Archive for the ‘Accountability’ Category

November 25th, 2015

The Proper Response to Rebuke

“‘Repent, therefore, of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that, if possible, the intent of your heart may be forgiven you. For I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity.’ And Simon answered, ‘Pray for me to the Lord, that nothing of what you have said may come upon me.’” Acts 8:22-24 (ESV)

Simon was a new believer. To this point in his life, he had been the envy of many men, drawing crowds to marvel at his magic. Yet, when he heard the message of Phillip, he was compelled by the gospel of Jesus Christ and repented. His repentance, though, did not make him perfect, for when he saw the power of Peter and John as they laid hands upon those who desired to receive the Holy Spirit, he desired the same type of power for himself. He wanted the same ability to impress a crowd as before, just with a different source of wonder. Peter immediately rebukes Simon’s attempt to buy their power and favor, suggesting that such a gift was only for the pure in heart. His words were true and direct, and Simon heard them and repented yet again.

Just because we have given our lives to Christ does not mean that we have already attained perfection. In fact, we must guard against the comforts of the flesh taking up root once again in our hearts. As believers, may we not look at Christianity as a new way to get the same things we have always wanted. Rather, let us see it for the gift it is and passionately pursue it for the sake of God’s glory rather than our own. Further, may we seek to have people in our lives to speak hard truth over us when we do begin to forsake the name of the Lord for our own.

Do you have someone in your life that can speak tough truth to you? Do you respond as Simon did here? Remember, the goal for us until Christ returns is progress; we seek perfection but only in as much as it is rooted in that of Jesus.

Grace and peace,

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

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, November 25th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Abiding in Christ, Accountability, Acts, Truth.
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June 25th, 2015

Sharpened into the Image of Christ

“Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” (Proverbs 27:17 ESV)

We were created to do life together, not apart. Part of the reason God has knitted us into a particular people following His saving work in our lives is to help each other become increasingly more like Christ. As a Christian, our desire should be to put on display the character and nature of God that is at work within us. We want people, when they see us, to see Jesus.

The problem for us in accomplishing that goal is sometimes we fall back into bad habits or allow the fleeting pleasures of this world to once again take the rightful place of the Lord in our life as the sole object of our worship. Because of this tendency to regress instead of progress in our image formation, we need fellow brothers and sisters in Christ around us to remind us of our ultimate goal of displaying the image of Christ in us and reject those things that have prohibited us from doing so.

All of us need people who speak truth to us in grace and love, hoping to encourage redemption and restoration in our pursuit of Christ-likeness.

As you begin your day today, I ask you to consider two things: First, can you think of someone in your walk with Christ to this point who has sharpened you in your pursuit of Him? Take a moment and thank the Lord for their presence in your life and how He has used them to encourage you. Second, do you have anyone in your life now that you are allowing full access to your life so that they can help you see how to better display the image of Christ? If not, why not?

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 Thursday, June 25th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Accountability, Christlikeness, Proverbs.
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November 25th, 2012

The Proper Response to Rebuke

“‘Repent, therefore, of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that, if possible, the intent of your heart may be forgiven you. For I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity.’ And Simon answered, ‘Pray for me to the Lord, that nothing of what you have said may come upon me.’” Acts 8:22-24 (ESV)

Simon was a new believer. To this point in his life, he had been the envy of many men, drawing crowds to marvel at his magic. Yet, when he heard the message of Phillip, he was compelled by the gospel of Jesus Christ and repented. His repentance, though, did not make him perfect, for when he saw the power of Peter and John as they laid hands upon those who desired to receive the Holy Spirit, he desired the same type of power for himself. He wanted the same ability to impress a crowd as before, just with a different source of wonder. Peter immediately rebukes Simon’s attempt to buy their power and favor, suggesting that such a gift was only for the pure in heart. His words were true and direct, and Simon heard them and repented yet again.

Just because we have given our lives to Christ does not mean that we have already attained perfection. In fact, we must guard against the comforts of the flesh taking up root once again in our hearts. As believers, may we not look at Christianity as a new way to get the same things we have always wanted. Rather, let us see it for the gift it is and passionately pursue it for the sake of God’s glory rather than our own. Further, may we seek to have people in our lives to speak hard truth over us when we do begin to forsake the name of the Lord for our own.

Do you have someone in your life that can speak tough truth to you? Do you respond as Simon did here? Remember, the goal for us until Christ returns is progress; we seek perfection but only in as much as it is rooted in that of Jesus.

Chronological Bible Reading Plan: (Day 322:  Acts 7-8)

Grace and peace,

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

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, November 25th, 2012 at 1:00 am
Category Abiding in Christ, Accountability, Acts, Truth.
Interact No Comments
June 25th, 2012

Sharpened into the Image of Christ

“Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” (Proverbs 27:17 ESV)

We were created to do life together, not apart. Part of the reason God has knitted us into a particular people following His saving work in our lives is to help each other become increasingly more like Christ. As a Christian, our desire should be to put on display the character and nature of God that is at work within us. We want people, when they see us, to see Jesus.

The problem for us in accomplishing that goal is sometimes we fall back into bad habits or allow the fleeting pleasures of this world to once again take the rightful place of the Lord in our life as the sole object of our worship. Because of this tendency to regress instead of progress in our image formation, we need fellow brothers and sisters in Christ around us to remind us of our ultimate goal of displaying the image of Christ in us and reject those things that have prohibited us from doing so.

All of us need people who speak truth to us in grace and love, hoping to encourage redemption and restoration in our pursuit of Christ-likeness.

As you begin your day today, I ask you to consider two things: First, can you think of someone in your walk with Christ to this point who has sharpened you in your pursuit of Him? Take a moment and thank the Lord for their presence in your life and how He has used them to encourage you. Second, do you have anyone in your life now that you are allowing full access to your life so that they can help you see how to better display the image of Christ? If not, why not?

Chronological Bible Reading Plan: (Day 169:  Proverbs 27-29)

Grace and peace,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, June 25th, 2012 at 1:00 am
Category Accountability, Christlikeness, Proverbs.
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May 14th, 2008

Sincere Faith (3)

“What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus. Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you–guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.” 2 Tim 1:13-14 (NIV)

As you seek to impart your sincere faith, expect opposition. As a follower of Jesus Christ, you will be a threat to Satan and his agenda.

Fight to protect that faith.

Your faith is worth fighting for. The faith of your family is worth fighting for. As you impart your faith to those in your sphere of influence, you will be impacting their lives for time and eternity. Because of the value God places on your sincere faith, Satan seeks to distract you.

  • “The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.” 1 Tim 4:1 (NIV)
  • “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God–having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.” 2 Tim 3:1-5 (NIV)

Protect the faith God has given you.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, May 14th, 2008 at 1:00 am
Category Accountability, Faith, Family, Protection, Sincerity.
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