Archive for the ‘Generosity’ Category

December 12th, 2015

A Generous God Deserves a Generous People

“…for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part.” 2 Corinthians 8:2 (ESV)

We are to be a generous people, reflecting the heart of our very generous God! The people of Macedonia knew this, demonstrating an unusual combination of joy in the midst of poverty. That coupling would for many of us lead to bitterness and doubt. For them, however, a different reaction was seen most certainly rooted in a proper gospel perspective. You see, the people of Macedonia knew that the same God who provided for their sins in the coming of Christ would most certainly provide for their earthly needs as well. They would give what they had, trusting that the Lord would do for them what He had done for His people in the time of the Exodus and countless other times as recorded in Scripture.

Do we have that same kind of trust in the Lord’s faithfulness today? We often equate blessing with monetary blessings, but the Lord often asks us to sacrifice that which we value most dearly to remind us of our great need for and dependence upon Him. Would you still be joyful in the midst of extreme poverty? Or would you be like the rich, young ruler who could not bring himself to part with his possessions in order to inherit the Kingdom of God?

May we care more about the spreading of the gospel than our personal wealth! Now, we should not ignore our responsibilities as spouses and parents, but we should consider it a privilege to give sacrificially as an act of worship to our God who has so richly blessed us in the giving of His only Begotten! May we heed the word of Paul and follow the example of the gospel in being a generous people.

Grace and peace,

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

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, December 12th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category 2 Corinthians, Generosity, Gospel.
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March 23rd, 2015

Blessed to Bless

“‘If among you, one of your brothers should become poor, in any of your towns within your land that the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart or shut your hand against your poor brother, but you shall open your hand to him and lend him sufficient for his need, whatever it may be.’” Deuteronomy 15:7-8 (ESV)

God has blessed you to be a blessing. God has lavished you with His love so that you can lavish His love on others. You have been given spiritual treasures to share with those in need. You have been endowed by God to become a conduit of His compassion.

Be generous. Diligently seek to meet needs as God places people in your path. Turn interruptions into opportunities to be a blessing to others. As you give, God’s love will be dispensed. As you give, God’s grace will be extended.

  • “Whoever oppresses a poor man insults his Maker, but he who is generous to the needy honors him.” Proverbs 14:31 (ESV)

Honor God by being generous to the needy. Place the needs of others before your own. Of course, that is not a natural response; it is a supernatural response made possible by the Holy Spirit living in you. You have been enriched by God so that you can be generous in every way. As you generously bless others, you will be producing thanksgiving to God. In other words, by being generous toward others, you will be giving thanks to God who has blessed you with the ability to be a blessing.

Jesus is the gateway of generosity. He gave His life for you so that you can give your life to others.

Riding HIS Wave,

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

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, March 23rd, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Deuteronomy, Generosity, Moses.
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February 22nd, 2015

Bring Your Offerings

“This is the law of the burnt offering, of the grain offering, of the sin offering, of the guilt offering, of the ordination offering, and of the peace offering, which the Lord commanded Moses on Mount Sinai, on the day that he commanded the people of Israel to bring their offerings to the Lord, in the wilderness of Sinai.” Leviticus 7:37-38 (ESV)

God values relationships. Having a right relationship with God and having a right relationship with others is your personal responsibility. God has provided the way for you to be right with Him. Placing your faith in the complete work of Jesus on the cross justifies you before God and places you in right standing. God forgives you of your sin, adopts you into His family, and seals you by the Holy Spirit.

Now that you are positionally right with God, you maintain the relationship by knowing God’s will and doing God’s will. You choose to practice instant obedience, confess sin, and continue the ministry of Jesus on the earth. Maintaining a right relationship with God includes having a right relationship with others. Love others, serve others, and forgive others. Share the gift of eternal life with others so that they can have a personal love relationship with Jesus.

  • “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.” 1 Peter 2:24 (ESV)

God gave Moses further instructions to develop the sacrificial system so that the people of Israel could have a right relationship with God and with others. They were to participate in the process by bringing their offerings to the tent of meeting. God was very specific about how to deal with sin and how to be made right with Him.

