Archive for the ‘God’s Purpose’ Category

October 31st, 2015

God’s Work on Display

“And his disciples asked him, ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?’ Jesus answered, ‘It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.’” John 9:2-3 (ESV)

For me, this passage is one of the most challenging in all of scripture. Jesus and His disciples happen upon a man, who was born blind, and the disciples, influenced by the common belief of the day, asked what fault existed in this man or his parents that God would judge him by making him blind. Jesus, as He so often does, challenges the false assumptions of the disciples by suggesting to them the cause of this man’s blindness was not his sinfulness nor that of his parents but rather so the glory of God might be displayed through him, which of course it was when Jesus healed him.

What an incredible question this passage presents! Are we, as disciples of Jesus, willing to allow our bodies, our resources, our talents, our failures, indeed everything we have to be used for the work of God to be displayed? When difficulties arise in our lives, when we lose that job or sickness befalls us, are we willing to say to the Lord, “Work through me in this time to display your glory and my ultimate satisfaction and trust in you,” instead of asking, “Why me?” The tendency for us, like that of the disciples, is to ask what we have done to deserve such treatment. We want to know how we can fix it to regain that which we have lost, but what if the purpose is greater than that? What if we have been placed in that situation for God to do a miraculous work through us so that others may see Him and believe?

Are you willing to be used in that way? Are you willing to allow every circumstance in your life to be used for the glory of God? This teaching is challenging, yes, but I suspect our willingness to do so represents a new level of faith in our walk with the Lord.

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, October 31st, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category God's Purpose, God's Will, John.
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August 14th, 2015

Before You Were Born

“‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.’” Jeremiah 1:5 (ESV)

What is your date of birth? How many birthdays have you celebrated up to this point? Now imagine the fact that before you were formed in your mother’s womb, God knew you. Before your date of birth, God consecrated you unto Himself. In other words, God set you apart as a unique treasure for His unique purpose. Before you were born, God appointed you to continue the ministry of Jesus on the earth.

Your life matters. Every decision you make matters. God has pursued you with His redeeming love so that you could come into an intimate and eternal relationship with Him that is authentic. You are not an accident. You are God’s idea and you are God’s workmanship.

Just as God knew Jeremiah before He formed him in his mother’s womb, God knew you. Just as God set Jeremiah apart and appointed Him as a prophet to the nations before he was even born, so God has intricately purposed your life and He has positioned you for eternity.

God has created you and re-created you in His image so that you can fulfill His purposes on the earth. Walk in the light God gives you and practice instant obedience. Obey what God has already shown you. Practice His presence through moment-by-moment full surrender to His Lordship and His leadership. Abandon your personal agenda and embrace God’s agenda.

Get to know the heart of God. He loves you so much and His plan includes you. You are vital to God’s kingdom economy. Your life will continue beyond what you see in the here and now. Yield to His prompting. Follow His lead. Finish strong.

Riding HIS Wave,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor

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

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, August 14th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Destiny, God's Purpose, Jeremiah.
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April 30th, 2015

Orchestrated by God

“Adam, Seth, Enosh; Kenan, Mahalalel, Jared; Enoch, Methuselah, Lamech; Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.” 1 Chronicles 1:1-4 (ESV)

People matter to God. As you read chapter one and chapter two of 1 Chronicles, you read a list of names. Some of them may be familiar to you while some of the names may seem foreign. The chronicler detailed the Davidic dynasty in Judah and traced the genealogies to demonstrate how David and Judah were chosen by God. Only one of Noah’s three sons, Shem, would be the one through whom the redemptive blessing would come.

God’s story of redemption is filled with people. God uses all kinds of people to accomplish His purposes and His plans. Nothing can thwart God’s will. Remember, that life is not about your story that you invite God into. Life is about God’s story that He invites you into. Will you allow God to have His way in your life?

What names do you have on your list? If you were to write down the name of every person God has used in your life to point you to Christ, to encourage you in the faith, or to model Christ before you, how many names would be on your list? God strategically places people in your life to help you become the fully devoted follower of Christ you were created to become. Throughout your journey, God sprinkles relationships along the path to draw you closer to Christ and to sensitize you to His abiding presence.

Don’t rush past the people God places in your life. Slow down and enjoy the abundance of God’s blessings. Just as people matter to God, you matter to God! Allow God to use you to be an irresistible influence for His glory. You are on His list!

Riding HIS Wave,

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

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, April 30th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category 1 Chronicles, Genealogy, God's Purpose.
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February 16th, 2014

God’s Purpose in Delays

“As she continued praying before the Lord, Eli observed her mouth. Hannah was speaking in her heart; only her lips moved, and her voice was not heard. Therefore Eli took her to be a drunken woman. And Eli said to her, ‘How long will you go on being drunk? Put your wine away from you.’” 1 Samuel 1:12-14 (ESV)

Have you ever been misunderstood?

