Archive for the ‘John 3:16’ Category

December 26th, 2014

The Greatest Possession

(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.)

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 (ESV)

God created you for eternity. You have a birth date that you celebrate and calculate annually. You know exactly how long you have been breathing oxygen and you know the mountaintop and valley experiences of life by name. As you look into the rear view mirror of life, you can trace God’s hand and perhaps identify some specific spiritual markers. You are well acquainted with your life. However, your life is more than your past. Your life is more than your beginning.

God has designed you for the greatest possession. Once you receive the gift of eternal life by faith alone through grace alone, you become the recipient of the greatest possession. Nothing you have can compare to having the assurance of heaven and eternal life. Being reconciled to God and living in harmony with God provides you with peace that surpasses understanding. Knowing where you will spend eternity alleviates fear and unleashes joy unspeakable and full of glory.

Once you get a vision of living for eternity, your immediate challenges become opportunities for God to reveal His glory and to equip you to live in victory. Embracing a lifestyle of living with eternity in mind creates a life of expectancy and focus. Instead of wasting your life, you invest your life to make an eternal difference. You begin to place an accurate value on that which is temporal and you reorient your life around the reality of eternity.

There is so much more that God has in store for you. As you allow the gift of eternal life to take full possession of you, think about what will be different in eternity because of your life fully yielded to the Lordship of Christ.

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, December 26th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Eternal life, God's Nature, John 3:16.
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December 25th, 2014

The Greatest Exclusion

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 (ESV)

As you celebrate the birth of Christ on this Christmas Day, consider the reason He chose to leave the glory of heaven to come to the earth. God loves you so much that He initiated a love relationship with you. Before you were formed in your mother’s womb, God knew you (Jer. 1:5). Long before you knew anything about God or His love, God chose to do something for you that no other Christmas gift could ever accomplish. God provided you with the opportunity to leave the broad road leading to destruction so that you could enter through the narrow gate and travel the road that leads to life (Matt. 7:13-14).

  • “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.” John 10:28 (ESV)
  • “In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.” 1 John 4:9 (NIV)

You don’t have to perish. You don’t have to go to hell. You don’t have to live eternally separated from God. You can come into a personal intimate love with relationship with God through Christ. Enter through the narrow gate by placing your trust in Jesus alone for salvation. Be the recipient of the greatest exclusion. Be excluded from hell by receiving the gift of eternal life.

If you already benefited from the greatest exclusion, commit to bring others into that saving reality. If you have been rescued from the kingdom of darkness and placed in the kingdom of light, then invest the rest of your life sharing the love of God and shining the light of Jesus. May multitudes experience the greatest exclusion because of the faithful witness of your life.

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, December 25th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Excluded, God's Nature, John 3:16.
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December 24th, 2014

The Greatest Simplicity

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 (ESV)

Life can get so complicated at times. During the Christmas season the traffic increases, last-minute shopping intensifies, and stress elevates. There are so many expectations to meet and so many lists to complete. Then there is the challenge to find gifts for family members who already have so much.

In the midst of a life of complexity, the greatest simplicity is knowing the way to respond to God’s offer of salvation. God has given you His very best, Jesus, to become the Lord and Savior of your life. God gave His Son to be the sacrifice for your sin and to purchase your salvation. He has paved the way for you to come into an abiding relationship with Jesus.

  • “Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.” Rom. 10:9-10 (ESV)
  • “And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.” 1 John 5:11-12 (ESV)

The gift of eternal life has been made available to you. Now it is time for you to receive what God has provided for you. The greatest simplicity involves the decision to place your faith in Jesus alone for salvation. To believe in Jesus is to place your total confidence in His redemptive work on the cross and to believe that He was raised from the dead.

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, December 24th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Believe, Gad's Nature, John 3:16.
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December 23rd, 2014

The Greatest Invitation

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 (ESV)

Of all the invitations you will receive in a lifetime, there is no invitation that comes close to the significance and magnitude of the greatest invitation extended to you by God. His invitation affects your level of living on earth and your eternal destiny. Your response to the greatest invitation will determine where you spend eternity. “Whoever believes” includes you.

