Archive for the ‘Sacrificial Love’ Category

November 17th, 2015

A New Commandment

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35 (ESV)

The distinguishing mark of a true disciple of Christ is not the ability to raise people from the dead nor heal the blind. Rather, Christ proclaims that our identity as Christians is inherently tied to our ability to love one another as Christ Himself loved us. How did Christ love us? He loved us sacrificially and humbly. Think about the act of service Jesus performs for His disciples earlier in this passage. He washes their feet, and He does this having full knowledge that the Father had “given all things into his hands” (John 13:3 ESV). These hands that hold divine power in their grasp are the very same hands removing the dust and dirt from the feet of those He loves.

Jesus did not allow power to cloud His affection for His people, and we must guard against the spirits of this world doing the same. We cannot fake the kind of love that Jesus is calling us to. This kind of love is more than tolerance or acceptance. This kind of love is transformative and self-sacrificing. This kind of love is only possible in light of the gospel. We must love one another in a supernatural way, and when those around us see people from such different backgrounds and ethnicities loving each other so completely, they will be astonished. They will wonder why these people are acting so differently toward one another, meeting each other’s needs and bearing one another’s burdens, and we will be able to tell them we are able to because of how Christ first loved us!

Dear family of God, we must love one another. The growth of God’s Kingdom depends on it. Will you commit to love sacrificially today?

Grace and peace,

Jared Richard
Mobilization Pastor (Online Devotional Guest Author)
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/jaredrichard

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, November 17th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category John, Love, Sacrificial Love.
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November 3rd, 2013

The Good Shepherd

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” John 10:11 (NIV)

Who is the most loving person in your life? Where have you received the highest level of unconditional love? Perhaps someone specific comes to mind. It may be a person whom is now in heaven or someone who is still an active part of your life. Think about how that person imparted life to you and added value to your life.

I wanted you to feel that personal love in order to bring you into the sea of love exhibited by the Good Shepherd. Jesus is our Good Shepherd and He willingly laid down His life for us. There has never been a greater love than that which Jesus demonstrated by His selfless life, sacrificial death, miraculous resurrection, and His visible upcoming return.

Jesus died voluntarily to do for us that which we could never do for ourselves. Jesus eliminated the vast gulf that separated us from our holy God. Jesus took the initiative to lay down His life so that we could come into a vibrant and eternal union with God.

  • “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.” 1 Pet. 2:24-25 (NIV)

Receive the Good Shepherd’s initiative. He has demolished the barrier that separates you from God. Jesus laid down His life and rose from the dead so that you could live in victory. Place your faith in His completed work on the cross and experience His victory. Now share the victory with others!

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, November 3rd, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category I am sayings, Sacrificial Love, Shepherd.
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January 27th, 2013

I Am Accepted

“For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering.And so he condemned sin in sinful man, in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.” Rom 8:3-4 (NIV)

What fallen mankind could not do under the Old Covenant, God did under the New Covenant through Jesus. God did for us that which we could not do for ourselves. Jesus became the substitutionary atonement for our sin. Our sin has been forgiven and our unrighteousness has been replaced with the righteousness of Christ.

Reality #3: In Christ, I am accepted.

  • “For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people.” Heb 2:17 (NIV)
  • “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Cor 5:21 (NIV)
  • “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.” 1 Peter 2:24 (NIV)

In Christ, you are accepted. There is nothing you can do to cause God to love you more and there is nothing you can do to cause God to love you any less. God accepts you completely, not based on your human effort, but based on the completed work of Jesus on the cross.

Have you accepted God’s acceptance of you?

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, January 27th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Acceptance, Romans, Sacrificial Love.
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November 17th, 2012

A New Commandment

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35 (ESV)

The distinguishing mark of a true disciple of Christ is not the ability to raise people from the dead nor heal the blind. Rather, Christ proclaims that our identity as Christians is inherently tied to our ability to love one another as Christ Himself loved us. How did Christ love us? He loved us sacrificially and humbly. Think about the act of service Jesus performs for His disciples earlier in this passage. He washes their feet, and He does this having full knowledge that the Father had “given all things into his hands” (Jn 13:3 ESV). These hands that hold divine power in their grasp are the very same hands removing the dust and dirt from the feet of those He loves.

