Archive for the ‘Joshua’ Category

April 7th, 2015

Drifting from God

“And the people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord. They forgot the Lord their God and served the Baals and the Asheroth.” Judges 3:7 (ESV)

How quick they were to forget the Lord their God after all He had done to deliver them from Egyptian bondage! Sound familiar? The generation following Joshua’s death was marked by disobedience. They drifted from the Lord.

  • “And all that generation also were gathered to their fathers. And there arose another generation after them who did not know the Lord or the work that he had done for Israel.” Judges 2:10 (ESV)
  • “Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it.” Hebrews 2:1 (ESV)

We are made to worship. We will worship something or someone. Idolatry seeps in when devotion to the Lord shifts. An idol is anything that dilutes our passion for God or diverts our affection from God. Drifting from God is a perpetual reality for the child of God who neglects practicing instant obedience. We are to pay close attention to what we have received from the Lord and adhere to the principles of God’s Word so that we can walk in alignment with God’s purpose and plan.

Jesus left the glory of heaven to come earth in order to provide the atoning sacrifice for our sin. Jesus was obedient to death on a cross. His passion was to fulfill God’s will and to finish His work. The story of redemption is marked by the instant obedience that Jesus practiced throughout His life and ministry on earth.

Instead of drifting from God, decide to yield to the Lordship of Christ and be a fully devoted follower of Christ.

Riding HIS Wave,

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

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, April 7th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Disobedience, Joshua, Judges.
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April 6th, 2015

Your Funeral

“And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the Lord, died at the age of 110 years. And they buried him within the boundaries of his inheritance in Timnath-heres, in the hill country of Ephraim, north of the mountain of Gaash.” Judges 2:8-9 (ESV)

Some of the most meaning funerals I have ever preached have been those in which the children of the deceased person stand to speak about their parent’s life. One day you will take your final breath on the earth and your funeral will be conducted. What should your children be able to say at your funeral?

Our parents taught us how to walk with God. If you want your children to walk with God, then model the value of intimacy with God. Let them see you having your daily quiet time. Share the overflow of what God is teaching you in your daily walk with Him. Place your children in environments that will help them develop their walk with God.

Our parents taught us how to love others. Validate the value God places on others. Show your children how to love others. Your children are watching you closely. They know if you genuinely love people. Another important step is to seize opportunities that will enable your children to serve others.

Our parents were still living by faith when they died. In order to leave a legacy you must live a legacy. Guard your priorities in order to finish strong. Keep your love relationship with Jesus your number one priority.

Can you imagine what Joshua’s children would have said at his funeral after he lived 110 years? Our father taught us how to walk with God, how to love others, how to make wise decisions, and he was still living by faith when he died. It’s never too late to start. What will your children say at your funeral?

Riding HIS Wave,

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

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, April 6th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Death, Joshua, Judges.
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April 5th, 2015

Focused Passion

“‘Now therefore fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord.And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.’” Joshua 24:14-15 (ESV)

Joshua’s passion for God was contagious. He was willing to take responsibility for the spiritual condition of his home. Joshua made a bold proclamation that as for he and his household, they would serve the Lord. He did not apologize for his passion to obey God. His loyalty to God was expressed through his passion for God. Joshua’s passion to lead his family spiritually impacted the nation.

  • “He said, ‘Then put away the foreign gods that are among you, and incline your heart to the Lord, the God of Israel.’And the people said to Joshua, ‘The Lord our God we will serve, and his voice we will obey.’” Joshua 24:23-24 (ESV)

It is interesting that Joshua did not ask the people to do anything he had not already done. Joshua put his passion in action by leading his family to revere and serve the Lord. Now the people could respond to his example and to his exhortation.

Are you putting your passion in action in such as way as to impact your family and those in your sphere of influence? Is your passion for God contagious or difficult to detect? Resolve to serve the Lord. Focus your passion on serving the Lord and continuing His ministry on the earth.

Riding HIS Wave,

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

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, April 5th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Focus, Joshua, Passion.
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April 4th, 2015

Promises of God

“Not one word of all the good promises that the Lord had made to the house of Israel had failed; all came to pass.” Joshua 21:45 (ESV)

A promise is only as good as the character of the one making the promise. A person who keeps his or her promise is a person who is deemed trustworthy. Keeping your promise is equivalent to keeping your word. When a promise is not kept a person’s character comes into question.

God’s Word is rooted in God’s nature and character. God is holy, righteous, and perfect. God cannot lie and God cannot do anything contrary to His nature and character. God keeps His Word because God is trustworthy. He keeps His promises!

The Lord demonstrated His faithfulness to the house of Israel. Everything God promised to them came to pass. God kept His Word! God delivered on His promises!

