Archive for the ‘Loyalty’ Category

August 8th, 2014

Captain of Your Boat

“And Simon answered, ‘Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.’” Luke 5:5 (ESV)

Do you remember those words you frequently heard as a child? You may have challenged something your parent said and then they responded emphatically with, “Because I said so!”

Simon had one of those moments in his own boat with Jesus. After a long night of fishing and coming up “empty-netted,” Simon and his partners were in the process of completing the task of washing their nets. Jesus borrows Simon and his boat in order to teach the crowd aligning the shore. Jesus then asks Simon to maneuver the boat into the deep waters and to let down his nets for a catch.

Addressing Jesus as Master, Simon recounted his all-night fishing experience and the fact of catching no fish. Then Simon says to Jesus, “But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”

Simon demonstrated loyalty to Jesus. By his actions, Simon was in essence saying, “Jesus, I trust you and whatever is mine is yours and whatever you ask of me I will obey.” Embracing Jesus as Captain of his boat, Simon exemplified surrender and submission. He was willing to make Jesus the Lord of his boat and his life.

Have you given Jesus dominion over every area of your life? Is Jesus truly Lord in your life? Have you given Him full authority in your private life? Does Jesus have full reign in the public and visible areas of your life? Your loyalty to Christ is proportionate to your willingness to surrender to the Lordship of Christ. Make Jesus the Captain of your boat! Give Him full access and full authority over every environment of your life!

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, August 8th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Jesus, Loyalty, Trust.
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November 11th, 2013

Loyalty

“I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 7:35 (NIV)

In Paul’s letter to the church at Corinth, he emphasizes the relationship that stands above all other relationships. Paul does not demean the value of marriage or the virtue of singleness, but he elevates the relationship that is primary for every believer. The one relationship that is supreme and deserves our utmost devotion is our love relationship with Jesus.

Think about the tugs on your life and the relationships connected to those tugs. After a while, you come to realize that there is not enough of you to satisfy every tug on your life. As Andy Stanley says in his book, Choosing to Cheat, “Someone in your life is going to feel cheated.” Who will you cheat? Often we choose to cheat the Lord by diluting our devotion to Him. We know that His love is unconditional and that He will receive us back. As a result, we may drift from our first love and soon be walking at a guilty distance instead of maintaining intimacy with the Lord.

  • “Teach me your way, O LORD, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.” Ps. 86:11 (NIV)
  • “I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the LORD. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart.” Jer. 24:7 (NIV)

What adjustments do you need to make in your allocation of time and energy in order to have an undivided heart? What is keeping you from giving Jesus first place in your life? Identify those things that have divided your devotion and confess them to the Lord. Lordship and loyalty go together!

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, November 11th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Devotion, Focus, Loyalty.
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April 16th, 2013

Is There an Isaac?

“When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son.” Genesis 22:9-10 (NIV)

Is there anything in your life that takes priority over your relationship with Jesus? Are there any allurements sifting your affection away from your devotion to Christ? Do you have an Isaac in your life that you are unwilling to sacrifice?

Abraham demonstrated absolute loyalty and devotion to God by his willingness to sacrifice his promised son. Abraham and Sarah were beyond child bearing years. Yet, God provided the miracle of Isaac’s conception. Now God is asking Abraham to sacrifice that which was promised to him.

What is standing in the way of your realization of unbroken fellowship with God? What is taking the number one place of prominence in your life which is reserved for God? Whatever that item, ambition, or person is may be your Isaac.

Could it be that God wants you to sacrifice that Isaac in your life to enable God to have top priority in your life? God wants first place in your daily walk. God wants to be the supreme object of your energy and affection. He not only deserves it, but He demands it.

Spend a few moments taking inventory of your current priorities and identify what is preventing God from being your top priority.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, April 16th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Abraham, Devotion, Loyalty.
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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.
Interact No Comments
November 11th, 2011

Loyalty

“I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord.” 1 Cor 7:35 (NIV)

In Paul’s letter to the church at Corinth, he emphasizes the relationship that stands above all other relationships. Paul does not demean the value of marriage or the virtue of singleness, but he elevates the relationship that is primary for every believer. The one relationship that is supreme and deserves our utmost devotion is our love relationship with Jesus.

Think about the tugs on your life and the relationships connected to those tugs. After a while, you come to realize that there is not enough of you to satisfy every tug on your life. As Andy Stanley says in his book, Choosing to Cheat, “Someone in your life is going to feel cheated.” Who will you cheat? Often we choose to cheat the Lord by diluting our devotion to Him. We know that His love is unconditional and that He will receive us back. As a result, we may drift from our first love and soon be walking at a guilty distance instead of maintaining intimacy with the Lord.

  • “Teach me your way, O LORD, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.” Psalm 86:11 (NIV)
  • “I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the LORD. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart.” Jeremiah 24:7 (NIV)

What adjustments do you need to make in your allocation of time and energy in order to have an undivided heart? What is keeping you from giving Jesus first place in your life? Identify those things that have divided your devotion and confess them to the Lord. Lordship and loyalty go together!

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, November 11th, 2011 at 1:00 am
Category Devotion, Focus, Loyalty.
Interact No Comments
April 12th, 2011

Is There an Isaac?

