Archive for the ‘God’s Nature’ Category

August 11th, 2015

Take Refuge in Him

“The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; he knows those who take refuge in him.” Nahum 1:7 (ESV)

Where do you turn when you need refuge? The world offers many choices. You can lose yourself in the stream of entertainment. You can anesthetize your pain with busyness. You can dive into your work and allow your energy to be consumed by that pursuit. Another option is to embrace worldliness and allow the current of the culture to take you places you haven’t been.

The only choice that delivers on the promise is the choice to turn to God. When you call out to God, the response is that of mercy. God does not give us what we, in our sin, truly deserve. God lavishes us with His love and provides us with His peace. His mercy is evidenced as your soul takes refuge in Him.

What disaster has come your way? Take refuge in the shadow of His wings. Whenever you go through a season of uncertainty, take refuge in God. When the path is unclear, take refuge in your merciful God. As you wait for the answer to your prayers, take refuge in the God who hears and responds. The enemy will not thwart God’s will. Nothing will separate you from the love of God.

As you take refuge in the Lord, thank Him for being merciful in your past, your present, and your future. Give God glory for His consistent measure of comfort during your seasons of desperation. Rely upon God’s provision to see you through. God will make a way when there seems to be no way. He is your stronghold in the day of trouble. He knows you and knows what you need most. Take refuge in Him.

Riding HIS Wave,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor

Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, August 11th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category God's Nature, Nahum, Refuge.
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January 20th, 2015

God’s Patience

“‘Behold, God does all these things, twice, three times, with a man, to bring back his soul from the pit, that he may be lighted with the light of life.’” Job 33:29-30 (ESV)

Elihu had patiently sat and listened to Job and Job’s three friends. Elihu was young and somewhat intimidated by these men. In his listening, Elihu burned with anger as he surmised that Job was righteous in his own eyes. His anger increased by his summation of Job’s three friends because they had found no answer, yet they declared Job to be in the wrong. Then Elihu articulated profound insight into the patience of God. He affirmed that God is persistent in bringing back a man’s soul from the pit so that he may be lighted with the light of life.

Consider God’s patience in your life. Take a moment to examine your life and trace the decisions you have made over the years. How many times has God rescued you from the pit of poor choices? How many times has God patiently waited for your compliance to His will? We would have no hope for knowing and doing God’s will without His abundant supply of grace and patience. “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance” (2 Peter 3:9 ESV).

Allow God’s patience to generate an attitude of gratitude in you as you join Him in His activity today. Enjoy being a recipient of God’s patience and seek to emulate His patience as you interact with others. Make yourself available for God’s use as He draws others to Christ through you. Be patient with others just as God has been patient with you.

Riding HIS Wave,

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

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, January 20th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category God's Nature, Job, Patience.
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December 26th, 2014

The Greatest Possession

(Personal Note: Starting January 1, 2015, I will be transitioning from posting devotionals every day to posting devotional thoughts with you on a weekly basis that will continue to come to your inbox. My desire is to encourage you in your journey with God.)

“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 created you for eternity. You have a birth date that you celebrate and calculate annually. You know exactly how long you have been breathing oxygen and you know the mountaintop and valley experiences of life by name. As you look into the rear view mirror of life, you can trace God’s hand and perhaps identify some specific spiritual markers. You are well acquainted with your life. However, your life is more than your past. Your life is more than your beginning.

God has designed you for the greatest possession. Once you receive the gift of eternal life by faith alone through grace alone, you become the recipient of the greatest possession. Nothing you have can compare to having the assurance of heaven and eternal life. Being reconciled to God and living in harmony with God provides you with peace that surpasses understanding. Knowing where you will spend eternity alleviates fear and unleashes joy unspeakable and full of glory.

Once you get a vision of living for eternity, your immediate challenges become opportunities for God to reveal His glory and to equip you to live in victory. Embracing a lifestyle of living with eternity in mind creates a life of expectancy and focus. Instead of wasting your life, you invest your life to make an eternal difference. You begin to place an accurate value on that which is temporal and you reorient your life around the reality of eternity.

There is so much more that God has in store for you. As you allow the gift of eternal life to take full possession of you, think about what will be different in eternity because of your life fully yielded to the Lordship of Christ.

