Archive for the ‘Isaiah’ Category

August 8th, 2015

Revival Awaits

“Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains might quake at your presence—as when fire kindles brushwood and the fire causes water to boil—to make your name known to your adversaries, and that the nations might tremble at your presence!” Isaiah 64:1-2 (ESV)

We are desperate for revival in America. The slippery slope of sin has eroded the landscape of morality and dulled the point of purity in our society. Defiance and drifting have marked the cultural current of casual Christianity. What was once abhorred in American history is now deemed the new normal. We have accelerated the vast array of sinful indulgence and have become preoccupied with self worship.

In the darkest of nights, the light of God’s holiness shines the brightest. We are positioned for a great move of God. God is pursuing us with His redeeming love and we have the capacity to respond to His pursuit. This is not the time to be “at ease in Zion” and settle for mediocrity. Jesus has paid far too high a price for our salvation. Let’s not accept the status quo and let’s refrain from embracing the embers of idolatry.

In brokenness over our sin and in humility before the Creator of the universe, let’s pray for revival. Pray that God would open the heavens and come down to reveal His glory, to reveal His holiness, and to usher in revival in America. May the mountains quake at His presence and may the nations tremble at His presence.

Confess known sin instantly and completely. Receive God’s forgiveness and surrender to the Lordship of Christ. Passionately pursue God’s agenda. Seek His face with all your heart. Abandon your all. Place your “yes” on the altar and allow God to have His way in your life. Revival awaits!

Riding HIS Wave,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor

 

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, August 8th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Isaiah, Repentance, Revival.
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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 6th, 2015

Return to the Lord

“Seek the LORD while he may be found; call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:6-9 (ESV)

The gospel, the good news of Jesus Christ, calls us to run toward the Lord in times of despair (even in times of sin) rather than run from Him. We are to trust in His goodness and His forgiveness if our hearts are repentant and committed to change. Isaiah speaks that truth over the people of Israel here. Do not remain far from the Lord; rather, forsake what you forsook Him for and return so that He may pardon you.

Does it make sense that a holy God would forgive an unholy people, who have so incredibly offended the core of His Being? No, but His ways are higher than our ways and His promise is that when we return, we will find His arms wide open.

How do you respond when you have sinned against the Lord? Do you run from Him, hoping to hide your guilt from His omniscience and omnipresence? Or do you embrace the sacrifice of this suffering servant, who has already borne our iniquity, and run toward your true place of solace and forgiveness?

Seek the Lord while He may be found and find His arms wide open, waiting for you, dear child 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 Thursday, August 6th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Isaiah, Repentance, Restoration.
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August 5th, 2015

Our Promised Savior

“Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned–every one–to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” Isaiah 53:4-6 (ESV)

In one of the most beautiful passages in all of scripture, the Lord through the prophet Isaiah sets forth a divine promise of greater salvation coming in the form of a servant. This servant, chosen and formed by the hand of God, will come to set the people of God free from a greater oppressive force than the Assyrian army. He will take on the oppression of sin and God’s wrath against that sin, absorbing our full judgment as our Heavenly Father lays upon him the iniquity of us all. No longer will an animal pay the price for our sin; rather, God’s chosen instrument will become our bearer of His wrath.

The promise here is unmistakable, as it clearly points to the work of Jesus Christ, who sacrificed the glory of heaven to pursue us and reconcile us to God by removing the stain of our transgression. We were rebellious in our devotion to the Lord as His creation, and yet for the sake of His glory, the Lord chose to rescue us and restore us as He did the people of Israel. From Genesis to Revelation, the Lord has been unfolding this ultimate plan of restoration, a small picture of which we see in Isaiah’s prophetic work.

Our responsibility is the same as that of Isaiah. We are to proclaim Christ’s redemptive work for the sake of the nations. Will you proclaim Christ’s saving work today?

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, August 5th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Isaiah, Prophecy, Savior.
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August 3rd, 2015

Refined for His Glory

“For my name’s sake I defer my anger, for the sake of my praise I restrain it for you, that I may not cut you off. Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tried you in the furnace of affliction. For my own sake, for my own sake, I do it, for how should my name be profaned? My glory I will not give to another.” Isaiah 48:9-11 (ESV)

The refining process is sometimes a painful one, but in the end it is worth it to better reflect the glory of God. The People of Israel forget their ultimate purpose in life: to represent God faithfully to the surrounding nations. The Lord, as a result, sent them through a period of refinement in order to remind them of their great need for Him and His ultimate control over all things. He would not allow His covenant people to transgress their promise and defame His holy name, which the Lord establishes as His chief concern. His holy name is the name by which we are saved. His holy name is the name to which every knee will bow and which every tongue will confess. His name represents the fullness of His being and we are not to take it nor our devotion to it in vain. We are to hold the name of God sacred and defend it, as He Himself does, for in His name is His glory upheld.

Would you give yourself completely to the Lord, allowing Him to shape and mold you into the image of Jesus through a refining process to better represent His name? Are you ok with walking through times of hardship and discipline for the sake of the glory of God?

If God’s chief concern is His name, then that should be our chief concern as well, and we should seek to bring glory to it regardless of the cost. He certainly spared no cost in pursuing and saving us.

