Archive for the ‘Compassion’ Category

October 14th, 2015

Carry Your Corner

“And many were gathered together, so that there was no more room, not even at the door. And he was preaching the word to them. And they came, bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. And when they could not get near him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him, and when they had made an opening, they let down the bed on which the paralytic lay.” Mark 2:2-4 (ESV)

These four men were convinced that Jesus was the answer. They were focused on the mission of getting the paralytic to Jesus. Even though the obstacles were vast and the house was full, these four men were willing to be creative and committed to bringing the paralytic to Jesus.

What if one of the four decided not to carry his corner? What if one of the four chose to give up and release his corner of responsibility? One of the remaining three would have had to take on double the load. Instead, the four men worked together as a team unified and devoted to bringing the paralytic to Jesus.

  • “And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven.’” Mark 2:5 (ESV)

Jesus rewarded their faith. These four men were willing to dig through the roof to lower the paralytic down. No barrier was big enough to penetrate their passion and to dilute their devotion. These men were willing to go beyond their own comfort and convenience in order to place the needs of this paralytic before their own.

Are you willing to carry your corner to bring people to Jesus? Are you willing to carry your corner to ensure the ministry of Jesus continues on the earth? Do your part to meet needs and to point people to Jesus.

Riding HIS Wave,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, October 14th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Compassion, Soulwinning, Tenacity.
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May 7th, 2015

Father of Compassion

“For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him. For he knows our frame;he remembers that we are dust.” Psalm 103:11-14 (ESV)

Three comparisons are made to demonstrate the vastness of God’s love toward us. The immense gap between the heavens and the earth is one picture of  how great God’s steadfast love is toward us. God’s love is grandiose.

Try to measure the distance between the east and west and you will be able to capture the distance between our sin and us. God places our sin as far as the east is from the west. Infinity is the immeasurable distance. You cannot place a measurement on the distance that God places between our sin and ourselves. When God removes our sin, He completely removes our sin.

Just as a compassionate father shows compassion to his children, our Heavenly Father shows compassion to us. The abundance of God’s compassion cannot be depleted. God’s compassion is endless. The ultimate portrait of His compassion is found in Romans 5:8, “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

God created us and knows our limitations and the frailty of our humanity. He knows our frame. He knows every fiber of our being. God has not forgotten that we are dust. As God’s steadfast love is lavished on us and His compassion is dispensed, He knows the challenges we face in this fallen world. He is our Father of Compassion!

Riding HIS Wave,

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

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, May 7th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Compassion, Forgiveness, Psalms.
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March 26th, 2015

Don’t Forget

“When you gather the grapes of your vineyard, you shall not strip it afterward. It shall be for the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow. You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt; therefore I command you to do this.” Deuteronomy 24:21-22 (ESV)

Take pride for a ride by spending some time reflecting on your condition before your conversion. Do you remember what it was like being lost? Can you recall the darkness that enveloped your soul as an unbeliever? You were hell bound and in bondage to the clutches of the enemy. You were alienated from God and separated from the favor of God.

  • “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.” Ephesians 2:1-3 (ESV)

In His mercy, God came to rescue you from your sin. Putting His compassion into action, God redeemed you from your sin and delivered you from the kingdom of darkness and placed you in the kingdom of light. The divine transaction was initiated by God and demonstrated His unconditional love for you.

Be generous to others just as God has been generous to you. Humble yourself by remembering your former condition and recognizing where you would be without God’s gracious intervention. Place the needs of others before your own. Seize opportunities to show Christ’s love to those He places in your path today.

Riding HIS Wave,

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

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, March 26th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Compassion, Deuteronomy, Moses.
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January 26th, 2015

God’s Grace

“And the child grew and was weaned. And Abraham made a great feast on the day that Isaac was weaned. But Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, laughing. So she said to Abraham, ‘Cast out this slave woman with her son, for the son of this slave woman shall not be heir with my son Isaac.’” Genesis 21:8-10 (ESV)

Shortcuts in life can generate adverse consequences. Instead of waiting on God’s timing to produce offspring, Abraham and Sarah took a shortcut by utilizing Sarah’s servant, Hagar. “And Sarai said to Abram, ‘Behold now, the LORD has prevented me from bearing children. Go in to my servant; it may be that I shall obtain children by her.’ And Abram listened to the voice of Sarai” (Gen 16:2 ESV). Sarah got what she wanted, but later didn’t want what she got!

