Archive for the ‘Intimacy’ Category

February 19th, 2015

Intimacy with God

“He made the altar of burnt offering of acacia wood. Five cubits was its length, and five cubits its breadth. It was square, and three cubits was its height. He made horns for it on its four corners. Its horns were of one piece with it, and he overlaid it with bronze.” Exodus 38:1-2 (ESV)

When you think about relationships, there are different levels of intimacy. Some relationships are emotionally distant and surfaced whereas some relationships have the capacity to be more consistent and feature an element of closeness. Then there are those relationships where the interaction is meaningful, transparent, and magnetic.

The Encarta Dictionary defines the word intimacy as a close personal relationship; a detailed knowledge resulting from a close or long association. One of my favorite definitions of intimacy is: “in to me you see.”

God desires intimacy with you. In the Old Testament, the portrait of intimacy was the formation and utilization of the Tabernacle. God made a way for His people to experience intimacy with Him through a religious relationship.

As you enter the Tabernacle, the first item you encounter is the altar of burnt offering. The New Testament equivalent is the cross of Jesus Christ. Jesus became the ultimate sacrifice for your sin. As you pray through the Tabernacle, spend some time at the “altar of burnt offering” to praise God for His ultimate love gift and for Jesus being willing to pay the penalty for your sin.

You determine the level of intimacy with God. As you draw near to God, He will draw near to you (James 4:8). God took the initiative to provide the way for you to enjoy an intimate love relationship with Him through faith in Jesus. What are you doing with the relationship God has made available to you?

Riding HIS Wave,

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

 

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, February 19th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Altar of Burnt Offering, Intimacy, Tabernacle.
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February 14th, 2015

Moses on the Mountain

“Now the appearance of the glory of the LORD was like a devouring fire on the top of the mountain in the sight of the people of Israel. Moses entered the cloud and went up on the mountain. And Moses was on the mountain forty days and forty nights.” Exodus 24:17-18 (ESV)

God deepens relationship with His people by establishing a blood covenant. The covenant relationship is marked by the signature traits of loyalty, devotion, and obedience. God initiates the love relationship and permeates the relationship with His glory. Moses received an invitation from the Lord.

  • “The LORD said to Moses, ‘Come up to me on the mountain and wait there, that I may give you the tablets of stone, with the law and the commandment, which I have written for their instruction.’” Exodus 24:12 (ESV).

Moses encountered God on the mountain forty days and forty nights. He received the law and detailed instructions to bring to the people. God articulates His covenant community rules in the context of relationship. Can you imagine what Moses experienced with God during those forty days and forty nights?

God values intimacy and He paves the way for us to know Him intimately. God has provided the means necessary for us to come into a covenant relationship with Him. The ultimate display of His unconditional love is found in the atoning work of Jesus on the cross. God was willing to build an eternal relationship with us by allowing Jesus to become the only acceptable sacrifice for our sin. God demonstrated His love for us by sacrificing His Son for our sin. Jesus paid the debt He did not owe so that we could know the depth of God’s redeeming love. In Christ, we are in a covenant relationship with God on the basis of the shed blood of Jesus.

Riding HIS Wave,

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

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, February 14th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Glory, Intimacy, Moses.
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December 27th, 2014

Portrait of Intimacy

(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.)

“You shall make the altar of acacia wood, five cubits long and five cubits broad. The altar shall be square, and its height shall be three cubits. And you shall make horns for it on its four corners; its horns shall be of one piece with it, and you shall overlay it with bronze.” Exodus 27:1-2 (ESV)

When you think about relationships, there are different levels of intimacy. Some relationships are emotionally distant and surfaced whereas some relationships have the capacity to be more consistent and feature an element of closeness. Then there are those relationships where the interaction is meaningful, transparent, and magnetic.

The Encarta Dictionary defines the word intimacy as a close personal relationship; a detailed knowledge resulting from a close or long association. One of my favorite definitions of intimacy is: “in to me you see.”

God desires intimacy with you. In the Old Testament, the portrait of intimacy was the formation and utilization of the Tabernacle. God made a way for His people to experience intimacy with Him through a religious relationship.

As you enter the Tabernacle, the first item you encounter is the altar of burnt offering. The New Testament equivalent is the cross of Jesus Christ. Jesus became the ultimate sacrifice for your sin. As you pray through the Tabernacle, spend some time at the “altar of burnt offering” to praise God for His ultimate love gift and for Jesus being willing to pay the penalty for your sin.

You determine the level of intimacy with God. As you draw near to God, He will draw near to you (James 4:8). God took the initiative to provide the way for you to enjoy an intimate love relationship with Him through faith in Jesus. What are you doing with the relationship God has made available to you?

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, December 27th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Intimacy, Prayer, Tabernacle.
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July 14th, 2014

Seeking God

“O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.” Psalm 63:1 (ESV)

You are as close to God as you choose to be. You determine the level of intimacy with God. Do you earnestly seek Him? Does your soul thirst for Him? Are you longing for Him as though you were in a dry and weary land where there is no water? Calculate the level of your pursuit.

