Archive for the ‘Self-control’ Category

September 25th, 2014

Stand Firm

“Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8 (ESV)

The Devil beneath you is another obstacle to abundant life. Satan’s mission is to disrupt and to dismantle God’s agenda. As a result, the enemy seeks to attack that which is closest to God’s heart, namely, God’s children. Whenever you are under attack, remember that as a child of God you are a threat to Satan. When you choose to walk in the way of Jesus, you show up on Satan’s radar.

  • “And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.” 2 Cor. 11:14 (ESV)
  • “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” Eph. 6:12 (ESV)

The life God has for you will be opposed. Satan does not want you to experience the abundant life God has for you. Some of Satan’s tools are: discouragement, disillusionment, distractions, depression, doubt, and drifting. The Enemy’s goal is to get you to drift from God’s best. Often, the Devil will sprinkle allurements along the way to try to get you to take a short cut or to bypass your allegiance to Christ.

Be alert! Be aware! Stand firm! You are a soldier in the Lord’s army!

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, September 25th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Devil, Opposition, Self-control.
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September 17th, 2014

Preserve Your Purity

“If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.” Matthew 5:29-30 (ESV)

Jesus uses a hyperbole to illustrate that we are to deal drastically with sin. There is no proper place for sin to reside within the child of God. Sin and purity cannot coexist. A Christian cannot walk in the Spirit and walk in the flesh simultaneously. The righteous life Jesus calls us to requires eliminating sin from our thoughts, conversation, and actions. Embracing a life of moral purity demands confessing sin instantly and overcoming temptation consistently.

  • “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions.” Rom. 6:12 (ESV)
  • “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.” Rom. 13:14 (ESV)

Preserving a lifestyle of moral purity includes dealing drastically with sin and being intentional about staying close and clean. Maintaining daily intimacy with Jesus through prayer and Bible reading fortifies your faith. Drawing near to the Lord enables you to be conscious of His presence throughout each moment of each day. Yield to His Lordship and allow Jesus to take full control of every area of your life. If there is a certain area of your life that Satan seeks to attack, then submit that to God and resist the devil. Put on the full armor of God and make no provision to gratify the flesh.

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, September 17th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Purity, Self-control, Sin.
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July 29th, 2014

Advise Your Eyes

“Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you.” Proverbs 4:25 (ESV)

Eyesight is an amazing feature of the human body. God’s creation throughout the earth is awesome to behold whether taking in the sight of the blue sky in the day or the star-filled sky at night or observing a butterfly dancing from leaf to leaf. From gazing at the flowing wildflowers in the open field to examining the intricacies of a cell under a microscope, eyesight is a gift from God.

There is so much to look at from day to day. To walk in victory, we must very selective in what we allow to come into our minds through the open window of our eyes. Some things we view bring honor to God while other things bring dishonor. Differentiating between the two is a mark of spiritual maturity and a byproduct of the fruit of the Spirit, self-control. Walking in victory while living in a fallen world mandates that we advise our eyes.

  • “But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Matt. 5:28 (ESV)
  • “‘I have made a covenant with my eyes; how then could I gaze at a virgin?’” Job 31:1 (ESV)

Take the initiative to advise your eyes. Tell your eyes where to look. Look straight ahead. Fix your gaze so that you will not be distracted by the lure of lust and the syrup of sin. Train your eyes to bounce off of anything that does not honor God. As Billy Graham has said, “The first look is natural; the second look is sin.”

It is wise to advise your eyes by viewing life from God’s perspective. Feed on God’s Word so that your eyes will be informed and your heart will remain pure.

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, July 29th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Lust, Purity, Self-control.
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February 23rd, 2014

Avoiding Slippery Slopes

“Abstain from every form of evil.” 1 Thessalonians 5:22 (ESV)

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.

  • “For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God.” 1 Thess. 4:3-5 (ESV)
  • “In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.” Heb. 12:4 (ESV)

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.

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, February 23rd, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Discernment, Self-control, Victory.
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September 25th, 2010

Stand Firm

“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8 (NIV)

The Devil beneath you is another obstacle to abundant life. Satan’s mission is to disrupt and to dismantle God’s agenda. As a result, the enemy seeks to attack that which is closest to God’s heart, namely, God’s children. Whenever you are under attack, remember that as a child of God you are a threat to Satan. When you choose to walk in the way of Jesus, you show up on Satan’s radar.

