Archive for the ‘Discipline’ Category

August 22nd, 2015

God’s Everlasting Love

“Thus says the LORD: ‘The people who survived the sword found grace in the wilderness; when Israel sought for rest, the LORD appeared to him from far away. I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.’” Jeremiah 31:2-3 (ESV)

The presence of discipline does not indicate a lack of love; rather, discipline when given by the Lord is always motivated by love for the good of His children. As we have seen throughout the prophets, the people of God had wandered from the Lord and had begun to turn to other things to find satisfaction. The Lord calls them back to Himself in discipline, knowing that if His people continue to pursue the favor of idols or satisfaction in the world, they will come up empty. The best thing He can give His people is Himself. They have no need to turn elsewhere, if they remember that He truly is the perfect solution to every need they have. The discipline the Lord gives, then, is not only given out of anger, although there is a since in which the Lord is rightly offended by their sin. This discipline is ultimately given out of love for His glory and their good.

God’s everlasting love for you has an inherent long-range perspective that allows for discipline in the present to protect you in the future. Parents surely understand this relational dynamic, knowing they must discipline their children in order to help them know how to act appropriately for their future success.

When discipline comes, don’t become resentful toward the Lord; rather, seek out the truth behind the discipline, knowing God simply desires to root out ungodliness for His glory and your good.

Grace and peace,

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

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, August 22nd, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Discipline, Jeremiah, Love.
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July 26th, 2015

That You May Tell The Next Generation

“Walk about Zion, go around her, number her towers, consider well her ramparts, go through her citadels, that you may tell the next generation that this is God, our God forever and ever. He will guide us forever.” Psalm 48:12-14

As people who have experienced the provision and protection of the Lord, we have a responsibility to proclaim to those who come after us the legacy of our God. Our generation should pray and hope that generations after us will avoid the mistakes we made in turning our worship to created things and keep their focus on the only worthy object of worship, Christ. The way they know of His goodness is by our declaration. We have a responsibility to shout the good news of Jesus.

How are you entrusting God’s faithfulness to you in the generation coming after you? Statistics show that a significant number of students who grow up in the church will not stay faithful between the ages of 18-22. We cannot afford to lose them. We must fight for them. We must entrust the love of the Lord within them.

Paul gave his life to the Church, but he also gave his life to Timothy to build and instruct him for the future of the Church. A large responsibility of parents in the nation of Israel was teaching their children the miraculous works of God for their people, so that their generation would not turn to a false hope in times of trouble. Time and time again in scripture we see this call to entrust the wisdom given to us in the next generation. The question is, “Are you entrusting?”

Take a moment and pray for the generations that are coming after us. Further, commit to disciple and mentor someone in younger generations, entrusting to them your knowledge of the Lord.

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, July 26th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Discipline, Future, Generations.
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March 21st, 2015

Walk in His Ways

“Know then in your heart that, as a man disciplines his son, the Lord your God disciplines you. So you shall keep the commandments of the Lord your God by walking in his ways and by fearing him.” Deuteronomy 8:5-6 (ESV)

God has already established your value by sacrificing His only Son on the cross for you. His redemptive act made salvation available to you and the removal of your sin possible. Now that you are a recipient of God’s unconditional love, you are a new creation and filled with the Holy Spirit. God has demonstrated His love for you through the atoning work of Christ on the cross.

God continues to demonstrate His love for you through dispensing discipline. God disciplines you because He loves you and is committed to conforming you into the image of Christ. As you learn to walk in His ways and to fear Him, God’s discipline will be featured less and less in your life.

  • “For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:10-11 (ESV)

What area of your life is in need of God’s disciplinary activity? Knowing that God disciplines you for your good so that you may share in His holiness, consider the peaceful fruit of righteousness that has become evident in your life. Continue to keep His commandments by walking in His ways and by fearing Him. You are in the process of becoming who you are in Christ. God is building you into the person He has created you to be for His glory.

Riding HIS Wave,

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

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, March 21st, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Deuteronomy, Discipline, Moses.
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February 23rd, 2015

Be Holy

“‘For I am the Lord who brought you up out of the land of Egypt to be your God. You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.’” Leviticus 11:45 (ESV)

Is it possible to stay clean while living in a dirty world? Every possibility for contaminating our lives is available to us. Sin is rampant. We face trials from without and temptation from within. The cultural current is moving in the opposite direction of the Christ honoring flow. We must make a conscious and continuous decision to walk in purity.

