Archive for the ‘Ministry’ Category

December 4th, 2015

The True Heart of Ministry

“So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us.” 1 Thessalonians 2:8 (ESV)

Paul delivers for us in his first letter to the Thessalonian church a perfect picture of a shepherd’s heart in ministry. He is writing to the church in response to a number of issues, including a number regarding his character. In an effort to squelch the growing Christian church, the Jewish elites of the day who enjoyed the security and prosperity the Roman Empire provided for them began to suggest that Paul was only in Thessalonica for personal gain, not for the sake of the gospel. They wanted to call his character and motivation for ministry into question in order to protect their power. Paul responds by reminding the church of his devotion to them, not for monetary gain but in response to deep, convicting love. Indeed, he loved them so much that he was willing to not only share the message of Jesus with them but also his very life!

Is there a more perfect picture of Christian community and ministry? We are not simply to share words with one another or passing salutations; we are called to invest our lives in one another. This, of course, means a greater commitment on our part but also a greater reward. The type of community Paul exhibits is what we all long for. We want people to know us fully and still accept us. We want to know we are valued, and what greater way can that be seen than by someone giving all of themselves to us?

Now, some people you invest in will leave; some will abandon you. This type of ministry almost guarantees you will get hurt, but for all the heartache, there is a beautiful silver lining knowing that many have come to a vibrant, joy-filled walk with the Lord because of your personal investment in them.

Will you fully invest your life in ministry? Will you love people as passionately as Paul did? I pray you will because deep inside you know that you need it and those around you need it.

Grace and peace,

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

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, December 4th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Intentionality, Ministry, Thessalonians.
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October 16th, 2015

Chosen by God for God

“And he appointed twelve (whom he also named apostles) so that they might be with him and he might send them out to preach.” Mark 3:14 (ESV)

Can you imagine the honor of being chosen by Jesus to serve as one of His twelve apostles? You would have a starting position on the varsity team that Jesus coached. You would have access to His life behind the scenes in the locker room and on the practice field. You would want to spend all your time in His shadow and under His personal touch ministry. To be like Him, you would want to watch His every move and to capture every word He articulated. It would be so refreshing to be that connected to the Son of God.

As a follower of Jesus Christ, you have that kind of connection with the Son of God. At the moment of your conversion experience, you were adopted into God’s family and placed on the winning team. You have the privilege of drawing near to the Lord and learning how to enjoy His presence.

God did not save you so that you could stay in the huddle. God rescued you from eternal damnation and placed you into His forever family and filled you with His Holy Spirit so that you could continue the ministry of Jesus on the earth. You have been chosen by God to be sent out to portray His love and to proclaim the saving news of Jesus. You have been armed with the cure to the cancer of sin. Every single person who places their faith in Jesus alone for salvation will be saved and adopted into the family of God. You are chosen by God to build that relational bridge to those who are lost.

Riding HIS Wave,

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

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, October 16th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Disciple, Jesus, Ministry.
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May 25th, 2015

Memorial Day

“All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.” 2 Cor 5:18-19 (ESV)

The freedom we enjoy in America comes at a great price. Thousands of men and women have given their lives in service to our country to preserve our freedom. We are blessed to worship God corporately without fear of invasion. Thank God for our fallen warriors and their families.

Christ paid the ultimate sacrifice for our reconciliation. Jesus died to provide for the forgiveness of our sins and to remove the barrier separating us from Holy God. Jesus was obedient to death on the cross to satisfy the righteous requirements of God. As the sinless sacrifice, Jesus provided to us heaven and eternal life.

Now that you have been reconciled to God, extend the ministry of reconciliation to those disconnected from Christ. You are reconciled in order to reconcile. You have been given this life-changing ministry from God. God has empowered you to be a minister of reconciliation.

Build intentional relationships with those who are disconnected from Christ. Join God in reconciling the world to Him. Your reconciliation qualifies you to partner with God in reconciling others through Christ.