  • “And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.” 2 Cor 11:14 (NIV)
  • “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Eph 6:12 (NIV)

The life God has for you will be opposed. Satan does not want you to experience the abundant life God has for you. Some of Satan’s tools are: discouragement, disillusionment, distractions, depression, doubt, and drifting. The Enemy’s goal is to get you to drift from God’s best. Often, the Devil will sprinkle allurements along the way to try to get you to take a short cut or to bypass your allegiance to Christ.

Be alert! Be aware! Stand firm! You are a soldier in the Lord’s army!

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, September 25th, 2010 at 1:00 am
Category Devil, Opposition, Self-control.
Interact No Comments
September 17th, 2010

Preserve Your Purity

“If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.” Matt 5:29-30 (NIV)

Jesus uses a hyperbole to illustrate that we are to deal drastically with sin. There is no proper place for sin to reside within the child of God. Sin and purity cannot coexist. A Christian cannot walk in the Spirit and walk in the flesh simultaneously. The righteous life Jesus calls us to requires eliminating sin from our thoughts, conversation, and actions. Embracing a life of moral purity demands confessing sin instantly and overcoming temptation consistently.

  • “Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires.” Romans 6:12 (NIV)
  • “Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.” Romans 13:14 (NIV)

Preserving a lifestyle of moral purity includes dealing drastically with sin and being intentional about staying close and clean. Maintaining daily intimacy with Jesus through prayer and Bible reading fortifies your faith. Drawing near to the Lord enables you to be conscious of His presence throughout each moment of each day. Yield to His Lordship and allow Jesus to take full control of every area of your life. If there is a certain area of your life that Satan seeks to attack, then submit that to God and resist the devil. Put on the full armor of God and make no provision to gratify the flesh.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, September 17th, 2010 at 1:00 am
Category Purity, Self-control, Sin.
Interact No Comments
July 29th, 2010

Advise Your Eyes

“Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you.” Prov 4:25 (NIV)

Eyesight is an amazing feature of the human body. God’s creation throughout the earth is awesome to behold whether taking in the sight of the blue sky in the day or the star filled sky at night or observing a butterfly dancing from leaf to leaf. From gazing at the flowing wildflowers in the open field to examining the intricacies of a cell under a microscope, eyesight is a gift from God.

There is so much to look at from day to day. To walk in victory, we must very selective in what we allow to come into our minds through the open window of our eyes. Some things we view bring honor to God while other things bring dishonor. Differentiating between the two is a mark of spiritual maturity and a byproduct of the fruit of the Spirit, self-control. Walking in victory while living in a fallen world mandates that we advise our eyes.

  • “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Matt 5:28 (NIV)
  • “’I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a girl.’” Job 31:1 (NIV)

Take the initiative to advise your eyes. Tell your eyes where to look. Look straight ahead. Fix your gaze so that you will not be distracted by the lure of lust and the syrup of sin. Train your eyes to bounce off of anything that does not honor God. As Billy Graham has said, “The first look is natural; the second look is sin.”

It is wise to advise your eyes by viewing life from God’s perspective. Feed on God’s Word so that your eyes will be informed and your heart will remain pure.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, July 29th, 2010 at 1:00 am
Category Lust, Purity, Self-control.
Interact No Comments
February 23rd, 2010

Avoiding Slippery Slopes

“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
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010 at 1:00 am
Category Discernment, Self-control, Victory.
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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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February 19th, 2009

Judging Others

“How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” Luke 6:42 (NIV)

Cynicism and criticism are alive and well. Intake a few moments of a reality television show and you will quickly discover that our culture thrives on judging others. The standard we use for others is usually vastly different than the standard we use on ourselves.

Jesus confronted the error of judging others without first examining our own lives. We have a way of making ourselves feel good about our own condition by fixating on the worst in others. We tend to use a microscope to view others and then an out-of-focus pair of binoculars to examine ourselves. Our view of others and our view of ourselves become skewed.

Hypocrisy is the act of appearing to be something you are not. Jesus says that once you address the plank in your own eye, then you will be able to see others clearly.

  • “Test me, O LORD, and try me, examine my heart and my mind; for your love is ever before me, and I walk continually in your truth.” Psalms 26:2-3 (NIV)
  • “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalms 139:23-24 (NIV)

Once you have prayed and asked God to reveal sin in your life, confess your sin and receive God’s provision of forgiveness. Now it is time to yank the plank!

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, February 19th, 2009 at 1:00 am
Category Introspection, Judging, Self-control.
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