Archive for the ‘Protection’ Category

August 1st, 2015

A Fool for Flattery

“At that time Merodach-baladan the son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent envoys with letters and a present to Hezekiah, for he heard that he had been sick and had recovered. And Hezekiah welcomed them gladly. And he showed them his treasure house, the silver, the gold, the spices, the precious oil, his whole armory, all that was found in his storehouses. There was nothing in his house or in all his realm that Hezekiah did not show them.” Isaiah 39:1-2 (ESV)

Hezekiah was in the prime of his reign over Judah. He had stood firm in the face of Sennacherib and his boisterous Rabshakeh, relying on the Lord to display His glorious might in their deliverance from  the Assyrians. He had been seriously ill to the point of death and, then, miraculously healed by the word of the Lord through the prophet Isaiah and had his life extended. Just when you think things are perfect for Hezekiah, he does something dumb. He allows the flattery of a foreign government, in this case Babylon, to weaken his defenses and leave himself and his country exposed. When the Babylonians came to check on him, showing him great honor, he did not stop in welcoming, showing them everything in his house and in his realm. The Babylonians certainly would have been impressed, perhaps too much so. Isaiah confronts Hezekiah for his foolishness and speaks over him a promise: his desire to receive the praise of men will ultimately aid in the destruction of his beloved kingdom.

Beware of flattery because it can make you look foolish. Hezekiah never once stopped to ask if this foreign government had ulterior motives in coming to visit them because his vanity liked the attention. As a result, he made himself and his kingdom vulnerable. When someone comes with a flattering tongue, remember you are to boast in Christ alone. Keep your eyes on Him, not allowing the enemy to gain access to your heart.

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 Saturday, August 1st, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Isaiah, Pride, Protection.
Interact No Comments
May 9th, 2015

Ensure Unity

“Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity! It is like the precious oil on the head, running down on the beard, on the beard of Aaron, running down on the collar of his robes! It is like the dew of Hermon, which falls on the mountains of Zion! For there the Lord has commanded the blessing, life forevermore.” Psalm 133:1-3 (ESV)

Division breeds disunity. The absence of unity signals the presence of division. Where there is division, there are two visions. God’s vision for us is that we will dwell together in unity. As His children, we are the body of Christ. Unity in the midst of diversity is a mark of spiritual maturity. God desires that we do life together in unity as fellow believers in His family.

  • “I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Ephesian 4:1-3 (ESV)
  • “Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.” 1 Peter 3:8 (ESV)

Ensuring unity requires sympathy, sensitivity, and humility. Love compels you to place the needs of others before your own. Love inspires you to forfeit your own personal agenda in order to embrace God’s agenda. In humility, you ensure unity by being considerate of others and being conscientious of God’s will.

Think about the health of the relationships in your life at this time. Is there anyone sowing discord? Is there anything creating suspicion and eroding trust? Do your part to confront the disunity in order to ensure unity.

Riding HIS Wave,

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

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, May 9th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Protection, Psalms, Unity.
Interact No Comments
January 30th, 2015

God’s Protection

“So Jacob sent and called Rachel and Leah into the field where his flock was and said to them, ‘I see that your father does not regard me with favor as he did before. But the God of my father has been with me. You know that I have served your father with all my strength, yet your father has cheated me and changed my wages ten times. But God did not permit him to harm me.’” Genesis 31:4-7 (ESV)

Jacob experienced God’s protection as he served Laban. Though Laban deceived Jacob in several ways, Jacob found comfort in God’s Presence. Jacob recognized God’s provision in the midst of the unfortunate treatment Laban inflicted. The instability of the circumstances surrounding Jacob did not penetrate the protective covering provided by God. Navigating the current of shifting loyalty from Laban’s integrity deficit, Jacob rested in the consistent provision of God.

When you are treated unfairly, be encouraged by the reality of God’s protection and God’s abiding Presence in your life. Even when your circumstances create an atmosphere of uncertainty, you can anchor your faith to the rock of God’s nature and character. You can trust God to see you through.

Jesus knew what it meant to be betrayed and to suffer injustice. Jesus was perfect and encountered unfair treatment by those whom God had created.

  • “When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly.” 1 Peter 2:23 (ESV)

Do what Jesus did. Entrust yourself to Him who judges justly. Entrust your life to the One who has given you life and to the One who has the final say in every circumstance you face. God is worthy of your trust and worthy of your devotion. Relinquish control of your life to the One who created you for His glory.

Riding HIS Wave,

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

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, January 30th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category God's Provision, Jacob, Protection.
Interact No Comments
July 27th, 2014

Guard Your Heart

“Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” Proverbs 4:23 (ESV)

God loves you and has a plan for your life. Satan hates you and also has a plan for your life. God’s plan is for you to stay close and clean. Satan’s plan is for you to stay distant and dirty. God saved you and set you apart so that you can walk in His holiness and enjoy His abiding presence. God rescued you from the dominion of darkness and placed you in kingdom of light so that you can continue the ministry of Jesus before you go to heaven. The enemy, Satan, will not cease trying to devour your devotion to God.

