Archive for the ‘Pursuit’ Category

July 27th, 2015

An Unusual Call

“When the LORD first spoke through Hosea, the LORD said to Hosea, “Go, take to yourself a wife of whoredom and have children of whoredom, for the land commits great whoredom by forsaking the LORD.” So he went and took Gomer, the daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son.” Hosea 1:2-3 (ESV)

Can you imagine Hosea’s response to the Lord when He spoke this command? “Excuse me, Lord? What did you say? Can you repeat that?” What man of God would ever be called to marry a prostitute, much less one that is promised to be unfaithful even after marriage?

I am not married yet, but I can only imagine having this conversation with my mom. “Mom, the Lord told me to marry a prostitute named “Gomer.” I have come to get your blessing.” My mom, undoubtedly, would not be thrilled with this prospect regardless of how ready she was for me to be married.

What’s the big deal here? Besides the girl’s name being Gomer, she is impure and seemingly unworthy of someone like Hosea’s affection, and, yet, that is precisely God’s point. You see, you and I are unfaithful to the Lord every day, as we choose to give our worship to other things He created instead of Him. We violate our covenant with Him and are worthy of being rejected. But, see how the Lord responds. Does He reject us? No! He pursues us. He comes after us in our unfaithfulness and buys us back, as Hosea did for Gomer. He is faithful even when we are not.

We should be overwhelmed by the ridiculousness of the love God has for us! Yes, the Lord may call us to do some crazy things, as He did Hosea, but remember that nothing He could call us to is more absurd than His intimate, persistent love for us.

Be overwhelmed by the love of God for you today. Think specifically of God’s love for you displayed on the cross of Christ. Truly, He forsook everything to pursue you!

Grace and peace,

Jared Richard
Pastor of Mobilization & Young Adults (Online Devotional Guest Author)
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/jaredrichard

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, July 27th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Hosea, Love, Pursuit.
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November 10th, 2014

Guard Your Top Priority

“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33 (ESV)

What are you giving your life to? There’s only so much of you to give away. God has given you a certain amount of time, energy, and resources to accomplish His will each day.

Take a look at your priorities and assess your life. Detect where you are allocating your time, energy, and resources. One of Satan’s most effective tools to diffuse a believer’s focus is busyness. Your life becomes consumed with keeping too many plates spinning. Before you know it, you have over-committed and over-scheduled your life. Jesus has the answer.

Jesus offers a promise that is activated upon your obedience. To seek first the kingdom of God is to align your life with God’s agenda. To seek first His kingdom is to embrace God’s priorities. Jesus includes the pursuit of His righteousness. When a person is born again, that person receives the imputed righteousness of Christ. The believer’s position is that of being in Christ. In order to seek His righteousness, you allow the righteousness on the inside of you to be worked out. It is the process of working out what God has worked in.

Make it your priority to seek His kingdom and His righteousness. All the other things that you need will be provided to you as well. Before seeking things, seek God’s agenda. Seek to love what He loves and to hate what He hates.

What has first place in your life? Who gets the most of you? Remove the competing objects of your affection. Make your daily pursuit of His kingdom and His righteousness your top priority.

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, November 10th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Lordship, Pursuit, Surrender.
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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.
Interact No Comments
October 14th, 2013

Your Passionate Pursuit

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” II Chronicles 7:14

God honors those who seek Him. God took the initiative to bring us into a right relationship with Himself. His heart is for you to know Him intimately. God has done everything needed to enable you to have an intimate love relationship with Him. Will you respond to God’s invitation?

If you will humble yourself, pray, and seek God’s face and turn from the path of evil, God will respond with blessing from heaven. God promises to hear, forgive, and heal. Are you in need of God’s heavenly touch? As you seek God, He responds to your pursuit. Your impact for God will never rise above your prayer life.

Can you imagine where you would be had God not pursued you long before you ever thought about Him? Can you visualize where you would be had God not built the ultimate bridge to come to where you were? You are armed with an opportunity to take your relationship with the Creator of the universe to a whole new level. Seize the opportunity by taking God at His Word. Capture the awesome privilege of connecting with Almighty God through prayer.