Riding HIS Wave,

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

 

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, February 22nd, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Generosity, Leviticus, Responsibility.
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February 18th, 2015

Collaboration

“All the men and women, the people of Israel, whose heart moved them to bring anything for the work that the Lord had commanded by Moses to be done brought it as a freewill offering to the Lord.” Exodus 35:29 (ESV)

God instructed Moses on the specific design of the features of the Tabernacle. As Moses spoke to the people of Israel, God moved their heart to respond with a demonstration of generosity. All the men and women whose heart moved them brought various items to contribute to the construction of the Tabernacle including the furnishings. The people were mobilized to bring their assets as a freewill offering to the Lord. Every person was valuable and every gift added value to the project.

  • “Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone.” 1 Cor 12:4-6 (ESV)

God has graced you with gifts to honor Him and to benefit others. What will you do with what God has given you? How will you unleash generosity to invest in the work of the Lord? We do better together and God desires that we work together to accomplish His master plan.

There is power in collaboration. When we link hands and arms with fellow believers, we are igniting a bond that honors God and is expressed through serving others. We can come together to model the generous love of God by making personal sacrifices to fulfill His will.

Everybody is somebody in the family of God. God has saved and equipped every child of God to be on mission with God in order to continue the ministry of Jesus. What do you need to stop doing? What do you need to start doing? What do you need to continue doing?

Riding HIS Wave,

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

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, February 18th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Generosity, Tabernacle, Unity.
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December 21st, 2014

The Greatest Giver

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 (ESV)

God’s generosity flows out of His love for humanity. Even though we have chosen, in our humanity, to rebel against God and to turn from His perfect will, He chose to give us the greatest gift we could ever receive. The gift of eternal life is a tangible expression of God’s generosity.

Long before we decided what to do with God, He decided what to do with us. In spite of our selfishness and sinfulness, God took the initiative to build the ultimate love bridge by giving us the gift of eternal life. God gave us His best. God took the initiative to become like us so that we could become like Him. The gracious gift of eternal life extended to us is the perfect portrait of generosity in action.

The greatest gift you can give anyone is the opportunity to respond to the Good News of Jesus Christ. As you share the plan of salvation with others, you are reflecting the generosity of God. Since you are a recipient of the generous activity of God, choose to extend His generosity to others by sharing your faith intentionally.

Nothing you give this Christmas will have the eternal impact that sharing the plan of salvation will have. When someone places their faith in Jesus alone for salvation, they receive the greatest gift known to mankind. There is no greater gift because there is no greater love made available to you than the love that changes your forever.

Are you generously sharing your faith with others? You are never more like Jesus than when you are giving. Jesus gave His all so that you could have a personal and eternal relationship with Him. Who will benefit from your generosity?

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, December 21st, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Generosity, God's Character, John 3:16.
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December 7th, 2013

God’s Giving Plan

“‘So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 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.’” Matthew 6:2-4 (NIV)

What are you currently doing to benefit others? What resources has God made available to you? Are you using what God gives you to benefit others? You are blessed by God to be a blessing to others.

Give secretly and God will reward you. It is not only what you give but how you give that moves the heart of God. God sees everything you do and everything you don’t do. God sees and knows. If you give to be seen of men, then that is the extent of your reward. However, when your giving is done in secret, God rewards you.

  • “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.” 2 Cor. 5:10 (NIV)
  • “But just as you excel in everything–in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us –see that you also excel in this grace of giving.” 2 Cor. 8:7 (NIV)

Motive matters! God sees how much you give and God sees how you give.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, December 7th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Generosity, God's Plan, Servanthood.
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October 15th, 2013

Godly Garments

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” Colossians 3:12 (NIV)

What are you displaying for a watching world to see? You are chosen, holy, and dearly loved by God. Display the garments you have been given in Christ. As a child of the Living God, you have a spiritual wardrobe that must be put on each day. God places you in the display window of life to give evidence of the reality of Jesus living His life through you.

Are you exhibiting the character of Christ? Put on the garment of compassion. Let others see your compassion in action. Put on the garment of kindness. Be gracious and kind toward others by placing their needs before your own. Put on the garment of humility. Don’t think less of yourself; just think of yourself less. Consider others better than yourself (Phil. 2:3). Be sure to put on the garment of gentleness. Show the tenderness of Christ as you interact with others today. Are you a patient person? Put on the garment of patience and trust God’s timing.

