Archive for the ‘Daniel’ Category

September 23rd, 2015

The Wicked Act Wickedly

“Many shall purify themselves and make themselves white and be refined, but the wicked shall act wickedly. And none of the wicked shall understand, but those who are wise shall understand.” Daniel 12:10 (ESV)

The book of Daniel, at least in the 2nd, more apocalyptic part, seeks to affirm in the people of God both at the time of writing and today the sovereignty of  God in difficult circumstances. For those who are righteous, who seek out the activity of God in the events of human history, the hand of God will be evidenced. Even when seemingly difficult to see, we as the people of God must trust that He is there and that He is at work. The unrighteous, or wicked in this case, however, do not have the luxury of acknowledging the hand of God in difficult circumstances because they do not readily acknowledge Him in any circumstance. They choose to seek their own path and in so doing bring destruction upon themselves, which is truly all they know how to do.

As the people of God, we must live in this tension of knowledge today. On the one hand, we are aware of God’s blessing, our eyes having been opened by the gospel of Jesus Christ, and seek to find that blessing in any circumstance. The possible frustration for us, however, is found in those who do not know the Lord who act in wicked ways, as their nature leads them to do. We may want to force them into seeing the Lord through loud preaching or “Bible brow-beating,” but we must not! We must remember that the wicked act wickedly in any circumstance because they do not know the hope of Christ. We must not presume upon the ungoldy godliness. Rather, we must continue to proclaim the gospel and let the transforming work of the Holy Spirit lead them to a place where the revelation of God gives them hope and calls them to obedience. May we not forget as God’s people to be a gracious people to those who do not know Him, for we were once blinded to the beauty of our Lord.

Grace and peace,

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

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Daniel, Grace, Wicked.
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September 22nd, 2015

Praying for Our Nation

“Then I turned my face to the Lord God, seeking him by prayer and pleas for mercy with fasting and sackcloth and ashes. I prayed to the Lord my God and made confession, saying, ‘O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, we have sinned and done wrong and acted wickedly and rebelled, turning aside from your commandments and rules.’” Daniel 9:3-5 (ESV)

Daniel prayed in brokenness and confession on behalf of his people. He took ownership for their spiritual health and vitality. Daniel sought the Lord God in prayer. He cried out with fasting and humility before the Lord for God’s mercy to be extended.

Revival is for believers who have become apathetic toward the things of God. Revival is designed by God to restore a believer’s passion and hunger for God and His agenda. When revival comes, it produces a byproduct known as a spiritual awakening. While revival is for believers, a spiritual awakening impacts unbelievers and brings them to the place of transformation.

The only way for our nation to genuinely change is for the lost to get saved and have a growing relationship with Jesus Christ. Pray for everyone, including national leaders and those in authority, that they may come to know the Lord personally and have a growing relationship with Him.

Can you imagine our nation fully yielded to the Lordship of Christ? Can you envision our nation passionate about pursuing God daily and living for His glory? Join me in praying for that vision to become a reality. Pray for our nation. Seek the Lord in brokenness and humility on behalf of our nation.

Riding HIS Wave,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Confession, Daniel, Prayer.
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September 21st, 2015

Between the Lions

“Then the king commanded, and Daniel was brought and cast into the den of lions. The king declared to Daniel, ‘May your God, whom you serve continually, deliver you!’” Daniel 6:16 (ESV)

Daniel had a track record of faithfulness to God. His loyalty to God was unwavering. After the king signed a decree forbidding Daniel to pray to God, Daniel allowed his devotion to God to supercede his devotion to the king. Daniel was not willing to disobey God in order to obey the king. Instead, Daniel honored God at the expense of the king’s retribution. Daniel paid a hefty price for his obedience. He was thrown into the lions’ den.

