Archive for the ‘Decisions’ Category

September 19th, 2015

Deliberate Decision

“‘Yet even now,’ declares the Lord, ‘return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; and rend your hearts and not your garments.’ Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; and he relents over disaster.” Joel 2:12-13 (ESV)

Consider going to a part of your life that is somewhat private and assess your normal response when you let God down. What do you do when you choose to disobey God? How do you respond to the convicting work of the Holy Spirit in your life? Perhaps you seek to hide from God and try to work things out on your on. Maybe you choose to allow sufficient time to elapse so that your sensitivity to the convicting work of the Holy Spirit diminishes.

Satan seeks to convince us that we need to delay our return to the Lord. We rationalize our sin and try to justify our choices. Eventually, we come to our senses and realize the foolishness of procrastination. We don’t need to wait to run back to God. We don’t have to get our lives all cleaned up and ordered in order to return to the One who redeemed us with His love.

  • “But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.” Rev. 2:4-5 (ESV)

The moment you become conscious of sin, run to God. Don’t hesitate! Confess your sin instantly, specifically, and then receive God’s forgiveness completely. Don’t give the devil a toehold, a foothold, or a stronghold in your life. As soon as you become aware of even a fraction of sin in your life, run to God!

Riding HIS Wave,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, September 19th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Decisions, Joel, Joel, Repentance.
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June 11th, 2015

Exercise Spiritual Discernment

“Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you. Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure. Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil.” Proverbs 4:25-27 (ESV)

Have you ever peeked into the rear view mirror of life and wondered, “Why did I choose that path?” Perhaps you made a decision to go in a certain direction at a critical time in your life that catapulted you onto a path that took you places you really did not want to go. You may be living with regret even now as you revisit your moment of decision that placed you on the unhealthy path.

Your daily decisions determine the direction of your life. If you don’t pick your path, a path will pick you. God wants you to walk in wisdom and to exercise spiritual discernment as you seek to operate in His will. Use Spirit infused discretion in your decision making. Ask yourself, “What is the wise thing to do?” Knowing what you know about God and His ways, make level paths for your feet. Allowing the Holy Spirit to take full possession of your life, take only ways that are firm.

God has a path for you to discover and to experience personally. Sometimes the path God has for you includes delays. You may not understand why you are in a season of uncertainty, but you know that God is with you and that He will allow the fog to lift in His perfect timing. While you are waiting for God to show you the next step on this path, obey what you already know. If you are on the wrong path, make a wise decision to move in the new direction God shows you.

Riding HIS Wave,

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

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, June 11th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Decisions, Proverbs, Wisdom.
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April 21st, 2015

Making the Wise Decision

“And the men of David said to him, ‘Here is the day of which the Lord said to you, ‘Behold, I will give your enemy into your hand, and you shall do to him as it shall seem good to you.’ Then David arose and stealthily cut off a corner of Saul’s robe. And afterward David’s heart struck him, because he had cut off a corner of Saul’s robe. He said to his men, ‘The Lord forbid that I should do this thing to my lord, the Lord’s anointed, to put out my hand against him, seeing he is the Lord’s anointed.‘” 1 Samuel 24:4-6 (ESV)

The timing could not have been any better. David and his men where hiding in the inner portion of a cave and Saul came into the entrance of that exact cave to relieve himself. King Saul was in a most vulnerable situation and David could have easily killed him. Instead, David chose to simply cut off a corner of Saul’s robe. David told his men that he would not dare put out his hand against the Lord’s anointed.

After Saul left the cave unaware of David’s presence, David arose and went out of the cave to reveal himself to Saul and to feature the corner of the robe that he had cut off. Saul was deeply moved by David’s gracious act of mercy and reverence.

  • “He said to David, ‘You are more righteous than I, for you have repaid me good, whereas I have repaid you evil. And you have declared this day how you have dealt well with me, in that you did not kill me when the Lord put me into your hands.’” 1 Samuel 24:17-18 (ESV)

What life lesson do you draw from this powerful encounter? Perhaps we should learn to entrust ourselves and our future to the Lord’s care.