God has a plan for your life. He created you to include you in His story of redemption. God thought of you long before you could think of Him. God pursued you long before you had the capacity to respond to His pursuit. You are not an accident. You are God’s idea and you are God’s masterpiece. Your life matters to God and He established your worth by allowing His precious Son, Jesus, to die on the cross for you. He has paid your sin debt in full and purchased your salvation. In Christ, you have become a child of the King!

As a new creation, you have the wonderful privilege of being fathered by our Heaven Father who is the ultimate Promise Keeper. Your security is based on your new identity in Christ and rooted in the fertile soil of God’s character. You can stand on the promises of God!

Riding HIS Wave,

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

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, April 4th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category God's Character, Joshua, Promises.
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April 3rd, 2015

Made to Worship

“Then the whole congregation of the people of Israel assembled at Shiloh and set up the tent of meeting there. The land lay subdued before them.” Joshua 18:1 (ESV)

You were created to worship. God has given you the freedom to choose your object of worship. You can choose to worship creation or you can choose to worship the Creator. God’s will is for you to worship Him as your Creator. The enemy will tempt you to worship yourself, other people, or other things to divert your devotion from God.

  • “Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory.And he said to him, ‘All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.’Then Jesus said to him, ‘Be gone, Satan! For it is written, You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.’” Matthew 4:8-10 (ESV)

The people of Israel methodically received their allotment of land. As you can imagine, the process was lengthy and thorough. The entire congregation of the people of Israel gathered at Shiloh to set up the tent of meeting. The priority of worship was guarded and the activity of worship was perpetual. The land lay subdued before them as they worshiped the One True Living God!

How will you respond to the temptation to bypass God in worship? Will you do what Jesus did? Stand firm in your resolve to worship the Lord your God and serve Him with passion and diligence. Establish the priority of worship in your daily routine and surrender to the Lordship of Christ. Make Jesus your number one priority as you unleash your worship to revere the One who died to set you free.

Riding HIS Wave,

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

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, April 3rd, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Joshua, Priorities, Worship.
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April 2nd, 2015

Wholly Followed the Lord

“Therefore Hebron became the inheritance of Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite to this day, because he wholly followed the Lord, the God of Israel.” Joshua 14:14 (ESV)

If someone were to shadow you for forty days, what would that person experience firsthand? Would that person be drawn to Christ or repelled? What that person be encouraged in their faith or discouraged?

Joshua and Caleb had shadowed each other for forty-five years? They both had the privilege of shadowing Moses. They both were selected to spy out the land that flowed with milk and honey. They both returned with a positive report in spite of the negative report given by the other ten spies.

In this immediate text, Caleb is eighty-five years old and reflecting on his journey. It is now time for him to receive his allotted portion of the Promised Land. He was given Hebron as an inheritance because he wholly followed the Lord.

Would someone shadowing you say that you wholly follow the Lord? Would your walk with God give evidence to full devotion and complete commitment? Take a few moments to examine your life both internally and externally. Take inventory of your journey with God and try to assess your level of commitment over the years. Be honest about your current reality. Are you wholly following the Lord?

Let Caleb’s life inspire you to a greater level of commitment to the Lord. Make it obvious to others that you are growing in your love relationship with Jesus. Share about your intimacy with the Lord. Commit to take your prayer life to a new level of intimacy and intentionality. Share your faith with those who do not have a personal relationship with the Lord. Wholly follow the Lord!

Riding HIS Wave,

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

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, April 2nd, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Caleb, Commitment, Joshua.
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April 1st, 2015

And the Lord Threw

“And the Lord threw them into a panic before Israel, who struck them with a great blow at Gibeon and chased them by the way of the ascent of Beth-horon and struck them as far as Azekah and Makkedah. And as they fled before Israel, while they were going down the ascent of Beth-horon, the Lord threw down large stones from heaven on them as far as Azekah, and they died. There were more who died because of the hailstones than the sons of Israel killed with the sword.” Joshua 10:10-11 (ESV)

Joshua’s life was marked by conquest and depending on God’s provision. Joshua courageously pursued his enemies as prompted by God and learned the value of taking God at His Word. In his battle at Gibeon, Joshua mobilized the men of war and engaged in strategic warfare. As Joshua obeyed God, the Lord threw his enemies into a panic. As they fled before Israel, the Lord threw large stones from heaven on them and they died. More died because of the hailstones than from the sword.

Living in a fallen world mandates preparation for spiritual warfare. We are to anticipate opposition to God’s will and prepare for spiritual attack. We are in a battle to fulfill the Great Commission as we live out the Great Commandment.

  • “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.” Ephesians 6:10-11 (ESV)

Find your strength in the Lord. Put on the full armor of God and prepare for battle. You are covered by God’s sufficiency and He will fight your battles for you as you obey His prompting. God will enable you to stand against the schemes of the devil.

