Archive for the ‘Avoiding Sin’ Category

July 1st, 2015

Set Your Heart to Seek the Lord

“And he did evil, for he did not set his heart to seek the LORD.” 2 Chronicles 12:14 ESV

What an unfortunate legacy left by Solomon, who taught his children to seek their own good rather than the glory of God. As a result, his father’s kingdom was divided and his son turned his heart from the Lord, resulting in turmoil for Israel as God not so gently called them back to Himself.

Let us be warned by Rehoboam’s actions, though, for when you and I don’t set our hearts and affections toward the Lord, we have the tendency to fall back into actions that do not honor the Lord. Even one day in which we don’t place our heart on the altar of the Lord can allow in us a rebellious spirit that turns to old masters and old sins for fulfillment instead of turning to the Lord Almighty.

Paul writes in Colossians 3 that “if then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things on the earth” (Colossians 3:1-2 ESV). When we set our hearts to seek the Lord, we allow our joy to be fulfilled by Him alone, thereby enabling us to “put to death therefore what is earthly in (us)” (Colossians 3:5 ESV).

Rehoboam didn’t focus on heavenly things; rather, he focused on earthly gain. As a result, a nation was divided and people plundered by Egypt. He allowed his heart to turn to evil things because he lost his first love. What about you? What are you focusing on? Set your heart to seek the Lord. Taste and see that He is good!

Grace and peace,

Jared Richard
Pastor of Multiplication and Young Adults (Online Devotional Guest Author)
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/jaredrichard

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, July 1st, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category 2 Chronicles, Abiding in Christ, Avoiding Sin.
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July 1st, 2012

Set Your Heart to Seek the Lord

“And he did evil, for he did not set his heart to seek the LORD.” 2 Chronicles 12:14 ESV

What an unfortunate legacy left by Solomon, who taught his children to seek their own good rather than the glory of God. As a result, his father’s kingdom was divided and his son turned his heart from the Lord, resulting in turmoil for Israel as God not so gently called them back to Himself.

Let us be warned by Rehoboam’s actions, though, for when you and I don’t set our hearts and affections toward the Lord, we have the tendency to fall back into actions that do not honor the Lord. Even one day in which we don’t place our heart on the altar of the Lord can allow in us a rebellious spirit that turns to old masters and old sins for fulfillment instead of turning to the Lord Almighty.

Paul writes in Colossians 3 that “if then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things on the earth” (Colossians 3:1-2 ESV). When we set our hearts to seek the Lord, we allow our joy to be fulfilled by Him alone, thereby enabling us to “put to death therefore what is earthly in (us)” (Colossians 3:5 ESV).

Rehoboam didn’t focus on heavenly things; rather, he focused on earthly gain. As a result, a nation was divided and people plundered by Egypt. He allowed his heart to turn to evil things because he lost his first love. What about you? What are you focusing on? Set your heart to seek the Lord. Taste and see that He is good!

Chronological Bible Reading Plan: (Day 175:  2 Chronicles 10-12)

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, July 1st, 2012 at 1:00 am
Category 2 Chronicles, Abiding in Christ, Avoiding Sin.
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August 18th, 2009

Real Temptation: Predictable Process

“Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.” James 1:15 (NIV)

Temptation has a predictable process.

James gives uses the metaphor of childbirth to capture the predictable process of temptation. In his letter to the Jews who were scattered outside of Palestine, James writes about the trials from without and the temptations from within.

We have God-given desires that are natural and are vital to life. For example, we have the desire for food. Without that desire we would die. We also have the desire for rest. Without that desire we would die. Yet, both desires can become sin when we take them beyond God’s intended purpose. If we take our desire for food too far, we commit the sin of gluttony. In like manner, if we take our desire for rest too far, we commit the sin of laziness.

Arm yourself with the knowledge of the predictable process of temptation. We idolize something we desire. The next step is that we rationalize why we should have the desire fulfilled. In other words, we talk ourselves into compromising convictions. Then we strategize by coming up with a plan to obtain the object we are idolizing. Ultimately, we capitalize on the opportunity by seizing what we have desired. Remorse and guilt follow.

Look back over poor choices you have made in your lifetime. See if you can identify this predictable process. Here’s the key to victory: The sooner in the process you avoid the sin, the more likely you will overcome the temptation.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor
(This devotional was originally posted in ’07 or ’08. I’m taking a break from writing for a season of personal renewal.)
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, August 18th, 2009 at 1:00 am
Category Avoiding Sin, Desire, Hannah, Self-control, Struggle.
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June 14th, 2008

Real Temptation (5)

“Avoid every kind of evil.” 1 Thess 5:22 (NIV)

Have you ever done something that compromised your convictions and broke the heart of God? When you look back on the experience, you still can’t believe that you did such a thing. When you get too close to the edge, you slip down the slippery slope and immense guilt follows. Have you been there?

As we continue observing our MAP for walking in victory, let’s use the letter “A” to remind us to Avoid Slippery Slopes. Because of our resident sin nature, we have a tendency to see how close we can get to the edge without slipping and falling. God’s Word teaches us to guard our lives and to conduct our lives with caution. Slippery slopes abound. Opportunities to compromise our convictions are unlimited.

  • “It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God.” 1 Thess 4:3-5 (NIV)
  • “In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.” Heb 12:4 (NIV)

God has called us to a lifestyle of self-control. Take the initiative to avoid slipper slopes. Ask God to give you wisdom to see the terrain as it is and to detect the slippery slopes awaiting your arrival. Living in a fallen world is a struggle. Resist sin at all costs.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, June 14th, 2008 at 1:00 am
Category Avoiding Sin, Self-control, Temptation.
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