Riding HIS Wave,

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

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, April 21st, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category 1 Samuel, Decisions, Saul.
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December 17th, 2014

Focus on Abiding

“‘I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.’” John 15:5 (ESV)

God will never ask you to do anything without equipping you to do it. God has an assignment for you to complete during your time on earth. God’s assignment requires His empowerment. You cannot fulfill God’s agenda without God’s provision. God’s assignment for your life flows out of your abiding relationship with Christ. God’s command is not for you to bear fruit, but rather to focus your energy on abiding in Christ.

Your fruitfulness will be proportionate to your level of intimacy with Christ. Don’t bypass your love relationship with Christ in order to seek to bear fruit. Your passion is not to be channeled in the area of bearing fruit. As you stay connected to Christ and allow His energy, His strength, and His life to flow through you, you will bear much fruit.

Because He is the vine, you are fruitful. Jesus is the source! Stay connected to Him. Guard your love relationship with Him. Protect your daily walk with Christ. Don’t allow anything or anyone to rob your relationship with Him. Ensure that your abiding relationship with Christ gets your best and not your leftovers. Don’t give Jesus your crumbs. He deserves your passionate pursuit.

Are you connected? Are you abiding? You are the branch. Remain in Him and He will bear His fruit through you. Focus on abiding!

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, December 17th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Abiding in Christ, Decisions, Fruit.
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December 16th, 2014

Discover the Gate

So Jesus again said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.’” John 10:7-9 (ESV)

That path that ensures eternal life is through one particular gate. Have you discovered the gate? Jesus identifies Himself as the gate. Whoever enters through Him will be saved from eternal damnation and will receive the gift of eternal life.

How do you enter through Jesus? What does it take to access the gift of eternal life? In speaking about salvation, Charles Spurgeon said, “You and your sins must separate or you and your God will never come together.” Parting from your sin is the process of repentance. Confess your sins specifically and place your faith in Jesus alone for salvation. Faith is the key that unlocks the gate of eternal life. Enter through the gate by turning from your sin and trusting in Jesus. Jesus lived a sinless life, died on the cross to pay the penalty of your sin, and was raised from the dead. What Jesus did on the cross is applied to your life through the vehicle of faith.

In a post-resurrection appearance, Jesus told Thomas, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (John 20:29 ESV). Do you believe that Jesus is God’s son? Do you believe Jesus is who He says He is? Do you believe that Jesus provided for the purification of your sins by shedding His blood on the cross? Enter through the gate! Jesus is the gate! Don’t delay and flirt with the flames of hell and a future without God. Turn from your sin and turn to Jesus now and be saved!

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, December 16th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Decisions, I am sayings, Jesus.
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December 15th, 2014

Path of Eternal Life

Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” Matthew 7:13-14 (ESV)

Life comes fully loaded with options. There are so many choices and allurements seeking your attention like guided missiles. You are bombarded with compelling advertisements fishing for your time, energy, and resources. Of all the decisions you will make in a lifetime, there is one decision that determines your eternal destiny.

Every decision you make points you in a direction and your direction will ultimately determine your destination. Jesus captured the essence of life with two distinct paths. All of life can be condensed to one of two paths. There is a narrow road that leads to life and a broad road that leads to destruction. The narrow road leads to heaven and the broad road leads to hell.

Both paths intersect at the cross of Calvary. The substitutionary work that Jesus completed on the cross 2,000 years ago is the point of distinction. Your decision regarding that pivotal moment in history determines the path you travel and the destiny you embrace. Enter through the narrow gate. Choose eternal life by turning from your sin and trusting in Jesus alone for salvation.

The broad road will never deliver what it promises. The broad road is littered with deception and emptiness and artificial happiness. Many enter through the wide gate and forfeit life that is truly life. Take the immediate exit off of the highway leading to eternal damnation and enter through the narrow gate to travel the narrow road leading to abundant life and eternal life.

Don’t gamble with eternity. Your decision determines the direction and destination of your life. God has paved the way for you to enter through the narrow gate!

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, December 15th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Decisions, Heaven, Hell.
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February 18th, 2014

Making Wise Decisions

“But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger!’” Luke 15:17 (ESV)

Do you have someone in your life who is currently suffering the consequences of their poor choices? Everything within you wants to shift into rescue mode. You want to pull them out of reaping what they have sown. Their trial has become your trial because of the love you have for them.

