Archive for August, 2008

August 31st, 2008

Serving

“Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.” John 13:14-15 (NIV)

You are never more like Jesus than when you are serving.

A few years ago, I had the privilege of spending three days with Dr. Adrian Rogers who was the pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis, Tennessee, and is now in heaven. He walked a few of us pastors into the courtyard of Bellevue to show us the statue of Jesus bending down to wash a man’s feet. As we stood to behold the magnitude of the statue, Dr. Rogers said to us, “Men, it’s hard to look down on someone when you are washing his feet.”

God has not saved you to sit, but to serve. Jesus was not obedient to death on the cross so that you could embrace a consumer mindset of wanting to be served by others. Jesus took on the full wrath of God for your sin in order to save you from your sin and to propel you into a life of serving others. Jesus is not asking us to do anything He has not already done. Jesus is not asking us to give anything He has not already given. Jesus is our model to follow. 

Are you doing as Jesus has done? Are you placing the needs of others before your own? Are you seizing the opportunities that God gives you to serve others? Are you serving your family? Are you serving your classmates or co-workers? Are you serving strangers?

Have you washed any feet lately? 

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, August 31st, 2008 at 1:00 am
Category Jesus, Servanthood, Serving, Spiritual Gifts.
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August 30th, 2008

Fishing

“‘Come, follow me,’ Jesus said, ‘and I will make you fishers of men.’” Mark 1:17 (NIV)

If you aren’t fishing, you aren’t following.

Jesus invites us into a love relationship with Himself that is immediate and eternal. Our relationship with Jesus is to be marked by spiritual maturity and a passion for souls. Once you have been delivered from the flames of hell and graciously positioned on the path that leads to life eternal, you will want to share the Good News with others who don’t know Christ. You will want those who are hellbound to become a new creation in Christ. When your citizenship has been transferred to heaven at conversion (Php. 3:20), you will want others to have the same gift that you have received. You will not be ashamed of the gospel for you will recognize it as the power of God unto salvation (Rom. 1:16).

  • “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who wins souls is wise.” Prov 11:30 (NIV)
  • “I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ.” Philem 1:6 (NIV)

Watch for divine appointments ochestrated by God. The fish will be attracted by the lure of your life transformation in Christ. The glow of God on your countenance and the “Living Water” you splash as you interact with others will draw people to Christ. Let others see Jesus in you. Infuse your conversation with spiritual questions that prompt people to think about their eternal destination. There’s no lack of fish, only a lack of fishers of men, women, boys, and girls (Matt. 9:38). What will you do with the opportunities God gives you this week to make Jesus known?

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, August 30th, 2008 at 1:00 am
Category Evangelism, Fishing, Soul Consciousness, Soulwinning.
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August 29th, 2008

Blooming

“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Eph 2:10 (NIV)

Bloom where God has planted you.

What are you waiting for? Don’t put off what God wants to do in you and through you. Don’t delay in being and portraying what God has created you for. The time is now. God wants you to shine His light and share His love right where you are. You don’t have to wait another moment. God knows where you are and what are you experiencing. God knows the spiritual condition of every person you will come in contact with this week.

You have been saved by knowing Jesus. Now that you are saved, you grow by connecting with Jesus and doing life with other believers. Your salvation event is to be followed by a lifetime process of spiritual growth and development. You grow in order to bloom for God’s glory. God has strategically placed you right where you are so that you can be an irresistible influence for Christ.

  • “In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” Matt 5:16 (NIV)
  • “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” 2 Cor 9:8 (NIV)
  • “And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God.” Col 1:10 (NIV)

Are you growing? Are you allowing Jesus to live His life in you and through you to draw others to a saving relationship with Jesus? Will the population of heaven be increased by your life on earth? Your life matters for eternity!

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, August 29th, 2008 at 1:00 am
Category Growth, Spiritual Maturity.
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August 28th, 2008

The Greenhouse

“‘Come, follow me,’ Jesus said, ‘and I will make you fishers of men.’” Mark 1:17 (NIV)

Where there is health, there is growth.

Jesus invites us into a relationship that is progressive. We move from just believing that Jesus is God’s Son and the Savior of the world to following Him as Lord. We follow Jesus in order to do what He did. Our belief determines where we will spend eternity. Our behavior determines the level of spiritual maturity we attain before going to heaven.

