Archive for the ‘Jonah’ Category

July 14th, 2015

Second Chances

“And the Lord spoke to the fish, and it vomited Jonah out upon the dry land.” Jonah 2:10 (ESV)

Where would you be if God were not the God of second chances? You would be without hope and without a future. God will not only pursue you with His redeeming love, but He also gives you a second chance to obey His will.

The fish obeyed God in the midst of Jonah’s rebellion. God commanded the fish to vomit Jonah onto dry ground. Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time (Jonah 3:1). After a three day aquatic experience of prayer in the belly of the fish, Jonah was now hurled onto the beach for a second chance to obey God’s way. The wonderful news is that Jonah obeyed the word of the Lord and went to Nineveh (Jonah 3:3).

Jonah responded to God the first time by saying, “Lord, here I am, send someone else!” The second time, Jonah responded by saying, “Lord, here I am, send me!” On the Ship Jonah was singing, “I did it my way!” Inside the Fish Jonah was singing, “Have Thine Own Way, Lord!” Jonah came to know God as the God of second chances. Jonah learned a valuable lesson about obeying God.

Ponder the grace of God in your own life. Think through the decisions you have made over your lifetime to choose to go your own way. Do you remember how God pursued you with His redeeming love? God is so patient, so tender, and so persistent. He wants you to come to know Him by experience as the God of second chances.

Don’t give up. God has not given up on you. What God has begun in your life, He will bring to completion (Php 1:6). God always finishes what He starts.

Riding HIS Wave,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor

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

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, July 14th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Grace, Jonah, Mercy.
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April 28th, 2014

Praying Through the Seaweed

“Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the belly of the fish.” Jonah 2:1 (ESV)

If you spent three days and three nights inside a great fish that God provided, you would probably place that in the category of a life changing experience. Your entire life would be marked by that one experience with God. You would never be the same. Your view of God and your reverence for God would be catapulted to a new level.

  • “The waters closed in over me to take my life; the deep surrounded me; weeds were wrapped about my head.” Jonah 2:5 (ESV)
  • “At the roots of the mountains, I went down to the land whose bars closed upon me forever; yet you brought up my life from the pit, O Lord my God.” Jonah 2:6 (ESV)

Can you imagine Jonah, with seaweed wrapped around his head, praying to God from inside this large fish that God provided? I wonder if Jonah was kneeling, standing, floating, or treading water while he was praying. It clearly illustrates that God is willing to go to extreme measures to rescue us from ourselves and from our sin.

You don’t have to wait for God to bring you to a place of desperation to call out to Him in prayer. You have the perpetual invitation to nurture your love relationship with God in moment-by-moment prayer and surrender. Remove the seaweed that tends to cling to your mind and embrace the opportunity to commune with the Creator of the universe. Your life changing experience can continue as you faithfully seek God’s face in prayer.

Whether you are in the tumultuous waters within the large fish called life or on the tranquil dry ground of daily life, pray to our Living God. God loves you and His heart beats for you. You are the apple of His eye!

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, April 28th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Jonah, Miracle, Prayer.
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April 27th, 2014

Facing Consequences

“But the Lord hurled a great wind upon the sea, and there was a mighty tempest on the sea, so that the ship threatened to break up.” Jonah 1:4 (ESV)

God gives you the freedom to choose to obey His will or to reject His will. You can run from God or you can run to God. If you choose to disobey God’s will and embrace your own direction, God will allow you to go your own way. Thankfully, God will pursue you with His redeeming love.

Running from God activates the disciplinary process that can ultimately produce restoration. Running from God generates a natural flow of consequences that God will use to bring you back into fellowship with Himself (Prov. 3:11-12).

Sometimes God will allow pain to come into your life to signal that something is out of balance. C.S. Lewis wrote, “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pain. It is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” Pain is an effective tool that God may choose to use in order to pursue you.

Jonah was not a storm-chaser, but God used a storm to chase Jonah. Notice the progression of God’s pursuit of Jonah: “God sent a great wind (v.4), a violent storm (v.4b), the sea was getting rougher and rougher (v.11), the sea grew even wilder than before (v.13), and the raging sea (v.15).” Sometimes God has to turn up the volume in your life to get your undivided attention.

How is God pursuing you with His redeeming love? Is there anything out of balance in your life that dishonors God? God loves you and will pursue you to reconcile you and restore you.

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, April 27th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Consequences, Disciple, Jonah.
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April 26th, 2014

Running from God

“But Jonah rose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish. So he paid the fare and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish, away from the presence of the Lord.” Jonah 1:3 (ESV)

Our natural proclivity is to do life our own way. We value independence and we like to make decisions that benefit us personally. Often we bypass God’s way and face the natural consequences of our selfishness.