When you are hurting, your emotions will be expressed through anger, suppression, depression, or grief. At some point, your hurt will manifest. For Hannah, her pain was being expressed through heartfelt prayer. She was unveiling her broken heart before the Lord. Hannah was barren. Eli misinterpreted her pain as that of being drunk. That was far from the truth of Hannah’s condition. She wasn’t drunk. She was devastated with the reality of her circumstances. Can you relate?

  • “But Hannah answered, ‘No, my lord, I am a woman troubled in spirit. I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but I have been pouring out my soul before the Lord. Do not regard your servant as a worthless woman, for all along I have been speaking out of my great anxiety and vexation.’” 1 Sam . 1:15-16 (ESV)

God knows what you are feeling right now. God knows where you are and where you are headed. Nothing catches God by surprise. Maybe you are experiencing a delay that just doesn’t make sense to you. Know that God has a purpose for every delay we endure. God understands our feelings and our frustrations even when others may not understand. God is all knowing. God has the final say!

For those who have misunderstood you, will you entrust them to God? For the delays you are experiencing, will you entrust them to God as well?

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, February 16th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Delays, God's Purpose, Prayer.
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October 21st, 2013

God’s Pursuit

“Then the LORD sent a great wind on the sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to break up.” Jonah 1:4 (NIV)

God gives you the freedom to choose to obey His will or to reject His will. You can run from God or you can run to God. If you choose to disobey God’s will and embrace your own direction, God will allow you to go your own way. Thankfully, God will pursue you with His redeeming love.

Running from God activates the disciplinary process that can ultimately produce restoration. Running from God generates a natural flow of consequences that God will use to bring you back into fellowship with Himself (Prov 3:11-12).

Sometimes God will allow pain to come into your life to signal that something is out of balance. C.S. Lewis wrote, “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pain. It is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” Pain is an effective tool that God may choose to use in order to pursue you.

Jonah was not a storm-chaser, but God used a storm to chase Jonah. Notice the progression of God’s pursuit of Jonah: “God sent a great wind (v.4), a violent storm (v.4b), the sea was getting rougher and rougher (v.11), the sea grew even wilder than before (v.13), and the raging sea (v.15).” Sometimes God has to turn up the volume in your life to get your undivided attention.

How is God pursuing you with His redeeming love? Is there anything out of balance in your life that dishonors God? God loves you and will pursue you to reconcile you and restore you.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, October 21st, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category God's Purpose, Jonah, Rebellion.
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April 29th, 2013

Master Conductor

“In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory.” Ephesians 1:11-12 (NIV)

Has your life ever become complicated and messy? Have you traveled down a road you never thought you would navigate? Living in a fallen world tends to cause us to experience unexpected turns in life. Sometimes we make poor choices and sometimes the decisions of others negatively affect us. It could be that a relationship has diverted into unhealthy patterns or personal behaviors have drifted away from God’s best.

The good news is that God is sovereign. He rules and He reigns. He always has the final say in any and every situation. Even when you make a disastrous move, God can orchestrate your path for your good and His glory. Notice how our Bible verse says that God works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will. He is God! There is nothing that is impossible with Him. He can handle your situation. He can handle your relationships.

God orchestrates everything we encounter to bring about His will. Right now your current challenge may seem like an uphill climb dragging two dead elephants. God can take any difficult situation and orchestrate the details to conform to His plan.

Are you willing to surrender your hurts, your frustrations, your disappointments, and your fears to God? Release them and entrust them to God’s sovereign care. He is the master conductor in the orchestra called life.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, April 29th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Conformity, God's Purpose, Sovereignty.
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March 23rd, 2013

God’s Plan will Succeed

“At the time of sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed: ‘O LORD, God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command. Answer me, O LORD, answer me, so these people will know that you, O LORD, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again.’” 1 Kings 18:36-37 (NIV)

Elijah prayed a bold prayer and experienced the power of God. He had challenged the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal and the four hundred prophets of Asherah to a showdown on Mount Carmel. The prophets called on the name of Baal from morning till noon and received no response. However, Elijah had the sacrifice drenched in water and then he stepped forward to call on God. The power of God fell and consumed the sacrifice, the wood, the stones, the soil, and the water in the trench.

Elijah prayed to God in faith and experienced a demonstration of God’s power. The people saw this and fell prostrate to the ground and exclaimed, “The Lord—He is God!” This was truly a mountaintop experience that portrayed the effectiveness of praying in faith. God answers prayer!

What are you currently combating? What is perplexing you? Have you considered taking that burden to the Lord in prayer? You know that God is able to consume a water-soaked sacrifice. You know that God can cause fire to fall at a moment’s notice. There’s nothing beyond God’s reach.