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, December 26th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Eternal life, God's Nature, John 3:16.
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December 25th, 2014

The Greatest Exclusion

“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)

As you celebrate the birth of Christ on this Christmas Day, consider the reason He chose to leave the glory of heaven to come to the earth. God loves you so much that He initiated a love relationship with you. Before you were formed in your mother’s womb, God knew you (Jer. 1:5). Long before you knew anything about God or His love, God chose to do something for you that no other Christmas gift could ever accomplish. God provided you with the opportunity to leave the broad road leading to destruction so that you could enter through the narrow gate and travel the road that leads to life (Matt. 7:13-14).

  • “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.” John 10:28 (ESV)
  • “In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.” 1 John 4:9 (NIV)

You don’t have to perish. You don’t have to go to hell. You don’t have to live eternally separated from God. You can come into a personal intimate love with relationship with God through Christ. Enter through the narrow gate by placing your trust in Jesus alone for salvation. Be the recipient of the greatest exclusion. Be excluded from hell by receiving the gift of eternal life.

If you already benefited from the greatest exclusion, commit to bring others into that saving reality. If you have been rescued from the kingdom of darkness and placed in the kingdom of light, then invest the rest of your life sharing the love of God and shining the light of Jesus. May multitudes experience the greatest exclusion because of the faithful witness of your life.

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, December 25th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Excluded, God's Nature, John 3:16.
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December 23rd, 2014

The Greatest Invitation

“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)

Of all the invitations you will receive in a lifetime, there is no invitation that comes close to the significance and magnitude of the greatest invitation extended to you by God. His invitation affects your level of living on earth and your eternal destiny. Your response to the greatest invitation will determine where you spend eternity. “Whoever believes” includes you.

  • “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” John 1:12-13 (ESV)
  • “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” 2 Pet. 3:9 (ESV)

To believe in Jesus is to place your total confidence and trust in His redemptive work. Jesus lived a sinless life, died a substitutionary death, experienced a miraculous resurrection, and ascended to heaven. What will you do with what He has done for you? How will you respond to the greatest invitation?

The miracle of the manger can become your miracle. Jesus left the glory of heaven to come to this broken planet in order to provide you with the greatest invitation to come into a personal relationship with the Savior of the world.

I responded to the greatest invitation on March 28, 1979, by transferring my trust from myself to Jesus alone for salvation. In that moment, I became a child of God, filled with His Spirit, and adopted into His forever family. Have you made peace with God by responding to the greatest invitation?

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category God's Nature, Invitation, John 3:16.
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December 20th, 2014

The Greatest Number

“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 so loved the world. John used world (Greek: kosmos) 78 times in his Gospel and 24 times in his letters. The world refers to the realm of humanity arrayed in opposition to God. Jesus entered our world in His incarnation, knowing that hostility would result and that sacrifice would be needed to redeem the world.

The world God came to rescue is filled with people who embrace darkness habitually. Humanity is fallen and flawed. The human condition is hopeless and helpless without divine intervention. God took the initiative to become like us so that we could become like Him.

God came to rescue people groups who embody distinction culturally. The current world population exceeds 7 billion people. Two-thousand years ago, God provided for the salvation of our souls. Jesus paid the penalty for our sin and purchased our salvation.

Every person on the planet can be saved, but every person on the planet will not be saved unless each individual receives the gift of eternal life by faith. The world God came to rescue is filled with people who experience or escape damnation individually. For God so loved the fallen world that He gave His one and only Son to rescue those living in darkness so that they could become citizens in the kingdom of light. Each person must individually place their faith in Jesus alone for salvation.

You cannot receive the gift of eternal life for someone else. Each person is responsible for his or her decision in response to the atoning work of Jesus on the cross. As followers of Jesus Christ and recipients of His grace, we have the awesome privilege and responsibility to make Jesus known throughout the earth. How many people will be in heaven because of you?

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, December 20th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Eternity, God's Nature, John 3:16.
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December 19th, 2014

The Greatest Lover

“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)

Have you ever questioned your own value and worth? That’s a normal part of life. Everyone wants to feel valued and valuable. God established your value by taking the initiative to rescue you from your sin and to robe you in His righteousness.

God has made His righteousness known through His Word and the Word made flesh (John 1:14). When you place your faith in the completed work of Jesus on the cross, you receive the righteousness of Christ. The truth is that we have all sinned and fall short of God’s glory. We have missed the mark of His perfection and His holiness. Yet, God chose to justify us freely by His grace through the redemption that came through Jesus.

God took the initiative to demonstrate His selfless and sacrificial love. Before you turned to God, God turned to you! Your value is measured by the price He paid to remove your sin and to robe you in His righteousness. You are valued and you are valuable to God. His love for you is the certification of your value.

