Archive for the ‘Stewardship’ Category

April 12th, 2015

Energy Allocation

“Then Samson called to the Lord and said, ‘O Lord God, please remember me and please strengthen me only this once, O God, that I may be avenged on the Philistines for my two eyes.’ And Samson grasped the two middle pillars on which the house rested, and he leaned his weight against them, his right hand on the one and his left hand on the other. And Samson said, ‘Let me die with the Philistines.’ Then he bowed with all his strength, and the house fell upon the lords and upon all the people who were in it. So the dead whom he killed at his death were more than those whom he had killed during his life.” Judges 16:28-30 (ESV)

What are you doing with the life God has given you? Have you established your priorities and do they reflect God’s priorities? You were created to make a difference in the world for God’s glory. It is not about what you can do for God, but what God wants to do in you and through you to accomplish His purposes and His plan.

Priorities and stewardship go hand-in-hand. Your priorities will determine how you stewardship your energy and influence. You must determine how you will allocate the energy and influence God has given you. How will you invest your life to make an eternal difference?

Samson was blessed by God to be a blessing and to rescue his people from the Philistines. Samson drifted from God and was corrupted by lust and trapped by the seduction of Delilah. However, God granted Samson’s final request to be strengthened so he could be avenged on the Philistines for his two eyes.

What would have been different about Samson’s life had he wisely allocated his energy and influence for God’s glory? What about your life? How are you allocating your energy and influence?

Riding HIS Wave,

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

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, April 12th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Judges, Samson, Stewardship.
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September 16th, 2014

Take Hold of Life

“They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.” 1 Timothy 6:18-19 (ESV)

There are more verses in the Bible about money than about heaven and hell combined. There are more than 2,350 verses related to the issue of stewardship. God is the owner and we are the managers. God entrusts us with the task of being good stewards of His resources.

Order your life to honor God and benefit others. Do good. Be rich in good deeds. Be generous. Be willing to share with others. The activity of living to benefit others produces treasure for yourself in heaven. God rewards your faithfulness in His kingdom economy.

If you want to take hold of life that is truly life, then order your life around God’s priorities. Your submission to the Lordship of Christ will be reflected in your stewardship of God’s resources. Lordship and stewardship are inseparable. If Jesus is Lord of your life then His Lordship will be evident in your allocation of resources.

The world’s philosophy to money management is to earn it so that you can spend it. The average American spends $1.20 for every $1.00 he or she earns. God’s way is that you earn it, tithe it (eternal), save it (future), repay it (past), and spend it. Give God the firstfruits of your income. To tithe your income is to give 10% of your gross income (before taxes) to the Lord through the ministry of His local church. Give proportionately, consistently, and cheerfully.

Assess your current financial reality. What do you earn? What do you owe? Where does your money go? Order your life to honor God and to benefit others. Take hold of the life that is truly life!

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, September 16th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Life, Priorities, Stewardship.
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September 15th, 2014

Honor God

“As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy.” 1 Timothy 6:17 (ESV)

Would you consider yourself rich? That question is rather ambiguous unless you have a clear point of reference. If I asked you if you were rich compared to Bill Gates, you may instantly respond with “absolutely not!” So let’s expand our point of reference to the 6.78 billion people presently on the earth. I want to share a quote with you from a book I have read that God has used in my life. The book is entitled, Radical, by David Platt.

  • “We are an affluent people living in an impoverished world. If we make only ten thousand dollars a year, we are wealthier than 84 percent of the world, and if we make fifty thousand dollars a year, we are wealthier than 99 percent of the world.”

Now let me ask you the question, “Are you rich?” You are rich! You are blessed! In his letter to Timothy, Paul reminds us to not be arrogant and to not put our hope in wealth. Our faith is not to be in our possessions, our position, or our portfolio. Instead, we are to put our hope in God. If you are going to anchor your faith to anything, it will be futile unless you anchor your faith in the Most High God!

God provides us with everything we need to live in the center of His will and to fulfill His purposes in our generation. Align your time, energy, and resources to honor God. Is God first in your life? Is your love relationship with Him your top priority?

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, September 15th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category God's Provision, Hope, Stewardship.
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September 14th, 2014

Before or After Taxes?

