Archive for November, 2008

November 30th, 2008

It’s Your Serve (7)

“You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.” Gal 5:13 (NIV)

You are free! You have the freedom to serve and the freedom to choose not to serve. The freedom is yours to turn inward and become self-focused and self-absorbed. However, the freedom is yours also to turn outward and become other-focused. You can embrace the freedom you have in Christ and unleash that freedom to serve God and to serve to benefit others.

Freedom can be abused. You can embrace your freedom to feed your flesh. As you feed the cravings of your sinful nature, your fleshly appetite will increase. Indulgence is a natural byproduct of our fallen nature. It is possible to drift into selfishness and self worship. Idolatry is simply the perversion of freedom.

What if you captured your freedom in Christ like a sail capturing the wind in order to serve one another? Your mobility and your maneuverability for the Lord would be catalytic. Operating in the freedom that you have in Christ removes the curtain of darkness over the horizon. You have been set free by the shed blood of Jesus to pursue God and to participate in His Kingdom agenda. Serve one another in love. Impart to others the same unconditional love you have graciously received from God in Christ.

It’s your serve!

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, November 30th, 2008 at 1:00 am
Category Servanthood, Serve, Servitude.
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November 29th, 2008

It’s Your Serve (6)

“He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.” 1 Peter 2:24-25 (NIV)

What motivates you to serve God? What motivates you to serve to benefit others? It’s not our natural proclivity to serve. Serving is the result of an abiding relationship with Jesus. Selfishness flows like a river in the human race. Selflessness flows from the life of Christ through a believer fully yielded to Christ.

  • “But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.” Romans 7:6 (NIV)
  • “How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!” Heb 9:14 (NIV)

Jesus took the initiative to pay the penalty for our sins so that we could die to sin and live for righteousness. As sheep, we follow our Shepherd’s lead. Jesus was willing to serve to benefit us immediately and eternally. We have been released from the law that once bound us in order to serve in the way of the Spirit. We have been empowered to live the Christ-centered life by the Indwelling Holy Spirit. Jesus has provided the way for us to serve the living God!

What is keeping you from serving God with full surrender and absolute devotion? What is keeping you from serving to benefit others in power of the Holy Spirit?

It’s your serve!

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, November 29th, 2008 at 1:00 am
Category Motivation, Servanthood, Serve, Servitude.
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November 28th, 2008

It’s Your Serve (5)

“I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.” John 13:15 (NIV)

God has called you to serve. You were rescued by God and reconciled to God in order to serve God by serving to benefit others. Your life purpose on the earth is to be Jesus beginning in your Jerusalem. Jesus has demonstrated what a life yielded to God’s purpose looks like. Jesus, though He was the master, chose to become the servant and wash His disciples’ feet. The lowly task of touching and washing dirty feet was the portrait of servitude exhibited by Jesus.

As a follower of Jesus Christ, you are not asked to do anything Jesus has not already done. To learn how to love God and how to love people, simply examine the life of Christ. To learn how to serve God and how to serve people, fasten your focus on Jesus.

  • “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Heb 12:2 (NIV)
  • “To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.” 1 Peter 2:21 (NIV)

Do as Jesus has done for you. Serve others as Jesus has served you by giving His life for you. Benefit others as Jesus has benefited you by bringing you into a right relationship with God.

It’s your serve!

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, November 28th, 2008 at 1:00 am
Category Jesus, Servanthood, Serve, Servitude.
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November 27th, 2008

It’s Your Serve (4)

“When he came to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he really was a disciple. But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. He told them how Saul on his journey had seen the Lord and that the Lord had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had preached fearlessly in the name of Jesus. So Saul stayed with them and moved about freely in Jerusalem, speaking boldly in the name of the Lord.” Acts 9:26-28 (NIV)

Imagine the New Testament without Barnabas. What if Barnabas was unwilling to step up and stand in the gap for Saul (Paul)? What if Paul would not have been accepted by the apostles in the church at Jerusalem? Barnabas chose to serve Paul by befriending him and establishing him within the church at Jerusalem. As a result, Paul went on three missionary journeys and gave birth to many churches. Because Barnabas was willing to serve to benefit others, Paul was able to write what is now half of our New Testament. Remove Barnabas and we lose Paul. If we lose Paul, we lose half of the New Testament. Do you think that Barnabas made an eternal impact by serving to benefit others?

What a wonderful example of serving! Barnabas is such a great example of what God can do with a person who is willing to serve to benefit others. Live to be a blessing! Choose to serve to benefit others!

It’s your serve!

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, November 27th, 2008 at 1:00 am
Category Barnabas, Paul, Servanthood, Serve, Servitude.
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November 26th, 2008

It’s Your Serve (3)

“Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means Son of Encouragement), sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles’ feet.” Acts 4:36-37 (NIV)

We are introduced to Barnabas in the flow of the movement of God known as the Jerusalem church. There were no needy people among the flock because the church family willingly sold some of their houses and land and brought the proceeds to the apostles for distribution. Barnabas embraced the “others-first” lifestyle. He sold a field he owned and brought the money to the apostles.

His real name was Joseph, but the apostles called him Barnabas. The name Barnabas means Son of Encouragement. Barnabas lived in such a way as to add value to the lives of others. He was the kind of believer who would draw out the best in others.

  • “The purposes of a man’s heart are deep waters, but a man of understanding draws them out.” Prov 20:5 (NIV)

Are you serving to benefit others? What if you sought to draw out the best in others? Think about the people God has placed in your sphere of influence. Think about your family, your friends, and your frequent acquaintances. What if you chose to serve to benefit them?

Live in such a way as to add value to others. It’s your serve!

