Archive for the ‘Christlikeness’ Category

August 19th, 2015

Potter’s Touch

“So I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was working at his wheel. And the vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter’s hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to do.” Jer 18:3-4 (ESV)

One of my Life Group teachers who flew an A-10 fighter jet in the Air Force used to say, “The closer you get to the enemy, the greater the conflict.” When you are living to please God, be ready for that spiritual motion to cause friction and spiritual warfare.

The safest place for you to be is in the center of God’s will. The most dangerous place for you to be is in the center of God’s will. When you are living in the center of God’s will, you experience His provision and protection. However, you are the greatest threat to Satan when you are living in the center of God’s will. When you think about it, being on Satan’s radar is an indication of being a threat to his kingdom. You cannot walk in the center of God’s will unopposed.

Jeremiah, known as the weeping prophet, experienced the painful reality of being on the potter’s wheel. God placed Jeremiah on the potter’s wheel to demonstrate His loving and corrective touch. God demonstrated the value He places on purity, holiness, and full surrender. God expects that of every generation and every nation.

Don’t resist those seasons of being placed on the potter’s wheel. Remember that God is the Potter and you are the clay. God tenderly and lovingly molds you and shapes you for His glory. God removes the impediments in your life that restrict His flow through you. Be still! Rest! Give God access to every area of your life. Allow God to shape you for His eternal significance.

Riding HIS Wave,

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

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, August 19th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Christlikeness, Jeremiah, Potter's Wheel.
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June 25th, 2015

Sharpened into the Image of Christ

“Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” (Proverbs 27:17 ESV)

We were created to do life together, not apart. Part of the reason God has knitted us into a particular people following His saving work in our lives is to help each other become increasingly more like Christ. As a Christian, our desire should be to put on display the character and nature of God that is at work within us. We want people, when they see us, to see Jesus.

The problem for us in accomplishing that goal is sometimes we fall back into bad habits or allow the fleeting pleasures of this world to once again take the rightful place of the Lord in our life as the sole object of our worship. Because of this tendency to regress instead of progress in our image formation, we need fellow brothers and sisters in Christ around us to remind us of our ultimate goal of displaying the image of Christ in us and reject those things that have prohibited us from doing so.

All of us need people who speak truth to us in grace and love, hoping to encourage redemption and restoration in our pursuit of Christ-likeness.

As you begin your day today, I ask you to consider two things: First, can you think of someone in your walk with Christ to this point who has sharpened you in your pursuit of Him? Take a moment and thank the Lord for their presence in your life and how He has used them to encourage you. Second, do you have anyone in your life now that you are allowing full access to your life so that they can help you see how to better display the image of Christ? If not, why not?

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 Thursday, June 25th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Accountability, Christlikeness, Proverbs.
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October 9th, 2014

Shaped by the Potter

“And the vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter’s hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to do.” Jeremiah 18:4 (ESV)

Whenever you purchase an item that has an “as is” tag on it, you accept the fact that it may be flawed. In other words, the item may not be perfect.

The beauty of salvation is that God accepted us “as is” and brought us into a vibrant love relationship with Himself to move us from “as is” to “what could be” in His hands. Yes! We were marred in His hands. But, He lovingly and patiently removes the imperfections of our attitude, behavior, and speech.

Being on the Potter’s wheel can be painful at times. As God allows us to go through suffering and sorrow in this life, the areas of our life that do not reflect Christ-likeness will be dealt with. God will grow us through the pain. He will mold us and shape us through adversity.

Bathsheba endured some difficult seasons in her life. She experienced loneliness, grief, delays, disappointment, and shattered dreams. Yet, God redeemed all of those seasons in her life to bring her into a deeper relationship with Himself. She would have never become a Proverbs 31 woman without the adversity that God allowed her to face. She was marred in His hands. As a result of the loving touch of the Potter’s hands, she became a masterpiece!

Are you on the Potter’s wheel? Be patient. Allow God to mold you. He took you “as is” and He is shaping you for eternal significance.

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, October 9th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Christlikeness, Discipline, Patience.
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December 30th, 2013

Humility

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.” Philippians 2:3 (NIV)

How do you view yourself? Your answer to that question provides insight into your understanding of humility. As Rick Warren says, “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it is thinking of yourself less.” It is possible to have an inflated view of yourself. Paul addressed this concept by writing, “For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you” (Rom. 12:3 NIV). To use sober judgment is to view yourself accurately. Begin to see yourself as God sees you. In humility, embrace your dependency upon God and your new identity in Christ.