Spend some time praying for your family, your church family, your community, your state, your nation, and your world. As you pray, be sensitive to the specific individuals God brings to your attention. Begin to intercede for each person. Give careful attention to the person God gives you a burden for. Invest extra time praying for that person and watch to see how God works!

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, October 14th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Obedience, Prayer, Pursuit.
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September 27th, 2013

Seeking God

“In the eighth year of his reign, while he was still young, he began to seek the God of his father David.” 2 Chronicles 34:3 (NIV)

What caused Josiah, at the age of sixteen, to begin to seek God? When you look at his family tree, you find that both his father, Amon, and his grandfather, Manasseh, did evil in the eyes of the Lord. It is obvious that Josiah did not receive his spiritual heritage from them. When you look into the life of his great-grandfather, Hezekiah, you find a much different portrait.

  • “Hezekiah was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem twenty-nine years. His mother’s name was Abijah daughter of Zechariah. He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, just as his father David had done.” 2 Chron. 29:1-2 (NIV)

I wonder if Josiah was influenced by the godly life that his great-grandfather, Hezekiah, lived. Another possibility is that Josiah began to seek God when he became a dad, at the age of sixteen, to Jehoahaz. For me personally, when I became a dad my understanding of God’s love and my pursuit of God intensified. There’s something about seeing your own flesh and blood and embracing the awesome responsibility of parenthood that draws you to God. You recognize your dependency upon God.

Regardless of your age or life stage, assess your level of thirst for God? Are you passionately seeking God daily and allowing Him to have full access to your mind, emotions, and will? Is there anything or anyone you desire more than you desire God? I have discovered in my walk with God, whatever you feed grows and whatever you starve dies.

Make Jesus your top priority. Draw near to Him and He will draw near to you. Let Jesus quench your thirst!

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, September 27th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Priorities, Pursuit, Seeking First.
Interact No Comments
July 27th, 2012

An Unusual Call

“When the LORD first spoke through Hosea, the LORD said to Hosea, “Go, take to yourself a wife of whoredom and have children of whoredom, for the land commits great whoredom by forsaking the LORD.” So he went and took Gomer, the daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son.” Hosea 1:2-3 (ESV)

Can you imagine Hosea’s response to the Lord when He spoke this command? “Excuse me, Lord? What did you say? Can you repeat that?” What man of God would ever be called to marry a prostitute, much less one that is promised to be unfaithful even after marriage?

I am not married yet, but I can only imagine having this conversation with my mom. “Mom, the Lord told me to marry a prostitute named “Gomer.” I have come to get your blessing.” My mom, undoubtedly, would not be thrilled with this prospect regardless of how ready she was for me to be married.

What’s the big deal here? Besides the girl’s name being Gomer, she is impure and seemingly unworthy of someone like Hosea’s affection, and, yet, that is precisely God’s point. You see, you and I are unfaithful to the Lord every day, as we choose to give our worship to other things He created instead of Him. We violate our covenant with Him and are worthy of being rejected. But, see how the Lord responds. Does He reject us? No! He pursues us. He comes after us in our unfaithfulness and buys us back, as Hosea did for Gomer. He is faithful even when we are not.

We should be overwhelmed by the ridiculousness of the love God has for us! Yes, the Lord may call us to do some crazy things, as He did Hosea, but remember that nothing He could call us to is more absurd than His intimate, persistent love for us.

Be overwhelmed by the love of God for you today. Think specifically of God’s love for you displayed on the cross of Christ. Truly, He forsook everything to pursue you!

Chronological Bible Reading Plan: (Day 201: Hosea 1-7)

Grace and peace,

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

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, July 27th, 2012 at 1:00 am
Category Hosea, Love, Pursuit.
Interact No Comments
October 14th, 2011

Your Passionate Pursuit

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” II Chronicles 7:14

God honors those who seek Him. God took the initiative to bring us into a right relationship with Himself. His heart is for you to know Him intimately. God has done everything needed to enable you to have an intimate love relationship with Him. Will you respond to God’s invitation?

