause you to question God’s Word and to be suspect of God’s plan. You do not have to sacrifice your devotion to the Lord by watering the seeds the devil has sown. Your protection from the attacks of the enemy is the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Your lifeline is God’s Holy Word. You do not have to live in defeat. You do not have to operate in the erosive terrain of doubt. Fix your eyes on Jesus. Look to Him and put your confidence in His completed work on the cross. You are a child of the King! Your victory has been won by the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. Replace those seeds of doubt with faith!

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, December 14th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Deception, Devil, Doubt.
Interact No Comments
September 20th, 2013

Maintain Your Integrity

“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.” Luke 16:10 (NIV)

Maintain your integrity. My favorite definition of integrity is: when the tongue in your mouth lines up with the tongue in your shoe. To be a person of integrity means that you are unmixed and unadulterated. With integrity, your walk and your talk are synonymous. There is no disparity and no duplicity. A person of integrity is not divided. For the person of integrity, the public life matches the private life.

Be trustworthy and honest. God rewards obedience. God values trustworthiness and honesty. If God can trust you with very little, then God can trust you with much. What are you doing with all that God has entrusted to your care? What kind of lifestyle are you embracing? Are you being trustworthy?

Whenever there is a gap in your integrity. Close the gap by making restitution. Make things right between you and God. Be vigilant in making things right with others. Resolve to make personal adjustments in your life to close the gap. Remove harmful habits and embrace healthy patterns to build a bridge of reconciliation to others.

Zacchaeus had a life-changing experience that resulted in his willingness to make restitution. He had financed his selfish lifestyle at the expense of others.

  • “But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, ‘Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.’” Luke 19:8 (NIV)

Investigate your integrity. How’s your private life? How does your private life line up with your public life? Is there a gap? With the Lord’s help, address your duplicity and close the gap by God’s grace.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, September 20th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Deception, Integrity, Ten Commandments.
Interact No Comments
September 19th, 2013

Delete Deception

“‘You shall not steal.’” Exodus 20:15 (NIV)

The Eighth Commandment connects with me on a deeper level as a result of our family vehicle being stolen during my son’s baseball tournament in May of 2010. When something is stolen from you it makes you feel violated and reminds you how vulnerable you really are to the fragments of living in a fallen world.

Stealing dishonors God, deceives others, and defiles your testimony. The Eighth Commandment teaches us to delete deception. One way to delete deception is by being honest with our financial resources. God expects us to be good stewards of all that He has blessed us with. Biblical stewardship includes tithing our income. Giving ten percent of our income to the Lord’s work brings honor to God and benefits others. Tithing demonstrates our trust in God’s provision and is a reflection of our submission to His Lordship.

  • “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.” Mal. 3:10 (NIV)
  • “Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.” 2 Cor. 9:6 (NIV)

Test God by tithing your income and trust God to meet your needs according to His riches in glory. Be a good steward of what God has given you and respect what God has given to others. Sow into the Lord’s work so that others can come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ around the world. Delete deception by being a generous giver for the global glory of God.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, September 19th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Deception, Stealing, Ten Commandments.
Interact No Comments
June 30th, 2012

Be Careful of the Counsel You Keep

“And he said to him, “I also am a prophet as you are, and an angel spoke to me by the word of the LORD, saying, ‘Bring him back with you into your house that he may eat bread and drink water.’” But he lied to him.” 1 Kings 13:18 ESV

The Kingdom had been divided, and one of the new kings, Jeroboam, had transformed from a figure like Moses, who delivered the people of God from oppression, to one like Aaron,  who fashioned golden calves and led the people of God into idolatry. As Jeroboam was preparing to sacrifice to his golden calves, a prophet of the Lord came to speak over him the Lord’s judgment. The man of God had specific instructions from the Lord: speak your peace and leave immediately without taking food or drink from anyone.  The man of God, of course, did this in the presence of the king but was persuaded by an older prophet on his return home to eat with him when the older prophet lied about receiving a vision from the Lord that made the younger prophet’s partaking of food and drink in his home acceptable to the Lord. The younger prophet, who just called Jeroboam to repentance by speaking the truth of God, lost his life because he allowed a false prophet to alter his course before the Lord.

Beware of false prophets. If the word of someone who claims to know the word of God does not line up with the Lord’s already revealed word, do not listen to them. Trust what God has already spoken, for the Lord does not contradict Himself. Trust in His words and His provision; otherwise, you may encounter a lion on the road who takes your life and guards over you as a reminder. Pray this morning for a discerning heart and a mind filled with God’s truth.

Chronological Bible Reading Plan: (Day 174: 1 Kings 12-14)

Grace and peace,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, June 30th, 2012 at 1:00 am
Category 1 Kings, Deception, Truth.
Interact No Comments
December 14th, 2011

Delete Doubt

“Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, ‘Did God really say, “You must not eat from any tree in the garden”?’” Gen 3:1 (NIV)

We combat three enemies in this life: Satan, the world, and the flesh. In his pride and rebellion, Lucifer sought to dethrone God (Isaiah 14:12-14). In response, God de-heavened Lucifer and one-third of the angels fell with him (Rev. 12:4). He showed up in the garden in the form of a serpent to tempt Eve. Through temptation, the enemy sought to get Eve to meet a legitimate need in an illegitimate way. The serpent caused Eve to doubt God’s Word. Instead of doing life God’s way and obeying God’s Word, Eve yielded to the promptings of the enemy and disobeyed God.