Instead of running to God, Jonah sought to run from God in order to avoid obeying God’s will. God told Jonah to go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it. Jonah refused to embrace God’s way and chose to go the opposite direction.

Running from God generates consequences that affect innocent people. Jonah’s disobedience put the sailors on the ship at risk. Their journey was interrupted by the consequences inflicted upon Jonah.

Jonah’s rebellion against God eroded his peace and stifled his fellowship with God. When you choose to run from God, your relationship with God will be negatively impacted. You cannot enjoy peace with God and unbroken fellowship with God while running from God.

Satan will provide the transportation for disobedience. The enemy gladly accommodates your decision to run from God. You are created by God not to be robotic, but to be relational. Thus, you have the freedom to obey God or the freedom to disobey God. You can choose to submit to His will or refuse to obey Him. God will let you go your own way. However, God will pursue you with His redeeming love.

Decide today to follow God’s will. Surrender your life completely to the Lord and keep your “yes” on the altar. God’s way is always the best option!

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, April 26th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Disobedience, Jonah, Running.
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October 23rd, 2013

God’s Mercy

“And the LORD commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land.” Jonah 2:10 (NIV)

Where would you be if God were not the God of second chances? You would be without hope and without a future. God will not only pursue you with His redeeming love, but He also gives you a second chance to obey His will.

The fish obeyed God in the midst of Jonah’s rebellion. God commanded the fish to vomit Jonah onto dry ground. Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time (Jon. 3:1).  After a three day aquatic experience of prayer in the belly of the fish, Jonah was now hurled onto the beach for a second chance to obey God’s way. The wonderful news is that Jonah obeyed the word of the Lord and went to Nineveh (Jon. 3:3).

Jonah responded to God the first time by saying, “Lord, here I am, send someone else!” The second time, Jonah responded by saying, “Lord, here I am, send me!” On the Ship Jonah was singing, “I did it my way!” Inside the Fish Jonah was singing, “Have Thine Own Way, Lord!” Jonah came to know God as the God of second chance. Jonah learned a valuable lesson about obeying God.

Ponder the grace of God in your own life. Think through the decisions you have made over your lifetime to choose to go your own way. Do you remember how God pursued you with His redeeming love? God is so patient, so tender, and so persistent. He wants you to come to know Him by experience as the God of second chances.

Don’t give up. God has not given up on you. What God has begun in your life, He will bring to completion (Phil. 1:6). God always finishes what He starts. What God originates He always orchestrates.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category God's Character, Jonah, Mercy.
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October 22nd, 2013

Praying through Seaweed

“From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the LORD his God.” Jonah 2:1 (NIV)

If you spent three days and three nights inside a great fish that God provided, you would probably place that in the category of a life changing experience. Your entire life would be marked by that one experience with God. You would never be the same. Your view of God and your reverence for God would be catapulted to a new level.

  • “The engulfing waters threatened me, the deep surrounded me; seaweed was wrapped around my head.” Jon. 2:5 (NIV)
  • “To the roots of the mountains I sank down; the earth beneath barred me in forever. But you brought my life up from the pit, O LORD my God.” Jon. 2:6 (NIV)

Can you imagine Jonah, with seaweed wrapped around his head, praying to God from inside this large fish that God provided? I wonder if Jonah was kneeling, standing, floating, or treading water while he was praying. It clearly illustrates that God is willing to go to extreme measures to rescue us from ourselves and from our sin.

You don’t have to wait for God to bring you to a place of desperation to call out to Him in prayer. You have the perpetual invitation to nurture your love relationship with God in moment-by-moment prayer and surrender. Remove the seaweed that tends to cling to your mind and embrace the opportunity to commune with the Creator of the universe.

Whether you are in the tumultuous waters within the large fish called life or on the tranquil dry ground of daily life, pray to our Living God. God loves you and His heart beats for you. You are the apple of His eye!

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Desperation, Jonah, Praying.
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October 21st, 2013

God’s Pursuit

“Then the LORD sent a great wind on the sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to break up.” Jonah 1:4 (NIV)

God gives you the freedom to choose to obey His will or to reject His will. You can run from God or you can run to God. If you choose to disobey God’s will and embrace your own direction, God will allow you to go your own way. Thankfully, God will pursue you with His redeeming love.

Running from God activates the disciplinary process that can ultimately produce restoration. Running from God generates a natural flow of consequences that God will use to bring you back into fellowship with Himself (Prov 3:11-12).

Sometimes God will allow pain to come into your life to signal that something is out of balance. C.S. Lewis wrote, “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pain. It is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” Pain is an effective tool that God may choose to use in order to pursue you.

Jonah was not a storm-chaser, but God used a storm to chase Jonah. Notice the progression of God’s pursuit of Jonah: “God sent a great wind (v.4), a violent storm (v.4b), the sea was getting rougher and rougher (v.11), the sea grew even wilder than before (v.13), and the raging sea (v.15).” Sometimes God has to turn up the volume in your life to get your undivided attention.