Who you are in Christ on the inside needs to be evident on the outside. As you build meaningful relationships with others, demonstrate the character of Christ. As you navigate the difficult places in life, exhibit the character of Christ. God will use the tests you face in life to help build your testimony. When you are squeezed by the circumstances of life, what is on the inside of you will come out. Clothe yourself with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Let these garments become the fabric of your life.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, October 15th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Compassion, Generosity, Humility.
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October 3rd, 2013

Unleash Generosity

“Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.” 1 Timothy 6:18 (NIV)

Another way to control the desire to acquire is by unleashing generosity. Jesus is our model to follow. Teaching, preaching, casting out demons, praying, and extending personal touch ministry marked Jesus’ life on earth. Jesus maintained a balanced life centered on doing God’s will. Loving God and loving others was the central focus of His life.

Jesus came to our planet to reconcile us to God. He willingly gave His life as the sinless sacrifice for our redemption (Col. 1:20). Jesus lived, died, was buried, rose on the third day, and forty days later ascended to heaven. Sitting at the right hand of the Father, Jesus intercedes on our behalf (Rom. 8:34).

Your purpose in this life is to unleash generosity by continuing the ministry of Jesus. You have been saved by grace alone through faith alone to join God in His redemptive activity. God has entrusted every moment of your day to you for careful stewardship. How are you responding to the opportunities God places before you to generously continue the ministry of Jesus?

Be rich in good deeds. Invest your life by adding value to others. Serve others from a heart of purity seasoned by daily intimacy with Christ. If you are going to continue the ministry of Jesus, then you must operate in His power. Adding value to others will require spiritual nourishment and spiritual energy.

Maintain a living connection with Christ through feeding on God’s Word and seeking His face daily. To do what Jesus did mandates that you nurture your love relationship with God. The outflow of your living connection with Christ will be doing good, being generous, and willing to share.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, October 3rd, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Generosity, Greed, Ten Commandments.
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July 9th, 2013

Greatest Generosity

“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.” 1 John 3:1 (NIV)

God’s generosity flows out of His love for humanity. Even though we have chosen, in our humanity, to rebel against God and to turn from His perfect will, He chose to give us the greatest gift we could ever receive. The gift of eternal life is a tangible expression of God’s generosity.

In spite of our selfishness and sinfulness, God took the initiative to build the ultimate love bridge by giving us the gift of eternal life. God gave us His best. God took the initiative to become like us so that we could become like Him. The gracious gift of eternal life extended to us is the perfect portrait of generosity in action.

The greatest gift you can give anyone is the opportunity to respond to the Good News of Jesus Christ. As you share the plan of salvation with others, you are reflecting the generosity of God. Since you are a recipient of the generous activity of God, choose to extend His generosity to others by sharing your faith intentionally.

When someone places their faith in Jesus alone for salvation, they receive the greatest gift known to mankind. There is no greater gift because there is no greater love made available to you than the love that changes your forever.

Are you generously sharing your faith with others? You are never more like Jesus than when you are giving. Jesus gave His all so that you could have a personal and eternal relationship with Him. Who will benefit from your generosity?

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, July 9th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Child of God, Generosity, Love.
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June 5th, 2013

Blessed By God

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.” Ephesians 1:3 (NIV)

You are God’s treasure. Can you imagine the Creator of the universe being the reason for your existence? You are not an accident. God purposed for you to be born. You were planned by God. Another reality of being in Christ is that you are blessed. If you are in Christ, then you can say, “I am blessed.” Go ahead and say it aloud!

God has blessed you in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. God’s resources are unlimited. He never runs out! He never runs dry! His shelves are never empty! Our God of abundance has blessed you with every spiritual blessing in Christ.

When someone asks you today, “How are you doing?”…don’t say, “Oh, I’m doing alright.” Instead, say with conviction and confidence and assurance, “I am  blessed!” Doesn’t that make you want to shout? Don’t ever forget who you are in Christ. You are a child of the King! You are blessed and highly favored by the Lord. Walk in the new identity you have in Christ.

You are blessed to be a blessing to others. Regardless of your circumstances, your identity in Christ is safe and secure. Your identity is fashioned by God. You are blessed by God to be a blessing for God.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, June 5th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Blessed, Christ, Generosity.
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