Archive for the ‘Death’ Category

November 5th, 2015

Come Forth

“When he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come out.’ The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.” John 11:42-43 (ESV)

There is no more perfect picture of the process of salvation than is found here in the gospel of John, for the story of Lazarus is all our story. We, like him, were dead in our trespasses, bound by our ever-deepening entanglement in sin, and grieving the heart of our loving Lord. And, yet, when it seemed that all hope was lost, Jesus spoke life into us as He did the brother of Mary and Martha.

Do you remember that day? Do you remember when the Lord of heaven and earth gently but firmly spoke your name and called you to “come forth”? Do you remember when He released you from the binding of sin, free to walk in abundant life? Oh, child of God, never forget that day. Never forget that when Christ has set you free, you are free indeed.

And why must we remember? We must because of our tendency to wander back into the tomb. Every now and then we forget that we have this life within us and act as we did when we were dead, cold and unresponsive to the movement of God. We allow sin to find a place in our lives once again, forgetting the death it spoke over us.

When temptation comes or when you stumble, remember the voice of the Lord speaking over your life, for when you do you remember that sin has no victory and death no sting! Rejoice today that Christ called you to come forth.

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, November 5th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Death, John, New Life.
Interact No Comments
June 4th, 2015

When Death is Precious

“Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.” Psalm 116:15 (ESV)

Death is a normal part of life. For the entirety of our lives on earth, we combat the perpetual process of decay. Our bodies are susceptible to sickness, sorrow, and suffering. When we think of death we think of the end of life as we know it. When a loved one dies we enter the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Death is all around us and death is an inevitable part of life.

Why would God consider the death of his saints as precious in His sight? How can death be precious? We equate death with pain and loss and separation. God has a different view of death. From God’s perspective, the death of a saint is not a wall to climb but a bridge to cross. Death is not the end of the journey. There is life beyond the grave. When a child of God dies, that person is immediately ushered into the presence of the Lord.

  • “So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:6 (ESV)
  • “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Philippians 1:21 (ESV)

The death of a Christian is precious in the Lord’s sight because that person was created not for time, but for eternity. To transition from life on our fallen sin-cursed planet to the glory of heaven is precious. To be delivered from the sin, suffering, and sorrow that saturates the earth is precious. Being in heaven for all eternity is precious. One day we will have the glorious opportunity to be reunited with our loved ones who have gone on home before us. We will see Jesus face to face!

Riding HIS Wave,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, June 4th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Death, Heaven, Psalms.
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April 26th, 2015

Thus Saul Died

“Then Saul said to his armor-bearer, ‘Draw your sword, and thrust me through with it, lest these uncircumcised come and thrust me through, and mistreat me.’ But his armor-bearer would not, for he feared greatly. Therefore Saul took his own sword and fell upon it. And when his armor-bearer saw that Saul was dead, he also fell upon his sword and died with him. Thus Saul died, and his three sons, and his armor-bearer, and all his men, on the same day together.” 1 Samuel 31:4-6 (ESV)

David successfully eluded Saul’s constant threats and consistent attempts to eliminate him. Saul had hurled his javelin at David while David played the lyre to sooth the king. Saul marshaled his army to pursue David on several occasions. In the midst of it all, David faithfully submitted to the Lord’s sovereignty, feared God, and honored the office of the king. David entrusted vengeance to the Lord.

  • “The Lord lives, and blessed be my rock, and exalted be the God of my salvation—the God who gave me vengeance and subdued peoples under me, who delivered me from my enemies; yes, you exalted me above those who rose against me; you rescued me from the man of violence.” Psalm 18:46-48 (ESV)

Let God be God in your life and in the midst of your circumstances. Trust God to handle the people He has created and to help you overcome trying circumstances. God will see you through. You can anchor your faith to the Rock of Ages. You can rest in the abundant provision of the God of your salvation. God will lavish you with His love and dispense His grace to match your need. Keep walking with God and trust Him to illuminate the path He wants you to take.

Riding HIS Wave,

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

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, April 26th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category 1 Samuel, Death, Saul.
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April 6th, 2015

Your Funeral

“And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the Lord, died at the age of 110 years. And they buried him within the boundaries of his inheritance in Timnath-heres, in the hill country of Ephraim, north of the mountain of Gaash.” Judges 2:8-9 (ESV)

Some of the most meaning funerals I have ever preached have been those in which the children of the deceased person stand to speak about their parent’s life. One day you will take your final breath on the earth and your funeral will be conducted. What should your children be able to say at your funeral?

