Archive for the ‘Afterlife’ Category

November 16th, 2008

Departure (7)

“He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.” John 15:2 (NIV)

Without pruning, there is no productivity.

God wants us to be fruitful. In order for us to bear fruit that remains, God initiates the process of pruning. As the gardener, God removes those things in our lives that prevent the life of Christ from flowing through us. He allows us to go through seasons of adversity to address those fruit-restricting areas of our lives.

  • “Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” Heb 12:10-11 (NIV)

The loving hand of our attentive Heavenly Father brings correction when we drift from His best. Without pain, there is no change. God allows pain to come into our lives to bring us to the place of full surrender. When we reach the level of acknowleging our sin and recognizing God’s desire, the pruning begins to enable the flow of Christ to nourish the areas of our life that brings glory to God.

Will there be a major change when you stand before God? Will you be responsive to God’s pruning in your life now so that when you stand before God very little will be needed to make you like Christ? Allow God to conform you into the image of Christ.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, November 16th, 2008 at 1:00 am
Category Afterlife, Death, Eternity, Legacy.
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November 15th, 2008

Departure (6)

“This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” John 15:8 (NIV)

Are you ready to leave?

Hit the pause button for just a moment and take a close look at your life. What have you done with the life God has given you? What have you done with the opportunities God placed in your path? Have you spent your life or invested your life? What remains?

You bring glory to God through the fruit you bear. The fruit validates and authenticates your discipleship. Your devotion as a follower of Jesus Christ is measured by the fruit that is born through your life. The focus is not on bearing fruit, but rather on abiding. Staying connected to Christ through an intimate love relationship will result in a fruit-bearing life.

  • “In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” Matt 5:16 (NIV)
  • “‘By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.’” John 13:35 (NIV)

The fruit of kindness will be expressed through your life as you abide in Christ. Your compassion for the lost and your commitment to sharing the Gospel will be in direct proportion to the level of your abiding relationship with Christ. The fruit of love will evidenced by your life in relation to your connectivity to Christ as the ultimate source of love. The life of Christ will flow through you to impact the lives of others.

Are you bringing glory to God? If so, then you are living in light of eternity. You are departure ready!

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, November 15th, 2008 at 1:00 am
Category Afterlife, Death, Eternity, Glory, Legacy.
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November 14th, 2008

Departure (5)

“We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away.” Heb 2:1 (NIV)

Departure readiness includes making sure that you are saved and being conscientious about how you live each day. Every moment matters in God’s economy. As followers of Jesus Christ, we are to be attentive to how we think, how we speak, and how we act. Our thought-life, our conversation, and our conduct are vital to departure readiness.

  • “Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess.” Heb 3:1 (NIV)
  • “See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God.” Heb 3:12 (NIV)

Fixing our thoughts on Jesus is an act of our will. We must consciously and persistently fix our thoughts on Jesus. Our beliefs determine our behavior. Guarding against a sinful, unbelieving heart is our moment by moment responsibility.

How attentive are you to what you already know from God’s Word? Are you obeying what God has already revealed to you? Make no provision for drifting from God. Fortify your faith and solidify your daily walk with God.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, November 14th, 2008 at 1:00 am
Category Afterlife, Bearing Fruit, Death, Eternity, Legacy.
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November 13th, 2008

Departure (4)

“Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin. As a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God.” 1 Peter 4:1-2 (NIV)

What are you going to do with the rest of your life?

Jesus is our model to follow. He suffered in His body for our benefit. Jesus died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sin. He was willing to become the sinless sacrificial lamb that took away our sin. Jesus nailed our sin to the cross. He paid the debt we could not pay.

What will you do with what Jesus has done for you? Will you live your life for earthly human desires or for the will of God?

  • “The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:7-8 (NIV)
  • “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” 1 Peter 4:10 (NIV)

Live for the will of God. Allocate your time, your energy, and your resources to live for the will of God. Live in light of the eternity. Pray, love deeply, and serve faithfully. Don’t waste your life! Live for the will of God!

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, November 13th, 2008 at 1:00 am
Category Afterlife, Death, Eternity, Legacy.
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November 12th, 2008

Departure (3)

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” Prov 3:5-6 (NIV)

Trust God with the remainder of your days. Your departure from planet earth has already been scheduled by God. He knows when you will take your final breath of earthly air. God is all-knowing and God is eternal. He sees the entirety of your life. He already knows every decision you will make and every path that you will take. In His foreknowledge, God already knows what the final chapter of your earthly existence looks like.

Are you willing to trust God with your life? Are you willing to place your life completely in His hands? Live your remaining days with the focus and tenacity of a passionate follower of Christ. Don’t rely on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge the sovereignty of God. Live with the awareness of God’s purity, power, and perspective. God is for you. He demonstrated His love for you before you had a chance to weigh in on the transaction (Romans 5:8). God took the initiative to bring you into a love relationship with Himself.

Place God first in your life (Matt. 6:33) and He will make your paths straight. Give Him the proper place of allegiance and loyalty. God deserves your devotion and your worship. Make no room for apathy or lethargy. With the time you have left on this earth, trust God with all of your heart. Allow your love relationship with Him to demonstrate who you are and whose you are!

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, November 12th, 2008 at 1:00 am
Category Afterlife, Death, Eternity, Legacy, Trust.
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November 11th, 2008

Departure (2)

“Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.” John 15:4 (NIV)

How will you live before you go? Your time on earth is limited. James compares life to a mist that appears and then vanishes (James 4:14). Compared to eternity, our time on earth is brief. Yet, how you choose to live your life on planet earth has eternal implications. Each moment matters for eternity.

Jesus identifies the abiding relationship made available to you. Without having an abiding relationship with Jesus, you cannot bear fruit. He is the vine. He is the source of real life. You are the branch. Your role in the relationship is to stay connected to the vine. You become the conduit through which Jesus bears His fruit. Your fruitfulness is proportionate to your abiding relationship with Jesus. To remain in Christ is to stay connected to Him through a growing relationship with Him.

Once you have established the connection through your faith in the completed work of Jesus on the cross, your eternal relationship with Christ is solidified. Now that you know Christ personally, you are to grow in your relationship with Christ progressively. Moment by moment you enjoy the abiding relationship whereby you experience His life flowing through you. As the life of Christ flows through you, His life is expressed through you to a watching world. Fruit is evidenced as a result of your abiding relationship with Christ.

Stay connected!

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, November 11th, 2008 at 1:00 am
Category Abiding in Christ, Afterlife, Death, Eternity, Fruitfulness, Legacy.
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November 10th, 2008

Departure (1)

“For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.” 1 Thess 4:16-17 (NIV)

If you are a child of God, then there is no need to fear death. You will either experience the rapture or the resurrection. If you are still alive when Jesus comes for His Bride, you will be raptured. You will be snatched up from your earthly existence. However, if you die before the the Rapture occurs, you will not experience the sting of death (I Cor. 15:55). To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord (2 Cor. 5:6-8). The moment you take your last breath on earth, you are ushered instantaneously into the Presence of the Lord.

Are you Rapture ready? Have you solidified your spiritual status? Do you have the assurance of salvation? The Bible is clear that you can know that you have eternal life.

  • “And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.” 1 John 5:11-12 (NIV)
  • “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.” 1 John 5:13 (NIV)

Revisit the day of your salvation. Spend some time tracing the spiritual markers in your life. Thank God for His assurance of your salvation. Now that you are Rapture ready, invest your life in making a Kingdom impact for the glory of God. Make your life count for eternity!

Pursuing God

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, November 10th, 2008 at 1:00 am
Category Afterlife, Death, Eternity, Legacy, Rapture, Readiness.
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