Archive for the ‘Selfless Love’ Category

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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October 29th, 2008

Selfless and Sacrificial Love (3)

“It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love.” John 13:1 (NIV)

Jesus gave so freely to others. His compassion is without comparison. He caused the lame to walk, the mute to speak, the deaf to hear, and the blind to see. Children were drawn to Him and His love for them was unmatched. Jesus simply loved people.

The public ministry of Jesus was visible, tangible, and contagious. He was an irresistible influence. His love for people also had a private dimension. We are invited into an intimate setting where the evening meal is being served and Jesus is surrounded by His disciples. Jesus captured this moment to show them the full extent of His love.

Jesus poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet. Think about that for a moment. The master chose to serve. Jesus embraced an act of kindness that demonstrated His security and His selfless love. The Son of God chose to serve sinful man. The removal of dirt from their feet was a selfless portrait of love that was a preview of the sacrificial love Jesus would demonstrate upon the cross.

Are you willing to show the full extent of your love for others? Are you willing to express the selfless and sacrificial love of Jesus to others? Maybe God will bring someone to mind for your consideration. Maybe God will bring someone in your path today that needs to know that kind of love. Be ready to release God’s love!

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, October 29th, 2008 at 1:00 am
Category Sacrificial Love, Selfless Love, Servanthood, Washing Feet.
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October 28th, 2008

Selfless and Sacrificial Love (2)

“Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. But the LORD God called to the man, ‘Where are you?’” Gen 3:8-9 (NIV)

God demonstrated His selfless and sacrificial love in the Garden of Eden. As Adam and Eve were trying to hide from God due to their willful disobedience, God asked Adam a question that revealed the heart of God and the sinfulness of man. God called to Adam, “Where are you?”

The truth is that God knew exactly where Adam was both physically and spiritually. God did not need Adam to identify his location. God wanted Adam to consider and contemplate his own personal spiritual state. God wanted Adam to recognize his disobedience and rebellion. God demonstrated sacrificial love as He killed an animal that He created in order to provide covering and cleansing for Adam and Eve.

  • “The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.” Gen 3:21 (NIV)
  • “So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.” Gen 3:23-24 (NIV)

God’s provision taught Adam and Eve that the shedding of blood was necessary for the removal of sin. The demonstration of selfless and sacrificial love also taught Adam and Eve that sin comes at a high cost. Adam and Eve received God’s forgiveness, but had to suffer the consequences of their sin. They were banished from the Garden of Eden. God’s selfless and sacrificial love includes tough love.

Think of ways in which God has demonstrated His selfless and sacrificial love in your life. You may want to revisit the spiritual markers in your life and assess them based on God’s selfless and sacrificial love. It could be that you can identify times in your life when God had to practice tough love and allow you to suffer the natural consequences that parade behind your choices.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, October 28th, 2008 at 1:00 am
Category Adam, Eve, God's Love, Love, Sacrificial Love, Selfless Love.
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October 27th, 2008

Selfless and Sacrificial Love (1)

“When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.” Gen 3:6-7 (NIV)

Have you ever inherited anything? You may have inherited some furniture, jewelry, or money from a loved one who passed away. Perhaps you have not ever been in an official capacity to inherit earthly goods as of yet. There is one thing we have in common with every human being who has ever lived, who is currently alive, or who will be born. That one common thread is inheriting the sin nature from our relatives, Adam and Eve. That’s right! You can trace your family tree all the way back to Adam and Eve. We have inherited their sin nature.

Adam and Eve were both selfish and selfless. Eve selfishly put her way above God’s way by doubting God’s Word and succumbing to the serpent’s temptation. Eve was selfless in that she gave some of the forbidden fruit to her husband, Adam. Adam was selfish in that he also disobeyed God’s instruction and placed his own personal desire above God’s instruction. In their fallen state, they did exhibit selflessness in sowing fig leaves together and making coverings for themselves. Actually, they were trying to cover up their sin.

Why do we do the things we do? Why do we willfully walk through doors we should not enter and cross bridges we should not cross? Why do we operate in the cycle of selfishness? It all goes back to the Garden of Eden. We are simply feeding the sin nature that we inherited.

Hope is on the way!

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, October 27th, 2008 at 1:00 am
Category Adam, Eve, Love, Sacrificial Love, Selfless, Selfless Love.
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