  • “Then, at break of day, the king arose and went in haste to the den of lions. As he came near to the den where Daniel was, he cried out in a tone of anguish. The king declared to Daniel, ‘O Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to deliver you from the lions?’” Daniel 6:19-20 (ESV)
  • “Then Daniel said to the king, ‘O king, live forever! My God sent his angel and shut the lions’ mouths, and they have not harmed me, because I was found blameless before him; and also before you, O king, I have done no harm.’” Daniel 6:21-22 (ESV)

Your devotion and faithfulness to God may not ever lead you to be thrown into a literal lions’ den. However, your lions’ den may simply be having others misunderstand you or criticize you for your devotion to God. Your family members may not support you in your walk with God. Your co-workers or neighbors may not fully understand your commitment to serving God. Your lions’ den may be when your peers fail to comprehend your level of loyalty to God.

Trust God completely! God can shut the mouths of the lions. God can redeem the hurt you endure. God knows right where you are and He knows exactly what you need to accomplish His plan.

Riding HIS Wave,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, September 21st, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Adversity, Courage, Daniel.
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September 20th, 2015

Fiery Faith

“Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, ‘O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.’” Daniel 3:16-18 (ESV)

Has your faith ever been tested? Have you ever been in an environment that provided you with an opportunity to make a bold stand for the Lord? Maybe your home is a place where your faith is put to the test. Maybe your work environment has been a difficult place for you to express your faith. Swimming upstream is always a challenge. Whenever you decide to go in the opposite direction of the cultural current, you will face resistance and opposition.

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, in the midst of impending death if they chose not to abide by the king’s command, were willing to obey God at all costs. Instead of bowing to the golden image erected by king Nebuchadnezzar, they chose to honor God even if it meant death. They demonstrated their belief in God’s ability to save them from the blazing furnace. They went a step further by declaring that even if God did not deliver them that they would not worship the image of gold.

Do you have that kind of “but even if God does not” faith? Are you willing to obey God in the face of opposition and in the face of being misunderstood by your family or peers? Even if God does not deliver you from your difficult circumstances, are you willing to obey Him and honor Him?

The good news is that God did deliver Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. They would not bow, they would not bend, they would not budge, and they would not burn! God rescued them through the blazing furnace. God allowed them to go through the fire unharmed. Now that’s a life changing experience!

Riding HIS Wave,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, September 20th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Commitment, Courage, Daniel.
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October 16th, 2014

Daniel and the Partial Fast

“In those days I, Daniel, was mourning for three weeks. I ate no delicacies, no meat or wine entered my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, for the full three weeks.” Daniel 10:2-3 (ESV)

The most common fast among believers is the partial fast. You choose to eliminate certain foods from your diet for a specific time in order to draw near to God. You can choose to give up all types of meat and only eat vegetables for a season. When you participate in a partial fast, you continue to drink fluids and you may also choose to eat certain foods.

A partial fast could include suspending the consumption of coffee for a specified period of time. It could be a choice to abstain from desserts and other sweets for a season in order to seek God.

Daniel chose to go on a partial fast for twenty-one days. God honored his commitment and gave Daniel a special revelation. Daniel was known for drawing near to God and seeking God’s agenda. The Lord honored Daniel’s obedience and devotion.

You may want to consider embracing a partial fast where you eat the evening meal and then drink only water and juice until the following evening meal twenty-four hours later. You can spend breakfast and lunch praying and reading the Bible. Instead of feasting on food during those two meals, you can maximize that time by feasting on God’s Word.

As you fast, consider journaling your journey with God. Write down or type what God shows you during the fast. Be sensitive to God’s activity and take note of what you are sensing from God. He may give you a specific verse from the Bible to meditate on. God may identify a relationship in your life that needs attention.

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, October 16th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Daniel, Fasting, Prayer.
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December 13th, 2013

Partial Fast

“At that time I, Daniel, mourned for three weeks. I ate no choice food; no meat or wine touched my lips; and I used no lotions at all until the three weeks were over.” Daniel 10:2-3 (NIV)

The most common fast among believers is the partial fast. You choose to eliminate certain foods from your diet for a specific time in order to draw near to God. You can choose to give up all types of meat and only eat vegetables for a season. When you participate in a partial fast, you continue to drink fluids and you may also choose to eat certain foods.