“Jesus said to them, ‘Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.’ And they marveled at him.” Mark 12:17 (ESV)

What belongs to God? Everything! God is the Creator and the owner of the entire universe and everything on the earth. As His children, we are simply managers of God’s resources. God expects us to fulfill our civil duty as citizens and pay taxes. God also expects us to fulfill our duty as kingdom citizens and bring the tithe to His storehouse.

  • “‘Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.’” Mal. 3:10 (ESV)

My wife and I have had the joy of practicing biblical stewardship together as a married couple for over twenty years. God has proven faithful to His Word! I have often been asked, “Are you supposed to tithe on your income before or after taxes?” A similar question I have been asked on several occasions is, “Do you tithe on your gross income or net income?” Both of these questions are valid. My personal conviction, based on my study of God’s Word, is that your tithe is to be based on your income before taxes are withheld. You tithe on your gross income.

The biblical stewardship principles my wife and I have faithfully embraced include: giving proportionately (at least 10% of our income before taxes are withheld), giving consistently, and giving cheerfully. God is faithful. You can trust Him with your life, your future, and your income. God can make 90% of your income, with 10% given to Him, go farther than 100% of your income. God blesses obedience!

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, September 14th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category God's Provision, Money, Stewardship.
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September 11th, 2014

Life Is Fragile

“‘O Lord, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am! Behold, you have made my days a few handbreadths, and my lifetime is as nothing before you. Surely all mankind stands as a mere breath!.’” Psalm 39:4-5 (ESV)

When you compare your life to that of a breath, it makes life seem to be so insignificant. Yet, the psalmist is not measuring the value of life. God has already established the value of life. The psalmist is asking God to give him a glimpse of how fragile life is and how temporal life is.

How would you respond if God let you know that you only had thirty days to live? What would change about your current lifestyle? What adjustments would you make in order to live like you were dying in thirty days? If your remaining time on earth became a specific number of days that was clearly communicated to you, perhaps you would rearrange your current priorities. Maybe the way you allocate your time and energy would demonstrate radical adjustments once you found out that you only had thirty days to live. The number of your remaining days would directly impact how you would spend each moment.

Our tendency is to take life for granted. We so often feel invincible and act as though we are guaranteed several decades of life on earth. God has a way of reminding us how fleeting life is. Are you ready to die? Are you ready to live? Have you made reservations for eternity in heaven?

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, September 11th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category God's Provision, Obedience, Stewardship.
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September 6th, 2014

God Is Able

“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21 (ESV)

What kind of impact will you make with the time, energy, and resources God has given you? How much is God able to do through a life totally yielded to Him?

There’s room for you to do something great for God. He wants to do more than you could ever ask or imagine. God’s plan for your life is much larger than what you can accomplish on your own. In order to make an eternal impact with your life, you will need to move into the realm of faith. Begin operating your life on the basis of what God can do. How much is God able to do?

  • “If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king.” Dan. 3:17 (ESV)
  • “No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised.” Rom. 4:20-21 (ESV)

The level of your faith will determine the level of your impact in God’s kingdom. Faith is the currency of heaven. Earnestly seek the Lord and ask Him to increase your faith and to enable you to put your faith into action. Are you ready for God to do more than you have experienced up to this point?

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, September 6th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Faith, God's Power, Stewardship.
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June 24th, 2014

Placing Value on Participation

He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read.Luke 4:16 (ESV)

You make room for what you value. When you value participating in the ministry of your local church, you will make room in your life for that ministry. If you value short-term mission trips, then you will make room in your annual calendar of events to go on a short-term mission trip. Whatever you value will receive your time, energy, and attention. Whatever you value will be a guarded priority in your life.

Jesus valued the weekly worship experience in the synagogue on the Sabbath (Saturday). The synagogue had been a consistent part of His life for thirty years at this particular point. After His baptism and 40 days of temptation in the desert, Jesus returned to Galilee and went to His hometown of Nazareth. As was His custom, He went into the synagogue.

Much of Jesus’ identity was connected to the synagogue. He had grown up being exposed to the reading of Scripture each Sabbath in the local synagogue. On this day, He stood to read. He participated in the flow of the service and contributed to the experience.