How do you view others? When you examine the life of Jesus, you will notice that His life was about others. Jesus honored God by serving others. Jesus did not neglect Himself, but He put the needs of others before His own. He lived to benefit others. Jesus valued people and loved them unconditionally. His atoning work on the cross is the ultimate demonstration of the value He placed on others.

Exhibit down-to-earth humility by embracing a proper view of yourself in light of what God says about you. Display a lifestyle of placing the same value on others that Jesus does. Begin to view others through the lens of the finished work of Christ on the cross. Jesus has established your value and the value of others through His redeeming love. In humility, reciprocate that same value and that same love to those God brings into your path.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, December 30th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Christlikeness, Humility, Others.
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April 23rd, 2013

Tools God Uses

“For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.” Romans 8:29 (NIV)

God saved you to become like Christ. Your sin has been forgiven and your eternal destiny has been secured. In Christ, you are adopted into God’s family and sealed by the Holy Spirit. Now you are in the process of becoming who you are in Christ. God predestined that you be conformed to the image of Christ. You get to participate in the process of that transformation.

What are some of the tools God uses to conform us to the likeness of Christ? Sometimes God uses the hammer of adversity and the chisel of suffering to bring us into conformity with the character of Christ. Other times, God may use seasons of silence to test our faith and to prove our devotion. God allows fully yielded and fully devoted followers of Christ to come into our path to model likeness of Christ. They give us a portrait of what we can become as we mature in our faith.

Assess your current reality? How is God conforming you to the likeness of Christ? Are you being responsive to His prompting? Allow God to chip off anything in your life that does not bring honor to Christ. Invite the Holy Spirit to reveal any area of your life that distracts from your spiritual progress. Daily surrender to the Lordship of Christ and seek His face in prayer. Embrace the reality of God’s will.

God desires that you become more and more like Christ each day. God uses various tools to conform you into the image of Christ so that you can be an effective tool for His glory on the earth. Your life matters to God. Every detail matters to Him.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Christlikeness, Conformity, Romans.
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April 22nd, 2013

Predestined to be Conformed

“For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.” Romans 8:29 (NIV)

How did we make it into the family tree of Christ? We are products of the grace of God. The only way in is through the doorway of God’s grace. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–not by works, so that no one can boast” (Eph. 2:8-9 NIV). Are you thankful that God made a way for us to know Him personally and intimately?

You are in the Royal Family through the grace of God as evidenced in your faith in the completed work of Jesus on the cross. Now that you have been adopted into His family, God wants you to become like Christ. The process of sanctification follows salvation. Once you are saved, God places you on a path to be conformed to the likeness of Christ.

We have the wonderful privilege of participating with God in the process of conformity. God seeks to remove anything in us that doesn’t look like Jesus. Sometimes God will use the chisel of adversity and sometimes God will use the hammer of silence. God will allow us to go through seasons of uncertainty to conform us into the likeness of Christ.

Reflect for a few moments on the level of Christ-likeness that has been attained in your journey thus far. What behavior and attitudes do you exhibit currently that just don’t line up with Christ-likeness? Will you participate with God in the process of conformity? Spend time studying the life of Christ and emulating His life. You have received His imputed righteousness. Now work out what He has worked in.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, April 22nd, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Christlikeness, Conformity, Romans.
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August 19th, 2012

Potter’s Touch

“So I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was working at his wheel. And the vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter’s hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to do.” Jer 18:3-4 (ESV)

One of my Sunday School teachers who flew an A-10 fighter jet in the Air Force used to say, “The closer you get to the enemy, the greater the conflict.” When you are living to please God, be ready for that spiritual motion to cause friction and spiritual warfare.

The safest place for you to be is in the center of God’s will. The most dangerous place for you to be is in the center of God’s will. When you are living in the center of God’s will, you experience His provision and protection. However, you are the greatest threat to Satan when you are living in the center of God’s will. When you think about it, being on Satan’s radar is an indication of being a threat to his kingdom. You cannot walk in the center of God’s will unopposed.

Jeremiah, known as the weeping prophet, experienced the painful reality of being on the potter’s wheel. God placed Jeremiah on the potter’s wheel to demonstrate His loving and corrective touch. God demonstrated the value He places on purity, holiness, and full surrender. God expects that of every generation and every nation.