The prodigal son traveled down the road filled with the potholes of selfish choices. The consequences of his sinful lifestyle were in full bloom. The fast lane had not delivered what it promised. What I admire most about his father is that he allowed the natural consequences to flow. Instead of rescuing his son, the father gave God room to work and to produce deep conviction in his straying son’s life.

Yes! It took a pigpen experience for the son to come to his senses. What if the father would have interrupted the process? What if the father would have chased the son down and prevented him from reaching the pigpen?

  • “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.” Heb. 12:11 (ESV)

Sometimes we just need to give God room to work to bring those He has created back to Himself. There are times when God wants to use us in the process of bringing a rebelling son or daughter back into alignment. Don’t bypass God’s disciplinary process.

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, February 18th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Consequences, Decisions, Wisdom.
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May 10th, 2013

Decisions Determine Direction

“So he got up and went to his father.” Luke 15:20 (NIV)

God has enabled you to make decisions. As you know, with that kind of privilege comes an awesome responsibility to decide responsibly. There are so many options out there. Think about it. You will decide what to wear today. You will decide how you are going to interact with people today. You will decide where you will go throughout the day. You will decide what kind of attitude you will exhibit today.

The prodigal son decided to leave his father’s presence, protection, and provision in order to embrace a lifestyle of instant gratification. His perpetual poor decisions led him down the muddy path into the pigpen. In the midst of the painful and devastating consequences proportionate to his poor decisions, the prodigal son made a decision that radically changed his future. He decided to get up and go back to his father.

Joshua illuminates the power of making wise decisions when he says, “Now fear the LORD and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your forefathers worshiped beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD” (Josh. 24:14-15 NIV).

Don’t delay. Don’t procrastinate. You do not have to get your life in order before you decide to come back to our loving Heavenly Father. Come as you are and allow God to put you back together. His love is unconditional and His plan is personal and eternal. Your decision will determine the direction of your life.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, May 10th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Decisions, Prodigal, Repentance.
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May 9th, 2013

Invitation to Restoration

“When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.’ So he got up and went to his father. “ Luke 15:17-20 (NIV)

You are not a robot. God created you with the capacity to accept His plan or to reject His plan. He made you to be relational. You can respond to God’s offer of restoration or you can choose to go your own way.

God grants the freedom to accept Him or reject Him. By the power of His Holy Spirit, He comforts and convicts. He guides and He provides. However, God will allow you to freedom to choose a selfish path or a selfless path. He will alert you when you are taking a path that is not His best for you. Yet, God will allow you to maneuver in the direction of your choice.

The prodigal son made a poor decision when he selfishly requested his share of the estate so that he could carelessly spend it. Yet, God allowed him to get to the pigpen level of living. It was there that the prodigal son came to his senses and made the life-giving decision to get up and go back to his father.

Where are you in your walk with God? Are you in the center of God’s will or have your drifted from God’s best? You can come back home to the Lord. His invitation to restoration has been delivered to your address. How will you respond to His offer?

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, May 9th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Decisions, Prodigal, Restoration.
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February 7th, 2013

Making Room

“Moses’ father-in-law replied, ‘What you are doing is not good. You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone.’” Ex 18:17-18 (NIV)

Do you have margin in your life? Margin is the space between your load and your limit. God has designed you to handle a certain amount of His work during your brief stay on this planet called earth. God has given you all the time you need to accomplish His plan.

Moses reached a breaking point due to being overextended and overwhelmed. The masses of people each wanted a piece of him. They wanted his time, his attention, and his decision making prowess. Though serving as judge over Israel, Moses failed to exercise proper judgment over his own life.

God came to the rescue by bringing Jethro into Moses’ life. Jethro lovingly spoke into Moses’ life to declare, “What you are doing is not good.” Moses couldn’t see the unhealthy path that he was on. Jethro saw it clearly and succinctly. Jethro was willing to help Moses’ de-clutter his life.

What is overwhelming you right now? Has your load exceeded your limit? What are you giving your life to that is outside of God’s will? Step back and evaluate your current reality. You may want to ask someone you know and love and trust to help you examine your life. Allow that person to give you feedback on what they see going on in your world. Their perspective could help you see what you are not seeing.

God uses other people to help us walk in obedience to His will. Pray and ask God to bring a Jethro into your life.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, February 7th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Decisions, Family, Margin.
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