Archive for the ‘Beatitudes’ Category

August 2nd, 2014

Helping Others Make Peace with God

“All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.” 2 Corinthians 5:18-19 (ESV)

Peacemaking involves helping others make peace with God. As a peacemaker, you have the awesome privilege and responsibility of building a bridge to others to help them come into a saving relationship with Jesus. God reconciled you to Himself so that you could join Him in reconciling others to Himself. You have been rescued to rescue others. God has given you the ministry of reconciliation. You may think that you are not called into the ministry. However, every believer is called into the ministry of reconciliation. God has built the ultimate love bridge to you so that you can in turn build His love bridge to others.

As a child of God, you not only have a ministry to fulfill but you also have a message to declare. The message of reconciliation is the wonderful news that God is reconciling the world to Himself, in Christ. The atoning work of Jesus on the cross provides for the complete and absolute forgiveness of our sins. In Christ, God does not count our sins against us. We are forgiven! We are free! We have discovered the cure to the cancer of sin. We have the remedy for the plight of sinful man. God has lavished us with His love and armed us with the most powerful life changing message on the planet.

Are you helping others make peace with God? Will the population of heaven increase because of your participation in the ministry and message of reconciliation?

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, August 2nd, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Beatitudes, Peacemaking, Soulwinning.
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August 1st, 2014

Make Peace With God

“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 5:1 (ESV)

The first crucial step in becoming a peacemaker is to make peace with God. Until you are in a right relationship with God, your horizontal influence for the kingdom of God will not be fruitful. God took the initiative to provide for the salvation of your soul. Your sin debt was paid in full by the atoning work of Jesus on the cross. Jesus took the full wrath of God for your sin. Jesus took your place. As a result of His work of redemption, you are justified through faith. It is “just-if-I’d” never sinned! When God sees you, He sees you through the shed blood of Jesus.

Have your responded to God’s redemptive act by placing your faith in Jesus alone for your salvation? That divine transaction changes your forever. Once you have made peace with God, you become a new creation. You are filled with the Holy Spirit and adopted into God’s forever family. Your salvation is sealed by the Holy Spirit. Your security is not based on your human effort, but on God’s redeeming grace. No one can snatch you out of the Father’s hand.

Now that you are in a right relationship with God, walk in the peace God provides. When that peace is threatened through compromise, confess your sin and purge your life of anything that hinders your love relationship with God. Maintain peace with God by living a life of instant obedience. The convicting work of the Holy Spirit will alert you when something enters your life that does not honor God. Confess sin immediately and allow the Holy Spirit to take full possession of your life. Will others see God’s peace in your life today?

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, August 1st, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Beatitudes, Justification, Peacemaking.
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July 31st, 2014

Build the Bridge

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” Matthew 5:9 (ESV)

While viewing a leadership talk delivered by Pastor Andy Stanley, I was captivated by his statement, “In eternity past, God looked upon our sin-saturated planet and asked, ‘What can I do to help?’” That concept painted a vivid image in my mind of God being the ultimate bridge builder. God created us and gave us the freedom to choose Him or to reject Him. God saw our sin and our rebellion and chose to build the ultimate bridge paved with His redeeming love. God took the initiative to come to our rescue. The bridge of hope was constructed by the sacrificial death of Jesus. The gulf of our separation has been bridged by the depth of God’s love.

In this seventh Beatitude, Jesus esteems the value of our participation in continuing His ministry on the earth through being peacemakers. Peacemaking involves loving people the way Jesus modeled during His earthly ministry. Being a peacemaker means viewing others through the lens of God’s redemptive pursuit. When you place the same value on others that Jesus does, you position yourself as a peacemaker. Instead of being indifferent toward others who aren’t like you, you will have a deep abiding burden for them to know Jesus personally. Instead of building a wall to distance yourself from those Christ died for, you build a bridge to engage them with the message of salvation.

Let’s choose to walk in the blessing of God by becoming bridge builders. Take the initiative to start loving people with the same redeeming love you have experienced from the heart of God. Join me in looking into the eyes of those God brings into our path and being willing to ask, “What can I do to help?”

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, July 31st, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Beatitudes, Jesus, Peacemaking.
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July 16th, 2014

Positional and Practical Purity

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” Matthew 5:8 (ESV)

God’s standard of perfection is Christ. The purity of Christ is the bull’s-eye for the believer. To be pure in heart is to be right with God. You cannot have a right relationship with God without having a relationship with others. You cannot have a right relationship with others without having a right relationship with God.

Purity is impossible without the righteousness of Christ being imparted. The impartation and imputation of the righteousness of Christ takes place at the moment of conversion. The righteousness of Christ is deposited to your account. Your new identity in Christ provides you with a righteousness that you could never produce. In Christ, you are positionally pure and fit for heaven.

