Archive for June, 2008

June 30th, 2008

Going to the Next Level (4)

“But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it–he will be blessed in what he does.” James 1:25 (NIV)

How would you define success? The bumper sticker says, “He who dies with the most toys wins.” Is that success? God’s definition of success is summed up in one word: obedience. As you faithfully and consistently put God’s Word into practice, you will be successful in God’s economy.

Faithful application of God’s Word will lead to transformation. Your obedience to God’s Word will result in perpetual life change. You will become more and more like Christ. What does that transformation look like in the real world?

  • “If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.” James 1:26 (NIV)
  • “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” James 1:27 (NIV)

Both your conversation and conduct will be transformed by the consistent application of God’s Word. The way you speak will be radically transformed. The way you view others and the way you treat others will be radically transformed. God’s Word will be alive and active in you. Your relationship with God and your relationship with people will take on a new dimension proportionate to your obedience to God’s Word.

Look within and detect areas of your life that need be come under the authority of God’s Word. Yield to the call of God to consistently apply His Word in daily living. Allow all of your relationships to be transformed by the application of God’s Word. Let God change you on the inside. Let Christ in you become evident to the watching world.

Remember, you are still in the process of becoming who you are in Christ. Be patient. God is enabling you to workout what He has worked in. Look into the mirror of His Word each day and give Jesus the reigns to your life. Your transformation has eternal implications.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, June 30th, 2008 at 1:00 am
Category Listening to God, Obedience, Success, Transformation.
Interact No Comments
June 29th, 2008

Going to the Next Level (3)

“But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it–he will be blessed in what he does.” James 1:25 (NIV)

Information and examination without application will lead to frustration. God wants you to look intently into His Word. Pour your life into the reading and studying of God’s Word. Don’t neglect the discipline of investigation. Dive deep into God’s Word. Be sure to come out of investigation with application. Personalize God’s Word by asking: So what? Now what?

God reveals Himself to you through His Word so that you will do what He says. God reveals His heart and His agenda so that you can literally put feet to the faith God imparts. Move from being a hearer of the Word only, to being a doer of the Word. Activate God’s Word in your life through practical living. Put God’s Word into practice.

Start with loving God with all of your heart, mind, and strength. Launch into loving your neighbor as yourself. Begin forgiving others as God has forgiven you. Passionately serve others as Christ modeled faithfully. Be merciful. Be compassionate. Be gentle. Be faithful. Be considerate. Be patient.

Just do what God says! Move from information to examination and then to application. There’s another level that has eternal implications. Are you ready to go to the next level?

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, June 29th, 2008 at 1:00 am
Category Application, Listening to God, Obedience.
Interact No Comments
June 28th, 2008

Going to the Next Level (2)

“Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.” James 1:23-24 (NIV)

God’s Word is a mirror. As we read and hear God’s Word, we begin to see God for who He is and we begin to see ourselves as we really are in light of who God is. God’s Word reveals God’s holiness and our sinfulness. We have the opportunity to move from information to examination. In our spiritual growth, we seek to allow God’s Word to penetrate our lives.

  • “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalms 139:23-24 (NIV)
  • “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Heb 4:12 (NIV)

Are you willing to go to the next level and ask God to search your heart? Will you begin reading God’s Word and hearing God’s Word with the intent of examination? Invite the light of God’s Word to expose areas of darkness or neglect that have embedded in your life. Confess known sin and fully surrender to the Spirit’s control. Walk circumspectly in light of what God reveals to you through His Word.

God is for you. God has already demonstrated His unconditional love by giving His best, Jesus, to die on the cross to pay the penalty for your sin. You are forgiven! You are free to draw near to God and allow Him to draw near to you.

Move from information to examination. Are you ready to go to the next level?

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, June 28th, 2008 at 1:00 am
Category Examination, Holiness, Listening to God, Obedience.
Interact No Comments
June 27th, 2008

Going to the Next Level (1)

“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” James 1:22 (NIV)

We are bombarded with information. From billboards to books, from electronic media to engaging magazines, there is no void of information. The accessibility of information is literally at our fingertips. If you really want to know something, there are unlimited avenues of securing the information that you are seeking.

The Bible is still the most read book on planet earth. As you read God’s Word, you have the opportunity to listen to what God is saying and then to do what He says. However, you also have the opportunity to keep God’s Word at a distance. You can listen to God’s Word for information purposes only. Your reading and hearing of God’s Word becomes a cognitive exercise that yields minimal fruit in your life. God wants your level of listening to move beyond that of information. The reality is that we know more than we are doing. It is not that we need to know more at this point, but rather obey what we already know.

You can literally deceive yourself by listening to the Word of God at the level of information. God’s Word is designed for more than just informing you about facts and trends. God’s Word is to inform you about the nature and character of God. God’s Word is to inform you about His world redemption plan and where you fit into the process. However, you can stay at the level of knowing about God and His plan without allowing the information to directly impact your life.

God wants you to go to the next level.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, June 27th, 2008 at 1:00 am
Category God's Word, Information, Listening.
Interact No Comments
June 26th, 2008

Obey His Way (3)

“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.” James 1:22-24 (NIV)

What does a life of instant obedience look like? It looks like humility, gentleness, patience, and forbearance in action. It is not enough to know to do right. You must place into action what you know. Application is the activation of faith. Notice how Jesus describes such a life.

  • “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” Matt 7:24-27 (NIV)

Jesus authenticates that hearing God’s Word is not enough. You must put feet to your faith by putting God’s Word into practice. Application determines whether you are building on sand or on the rock.

