Archive for the ‘Ten Commandments’ Category

February 13th, 2015

God Delivers

“‘I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.’” Exodus 20:2 (ESV)

Moses spent forty years in the palace, forty years in the desert, and then forty years as the deliverer of the children of Israel. God was strategically developing Moses for the special assignment of leading the Israelites out of Egyptian bondage. Before delivering The Ten Commandments, God reminded them of His provision of bringing them out of the land of slavery. God graciously got them out of Egypt, now He was getting Egypt out of them.

God is a God of Relationship. He initiated the love relationship we enjoy with Him. God chose to become like us so that we could become like Him. God took the initiative to develop us in Christ, as a royal priesthood, a holy nation, and a people belonging to Him. Being adopted into His forever family did not come into fruition because of our human effort, but as a result of God’s redemptive activity.

If you ever question your value in God’s eyes, just look to the cross. God took the initiative to build the ultimate love bridge to you so that you could have harmony with Him and enjoy eternal life. When did you respond to God’s offer of salvation? When did you become a follower of Jesus Christ and a recipient of God’s unconditional love?

God has delivered you from your sin and brought you into the land of Promise. Now take the initiative to share the gift of eternal life with others. Shine His light and share His love so that others can have the personal and eternal relationship you enjoy with Jesus.

Riding HIS Wave,

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

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, February 13th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category God's Timing, Moses, Ten Commandments.
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October 3rd, 2013

Unleash Generosity

“Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.” 1 Timothy 6:18 (NIV)

Another way to control the desire to acquire is by unleashing generosity. Jesus is our model to follow. Teaching, preaching, casting out demons, praying, and extending personal touch ministry marked Jesus’ life on earth. Jesus maintained a balanced life centered on doing God’s will. Loving God and loving others was the central focus of His life.

Jesus came to our planet to reconcile us to God. He willingly gave His life as the sinless sacrifice for our redemption (Col. 1:20). Jesus lived, died, was buried, rose on the third day, and forty days later ascended to heaven. Sitting at the right hand of the Father, Jesus intercedes on our behalf (Rom. 8:34).

Your purpose in this life is to unleash generosity by continuing the ministry of Jesus. You have been saved by grace alone through faith alone to join God in His redemptive activity. God has entrusted every moment of your day to you for careful stewardship. How are you responding to the opportunities God places before you to generously continue the ministry of Jesus?

Be rich in good deeds. Invest your life by adding value to others. Serve others from a heart of purity seasoned by daily intimacy with Christ. If you are going to continue the ministry of Jesus, then you must operate in His power. Adding value to others will require spiritual nourishment and spiritual energy.

Maintain a living connection with Christ through feeding on God’s Word and seeking His face daily. To do what Jesus did mandates that you nurture your love relationship with God. The outflow of your living connection with Christ will be doing good, being generous, and willing to share.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, October 3rd, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Generosity, Greed, Ten Commandments.
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October 2nd, 2013

Cultivate Gratitude

“Give thanks to the Lord, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done.” Psalm 105:1 (NIV)

How do you control the desire to acquire? Embrace this healthy habit: Cultivate gratitude. Put gratitude in your attitude. Consider Jim Elliot’s insight, “One of the greatest blessings of heaven is the appreciation of heaven on earth.” Be thankful. Be appreciative. Be grateful.

  • “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Gal. 3:16-17  (NIV)
  • “Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Eph. 5:19-20 (NIV)
  • “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Phil. 4:6 (NIV)
  • “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thes. 5:18

As you cultivate gratitude, you will notice that your perspective on life will become healthier. Your interaction with others will be seasoned with grace. Instead of being critical of others, you will become compassionate towards others. Gratitude will enable you to enjoy what God has given you and will enable you to appreciate the blessings God has lavished on you.

Cultivating gratitude will unleash God’s love in you and through you. Be thankful for what God has done to reconcile you to Himself. Be appreciative of God’s invitation for you to join Him in His activity. Be grateful for the opportunities God gives you to spread the fragrance of Christ.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Gratitude, Ten Commandments, Thankfulness.
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October 1st, 2013

Control the Desire to Acquire

“‘You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.’” Exodus 20:17 (NIV)

I remember hearing a powerful statement made by Andy Stanley that I would like to share with you. He said, “Your appetites are never fully and finally satisfied.” Think about that for a moment in relation to the Tenth Commandment. When you covet, you are feeding an inward desire for something that God says is sinful. God gives you the desire to acquire and to fulfill your God-given appetites. However, when you choose to go beyond the guardrails God has established, it produces sin.