The Christian life is a journey of working out what God has worked in. As you grow spiritually, you learn how to exhibit practical purity as a result of your positional purity.

  • “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight.” Eph. 1:7-8 (ESV)
  • “So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions.” Rom. 6:11-12 (ESV)

The righteousness of Christ is a grace gift from God. God is holy and demands His followers to be holy. Live in light of your position in Christ. Pursue holiness in private and in public. Stay in God’s will by staying in God’s Word.

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, July 16th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Beatitudes, Jesus, Purity.
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July 15th, 2014

Pushing Compassion into Action

“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.” Matthew 5:7 (ESV)

Have you ever been on the receiving end of the hurtful treatment rendered by an unmerciful person? It was not an enjoyable experience was it? Being unmerciful is a direct result of our fallen nature. However, Jesus ushered in a new way to live life on this broken planet.

As you extend mercy to others horizontally, you will receive mercy vertically. The Lord will be merciful to you as you are merciful to others. When you came to trust in Jesus as your personal Savior and Lord, you received salvation as an act of His mercy. Now that you are saved and filled with the Holy Spirit, you are to extend mercy to others.

Being merciful to others is not simply being possessed of pity, but putting compassion into action. It is not enough to see someone in need and to feel sorry for that individual. It is not enough to pity those who are hurting. Push your compassion into action!

Mercy led Joseph to forgive his brothers and to provide them with food. Mercy led Moses to plead with the Lord to remove the leprosy with which his sister Miriam had been punished. Mercy led David to spare the life of King Saul. Mercy led Jesus to endure the agony and shame of the cross.

Push compassion into action by meeting practical needs. Give food to the hungry, comfort the bereaved, love the rejected, and befriend the lonely. Give time, give forgiveness, give money, and give yourself to others. Find a need and meet it!

Ask God to give you eyes to see people in need and to give you a heart to respond to their needs. Begin to look for opportunities to continue the ministry of Jesus by pushing your compassion into action.

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, July 15th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Beatitudes, Jesus, Mercy.
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July 13th, 2014

Hungering and Thirsting

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” Matthew 5:6 (ESV)

You were born with a hole in your heart that only God can fill. Once you respond in faith to the vertical tug of the convicting work of the Holy Spirit, you become a new creation. Your earthly appetites are replaced with the heavenly delight of knowing God personally through His Son, Jesus. Measure the treasure of desiring God, because this Spirit-prompted desire brought you into fellowship with the Creator of the Universe. Your eternal destiny is determined by the reality of this vertical relationship.

Hungering and thirsting for righteousness is a result of an abiding relationship with Jesus that is real, personal, and eternal. You progress from desiring God in salvation to pursuing God in sanctification. You are in the process of becoming who you are in Christ. Your hunger for righteousness will be filled. Your thirst for righteousness will be satisfied. Move into spiritual maturity by feasting on God.

Righteousness is not an optional spiritual supplement but a spiritual necessity. As you hunger and thirst for His righteousness, your decisions will be guided by God’s economy. Doing life God’s way will become your passionate pursuit. Nothing will appeal to your more than pleasing God and living a life of integrity.

Righteousness is the condition acceptable to God. In salvation, the atoning work of Christ on the cross makes you acceptable to God positionally. Now you are to work out your salvation practically as you live a life of instant obedience. Hungering and thirsting for His righteousness becomes your perpetual preoccupation. Desiring God is to be the focus of your conversation and your conduct as a byproduct of your salvation.

Continue to grow in your passion for God. Align your life with the heartbeat of God by taking paths that bring Him glory.

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, July 13th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Beatitudes, Jesus, Righteousness.
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June 21st, 2014

The Haven of Humility

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:3 (ESV)

The highway of happiness is paved with humility. Happiness and humility go together. Jesus modeled a life of humility by submitting to the Father’s agenda and by living to benefit others. In humility, Jesus sacrificed His life on the cross to provide for the forgiveness of our sins and to reconcile us back to God.

What is meant by poor in spirit? It means a complete absence of pride, a complete absence of self-assurance and self-reliance. It means a consciousness that we are nothing in the presence of God. To be poor in spirit is the tremendous awareness of our utter nothingness as we come face to face with God.

Discover the haven of humility. Admit that you don’t have it all together. Admit that you haven’t arrived. Recognize that you haven’t learned all that God wants you to learn and you haven’t completed everything God wants you to do. Make an accurate assessment of yourself before a holy God in light of His holiness.