When you wake up each morning, make pursuing God your top priority. Don’t allow the demands of your schedule or the deadlines of the day to rob you of the joy of pursuing God through a meaningful daily quiet time. Select a sacred place and carve out some uninterrupted space to commune with the Lord.

Nothing is more important than your unbroken fellowship with God. Nurture the life of Christ in you through a deliberate and persistent pursuit of God’s Presence. Commit to start your day with God. Establish a standing appointment with the Creator of the universe each morning.

Pave the way to satisfy the crave for pure spiritual milk by implementing an intentional Bible reading plan. Commit to read through the Bible in one year by reading four chapters each day for the next 365 days. Daily consumption of God’s Word will build strong spiritual muscles to help you know God intimately and to live for His glory radically.

Keep your eyes on the prize of growing in your love relationship with the Lord. There’s so much more that God wants to reveal to you.  God wants to entrust you with His purposes and plan.  Emulate the passionate pursuit of God’s Presence in your life. Remove distractions and return to your first love.

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, July 14th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Intimacy, Pursuit, Sanctification.
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April 9th, 2014

An Intentional Pursuit

“As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God.” Psalm 42:1 (ESV)

Are you growing in your daily intimacy with God? It takes time to develop intimacy. Your private worship is vital to having an ongoing vibrant love relationship with Christ. You may say that you just don’t have enough time to fit private worship into your schedule. The reality is that you make room for what you value. Do you value intimacy with God? Are you willing to plan for and prepare for a daily experience with God?

If you go on a business trip or on a family vacation, you prepare for it. If you are anticipating a major exam in school or fulfilling a commitment to teach a small group Bible study, you prepare for it. The same is true in your daily walk with God. To have a meaningful and productive daily experience with God, you treat it as something you value and treasure. Prepare for your daily intimacy with God.

Intentionally pursue God by selecting a time each day when you are at your best. Find a physical location that enhances your experience with God. If you enjoy nature, then plan to have your quiet time outdoors. If you enjoy soft music playing as you spend time with God, then have the music ready for the moment. If you prefer solitude, then search for that room or closet or other environment that will provide that kind of atmosphere. Have a Bible reading plan in place whether it is to read through the Bible in one year, read one chapter, or read a few verses each day. Choose to jot down insights gleaned from your reading time. Reflect on what God is saying to you. Spend time in prayer sharing your heart with God and listening for His voice.

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, April 9th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Desiring God, Intimacy, Quiet Time.
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March 30th, 2014

Cultivating Intimacy with the Lord

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” John 10:27 (ESV)

You can live your life at a distance relationally and experience the absence of meaningful relationships with others. The relational deficit will soon erode your joy and remove your smile. God made us for relationships.

The shepherd and sheep relationship is very prominent in the Bible. Dependent on the shepherd’s care, the sheep learns to respond to the shepherd’s voice. There is a connection that develops through the consistent exposure to the voice of compassion and concern.

  • “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” Isa. 53:6 (ESV)
  • “For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.” 1 Pet. 2:25 (ESV)

Jesus is the Shepherd of our souls. He took on the full wrath of God for our sin. Jesus invites us into an intimate love relationship that is personal and eternal. We participate in the cultivation of that relationship once we turn from our sin and turn to Christ alone for salvation. Each day as we spend time in prayer and Bible reading, the love relationship deepens and our faith increases.

Learn to recognize the voice of Truth. God speaks to us in alignment with His Word and His will. You will hear the still small voice of the Lord speaking to you as you practice His Presence throughout each day. Be sensitive to the prompting of the Holy Spirit living in you. Tune out the noise of worry and worldliness and tune in to the voice of the One who sought you and bought you with His own blood.

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, March 30th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Devotion, Intimacy, Jesus.
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November 5th, 2013

Faithful Fellowship

“God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.” 1 Corinthians 1:9 (NIV)

The Christian life is not about your story that you invite God into. The Christian life is about God’s story that He invites you into. What are you doing with the standing invitation issued by God? You have been invited into the most amazing story of redemption that not only benefits your life personally, but also benefits others.

God calls you to Himself in salvation and He calls you to Himself through the ongoing process of sanctification. Your love relationship with Jesus is rooted in the faithfulness of God. Perhaps you have been deeply wounded by someone who was unfaithful to you. Maybe they inflicted pain in your life by their infidelity. If you have ever experienced the trauma of a ruptured relationship, you quickly come to place a tremendous value on the commodity of faithfulness.

God created you to enjoy unbroken fellowship with His Son and our Savior, Jesus. God designed you to know Him personally and intimately so that you can join Him in making Jesus known intentionally. Your life matters to God! He establishes your love relationship with Jesus in the abundant soil of His faithfulness. God has never been unfaithful to you. He will never forsake you.

Union with Christ gives you eternal security and perpetual intimacy. You can enjoy the eternal and immediate benefits of God’s faithfulness by delighting in the fellowship with Jesus promised by God. When the veil of the temple was torn in two, it was torn from top to bottom. God initiated the love relationship we get to enjoy. Through the death of Christ on the cross, the way for us to enter into God’s Presence was granted. What are you doing with the sacred privilege of fellowship with the Lord?