You are the sum total of your habits. In other words, you will become what you habitually invest your life in. You are in the process of becoming who you are in Christ. Value weekly participation in the local church. Value connecting with God in worship with other believers. Value weekly interaction with other believers in a small group Bible study. Make it your custom to grow in your love relationship with Jesus. Your identity is found in Christ.

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, June 24th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Jesus, Stewardship, Worship.
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June 10th, 2014

Creating Space for Rest

“For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.” Exodus 20:11 (ESV)

Do you have room in your life for rest? Of course not! You have too much to do and work is calling your name. “I owe, I owe, so off to work I go!” Work is demanding your time, energy, and attention. Work is biblical isn’t it? Doesn’t God expect you to work? Isn’t work God’s idea?

Consider the reality that the Creator of the universe established a divine guideline for both work and rest. God was not tired after the six days of creation activity. God chose to model the value of working and resting. God established a pattern for us in order to keep life in balance and to do life God’s way.

When your work becomes a space invader, your life is out of balance. God does not want your work to rule your life and to dominate your energy allocation. God wants you to set aside a day each week to cease creating, forming, fashioning, meeting deadlines, and pushing yourself through the performance trap. You need a day to allow God to put you back together. That’s why God created the Sabbath day. You need a day to allow God to re-create you.

Transition off of the race track down pit road and allow God to change your spiritual tires, remove the debris from your spiritual windshield, and to refuel your spiritual tank. You need a weekly pit stop!

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, June 10th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Balance, Rest, Stewardship.
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June 9th, 2014

Aligning with God’s Agenda

“‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.’” Jeremiah 1:5 (ESV)

Allow God’s agenda to become your agenda.

Before you were born, God existed. God is eternal. That means that God has always been and God will always be. God was never born and God will never die. Yet, you have a beginning. You have a birth date! Nine months before your birth date, you were conceived. Thus, you have a date of conception. To know the heart of God for you, we must travel even further back into time. Before God formed you, He knew you. Wow! That means that you were not an accident. You were created by God for a divine purpose.

Before you were born, God set you apart. The concept in the language of the Old Testament is that of being sanctified. Before you were born, God had in mind exactly what He wanted you to become and God had in mind exactly when He wanted to introduce you to life on planet earth. God orchestrated all of this before you were born. Before you were born, God set you apart to participate in His kingdom activity.

God loves you and has a purpose for your life. God’s purpose for your life is for you to experience His redemptive love personally and then for you to join Him in expressing His redemptive love locally and globally. You have a massive mission to fulfill on this planet during the time God gives you. Don’t waste it! Don’t allow busyness to rob you of your divine destiny! Don’t allow anything to steal your passion for God and your zeal to be on mission with God!

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, June 9th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Alignment, God's Agenda, Stewardship.
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June 5th, 2014

Removing Saul’s Armor

“Then Saul clothed David with his armor. He put a helmet of bronze on his head and clothed him with a coat of mail.” 1 Samuel 17:38 (ESV)

As you can imagine, King Saul had the latest in warfare technology. His armor was the best of the best and fit for a king. Yet, Saul tried to shroud the shepherd boy, David, with this state of the art technology and it just didn’t fit. The armor that was to enhance David’s ability to combat and defeat Goliath actually became a major hindrance.

Technology has a way of enhancing our lives doesn’t it? We have more technology at our fingertips than at any other time in history. We are in the fast lane when it comes to our technology. Yet, it seems that over the years we have not really had technology; technology has had us. Instead of technology enhancing our lives, it has the potential of hindering us from the living the life God has given us.

Maybe it’s time to go back to the One who Created us and ask Him to show us our five smooth stones and sling. God created us to fulfill His agenda in His power with the technology of His choosing. Perhaps we have replaced our dependency upon God with an obsessive dependency upon technology.

Can we really make it without email, cell phones, text messaging, and the Internet? We often equate a spiritual fast with giving up food for a season. What if we sought to realign our lives with God’s agenda through a disciplined technology fast? It is possible that we may create more space for doing life God’s way?

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, June 5th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category David, Stewardship, Technology.
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