Archive for the ‘Wisdom’ Category

October 23rd, 2015

Wisdom and Innocence

“Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.” Matthew 10:16 (ESV)

The mission of the Church given by Christ is not an easy one. How could it be when it is itself a continuation of the ministry of Jesus that resulted in His crucifixion? Jesus in this passage is preparing His disciples and, by proxy, us for the reality of persecution on this side of heaven. To prepare them and us, Jesus charges His followers to be “wise as serpents and innocent as doves.” For Him, wisdom and innocence are our greatest assets in the midst of persecution?

Why these two traits? Why do wisdom and innocence help us in the midst of maltreatment? Jesus helps us as the passage continues. He suggests that we must use wisdom to know which men to trust and which men not to trust. We must have a discerning spirit, knowing that when men are confronted with their depravity they sometimes react harshly. Further, when the day comes that you can no longer escape the hand of men through wisdom, innocence becomes your ally. As with Jesus, people will begin to question the legitimacy of the charges brought against you, seeing your pure heart and your accuser’s malicious one.

Seek today to grow in wisdom by meditating on the Word of God and abiding in the Spirit. Ask the Spirit to open your heart to those men and women who are open to the gospel and to guard against those who are hardened. Secondly, commit to be above reproach. When we commit to this, we do more than ask if something is right or wrong; rather, we ask, “Is this wise?” If we commit to act only in the wisdom God gives, then truly who can be against us?

Be weary, sheep, for there are wolves around. Grow in wisdom and walk in innocence for your good and God’s glory.

Grace and peace,

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

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, October 23rd, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Innocence, Matthew, Wisdom.
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June 14th, 2015

Walk with the Wise

“Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.” Proverbs 13:20 (ESV)

Who do you walk with? Who are the people influencing your life? God instructs you to walk with the wise and to guard against becoming the companion of fools. God has created you to continue the ministry of Jesus on the earth by shining His light and by sharing His love. You are to be light in this dark world and you are to be salt in our decaying culture.

Be intentional about growing in your love relationship with Christ by walking with the wise. Surround yourself with people who have a vibrant love relationship with the Lord and exemplify the wisdom of Christ. Learn from their successes and from their failures. Observe how they think and why they do what they do. Learn from their life lessons and glean from their treasure chest of wisdom.

  • “Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed.” Proverbs 15:22 (ESV)
  • “Whoever ignores instruction despises himself, but he who listens to reproof gains intelligence.” Proverbs 15:32 (ESV)

God places people of wisdom in your life to help you develop into the person God created you to be. As you walk with the wise, you will become wise. You will have more to offer those in your sphere of influence.

List the names of a few of the wise people God has placed in your life. Spend a few moments calling out each name before the Lord and thanking Him for enriching your life through those relationships. Continue to walk with the wise. Commit to become a person of wisdom so that others can walk with you. As others walk with you, may they be drawn to the wisdom of the ages, the Lord Jesus Christ!

Riding HIS Wave,

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

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, June 14th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Proverbs, Relationships, Wisdom.
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June 11th, 2015

Exercise Spiritual Discernment

“Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you. Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure. Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil.” Proverbs 4:25-27 (ESV)

Have you ever peeked into the rear view mirror of life and wondered, “Why did I choose that path?” Perhaps you made a decision to go in a certain direction at a critical time in your life that catapulted you onto a path that took you places you really did not want to go. You may be living with regret even now as you revisit your moment of decision that placed you on the unhealthy path.

Your daily decisions determine the direction of your life. If you don’t pick your path, a path will pick you. God wants you to walk in wisdom and to exercise spiritual discernment as you seek to operate in His will. Use Spirit infused discretion in your decision making. Ask yourself, “What is the wise thing to do?” Knowing what you know about God and His ways, make level paths for your feet. Allowing the Holy Spirit to take full possession of your life, take only ways that are firm.

God has a path for you to discover and to experience personally. Sometimes the path God has for you includes delays. You may not understand why you are in a season of uncertainty, but you know that God is with you and that He will allow the fog to lift in His perfect timing. While you are waiting for God to show you the next step on this path, obey what you already know. If you are on the wrong path, make a wise decision to move in the new direction God shows you.