Abraham had to make the difficult decision to send Hagar and Ishmael on their way in order to keep marital peace with Sarah. Hagar finds herself in desperation and ready to give up her life and the life of her son, Ishmael, as they wander in the wilderness of Beersheba. She placed Ishmael under a bush anticipating his death as well as her own. Then God intervened:

  • “Then God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water. And she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink. And God was with the boy, and he grew up. He lived in the wilderness and became an expert with the bow. He lived in the wilderness of Paran, and his mother took a wife for him from the land of Egypt.” Gen 21:19-21 (ESV)

God’s grace always matches the desperation of our need. God has the final say even in the darkest of moments. When life gets messy, don’t hesitate to turn to the Master! God’s grace is more than enough!

Riding HIS Wave,

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

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, January 26th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Abraham, Compassion, Grace.
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November 23rd, 2014

Forgiven to Forgive

“Bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.” Colossians 3:13 (ESV)

Motion causes friction. Doing life with real people can generate feelings of irritability and agitation. Real people in real life can get on your nerves at times. Our self-absorbed society elevates relational strife. Our proclivity toward selfishness accelerates the relational turmoil.

The Body of Christ is not exempt from relational challenges. Every church family experiences tension, jealousy, and relational drift. We combat the world, the flesh, and the devil. We combat the tendency to turn inward and neglect relationships. Self-preservation prevents us from experiencing the depth of meaningful relationships God has for us.

Perpetual forgiveness and bearing with each other are required for maintaining unity in the Body of Christ. If you have a grievance against someone, release it! If you have been fertilizing a spirit of un-forgiveness, renounce it! Forgive others just as the Lord Jesus has forgiven you.

Don’t forget about the forgiveness you have received in your lifetime. Calculate the grace, mercy, and compassion that Christ has lavished on you. Think about where you would be without His abundant forgiveness. Your sin has been placed as far as the east is from the west. Your sin has been placed in the sea of forgetfulness. You are totally forgiven. You have been set free! Now, choose to forgive others as the Lord has chosen to forgive you. Let others experience your forgiveness in the same degree upon which you have experienced the forgiveness of Christ.

In prayer, visit the scene of the cross. Picture for a moment the Lord Jesus on the cross paying the penalty for your sin. Consider the weight of taking on the full wrath of God for your sin. Jesus did that for you. Would you be willing to extend forgiveness to others in response to the forgiveness Jesus extended to you?

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, November 23rd, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Compassion, Forgiveness, Sin.
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November 22nd, 2014

Display Compassion

“But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him.” Luke 10:33-34 (ESV)

Hurting people saturate the landscape of life. Living in a fallen world generates pain, suffering, and sorrow. People are shouldering harmful habits, hurts, and hang-ups. Detours and disappointments frequent our daily existence. The reality of living on a broken planet necessitates a deep abiding compassion for others.

The Good Samaritan was willing to see the needs of an unnamed individual and to seize the opportunity to meet his needs. The Good Samaritan was willing to put his compassion in action by getting personally involved in the solution to this wounded man’s unfortunate situation. He had been left for dead.

The Priest and the Levite were too preoccupied with themselves to care about someone else in need. If we are not careful, that can be our tendency. We get so caught up in our own lives and consumed with what we want to accomplish in a given day, that we can neglect those God brings into our path. Busyness and selfishness blur our vision to the reality of pressing needs around us. We might even begin seeing people in need as an interruption rather than an opportunity to display the compassion of Christ.

What is keeping you from putting your compassion in action? Have you lost your love for people? Has your heart become numb toward the individuals in need who come across your path? Slow down and allow the compassion of Christ to flow through you to a world in need. Continue the ministry of Jesus on the earth. View others as sheep without a shepherd. You are the shepherd! Go help some sheep!

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, November 22nd, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Compassion, Initiative, Ministry.
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November 21st, 2014

Spiritual Wardrobe

“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.” Colossians 3:12 (ESV)

What are you displaying for a watching world to see? You are chosen, holy, and dearly loved by God. Display the garments you have been given in Christ. As a child of the Living God, you have a spiritual wardrobe that must be put on each day. God places you in the display window of life to give evidence of the reality of Jesus living His life through you.

