Archive for the ‘Mercy’ Category

July 14th, 2015

Second Chances

“And the Lord spoke to the fish, and it vomited Jonah out upon the dry land.” Jonah 2:10 (ESV)

Where would you be if God were not the God of second chances? You would be without hope and without a future. God will not only pursue you with His redeeming love, but He also gives you a second chance to obey His will.

The fish obeyed God in the midst of Jonah’s rebellion. God commanded the fish to vomit Jonah onto dry ground. Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time (Jonah 3:1). After a three day aquatic experience of prayer in the belly of the fish, Jonah was now hurled onto the beach for a second chance to obey God’s way. The wonderful news is that Jonah obeyed the word of the Lord and went to Nineveh (Jonah 3:3).

Jonah responded to God the first time by saying, “Lord, here I am, send someone else!” The second time, Jonah responded by saying, “Lord, here I am, send me!” On the Ship Jonah was singing, “I did it my way!” Inside the Fish Jonah was singing, “Have Thine Own Way, Lord!” Jonah came to know God as the God of second chances. Jonah learned a valuable lesson about obeying God.

Ponder the grace of God in your own life. Think through the decisions you have made over your lifetime to choose to go your own way. Do you remember how God pursued you with His redeeming love? God is so patient, so tender, and so persistent. He wants you to come to know Him by experience as the God of second chances.

Don’t give up. God has not given up on you. What God has begun in your life, He will bring to completion (Php 1:6). God always finishes what He starts.

Riding HIS Wave,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor

Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, July 14th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Grace, Jonah, Mercy.
Interact No Comments
July 8th, 2015

Justice and Mercy

“Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.” Psalm 82:3-4 (ESV)

Imagine being transferred instantly before the throne of God. You are standing before God right now and you fall on your face before God and He asks you to give an account for your treatment of others. Where would that place you in the area of God’s approval and affirmation? How would you measure up to God’s standard of perfection?

God is a God of justice. And yes, God is a God of mercy. Without God’s justice, mercy would not exist. Without God’s mercy, justice would not exist. God declared His justice on your sin when Jesus took upon God’s wrath for your sin on the cross. God demonstrated His mercy by providing for the forgiveness of your sin. How will you treat others in light of what God has done for you?

  • “‘Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.’” Matt 5:7 (ESV)
  • “‘Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.’” Matt 7:1-2 (ESV)

Our tendency is to use binoculars when judging our lives and using a microscope when judging the lives of others. Thank God for His mercy. God wants our conversation and our conduct to reflect the mercy we have received from Him. Treat others with the same mercy you have received from God. Rescue the weak and the needy.

Riding HIS Wave,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, July 8th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Justice, Mercy, Psalms.
Interact No Comments
April 22nd, 2015

Tears in His Bottle

“You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book?” Psalm 56:8 (ESV)

God created you for a divine purpose to fulfill. You are not here by accident; you are here by divine appointment. God designed you so that you can know Him personally and fulfill His plan intentionally. Fulfilling God’s agenda requires God’s enabling. You cannot continue His ministry in your own strength.

In this life you will face difficulties and go through seasons of uncertainty. Fatigue, exhaustion, and feeling depleted are normal features of living in a fallen world. God intimately knows your inmost feelings and He keeps count of all your wanderings. He puts your tears in His bottle. He records every step you take and every decision you make. Nothing escapes God’s attention.

  • “I know that the Lord will maintain the cause of the afflicted, and will execute justice for the needy.” Psalm 140:12 (ESV)
  • “With my voice I cry out to the Lord; with my voice I plead for mercy to the Lord. I pour out my complaint before him; I tell my trouble before him.” Psalm 142:1-2 (ESV)

Prayer enables you to express your heart to God. You have the sacred privilege of communicating with God through the grace-paved avenue of prayer. Acknowledge your dependency upon Him. The Lord executes justice for the needy and maintains the cause of the afflicted. You can cry out to the Lord in prayer. You can lift up your voice to plead for mercy.

In prayer, you have the invitation to pour out your complaints before the Lord and to share your trouble before Him. God can handle your frustrations and He can bring calm to your troubled waters. Don’t run from the Lord! Run to the Lord and watch how His mercy comes running to you!