Riding HIS Wave,

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

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, June 11th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Decisions, Proverbs, Wisdom.
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June 10th, 2015

Wisdom for the Upright

“For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding; he stores up sound wisdom for the upright; he is a shield to those who walk in integrity, guarding the paths of justice and watching over the way of his saints.” Proverbs 2:6-8 (ESV)

God’s way is paved with wisdom. You have unlimited options available and countless decisions to make during your earthly existence. Each day of your life is filled with choices. You have the freedom to choose your own way or to choose God’s way. You have the freedom to fulfill your personal agenda or to fulfill God’s agenda.

Knowledge and understanding come from the Lord. He imparts wisdom so that you can know how to make decisions each day that honor God and benefit others. The Lord stores up sound wisdom for the upright. He is a shield to you as you walk in integrity. God guards the paths of justice for they are consistent with His nature and character. God watches over the way of His saints.

What do you do if you lack wisdom? Where do you turn when you do not know which direction to take or what decision to make? “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.” (James 1:5-6 ESV).

Walk in the light God gives you. Stay broken before the Lord and dependent upon His daily provision. Remain teachable as the Lord imparts His wisdom and understanding. Use discretion as inspired by God to make wise decisions. Allow time for God to affirm the direction He wants you to take.

Riding HIS Wave,

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

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, June 10th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Discretion, Proverbs, Wisdom.
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June 7th, 2015

Request Wisely

“And God said to him, ‘Because you have asked this, and have not asked for yourself long life or riches or the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern what is right, behold, I now do according to your word. Behold, I give you a wise and discerning mind, so that none like you has been before you and none like you shall arise after you.’” 1 Kings 3:11-12 (ESV)

The Lord appeared to Solomon and granted him the opportunity to request anything. Solomon acknowledged his own inadequacy and insufficiency for serving as king and chose to ask God for an understanding mind to govern the people and to discern between good and evil. God granted Solomon’s request by infusing him with unusual wisdom. God also gave Solomon what he did not ask for, namely, both riches and honor. In addition, God promised to lengthen Solomon’s days if he would walk in God’s ways and keep His statues and commandments.

  • “And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding beyond measure, and breadth of mind like the sand on the seashore, so that Solomon’s wisdom surpassed the wisdom of all the people of the east and all the wisdom of Egypt.” 1 Kings 4:29-30 (ESV)

Solomon was placed in a special category among men. God promoted Solomon and elevated him in the eyes of the people.

What is your request? What is your greatest need? Approach the throne of grace and present your requests to God. Pray in faith and claim the promises of God. God wants to lavish you with His love and He wants to empower you to do His will His way.

Request wisely. Ask God to open the eyes of your heart and to illuminate the path He has for you. Practice instant obedience as you join God in His activity.

Riding HIS Wave,

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

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, June 7th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category 1 Kings, Solomon, Wisdom.
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July 30th, 2014

Pick Your Path

“Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure. Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil.” Proverbs 4:26-27 (ESV)

Have you ever peaked into the rear view mirror of life and wondered, “Why did I choose that path?” Perhaps you made a decision to go in a certain direction at a critical time in your life that catapulted you onto a path that took you places you really did not want to go. You may be living with regret even now as you revisit your moment of decision that placed you on the unhealthy path.

Your daily decisions determine the direction of your life. If you don’t pick your path, a path will pick you. God wants you to walk in wisdom and to exercise spiritual discernment as you seek to operate in His will. Use Spirit infused discretion in your decision making. Ask yourself, “What is the wise thing to do?” Knowing what you know about God and His ways, make level paths for your feet. Allowing the Holy Spirit to take full possession of your life, take only ways that are firm.

God’s way is always the best way. God has a path for you to discover and to experience personally. Sometimes the path God has for you includes delays. You may not understand why you are in a season of uncertainty, but you know that God is with you and that He will allow the fog to lift in His perfect timing. While you are waiting for God to show you the next step on this path, obey what you already know. Enjoy His abiding presence. Share His love and shine His light. Bloom for God’s glory on the path God has for you. If you are on the wrong path, make a wise decision to move in the new direction God shows you.

