Archive for the ‘Spiritual Gifts’ Category

December 9th, 2015

Love Never Ends

“Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away.” 1 Corinthians 13:8 (ESV)

Inherent in sinful man is the need to make himself feel superior to his fellow men. We want to be worshiped; we want to feel like we are better. This sinful need for distinction had infiltrated the Corinthian Church, and members within the church were arguing over who had the greatest gift. Was prophecy the greatest gift? Or was tongues preferable? The uproar was causing strong division and Paul spoke boldly into the contentious situation, reminding the people of God about the purpose of these gifts. All gifts are meant to edify the Church. Gifts are meant to build each other up, and the second these gifts become about the individual, we have turned these God-given gifts into sinful manifestations for the glorification of man.

The core of this argument is found in 1 Corinthians 13, a passage that is so much more profound than we often notice in weddings. Love must be the motivation for the use of spiritual gifts, because love is the only component of the Church that is eternal. When Christ returns, we will no longer need prophecy, as all its objects will have been fulfilled. Further, we will not need tongues nor interpretation, as we will fellowship with God fully in His Spirit in Heaven. Love, then, should be the chief concern for us as it will be the only gift we take with us forever.

Are you concerned with how you love your fellow man? Do you genuinely love your brothers and sisters in Christ or do you simply tolerate them? This kind of love is birthed from a true love for the Lord, knowing that if we love Him, we must love others since love is from God. Seek today to love better, rejecting the tendency to compare yourself to others and build up your own image and pride.

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, December 9th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category 1 Corinthians, Love, Spiritual Gifts.
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December 9th, 2012

Love Never Ends.

“Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away.” 1 Corinthians 13:8 (ESV)

Inherent in sinful man is the need to make himself feel superior to his fellow men. We want to be worshiped; we want to feel like we are better. This sinful need for distinction had infiltrated the Corinthian Church, and members within the church were arguing over who had the greatest gift. Was prophecy the greatest gift? Or was tongues preferable? The uproar was causing strong division and Paul spoke boldly into the contentious situation, reminding the people of God about the purpose of these gifts. All gifts are meant to edify the Church. Gifts are meant to build each other up, and the second these gifts become about the individual, we have turned these God-given gifts into sinful manifestations for the glorification of man.

The core of this argument is found in 1 Corinthians 13, a passage that is so much more profound than we often notice in weddings. Love must be the motivation for the use of spiritual gifts, because love is the only component of the Church that is eternal. When Christ returns, we will no longer need prophecy, as all its objects will have been fulfilled. Further, we will not need tongues nor interpretation, as we will fellowship with God fully in His Spirit in Heaven. Love, then, should be the chief concern for us as it will be the only gift we take with us forever.

Are you concerned with how you love your fellow man? Do you genuinely love your brothers and sisters in Christ or do you simply tolerate them? This kind of love is birthed from a true love for the Lord, knowing that if we love Him, we must love others since love is from God. Seek today to love better, rejecting the tendency to compare yourself to others and build up your own image and pride.

Chronological Bible Reading Plan: (Day 336:  1 Corinthians 12-14)

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, December 9th, 2012 at 1:00 am
Category 1 Corinthians, Love, Spiritual Gifts.
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September 13th, 2009

Enriched and Equipped

“For in him you have been enriched in every way–in all your speaking and in all your knowledge–because our testimony about Christ was confirmed in you. Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed.” 1 Cor 1:5-7 (NIV)

Once you are in Christ, the realities of your eternal relationship come to fruition. In Christ, you are enriched in every way. Your life is no longer your own. You become God’s possession and God’s masterpiece. He enriches you in every way so that you can know Him personally and make Him known relationally. When you speak on God’s behalf, He enriches your speech. When you are pursuing the knowledge of God, He enriches you with knowledge reserved for His children.

Another reality of your eternal relationship is that in Christ, you are equipped with spiritual gifts. At the moment of your conversion, you were filled with the Holy Spirit and you received the impartation of spiritual gifts as determined by God (1 Cor. 12:11). God has placed you in the Body of Christ to fulfill His purpose and mission and you exercise the spiritual gifts He equipped you with.

Are you operating in the enrichment and equipping provided by God? God saved you so that you can invest your life in serving Him and leading others into a growing relationship with Christ. You have been enriched in every way. You have been equipped with spiritual gifts. God has given you everything you need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3).

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, September 13th, 2009 at 1:00 am
Category Provision, Spiritual Gifts.
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December 5th, 2008

Gifted To Serve (5)

“It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” Eph 4:11-13 (NIV)

You are in the process of becoming. God is building you, growing you, developing you, and equipping you. God is placing people in your path to help you in the maturation process. Have you positioned yourself in an environment where you consistently sit under the preaching and teaching of a godly pastor-teacher?

Are you currently being equipped for service? It is important that you shadow a godly man or woman who faithfully exercises his or her spiritual gifts. Observe their lifestyle and take note of how they walk with God and how they serve to benefit others. You may want to consider taking a spiritual gift inventory in order to discover the spiritual gifts God has given you. A vital component to being equipped is that of participating in ministry opportunities that enable you to develop the spiritual gifts you have discovered.

God’s desire is for you to be built up within the body of Christ and to reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God. Are you becoming mature? Are you attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ?

You are gifted to serve!