  • “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” John 1:12-13 (ESV)
  • “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” 2 Pet. 3:9 (ESV)

To believe in Jesus is to place your total confidence and trust in His redemptive work. Jesus lived a sinless life, died a substitutionary death, experienced a miraculous resurrection, and ascended to heaven. What will you do with what He has done for you? How will you respond to the greatest invitation?

The miracle of the manger can become your miracle. Jesus left the glory of heaven to come to this broken planet in order to provide you with the greatest invitation to come into a personal relationship with the Savior of the world.

I responded to the greatest invitation on March 28, 1979, by transferring my trust from myself to Jesus alone for salvation. In that moment, I became a child of God, filled with His Spirit, and adopted into His forever family. Have you made peace with God by responding to the greatest invitation?

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category God's Nature, Invitation, John 3:16.
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December 22nd, 2014

The Greatest Sacrifice

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 (ESV)

What comes to mind when you think of the concept of sacrifice? I immediately think of the soldier fighting on foreign soil to preserve our freedom. I think of the single mom delaying personal gratification in order to purchase school supplies for her children. The middle-aged married couple serving as the primary caregiver to a parent is another portrait of sacrifice. Another example that comes to mind is that of an elderly person living on meager means in order to support the ministry of the local church. I think of the newly weds embracing a frugal lifestyle in order to focus on completing the requirements for advance degrees.

The greatest sacrifice is God providing for our redemption through sacrificing His Son on the cross. Jesus left the glory of heaven to come to earth to provide for the removal of our sins and to purchase our salvation. His sacrifice changed our forever. God gave us His best so that we could have an abiding relationship with Jesus that is personal and eternal.

  • “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Rom. 5:8 (ESV)
  • “And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” Phil. 2:8 (ESV)

Are you a recipient of God’s sacrificial love? Because of the greatest sacrifice, you can know true meaning and purpose, fulfillment and life-giving relationships. Because of the greatest sacrifice, you can have immediate peace and eternal security. God gave His Son so that you could know Him personally and invest the rest of your life making Him known.

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, December 22nd, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category God's Character, John 3:16, Sacrifice.
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December 21st, 2014

The Greatest Giver

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 (ESV)

God’s generosity flows out of His love for humanity. Even though we have chosen, in our humanity, to rebel against God and to turn from His perfect will, He chose to give us the greatest gift we could ever receive. The gift of eternal life is a tangible expression of God’s generosity.

Long before we decided what to do with God, He decided what to do with us. In spite of our selfishness and sinfulness, God took the initiative to build the ultimate love bridge by giving us the gift of eternal life. God gave us His best. God took the initiative to become like us so that we could become like Him. The gracious gift of eternal life extended to us is the perfect portrait of generosity in action.

The greatest gift you can give anyone is the opportunity to respond to the Good News of Jesus Christ. As you share the plan of salvation with others, you are reflecting the generosity of God. Since you are a recipient of the generous activity of God, choose to extend His generosity to others by sharing your faith intentionally.

Nothing you give this Christmas will have the eternal impact that sharing the plan of salvation will have. When someone places their faith in Jesus alone for salvation, they receive the greatest gift known to mankind. There is no greater gift because there is no greater love made available to you than the love that changes your forever.

Are you generously sharing your faith with others? You are never more like Jesus than when you are giving. Jesus gave His all so that you could have a personal and eternal relationship with Him. Who will benefit from your generosity?

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, December 21st, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Generosity, God's Character, John 3:16.
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December 20th, 2014

The Greatest Number

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 (ESV)

God so loved the world. John used world (Greek: kosmos) 78 times in his Gospel and 24 times in his letters. The world refers to the realm of humanity arrayed in opposition to God. Jesus entered our world in His incarnation, knowing that hostility would result and that sacrifice would be needed to redeem the world.

The world God came to rescue is filled with people who embrace darkness habitually. Humanity is fallen and flawed. The human condition is hopeless and helpless without divine intervention. God took the initiative to become like us so that we could become like Him.

God came to rescue people groups who embody distinction culturally. The current world population exceeds 7 billion people. Two-thousand years ago, God provided for the salvation of our souls. Jesus paid the penalty for our sin and purchased our salvation.