“When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son.” Gen 22:9-10 (NIV)

Is there anything in your life that takes priority over your relationship with Jesus? Are there any allurements sifting your affection away from your devotion to Christ? Do you have an Isaac in your life that you are unwilling to sacrifice?

Abraham demonstrated absolute loyalty and devotion to God by his willingness to sacrifice his promised son. Abraham and Sarah were beyond child bearing years. Yet, God provided the miracle of Isaac’s conception. Now God is asking Abraham to sacrifice that which was promised to him.

What is standing in the way of your realization of unbroken fellowship with God? What is taking the number one place of prominence in your life which is reserved for God? Whatever that item, ambition, or person is may be your Isaac.

Could it be that God wants you to sacrifice that Isaac in your life to enable God to have top priority in your life? God wants first place in your daily walk. God wants to be the supreme object of your energy and affection. He not only deserves it, but He demands it.

Spend a few moments taking inventory of your current priorities and identify what is preventing God from being your top priority.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, April 12th, 2011 at 1:00 am
Category Abraham, Devotion, Loyalty.
Interact No Comments
January 18th, 2011

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 Tuesday, January 18th, 2011 at 1:00 am
Category Daniel, Loyalty, Opposition.
Interact No Comments
August 8th, 2010

Captain of Your Boat

“Simon answered, ‘Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.’” Luke 5:5 (NIV)

Do you remember those words you frequently heard as a child? You may have challenged something your parent said and then they responded emphatically with, “Because I said so!”

Simon had one of those moments in his own boat with Jesus. After a long night of fishing and coming up “empty-netted,” Simon and his partners were in the process of completing the task of washing their nets. Jesus borrows Simon and his boat in order to teach the crowd aligning the shore. Jesus then asks Simon to maneuver the boat into the deep waters and to let down his nets for a catch.

Addressing Jesus as Master, Simon recounted his all-night fishing experience and the fact of catching no fish. Then Simon says to Jesus, “But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”

Simon demonstrated loyalty to Jesus. By his actions, Simon was in essence saying, “Jesus, I trust you and whatever is mine is yours and whatever you ask of me I will obey.” Embracing Jesus as Captain of his boat, Simon exemplified surrender and submission. He was willing to make Jesus the Lord of his boat and his life.

Have you given Jesus dominion over every area of your life? Is Jesus truly Lord in your life? Have you given Him full authority in your private life? Does Jesus have full reign in the public and visible areas of your life? Your loyalty to Christ is proportionate to your willingness to surrender to the Lordship of Christ. Make Jesus the Captain of your boat! Give Him full access and full authority over every environment of your life!

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, August 8th, 2010 at 1:00 am
Category Jesus, Loyalty, Trust.
Interact No Comments
March 15th, 2009

Enduring Rejection

“He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again.” Mark 8:31 (NIV)

Rejection hurts. Have you been there? When you don’t feel that you measure up to a standard that has been established or an expectation that has been articulated, rejection seeps in. You begin to experience pain, discontentment, and insecurity.  During those times when you are misunderstood rejection begins to shadow your vision and stifle your optimism.

Jesus lived in the midst of steep legalism in His day. The elders, chief priests, and teachers of the law sought to shackle others by their self imposed rules and regulations. They promoted religion by works which embodied excessive “do’s and don’ts” that totally bypassed intimacy with our Heavenly Father.

The suffering of Jesus included rejection. He was not accepted by those who claimed to be religious. Rejection was perpetual during His three and a half year public ministry. His being rejected ultimately led to His being crucified. When you compare your current bouts with rejection to that of Jesus, it seems as though your encounters with rejection are light. Yet, they are real and they are painful. Rejection hits us hard and tends to knock the wind out of us.

What kind of rejection are you currently facing? How long has the rejection lingered? There is good news on the way that will give you a whole new perspective on  how to respond to rejection. Spend some time sharing your hurt with Jesus in prayer. Let Him hear you express your pain as you call out His Name.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, March 15th, 2009 at 1:00 am
Category Acceptance, Legalism, Loyalty, Rejection.
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March 10th, 2009

God’s Provision

“Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, ‘On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.’” Gen 22:13-14 (NIV)

God’s provision always exceeds our sacrifice. Just when you think you have given God your all, He surpasses your sacrifice with His provision. God will never ask you to do anything that exceeds His provision. God’s timing is not limited by our schedule. His provision always comes through at the perfect moment. God is never  late. We serve an on-time God. Sometimes it may seem as though God waits until you are in the fourth quarter with only a few seconds left on the clock. Yet, God’s provision appears right on time.

Abraham obeyed God and demonstrated his reverence for God. In response, God provided a substitute for Isaac at the exact moment of greatest need.

What did Abraham learn about God through his willingness to trust and obey God in every situation? He learned that God was dependable and trustworthy. In response to the encounter of God’s provision, Abraham acknowledged God as Jehovah Jireh, the Lord Will Provide.

What is keeping you from obeying God and trusting Him to provide?

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, March 10th, 2009 at 1:00 am
Category Abraham, God's Provision, Loyalty, Trust.
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