Our parents taught us how to walk with God. If you want your children to walk with God, then model the value of intimacy with God. Let them see you having your daily quiet time. Share the overflow of what God is teaching you in your daily walk with Him. Place your children in environments that will help them develop their walk with God.

Our parents taught us how to love others. Validate the value God places on others. Show your children how to love others. Your children are watching you closely. They know if you genuinely love people. Another important step is to seize opportunities that will enable your children to serve others.

Our parents were still living by faith when they died. In order to leave a legacy you must live a legacy. Guard your priorities in order to finish strong. Keep your love relationship with Jesus your number one priority.

Can you imagine what Joshua’s children would have said at his funeral after he lived 110 years? Our father taught us how to walk with God, how to love others, how to make wise decisions, and he was still living by faith when he died. It’s never too late to start. What will your children say at your funeral?

Riding HIS Wave,

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

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, April 6th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Death, Joshua, Judges.
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November 30th, 2014

The Bridge Called Death

“‘The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.’” Matthew 13:44 (ESV)

When I stood behind the pulpit to speak at the funeral of the surgeon who saved my life, it was as though time stood still. He had been our family doctor during my childhood and teenage years. He was a devoted husband, father, and deacon at my home church. Every scar on my body bears his workmanship from stitching up deeps cuts to performing emergency surgery following my Jet Ski accident during my junior year in High School. He was a godly man my family treasured.

There’s something about death that makes us measure the value of life. When someone dear to us dies, we experience the agony of their loss and the joy of their gain. Knowing that we will see them again in heaven brings such comfort. Knowing that they are in the Presence of God beholding the face of Jesus and walking on streets of gold generates the affirmation of our faith.

Jesus shared a parable that helps us understand what the kingdom of heaven is like. When a man found treasure hidden in the field, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all that he had and bought that field. The kingdom of heaven is to be treasured. The kingdom of heaven is worth being treasured.

Your most valued possession is the gift of eternal life that you received at the moment of your conversion. When Jesus became the Lord of your life, you became secure for eternity. You became a kingdom citizen. Death is not a wall to climb, but a bridge to cross. Jesus has made a way for you to face death with certainty and clarity.

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, November 30th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Comfort, Death, Heaven.
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February 19th, 2013

Live by Faith

“All these people were still living by faith when they died.” Heb 11:13 (NIV)

It’s not how you start; it’s how you finish. Commit to finish well. When you study the Hall of Faith found in Hebrews chapter eleven, you will discover great men and women who chose to finish well. They were still living by faith when they died.

What are you giving your life to? Have you determined the focus of your life? Living by faith involves allowing Christ to live His life through you. Living by faith includes surrendering your life to God’s agenda. Yielding to the Lordship of Christ moment by moment validates the reality of living by faith. Living by faith is not walking in the dark, but walking in the light of God’s will.

  • “Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9 for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” 1 Peter 1:8-9 (NIV)
  • “Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.” 1 Peter 1:13 (NIV)

Determine to cross the finish line of this life living by faith. Don’t let anything or anyone deter you from living a life pleasing to God. Grow in your love relationship with the Lord so that your daily walk will give evidence to a life of faith. Trusting God with the details of your life requires activating your faith. Will you submit to God’s authority? Will you obey God’s Word and embrace His way?  Finish well by demonstrating a life of instant obedience.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, February 19th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Commitment, Death, Faith.
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November 5th, 2012

Come Forth!

“When he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come out.’ The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.” John 11:42-43 (ESV)

There is no more perfect picture of the process of salvation than is found here in the gospel of John, for the story of Lazarus is all our story. We, like him, were dead in our trespasses, bound by our ever-deepening entanglement in sin, and grieving the heart of our loving Lord. And, yet, when it seemed that all hope was lost, Jesus spoke life into us as He did the brother of Mary and Martha.

Do you remember that day? Do you remember when the Lord of heaven and earth gently but firmly spoke your name and called you to “come forth”? Do you remember when He released you from the binding of sin, free to walk in abundant life? Oh, child of God, never forget that day. Never forget that when Christ has set you free, you are free indeed.

And why must we remember? We must because of our tendency to wander back into the tomb. Every now and then we forget that we have this life within us and act as we did when we were dead, cold and unresponsive to the movement of God. We allow sin to find a place in our lives once again, forgetting the death it spoke over us.

When temptation comes or when you stumble, remember the voice of the Lord speaking over your life, for when you do you remember that sin has no victory and death no sting! Rejoice today that Christ called you to come forth.