Think about the spiritual environments you are in on a daily and weekly basis. The greenhouse for spiritual maturity is found in private devotion and small group connection. You grow spiritually as you engage in daily communion with the Lord through a daily quiet time. Reading God’s Word, meditating on God’s Word, praying, listening to God’s voice, journaling, and obeying God’s directives form a greenhouse for maturation. Are you making room for unhurried time alone with God? Are you guarding your daily intimacy with God?

A healthy relationship with God and with other believers will produce growth. Are you in a small group with other believers? Are you doing life with a small group of followers of Christ? That small group is made up of vital members of your spiritual family who impact your spiritual development. The environment of small group interaction allows you the opportunity to love and be loved, to know and to be known, to care and to be cared for. Jesus modeled the value of having a small group as He did life with His disciples.

What condition is your greenhouse in? Are you connecting with God daily through private devotion? Are you connecting with a small group of believers weekly in order to inspire and to experience life transformation? Nurture your relationship with Jesus and your relationships with other believers for the glory of God.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, August 28th, 2008 at 1:00 am
Category Growth, Sanctification, Spiritual Maturity.
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August 27th, 2008

The Ultimate Invitation

“As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. ‘Come, follow me,’ Jesus said, ‘and I will make you fishers of men.’” Mark 1:16-17 (NIV)

Have you come to know Christ? When did that eternal transaction take place in your life? Where were you when you recognized your sinfulness and your desperate need for Jesus to come to your rescue?

Conversion is the redemptive work of God in a person’s life. Your conversion is the event of being delivered from the kingdom of darkness and brought into the kingdom of light. Your conversion is the event of being adopted into God’s family and being filled with the Holy Spirit.

As a child of God, you have received the ultimate invitation to know Jesus personally. Jesus invites you to come to Him and enjoy an abiding love relationship with Him that is eternal. Your salvation event is followed by a process of knowing Jesus more intimately. Your conversion is followed by ongoing transformation and spiritual maturation. After you have been adopted into God’s family, you walk with Jesus to work out what God has worked in (Php. 2:12). You are yoked up with Christ to fulfill God’s mission on earth.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, August 27th, 2008 at 1:00 am
Category Following, Invitation, Jesus.
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August 26th, 2008

Consider Your Options

“This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the LORD is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.” Deut 30:19-20 (NIV)

God demonstrates His love and security by giving us options to consider. God does not force us to love Him. Allowing us to choose or refuse Him, God presents us with opportunities to come to know Him by experience. Every human being is on a journey of discovery. Some will ignore God’s revelation and some will choose to come to know God personally through an abiding relationship with Jesus.

Life and death are set before you. You have the freedom to choose the path that leads to life or you can choose the path that leads to death. Consider your options. If you choose life, then you are choosing to orient your life in alignment with God’s agenda. If you choose death, your path will be marked by rebellion against God and His plan for your life.

Choose life so that you will fulfill the purpose for which God created you. Choose life so that the next generation can examine your life and be convinced to follow in your steps on the path of life. Choose life so that you may love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength (Mark 12:30). Learn to listen to His voice and to practice instant obedience (John 10:27).

Have you allowed Jesus to be your life? Consider your options. Now, choose life!

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, August 26th, 2008 at 1:00 am
Category Nature of God, Options, Wisdom.
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August 25th, 2008

Praying Perpetually

“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thess 5:16-18 (NIV)

Are you too busy to pray? Then, you are too busy. Make room for your relationship with God to be nurtured and developed through daily intimacy with God. Guard that special time and place to connect with God through Bible reading, meditating on God’s Word, and prayer. Once you leave that special time and place designed for your daily quiet time, commit to practice God’s Presence throughout the day.

To pray continually or to pray without ceasing is to operate your life throughout the day cognizant of God’s activity. You can enjoy unbroken fellowship with God throughout the day as you remain in an abiding relationship with Christ. As you maintain a level of relational bonding with God through being fully surrendered to His leadership and Lordship, you will enjoy an open line of communication with God.