Riding HIS Wave,

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

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, April 1st, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category God's Provision, Joshua, Warfare.
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March 31st, 2015

Remove Devoted Things

“The Lord said to Joshua, ‘Get up! Why have you fallen on your face? Israel has sinned; they have transgressed my covenant that I commanded them; they have taken some of the devoted things; they have stolen and lied and put them among their own belongings. Therefore the people of Israel cannot stand before their enemies. They turn their backs before their enemies, because they have become devoted for destruction. I will be with you no more, unless you destroy the devoted things from among you.’” Joshua 7:10-12 (ESV)

Idolatry is a word we seldom use. Whenever you allow someone or something to take the place of God in your life, you commit the sin of idolatry. The first and second of the Ten Commandments speak to this concept directly (Ex. 20:3-4). Whatever or whomever becomes the object of your worship becomes your idol.

Jesus infuses this earthly tendency of ours into His teaching on becoming a disciple. To become a follower of Jesus Christ, you must be willing to remove the idols in your life. Your loyalty to Christ is to be unmatched and undivided. Jesus becomes your focus and the object of your worship, devotion, and loyalty.

Your love, loyalty, and devotion to Jesus is to be your top priority and the expressed passion of your life. Don’t allow anything or anyone to compete for that place in your life. Don’t allow anything or anyone to rob your allegiance to the One who gave His life for you. Jesus has already demonstrated His selfless and sacrificial love. Now, it’s your turn to demonstrate your selfless and sacrificial love for Jesus. Remove devoted things. Remove anything that seeks to be enthroned in your life.

Riding HIS Wave,

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

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, March 31st, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Idolatry, Joshua, Sin.
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March 30th, 2015

Cross This Jordan

“And when the priests bearing the ark of the covenant of the Lord came up from the midst of the Jordan, and the soles of the priests’ feet were lifted up on dry ground, the waters of the Jordan returned to their place and overflowed all its banks, as before.” Joshua 4:18 (ESV)

Crossing the Jordan River on dry ground was a tremendous experience of faith for the priests carrying the ark. They remained in the middle of the river while the children of Israel passed through on dry ground. Once the priests came up out of the river carrying the ark of the covenant, the waters of the Jordan returned to their place. God had worked a miracle and involved the people in the process!

The Christian life is a life of faith. To be a fully devoted follower of Christ, your life with be marked by a journey of faith. Faith is taking God at His Word and entrusting your life to His care. As you walk in daily dependency upon the Lord, you will discover the joy of seeing God at work and seizing opportunities to join God in His activity.

Continue to walk in faith. Sometimes your journey will be as clear as crystal, but at other times the way may appear foggy. You will experience seasons of high spiritual energy and focus and at other times, you will experience seasons of uncertainty. That’s part of the faith journey! The scenery changes and the pace shifts from time to time.

Don’t get so fixated on the destination that you miss the God-moments along the way.  Enjoy the process of knowing and obeying God. Enjoy the journey. God has some Jordan Rivers for you to cross. He will turn your obstacles into opportunities for you to see His glory and for your faith to be exercised. Obey what you know!

Riding HIS Wave,

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

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, March 30th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Joshua, Miracle, Obstacles.
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December 9th, 2014

Journey with God

“And when the priests bearing the ark of the covenant of the Lord came up from the midst of the Jordan, and the soles of the priests’ feet were lifted up on dry ground, the waters of the Jordan returned to their place and overflowed all its banks, as before.” Joshua 4:18 (ESV)

The Christian life is a life of faith. To be a fully devoted follower of Christ, your life with be marked by a journey of faith. Faith is taking God at His Word and entrusting your life to His care. As you walk in daily dependency upon the Lord, you will discover the joy of seeing God at work and seizing opportunities to join God in His activity.

Crossing the Jordan River on dry ground was a tremendous experience of faith for the priests carrying the ark. They remained in the middle of the river while the children of Israel passed through on dry ground. Once the priests came up out of the river carrying the ark of the covenant, the waters of the Jordan returned to their place. God had worked a miracle and involved the people in the process!

Continue to walk in faith. Sometimes your journey will be as clear as crystal, but at other times the way may appear foggy. You will experience seasons of high spiritual energy and focus and at other times, you will experience seasons of uncertainty. That’s part of the faith journey! The scenery changes and the pace shifts from time to time.

Don’t get so fixated on the destination that you miss the God-moments along the way.  Enjoy the process of knowing and obeying God. Enjoy the journey. God has some Jordan’s for you to cross. He will turn your obstacles into opportunities for you to see His glory and for your faith to be exercised. Obey what you know!

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, December 9th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category God Moments, Joshua, Journey.
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