Guard your heart! Don’t allow Satan, sin, or selfishness to invade your heart. Blockade your heart with the truth of God’s Word and fasten the breastplate of righteousness in place. Don’t give the devil access to your heart. Post guard! You are to love God with all your heart and to preserve your heart for His rightful place as Lord!

God wants you to have a pure heart and to embody pure motives. Be single-minded and render undivided loyalty to Christ. Allow Jesus to reign in your life. Invite the Holy Spirit to take full possession of your heart. Leave no room for the enemy to confiscate any fraction of real estate within your heart. Post a “no trespassing” sign at the entrance of your heart to alert the enemy that he is not welcome to occupy any portion of your heart.

Your heart is the wellspring of life. In the language of the Old Testament, the heart represents the inner person, the seat of motives and actions. The heart includes the thinking process and the will. You have the capacity to obey God with all of your heart. Guard His treasure, your heart!

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, July 27th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Heart, Protection, Purity.
Interact No Comments
January 28th, 2014

Overflowing with God’s Provision

“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.” Psalm 23:5 (ESV)

God is not limited by your limitations. Your overwhelming circumstances do not overwhelm God. The challenges in your environment are not impossible for God. God can see that which you cannot see. God knows that which you do not know.

God will provide nourishment and strength in the midst of your obstacles. God will provide manna when you experience the desert of the daily grind. His protective care will sustain you in battle. His grace will match the need of each moment. God will anoint your head with the oil of gladness and the oil of security. God’s power is made perfect in your weakness (2 Cor. 12:9).

Your desperation for God and your dependency upon God releases His provision. As you place your faith in God’s ability to meet your needs, His provision will cause your cup to overflow. The depth of your need will never surpass the endless supply of God’s storehouse.

Honor the Lord with what He has given you. Be a good steward with everything God has entrusted to you. Give thanks for His daily bread. Praise Him for bringing you this far. Acknowledge His sufficiency.

Trust Him to meet your every need (Phil. 4:19). Find comfort in the fact that God knows what you need before you ask Him (Matt. 6:8). Allow the Lord to shepherd you through the life He has for you.

Take a moment to write down the specific items that have weighed heavily upon your heart. What has been bothering you? What has been consuming your thoughts and your energy? Submit each item to your faithful Shepherd in prayer.

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, January 28th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Comfort, God's Provision, Protection.
Interact No Comments
August 1st, 2012

A Fool for Flattery

“At that time Merodach-baladan the son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent envoys with letters and a present to Hezekiah, for he heard that he had been sick and had recovered. And Hezekiah welcomed them gladly. And he showed them his treasure house, the silver, the gold, the spices, the precious oil, his whole armory, all that was found in his storehouses. There was nothing in his house or in all his realm that Hezekiah did not show them.” Isaiah 39:1-2 (ESV)

Hezekiah was in the prime of his reign over Judah. He had stood firm in the face of Sennacherib and his boisterous Rabshakeh, relying on the Lord to display His glorious might in their deliverance from  the Assyrians. He had been seriously ill to the point of death and, then, miraculously healed by the word of the Lord through the prophet Isaiah and had his life extended. Just when you think things are perfect for Hezekiah, he does something dumb. He allows the flattery of a foreign government, in this case Babylon, to weaken his defenses and leave himself and his country exposed. When the Babylonians came to check on him, showing him great honor, he did not stop in welcoming, showing them everything in his house and in his realm. The Babylonians certainly would have been impressed, perhaps too much so. Isaiah confronts Hezekiah for his foolishness and speaks over him a promise: his desire to receive the praise of men will ultimately aid in the destruction of his beloved kingdom.

Beware of flattery because it can make you look foolish. Hezekiah never once stopped to ask if this foreign government had ulterior motives in coming to visit them because his vanity liked the attention. As a result, he made himself and his kingdom vulnerable. When someone comes with a flattering tongue, remember you are to boast in Christ alone. Keep your eyes on Him, not allowing the enemy to gain access to your heart.

Chronological Bible Reading Plan: (Day 206:  Isaiah 37-39; Psalms 76)

Grace and peace,

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

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, August 1st, 2012 at 1:00 am
Category Isaiah, Pride, Protection.
Interact No Comments
January 30th, 2012

God’s Protection

“So Jacob sent and called Rachel and Leah into the field where his flock was 5 and said to them, ‘I see that your father does not regard me with favor as he did before. But the God of my father has been with me. 6 You know that I have served your father with all my strength, 7 yet your father has cheated me and changed my wages ten times. But God did not permit him to harm me.’” Genesis 31:4-7 (ESV)

Jacob experienced God’s protection as he served Laban. Though Laban deceived Jacob in several ways, Jacob found comfort in God’s Presence. Jacob recognized God’s provision in the midst of the unfortunate treatment Laban inflicted. The instability of the circumstances surrounding Jacob did not penetrate the protective covering provided by God. Navigating the current of shifting loyalty from Laban’s integrity deficit, Jacob rested in the consistent provision of God.