Take a close look at your conduct both in private and in public. What does your conduct declare about your faith? Are you obeying what you know? Is your conduct consistent with the character of Christ? Are you building on the rock or on sand? Obey His way!

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, June 26th, 2008 at 1:00 am
Category Obedience.
Interact No Comments
June 25th, 2008

Obey His Way (2)

So Abram left, as the LORD had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Haran.” Gen 12:4 (NIV)

What is keeping you from obeying God? Do you fear the unknown? Are you uncomfortable making a move without having more information? Maybe God has chosen to limit His revelation to match your obedience. Once you obey what He has already said, then He will show you the next step.

Abram took God at His word! He simply obeyed God. God told Abram to leave and go to a land that He would show him. Guess what? Abram left, as the Lord told him. He obeyed.

You can never go wrong obeying God. His way is always the best way. Even when it doesn’t make sense or seem remotely logical, God’s way is the right way. If you are confused about your next step, just obey what He has already said. Start there!

Identify what you are wrestling with right now? What is keeping you from taking the next step? Place that fear or frustration before the Lord in prayer and see how He helps you take the next step. You can trust God with your present circumstances and your future hopes and dreams.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, June 25th, 2008 at 1:00 am
Category Abraham, Obedience, Trust.
Interact No Comments
June 24th, 2008

Obey His Way (1)

“My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.” James 1:19-20 (NIV)

Is your number one priority to obey God? Obeying God begins with surrendering to the Lordship of Christ and giving Him complete control of your life. God has given you two ears and one mouth. Be quick to listen. Listen to God’s Word so that you can discover God’s way.

Obeying God is always the best choice. Obedience to God is not only a mark of spiritual maturity; it is the birthmark of being born again. Obeying God is a non-negotiable.

  • We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands” I Jn 2:3 NIV
  • “Then Samuel said, ‘Speak, for your servant is listening.’” 1 Sam 3:10 (NIV)

Are you in tune with the voice of God? God is a God of revelation. He chooses to reveal Himself to you. Are you listening? God reveals His ways so that you can obey Him.

Obedience to God is always the best option. Obey His way.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, June 24th, 2008 at 1:00 am
Category Obedience.
Interact No Comments
June 23rd, 2008

Purity

“Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.” 2 Cor 7:1 (NIV)

Is it possible to stay clean while living in a dirty world? Every possibility for contaminating our lives is available to us. Sin is rampant. We face trials from without and temptation from within. The cultural current is moving in the opposite direction of the Christ honoring flow. We must make a conscious and continuous decision to walk in purity.

  • “Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” James 4:8 (NIV)
  • “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.” 1 Tim 4:12 (NIV)

Purify yourself and perfect holiness. Purify your heart and set an example for the believers in purity. In Christ, you are positionally pure. In Christ, you are a new creation. In Christ, you are adopted into God’s family. Now live out practically what you are positionally in Christ. The only way to reign in this life is to allow Christ to reign in your life. Submit to His authority in your life. Allow Jesus to live His life through you.

Staying clean while living in a dirty world is only possible in the strength Christ provides. Jesus has already set the example. Jesus has demonstrated the life of purity in a sin-polluted culture. Jesus lived a sinless life and died a sacrificial death so that you can walk in victory.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, June 23rd, 2008 at 1:00 am
Category Purity.
Interact No Comments
June 22nd, 2008

Judgment Seat of Christ

“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.” 2 Cor 5:10 (NIV)

Everyone will live forever somewhere.

What you do with Christ during your brief stay on planet earth will determine whether you spend eternity in heaven or hell. Your response to God’s offer of salvation is the deciding factor to your eternal destination. As Bruce Wilkinson says, “Your belief determines where you will spend eternity; your behavior determines how you will spend eternity.”

  • “You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat.” Romans 14:10 (NIV)
  • “Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Phil 2:9-11 (NIV)

Every human being will stand before God to give an account for his or her life. Every person will bow and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord! Those who reject God’s offer of salvation while living on earth will still bow and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, but it will be eternally too late. Believers will go to the Judgment Seat of Christ to receive reward and heaven while unbelievers will go to the White Throne Judgment (Rev. 20:11-15) to receive punishment and hell.

Live circumspectly! Live in full awareness of God’s holiness, purity, and justice! Take as many people with you to heaven as you possibly can in full surrender to the Spirit’s control. Make the most of every opportunity!

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, June 22nd, 2008 at 1:00 am
Category Belief, Heaven, Hell, Judgment.
Interact No Comments
June 21st, 2008

Transformation

“And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” 2 Cor 3:18 (NIV)

We are still on the Potter’s wheel.

How refreshing to know that we are still in the process of becoming who we are in Christ! God is not through with us. We are the clay and God is the Potter. His loving and corrective touch continues to mold and shape our lives for His glory. We are being transformed into the likeness of Christ.

  • “For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.” Romans 8:29 (NIV)
  • “And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven.” 1 Cor 15:49 (NIV)

As we walk with God daily and stay close to Him in prayer and the reading of His Word, we are being transformed with an ever-increasing glory. The glory of God will be revealed in us and through us more and more as we abide in Christ. God draws near to us as we draw near to Him. The glow of God radiates from our life as we exhibit His love and express His life-saving message.

Are there any areas of your life that you have failed to surrender to the Lordship of Christ? Are there any habits or patterns of neglect that are currently hindering the process of transformation in your life? Yield to the Potter’s touch. Allow God to perfect the image of Christ in you. May you become more like Christ today as a result of your willingness to fully surrender to the work of God in your life!

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, June 21st, 2008 at 1:00 am
Category Glory, Transformation.
Interact No Comments