Jesus did not allow power to cloud His affection for His people, and we must guard against the spirits of this world doing the same. We cannot fake the kind of love that Jesus is calling us to. This kind of love is more than tolerance or acceptance. This kind of love is transformative and self-sacrificing. This kind of love is only possible in light of the gospel. We must love one another in a supernatural way, and when those around us see people from such different backgrounds and ethnicities loving each other so completely, they will be astonished. They will wonder why these people are acting so differently toward one another, meeting each other’s needs and bearing one another’s burdens, and we will be able to tell them we are able to because of how Christ first loved us!

Dear family of God, we must love one another. The growth of God’s Kingdom depends on it. Will you commit to love sacrificially today?

Chronological Bible Reading Plan: (Day 314:  Luke 22; John 13)

Grace and peace,

Jared Richard
Associate Pastor (Online Devotional Guest Author)
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/jaredrichard

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, November 17th, 2012 at 1:00 am
Category John, Love, Sacrificial Love.
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November 3rd, 2011

The Good Shepherd

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” John 10:11 (NIV)

Who is the most loving person in your life? Where have you received the highest level of unconditional love? Perhaps someone specific comes to mind. It may be a person whom is now in heaven or someone who is still an active part of your life. Think about how that person imparted life to you and added value to your life.

I wanted you to feel that personal love in order to bring you into the sea of love exhibited by the Good Shepherd. Jesus is our Good Shepherd and He willingly laid down His life for us. There has never been a greater love than that which Jesus demonstrated by His selfless life, sacrificial death, miraculous resurrection, and His visible upcoming return.

Jesus died voluntarily to do for us that which we could never do for ourselves. Jesus eliminated the vast gulf that separated us from our holy God. Jesus took the initiative to lay down His life so that we could come into a vibrant and eternal union with God.

  • “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.” 1 Peter 2:24-25 (NIV)

Receive the Good Shepherd’s initiative. He has demolished the barrier that separates you from God. Jesus laid down His life and rose from the dead so that you could live in victory. Place your faith in His completed work on the cross and experience His victory. Now share the victory with others!

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, November 3rd, 2011 at 1:00 am
Category I am sayings, Sacrificial Love, Shepherd.
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January 27th, 2011

I Am Accepted

“For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.” Rom 8:3-4 (NIV)

What fallen mankind could not do under the Old Covenant, God did under the New Covenant through Jesus. God did for us that which we could not do for ourselves. Jesus became the substitutionary atonement for our sin. Our sin has been forgiven and our unrighteousness has been replaced with the righteousness of Christ.

Reality #3: In Christ, I am accepted.

  • “For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people.” Heb 2:17 (NIV)
  • “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Cor 5:21 (NIV)
  • “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.” 1 Peter 2:24 (NIV)

In Christ, you are accepted. There is nothing you can do to cause God to love you more and there is nothing you can do to cause God to love you any less. God accepts you completely, not based on your human effort, but based on the completed work of Jesus on the cross.

Have you accepted God’s acceptance of you?

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, January 27th, 2011 at 1:00 am
Category Acceptance, Romans, Sacrificial Love.
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November 2nd, 2008

Selfless and Sacrificial Love (7)

“Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: ‘If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters–yes, even his own life–he cannot be my disciple.’” Luke 14:25-26 (NIV)

Idolatry is a word we seldom use. Whenever you allow someone or something to take the place of God in your life, you commit the sin of idolatry. The first and second of the Ten Commandments speak to this concept directly (Ex. 20:3-4). Whatever or whomever becomes the object of your worship becomes your idol.

Jesus infuses this earthly tendency of ours into His teaching on becoming a disciple. To become a follower of Jesus Christ, you must be willing to remove the idols in your life. Your loyalty to Christ is to be unmatched and undivided. Jesus becomes your focus and the object of your worship, devotion, and loyalty.