God is the greatest lover. He loves unconditionally, personally, and eternally. God is love and His love never fails. There is nothing you can do to cause God to love you more and there is nothing you can do to cause God to love you less. God’s love for you is perfect.

What will you do with the love God has shown you? Have you expressed your appreciation to God for the love He has lavished on you? Share the gift of His love with others.

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, December 19th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category God's Love, God's Nature, John 3:16.
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December 18th, 2014

The Greatest Father

“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)

How would you describe your dad? Think about his qualities. What made him special to you? How did he best communicate love to you? Recall some of your favorite memories. Perhaps your heart is moved by the warmth of the memories the two of you made together.

My dad was so special. He had an exceptional sense of humor and could have you laughing in a matter of seconds. My brother and I would lean into my dad with anticipation and ask him to make funny noises with his mouth. He would have us rolling in laughter. My dad was meticulous about the yard and attentive to his appearance. He took us fishing, threw ball with us in the yard, taught us to water ski, and got us into motocross racing. My mom and dad were affectionate toward each other and toward us.

I wish I could have hit the pause button to prevent the impending shift. Our whole world changed when my dad chose a path that led to his becoming an alcoholic. Soon after my seventh birthday, my parents divorced. The trauma induced by the severed relationship placed me on a search to alleviate the immense pain of my heart. On March 28, 1979, just one month before my tenth birthday, I was introduced to the Greatest Father and received His gift of eternal life.

Have you met the Greatest Father? His love for you is unconditional and His plan for you is personal. The Creator of the universe has made Himself knowable. You can have a personal intimate relationship with the One who created you. The Greatest Father will never leave you and never forsake you.

(Personal Note: My dad resides in Louisiana and has a personal relationship with the Greatest Father.)

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, December 18th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Fatherhood of God, God's Nature, John 3:16.
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June 22nd, 2014

Worthy of Trust

Some trust in chariots and some in horses,but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.Psalm 20:7 (ESV)

This verse became dear to my heart when I was pastoring my seminary church in 1992. My wife, Tonya, and I went through the Experiencing God study along with our deacons and their wives. My journey of faith has been enhanced by the concept of trusting in the name of the Lord our God.

Trust is a fragile item in the life of a believer. Trust is like the petal of a rose. Trust can beautify a difficult path and create an aroma pleasing to Christ. Trust can also wilt when betrayed. Like a gem in the hand of a jeweler, trust in God can lead to an irresistible life in which God’s glory radiates.

What do you trust in? In our society draped with affluence, it is so easy to trust in materialism. If we can only acquire one more object of our affection or jump into one more activity that produces an adrenaline rush, then we will be fulfilled…so we think. The things of this world just don’t deliver what they promise.

The chariots of our culture and the horses of our entertainment are not trustworthy. Only God can deliver on the magnitude of His promises. God always lives up to the level of His nature and character of perfection. There is no lack! There is no discrepancy! God is all sufficient and more than enough!

Trust God with your life. He knows your fears and your future. His timing is perfect.

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, June 22nd, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Faith, God's Nature, Trust.
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May 5th, 2014

Knowing God’s Heart

“No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you.” Joshua 1:5 (ESV)

God’s presence brings comfort.

You will never go through anything that Jesus hasn’t already endured on your behalf. Jesus knows grief, suffering, rejection, humiliation, betrayal, loneliness, and death on a first name basis. Yet, Jesus reigns in victory. If you will allow Jesus to reign in your life, you will reign in victory.

  • “Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy,  to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.” Jude 1:24-25 (ESV)

Joshua, Paul, and Jude can testify with clarity and confidence that God’s presence sustains you while you live the life God has given on this earth. While you wait for your glorified body and your glorious reunion with Jesus and your loved ones in heaven, God’s abiding presence enables you to endure the hard seasons of life.

What’s troubling you today? Is there anything causing you to lose sleep or to agonize in the sea of worry? Has fear darkened your vision or diffused your passion? Surrender every fiber of your being to the Lord right now in prayer. Invite God to make His presence known in your life.

I enjoy quoting aloud each day the following excerpt from Beth Moore’s book, Believing God:

  • God is who He says He is
  • God can do what He says He can do
  • I am who God says I am
  • I can do all things through Christ
  • God’s Word is alive and active in me…I’m believing, I’m believing, I’m believing God!

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, May 5th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Comfort, Compassion, God's Nature.
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