Archive for the ‘Influence’ Category

November 17th, 2014

Human Instrumentality

“For he who worked through Peter for his apostolic ministry to the circumcised worked also through me for mine to the Gentiles.” Galatians 2:8 (ESV)

God still uses human instrumentality in the redemptive process. God chooses to use us in unique ways to shine His light and to share His love. You were created by God to know Him personally by grace alone through faith alone in Jesus. God sought you, bought you, redeemed you, forgave you, adopted you, included you, filled you, and sealed you so that you could be an instrument of His redeeming love.

Peter was uniquely gifted by God to be an apostle to the Jews. God transformed Paul from a persecutor of the church to be a preacher of the gospel as an apostle to the Gentiles. Of course Peter was to be an irresistible influence for the Lord to everyone he came in contact with. Yet, God was at work through Peter to specifically bring the saving news of Jesus to the Jews. Paul had an assignment from God to spread the aroma of Christ to every person who did not have a saving relationship with Jesus. However, God was strategically at work in Paul to build a bridge of hope to the Gentiles.

Your life is to be lived in such a way as to demonstrate and communicate the redemptive love of God. Your conversation and conduct are to point people to Jesus so they can know Him personally and eternally just as you do. Maximize the moments God gives you to make Jesus known. Capture the opportunities to ask spiritual questions that take your conversations vertical. Feature the grace of God by sharing with others how they can come into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, November 17th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Influence, Paul, Peter.
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November 4th, 2014

Convincing Faith

“If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace, be warmed and filled,’ without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” James 2:15-17 (ESV)

If you have been born from above, adopted into God’s family, and filled with the Holy Spirit, shouldn’t the reality of your salvation be evidenced? If you have experienced transformation on the inside, shouldn’t that show up on the outside? Faith void of action is dead. Your faith is to be demonstrated by action.

  • “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Matt. 5:16 (ESV)
  • “For not only has the word of the Lord sounded forth from you in Macedonia and Achaia, but your faith in God has gone forth everywhere, so that we need not say anything. For they themselves report concerning us the kind of reception we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.” 1 Thes. 1:8-10 (ESV)

God has put you in the display window of life to demonstrate your faith in practical ways. Find a need and meet it. Shine the light of Jesus and share the love of Jesus. Pray continually, give sacrificially, and worship passionately. May those who know you but don’t know Jesus, come to know Jesus because they know you. May your faith be that convincing! May your faith be activated and demonstrated to a watching world!

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, November 4th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Demonstration, Faith, Influence.
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August 23rd, 2014

Witness Through Worship

“About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.” Acts 16:25 (ESV)

Think about where you sit each Sunday when you attend the worship service at your local church. Maybe you like sitting in the rear of the worship center, or maybe the front, or perhaps on the side. Find your place and think about what you do during that time of worship. This is your weekly experience of joining other believers in public worship of the One who lived, died, and rose again to bring you life eternal.

Your worship is a witness. Did you realize that the way you express your worship to Almighty God is a witness to others. Your worship matters to God and impacts others. Consider your worship the past few Sundays. Were others inspired by your worship? Was it evident to others that Christ is your life? Did you express your love to God in such a way that others nearby where convinced of your devotion?

Paul and Silas were in prison for preaching the gospel. In the middle of the night, they were praying and singing hymns to God. That must have been an unusual sight for the other prisoners to behold. You see, the other prisoners were listening. Paul and Silas’ midnight expression of worship was a witness. God showed up in His power and delivered Paul and Silas from their confinement. God also brought salvation to the jailer and his entire household. The prisoners had never seen anything like that before.

What kind of witness is your worship to others? The way you focus in worship each week is so important. Expressing your love to God in public worship has the capacity to influence others. Bring your passion to corporate worship this upcoming weekend and be intentional about your worship being a witness.

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, August 23rd, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Influence, Witness, Worship.
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August 6th, 2014

Making an Eternal Difference

“And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, ‘Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.’ So he hurried and came down and received him joyfully.” Luke 19:5-6 (ESV)

You have a choice. You can be a thermostat and set the environment or you can be a thermometer and reflect the environment. Jesus chose to be a thermostat. Jesus leveraged His influence to transform Zacchaeus and his family. Jesus was intentional about bringing life-change to this chief tax collector and his family.