  • “Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God.” 2 Cor 7:1 (ESV)
  • “Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.” 1 Tim 4:12 (ESV)

Purify yourself and perfect holiness. Purify your heart and set an example for the believers in purity. In Christ, you are positionally pure. In Christ, you are a new creation. Live out practically what you are presently and positionally in Christ. The only way to reign in this life is to allow Christ to reign in your life.

Staying clean while living in a dirty world is only possible in the strength Christ provides. Jesus has already set the example. Jesus has demonstrated the life of purity in a sin-polluted culture. Jesus lived a sinless life and died a sacrificial death so that you can walk in victory.

Embrace moral purity by yielding to the Lordship of Christ. Make Jesus the Lord of your life. God called you to live a holy life. Now give Jesus His rightful place in your life and allow Him to live His life through you.

Riding HIS Wave,

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

 

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, February 23rd, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Discipline, Holiness, Leviticus.
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January 9th, 2015

God’s Idea

“Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’” Genesis 1:26 (ESV)

You were God’s idea. You are not a mistake; you are a masterpiece created by God and for God. So, what on earth are you here for? Why did God create you? Just look to the Bible to discover your purpose. God created you so that you could come into union with Him and continue the ministry of Jesus on the earth. God removed the barrier of sin by providing Jesus as the atoning sacrifice for sin. Turn from your sin and turn to Jesus alone for salvation.

Now that you are in union with God through Christ, enjoy the abiding relationship made possible to you. Commit to spend time in God’s Word each day and unhurried time alone with God in prayer. Stay connected to Christ and allow Him to live His life in you and through you to fulfill God’s plan. Don’t bypass the relationship in order to go do something for God. Focus on the the abiding relationship you have been given with Jesus and allow Him to feature His life through you.

Commit to read through the Bible in one year. If you would be willing to read God’s Word for twenty minutes each day, in one year, you will have read through the entire Bible. Make a commitment to start today.

Riding HIS Wave,

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

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, January 9th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Abiding in Christ, Commitment, Discipline.
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December 12th, 2014

Accept His Acceptance

And God, who knows the heart, bore witness to them, by giving them the Holy Spirit just as he did to us.” Acts 15:8 (ESV)

Have you accepted God’s acceptance of you? That’s step number two in order to PACE yourself for the day. Remember, you start your day off by lifting your hands toward heaven and saying, “Lord, I praise you.” Then as you keep your hands lifted you turn the palm of your hands toward each other and say, “I accept Your acceptance of me.”

How did God demonstrate His acceptance of the Gentiles in the book of Acts? He demonstrated His acceptance by allowing the Holy Spirit to take up residence in them. God indwelt them by His Holy Spirit. He took the initiative through the shed blood of Jesus to make them fit for His habitation. God demonstrated His acceptance of us by saving us and enabling us to become the walking tabernacle of His presence (1 Cor. 6:19-20).

Who made us acceptable? Jesus! What should our response be to His acceptance of us? Accepting others! Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.” (Romans 15:7 ESV). If you have a difficult time accepting someone, think for a moment about Jesus’ acceptance of you. As you accept others you are extending to them what you have received from Jesus.

Let’s practice: Lift of your hands and say, “Lord, I praise You.” Now turn your uplifted hands toward each other and say, “I accept Your acceptance of me.”

Now live in fullness everyday by accepting His acceptance of you. There’s nothing you can do to cause Jesus to love you more and there’s nothing you can do to cause Him to love you less. Jesus accepts you!

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, December 12th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Acceptance, Discipline, Jesus.
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December 11th, 2014

PACE Yourself

I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.” Psalm 9:1 (ESV)

How do you begin each day of your life? Do you jump right out of bed and hit the floor running or do you slowly drag yourself from beneath the sheets and gradually wake up to the approaching day? Either way, let me share with you a wonderful way to PACE yourself for each day that Dr. Adrian Rogers taught me years ago.

Let’s consider using PACE as an acrostic to get our day moving in the right direction with the Lord. The “P” stands for “Praise!” The psalmist models this attitude and action by saying, “I will praise you, O Lord, with all my heart.” To praise God is to give Him honor for who He is. To praise God is to acknowledge His sovereignty, His power, and His holiness.

Step number one: When you awaken each morning, lift your hands toward heaven and say, “Lord, I praise You!” As soon as your feet hit the ground lift your hands and speak it with sincerity and with passion. You may even choose to look up toward heaven as you say those precious words to our Living Lord.

