Archive for April, 2009

April 30th, 2009

God’s Orchestration

“In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory.” Eph 1:11-12 (NIV)

Has your life ever become complicated and messy? Have you traveled down a road you never thought you would navigate? Living in a fallen world tends to cause us to experience unexpected turns in life. Sometimes we make poor choices and sometimes the decisions of others negatively affect us. It could be that a relationship has diverted into unhealthy patterns or personal behaviors have drifted away from God’s best.

The good news is that God is sovereign. He rules and He reigns. He always has the final say in any and every situation. Even when you make a disastrous move, God can orchestrate your path for your good and His glory. Notice how our Bible verse says that God works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will. He is God! There is nothing that is impossible with Him. He can handle your situation. He can handle your relationships.

God orchestrates everything we encounter to bring about His will. Right now your current challenge may seem like an uphill climb dragging two dead elephants. God can take any difficult situation and orchestrate the details to conform to His plan.

Are you willing to surrender your hurts, your frustrations, your disappointments, and your fears to God? Release them and entrust them to God’s sovereign care. He is the master conductor in the orchestra called life.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, April 30th, 2009 at 1:00 am
Category Orchestration, Sovereignty.
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April 29th, 2009

Understanding and Doing God’s Will

“Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or swerve from them.” Prov 4:5 (NIV)

We know more than we obey. Wisdom is to know and comprehend. Understanding is to apply what we know and comprehend. Application of God’s Word indicates fullness in Christ.

Just as a treadmill will not benefit your health unless you get on it and use it, God’s Word will not bring understanding until you apply it. Application leads to clarification, maturation, and transformation. Wisdom and understanding become evidenced through application. Put God’s Word and God’s wisdom into practice.

Where do you start? You start by reading God’s Word. Next, you meditate on God’s Word. Then, you apply God’s Word. Instead of leaning on your own understanding, trust in the Lord and acknowledge His ways (Prv. 3:5-6). Instead of swerving from God’s Word, get His wisdom and His understanding (Prv. 4:5). Instead of coasting through life, diligently get understanding (Prv. 4:7).

Obey what you know! Apply what God has spoken into your life with understanding! Walk in the light God gives you! The adventure continues as you walk with God and entrust your life to His care. God has special plans for you that will bring you into a closer relationship with Him. You will need God’s wisdom and understanding to participate with Him in His agenda.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, April 29th, 2009 at 1:00 am
Category Application, Obedience, Understanding.
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April 28th, 2009

Unveiling the Mystery

“And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment–to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.” Eph 1:9-10 (NIV)

The mystery Paul is speaking of is not mysterious. He is speaking about something once hidden now made known. God is a God of revelation. As Henry Blackaby says, “God reveals Himself, His purposes, and His ways.” God wants you to know His will. God invites you into a relationship through which you come to learn how to walk with Him.

Have you noticed the activity of God in your life? There’s no mystery here! God is at work! It brings God pleasure to reveal His will to you. God is moved by the relational interaction between Himself and the one He pursues. You are that one! God pursues you with His everlasting love in order to bring you into harmony with His purpose and plans. You are treasured by God.

Spend some time tracing the activity of God in your life. You may want to write down some spiritual markers in your life that help you identify God’s activity in and through your circumstances. Be sure to include spiritual markers such as salvation and baptism. Think about seasons of uncertainty that you navigated with God. Slow down and feel the love God has shown you. Be reminded of the faithfulness of God to reveal Himself to you in the midst of adversity. God has never left you and He will never forsake you.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, April 28th, 2009 at 1:00 am
Category Mystery, Revelation, Understanding.
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April 27th, 2009

Safe and Sealed

“Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.” 2 Cor 1:21-22 (NIV)

Perhaps you have heard the expression, “Life has no guarantees!” Well, that’s just not true. In Christ, you have a guarantee that no one can disrupt. God guarantees your safe and secure eternal destiny. How does God indicate the security of our future? “Now it is God who has made us for this very purpose and has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come” (2 Cor 5:5 NIV).

God gives His Holy Spirit to us at conversion. The moment we confess Jesus as Lord and embrace the reality that God raised Jesus from the dead; we are saved and filled with His Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit indwells us permanently. The Holy Spirit does not move in and then move out. His indwelling Presence becomes our guarantee.

You are made fit by God for the Holy Spirit’s habitation. At the moment of your conversion, the Holy Spirit comes to live inside of you. You become the walking Tabernacle of His Presence. The Holy Spirit guarantees what is to come. Your eternal security is enveloped by the indwelling Presence of the Holy Spirit.

Have you received God’s deposit? Read Ephesians 1:13-14 and reflect on the spiritual blessing God has bestowed upon you. You are safe and sealed for eternity.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, April 27th, 2009 at 1:00 am
Category Eternal security, Guarantee, Spiritual Blessing.
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April 26th, 2009

Forgiveness Forever

“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)

If you are in Christ, then you are forgiven. Because of Christ’s atonement, you have been declared righteous. Your sins have been forgiven.

  • “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.” Eph 1:7-8 (NIV)
  • “In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.” Heb 9:22 (NIV)

Jesus shed His blood to pay the debt of your sin in full. Have you received God’s forgiveness? Confess your sins and God will forgive you of your sins (1 Jn 1:9). Jesus atoned for your sin by dying on the cross as the perfect and sinless sacrifice. His payment for your sin was sufficient to provide for your cleansing. Now walk in the reality of being in Christ. You are forgiven.

You have a right standing before God because of your faith in the atoning work of Christ on the cross. You are forgiven because He was forsaken. Jesus bore the penalty for your sin. Jesus provided for the forgiveness of your sins. Heaven and eternal life define your future because of what Jesus did on your behalf. You are forgiven. Your sins have been removed as far as the east is from the west (Ps. 103:12).

