Archive for the ‘Initiative’ Category

November 22nd, 2014

Display Compassion

“But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him.” Luke 10:33-34 (ESV)

Hurting people saturate the landscape of life. Living in a fallen world generates pain, suffering, and sorrow. People are shouldering harmful habits, hurts, and hang-ups. Detours and disappointments frequent our daily existence. The reality of living on a broken planet necessitates a deep abiding compassion for others.

The Good Samaritan was willing to see the needs of an unnamed individual and to seize the opportunity to meet his needs. The Good Samaritan was willing to put his compassion in action by getting personally involved in the solution to this wounded man’s unfortunate situation. He had been left for dead.

The Priest and the Levite were too preoccupied with themselves to care about someone else in need. If we are not careful, that can be our tendency. We get so caught up in our own lives and consumed with what we want to accomplish in a given day, that we can neglect those God brings into our path. Busyness and selfishness blur our vision to the reality of pressing needs around us. We might even begin seeing people in need as an interruption rather than an opportunity to display the compassion of Christ.

What is keeping you from putting your compassion in action? Have you lost your love for people? Has your heart become numb toward the individuals in need who come across your path? Slow down and allow the compassion of Christ to flow through you to a world in need. Continue the ministry of Jesus on the earth. View others as sheep without a shepherd. You are the shepherd! Go help some sheep!

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, November 22nd, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Compassion, Initiative, Ministry.
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August 3rd, 2014

Heightened Sensitivity

“‘So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.’” Matthew 5:23-24 (ESV)

In yielded worship before the Lord, your sensitivity to the things of God is heightened. Your awareness of God’s holiness and your personal sin becomes elevated when you are consecrated before the Lord in worship. If during the act of offering your gift at the altar of worship God brings to your mind the reality of a strained relationship, leave your gift and diligently go and be reconciled.

God values unity in the body. God expects us to protect the vitality of our relationships with others. You cannot have a right relationship with God, even in worship, if you are not in a right relationship with others. Living in a fallen world perpetuates the litter of strained relationships. Make reconciliation your “first” response to God in worship. You have been reconciled to God through the finished work of Jesus upon the cross so that you can be an intentional reconciler on this broken planet.

Your gift becomes acceptable to God at the level of your relational purity with God and with others. Guard your relationships. Seek immediate reconciliation! Exhibit humility and brokenness! Ask for forgiveness! Extend forgiveness! Do whatever it takes to make things right between you and God. Do whatever it takes to make things right with others.

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, August 3rd, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Conflict Resolution, Initiative, Responsiveness.
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July 9th, 2014

Selfless Involvement

“But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’” Luke 10:33-35 (ESV)

Has your day ever been interrupted by an unfortunate event? How did you respond? The Good Samaritan responded to the tragedy by getting involved in the resolution. He demonstrated compassion in action by seeking to meet the needs of the one who had been violated and wounded. While others kept their distance and walked on by, the Good Samaritan walked directly to the man in desperate need to extend a helping hand.

Life is full of opportunities to ignore or meet needs. You can easily become apathetic and slip into a numb state of existence whereby the needs of others no longer tug at your heart strings. What if God wants you to get involved? What if God wants to use you to make an eternal difference in the life of someone in need? How will you respond?

  • “When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. And he began to teach them many things.” Mark 6:34 (ESV)

Jesus is our model of compassion. Choose to be like Jesus!

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, July 9th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Compassion, Initiative, Selflessness.
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July 1st, 2014

Loving Others

“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (ESV)

The “Love Chapter” has been read most often in weddings. Marriage is a portrait of love in that one spouse is to seek to meet the needs of the other spouse. Love is putting others first. Love flows from God because God is love (I John 4:8). As the Source of love, God demonstrated His love to us by allowing Christ to die in our place (Rom. 5:8). As you read the Bible, you will see a common thread of God’s love in action to restore fallen humanity. Love takes the initiative just as God took the initiative to bring us into a right relationship with Himself.