Satan is still active in our world today. Through temptation, he seeks to get believers to meet their legitimate needs in illegitimate ways. The enemy tries to get children of God to take short cuts and to doubt God’s Word. God’s way is always the best way, yet the enemy will put seeds of doubt into the minds of believers.

The seed of doubt will cause you to question God’s Word and to be suspect of God’s plan. You do not have to sacrifice your devotion to the Lord by watering the seeds the devil has sown. Your protection from the attacks of the enemy is the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Your lifeline is God’s holy Word. You do not have to live in defeat. You do not have to operate in the erosive terrain of doubt. Fix your eyes on Jesus. Look to Him and put your confidence in His completed work on the cross. You are a child of the King! Your victory has been won by the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. Replace those seeds of doubt with faith!

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, December 14th, 2011 at 1:00 am
Category Deception, Devil, Doubt.
Interact No Comments
September 20th, 2011

Maintain Your Integrity

“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.” Luke 16:10 (NIV)

Maintain your integrity. My favorite definition of integrity is: when the tongue in your mouth lines up with the tongue in your shoe. To be a person of integrity means that you are unmixed and unadulterated. With integrity, your walk and your talk are synonymous. There is no disparity and no duplicity. A person of integrity is not divided. For the person of integrity, the public life matches the private life.

Be trustworthy and honest. God rewards obedience. God values trustworthiness and honesty. If God can trust you with very little, then God can trust you with much. What are you doing with all that God has entrusted to your care? What kind of lifestyle are you embracing? Are you being trustworthy?

Whenever there is a gap in your integrity. Close the gap by making restitution. Make things right between you and God. Be vigilant in making things right with others. Resolve to make personal adjustments in your life to close the gap. Remove harmful habits and embrace healthy patterns to build a bridge of reconciliation to others.

Zacchaeus had a life-changing experience that resulted in his willingness to make restitution. He had financed his selfish lifestyle at the expense of others.

  • “But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, ‘Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.’” Luke 19:8 (NIV)

Investigate your integrity. How’s your private life? How does your private life line up with your public life? Is there a gap? With the Lord’s help, address your duplicity and close the gap by God’s grace.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, September 20th, 2011 at 1:00 am
Category Deception, Integrity, Ten Commandments.
Interact No Comments
September 19th, 2011

Delete Deception

“‘You shall not steal.’” Exodus 20:15 (NIV)

The Eighth Commandment connects with me on a deeper level as a result of our family vehicle being stolen during my son’s baseball tournament in May of 2010. When something is stolen from you it makes you feel violated and reminds you how vulnerable you really are to the fragments of living in a fallen world.

Stealing dishonors God, deceives other, and defiles your testimony. The Eighth Commandment teaches us to delete deception. One way to delete deception is by being honest with our financial resources. God expects us to be good stewards of all that He has blessed us with. Biblical stewardship includes tithing our income. Giving ten percent of our income to the Lord’s work brings honor to God and benefits others. Tithing demonstrates our trust in God’s provision and is a reflection of our submission to His Lordship.

  • “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.” Malachi 3:10 (NIV)
  • “Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.” 2 Cor 9:6 (NIV)

Test God by tithing your income and trust God to meet your needs according to His riches in glory. Be a good steward of what God has given you and respect what God has given to others. Sow into the Lord’s work so that others can come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ around the world. Delete deception by being a generous giver for the global glory of God.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, September 19th, 2011 at 1:00 am
Category Deception, Stealing, Ten Commandments.
Interact No Comments
July 27th, 2009

Deception

“If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.” 1 John 1:8 (NIV)

Accuracy promotes intimacy.

If you want to have an intimate love relationship with God, you must have an accurate estimation of yourself. Taking personal inventory can be helpful. Have you ever stopped long enough to really get down to your current reality? You can live at such a fast pace in this life that you neglect the need for introspection. Looking within to capture the truth of your spiritual status is vitally important.

An accurate estimation of yourself requires truthfulness. Being honest about your thought-life, being honest about your motives, and being honest about your inner desires are marks of spiritual maturity. The tendency is to evaluate others under a microscope and to evaluate ourselves with binoculars. Everyone looks good from a distance. Take a close look at your life. 

Don’t live in deception. Don’t gloss over the things that break the heart of God.

“So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!” 1 Cor 10:12 (NIV)

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor
(This devotional was originally posted in ’07 or ’08. I’m taking a break from writing for a season of personal renewal.)
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, July 27th, 2009 at 1:00 am
Category Deception, If, Integrity.
Interact No Comments
February 16th, 2008

If

“If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.” 1 John 1:8 (NIV)

Accuracy promotes intimacy.

If you want to have an intimate love relationship with God, you must have an accurate estimation of yourself. Taking personal inventory can be helpful. Have you ever stopped long enough to really get down to your current reality? You can live at such a fast pace in this life that you neglect the need for introspection. Looking within to capture the truth of your spiritual status is vitally important.

An accurate estimation of yourself requires truthfulness. Being honest about your thought-life, being honest about your motives, and being honest about your inner desires are marks of spiritual maturity. The tendency is to evaluate others under a microscope and to evaluate ourselves with binoculars. Everyone looks good from a distance. Take a close look at your life. 

Don’t live in deception. Don’t gloss over the things that break the heart of God.

“So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!” 1 Cor 10:12 (NIV)

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, February 16th, 2008 at 1:00 am
Category Deception, If, Integrity.
Interact No Comments