  • For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.” Rom. 12:3 (ESV)
  • Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Col. 3:12 (ESV)

Give up your kingdom so you can inherit God’s kingdom! Clothe yourself with humility. Being poor in spirit is a mark of spiritual maturity as you acknowledge your utter dependency upon God and His grace to help you live as a citizen of His kingdom. You cannot live the life God has for you without His supernatural enablement. His power comes to you through the doorway of humility.

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, June 21st, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Beatitudes, Happiness, Humility.
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June 20th, 2014

Take Pride for a Ride

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:3 (ESV)

Delays, detours, and distractions are common in this life. Sin, sickness, and sorrow permeate the landscape of our humanity. Is it possible to find happiness while living in a fallen world? The keys to happiness are found in the Beatitudes. Jesus is the greatest preacher who ever lived and preached the greatest sermon ever preached.

The happiness Jesus speaks of in the Beatitudes is not based on circumstances or external conditions. Happy, blissful, and blessed are those who recognize their spiritual bankruptcy before a holy God. Pride has no part in Christ’s kingdom. The door into His kingdom is low, and no one who stands tall in pride will ever go through it.

The world emphasizes self-reliance, self-confidence, and self-expression. Jesus went into the display window of life and changed all the price tags. Jesus countered what the world values and ushered in the kingdom values that bring honor to God.

  • The Lord detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished. Prov. 16:5 (ESV)
  • Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. Prov. 16:18 (ESV)

Take pride for a ride. Instead of an ego trip, we need to go on an integrity trip. Get honest about your destitution and your spiritual poverty before God. Identify and eliminate any fraction of pride in your life. Embrace the way of humility and recognize your dependency upon God and His abundant grace.

Uncover the poison of pride. You will never reach your full redemptive potential while fertilizing pride in your life. Pride has no place in the Christian life fully yielded to the Lordship of Christ. The poison of pride will inhibit the fruit of the Spirit and stifle your effectiveness in the kingdom. Take pride for a ride!

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, June 20th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Beatitudes, Happiness, Pride.
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April 10th, 2013

Persecution

“Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:10 (NIV)

It has been estimated that as many as 160,000 Christians are martyred each year worldwide. Godliness generates hostility. To live for Christ is to live in constant opposition to Satan and his crafty agenda to undermine God’s agenda. You cannot wholeheartedly follow Christ and never anticipate opposition. If you are a threat to Satan, then you can expect to encounter persecution at some level.

You may not face martyrdom as a result of your Christianity. But, you may be harassed for your faith in Christ in a culture that is anti-God and anti-Christian. Our culture is not Christ-centered and thus as a child of God, you will never be completely accepted and understood.

The level of persecution for you may be that of trying to live out your faith in a home environment that does not honor Christ. Maybe for you it is a work environment that tempts you to compromise your convictions. Persecution may come in the form of an unhealthy relationship that stretches your faith and pushes your patience to the limit.

Jesus says that you can be blessed in the midst of the persecution. You can know His abiding peace even in the darkest places and most difficult situations. Jesus promises to give you the ultimate relief from persecution by allowing you to experience the abundant life His gives on earth and eternal life in heaven. It is a win-win situation.

There’s no one who can comfort you more than Jesus. He knows persecution first hand. If you are experiencing persecution at any level, turn to Jesus and receive the comfort He provides.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, April 10th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Beatitudes, Persecution, Victory.
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April 9th, 2013

Build the Bridge

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.” Matthew 5:9 (NIV)

The Bible opens with peace in the Garden of Eden and was interrupted when man sinned. Jesus made peace a reality again by sacrificing His life upon the cross to destroy the penalty of sin and death. In eternity, peace will be fully restored. As long as there is the presence of sin upon the earth, peace will be challenged.

Christ-centered living involves peacemaking. As a follower of Christ, you have the privilege and responsibility to be a peacemaker. Being a peacemaker is the result of a holy life and the willingness to confront the culture with the claims of Christ. Peacemaking is not the art of being passive and tolerating willful disobedience. Peacemaking is not accommodating ungodly behavior. To be a peacemaker is to build bridges to broken and sinful people in order to show them the love of Christ and the way of Christ.

You have to be willing to get close enough to people to impact their lives. Sometimes that means looking beyond yourself and your circle in order to be used of God to be a peacemaker. Paul reminded the believers in Corinth to be bridge-builders when he wrote,  “All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation” (2 Cor. 5:18-19). You have been given the message. You have everything you need to obey God’s call.

Are you at peace with God and with others? Will you help others make peace with God? Will you help others make peace with others? Remember, we are just fellow beggars who have found bread…the Bread of Life.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, April 9th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Beatitudes, Peacemaking, Reconciliation.
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