Archive for the ‘Integrity’ Category

August 20th, 2015

Our God is at Hand

“Am I a God at hand, declares the LORD, and not a God far away? Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? declares the LORD. Do I not fill heaven and earth? declares the LORD. I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy lies in my name, saying, ‘I have dreamed, I have dreamed!’ How long shall there be lies in the heart of the prophets who prophesy lies, and who prophesy the deceit of their own heart, who think to make my people forget my name by their dreams that they tell one another, even as their fathers forgot my name for Baal? Let the prophet who has a dream tell the dream, but let him who has my word speak my word faithfully.” Jeremiah 23:23-28a (ESV)

As representatives of the Lord, let us be careful to follow that calling faithfully, not claiming a word from the Lord for our own glory but sharing that which He has revealed for His glory and our good. The leadership of the Israelite people had themselves fallen away from the Lord and had begun to lead the people entrusted to them away as well. The Lord in this passage marvels at the audacity of these prophets and priests, claiming the authority and blessing of the Lord while defaming His holy name. Had these leaders fallen so far out of God’s presence that they failed to remember His nature and His resolve to defend His character and covenant? As a reminder, the Lord promises to raise up new leadership in the aftermath of the exile that will lead His people to Him rather than away from Him.

As the people of God today, let us be sure that we are not claiming revelation from the Lord simply because of convenience. As a funny example, I’m reminded of a time in college where I wanted to get out of a relationship with a girl I was dating, and I told her that the Lord had told me to do it. Now while I am sure there have been times where the Lord has truly revealed such action, this was not the case for me. This was just the easiest way out, and I abused God’s name to get what I wanted. As the people of God today, and certainly those of us in leadership positions, may we hold in the highest esteem revelation from the Lord, using it with the holiest of intentions so that those around us do not come to question the integrity of God while questioning ours, because He will defend His name.

Know that God is all around us. Do not think you can slip something by Him that detracts from His glory rather than enhances it! Be aware of God’s presence and live in light of 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 Thursday, August 20th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Integrity, Jeremiah, Omnipresence.
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July 6th, 2015

What the Lord Says

“And the messenger who went to summon Micaiah said to him, ‘Behold, the words of the prophets with one accord are favorable to the king. Let your word be like the word of one of them, and speak favorably.’ 14 But Micaiah said, ‘As the Lord lives, what the Lord says to me, that I will speak.’” 1 Kings 22:13-14 (ESV)

Micaiah exhibited integrity, accuracy, and loyalty to God’s Word. He had to decide whether he would align with what the other prophets had prophesied or to align with what God said to him. Wisely, Micaiah consistently spoke what the Lord had said to him. He simply made known to others what the Lord had said to him.

How many words do you speak each day? How many conversations do you have in a single day? God has saved you and filled you with His Holy Spirit so that you can continue His ministry on the earth. One vital component to doing God’s will on the earth is to know what God says and to make His Word known to others.

  • “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: 11 whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” 1 Peter 4:10-11 (ESV)

When you speak, choose to speak as one who speaks the Word of God. Allow God’s Word to saturate your life in such a way that when you speak His Word comes forth. Say what the Lord says and do what the Lord demonstrated during His earthly ministry.

Riding HIS Wave,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, July 6th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category 1 Kings, Integrity, Revelation.
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May 3rd, 2015

Heart and Hand

“With upright heart he shepherded them and guided them with his skillful hand.” Psalm 78:72 (ESV)

Does the tongue in your mouth line up with the tongue in your shoe? Is your talk in alignment with your walk? If so, that’s integrity! Honesty and truthfulness are garments that every child of God should feature. To be a person of integrity is to be honest about who you are and truthful in your conversation and your conduct.

Perhaps you know of people who are loaded with talent, but lack integrity. In many cases, their talent took them farther than their character could sustain them. We have watched countless talented men and women fall into grave immorality due to the lack of integrity.

In God’s economy, talent and skill are insufficient without integrity. God wants us to use the gifts and abilities He has blessed us with through the avenue of integrity. The level of our integrity determines the veracity of our testimony. Purity, honesty, and authenticity are vital components for the person God uses.

King David was not perfect. He made some poor choices and leveraged his position to indulge his sinful appetite. Yet, in brokenness and humility, he confessed his sin and received God’s forgiveness. David shepherded the people with integrity. He led the people with skillful hands. God’s grace was more than sufficient for the race. David learned to depend upon God and to trust in His daily provision.

