Archive for the ‘Courage’ Category

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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July 3rd, 2015

Courageous Heart

“The Lord was with Jehoshaphat, because he walked in the earlier ways of his father David. He did not seek the Baals, but sought the God of his father and walked in his commandments, and not according to the practices of Israel. Therefore the Lord established the kingdom in his hand. And all Judah brought tribute to Jehoshaphat, and he had great riches and honor. His heart was courageous in the ways of the Lord. And furthermore, he took the high places and the Asherim out of Judah.” 2 Chronicles 17:3-6 (ESV)

How many decisions do you anticipate making today? Life is filled with paths to take and decisions to make. Every decision determines a direction that leads to a destination. You can decide to walk with God or you can decide to stray from God. You can decide to bring honor to God or you can decide to bring dishonor to God. You can decide to live in the center of God’s will or you can decide to live contrary to God’s will.

Jehoshaphat made deliberate decisions to seek God and to walk in His ways. Jehoshaphat intentionally did not seek the Baals and did not follow the practices of Israel. He boldly took the high places and the Asherim out of Judah. God rewarded the faithfulness and obedience of Jehoshaphat by establishing the kingdom in his hand.

Is your heart courageous in the ways of the Lord? Do you boldly and intentionally pursue God’s way? There is no better choice for you to make than aligning your life with God’s will. Don’t compromise your integrity. Don’t dilute your devotion to the Lord. Passionately pursue God and walk in His ways.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, July 3rd, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category 2 Chronicles, Courage, Jehoshaphat.
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September 26th, 2014

Be Alert

“Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.” 1 Corinthians 16:13 (ESV)

Get on your toes and be aware, be alert, and be armed. The Devil is real. Spiritual warfare is a reality of the life God has for you. This is not a time to embrace spiritual apathy or lethargy. Choose to live in the opposition readiness mode. God has given you everything you need to reign victoriously in this life.

  • “Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints.” Eph. 6:18 (ESV)

Get on your knees and pray. Praying is like flying; when you stop you drop! Nothing will keep you standing like kneeling before the Lord. Prayer is your life-line. Prayer is your communication connection to the Commander-in-Chief. Stay close and clean. Strive for unbroken fellowship with God.

  • “Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” 1 Tim. 6:12 (ESV)

Get on your feet and fight. Move from the posture of kneeling in prayer to that of standing to your feet to face the enemy. The armor of God will protect you. God has armed you for battle. Stand firm! Fight the good fight! You may lose some battles, but as a child of the King, you win the war! Satan has been defeated!

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, September 26th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Courage, Opposition, Standing Firm.
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July 5th, 2014

Proclaim Without Shame

“‘For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.’” Luke 9:26 (ESV)

Do you conceal your Christianity? Do those in your sphere of influence know that you are a follower of Jesus Christ? There’s nothing to be ashamed of. In Christ, you have been adopted into God’s family and sealed by the Holy Spirit (Eph. 1:5,13). You have been rescued from darkness and placed in the kingdom of light (Col. 1:5). God has placed you in the display window of life to portray His grace to a dark and decaying world (1 Tim. 1:16).

Embrace the attitude of Paul who affirmed, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” (Rom. 1:16 ESV). The gospel that brought you hope and eternal life is the same gospel that you represent in this life. Don’t be ashamed of the Good News that transformed your life. Don’t withhold the cure to the cancer of sin that will set others free just as you have been set free.

Jesus was not ashamed to identify with the lost by becoming flesh (John 1:14). For a person to be ashamed of Christ and His words is to deny the One who gave His all to provide for the forgiveness of sin. There’s no room for shame when it comes to identifying with Christ. To align with Christ is an honor to behold.

Go public with your faith. God has given you the message worth sharing and the light worth shining. You have the capacity to influence others toward Christ. How many people will be in heaven because of you?