Are you exhibiting the character of Christ? Put on the garment of compassion. Let others see your compassion in action. Put on the garment of kindness. Be gracious and kind toward others by placing their needs before your own. Put on the garment of humility. Don’t think less of yourself; just think of yourself less. Consider others better than yourself (Phil. 2:3). Be sure to put on the garment of gentleness. Show the tenderness of Christ as you interact with others today. Are you a patient person? Put on the garment of patience and trust God’s timing.

Who you are in Christ on the inside needs to be evident on the outside. As you build meaningful relationships with others, demonstrate the character of Christ. As you navigate the difficult places in life, exhibit the character of Christ. God will use the tests you face in life to help build your testimony. When you are squeezed by the circumstances of life, what is on the inside of you will come out. Clothe yourself with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Let these garments become the fabric of your life.

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, November 21st, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Chosen, Compassion, Humility.
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July 10th, 2014

Seizing Opportunities

“I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity.” Philippians 4:10 (ESV)

God chooses to use people to help us. The Christian life is not a solo flight. God saved us to live in union with Christ and in community with other believers. We need each other. We do better together. As a result of being adopted into God’s family, we are to communicate and collaborate as fellow followers of Christ. In Christ, we are family!

Paul was imprisoned in Rome when he wrote this personal letter to the church at Philippi. He had a deep abiding love for them and wanted to encourage them in their faith. Paul identified their willingness to put their compassion into action. They sent their gifts to Paul via Epaphroditus (Phil. 4:18). Paul acknowledged their gift as a fragrant offering pleasing to God.

Spend a moment thanking God in prayer for the people He has placed in your life over the years to be a blessing to you. Think about the individuals God used to encourage you on your faith journey. You may even want to write a letter or type an email to someone God has used to elevate your faith. People matter to God and He delights in bringing people into our lives to bring us closer to Christ.

Are you available for God’s use? Would you be willing to be used of God to encourage someone today? Would you be willing to be used of God to model Christ before a watching world? Remember that God blesses you so that you can be a blessing to others. Who will benefit from your life today?

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, July 10th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Compassion, Demonstration, Ministry.
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July 9th, 2014

Selfless Involvement

“But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’” Luke 10:33-35 (ESV)

Has your day ever been interrupted by an unfortunate event? How did you respond? The Good Samaritan responded to the tragedy by getting involved in the resolution. He demonstrated compassion in action by seeking to meet the needs of the one who had been violated and wounded. While others kept their distance and walked on by, the Good Samaritan walked directly to the man in desperate need to extend a helping hand.

Life is full of opportunities to ignore or meet needs. You can easily become apathetic and slip into a numb state of existence whereby the needs of others no longer tug at your heart strings. What if God wants you to get involved? What if God wants to use you to make an eternal difference in the life of someone in need? How will you respond?

  • “When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. And he began to teach them many things.” Mark 6:34 (ESV)

Jesus is our model of compassion. Choose to be like Jesus!

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, July 9th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Compassion, Initiative, Selflessness.
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July 8th, 2014

Extending and Receiving Forgiveness

“For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Matthew 6:14-15 (ESV)

Would it not be hypocritical to receive God’s forgiveness personally and then refuse to extend God’s forgiveness to others? We do not earn God’s forgiveness by forgiving others, but we demonstrate God’s forgiveness as we forgive others. We are to forgive others instantly as a result of our being recipients of God’s instant forgiveness.

Forgiving those who have hurt you does not validate their behavior, but rather honors God by mirroring His forgiveness towards you. The grace and mercy that God lavishes on you becomes a blessing that flows through you to those who have wounded you. By extending forgiveness, you are allowing the life of Christ to be evident in you and through you.

Forgiveness is immediate; trust takes time. Just because you forgive someone does not mean that it is safe to trust that person. God is not asking you to extend forgiveness and then embrace a posture of vulnerability and susceptibility. You are to walk wisely. It takes time and multiple opportunities for a person to demonstrate trustworthiness. Just as you would not dare cross a bridge that is not deemed trustworthy, you would not trust an individual who has failed to be trustworthy.

Extend forgiveness immediately and then pray for the person you have forgiven. Ask God to transform the one you have forgiven and to help that person become worthy of your trust. It is possible that you may never trust that person again. However, extending forgiveness is not optional in God’s economy.

In my daily quiet time, I came across this question by Henry Blackaby that God is using in my life, “Would you want God to forgive you in the same way you are presently forgiving others?”

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, July 8th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Compassion, Forgiveness, Mercy.
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