Greed is the seed that converts a want into a need. The Israelites were not to long for, desire earnestly, or lust after what legitimately belonged to others. Greed has a way of inflaming the desire to acquire. God established this particular guardrail to preserve unity and morality in the covenant community.

Control the desire to acquire. When your desire to acquire catches on fire, you begin to worry. The more you have the more you have to take care of and worry about. When the desire to acquire is ignited, there is a tendency to spend more than you make and then the mountain of debt escalates. The desire to acquire can lead you into perpetual disappointment and dissatisfaction. You will feel like it is never enough. When the desire to acquire catches fire you become weary in trying to keep up with others.

Don’t fertilize the seed of greed. Ask the Lord to help you live a life that honors Him and benefits others. Surrender to the Lordship of Christ and yield to His control.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, October 1st, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Covet, Desire, Ten Commandments.
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September 22nd, 2013

Tell the Truth

“‘You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.‘” Exodus 20:15 (NIV)

The court system of a nation depends on the honesty of its people. Lying misrepresents God, misleads others, & mutilates your testimony. Tell the truth by presenting the truth accurately. Don’t falsify information. “Do not spread false reports” (Exod. 22:1 NIV). Don’t exaggerate information. Don’t withhold information.

  • Like a club or a sword or a sharp arrow is the man who gives false testimony against his neighbor.” Prov. 25:18 NIV
  • “A truthful witness saves lives, but a false witness is deceitful.” Prov. 14:24 (NIV)
  • “If a person sins because he does not speak up when he hears a public charge to testify regarding something he has seen or learned about, he will be held responsible.” Lev. 5:1 (NIV)

THINK before your speak. Ask these questions: Is it True? Is it Helpful? Is it Inspiring? Is it Necessary? Is it Kind? Be a truth bearer by speaking words of integrity and honesty. Reflect the character of Christ by being truthful and telling the truth. Do not misrepresent Christ by stretching the truth. Commit to speak words that are in alignment with the truth of God’s Word. Speak words that feature accuracy, unity, and a sense of community.

The way you speak to others demonstrates how much you value people. When you give false testimony about others, you are demeaning the people Jesus died for. Speak words of life and words of instruction and words of encouragement. Choose to leverage your vocabulary to bring others to a saving relationship with Jesus Christ.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, September 22nd, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Lying, Ten Commandments, Truth.
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September 21st, 2013

Maximize Your Influence

“Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.” 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 (NIV)

What kind of impact are you making on the lives of others? What are you doing to maximize your influence? Choose to maximize your influence by winning the respect of outsiders. How do you do that? You win the respect of outsiders by leading a quiet life, minding your own business, and working with your hands. Demonstrating a strong work ethic and living a life of personal responsibility elevates your influence.

You can also maximize your influence by sharing with those in need. Being generous towards others releases your influence and emulates the heart of Christ. You are never more like Jesus than when you are giving. God has created you to honor Him and to benefit others. Find a need and meet it. Choose to continue the ministry of Jesus on the earth.

Another way to maximize your influence is by making God’s Word attractive. “Teach slaves to be subject to their masters in everything, to try to please them, not to talk back to them, and not to steal from them, but to show that they can be fully trusted, so that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive” (Titus 2:9-10 NIV). A contemporary application of these two verses is to seek to please your employer and to be respectful towards them and show that you can be fully trusted. By being a model employee, you are making God’s Word attractive.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, September 21st, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Influence, Stewardship, Ten Commandments.
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September 20th, 2013

Maintain Your Integrity

“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.” Luke 16:10 (NIV)

Maintain your integrity. My favorite definition of integrity is: when the tongue in your mouth lines up with the tongue in your shoe. To be a person of integrity means that you are unmixed and unadulterated. With integrity, your walk and your talk are synonymous. There is no disparity and no duplicity. A person of integrity is not divided. For the person of integrity, the public life matches the private life.

Be trustworthy and honest. God rewards obedience. God values trustworthiness and honesty. If God can trust you with very little, then God can trust you with much. What are you doing with all that God has entrusted to your care? What kind of lifestyle are you embracing? Are you being trustworthy?

Whenever there is a gap in your integrity. Close the gap by making restitution. Make things right between you and God. Be vigilant in making things right with others. Resolve to make personal adjustments in your life to close the gap. Remove harmful habits and embrace healthy patterns to build a bridge of reconciliation to others.

Zacchaeus had a life-changing experience that resulted in his willingness to make restitution. He had financed his selfish lifestyle at the expense of others.

