Archive for the ‘Rewards’ Category

December 13th, 2009

Partial Fast

“At that time I, Daniel, mourned for three weeks. I ate no choice food; no meat or wine touched my lips; and I used no lotions at all until the three weeks were over.” Dan 10:2-3 (NIV)

The most common fast among believers is the partial fast. You choose to eliminate certain foods from your diet for a specific time in order to draw near to God. You can choose to give up all types of meat and only eat vegetables for a season. When you participate in a partial fast, you continue to drink fluids and you may also choose to eat certain foods.

A partial fast could include suspending the consumption of coffee for a specified period of time. It could be a choice to abstain from desserts and other sweets for a season in order to seek God.

Daniel chose to go on a partial fast for twenty-one days. God honored his commitment and gave Daniel a special revelation. Daniel was known for drawing near to God and seeking God’s agenda. The Lord honored Daniel’s obedience and devotion.

You may want to consider embracing a partial fast where you eat the evening meal and then drink only water and juice until the following evening meal twenty-four hours later. You can spend breakfast and lunch praying and reading the Bible. Instead of feasting on food during those two meals, you can maximize that time by feasting on God’s Word.

As you fast, consider journaling your journey with God. Write down or type what God shows you during the fast. Be sensitive to God’s activity and take note of what you are sensing from God. He may give you a specific verse from the Bible to meditate on. God may identify a relationship in your life that needs attention.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, December 13th, 2009 at 1:00 am
Category Fasting, God's Will, Rewards.
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June 23rd, 2009

Rewards of Serving

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” Col 3:23-24 (NIV)

What motivates you to serve? Do you serve for immediate recognition or eternal reward? Who is calculating your service? Jesus is the Rewarder! As you live to please Him and serve Him, Jesus rewards you personally both now and in the life to come. Your belief determines where you spend eternity. Your behavior determines how you will spend eternity. Jesus rewards your obedience in serving Him.

  • Personal Reward for Giving: “But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” Matt 6:3-4 (NIV)
  • Personal Reward for Praying: “But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” Matt 6:6 (NIV)
  • Personal Reward for Fasting: “But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” Matt 6:17-18 (NIV)

Your life counts. Are you willing to allow Jesus to live in you and through you today in order to serve others?

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor
(This devotional was originally posted in ’07 or ’08. I’m taking a break from writing for a season of personal renewal.)
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009 at 1:00 am
Category Fasting, Giving, Praying, Rewards.
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December 12th, 2008

Benefits of Serving (3)

“From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” Eph 4:16 (NIV)

God rewards your service both here and in the hereafter. There are immediate rewards for serving God and there are eternal rewards for serving God. In the here and now, your faith grows as you serve. As you exercise the spiritual gifts God has given you, God multiplies the impact and expands your faith. The body of Christ benefits from your faithful service and your personal faith deepens.

Serving develops your spiritual muscles just as working out with weights develops your physical muscles. The motion of you joining God in His activity generates the need for God’s provision of strength, courage, and faith. Your love relationship with the Lord deepens as you live out your faith through daily serving to meet needs and to benefit others.

Is your faith growing? Are you placing your “yes” on the altar each day and making yourself available for God’s use? Have you intentionally sought to exercise the spiritual gifts God has given you in order to benefit others?

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, December 12th, 2008 at 1:00 am
Category Eternity, Motive, Rewards, Serving.
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December 11th, 2008

Benefits of Serving (2)

“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Eph 2:10 (NIV)

Salvation is a gift, not a reward. You cannot perform enough good works to earn salvation. You receive the gift of eternal life by the grace of God through faith in the completed work of Jesus on the cross. If salvation is a gift, how do good works add value?

God graciously gave His best, Jesus, to pay the sin debt you owed. It is a gift. If you try to pay for the gift one has given, then you cheapen the gift. What can you add to the finished work of Jesus on the cross? His atoning work is complete.

You were uniquely designed by God and for God. You are His masterpiece, His treasure, and the apple of His eye. You are His workmanship. He formed you and fashioned you for His glory. You are not an accident! You are here on purpose!

You cannot add to the salvation that God provided to you by His grace through faith. However, as His workmanship, you are created to do good works and to serve. You don’t serve for salvation; you serve as a result of the salvation gift you have received. Good works are a result of a grateful heart. Gratitude for what God has initiated and our faith has activated results in good works.

“Then will all your people be righteous and they will possess the land forever. They are the shoot I have planted, the work of my hands, for the display of my splendor.” Isaiah 60:21 (NIV)

Are you willing to display God’s splendor today? You are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus to do good works! Who will benefit from your life of service today?

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, December 11th, 2008 at 1:00 am
Category Eternity, Motive, Rewards, Serving.
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December 10th, 2008

Benefits of Serving (1)

“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.” Gal 6:7 (NIV)

The law of the harvest originates with God. As Creator of the universe, God has established the system upon which life exists and operates. You reap what you sow. God has made that a reality. There’s no need to be deceived and there’s no need to seek to mock God.

  • “Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the LORD, until he comes and showers righteousness on you.” Hosea 10:12 (NIV)
  • “Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.” James 3:18 (NIV)

Let’s connect the law of the harvest with how you live your life. Think about the way you invest your time, energy, and resources. How are you sowing your life in service to God? How are you currently investing in the Kingdom of God? You will reap what you sow.

You can be absolutely sure that God’s Word is absolutely true. The law of the harvest is an absolute formulated by God. God knows what you have sown. God knows the motive behind what you have sown. God even knows what you will reap and when you will reap as a result of what you have sown and how you have sown. Your activity in God’s economy matters for eternity.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, December 10th, 2008 at 1:00 am
Category Eternity, Motive, Rewards, Serving.
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