The Holy Spirit indwelling you will be your constant Companion. You have the privilege and the honor of maintaining a perpetual awareness of God’s Presence in your life. Staying sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s prompting moment by moment will enable you to experience the work of God in you and around you. Your heightened sensitivity to God’s activity will result in deeper intimacy with God.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, August 25th, 2008 at 1:00 am
Category Prayer, Praying.
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August 24th, 2008

Securing a Prayer Closet

“But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” Matt 6:6 (NIV)

When you look into the rear view mirror of your life, where were you when you had the most meaningful times of prayer with the Lord? Can you identify a literal location? What was the environment like? Was it in the morning, at mid-day, in the evening, or into the night? When and where you connect with God matters. Of course, we know that God is omnipresent. There is nowhere God is not. God is everywhere all the time.

Jesus solidifies the discipline of securing a location to connect with God in prayer. Why would the location matter? Can’t you connect with God in prayer from any location? Yes! God can retrieve your prayer from any location, but Jesus is affirming the value of having a special place for communion in addition to practicing God’s Presence throughout the day.

Maybe you already have that special place where you meet with God to read His Word and to spend time in unbroken fellowship with God in prayer. Perhaps you have not selected that special place yet. Think about your schedule and think about a location that will enhance your daily quiet time alone with God. If you prefer solitude, then find a place that will ensure an environment of solitude. If you love the outdoors, find a place outside that helps you best connect with God. If you enjoy worship music playing softly while you commune with God, then have the music ready.

Remember that God will reward you for your private time alone with Him. God desires intimacy with you and has made that level of connection available to you. What will you do with the opportunity God has given you to know Him more?

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, August 24th, 2008 at 1:00 am
Category Prayer, Prayer Closet, Praying, Private Prayer.
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August 23rd, 2008

Praying In Power

“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” James 5:16 (NIV)

How can the prayer of one person be powerful and effective and the prayer of another person be weak and ineffective? The power hinges on the level of righteousness. When a person is positionally in a right standing before Almighty God, the prayer is infused with power. When a person is living in sin and chooses to rebel against God, the prayer is contaminated by the poison of sin.

God rewards righteous living. God is holy and expects His children to be holy (1 Peter 1:16) and to live a life of moral purity. Where there is purity, there is power!

  • “Who may ascend the hill of the LORD? Who may stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to an idol or swear by what is false.” Psalms 24:3-4 (NIV)
  • “I want men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer, without anger or disputing.” 1 Tim 2:8 (NIV)

Do you want your prayer to be powerful and effective? Examine your life and ask God to search your heart (Ps. 139:23). God wants you to have a vibrant prayer life. What is keeping your from having that kind of prayer life? Are you clean before God? Is there any unconfessed sin in your life? Are you harboring even a fraction of bitterness or resentment? Confess the sin God reveals and surrender to the Holy Spirit’s full control of your life. Walk in the purity you have found in Christ.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, August 23rd, 2008 at 1:00 am
Category Power, Prayer, Praying.
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August 22nd, 2008

Praying For Others

“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” James 5:16 (NIV)

You may have been taught to not air out your dirty laundry. In other words, you may have been taught that some things are to be kept within the confines of secrecy. However, in God’s economy, confessing sin to a trusted fellow believer is healthy and demonstrates obedience to God’s Word. We are commanded to confess our sins to each other. Confide in a mature follower of Christ who cares about you and who wants to see you reach your God-given potential. That trusted friend who is yoked with you in Christ will help you experience the liberation from the bondage of sin that you are confessing.

  • “Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Gal 6:1-2 (NIV)
  • “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Col 3:12-13 (NIV)

Doing life together with fellow believers who have the heart of Christ and the love of Christ will be an encouraging journey. We are to walk in such community and fellowship with other believers that confessing sin to each other and praying for each other becomes normal. Of course, the need to confess sin to others will decrease as you turn from sin and embrace the life God has for you. Pray for others with the same passion that you have when you are praying for God’s wisdom for something you are facing personally. Try to get in their skin to feel what they are feeling and to pray with compassion.

Think about a safe and spiritually mature person in your life who would be the person you would go to in order to confess sin. Begin asking God who He would have you to be praying for.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, August 22nd, 2008 at 1:00 am
Category Intercession, Prayer, Praying.
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