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, July 5th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Courage, Influence, Soulwinning.
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December 29th, 2013

Passion for the Lost

“I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ.” Philemon 1:6 (NIV)

God uses the person who embodies a deep craving for the lost. It is possible to live your life each day and become so consumed with your own life that you totally bypass the reality of lost people. You can become so fixated on meeting your own needs that you overlook the glaring reality that lost people go to hell.

Only those who have a saving relationship with Jesus Christ will go to heaven. Hell is real and the path leading there is broad. Heaven is real and the path that leads there is very narrow. As a child of God, you know the way for a person to get to heaven and have eternal life. You know that Jesus is the only way (John 14:6).

Now that you know Jesus personally, be active in sharing your faith with others. You may be the only Jesus others see. You may be their only hope. Don’t conceal what God has done for you by providing you with the gift of eternal life by His grace and through faith in Jesus. Reveal the Good News of Jesus to the world beginning with the next person God brings into your path.

Be sensitive to opportunities that God presents you with today. Seize the moment to make Jesus known. Actively share your faith so that those who know you, but don’t know Christ, will come to know Christ because they know you!

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, December 29th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Courage, Soul Consciousness, Soulwinning.
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December 6th, 2013

God’s Perspective

“Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, ‘We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.’” Numbers 13:30 (NIV)

Are you facing something beyond your reach? Have you been agonizing over anything lately? Your situation may be relational, familial, financial, or physical. Whatever you view as your greatest obstacle just might be the greatest opportunity for God to reveal His glory.

After twelve of the Israelites returned from spying out the land of Canaan, they returned with a mixed report. Ten of the twelve indicated that the land was filled with giants and could not be conquered. Yet, Joshua and Caleb had a much different report. Instead of focusing on the giants, they focused on God and His ability to bring them into the land flowing with milk and honey. Caleb boldly proclaimed to the people that possession of the land was attainable.

Which voices are you listening to? Are you listening to the voices of doubt and fear or to the voice of God? God knows where you are and the specifics of what you are facing. Remember, nothing is hidden from God. Nothing catches God by surprise. Our limited perspective does not limit God.

God has a plan for you that factors in your circumstances. God will remove the obstacle or He will help you overcome the obstacle. God will eliminate the giant before you or elevate your faith to persevere in light of the giant you face. Nothing will thwart God’s will. Take possession of the land God is giving you. Nothing is impossible with God.

Will you focus on the giant or focus on God? Will you view your circumstances from your perspective or from God’s perspective? If God has allowed this situation, He will use it for your good and His glory.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, December 6th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Courage, Faith, God's Perspective.
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November 20th, 2013

Bravery

“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. Do everything in love.” 1 Corinthians 16:13-14 (NIV)

Living the Christian life in a fallen world mandates readiness in spiritual warfare. The battle rages as God combats the demonic forces of evil in heavenly realms. The devil cannot attack God, so he chooses to attack that which is closest to the heart of God, namely, every child of God. As fully devoted followers of Christ, we are not exempt from the reality of spiritual warfare. We cannot live the Christian life as though there were no enemy. The enemy has mobilized his entourage to seek to derail the devotion of every disciple of Christ.

  • “‘Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.’” Josh. 1:9 (NIV)

Be on your guard. Be vigilant. Be alert. Be ready. This is no time to be “at ease in Zion” or to slip into a spiritual slumber. God has called us to put on His full armor and to combat the enemy by standing firm. We have been saved by grace through faith and we are to walk by faith. We are to take up the shield of faith and extinguish the flaming arrows of the evil one.

Be courageous. We are children of the living God. Be strong. We are supernaturally empowered by the Holy Spirit and supernaturally protected by the Prince of Peace. Do everything in love. The weapons of our warfare are not worldly, but heavenly. The love of God has brought us from death unto life. Live a life of love and radically display the love of Christ to our lost and dying world.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, November 20th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Boldness, Courage, Discipline.
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January 17th, 2013

Courageous Faith

“Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to the king, ‘O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.’” Dan 3:16-18 (NIV)

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, where 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? 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.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, January 17th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Courage, Faith, Persecution.
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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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