Chronological Bible Reading Plan: (Day 302:  John 11)

Grace and peace,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, November 5th, 2012 at 1:00 am
Category Death, John, New Life.
Interact No Comments
June 4th, 2012

When Death is Precious

“Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.” Psalm 116:15 (ESV)

Death is a normal part of life. For the entirety of our lives on earth, we combat the perpetual process of decay. Our bodies are susceptible to sickness, sorrow, and suffering. When we think of death we think of the end of life as we know it. When a loved one dies we enter the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Death is all around us and death is an inevitable part of life.

Why would God consider the death of his saints as precious in His sight? How can death be precious? We equate death with pain and loss and separation. God has a different view of death. From God’s perspective, the death of a saint is not a wall to climb but a bridge to cross. Death is not the end of the journey. There is life beyond the grave. When a child of God dies, that person is immediately ushered into the presence of the Lord.

  • “So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:6 (ESV)
  • “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Philippians 1:21 (ESV)

The death of a Christian is precious in the Lord’s sight because that person was created not for time, but for eternity. To transition from life on our fallen sin-cursed planet to the glory of heaven is precious. To be delivered from the sin, suffering, and sorrow that saturates the earth is precious. Being in heaven for all eternity is precious. One day we will have the glorious opportunity to be reunited with our loved ones who have gone on home before us. We will see Jesus face to face!

Chronological Bible Reading Plan: (Day 148:  Psalms 111-118)

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, June 4th, 2012 at 1:00 am
Category Death, Heaven, Psalms.
Interact No Comments
April 26th, 2012

Thus Saul Died

“Then Saul said to his armor-bearer, ‘Draw your sword, and thrust me through with it, lest these uncircumcised come and thrust me through, and mistreat me.’ But his armor-bearer would not, for he feared greatly. Therefore Saul took his own sword and fell upon it. And when his armor-bearer saw that Saul was dead, he also fell upon his sword and died with him. Thus Saul died, and his three sons, and his armor-bearer, and all his men, on the same day together.” 1 Samuel 31:4-6 (ESV)

David successfully eluded Saul’s constant threats and consistent attempts to eliminate him. Saul had hurled his javelin at David while David played the lyre to sooth the king. Saul marshaled his army to pursue David on several occasions. In the midst of it all, David faithfully submitted to the Lord’s sovereignty, feared God, and honored the office of the king. David entrusted vengeance to the Lord.

  • “The Lord lives, and blessed be my rock, and exalted be the God of my salvation—47 the God who gave me vengeance and subdued peoples under me, 48 who delivered me from my enemies; yes, you exalted me above those who rose against me; you rescued me from the man of violence.” Psalm 18:46-48 (ESV)

Let God be God in your life and in the midst of your circumstances. Trust God to handle the people He has created and to help you overcome trying circumstances. God will see you through. You can anchor your faith to the Rock of Ages. You can rest in the abundant provision of the God of your salvation. God will lavish you with His love and dispense His grace to match your need. Keep walking with God and trust Him to illuminate the path He wants you to take.

Chronological Bible Reading Plan: (Day 109:  1 Samuel 28-31; Psalm 18)

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, April 26th, 2012 at 1:00 am
Category 1 Samuel, Death, Saul.
Interact No Comments
April 6th, 2012

Your Funeral

“And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the Lord, died at the age of 110 years. And they buried him within the boundaries of his inheritance in Timnath-heres, in the hill country of Ephraim, north of the mountain of Gaash.” Judges 2:8-9 (ESV)

Some of the most meaning funerals I have ever preached have been those in which the children of the deceased person stand to speak about their parent’s life. One day you will take your final breath on the earth and your funeral will be conducted. What should your children be able to say at your funeral?

Our parents taught us how to walk with God. If you want your children to walk with God, then model the value of intimacy with God. Let them see you having your daily quiet time. Share the overflow of what God is teaching you in your daily walk with Him. Place your children in environments that will help them develop their walk with God.

Our parents taught us how to love others. Validate the value God places on others. Show your children how to love others. Your children are watching you closely. They know if you genuinely love people. Another important step is to seize opportunities that will enable your children to serve others.

Our parents were still living by faith when they died. In order to leave a legacy you must live a legacy. Guard your priorities in order to finish strong. Keep your love relationship with Jesus your number one priority.

Can you imagine what Joshua’s children would have said at his funeral after he lived 110 years? Our father taught us how to walk with God, how to love others, how to make wise decisions, and he was still living by faith when he died. It’s never too late to start. What will your children say at your funeral?

Chronological Bible Reading Plan: (Day 89:  Judges 1-2)

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, April 6th, 2012 at 1:00 am
Category Death, Joshua, Judges.
Interact No Comments