A partial fast could include suspending the consumption of coffee for a specified period of time. It could be a choice to abstain from desserts and other sweets for a season in order to seek God.

Daniel chose to go on a partial fast for twenty-one days. God honored his commitment and gave Daniel a special revelation. Daniel was known for drawing near to God and seeking God’s agenda. The Lord honored Daniel’s obedience and devotion.

You may want to consider embracing a partial fast where you eat the evening meal and then drink only water and juice until the following evening meal twenty-four hours later. You can spend breakfast and lunch praying and reading the Bible. Instead of feasting on food during those two meals, you can maximize that time by feasting on God’s Word.

As you fast, consider journaling your journey with God. Write down or type what God shows you during the fast. Be sensitive to God’s activity and take note of what you are sensing from God. He may give you a specific verse from the Bible to meditate on. God may identify a relationship in your life that needs attention.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, December 13th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Daniel, Fasting, Spiritual Disciplines.
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January 18th, 2013

Proven Loyalty

“So the king gave the order, and they brought Daniel and threw him into the lions’ den. The king said to Daniel, ‘May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!’” Dan 6:16 (NIV)

Daniel had a track record of faithfulness to God. His loyalty to God was unwavering. After the king signed a decree forbidding Daniel to pray to God, Daniel allowed his devotion to God to supersede his devotion to the king. Daniel was not willing to disobey God in order to obey the king. Instead, Daniel honored God at the expense of the king’s retribution. Daniel paid a hefty price for his obedience. He was thrown into the lions’ den.

  • “At the first light of dawn, the king got up and hurried to the lions’ den. When he came near the den, he called to Daniel in an anguished voice, ‘Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to rescue you from the lions?’” Dan 6:19-20 (NIV)
  • “Daniel answered, ‘O king, live forever! My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight. Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, O king.’” Dan 6:21-22 (NIV)

Your devotion and faithfulness to God may not ever lead you to be thrown into a literal lions’ den. However, your lions’ den may simply be having others misunderstand you or criticize you for your devotion to God. Your family members may not support you in your walk with God. Your co-workers or neighbors may not fully understand your commitment to serving God. Your lions’ den may be when your peers fail to comprehend your level of loyalty to God.

Trust God completely! God can shut the mouths of the lions. God can redeem the hurt you endure. God knows right where you are and He knows exactly what you need to accomplish His plan.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, January 18th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Daniel, Loyalty, Opposition.
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September 23rd, 2012

The Wicked Shall Act Wickedly.

“Many shall purify themselves and make themselves white and be refined, but the wicked shall act wickedly. And none of the wicked shall understand, but those who are wise shall understand.” Daniel 12:10 (ESV)

The book of Daniel, at least in the 2nd, more apocalyptic part, seeks to affirm in the people of God both at the time of writing and today the sovereignty of  God in difficult circumstances. For those who are righteous, who seek out the activity of God in the events of human history, the hand of God will be evidenced. Even when seemingly difficult to see, we as the people of God must trust that He is there and that He is at work. The unrighteous, or wicked in this case, however, do not have the luxury of acknowledging the hand of God in difficult circumstances because they do not readily acknowledge Him in any circumstance. They choose to seek their own path and in so doing bring destruction upon themselves, which is truly all they know how to do.

As the people of God, we must live in this tension of knowledge today. On the one hand, we are aware of God’s blessing, our eyes having been opened by the gospel of Jesus Christ, and seek to find that blessing in any circumstance. The possible frustration for us, however, is found in those who do not know the Lord who act in wicked ways, as their nature leads them to do. We may want to force them into seeing the Lord through loud preaching or “Bible brow-beating,” but we must not! We must remember that the wicked act wickedly in any circumstance because they do not know the hope of Christ. We must not presume upon the ungoldy godliness. Rather, we must continue to proclaim the gospel and let the transforming work of the Holy Spirit lead them to a place where the revelation of God gives them hope and calls them to obedience. May we not forget as God’s people to be a gracious people to those who do not know Him, for we were once blinded to the beauty of our Lord.