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, November 26th, 2008 at 1:00 am
Category Barnabas, Servanthood, Serve, Servitude.
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November 25th, 2008

It’s Your Serve (2)

Consumerism dominates our cultural landscape. We easily slide into a “what have you done for me lately” mindset. In the natural, being served by others has instant appeal. We crave being served. Scratch my back and then I will let you scratch my back again.

In God’s kingdom economy, the focus shifts from selfishness to selflessness. As God’s kingdom citizens, we are to move away from a “me-first” mentality in order to embrace the “others-first” lifestyle.

  • “‘For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.’” Mark 10:45 (NIV)

Jesus consistently lived the “others-first” lifestyle. As the Son of God, He had every right to be served, yet He chose to serve to benefit others. Jesus is our model to follow. Jesus is the ultimate example for us to emulate. We will never find a more accurate portrait of servitude than the One who gave His life for us.

Who will benefit from your life today? Ask God to elevate your sensitivity to each opportunity to serve to benefit others.

It’s your serve!

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, November 25th, 2008 at 1:00 am
Category Servanthood, Serve, Servitude.
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November 24th, 2008

It’s Your Serve (1)

The situation looked bleak as the disciples tried to figure out a way to feed the five thousand men. When you add in the women and children, the need to feed triples in number. Philip quickly responded to Jesus that it would take more than eight months’ wages to provide each person with a bite. Then Andrew brings a little boy with a sack lunch to Jesus.

  • “Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up, ‘Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?’” John 6:8-9 (NIV).

We do not know the boy’s name, but we know something about his heart. This little boy was willing to serve to benefit others. He was willing to give up his lunch so that others could eat. Jesus maximized this little boy’s generosity and multiplied the blessing to meet all the needs. Not only did the little boy get to eat, but the multitudes ate as much as they wanted. Miraculously, the leftovers filled twelve baskets (John 6:13).

What if we chose to serve to benefit others? How would Jesus use us to spread His love if we consistently put the needs of others before our own?

It’s your serve!

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, November 24th, 2008 at 1:00 am
Category Servanthood, Serve, Servitude.
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November 23rd, 2008

God Works

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 (NIV)

While you were sleeping, God was working. He does not sleep. God is always at work. His work is continuous and consistent. Whatever you are facing today, God is working. Whatever you are dreading today, God is working. Whatever you are fearing today, God is working.

In all things, God works! He takes the initiative. Regardless of how confusing your current circumstance may seem to you, God is at work. He takes the initiative to work for your good and His glory. In all things God works for the good of those who love Him.

Do you love Him? Have you been called according to His purpose? Then you can walk in assurance today knowing that in all the things you face, in all the things you are wrestling with, in all the things that seem impossible, God works for your good. He will do what is best for you. He formed you and fashioned you and He will orchestrate all of the circumstances that surround you in order to work for your good.

Now that is the favor of God! You are favored by God. You are His treasure. Trust Him.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, November 23rd, 2008 at 1:00 am
Category God's Provision, Grace, Growth, Relief.
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November 22nd, 2008

Living as Clay

“But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands…” Jer 18:4 (NIV)

Whenever you purchase an item that has an “as is” tag on it, you accept the fact that it may be flawed. In other words, the item may not be perfect.

The beauty of salvation is that God accepted us “as is” and brought us into a vibrant love relationship with Himself to move us from “as is” to “what could be” in His hands. Yes! We were marred in His hands. But, He lovingly and patiently removes the imperfections of our attitude, behavior, and speech.

Being on the Potter’s wheel can be painful at times. As God allows us to go through suffering and sorrow in this life, the areas of our life that do not reflect Christ-likeness will be dealt with. God will grow us through the pain. He will mold us and shape us through adversity.

Bathsheba endured some difficult seasons in her life. She experienced loneliness, grief, delays, disappointment, and shattered dreams. Yet, God redeemed all of those seasons in her life to bring her into a deeper relationship with Himself. She would have never become a Proverbs 31 woman without the adversity that God allowed her to face. She was marred in His hands. As a result of the loving touch of the Potter’s hands, she became a masterpiece!

Are you on the Potter’s wheel? Be patient. Allow God to mold you. He took you “as is” and He is shaping you for eternal significance.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, November 22nd, 2008 at 1:00 am
Category Clay, God's Provision, Intentionality, Potential, Relief.
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November 21st, 2008

Selective Memory

“For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me.” Psalms 51:3 (NIV)

How’s your memory? Can you remember your favorite vacation from your childhood? Can you remember learning how to swim or braving the high diving board for the first time? Do you remember the day you got your driver’s license? There’s power in memory.

Memory can paralyze us with fear or mobilize us to persevere. Memory can blockade us like a brick wall or project us forward like a smooth water slide. It depends on how you utilize your memory.

Satan uses memory to ridicule and demean us. He uses our memory to stifle our growth and to discredit our progress. Satan will bring to our minds the darkness of our past in order to cripple us.

Yet, where Satan seeks to bring death and destruction, God can bring life and victory! God uses memory to remind us where we would be without His abundant grace and abiding peace. God allows us to remember our sin so that we will know where He brought us from.

David acknowledged his sin. David affirmed the reality of sin always being before him in his memory. The question is not: Why do I remember my sin? The question is: What will I do in response to my ability to remember my sin?

God wants us to remember that He rescued us from our sin so that we can live the abundant life. So, when Satan reminds you of your past just remind him of God’s provision of cleansing through the shed blood of His Son and our Savior, the Lord Jesus! Yes! Now that’s using memory in victory!

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, November 21st, 2008 at 1:00 am
Category Forgiveness, Memory, Relief, Sin.
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