How is God pursuing you with His redeeming love? Is there anything out of balance in your life that dishonors God? God loves you and will pursue you to reconcile you and restore you.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, October 21st, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category God's Purpose, Jonah, Rebellion.
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October 20th, 2013

Running from God

“But Jonah ran away from the LORD and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the LORD.” Jonah 1:3 (NIV)

Our natural proclivity is to do life our own way. We value independence and we like to make decisions that benefit us personally. Often we bypass God’s way and face the natural consequences of our selfishness.

Instead of running to God, Jonah sought to run from God in order to avoid obeying God’s will. God told Jonah to go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it. Jonah refused to embrace God’s way and chose to go the opposite direction.

Running from God generates consequences that affect innocent people. Jonah’s disobedience put the sailors on the ship at risk. Their journey was interrupted by the consequences inflicted upon Jonah.

Jonah’s rebellion against God eroded his peace and stifled his fellowship with God. When you choose to run from God, your relationship with God will be negatively impacted. You cannot enjoy peace with God and unbroken fellowship with God while running from God.

Satan will provide the transportation for disobedience. The enemy gladly accommodates your decision to run from God. You are created by God not to be robotic, but to be relational. Thus, you have the freedom to obey God or the freedom to disobey God. You can choose to submit to His will or refuse to obey Him. God will let you go your own way. However, God will pursue you with His redeeming love.

Decide today to follow God’s will. Surrender your life completely to the Lord and keep your “yes” on the altar. God’s way is always the best option!

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, October 20th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Disobedience, Jonah, Running.
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January 19th, 2013

Extreme Measures

“From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the LORD his God.” Jonah 2:1 (NIV)

If you spent three days and three nights inside a great fish that God provided, you would probably place that in the category of a life changing experience. Your entire life would be marked by that one experience with God. You would never be the same. Your view of God and your reverence for God would be catapulted to a new level.

  • “The engulfing waters threatened me, the deep surrounded me; seaweed was wrapped around my head.” Jonah 2:5 (NIV)
  • “To the roots of the mountains I sank down; the earth beneath barred me in forever. But you brought my life up from the pit, O LORD my God.” Jonah 2:6 (NIV)

Can you imagine Jonah, with seaweed wrapped around his head, praying to God from inside this large fish that God provided? I wonder if Jonah was kneeling, standing, floating, or treading water while he was praying. It clearly illustrates that God is willing to go to extreme measures to rescue us from ourselves and from our sin.

You don’t have to wait for God to bring you to a place of desperation to call out to Him in prayer. You have the perpetual invitation to nurture your love relationship with God in moment-by-moment prayer and surrender. Remove the seaweed that tends to cling to your mind and embrace the opportunity to commune with the Creator of the universe. Your life changing experience can continue as you faithfully seek God’s face in prayer.

Whether you are in the tumultuous waters within the large fish called life or on the tranquil dry ground of daily life, pray to our Living God. God loves you and His heart beats for you. You are the apple of His eye!

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, January 19th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category God's Provision, Jonah, Prayer.
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July 14th, 2012

Second Chances

“And the Lord spoke to the fish, and it vomited Jonah out upon the dry land.” Jonah 2:10 (ESV)

Where would you be if God were not the God of second chances? You would be without hope and without a future. God will not only pursue you with His redeeming love, but He also gives you a second chance to obey His will.

The fish obeyed God in the midst of Jonah’s rebellion. God commanded the fish to vomit Jonah onto dry ground. Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time (Jonah 3:1). After a three day aquatic experience of prayer in the belly of the fish, Jonah was now hurled onto the beach for a second chance to obey God’s way. The wonderful news is that Jonah obeyed the word of the Lord and went to Nineveh (Jonah 3:3).

Jonah responded to God the first time by saying, “Lord, here I am, send someone else!” The second time, Jonah responded by saying, “Lord, here I am, send me!” On the Ship Jonah was singing, “I did it my way!” Inside the Fish Jonah was singing, “Have Thine Own Way, Lord!” Jonah came to know God as the God of second chances. Jonah learned a valuable lesson about obeying God.

Ponder the grace of God in your own life. Think through the decisions you have made over your lifetime to choose to go your own way. Do you remember how God pursued you with His redeeming love? God is so patient, so tender, and so persistent. He wants you to come to know Him by experience as the God of second chances.

Don’t give up. God has not given up on you. What God has begun in your life, He will bring to completion (Php 1:6). God always finishes what He starts.

Chronological Bible Reading Plan: (Day 188: Jonah)

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, July 14th, 2012 at 1:00 am
Category Grace, Jonah, Mercy.
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