The people criticized Jesus for His actions. We are introduced to this concept of muttering and grumbling in the Old Testament as the children of Israel grumbled against God, Moses, and Aaron (Exod. 16:6-8). Jesus was willing to be misunderstood and criticized in order to bring eternal life to Zacchaeus and his family. Jesus was willing to endure opposition to present this family with the opportunity to be transformed by His love.

Will you influence your environment or be influenced by your environment? Will you become like those around you or will they become like you? It depends upon your decision to be a thermostat or a thermometer. God has placed you here to be salt and light to influence this decaying and dark world with the purity and the light of His love (Matt. 5:13-16). God has planted you right where you are so that you can bloom for His glory and bring others into the kingdom of light.

Are you willing to be criticized for loving the unlovable? Are you willing to be misunderstood for extending grace to the despised and forgotten? Be a thermostat for the glory of God!

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, August 6th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Influence, Jesus, Zacchaeus.
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July 20th, 2014

Set the Example

“Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.” 1 Timothy 4:12 (ESV)

After being involved in a life altering Jet Ski accident and surrendering to preach at age sixteen, I remember officiating one of my first weddings. I was standing near the altar steps just before the wedding rehearsal was to begin when the mother of the bride asks, “Where’s the minister?”

When I announced that I was the minister, you should have seen her face fall. She reacted by darting out the words of surprise that, in her estimation, I was just a kid. Those were the “good old days.”

Paul’s words of encouragement and instruction to his young son in the ministry have been a life-line over the years of my ministry. Every generation has the honor of participation in God’s redemptive activity. Regardless of your current life stage, whether you are in the Bridger, Buster, Boomer, or Builder generation, you have the wonderful invitation from God for participation in God’s world redemption story.

Don’t allow your inadequacies and insufficiencies to barricade you from joining God in His activity. Your usefulness to God is not based on your particular generational identification. Your usefulness to God is based on your identity in Christ and your availability to Christ.

Surrender to the Lordship of Christ and be an example to others in your conversation, your convictions, and your conduct. Every person in every generation will one day stand before God to give an account for the deeds done while in the body. Set a Christ-honoring example for others. Be a model to follow!

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, July 20th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Example, Influence, Lordship.
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July 19th, 2014

Pointing Children to Christ

“‘Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.’” Matthew 18:5-6 (ESV)

Jesus loves the little children. As you read these powerful words of Christ, you may be offended by the strong language used. Jesus does not water down His conviction about the vitality and vulnerability of children. Jesus confronts us with the reality that the children are our responsibility. If we choose to mislead them, we will suffer the consequences. If we choose to guide them in the way of the Lord, we will be blessed.

The vast majority of those who come to place their faith in Christ alone for salvation do so before the age of twelve. Children exhibit tenderness toward the things of God. They are so open to what God wants to do in their lives and through their lives. Children are like tender clay in the hands of a potter. God has given us the responsibility to help mold them and shape them into fully devoted followers of Christ.

With this awesome privilege comes tremendous responsibility. Jesus wants us to take our responsibility of influencing children toward Him seriously. Think of what is at stake when children are misled. Not only is their immediate future jeopardized, but also their eternal destiny.

I am so grateful for the godly men and women that God placed in my life during my formative years to point me to Jesus. They faithfully modeled the Christ-centered life. Every generation deserves to be led to the foot of the cross and introduced to a saving relationship with Jesus. Are there children in your sphere of influence that will be in heaven because of you?

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, July 19th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Children, Influence, Soulwinning.
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July 6th, 2014

Making an Eternal Difference

“And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, ‘Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.’ So he hurried and came down and received him joyfully.” Luke 19:5-6 (ESV)

You have a choice. You can be a thermostat and set the environment or you can be a thermometer and reflect the environment. Jesus chose to be a thermostat. Jesus leveraged His influence to transform Zacchaeus and his family. Jesus was intentional about bringing life-change to this chief tax collector and his family.