Do you believe that God will do what He says He will do? Do you believe that God is able to deliver you through your circumstances? God is waiting for you to take Him at His Word and to entrust your life to His care. You will never face anything that God cannot handle. God will work everything together for your good and for His glory!

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, March 23rd, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Elijah, God's Purpose, Sovereignty.
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February 23rd, 2013

Divine Intervention

“I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me faithful, appointing me to his service.” 1 Timothy 1:12 (NIV)

On February 23, 1986, I was involved in a Jet Ski accident through which God called me to preach. I was sixteen years old and a junior at Bolton High School in Alexandria, Louisiana. Just moments before that life-changing experience, my dream was to be an architect and build great buildings. God reoriented my life to focus on building lives for eternity.

Over these twenty-seven years I have learned that God always develops your character to match His assignment. Ministry originates with God and He equips you to join Him in the redemptive process. Throughout the journey of ministry, you come to learn how to trust in God’s daily provision and to practice His Presence. God uses the terrain of the valleys and mountaintops to conform you into the image of Christ. Every interaction is a divine transaction. God is passionate in His pursuit of you and His desire for you to be on mission with Him.

God delights in using broken vessels to shine His light in a broken world. I am so humbled that God would choose me to bear His Name and to share His love. God wants to use you to point people to Christ. You are His workmanship (Eph. 2:10) and He receives glory as you surrender to His agenda.

I am so thankful to Christ. He has consistently given me strength, considered me faithful, and appointed me into His service. God invites you into His story. What will be different in eternity because of your life on earth today?

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, February 23rd, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Calling, God's Purpose, Spiritual Markers.
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October 31st, 2012

God’s Work on Display

“And his disciples asked him, ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?’ Jesus answered, ‘It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.’” John 9:2-3 (ESV)

For me, this passage is one of the most challenging in all of scripture. Jesus and His disciples happen upon a man, who was born blind, and the disciples, influenced by the common belief of the day, asked what fault existed in this man or his parents that God would judge him by making him blind. Jesus, as He so often does, challenges the false assumptions of the disciples by suggesting to them the cause of this man’s blindness was not his sinfulness nor that of his parents but rather so the glory of God might be displayed through him, which of course it was when Jesus healed him.

What an incredible question this passage presents! Are we, as disciples of Jesus, willing to allow our bodies, our resources, our talents, our failures, indeed everything we have to be used for the work of God to be displayed? When difficulties arise in our lives, when we lose that job or sickness befalls us, are we willing to say to the Lord, “Work through me in this time to display your glory and my ultimate satisfaction and trust in you,” instead of asking, “Why me?” The tendency for us, like that of the disciples, is to ask what we have done to deserve such treatment. We want to know how we can fix it to regain that which we have lost, but what if the purpose is greater than that? What if we have been placed in that situation for God to do a miraculous work through us so that others may see Him and believe?

Are you willing to be used in that way? Are you willing to allow every circumstance in your life to be used for the glory of God? This teaching is challenging, yes, but I suspect our willingness to do so represents a new level of faith in our walk with the Lord.

Chronological Bible Reading Plan: (Day 297:  John 9-10)

Grace and peace,

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

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, October 31st, 2012 at 1:00 am
Category God's Purpose, God's Will, John.
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August 14th, 2012

Before You Were Born

“‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.’” Jeremiah 1:5 (ESV)

What is your date of birth? How many birthdays have you celebrated up to this point? Now imagine the fact that before you were formed in your mother’s womb, God knew you. Before your date of birth, God consecrated you unto Himself. In other words, God set you apart as a unique treasure for His unique purpose. Before you were born, God appointed you to continue the ministry of Jesus on the earth.

Your life matters. Every decision you make matters. God has pursued you with His redeeming love so that you could come into an intimate and eternal relationship with Him that is authentic. You are not an accident. You are God’s idea and you are God’s workmanship.

Just as God knew Jeremiah before He formed him in his mother’s womb, God knew you. Just as God set Jeremiah apart and appointed Him as a prophet to the nations before he was even born, so God has intricately purposed your life and He has positioned you for eternity.

God has created you and re-created you in His image so that you can fulfill His purposes on the earth. Walk in the light God gives you and practice instant obedience. Obey what God has already shown you. Practice His presence through moment-by-moment full surrender to His Lordship and His leadership. Abandon your personal agenda and embrace God’s agenda.

Get to know the heart of God. He loves you so much and His plan includes you. You are vital to God’s kingdom economy. Your life will continue beyond what you see in the here and now. Yield to His prompting. Follow His lead. Finish strong.

Chronological Bible Reading Plan: (Day 219:  Jeremiah 1-3)

Pursuing God,

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

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, August 14th, 2012 at 1:00 am
Category Destiny, God's Purpose, Jeremiah.
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