When you are treated unfairly, be encouraged by the reality of God’s protection and God’s abiding Presence in your life. Even when your circumstances create an atmosphere of uncertainty, you can anchor your faith to the rock of God’s nature and character. You can trust God to see you through.

Jesus knew what it meant to be betrayed and to suffer injustice. Jesus was perfect and encountered unfair treatment by those whom God had created.

  • “When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly.” 1 Peter 2:23 (ESV)

Do what Jesus did. Entrust yourself to Him who judges justly. Entrust your life to the One who has given you life and to the One who has the final say in every circumstance you face. God is worthy of your trust and worthy of your devotion. Relinquish control of your life to the One who created you for His glory.

Chronological Bible Reading Plan: (Day 22: Genesis 30-31)

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, January 30th, 2012 at 1:00 am
Category God's Provision, Jacob, Protection.
Interact No Comments
July 27th, 2010

Guard Your Heart

“Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” Prov 4:23 (NIV)

God loves you and has a plan for your life. Satan hates you and also has a plan for your life. God’s plan is for you to stay close and clean. Satan’s plan is for you to stay distant and dirty. God saved you and set you apart so that you can walk in His holiness and enjoy His abiding presence. God rescued you from the dominion of darkness and placed you in kingdom of light so that you can continue the ministry of Jesus before you go to heaven. The enemy, Satan, will not cease trying to devour your devotion to God.

Guard your heart! Don’t allow Satan, sin, or selfishness to invade your heart. Blockade your heart with the truth of God’s Word and fasten the breastplate of righteousness in place. Don’t give the devil access to your heart. Post guard! You are to love God with all your heart and to preserve your heart for His rightful place as Lord!

God wants you to have a pure heart and to embody pure motives. Be single-minded and render undivided loyalty to Christ. Allow Jesus to reign in your life. Invite the Holy Spirit to take full possession of your heart. Leave no room for the enemy to confiscate any fraction of real estate within your heart. Post a “no trespassing” sign at the entrance of your heart to alert the enemy that he is not welcome to occupy any portion of your heart.

Your heart is the wellspring of life. In the language of the Old Testament, the heart represents the inner person, the seat of motives and actions. The heart includes the thinking process and the will. You have the capacity to obey God with all of your heart. Guard His treasure, your heart!

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, July 27th, 2010 at 1:00 am
Category Heart, Protection, Purity.
Interact No Comments
January 28th, 2010

Overflowing with God’s Provision

“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.” Psalm 23:5 (NIV)

God is not limited by your limitations. Your overwhelming circumstances do not overwhelm God. The challenges in your environment are not impossible for God. God can see that which you cannot see. God knows that which you do not know.

God will provide nourishment and strength in the midst of your obstacles. God will provide manna when you experience the desert of the daily grind. His protective care will sustain you in battle. His grace will match the need of each moment. God will anoint your head with the oil of gladness and the oil of security. God’s power is made perfect in your weakness (2 Cor. 12:9).

Your desperation for God and your dependency upon God releases His provision. As you place your faith in God’s ability to meet your needs, His provision will cause your cup to overflow. The depth of your need will never surpass the endless supply of God’s storehouse.

Honor the Lord with what He has given you. Be a good steward with everything God has entrusted to you. Give thanks for His daily bread. Praise Him for bringing you this far. Acknowledge His sufficiency.

Trust Him to meet your every need (Php. 4:19). Find comfort in the fact that God knows what you need before you ask Him (Mt. 6:8). Allow the Lord to shepherd you through the life He has for you.

Take a moment to write down the specific items that have weighed heavily upon your heart. What has been bothering you? What has been consuming your thoughts and your energy? Submit each item to your faithful Shepherd in prayer.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, January 28th, 2010 at 1:00 am
Category Comfort, God's Provision, Protection.
Interact No Comments
October 18th, 2009

Living God’s Way

“As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him.” Psalms 18:30 (NIV)

God’s way is always the best option. Making decisions is a perpetual necessity in this life. You have the freedom to choose to follow God’s way or to reject God’s way. You have the freedom to honor God or to dishonor God. As you make decisions each day, remember that God’s way is always the best way. Why? Because God’s way is perfect. God created you for His glory. God made you and He has a plan for your life that involves deciding to go His way.

How do you find God’s way? Fortunately, God has given you His roadmap, namely, the Bible. God’s Word is flawless. His Word will never lead you down a path that brings dishonor to His name. God’s Word unveils God’s will for your life. The beauty of the Christian life is that God invites you into a journey of discovery. In relationship, God enables you to know Him personally and to walk with Him progressively. As you obey God’s Word, He entrusts you with more.

Living God’s way is a threat to the devil. However, you can take refuge in the Lord for He is your shield. God will protect you from the flaming arrows of the evil one. God will give you everything you need to walk in victory. Instead of trying to live the Christian life in your own strength and fight the spiritual battles in your own power, choose to take refuge in the Lord. Let Him become your shield.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, October 18th, 2009 at 1:00 am
Category God's Will, Obedience, Protection.
Interact No Comments