Archive for November, 2007

November 30th, 2007

Because He Is (4)

Because He is the Good Shepherd, I am valued.

“‘I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.’” John 10:11 (NIV)

Your value is not determined by your portfolio. Your value is not determined by your performance. Your value is not determined by your personality. Your value is determined by what God has done on your behalf. Before you could do anything with God or for God, in His mercy and grace, God decided what to do with you and for you.

“‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.’” Jer 1:5 (NIV)

Your value was established before you were born. Then, God provided a tangible demonstration and validation of your value when He became man.

  • “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14 (NIV)
  • “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8 (NIV)
  • “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Cor 5:21 (NIV)

Is the Lord your shepherd? Have you allowed Him to be the shepherd and overseer of your soul? Now think about your value in God’s economy. You are the apple of God’s eye. You are His treasure. Look around! Do you see other people in your weekly routine? Guess what? God values them, too.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Pastor of Leadership and Pastoral Care

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, November 30th, 2007 at 1:00 am
Category Good Shepherd, I am sayings.
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November 29th, 2007

Because He Is (3)

Because He is the gate, I am secure.

“Therefore Jesus said again, ‘I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep.’” John 10:7 (NIV)

My security in Christ is not based on my feelings. There are days when my emotional security may be threatened. There are days when I just don’t feel safe and secure. Fortunately, my security is not anchored to my feelings. My eternal security is found in Jesus completely. 

“‘I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.’” John 10:9-10 (NIV)

Because He is the gate, you are secure. After placing your trust in the completed work of Jesus on the cross, you are completely saved. Your eternal security is not based on your daily performance, but on the finished work of Jesus on the cross. You didn’t earn salvation and you cannot lose your salvation. The same One who saved you is the One who keeps you.

As a believer, if you choose to sin, you will face consequences. You don’t lose your salvation, but your fellowship with Jesus will be strained and your ability to bear the fruit of the Spirit will be inhibited. Confess your sin now. Specifically agree with God concerning your sin. Remember what you were saved from!

Now walk with Jesus and He will help you find pasture. Jesus will help you develop authentic relationships with other believers and He will help you develop spiritual disciplines to nurture His life in you. Jesus will help you build intentional relationships with unsaved people so that you can shine His light and share His love with them.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Pastor of Leadership and Pastoral Care

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, November 29th, 2007 at 1:00 am
Category Gate, I am sayings.
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November 28th, 2007

Because He Is (2)

Because He is the light of the world, I am illuminated.

“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’” John 8:12 (NIV)

Everything changed on March 28, 1979, when I received God’s gift of eternal life. Jesus, the light of the world, took up residence in my heart and has illuminated my life both inwardly and outwardly. My ambitions, my desires, and my outlook took on a new perspective. The character of Christ has been daily formed in me. Throughout the years, His light has informed me of areas that need to be brought under His Lordship.

  • “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light.” Eph 5:8 (NIV)
  • “For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” Col 1:13-14 (NIV)
  • “‘You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.’” Matt 5:14-16 (NIV)

Jesus wants to not only shine in you but also to shine through you. His light through your life alters the world around you. Every interaction becomes intentional. Each conversation becomes an opportunity to allow Jesus to shine His light through you. Just as light influences darkness, Jesus has saved you and set you apart to influence others. Because He is the light of the world, you are illuminated. Now, illuminate the environments that God places you in. Allow the light of Jesus to shine brightly through your life today. Eternity is at stake!

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Pastor of Leadership and Pastoral Care 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, November 28th, 2007 at 1:00 am
Category I am sayings, Light of the World.
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November 27th, 2007

Because He Is (1)

Because He is the bread of life, I am nourished.

“Then Jesus declared, ‘I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.’” John 6:35 (NIV)

Jesus had fed the multitudes with a boy’s lunch consisting of two small fish and fives loaves of bread. As S.M. Lockridge used to say, “God is the only One who can multiply two times five and get five-thousand.” The people were fixated on the miracle of multiplication and bypassed the miracle worker, Jesus. Instead of believing in the One who provided the bread, they were content to have their appetites fulfilled with earthly bread.

“Jesus said to them, ‘I tell you the truth, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.’” John 6:32-33 (NIV)

Jesus is the true bread from heaven. He has come to give life to the world. Jesus is the bread of life. Because He is the bread of life, I am nourished. My soul is satisfied. The hole in my heart has been filled. My life is now complete. My life now makes sense. As John Piper says, “God is most glorified when we are most satisfied in Him.” Have you come to that place of recognizing Jesus as the bread of life? Has Jesus become your Source for life? Are you most satisfied in Him?

Because Jesus is the bread of life, you are nourished. By placing your faith in the atoning work of Christ on the cross, you become a child of God. Your new identity includes that of Jesus becoming the bread of your life. Jesus is now your nourishment. He is now your reason for living. Jesus is your Source!

Are you daily nurturing the life of Christ in you? Close your eyes and spend some unhurried time alone with God in prayer. Thank Him for being your provider, your peace, and your protector. Allow Jesus to nourish your soul.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Pastor of Leadership and Pastoral Care

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, November 27th, 2007 at 1:00 am
Category Bread of Life, I am sayings.
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November 26th, 2007

Spiritual Warfare (6)

Stand your ground.

You don’t have to be a victim of spiritual warfare; you can be victorious in spiritual warfare. You don’t have to be a victim of the devil’s schemes; you can be victorious in spite of his schemes.

“Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.” Eph 6:11-13 (NIV)

Take your stand! Stand your ground! In order to stand your ground you must be grounded. Are you grounded in Christ? Have you embraced your new identity in Christ? You don’t have to retreat; you can defeat the enemy. The devil has already been defeated by the cross and empty tomb. Now stand in light of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus.

We are fighting from victory, not for victory.  

“I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.” Eph 1:18-21 (NIV)

Activate the steps to live out your positional victory in practical ways:

Step #1: Stay close to Jesus.

Step #2: Put on your gear.

Step #3: Stand your ground.

Kneeling keeps you standing!

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Pastor of Leadership and Pastoral Care

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, November 26th, 2007 at 1:00 am
Category Spiritual Warfare.
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November 25th, 2007

Spiritual Warfare (5)

Put on your gear.

God has provided you with everything you need to engage in the spiritual battle. You must appropriate what God has provided.

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” Eph 6:10-11 (NIV)

How can you be strong in the Lord and be strong in His mighty power? When you take God at His Word, you receive the benefits of His promises. Put on the full armor of God. Gear up for battle. You don’t wage war with fleshly weapons. You fight spiritual battles with spiritual armor. God has provided the attire. Are you willing to put it on?

“Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” Eph 6:13-17 (NIV)

The armor of God is for your protection. The weapons are for your use. Stay connected! Stay engaged!

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Pastor of Leadership and Pastoral Care

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, November 25th, 2007 at 1:00 am
Category Spiritual Warfare.
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November 24th, 2007

Spiritual Warfare (4)

Stay close to Jesus.

You can live out your positional victory in Christ through practical steps. Step one is to stay close to your commander, Jesus. He is source of life and He alone is your source of victory. Jesus reigns! Does He reign in your life?

“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.” Eph 6:18 (NIV)

Spiritual warfare demands connectivity. To live in positional victory you stay close to Jesus through prayer. Prayer is communication with Jesus. Prayer is nurturing the life of Christ in you. Praying in the Spirit involves praying according to God’s will, God’s way, and God’s Word. One of the most effective ways to allow Jesus to reign in your life is by praying Scripture.

Notice that Paul includes being alert and being persistent. To be alert is to be aware of your surroundings and your standing in Christ. To always keep on praying means to stay connected and stay consistent in your communication with the Lord.

Your level of protection in spiritual warfare is vitally related to your daily connectivity to Christ through prayer. Are you praying? Are you staying connected to Christ and His provision?

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Pastor of Leadership and Pastoral Care

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, November 24th, 2007 at 1:00 am
Category Spiritual Warfare.
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November 23rd, 2007

Spiritual Warfare (3)

The devil is already defeated.

“You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4 (NIV)

Jesus lives in you. You are greater than the devil. He has nothing on you. You are a child of the King. Jesus has made your victory over sin, over Satan, and over death, a reality! The devil is already beaten!

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade–kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.” 1 Peter 1:3-5 (NIV)

The devil’s time is limited. He knows that his end is near. Therefore, the devil mobilizes his demonic entourage to distract and discourage believers. Remember, the penalty for your sin has been paid in full by the atoning work of Jesus on the cross. Remember, the same power that raised Jesus from the dead is living in you in the Person of the Holy Spirit who lives in you.

“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.” 1 Cor 6:19-20 (NIV)

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Pastor of Leadership and Pastoral Care

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, November 23rd, 2007 at 1:00 am
Category Spiritual Warfare.
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November 22nd, 2007

Spiritual Warfare (2)

The devil always opposes.

The devil opposes God and anything of God. Since the devil can’t attack God, he seeks to attack that which is closest to God’s heart, you! The devil attacks God’s children. The devil is the enemy!

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10 (NIV)

The devil seeks to steal what Jesus reveals. Jesus is the devil’s greatest threat. Jesus brings you life, meaning, and purpose. Jesus reveals His plan for your life. Jesus gives you a reason to live and a song to sing and a mission to fulfill. The devil can’t stand what Jesus has done for you. The devil can’t rest until you forsake your loyalty to Christ. The devil can’t cease agitating you and attacking you until you give up.

Recognize that the devil is anti-God. Become aware of the devil’s strategy. Don’t give in to his schemes. Don’t compromise your convictions and your commitment to Christ. Let the devil know who you are and whose you are.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Pastor of Leadership and Pastoral Care

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, November 22nd, 2007 at 1:00 am
Category Spiritual Warfare.
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November 21st, 2007

Spiritual Warfare (1)

The devil actually exists.

A passenger on the plane noticed a pastor sitting next to him reading the Bible. The passenger quizzed the pastor about his belief in the Bible. The pastor let the passenger know that he indeed believed every word of the Bible. The passenger frustratingly asked about the pastor’s belief in Jonah actually being swallowed by a large fish. The pastor said, “Well, of course I do. In fact, when I get to Heaven, I’ll ask Jonah about it.”

The passenger inquired, “What if Jonah’s not there?”

The pastor responded, “Then you can ask him!”

Friend, there is a Hell and the devil actually exists.  The Bible affirms, “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8 (NIV)

God is for you. The devil is against you. God has an agenda for your life. The devil has an agenda for your life. God is at work. The devil is at work. There is a perpetual war going on in the spiritual realm.

Are you in touch with the reality of the enemy?

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Eph 6:12 (NIV)

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Pastor of Leadership and Pastoral Care

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, November 21st, 2007 at 1:00 am
Category Spiritual Warfare.
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