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, November 5th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Faithfulness of God, Fellowship, Intimacy.
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November 4th, 2013

Cultivating Intimacy

“‘I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me—just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep.’” John 10:14-15 (NIV)

Is intimacy with God your top priority? Are you nurturing the life of Christ in you? Respond to the Good Shepherd’s intimacy. You determine the level of intimacy with God.

When intimacy with God is your top priority, there are some clear indicators that arise. For example, when intimacy with God is your top priority, you will hunger for God’s Word, you will thirst for His righteousness, you will have a passion for prayer, and you will have a compassion for people. Intimacy with God will generate a devotion to private and corporate worship, a sensitivity to God’s activity, a righteous anger towards sin, and a righteous ambition for God’s agenda. As you maintain intimacy with God, you will be fully surrendered to the Lordship of Christ, you will practice instant obedience, and you will be laser-focused on pleasing God.

God’s will is for you to have a growing relationship with Jesus. God does not want you to settle into the monotony of mediocrity or to compromise your commitment to Christ-likeness. God wants you to passionately pursue Him and to know Him personally and intimately.

What is keeping your from cultivating an intimate love relationship with the Lord? Make room for the relationship that establishes the pace for all other relationships. Carve out space for daily unhurried time alone with the Lord. Secure a place of solitude and draw near to God. Invest energy into seeking Him with all of your heart. Unveil the deepest recesses of your heart and entrust every area of your life to His Lordship. He is the Good Shepherd!

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, November 4th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Good Shepherd, I am sayings, Intimacy.
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February 19th, 2012

Intimacy with God

“He made the altar of burnt offering of acacia wood. Five cubits was its length, and five cubits its breadth. It was square, and three cubits was its height. He made horns for it on its four corners. Its horns were of one piece with it, and he overlaid it with bronze.” Exodus 38:1-2 (ESV)

When you think about relationships, there are different levels of intimacy. Some relationships are emotionally distant and surfaced whereas some relationships have the capacity to be more consistent and feature an element of closeness. Then there are those relationships where the interaction is meaningful, transparent, and magnetic.

The Encarta Dictionary defines the word intimacy as a close personal relationship; a detailed knowledge resulting from a close or long association. One of my favorite definitions of intimacy is: “in to me you see.”

God desires intimacy with you. In the Old Testament, the portrait of intimacy was the formation and utilization of the Tabernacle. God made a way for His people to experience intimacy with Him through a religious relationship.

As you enter the Tabernacle, the first item you encounter is the altar of burnt offering. The New Testament equivalent is the cross of Jesus Christ. Jesus became the ultimate sacrifice for your sin. As you pray through the Tabernacle, spend some time at the “altar of burnt offering” to praise God for His ultimate love gift and for Jesus being willing to pay the penalty for your sin.

You determine the level of intimacy with God. As you draw near to God, He will draw near to you (James 4:8). God took the initiative to provide the way for you to enjoy an intimate love relationship with Him through faith in Jesus. What are you doing with the relationship God has made available to you?

Chronological Bible Reading Plan: (Day 42:  Exodus 36-38)

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, February 19th, 2012 at 1:00 am
Category Altar of Burnt Offering, Intimacy, Tabernacle.
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February 14th, 2012

Moses on the Mountain

“Now the appearance of the glory of the LORD was like a devouring fire on the top of the mountain in the sight of the people of Israel. 18 Moses entered the cloud and went up on the mountain. And Moses was on the mountain forty days and forty nights.” Exodus 24:17-18 (ESV)

God deepens relationship with His people by establishing a blood covenant. The covenant relationship is marked by the signature traits of loyalty, devotion, and obedience. God initiates the love relationship and permeates the relationship with His glory. Moses received an invitation from the Lord.

  • “The LORD said to Moses, ‘Come up to me on the mountain and wait there, that I may give you the tablets of stone, with the law and the commandment, which I have written for their instruction.’” Exodus 24:12 (ESV).

Moses encountered God on the mountain forty days and forty nights. He received the law and detailed instructions to bring to the people. God articulates His covenant community rules in the context of relationship. Can you imagine what Moses experienced with God during those forty days and forty nights?

God values intimacy and He paves the way for us to know Him intimately. God has provided the means necessary for us to come into a covenant relationship with Him. The ultimate display of His unconditional love is found in the atoning work of Jesus on the cross. God was willing to build an eternal relationship with us by allowing Jesus to become the only acceptable sacrifice for our sin. God demonstrated His love for us by sacrificing His Son for our sin. Jesus paid the debt He did not owe so that we could know the depth of God’s redeeming love. In Christ, we are in a covenant relationship with God on the basis of the shed blood of Jesus.

Chronological Bible Reading Plan: (Day 37:  Exodus 22-24)

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, February 14th, 2012 at 1:00 am
Category Glory, Intimacy, Moses.
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