Each of the next three days we will unlock each letter of the word PACE to explore a simple yet captivating daily exercise to start each day off right. Now, let’s practice this first step. Lift your hands toward heaven. Look up and say it with me, “Lord, I praise You!”

Pace yourself by starting your day with a verbal expression of your awareness of God’s abiding presence. He is worthy. We are so blessed to have the privilege of connecting with the Creator of the universe in such a personal way.

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, December 11th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Discipline, Pace, Prayer.
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October 9th, 2014

Shaped by the Potter

“And the vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter’s hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to do.” Jeremiah 18:4 (ESV)

Whenever you purchase an item that has an “as is” tag on it, you accept the fact that it may be flawed. In other words, the item may not be perfect.

The beauty of salvation is that God accepted us “as is” and brought us into a vibrant love relationship with Himself to move us from “as is” to “what could be” in His hands. Yes! We were marred in His hands. But, He lovingly and patiently removes the imperfections of our attitude, behavior, and speech.

Being on the Potter’s wheel can be painful at times. As God allows us to go through suffering and sorrow in this life, the areas of our life that do not reflect Christ-likeness will be dealt with. God will grow us through the pain. He will mold us and shape us through adversity.

Bathsheba endured some difficult seasons in her life. She experienced loneliness, grief, delays, disappointment, and shattered dreams. Yet, God redeemed all of those seasons in her life to bring her into a deeper relationship with Himself. She would have never become a Proverbs 31 woman without the adversity that God allowed her to face. She was marred in His hands. As a result of the loving touch of the Potter’s hands, she became a masterpiece!

Are you on the Potter’s wheel? Be patient. Allow God to mold you. He took you “as is” and He is shaping you for eternal significance.

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, October 9th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Christlikeness, Discipline, Patience.
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September 29th, 2014

Choose to Serve

“‘Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.’” John 12:25-26 (ESV)

Why did you wake up this morning? What are you giving your life to today? Who are you living for? God is working all things together for His glory and for your good. Today matters! God desires to conform you into the image of Christ. Christlikeness does not come without your willingness to fully surrender your life to the Holy Spirit’s control. As you choose to lose your life, the life of Christ becomes more evident in you.

Consider embracing the attitude of servitude. Allow Jesus to live His life in you and through you. There’s room only for one to take the reins to your life. Will you give Jesus His rightful place in your life? You cannot live the life God has for you apart from Christ in you. Even on your best day, you will come up short of God’s perfection.

  • “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Gal. 2:20 (ESV)
  • “To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Col. 1:27 (ESV)

Live by faith in the Son of God. Christ is in you and He is the hope of glory. Surrender to the Lordship of Christ and continue to follow His lead. Victory in this life comes through daily surrender to the One who gave His life for you.

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, September 29th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Discipline, Jesus, Serve.
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September 5th, 2014

Take Every Thought Captive

“We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5 (ESV)

What’s going on in your mind? How’s your thought-life? What have you been thinking about lately? God has given you the ability to think, reason, and make decisions. God has given you the ability to know and understand. You have the wonderful ability to contemplate, consider, and calculate. You are blessed with the capacity to ponder, prepare, and to produce. How are you harnessing the potential God has placed within you?

  • “Prove me, O Lord, and try me; test my heart and my mind. For your steadfast love is before my eyes, and I walk in your faithfulness.” Ps. 26:2-3 (ESV)
  • “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” Isa. 26:3 (ESV)

Is your mind at peace? Write down the specific items that are bothering you. Think through the issues that are pressing up against you. Now place those items before the Lord in prayer. Give each issue to the Lord. Release them! Now receive the Lord’s provision of grace to be single-minded. Focus your thoughts on Jesus and His Lordship. Allow Him to be your source of strength and your anchor of stability.

De-clutter your mind by unloading the hurtful thoughts and the anxious thoughts that perplex you. Write them down! Speak them aloud! Release them to the Lord!

Replace those toxic thoughts with healthy reminders of who you are in Christ. You belong to God. You are His treasure and His masterpiece (Eph. 2:10). You have everything you need for life and godliness (2 Pet. 1:3). You are more than a conqueror (Rom. 8:37). You are complete in Christ.

Drawing Near,

Stephen Trammell

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, September 5th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Discipline, Mind of Christ, Thought-life.
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