Have you experienced God’s unconditional love personally? God’s love for you is not proportionate to your performance or productivity. God’s love for you is based on His nature and character. God loves you with a perfect love that humanity cannot match. Allow God’s love in you to inspire you to love others unconditionally.

Is there anyone you find difficult to love? Choose to love that person not based on what they can do for you or based on what they have done for you or to you. Choose to love that person based on what God has done for you. Love is a choice. God chose to love you long before you chose to love Him. Now seek to love those Christ died for.

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, July 1st, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Initiative, Love, Selflessness.
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June 15th, 2014

Engaging in Ministry

And they all ate and were satisfied. And what was left over was picked up, twelve baskets of broken pieces.Luke 9:17 (ESV)

God wants to use you to meet needs. In order to meet needs, you must be sensitive to the needs of others. Living a life of “other-centeredness” is essential to joining God in His personal touch ministry. Selfishness will blind you to the needs around you. Selfishness will steer your focus inward every time.

Jesus told the disciples to feed the multitudes. The number of men was five thousand besides the women and children. Jesus was asking the disciples to feed over fifteen thousand people. All they could find was a little boy with a sack lunch with five loaves of bread and two fish.  And taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven and said a blessing over them. Then he broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd.” (Luke 9:16 ESV). Jesus multiplied what He had been given in order to meet the physical needs of the masses. They all ate and were satisfied!

Where did the twelve baskets of leftovers come from? There is a valuable lesson to learn here. Just bring Jesus what you have. Jesus will take what you have and multiply it to meet needs. God will never ask you to do anything without providing everything you need to accomplish His will. Perhaps you know the saying, “Where God guides, He always provides.”

Will you make yourself available for God’s use this week? Will you look for opportunities to meet the needs that God brings into your path? Be sensitive. Be selfless. Be willing to seize the opportunities God gives you.

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, June 15th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Initiative, Jesus, Ministry.
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February 22nd, 2014

Monitoring Media Input

“Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” James 1:27 (ESV)

God has called us to a lifestyle of moral purity. As followers of Jesus Christ, our constant assignment is to keep from being polluted by the world. Sin is rampant in our society and sin is present within our sin nature. As we battle temptation from within, we must establish guardrails to keep us on the straight and narrow path of holiness.

Let’s consider using a MAP for walking in victory. The letter “M” will remind us to Monitor Media Input. In our age of technology, we have unprecedented access to images that dishonor God. High definition televisions, computers, and cell phones provide an array of images that pollute and contaminate the mind of the child of God. Filtering what we allow to come into our minds is a proactive step to walking in victory.

  • “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Phil. 4:8 (ESV)
  • “So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along withthose who call on the Lord from a pure heart.” 2 Tim. 2:22 (ESV)

Take the initiative to monitor media input. When you put garbage in, you will get garbage out. When you put Christ in, you get Christ out. Fill your mind with that which brings honor to God.

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, February 22nd, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Initiative, Purity, Victory.
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August 4th, 2013

God Initiates

“‘I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.’” Exodus 20:2 (NIV)

Moses spent forty years in the palace, forty years in the desert, and then forty years as the deliverer of the children of Israel. God was strategically developing Moses for the special assignment of leading the Israelites out of Egyptian bondage. Before delivering The Ten Commandments, God reminded them of His provision of bringing them out of the land of slavery. God graciously got them out of Egypt, now He was getting Egypt out of them.

God is a God of Relationship. He initiated the love relationship we enjoy with Him. God chose to become like us so that we could become like Him. God took the initiative to develop us in Christ, as a royal priesthood, a holy nation, and a people belonging to Him. Being adopted into His forever family did not come into fruition because of our human effort, but as a result of God’s redemptive activity.

  • “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Rom. 5:8 (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)

If you ever question your value in God’s eyes, just look to the cross. God took the initiative to build the ultimate love bridge to you so that you could have harmony with Him and enjoy eternal life. When did you respond to God’s offer of salvation? When did you become a follower of Jesus Christ and a recipient of God’s unconditional love?