Chronological Bible Reading Plan: (Day 259:  Daniel 10-12)

Grace and peace,

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

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, September 23rd, 2012 at 1:00 am
Category Daniel, Grace, Wicked.
Interact No Comments
September 22nd, 2012

Praying for Our Nation

“Then I turned my face to the Lord God, seeking him by prayer and pleas for mercy with fasting and sackcloth and ashes. I prayed to the Lord my God and made confession, saying, ‘O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, we have sinned and done wrong and acted wickedly and rebelled, turning aside from your commandments and rules.’” Daniel 9:3-5 (ESV)

Daniel prayed in brokenness and confession on behalf of his people. He took ownership for their spiritual health and vitality. Daniel sought the Lord God in prayer. He cried out with fasting and humility before the Lord for God’s mercy to be extended.

Revival is for believers who have become apathetic toward the things of God. Revival is designed by God to restore a believer’s passion and hunger for God and His agenda. When revival comes, it produces a byproduct known as a spiritual awakening. While revival is for believers, a spiritual awakening impacts unbelievers and brings them to the place of transformation.

The only way for our nation to genuinely change is for the lost to get saved and have a growing relationship with Jesus Christ. Pray for everyone, including national leaders and those in authority, that they may come to know the Lord personally and have a growing relationship with Him.

Can you imagine our nation fully yielded to the Lordship of Christ? Can you envision our nation passionate about pursuing God daily and living for His glory? Join me in praying for that vision to become a reality. Pray for our nation. Seek the Lord in brokenness and humility on behalf of our nation.

Chronological Bible Reading Plan: (Day 258:  Daniel 7-9)

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, September 22nd, 2012 at 1:00 am
Category Confession, Daniel, Prayer.
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September 21st, 2012

Between the Lions

“Then the king commanded, and Daniel was brought and cast into the den of lions. The king declared to Daniel, ‘May your God, whom you serve continually, deliver you!’” Dan 6:16 (ESV)

Daniel had a track record of faithfulness to God. His loyalty to God was unwavering. After the king signed a decree forbidding Daniel to pray to God, Daniel allowed his devotion to God to supersede his devotion to the king. Daniel was not willing to disobey God in order to obey the king. Instead, Daniel honored God at the expense of the king’s retribution. Daniel paid a hefty price for his obedience. He was thrown into the lions’ den.

  • “Then, at break of day, the king arose and went in haste to the den of lions. 20 As he came near to the den where Daniel was, he cried out in a tone of anguish. The king declared to Daniel, ‘O Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to deliver you from the lions?’” Dan 6:19-20 (ESV)
  • “Then Daniel said to the king, ‘O king, live forever! 22 My God sent his angel and shut the lions’ mouths, and they have not harmed me, because I was found blameless before him; and also before you, O king, I have done no harm.’” Dan 6:21-22 (ESV)

Your devotion and faithfulness to God may not ever lead you to be thrown into a literal lions’ den. However, your lions’ den may simply be having others misunderstand you or criticize you for your devotion to God. Your family members may not support you in your walk with God. Your co-workers or neighbors may not fully understand your commitment to serving God. Your lions’ den may be when your peers fail to comprehend your level of loyalty to God.

Trust God completely! God can shut the mouths of the lions. God can redeem the hurt you endure. God knows right where you are and He knows exactly what you need to accomplish His plan.

Chronological Bible Reading Plan: (Day 257:  Daniel 4-6)

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, September 21st, 2012 at 1:00 am
Category Adversity, Courage, Daniel.
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