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, December 5th, 2008 at 1:00 am
Category Body of Christ, Equipped, Serve, Spiritual Gifts, Unity.
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December 4th, 2008

Gifted To Serve (4)

“Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” Romans 12:4-5 (NIV)

You are unique. God has formed you and fashioned you for His glory. You were created by God to fulfill His purposes in your generation. Part of His plan for your life includes you becoming part of the body of Christ through a saving relationship with Jesus Christ. Your expression of that relationship takes place in a local church setting with fellow believers. You become a vital member of the body of Christ with the privilege and responsibility of serving in and through the local church.

You complete the body of Christ in that local church by fulfilling the function God has gifted you for. Each member of that local body of believers adds value to the redemptive purposes of God through faithfully employing the spiritual gifts given by God. Though diverse by design, the local expression of the body of Christ is unified as each one fulfills his or her function within the body.

The beauty of the local church is that you belong to all the other members. You are linked to other believers within that local expression of the body of Christ. You are valuable and you are vital to the effective functioning of the church. God has gifted you to serve alongside other members of the body. You belong because you believe in the finished work of Jesus on the cross.

You matter to God and you matter to the local church. Are you currently serving faithfully in the ministry of your local church? Are you using the spiritual gifts God has given you in service to Him and to others? If not, why not? If so, how so?

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, December 4th, 2008 at 1:00 am
Category Body of Christ, Serve, Spiritual Gifts.
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December 3rd, 2008

Gifted To Serve (3)

“Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.” 1 Cor 12:7 (NIV)

God gifts you to serve others. The spiritual gifts you receive at salvation give evidence to the reality of the Holy Spirit dwelling in you. Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit (I Cor. 6:19). The Holy Spirit expresses Himself to the body of Christ through spiritual gifts. The manifestation of the Holy Spirit is to benefit the body of Christ.

God values unity. This unity is displayed relationally within the Trinity. God desires that you display the same unity within the body of Christ as you serve to benefit others by employing the spiritual gifts you have received. Why does God manifest the Holy Spirit through the spiritual gifts? God does this for the common good of the body of Christ.

You have been given spiritual gifts for the common good of those within the family of God. The local expression of the body of Christ, God’s family, is the local church. God desires that you serve to benefit others by exercising your spiritual gifts through the life of your local church.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008 at 1:00 am
Category Body of Christ, Serve, Spiritual Gifts.
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December 2nd, 2008

Gifted To Serve (2)

“There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.” 1 Cor 12:4-6 (NIV)

The Trinity is working for your productivity within the body. You will notice that there are different kinds of gifts, different kinds of service, and different kinds of working. That’s a reality of the diversity within the body of Christ. Then you will notice that the same Spirit, the same Lord, and the same God works all of these in all of the members of the body of Christ. That’s a reality of the unity within the body. Your productivity within the body is determined by the activity of the Trinity through your life.

Are you willing to allow God to accomplish His plan in you and through you? God does not want you to operate in isolation from the body of Christ. You are a vital part of the body and every part is necessary to accomplish God’s kingdom agenda. What is the level of your receptivity to God’s activity?

You are not expected to produce for God. God wants to produce through you. You are not expected to work for God. God wants to work through you. So, it’s not about you. It’s all about God and His activity through your life fully yielded and fully devoted to His activity.

What adjustments do you need to make in your life right now in order for God to have His way? What is inhibiting the activity of the Trinity in and through your life?

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008 at 1:00 am
Category Body of Christ, Serve, Spiritual Gifts, Trinity.
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December 1st, 2008

Gifted To Serve (1)

“Now about spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be ignorant.” 1 Cor 12:1 (NIV)

What’s in your toolbox? You need tools to do life and to meet needs. Repairs around the house require certain tools. Whenever you are in need of a pair of pliers, it seems that a screwdriver just won’t do. Specific tools help us in various facets of life in the physical realm.

Within the body of Christ, God has equipped us for service. The tools God gives us are spiritual gifts. We receive these gifts at the moment of our conversion experience. When we turned from our sin and to Christ alone for salvation, we instantaneously received the Person of the Holy Spirit. When He came to indwell us, the Holy Spirit brought spiritual gifts to impart to us in our new life in Christ.

You cannot serve God and fulfill His mission apart from His enabling. God equips us for service with specific spiritual gifts for us to employ. God is the giver of the spiritual gifts. It is our job to discover the spiritual gifts God has given us and to utilize them in service to Him.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, December 1st, 2008 at 1:00 am
Category Body of Christ, Serve, Spiritual Gifts.
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August 31st, 2008

Serving

“Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.” John 13:14-15 (NIV)

You are never more like Jesus than when you are serving.

A few years ago, I had the privilege of spending three days with Dr. Adrian Rogers who was the pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis, Tennessee, and is now in heaven. He walked a few of us pastors into the courtyard of Bellevue to show us the statue of Jesus bending down to wash a man’s feet. As we stood to behold the magnitude of the statue, Dr. Rogers said to us, “Men, it’s hard to look down on someone when you are washing his feet.”

God has not saved you to sit, but to serve. Jesus was not obedient to death on the cross so that you could embrace a consumer mindset of wanting to be served by others. Jesus took on the full wrath of God for your sin in order to save you from your sin and to propel you into a life of serving others. Jesus is not asking us to do anything He has not already done. Jesus is not asking us to give anything He has not already given. Jesus is our model to follow. 

Are you doing as Jesus has done? Are you placing the needs of others before your own? Are you seizing the opportunities that God gives you to serve others? Are you serving your family? Are you serving your classmates or co-workers? Are you serving strangers?

Have you washed any feet lately? 

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, August 31st, 2008 at 1:00 am
Category Jesus, Servanthood, Serving, Spiritual Gifts.
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