  • “But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, ‘Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.’” Luke 19:8 (NIV)

Investigate your integrity. How’s your private life? How does your private life line up with your public life? Is there a gap? With the Lord’s help, address your duplicity and close the gap by God’s grace.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, September 20th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Deception, Integrity, Ten Commandments.
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September 19th, 2013

Delete Deception

“‘You shall not steal.’” Exodus 20:15 (NIV)

The Eighth Commandment connects with me on a deeper level as a result of our family vehicle being stolen during my son’s baseball tournament in May of 2010. When something is stolen from you it makes you feel violated and reminds you how vulnerable you really are to the fragments of living in a fallen world.

Stealing dishonors God, deceives others, and defiles your testimony. The Eighth Commandment teaches us to delete deception. One way to delete deception is by being honest with our financial resources. God expects us to be good stewards of all that He has blessed us with. Biblical stewardship includes tithing our income. Giving ten percent of our income to the Lord’s work brings honor to God and benefits others. Tithing demonstrates our trust in God’s provision and is a reflection of our submission to His Lordship.

  • “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.” Mal. 3:10 (NIV)
  • “Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.” 2 Cor. 9:6 (NIV)

Test God by tithing your income and trust God to meet your needs according to His riches in glory. Be a good steward of what God has given you and respect what God has given to others. Sow into the Lord’s work so that others can come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ around the world. Delete deception by being a generous giver for the global glory of God.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, September 19th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Deception, Stealing, Ten Commandments.
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September 18th, 2013

Uncovering Adultery

“He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.” Proverbs 28:13 (NIV)

In our society, sexual temptation is prevalent. Christians are not immune to adultery. What if you have gone beyond your spouse for romance? What do you do when you violate the seventh Commandment by committing adultery? You can choose to continue to walk in deception or you can repent by doing what is right in God’s eyes.

Step 1:  Confess your sin. Living in sin will never produce the righteous life God desires. Be honest before God about your willful disobedience. In brokenness and humility, confess your sin instantly and specifically before the Lord. God wants you to say the same thing about your sin that He says about your sin. I am reminded of a statement by Dr. Johnny Hunt, “Whatever you cover, God will uncover. Whatever you uncover, God will cover!”

Step 2:  Confront your participant. Go directly to the person you are having an affair with and completely sever the relationship. This calls for drastic and fervent action. Amputate the limbs of lust and lies that connect you to this person. Do not leave a glimpse of hope for future interaction. Inform your participant that you have confessed your sin before God and that you will not continue living in disobedience to the Lord. Boldly and courageously announce, “It’s over!”

Step 3:  Comfort your spouse by becoming trustworthy. Once you have gone before the Lord to confess your sin and to receive His forgiveness, and after you have confronted your participant to end the relationship, in brokenness and humility, inform your spouse of the affair. Be prepared for an array of emotions to cascade from your spouse such as anger, hurt, devastation, revenge, and insecurity. You have violated your covenant relationship with your spouse. This is a big deal! In order for your spouse to ever trust you again, you will have to become trustworthy.

Consider incorporating a Christian counselor into your plan of restoration. Commit to never go beyond your spouse for romance. By God’s grace, do all you can to comfort your spouse by becoming worthy of trust.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, September 18th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Adultery, Confession, Ten Commandments.
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September 17th, 2013

Honor God and Finish Together

“However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” Ephesians 5:33 (NIV)

Be the most amazing and fulfilling source of romance for your spouse. Stay spiritually fit and physically fit. Learn your spouse’s primary love language by reading Dr. Gary Chapman’s book, The Five Love Languages. Make intentional deposits into your spouse’s emotional love tank. Communicate understanding. Resolve conflict. Place his or her needs before your own. “Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Phil. 2:4 NIV).

In his book, His Needs, Her Needs: Building an Affair-Proof Marriage, Dr. Willard Harley identifies the top five needs of men as: sexual fulfillment, recreational companionship, an attractive spouse, domestic support, and admiration. The top fives needs of women are: affection, conversation, honesty and openness, financial support, and family commitment. Dr. Willard Harley has found that marriages that fail to meet a spouse’s needs are more vulnerable to an extramarital affair.

Next time you are tempted to look beyond your spouse for romance, ask yourself this question, “Will this decision honor God and benefit my family and our future?” Another good question to ask, “Will this decision allow us to finish together?”

  • “Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you.” Prov. 4:25 (NIV)
  • “Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm. Do not swerve to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.” Prov. 4:26-27 (NIV)

Extend the love you have received from God to your spouse. Choose to extend the grace you have received from God to your spouse. Celebrate your differences. Honor God and finish together.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, September 17th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Commitment, Marriage, Ten Commandments.
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