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, April 26th, 2009 at 1:00 am
Category Atonement, Faith, Forgiveness.
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April 25th, 2009

Redeemed by the Blood

“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.” Eph 1:7-8 (NIV)

Our position of being “in Christ” unlocks the treasure chest of His resources. It is imperative that you make certain that you are in Christ. Your union with Jesus will release the spiritual blessings He has for you. In Christ, you are a saint, you are chosen, you are adopted, you are accepted, and you are redeemed.

Redemption in the language of the New Testament carries the idea of purchasing or redeeming a slave in order to set him free. Jesus purchased you with His blood in order to set you free. He ransomed you through His death.

Do you realize how valuable you are in God’s sight? Do you understand that Jesus paid your sin debt in full? You have been redeemed!

I am reminded of the song, “He paid a debt He did not owe. I owed a debt I could not pay. I needed someone to wash my sins away.” Thank God for His redeeming love! Rejoice in your new identity that Christ purchased!

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, April 25th, 2009 at 1:00 am
Category Faith, Redemption, Spiritual Blessing.
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April 24th, 2009

Accepting His Acceptance

“…to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.” Eph 1:6 (NIV)

How do you respond to rejection? Do you allow the rejection to inject you with insecurity or do you challenge the rejection? Rejection is painful. We long for acceptance. The wonderful news is that in Christ, you are accepted. God has accepted you on the basis of His redeeming love for you. Remember, in Christ, you are a saint, you are blessed, you are chosen, you are adopted, and you are accepted.

Have you accepted God’s acceptance of you? He took the initiative to demonstrate His acceptance of you by freely giving you His grace in Jesus. Do you measure up to His standard of righteousness? No! However, God declared you righteous when you accepted the atoning work of Jesus on the cross.

When rejection surfaces, combat the lies with the truth of God’s acceptance of you. Your peace in this life will be proportionate to your acceptance of God’s acceptance of you. Your acceptance of God’s acceptance of you will give you lasting peace and eternal security. Some people may reject you. At times, people may misunderstand you. However, you can respond to rejection by living in light of your acceptance of God’s acceptance of you. “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8 NIV).

Your acceptance has permanence! Choose to accept God’s acceptance of you.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, April 24th, 2009 at 1:00 am
Category Acceptance, Faith, Spiritual Blessing.
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April 23rd, 2009

Adopted into God’s Family

“For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will–to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.” Eph 1:4-6 (NIV)

If you are in Christ, then have been adopted into God’s family. God gave the right for you to become a child of God. In love, God predestined you to be adopted as His child in Jesus Christ. “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12 NIV).

God’s grace is the gateway to your adoption into His family (Eph. 2:8-9). Your adoption is formalized at conversion. God takes the initiative to draw you by convicting you of sin and convincing you of His righteousness. God gives you the freedom to choose Him or refuse Him. His salvation is available to all but only effective for those who place their trust in the completed work of Jesus on the cross.

Adoption is not an option. Adoption is the spiritual blessing for those who are in Christ. Spend some time thanking God for His willingness to adopt you into His family. God selected you. You are God’s choice. In spite of your sin, in spite of your inadequacies, and in spite of your inconsistencies, God chose to adopt you into His family.

Be sensitive to opportunities this week to express your adoption. God has made this eternal adoption transaction available to all. Will you be available to be used by God to share His offer of salvation to those who are disconnected from Christ?

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, April 23rd, 2009 at 1:00 am
Category Adopted, God's Family, Identity.
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April 22nd, 2009

Chosen By God

“For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.” Eph 1:4 (NIV)

Have you ever wondered what makes people do good things? Why would someone choose the way of truth? Why would someone set their heart on God’s laws? Perhaps a person’s behavior is related to his or her position in Christ. In Christ, you are a saint, you are blessed, and you are chosen.

Did you choose God or did God choose you? You were chosen by God long before you were even born. The song says, “While He (Jesus) was on the cross, I was on His mind.” Even before Jesus came to earth to live a sinless life, die a substitutionary death, and defeat sin and death, you were chosen by God. Before God splattered the stars in the universe, you were chosen. Before God spoke light into existence, you were chosen. Before God separated the day from the night, you were chosen.

  • “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit–fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.” John 15:16 (NIV)
  • “But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God chose you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth.” 2 Thess 2:13 (NIV)

Why were you chosen? You were chosen by God to bear fruit that will last. You were chosen by God to be saved. Can you pull that off by yourself? No! Does God expect you to pull that off by yourself? No! Jesus came so that you could live the life of choseness.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009 at 1:00 am
Category Chosen, Identity, Spiritual Blessing.
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April 21st, 2009

Blessed to Be a Blessing

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.” Eph 1:3 (NIV)

You are God’s treasure. Can you imagine the Creator of the universe being the reason for your existence? You are not an accident. God purposed for you to be born. You were planned by God. Another reality of being in Christ is that you are blessed. If you are in Christ, then you can say, “I am blessed.” Go ahead and say it aloud!

God has blessed you in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. God’s resources are unlimited. He never runs out! He never runs dry! His shelves are never empty! Our God of abundance has blessed you with every spiritual blessing in Christ.

When someone asks you today, “How are you doing?”…don’t say, “Oh, I’m doing alright.” Instead, say with conviction and confidence and assurance, “I am  blessed!” Doesn’t that make you want to shout? Don’t ever forget who you are in Christ. You are a child of the King! You are blessed and highly favored by the Lord. Walk in the new identity you have in Christ.

You are blessed to be a blessing to others. Regardless of your circumstances, your identity in Christ is safe and secure. Your identity is fashioned by God. You are blessed by God to be a blessing for God.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, April 21st, 2009 at 1:00 am
Category Blessed, Faith, Identity, Spiritual Blessing.
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