If God can make someone like King David into a man after God’s own heart, then there’s hope for us. We can walk in integrity through our daily dependence upon God. Without His ample supply of grace, we have no chance of living a life of integrity. Let’s surrender completely to the Lord’s control and allow Him to live His life of integrity through us.

Riding HIS Wave,

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

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, May 3rd, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category David, Integrity, Psalms.
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March 14th, 2015

Keep Your Word

“Moses spoke to the heads of the tribes of the people of Israel, saying, “This is what the Lord has commanded. If a man vows a vow to the Lord, or swears an oath to bind himself by a pledge, he shall not break his word. He shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth.” Numbers 30:1-2 (ESV)

How refreshing to spend time with a person of integrity! The guard comes down and pretense evaporates because you are in the presence of someone who keeps his or her word. You can count on them. You can trust them because they are trustworthy. You can rely on them because they are reliable. You can depend on them because they are dependable.

Moses spoke to the heads of the tribes of the people of Israel to affirm the value of a vow. Moses reminded them of the utter importance and vitality of keeping their word. Their conversation was to be consistently supported by their conduct. Their beliefs were to be authenticated by their behavior.

Do you keep your word? Are you a person of integrity? Does your conversation line up with your conduct? Take personal inventory of your life to assess the health of your integrity.

  • “But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.’” 1 Sam 16:7 (ESV)

Invite God to search your heart and to unveil anything in your heart that does not bring Him honor. Ask God to reveal any fraction of compromise or deception resident in your life. Be a person of integrity. Keep your word!

Riding HIS Wave,

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

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, March 14th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Character, Integrity, Numbers.
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January 18th, 2015

Maintain Integrity

“‘As God lives, who has taken away my right, and the Almighty, who has made my soul bitter, as long as my breath is in me, and the spirit of God is in my nostrils, my lips will not speak falsehood, and my tongue will not utter deceit. Far be it from me to say that you are right; till I die I will not put away my integrity from me. I hold fast my righteousness and will not let it go; my heart does not reproach me for any of my days.’” Job 27:2-6 (ESV)

Your life is like a tube of toothpaste, when squeezed, whatever is on the inside will come out. Adversity has a way of squeezing out fears, frustrations, resentment, and bitterness. By nature, we suppress those things that disappoint us or hurt us. We seek to dodge pain.

Job experienced an intense season of testing that revealed what was on the inside of him. Job was honest about his disappointment and transparent about the resident bitterness within his soul. In spite of the avalanche of adversity, Job chose to maintain his integrity. He made a commitment to not speak falsehood, to not utter deceit, and to not put away his integrity. Job resolved to hold fast to his righteousness and not let it go.

Everybody looks good from a distance. What do you see when you get close enough to see what is on the inside? How are you doing internally? Maintain integrity by staying close to the Lord and clean before the Lord. Surrender to the Lordship of Christ and make sure that the tongue in your mouth lines up with the tongue in your shoe. Hold fast to the righteousness of Christ. You are positionally right before God in Christ. Apply that positional righteousness through practical righteous living.

Riding HIS Wave,

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

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, January 18th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Integrity, Job, Righteousness.
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October 8th, 2014

Keep Your Word

“Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.” Matthew 5:37 (ESV)

Decide to live a life of integrity. My favorite description of integrity is when the tongue in your mouth lines up with the tongue in your shoe. Moses demonstrated integrity by refusing to succumb to the gravitational pull of instant gratification. King David shepherded his people with integrity of heart. Jesus is the model of integrity.

Living a life of integrity includes keeping your word. There’s no need to prop up your words by swearing or making a verbal promise. Simply let your “yes” be “yes,” and your “no” be “no.” Be a person of your word. When you give your word on something it should be validated by a lifestyle of credibility. You build your credibility through honesty, consistency, and transparency.

  • By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin.” Heb. 11:24-25 (ESV)
  • “With upright heart he shepherded them and guided them with his skillful hand.” Ps. 78:72 (ESV)

Don’t give the devil a foothold. Don’t give the devil an entry point to dilute your devotion to the Lord or to compromise your integrity. Guard your heart. Protect your mind. Seek to become more and more like Christ each day. The clarity of your integrity will be elevated through Christlikeness. When Jesus reigns in your life, you will reign with integrity in this life.