Don’t resist those seasons of being placed on the potter’s wheel. Remember that God is the Potter and you are the clay. God tenderly and lovingly molds you and shapes you for His glory. God removes the impediments in your life that restrict His flow through you. Be still! Rest! Give God access to every area of your life. Allow God to shape you for His eternal significance.

Chronological Bible Reading Plan: (Day 224:  Jeremiah 18-22)

Pursuing God,

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

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, August 19th, 2012 at 1:00 am
Category Christlikeness, Jeremiah, Potter's Wheel.
Interact No Comments
June 25th, 2012

Sharpened into the Image of Christ

“Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” (Proverbs 27:17 ESV)

We were created to do life together, not apart. Part of the reason God has knitted us into a particular people following His saving work in our lives is to help each other become increasingly more like Christ. As a Christian, our desire should be to put on display the character and nature of God that is at work within us. We want people, when they see us, to see Jesus.

The problem for us in accomplishing that goal is sometimes we fall back into bad habits or allow the fleeting pleasures of this world to once again take the rightful place of the Lord in our life as the sole object of our worship. Because of this tendency to regress instead of progress in our image formation, we need fellow brothers and sisters in Christ around us to remind us of our ultimate goal of displaying the image of Christ in us and reject those things that have prohibited us from doing so.

All of us need people who speak truth to us in grace and love, hoping to encourage redemption and restoration in our pursuit of Christ-likeness.

As you begin your day today, I ask you to consider two things: First, can you think of someone in your walk with Christ to this point who has sharpened you in your pursuit of Him? Take a moment and thank the Lord for their presence in your life and how He has used them to encourage you. Second, do you have anyone in your life now that you are allowing full access to your life so that they can help you see how to better display the image of Christ? If not, why not?

Chronological Bible Reading Plan: (Day 169:  Proverbs 27-29)

Grace and peace,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, June 25th, 2012 at 1:00 am
Category Accountability, Christlikeness, Proverbs.
Interact No Comments
December 30th, 2011

Humility

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.” Phil 2:3 (NIV)

How do you view yourself? Your answer to that question provides insight into your understanding of humility. As Rick Warren says, “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it is thinking of yourself less.” It is possible to have an inflated view of yourself. Paul addressed this concept by writing, “For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you” (Romans 12:3 NIV). To use sober judgment is to view yourself accurately. Begin to see yourself as God sees you. In humility, embrace your dependency upon God and your new identity in Christ.

How do you view others? When you examine the life of Jesus, you will notice that His life was about others. Jesus honored God by serving others. Jesus did not neglect Himself, but He put the needs of others before His own. He lived to benefit others. Jesus valued people and loved them unconditionally. His atoning work on the cross is the ultimate demonstration of the value He placed on others.

Exhibit down-to-earth humility by embracing a proper view of yourself in light of what God says about you. Display a lifestyle of placing the same value on others that Jesus does. Begin to view others through the lens of the finished work of Christ on the cross. Jesus has established your value and the value of others through His redeeming love. In humility, reciprocate that same value and that same love to those God brings into your path.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, December 30th, 2011 at 1:00 am
Category Christlikeness, Humility, Others.
Interact No Comments
March 25th, 2011

Tools God Uses

“For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.” Romans 8:29 (NIV)

God saved you to become like Christ. Your sin has been forgiven and your eternal destiny has been secured. In Christ, you are adopted into God’s family and sealed by the Holy Spirit. Now you are in the process of becoming who you are in Christ. God predestined that you be conformed to the image of Christ. You get to participate in the process of that transformation.

What are some of the tools God uses to conform us to the likeness of Christ? Sometimes God uses the hammer of adversity and the chisel of suffering to bring us into conformity with the character of Christ. Other times, God may use seasons of silence to test our faith and to prove our devotion. God allows fully yielded and fully devoted followers of Christ to come into our path to model likeness of Christ. They give us a portrait of what we can become as we mature in our faith.

Assess your current reality? How is God conforming you to the likeness of Christ? Are you being responsive to His prompting? Allow God to chip off anything in your life that does not bring honor to Christ. Invite the Holy Spirit to reveal any area of your life that distracts from your spiritual progress. Daily surrender to the Lordship of Christ and seek His face in prayer. Embrace the reality of God’s will.

God desires that you become more and more like Christ each day. God uses various tools to conform you into the image of Christ so that you can be an effective tool for His glory on the earth. Your life matters to God. Every detail matters to Him.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, March 25th, 2011 at 1:00 am
Category Christlikeness, Conformity, Romans.
Interact No Comments