Now take the initiative to share the gift of eternal life with others. Shine His light and share His love so that others can have the personal and eternal relationship you enjoy with Jesus.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, August 4th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category God's Provision, Initiative, Ten Commandments.
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August 4th, 2011

God Initiates

“‘I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.’” Exodus 20:2 (NIV)

Moses spent forty years in the palace, forty years in the desert, and then forty years as the deliverer of the children of Israel. God was strategically developing Moses for the special assignment of leading the Israelites out of Egyptian bondage. Before delivering The Ten Commandments, God reminded them of His provision of bringing them out of the land of slavery. God graciously got them out of Egypt, now He was getting Egypt out of them.

God is a God of Relationship. He initiated the love relationship we enjoy with Him. God chose to become like us so that we could become like Him. God took the initiative to develop us in Christ, as a royal priesthood, a holy nation, and a people belonging to Him. Being adopted into His forever family did not come into fruition because of our human effort, but as a result of God’s redemptive activity.

  • “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8 (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)

If you ever question your value in God’s eyes, just look to the cross. God took the initiative to build the ultimate love bridge to you so that you could have harmony with Him and enjoy eternal life. When did you respond to God’s offer of salvation? When did you become a follower of Jesus Christ and a recipient of God’s unconditional love?

Now take the initiative to share the gift of eternal life with others. Shine His light and share His love so that others can have the personal and eternal relationship you enjoy with Jesus.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, August 4th, 2011 at 1:00 am
Category God's Provision, Initiative, Ten Commandments.
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November 22nd, 2010

Display Compassion

“But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him.” Luke 10:33-34 (NIV)

Hurting people saturate the landscape of life. Living in a fallen world generates pain, suffering, and sorrow. People are shouldering harmful habits, hurts, and hang-ups. Detours and disappointments frequent our daily existence. The reality of living on a broken planet necessitates a deep abiding compassion for others.

The Good Samaritan was willing to see the needs of an unnamed individual and to seize the opportunity to meet his needs. The Good Samaritan was willing to put his compassion in action by getting personally involved in the solution to this wounded man’s unfortunate situation. He had been left for dead.

The Priest and the Levite were too preoccupied with themselves to care about someone else in need. If we are not careful, that can be our tendency. We get so caught up in our own lives and consumed with what we want to accomplish in a given day, that we can neglect those God brings into our path. Busyness and selfishness blur our vision to the reality of pressing needs around us. We might even begin seeing people in need as an interruption rather than an opportunity to display the compassion of Christ.

What is keeping you from putting your compassion in action? Have you lost your love for people? Has your heart become numb toward the individuals in need who come across your path? Slow down and allow the compassion of Christ to flow through you to a world in need. Continue the ministry of Jesus on the earth. View others as sheep without a shepherd. You are the shepherd! Go help some sheep!

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, November 22nd, 2010 at 1:00 am
Category Compassion, Initiative, Ministry.
Interact No Comments
August 3rd, 2010

Heightened Sensitivity

“‘Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.’” Matt 5:23-24 (NIV)

In yielded worship before the Lord, your sensitivity to the things of God is heightened. Your awareness of God’s holiness and your personal sin becomes elevated when you are consecrated before the Lord in worship. If during the act of offering your gift at the altar of worship God brings to your mind the reality of a strained relationship, leave your gift and diligently go and be reconciled.

God values unity in the body. God expects us to protect the vitality of our relationships with others. You cannot have a right relationship with God, even in worship, if you are not in a right relationship with others. Living in a fallen world perpetuates the litter of strained relationships. Make reconciliation your “first” response to God in worship. You have been reconciled to God through the finished work of Jesus upon the cross so that you can be an intentional reconciler on this broken planet.

Your gift becomes acceptable to God at the level of your relational purity with God and with others. Guard your relationships. Seek immediate reconciliation! Exhibit humility and brokenness! Ask for forgiveness! Extend forgiveness! Do whatever it takes to make things right between you and God. Do whatever it takes to make things right with others.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010 at 1:00 am
Category Conflict Resolution, Initiative, Responsiveness.
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