Refuse to be mixed in your motives. Keep your motives pure before God.

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, October 8th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Consistency, Honesty, Integrity.
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June 17th, 2014

Measuring Your Motives

You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. James 4:2-3 (ESV)

Have you ever been the recipient of a gift that was given with impure motives? When motives are not right, the gift loses its impact. How you give is just as important as what you give. How you serve is just as important as the act of serving. How you do life is just as important as what you do with your life. Motives matter to God.

God is all-knowing and all-seeing. In His omniscience, God detects the motives in which you operate your life. God looks beneath the surface of your good deeds to identify your true motives. Selfishness is an indicator of impure motives. Wrong motives will cause you to mistreat others in order to get what you want.

  • All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirit.” Prov. 16:2 (ESV)

What if we started with a boldness to simply ask God? If there is something we need, what keeps us from asking God who is the Creator and Sustainer of life? Why do we try to take life into our own hands and allow impure motives to infiltrate our decisions? Let’s commit to go to God! He is our sufficiency!

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, June 17th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Integrity, Motives, Sufficiency.
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January 2nd, 2014

Sincere Integrity

“With upright heart he shepherded them and guided them with his skillful hand.” Psalm 78:72 (ESV)

Does the tongue in your mouth line up with the tongue in your shoe? Is your talk in alignment with your walk? If so, that’s integrity! Honesty and truthfulness are garments that every child of God should feature. To be a person of integrity is to be honest about who you are and truthful in your conversation and your conduct.

Perhaps you know of people who are loaded with talent, but lack integrity. In many cases, their talent took them farther than their character could sustain them. We have watched countless talented men and women fall into grave immorality due to the lack of integrity.

In God’s economy, talent and skill are insufficient without integrity. God wants us to use the gifts and abilities He has blessed us with through the avenue of integrity. The level of our integrity determines the veracity of our testimony. Purity, honesty, and authenticity are vital components for the person God uses. Sincere integrity is crucial for being on mission with God in a corrupt world.

King David was not perfect. He made some poor choices and leveraged his position to indulge his sinful appetite. Yet, in brokenness and humility, he confessed his sin and received God’s forgiveness. David shepherded the people with integrity. He led the people with skillful hands. God’s grace was more than sufficient for the race. David learned to depend upon God and to trust in His daily provision.

If God can make someone like King David into a man after God’s own heart, then there’s hope for us. We can walk in integrity through our daily dependence upon God. Without His ample supply of grace, we have no chance of living a life of integrity. God does not expect us to live the Christian life in our own strength. Let’s surrender completely to the Lord’s control and allow Him to live His life of integrity through us.

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, January 2nd, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Heart, Integrity, Sincerity.
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November 8th, 2013

Integrity

“For this reason I am sending to you Timothy, my son whom I love, who is faithful in the Lord. He will remind you of my way of life in Christ Jesus, which agrees with what I teach everywhere in every church.” 1 Corinthians 4:17 (NIV)

Hypocrisy corrodes the connection we make with a lost and dying world. Our influence for Christ is inhibited when there is a discrepancy between our words and our actions. Being an irresistible influence for Christ mandates integrity.

Paul invested in Timothy’s life and was instrumental in Timothy’s coming to faith in Christ. Timothy had shadowed Paul and had insight into both Paul’s public and private life. Paul was now sending Timothy to the church at Corinth to remind them of Paul’s way of life in Christ Jesus. Timothy was positioned to give firsthand testimony to Paul’s integrity as a fully devoted follower of Christ.

Paul’s way of life in Christ agreed with what he taught everywhere in every church. His faith and his practice were in sync. Paul’s lifestyle was in alignment with his loyalty to Christ. When you examined Paul’s behavior, it was in-tune with his beliefs. Paul’s conduct was consistent with his convictions.

Let me share with you one of the most engaging definitions of integrity that I have ever heard. Integrity is when the tongue in your mouth lines up with the tongue in your shoe. When your speech matches your path on the street, then integrity is exhibited. When there is misalignment between our talk and our walk, hypocrisy erupts.

Does your way of life in Christ line up with your convictions and conversations? Is there any area of your life that is out of sync with your true identity in Christ? Ask the Lord to reveal inconsistencies and choose to live a life of integrity that brings glory to God.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, November 8th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Consistency, Integrity, Paul.
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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.
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