If you will humble yourself, pray, and seek God’s face and turn from the path of evil, God will respond with blessing from heaven. God promises to hear, forgive, and heal. Are you in need of God’s heavenly touch? As you seek God, He responds to your pursuit. Your impact for God will never rise above your prayer life.

Can you imagine where you would be had God not pursued you long before you ever thought about Him? Can you visualize where you would be had God not built the ultimate bridge to come to where you were? You are armed with an opportunity to take your relationship with the Creator of the universe to a whole new level. Seize the opportunity by taking God at His Word. Capture the awesome privilege of connecting with Almighty God through prayer.

Spend some time praying for your family, your church family, your community, your state, your nation, and your world. As you pray, be sensitive to the specific individuals God brings to your attention. Begin to intercede for each person. Give careful attention to the person God gives you a burden for. Invest extra time praying for that person and watch to see how God works!

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, October 14th, 2011 at 1:00 am
Category Obedience, Prayer, Pursuit.
Interact No Comments
September 27th, 2011

Seeking God

“In the eighth year of his reign, while he was still young, he began to seek the God of his father David.” 2 Chron 34:3 (NIV)

What caused Josiah, at the age of sixteen, to begin to seek God? When you look at his family tree, you find that both his father, Amon, and his grandfather, Manasseh, did evil in the eyes of the Lord. It is obvious that Josiah did not receive his spiritual heritage from them. When you look into the life of his great-grandfather, Hezekiah, you find a much different portrait.

  • “Hezekiah was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem twenty-nine years. His mother’s name was Abijah daughter of Zechariah. He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, just as his father David had done.” 2 Chron 29:1-2 (NIV)

I wonder if Josiah was influenced by the godly life that his great-grandfather, Hezekiah, lived. Another possibility is that Josiah began to seek God when he became a daddy, at the age of sixteen, to Jehoahaz. For me personally, when I became a daddy my understanding of God’s love and my pursuit of God intensified. There’s something about seeing your own flesh and blood and embracing the awesome responsibility of parenthood that draws you to God. You recognize your dependency upon God.

Regardless of your age or life stage, assess your level of thirst for God? Are you passionately seeking God daily and allowing Him to have full access to your mind, emotions, and will? Is there anything or anyone you desire more than you desire God? I have discovered in my walk with God, whatever you feed grows and whatever you starve dies.

Make Jesus your top priority. Draw near to Him and He will draw near to you. Let Jesus quench your thirst!

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, September 27th, 2011 at 1:00 am
Category Priorities, Pursuit, Seeking First.
Interact No Comments
November 10th, 2010

Guard Your Top Priority

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matt 6:33 (NIV)

What are you giving your life to? There’s only so much of you to give away. God has given you a certain amount of time, energy, and resources to accomplish His will each day.

Take a look at your priorities and assess your life. Detect where you are allocating your time, energy, and resources. One of Satan’s most effective tools to diffuse a believer’s focus is busyness. Your life becomes consumed with keeping too many plates spinning. Before you know it, you have over-committed and over-scheduled your life. Jesus has the answer.

Jesus offers a promise that is activated upon your obedience. To seek first the kingdom of God is to align your life with God’s agenda. To seek first His kingdom is to embrace God’s priorities. Jesus includes the pursuit of His righteousness. When a person is born again, that person receives the imputed righteousness of Christ. The believer’s position is that of being in Christ. In order to seek His righteousness, you allow the righteousness on the inside of you to be worked out. It is the process of working out what God has worked in.

Make it your priority to seek His kingdom and His righteousness. All the other things that you need will be provided to you as well. Before seeking things, seek God’s agenda. Seek to love what He loves and to hate what He hates.

What has first place in your life? Who gets the most of you? Remove the competing objects of your affection. Make your daily pursuit of His kingdom and His righteousness your top priority.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, November 10th, 2010 at 1:00 am
Category Lordship, Pursuit, Surrender.
Interact No Comments
July 14th, 2010

Seeking God

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

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.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, July 14th, 2010 at 1:00 am
Category Intimacy, Pursuit, Sanctification.
Interact No Comments