  • “I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples; I will sing praises to you among the nations.For your steadfast love is great to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds.” Psalm 57:11-12 (ESV)

Because of God’s faithfulness, you have been given a ministry to extend. Give praise to the Lord by sharing His steadfast love with those who don’t know Christ.

Riding HIS Wave,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, May 25th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Memorial Day, Ministry, Reconciliation.
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November 26th, 2014

Motive Behind Ministry

“And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:17 (ESV)

Everything matters to God! Everything you say and everything you do and everything you think, matters to God. Nothing is hidden from God’s sight. Even when others may overlook your contribution, God never misses a moment of your life. God is omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent. Nothing slips through His comprehensive view.

So whatever you do, whether speaking words that build others up or extending a helping hand, do it all under the authority of Jesus. You are saved and filled with the Holy Spirit to continue the ministry of Jesus upon the earth. Your conversation is vital to fulfilling the Great Commission. Your conduct is of utmost importance in living out the Great Commandment. As you share Christ with others and express His love to others, you will be doing God’s work God’s way.

The motive behind your ministry to others is just as important as the benefits that your ministry produces. What compels you to put others first? What propels you to place the needs of others before your own? Are you motives pure?

Speak and serve as a representative of Jesus Christ. You may be the only Jesus others see in their lifetime. Your conversation will either point people to Christ or repel them from Christ. Your conduct will either give evidence that Jesus is Lord of your life or demonstrate that He is not enthroned.

Be sure to give thanks to God the Father as you serve Him by serving others. May your life be a portrait of gratitude for all that God has done and continues to do in you and through you.

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, November 26th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Ministry, Motive, Thankfulness.
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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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September 2nd, 2014

The Power of Intercession

“And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.” James 5:15 (ESV)

Did you know that even godly people who have a vibrant faith in God can go through seasons of adversity? Often these difficult seasons can strengthen your faith and also cause you to become weary. As you fight the good fight of the faith (1 Tim. 6:12), you may experience spiritual exhaustion. Battle fatigue is a potential reality for the follower of Christ.

James wrote to believers who had experienced severe persecution. Their faith had been tested and many of them had become emotionally depleted and spiritually exhausted. In some cases, their spiritual weakness caused them to be unable to call on God.

We need each other. God does not expect you to live the Christian life on your own. God wants you to live out your faith as you connect with your spiritual family. God adopted you into His family. Allow other believers who are spiritually strong to come alongside to help you through seasons of spiritual lethargy and warfare.

The spiritually strong will offer their prayer in faith, fully trusting that God is able to do what He says (Rom. 4:21), and you will be restored. God will raise you up from a condition of spiritual weakness to a state of spiritual strength and stability.

Will you invite a spiritually mature follower of Christ to offer a prayer in faith on your behalf? Don’t walk alone through the seasons of adversity. Allow your spiritual family to intercede for you.

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Intercession, Ministry, Prayer.
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September 1st, 2014

Calling for Prayer Support

“Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.” James 5:14 (ESV)

The Christian life is not a solo flight. God never intended for us to live out our faith in isolation. As followers of Christ, we have Jesus at the right hand of the Father making intercession for us (Rom. 8:34) and we have the Holy Spirit interceding for us with groans that words cannot express (Rom. 8:26-27). God has also given us fellow believers who can stand in the gap for us in prayer.

The Apostle Paul asked for the believers in the church at Ephesus to pray that he would fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel (Eph. 6:19). Paul asked the church at Colossae to pray that God would open a door for his message so that he could proclaim the mystery of Christ (Col. 4:3). Paul asked the church at Thessalonica to pray for he and his ministry partners that the message of the Lord would spread rapidly and be honored and that they would be delivered from evil and wicked men (2 Thess. 3:1-2).