Riding HIS Wave,

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

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Mercy, Prayer, Psalms.
Interact No Comments
March 17th, 2015

Finding Refuge

“And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, ’Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, When you cross the Jordan into the land of Canaan, then you shall select cities to be cities of refuge for you, that the manslayer who kills any person without intent may flee there. The cities shall be for you a refuge from the avenger, that the manslayer may not die until he stands before the congregation for judgment.’” Numbers 35:9-12 (ESV)

God featured His mercy and grace as He established the cities of refuge for the person who accidentally killed another person. God was providing protection from the avenger. When you consider the large number of people Moses was leading and when you consider the challenges of mobilizing around two-million people, the probability of conflict is rather high. Doing life together as a covenant community generated some major challenges and opportunities.

The cities of refuge were strategically placed and graciously established. God was demonstrating His nature and character through His tangible redemptive activity. Moses was charged with carrying out the plan of God and ensuring the protection of the person who accidentally killed another.

As followers of Jesus Christ, we look to God as our refuge and strength. He is the Creator of life and He is the sustainer of life. We look to Him because He is our faithful Shepherd and our consistent provider. As God’s children adopted into His family, we have privilege of casting all of our cares on Him and receiving mercy and grace to help us daily as we serve Him.

Are you in need of refuge? Instead of running from God, choose to run to God. God already knows your condition and He already has everything you need to live the abundant life He has for you in Christ. Find refuge in Him!

Riding HIS Wave,

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

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, March 17th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Mercy, Numbers, Refuge.
Interact No Comments
August 30th, 2014

Choosing to Forgive

“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.Eph 4:32 (ESV)

Extending forgiveness is intentional and perpetual. The words “just as” are powerful. In our key verse above, they mean to imitate and to emulate God’s forgiveness. We are to forgive each other just as in Christ God forgave us. Let’s consider going on a personal journey together in order to extend forgiveness to those who have wounded us.

Ask God to bring to your mind someone you need to forgive. This may induce feelings of hurt, betrayal, or neglect. Now that you have someone in mind, take that person with you to the cross in prayer. In fact, you may even need to take them by the hand as you kneel with them at the foot of the cross. Remember that Jesus knows him or her better than you do. Jesus loves him or her more than you do. Also, Jesus paid the full price for his or her complete forgiveness.

In prayer, say to the Lord, “Jesus, as You have graciously forgiven me, I now choose to forgive (insert his or her name).” Release that person from the prison of your unforgiveness. Genuinely extend forgiveness as in Christ God forgave you. Now entrust that person and your future to God. ”‘And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses’” (Mark 11:25 ESV). Forgiveness is always the best decision.

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, August 30th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Forgiveness, Grace, Mercy.
Interact No Comments
August 17th, 2014

Living Sacrifices

“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” Romans 12:1 (ESV)

How do we respond to God’s mercy? The fact that God pursued us with His redeeming love and did not give us what we deserved engenders a response. Think of where we would be had God’s mercy not been applied to our hopeless estate. We were separated from God as a result of our sin. We deserved punishment, alienation, and eternal damnation. In His mercy, God provided the atonement for our sin through the sinless sacrificial death of Jesus on the cross.

In response to His mercy, God is not asking us to die for Him. God wants us to respond to His mercy by living for Him. Instead of being a dead sacrifice, God wants us to be a living sacrifice. Our spiritual act of worship that moves the heart of God is that of being holy and pleasing to Him. To be holy is to work out in practical daily living the holiness of Christ imparted to us at the moment of our salvation. We received the imputed righteousness of Christ which instantly gave us a right standing before our holy God. That event is to be followed by the process of living a holy life that is pleasing to God.

Offer your body as a living sacrifice by loving what God loves and hating what God hates. Live in perpetual dependence upon the power of the Holy Spirit to stay clean while living in this dirty world. Practice His presence throughout the day and be sensitive to His prompting. Confess sin immediately. Choose to stay close and clean.