The fifth commandment of the Ten Commandments refers to the honoring of our parents (Ex. 20:12). Jesus is not contradicting the fifth commandment. He does not want you to dishonor your parents. Jesus is saying that your love for Him should be such a priority, that in comparison, your love for your family would look like hate.

Your love, loyalty, and devotion to Jesus is to be your top priority and the expressed passion of your life. Don’t allow anything or anyone to compete for that place in your life. Don’t allow anything or anyone to rob your allegiance to the One who gave His life for you. Jesus has already demonstrated His selfless and sacrificial love. Now, it’s your turn to demonstrate your selfless and sacrificial love for Jesus.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, November 2nd, 2008 at 1:00 am
Category Disciple, Jesus, Love, Sacrificial Love, Selfless Love.
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November 1st, 2008

Selfless and Sacrificial Love (6)

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” Matt 5:43-45 (NIV)

Loving the lovable is not much of a challenge. But, to love those who are difficult to love requires a new perspective and a new enabling. God not only wants us to love our neighbor as ourselves, but to also love our enemies. Some people are hard to love.

Jesus brings a new dimension to the concept of love in His Sermon on the Mount. Not only are we to love our enemies, but we are to pray for those who persecute us. Showing love to those who have wounded us is only possible by the enabling of the Lord Jesus.

  • “When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.” 1 Peter 2:23 (NIV)
  • “That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day.” 2 Tim 1:12 (NIV)

Jesus is our pattern for loving our enemies.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, November 1st, 2008 at 1:00 am
Category Enemies, Love, Sacrificial Love, Selfless Love.
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October 31st, 2008

Selfless and Sacrificial Love (5)

“If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.” 1 John 4:20 (NIV)

Is it possible to love God and hate your brother? Can you have the love of God residing in you and at the same time have hatred toward others festering in your spirit? The duplicity seems to be incongruent to the life of love that God calls us to and that Jesus exemplified on the earth.

Turn inward for a moment and examine your own current reality. Is there anyone you are fertilizing hatred toward? Do you have someone in your life to whom your love has extinguished and your hatred has ignited? Doing life in a fallen world is inundated with landmines of hatred. You will not lack opportunities to be wounded by hurtful words and by harmful people. People will let you down.

You cannot love God and hate others at the same time without your relationship with God being affected. God’s love in you demands expression. When you choose to hate the people God created and the people Jesus died for, you restrict God’s love within you. God wants you to hate what He hates and love what He loves. God passionately hates sin, but passionately loves the sinner.

Who is your brother? Who is your sister? How would God define your level of love? You will notice daily tests that reveal the authenticity of your love for others. Do you love God? Do you love others?

Loving God and loving people is the entirety of the Bible for present day expression.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, October 31st, 2008 at 1:00 am
Category Hate, Love, Sacrificial Love, Selfless Love.
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October 30th, 2008

Selfless and Sacrificial Love (4)

“But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” Romans 3:21-24 (NIV)

God took the initiative to come to your rescue.

Have you ever questioned your own value and worth? That’s a normal part of life. Everyone wants to feel valued and valuable. God established your value by taking the initiative to rescue you from your sin and to robe you in His righteousness.

God has made His righteousness known through His Word and the Word made flesh (John 1:14). When you place your faith in the completed work of Jesus on the cross, you receive the righteousness of Christ. The truth is that we have all sinned and fall short of God’s glory. We have missed the mark of His perfection and His holiness. Yet, God chose to justify us freely by His grace through the redemption that came through Jesus.

God took the initiative to demonstrate His selfless and sacrificial love. Before you decided what you would do with God, God decided what to do with you. Before you turned to God, God turned to you! Your value is measured by the price He paid to remove your sin and to robe you in His righteousness. You are valued and you are valuable to God. His love for you is the certification of your value.

What will you do with the love God has shown you? How will you treat others now that you have experienced God’s love firsthand?

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, October 30th, 2008 at 1:00 am
Category God's Love, Initiative, Sacrificial Love, Selfless Love.
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