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 Monday, August 3rd, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Isaiah, Name of God, refine.
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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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August 1st, 2015

A Fool for Flattery

“At that time Merodach-baladan the son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent envoys with letters and a present to Hezekiah, for he heard that he had been sick and had recovered. And Hezekiah welcomed them gladly. And he showed them his treasure house, the silver, the gold, the spices, the precious oil, his whole armory, all that was found in his storehouses. There was nothing in his house or in all his realm that Hezekiah did not show them.” Isaiah 39:1-2 (ESV)

Hezekiah was in the prime of his reign over Judah. He had stood firm in the face of Sennacherib and his boisterous Rabshakeh, relying on the Lord to display His glorious might in their deliverance from  the Assyrians. He had been seriously ill to the point of death and, then, miraculously healed by the word of the Lord through the prophet Isaiah and had his life extended. Just when you think things are perfect for Hezekiah, he does something dumb. He allows the flattery of a foreign government, in this case Babylon, to weaken his defenses and leave himself and his country exposed. When the Babylonians came to check on him, showing him great honor, he did not stop in welcoming, showing them everything in his house and in his realm. The Babylonians certainly would have been impressed, perhaps too much so. Isaiah confronts Hezekiah for his foolishness and speaks over him a promise: his desire to receive the praise of men will ultimately aid in the destruction of his beloved kingdom.

Beware of flattery because it can make you look foolish. Hezekiah never once stopped to ask if this foreign government had ulterior motives in coming to visit them because his vanity liked the attention. As a result, he made himself and his kingdom vulnerable. When someone comes with a flattering tongue, remember you are to boast in Christ alone. Keep your eyes on Him, not allowing the enemy to gain access to your heart.

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 Saturday, August 1st, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Isaiah, Pride, Protection.
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July 31st, 2015

A Trusting Heart or an Anxious Heart?

“Say to those who have an anxious heart, ‘Be strong; fear not! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God. He will come and save you.’” Isaiah 35:4 (ESV)

The beginning of chapter 35 of the book of Isaiah begins with a joyous promise of restoration revealing the glory of God. As the Lord waters the dry land and His people once again begin to sing His praise, they will “see the glory of the Lord, the majesty of our God” (Is 35:2b ESV). Once they have beheld the glory of God in His faithfulness, Isaiah says their anxiety or fear should turn to confidence, for God is bigger than any temporary difficulty.

When we behold the glory of God, we should be emboldened, losing fear and gaining confidence. His glory reveals His strength and ability to accomplish His purposes through the instrumentation of all of creation. Nothing is too big for Him. So, why would we worry? Why would we fear? Why would anxiety ever enter into our lives, knowing that even in our darkest moments the Lord is working all things for our good and within His divine plan?

Do you have an anxious heart? An anxious heart reveals a lack of trust in God’s power and sovereignty. Take comfort in knowing the biblical truth that God will do what He says He will do. Do not worry, but rest in His faithfulness. Remember the glory of God displayed on the cross of Christ and know that you have been saved from the greatest threat to your eternal happiness, so what else is there really to be anxious about? You can be eternally secure in your God, who has come to save you!

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 Friday, July 31st, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Anxiety, Isaiah, Trust.
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July 30th, 2015

The Lord, Our Firm Foundation

” The LORD is exalted, for he dwells on high; he will fill Zion with justice and righteousness, and he will be the stability of your times, abundance of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge; the fear of the LORD is Zion’s treasure.” Isaiah 33:5-6 (ESV)

Over the past few days we have looked at the Lord’s plan for repentance, resulting from a period of discipline. We have seen our need to emulate Him in how we forgive and to destroy those things that cause us to take our eyes off of Him and His greater purposes for the nations. Today, we see how the Lord provides stability for us in the midst of His discipline. While we are being disciplined for the sin in our life, we may feel injustice or self-pity, but we must remember that there is purpose in discipline. Sometimes the covenant people of God must face instability in the physical world to remember God’s ultimate control, thereby finding stability in Him alone.

When instability comes in your life, where do you turn? Do you turn to the Lord and cry out for His salvation, or do you blame Him for every allowing such discomfort in your life? In the midst of spiritual pain or loss, first ask the cause of this discomfort. Is this the enemy at work in order to discourage you from something the Lord has clearly called you to, or is this a consequence from persistent sin or disobedience in your life? If the former, run to the Lord and seek His grace to press forward in obedience. If the latter, seek the Lord’s revelation in your life to know what needs to be removed. In either case, remember that the Lord is our foundation and the place we should run toward in every circumstance.

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 Thursday, July 30th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Consequences, Isaiah, Stronghold.
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July 29th, 2015

Repentance Leads to Destruction

“Then you will defile your carved idols overlaid with silver and your gold-plated metal images. You will scatter them as unclean things. You will say to them, ‘Be gone!’” Isaiah 30:22 (ESV)

True repentance leads to the destruction of the idol in your life that is stealing your affection for the Lord. The goal of repentance is not for you to manage your sin nor keep it under control; the goal is for you to destroy your sin. For the Israelite people, when they repented they could not afford to keep the carved idols overlaid with silver nor the gold-plated images, for doing so would have left open the door for another transgression. They had to remove the temptation altogether in order to turn from their sin completely.

We must treat the idols in our lives the same way. When we recognize that they are interfering with our covenant relationship with God Almighty and we repent of them, we must destroy the idols and say to them, “Be gone!” Don’t be so naive to think that you can keep the source of your sin near and not stumble. Destroy it or it will destroy you.

For many of us, this act of destruction is a very hard thing to do. Our idol can be a relationship, a sport we have spent years trying to perfect, a secret sin kept hidden for decades, or even an act of service in the church that we think is earning the favor of our Lord. While we must not be unwise in the way we dispose of our idol, we must also not wait forever in hopes that how we react to this particular stimulus will change.

What do you need to destroy in your life? What is stealing your affection from the Lord? What could you fill the void left by its absence with to lead you to greater intimacy with the Lord? Throw out the idols and taste of the satisfaction of the Lord. See that He alone is good!

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 Wednesday, July 29th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Isaiah, Repentance, Satisfaction.
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