James affirms the need for outside prayer support for our lives. If you are experiencing spiritual weakness or even a physical illness, ask a spiritual leader to pray for you. If you are walking through a challenging situation or combating a difficult season, ask a spiritual leader to pray for you. Surround yourself with prayer warriors who will do warfare praying on your behalf. Don’t be afraid to ask for prayer support. God has placed people within your sphere of influence who can stand in the gap for you in prayer.

Do you have someone praying you through?

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, September 1st, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Intercession, Ministry, Prayer.
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August 24th, 2014

Expressing Our Union

“And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Matthew 16:18 (ESV)

God ordained marriage and God ordained the church. We are married to Christ and our union is expressed through His Body, the church. Peter confessed that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the living God. Jesus affirmed that He would build His church on that reality.

In order to become a follower of Jesus Christ and become a member of His Body, the church, a person must confess Jesus as the Christ, the Son of the living God. This profession of our faith is essential to salvation (Rom. 10:9-10). Jesus builds His church by adopting us into His family (Eph. 1:5). Only those who are born again enter into His Kingdom (John 3:3).

Jesus builds His church. Our job is to be the church. Jesus saves people from their sin. Our job is to share the Good News of Jesus so that others can know Jesus personally and eternally. Jesus saves us, not to sit, but to serve. Our role in the Body of Christ, the church, is to empty hell and to populate heaven.

The church is not the physical building. As followers of Jesus Christ, we are the church. We are the church gathered in worship and the church scattered on mission during the week. God wants us to be the church so that the world will have the opportunity to come into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Express your union with Christ. May others be drawn to Christ through your witness. Testify of His redeeming love and share your spiritual story.

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, August 24th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Ministry, Witness, Worship.
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July 17th, 2014

Increasing Love

“And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you.” 1 Thessalonians 3:12 (ESV)

How do you make your love for others grow? You place the same value on others that God does. If we could ever fully embrace God’s perspective on people, then our love for others would increase. Our tendency is to judge people based on externals while God evaluates the heart. We tend to overemphasize the outside and underestimate the inside. God has planted unlimited potential in every human being. The key that unlocks potential is an abiding relationship with Jesus Christ.

  • “‘I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.’” John 15:5 (ESV)
  • “We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers, as is right, because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of every one of you for one another is increasing.” 2 Thess. 1:3 (ESV)

Increase your love for others by serving them, praying for them, and viewing them from God’s perspective. Sometimes our expression of love for others is inhibited by busyness. Often our love for others is stifled by our self-centeredness. It’s difficult to increase our love for others when we become consumed with ourselves.

Read through the Gospels and notice how Jesus had a perfect balance of guarding His love relationship with the Father and meeting the needs of people. As your love relationship with your Heavenly Father grows, your love for others will increase in proportion.

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, July 17th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Growth, Love, Ministry.
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July 10th, 2014

Seizing Opportunities

“I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity.” Philippians 4:10 (ESV)

God chooses to use people to help us. The Christian life is not a solo flight. God saved us to live in union with Christ and in community with other believers. We need each other. We do better together. As a result of being adopted into God’s family, we are to communicate and collaborate as fellow followers of Christ. In Christ, we are family!

Paul was imprisoned in Rome when he wrote this personal letter to the church at Philippi. He had a deep abiding love for them and wanted to encourage them in their faith. Paul identified their willingness to put their compassion into action. They sent their gifts to Paul via Epaphroditus (Phil. 4:18). Paul acknowledged their gift as a fragrant offering pleasing to God.

Spend a moment thanking God in prayer for the people He has placed in your life over the years to be a blessing to you. Think about the individuals God used to encourage you on your faith journey. You may even want to write a letter or type an email to someone God has used to elevate your faith. People matter to God and He delights in bringing people into our lives to bring us closer to Christ.

Are you available for God’s use? Would you be willing to be used of God to encourage someone today? Would you be willing to be used of God to model Christ before a watching world? Remember that God blesses you so that you can be a blessing to others. Who will benefit from your life today?

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, July 10th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Compassion, Demonstration, Ministry.
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