Every person on the planet can be saved, but every person on the planet will not be saved unless each individual receives the gift of eternal life by faith. The world God came to rescue is filled with people who experience or escape damnation individually. For God so loved the fallen world that He gave His one and only Son to rescue those living in darkness so that they could become citizens in the kingdom of light. Each person must individually place their faith in Jesus alone for salvation.

You cannot receive the gift of eternal life for someone else. Each person is responsible for his or her decision in response to the atoning work of Jesus on the cross. As followers of Jesus Christ and recipients of His grace, we have the awesome privilege and responsibility to make Jesus known throughout the earth. How many people will be in heaven because of you?

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, December 20th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Eternity, God's Nature, John 3:16.
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December 19th, 2014

The Greatest Lover

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 (ESV)

Have you ever questioned your own value and worth? That’s a normal part of life. Everyone wants to feel valued and valuable. God established your value by taking the initiative to rescue you from your sin and to robe you in His righteousness.

God has made His righteousness known through His Word and the Word made flesh (John 1:14). When you place your faith in the completed work of Jesus on the cross, you receive the righteousness of Christ. The truth is that we have all sinned and fall short of God’s glory. We have missed the mark of His perfection and His holiness. Yet, God chose to justify us freely by His grace through the redemption that came through Jesus.

God took the initiative to demonstrate His selfless and sacrificial love. Before you turned to God, God turned to you! Your value is measured by the price He paid to remove your sin and to robe you in His righteousness. You are valued and you are valuable to God. His love for you is the certification of your value.

God is the greatest lover. He loves unconditionally, personally, and eternally. God is love and His love never fails. There is nothing you can do to cause God to love you more and there is nothing you can do to cause God to love you less. God’s love for you is perfect.

What will you do with the love God has shown you? Have you expressed your appreciation to God for the love He has lavished on you? Share the gift of His love with others.

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, December 19th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category God's Love, God's Nature, John 3:16.
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December 18th, 2014

The Greatest Father

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 (ESV)

How would you describe your dad? Think about his qualities. What made him special to you? How did he best communicate love to you? Recall some of your favorite memories. Perhaps your heart is moved by the warmth of the memories the two of you made together.

My dad was so special. He had an exceptional sense of humor and could have you laughing in a matter of seconds. My brother and I would lean into my dad with anticipation and ask him to make funny noises with his mouth. He would have us rolling in laughter. My dad was meticulous about the yard and attentive to his appearance. He took us fishing, threw ball with us in the yard, taught us to water ski, and got us into motocross racing. My mom and dad were affectionate toward each other and toward us.

I wish I could have hit the pause button to prevent the impending shift. Our whole world changed when my dad chose a path that led to his becoming an alcoholic. Soon after my seventh birthday, my parents divorced. The trauma induced by the severed relationship placed me on a search to alleviate the immense pain of my heart. On March 28, 1979, just one month before my tenth birthday, I was introduced to the Greatest Father and received His gift of eternal life.

Have you met the Greatest Father? His love for you is unconditional and His plan for you is personal. The Creator of the universe has made Himself knowable. You can have a personal intimate relationship with the One who created you. The Greatest Father will never leave you and never forsake you.

(Personal Note: My dad resides in Louisiana and has a personal relationship with the Greatest Father.)

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, December 18th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Fatherhood of God, God's Nature, John 3:16.
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December 21st, 2013

Anticipation of the Gift

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 (NIV)

Travel down memory lane with me for a moment. Think about your Christmas experiences as a child. What do you remember as the most meaningful gift you received? Can you still feel the excitement of the anticipation of the gift? That experience is locked in your memory because it was special to you.

The ultimate gift in this life is the gift of eternal life. There is no greater gift and there is no greater demonstration of God’s love. The moment you recognized your sin and accepted God’s provision for your forgiveness through your faith in Jesus, you received the ultimate gift. Let me ask you a question. Do you know that God is for you?

  • “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Rom. 5:8 (NIV)
  • “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Rom. 6:23 (NIV)

Consider the individuals currently in your sphere of influence. Have they received the ultimate gift? Have you shared your salvation story with them? Are you willing to be used of God to make Jesus known to those God places in your path? God still uses human instrumentality in the redemptive process. Once you have received the ultimate gift, you can share that gift with others.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, December 21st, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Christmas, Gift, John 3:16.
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