The people criticized Jesus for His actions. We are introduced to this concept of muttering and grumbling in the Old Testament as the children of Israel grumbled against God, Moses, and Aaron (Exod. 16:6-8). Jesus was willing to be misunderstood and criticized in order to bring eternal life to Zacchaeus and his family. Jesus was willing to endure opposition to present this family with the opportunity to be transformed by His love.

Will you influence your environment or be influenced by your environment? Will you become like those around you or will they become like you? It depends upon your decision to be a thermostat or a thermometer. God has placed you here to be salt and light to influence this decaying and dark world with the purity and the light of His love (Matt. 5:13-16). God has planted you right where you are so that you can bloom for His glory and bring others into the kingdom of light.

Are you willing to be criticized for loving the unlovable? Are you willing to be misunderstood for extending grace to the despised and forgotten? You have the gift of eternal life and the power of the Holy Spirit operative within you. Be a thermostat for the glory of God!

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, July 6th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Compassion, Influence, Soulwinning.
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July 5th, 2014

Proclaim Without Shame

“‘For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.’” Luke 9:26 (ESV)

Do you conceal your Christianity? Do those in your sphere of influence know that you are a follower of Jesus Christ? There’s nothing to be ashamed of. In Christ, you have been adopted into God’s family and sealed by the Holy Spirit (Eph. 1:5,13). You have been rescued from darkness and placed in the kingdom of light (Col. 1:5). God has placed you in the display window of life to portray His grace to a dark and decaying world (1 Tim. 1:16).

Embrace the attitude of Paul who affirmed, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” (Rom. 1:16 ESV). The gospel that brought you hope and eternal life is the same gospel that you represent in this life. Don’t be ashamed of the Good News that transformed your life. Don’t withhold the cure to the cancer of sin that will set others free just as you have been set free.

Jesus was not ashamed to identify with the lost by becoming flesh (John 1:14). For a person to be ashamed of Christ and His words is to deny the One who gave His all to provide for the forgiveness of sin. There’s no room for shame when it comes to identifying with Christ. To align with Christ is an honor to behold.

Go public with your faith. God has given you the message worth sharing and the light worth shining. You have the capacity to influence others toward Christ. How many people will be in heaven because of you?

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, July 5th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Courage, Influence, Soulwinning.
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April 3rd, 2014

Influencing the World Around You

“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world.” 1 John 2:15-16 (ESV)

One obstacle to abundant life is the flesh within you. Another obstacle to abundant life is the world around you. The world around you is opposed to the Jesus in you. The cultural current is anti-Christian. The world’s values will not be in alignment with the values of the follower of Christ. The way of Jesus is counter-culture. You will likely be in the minority as you live out your faith in a fallen world.

  • “‘I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.’” John 16:33 (ESV)
  • “Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh,which wage war against your soul.” 1 Peter 2:11 (ESV)

Are you a thermometer or a thermostat? A thermometer reflects the environment and a thermostat sets the environment. God has called you to influence the culture instead of allowing the culture to influence you. The abundant life that God gives is not found on the broad road that leads to destruction. His abundant life is found on the narrow road.

Consider the environments that God has placed you in to influence for His glory. Are you overcoming the obstacles and seizing the opportunities to make Jesus known?

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, April 3rd, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Abundant Life, Influence, Obstacles.
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March 11th, 2014

Shining His Light

“‘You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.  Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so thatthey may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven..’” Matthew 5:14-16 (ESV)

Uncover your candle.

Jesus has transformed your life so that you will become an agent of transformation in the world. Jesus has illuminated your life so that you will reflect His light and extend His love to a lost and dying world. As a child of God, you are the light of the world. God has strategically placed you in a dark culture in order to shine His light in you and through you. You are alive right now on purpose. You live, work, study, and play right where God has placed you to know Jesus and to make Him known.

Is your light shining? Is your candle burning brightly for the Lord? God has created people who need the light you have. God has brought them into your life and placed them in your sphere of influence so that you can let your light shine before them.

Don’t fear the open doors God places before you. Don’t divert from the path God has placed you on. Don’t neglect crossing the bridges God has built for you.

You will come into contact with people today who need the light God has placed within you. Will you uncover the candle? Will you allow the light of Jesus to shine through you in order to reveal His love to others?

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, March 11th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Influence, Jesus, Witness.
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