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, August 17th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Mercy, Sacrifice, Worship.
Interact No Comments
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.
Interact No Comments
July 8th, 2014

Extending and Receiving Forgiveness

“For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Matthew 6:14-15 (ESV)

Would it not be hypocritical to receive God’s forgiveness personally and then refuse to extend God’s forgiveness to others? We do not earn God’s forgiveness by forgiving others, but we demonstrate God’s forgiveness as we forgive others. We are to forgive others instantly as a result of our being recipients of God’s instant forgiveness.

Forgiving those who have hurt you does not validate their behavior, but rather honors God by mirroring His forgiveness towards you. The grace and mercy that God lavishes on you becomes a blessing that flows through you to those who have wounded you. By extending forgiveness, you are allowing the life of Christ to be evident in you and through you.

Forgiveness is immediate; trust takes time. Just because you forgive someone does not mean that it is safe to trust that person. God is not asking you to extend forgiveness and then embrace a posture of vulnerability and susceptibility. You are to walk wisely. It takes time and multiple opportunities for a person to demonstrate trustworthiness. Just as you would not dare cross a bridge that is not deemed trustworthy, you would not trust an individual who has failed to be trustworthy.

Extend forgiveness immediately and then pray for the person you have forgiven. Ask God to transform the one you have forgiven and to help that person become worthy of your trust. It is possible that you may never trust that person again. However, extending forgiveness is not optional in God’s economy.

In my daily quiet time, I came across this question by Henry Blackaby that God is using in my life, “Would you want God to forgive you in the same way you are presently forgiving others?”

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, July 8th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Compassion, Forgiveness, Mercy.
Interact No Comments
March 20th, 2014

The Fragrance of Mercy

“So speak and so act as those who are to be judged under the law of liberty. For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.” James 2:12-13 (ESV)

Grace is getting what we do not deserve. We do not deserve God’s love. We do not deserve God’s gift of eternal life. We do not deserve our new identity in Christ. We do not deserve having our names written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. Yet, God graced us with these and many other spiritual realities.

Mercy is not getting what we do deserve. Because of our sin, we deserve separation, punishment, and alienation. Because of our sin, we deserve eternal damnation. Because of our sin, we deserve total isolation from God’s abiding Presence. Yet, God extends His mercy to us and does not give us what we deserve. Instead, God has blesses us, redeems us, includes us, seals us, and lavishes us with His love.

Because of God’s mercy, we have a song to sing and a message to declare. As recipients of God’s mercy, we have been given a clean canvas upon which we join God in His redemptive activity.

May God’s merciful treatment of us radically transform our conversation and our conduct! May our words and our walk exhibit mercy to others as God has exhibited to us!

  • “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.”
    Psalm 19:14 (ESV)

Viewing others from God’s perspective will produce the fragrance of mercy in our lives. May that aroma bring others closer to the love of God that we have found in Christ!

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, March 20th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Compassion, God's Love, Mercy.
Interact No Comments
March 19th, 2014

Being Merciful to Others

“So speak and so act as those who are to be judged under the law of liberty. For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.” James 2:12-13 (ESV)

Imagine being transferred instantly before the throne of God. You are standing before God right now and you fall on your face before God and He asks you to give an account for your treatment of others. Where would that place you in the area of God’s approval and affirmation? How would you measure up to God’s standard of perfection?

God is a God of justice. And yes, God is a God of mercy. Without God’s justice, mercy would not exist. Without God’s mercy, justice would not exist. God declared His justice on your sin when Jesus took upon God’s wrath for your sin on the cross. God demonstrated His mercy by providing for the forgiveness of your sin. How will you treat others in light of what God has done for you?

  • “‘Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.’” Matt. 5:7 (ESV)
  • “‘Judge not, that you be not judged.For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.’” Matt. 7:1-2 (ESV)

Our tendency is to use binoculars when judging our lives and using a microscope when judging the lives of others. Thank God for His mercy. God wants our conversation and our conduct to reflect the mercy we have received from Him. God is not asking us to do anything in our relationship with others that He has not already done for us.

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, March 19th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Compassion, Forgiveness, Mercy.
Interact No Comments