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, July 30th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Discernment, Discretion, Wisdom.
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May 30th, 2014

Wisdom From Heaven

But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.” James 3:17 (ESV)

Doing life God’s way involves obtaining and employing heavenly wisdom. What does that kind of wisdom look like? James has already explained the components of earthly wisdom in the previous three verses. We learned that earthly wisdom is characterized by selfishness while heavenly wisdom is characterized by selflessness. Selfishness is an expression of earthly wisdom. Selflessness is an expression of heavenly wisdom. Jesus, of course, is our model to follow.

  • Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.Phil. 2:3-4 (ESV)
  • Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Phil. 2:5-8 (ESV)

Heavenly wisdom becomes a practical expression in your daily living. As you do life God’s way, you will live a life of moral purity. You will be peace-loving, considerate of others, and submissive to God’s agenda. Heavenly wisdom will be evidenced through your lifestyle of mercy and good fruit, being impartial and sincere. What kind of wisdom are you exhibiting through your conversation and your conduct? Will others be drawn to Christ or repelled from Christ?

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, May 30th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Selflessness, Stability, Wisdom.
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February 18th, 2014

Making Wise Decisions

“But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger!’” Luke 15:17 (ESV)

Do you have someone in your life who is currently suffering the consequences of their poor choices? Everything within you wants to shift into rescue mode. You want to pull them out of reaping what they have sown. Their trial has become your trial because of the love you have for them.

The prodigal son traveled down the road filled with the potholes of selfish choices. The consequences of his sinful lifestyle were in full bloom. The fast lane had not delivered what it promised. What I admire most about his father is that he allowed the natural consequences to flow. Instead of rescuing his son, the father gave God room to work and to produce deep conviction in his straying son’s life.

Yes! It took a pigpen experience for the son to come to his senses. What if the father would have interrupted the process? What if the father would have chased the son down and prevented him from reaching the pigpen?

  • “For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” Heb. 12:11 (ESV)

Sometimes we just need to give God room to work to bring those He has created back to Himself. There are times when God wants to use us in the process of bringing a rebelling son or daughter back into alignment. Don’t bypass God’s disciplinary process.

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, February 18th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Consequences, Decisions, Wisdom.
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February 13th, 2014

Obtaining God’s Perspective

“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” James 1:5 (ESV)

View your trials from God’s perspective.

Knowledge is needed to take things apart. Wisdom is needed to put things back together. When your life is coming apart, you need God’s wisdom to put your life in order. Trials tend to skew our vision and stifle our passion. It is so easy to lose perspective when facing trials. Our tendency is to be captured by the immediate and bypass the future that God has in store for us.

Why do we wait so long in the process to turn to God in prayer? We try to figure out circumstances on our own and frantically search for answers apart from God. Nothing comes into our lives without God’s permission. If God permits trials, then God will use those trials for our good and for His glory. If only we can embrace that reality earlier in the process of our trials. God is both the Creator and Sustainer of our lives. He knows where we are and what we are facing and where we are heading.

  • ”Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!’” Ps. 46:10 (ESV)
  • “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” Prov. 3:5-6 (ESV)

In faith, turn to God and ask for His wisdom. Seek to gain God’s perspective on the trials you face.

Drawing Near,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, February 13th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Prayer, Trials, Wisdom.
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June 1st, 2013

God’s Wisdom

“If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” James 1:5 (NIV)

Knowledge is needed to take things apart. Wisdom is needed to put things back together. When your life is coming apart, you need God’s wisdom to put your life in order. Trials tend to skew our vision and stifle our passion. It is so easy to lose perspective when facing trials. Our tendency is to be captured by the immediate and bypass the future that God has in store for us.

Why do we wait so long in the process to turn to God in prayer? We try to figure out circumstances on our own and frantically search for answers apart from God. Nothing comes into our lives without God’s permission. If God permits trials, then God will use those trials for our good and for His glory. If only we can embrace that reality earlier in the process of our trials. God is both the Creator and Sustainer of our lives. He knows where we are and what we are facing and where we are heading.

  • “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Ps. 46:10 (NIV)
  • “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” Prov. 3:5-6 (NIV)

In faith, turn to God and ask for His wisdom. Seek to gain God’s perspective on the trials you face. God knows what you don’t know and God sees what you don’t see.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, June 1st, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Prayer, Trust, Wisdom.
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