Archive for June, 2009

June 30th, 2009

Simple Obedience

 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.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor
(This devotional was originally posted in ’07 or ’08. I’m taking a break from writing for a season of personal renewal.)
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, June 30th, 2009 at 1:00 am
Category Obedience.
Interact No Comments
June 29th, 2009

Sovereign 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 view? Living in a fallen world tends to cause us to experience unexpected turns in life. Either we make poor choices or the decisions of others negatively affect us. It may be a relationship that has diverted into unhealthy patterns or personal behaviors that drift 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
(This devotional was originally posted in ’07 or ’08. I’m taking a break from writing for a season of personal renewal.)
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, June 29th, 2009 at 1:00 am
Category Orchestration.
Interact No Comments
June 28th, 2009

Divine Favor

 “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
(This devotional was originally posted in ’07 or ’08. I’m taking a break from writing for a season of personal renewal.)
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, June 28th, 2009 at 1:00 am
Category Favor.
Interact No Comments
June 27th, 2009

Utilizing 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
(This devotional was originally posted in ’07 or ’08. I’m taking a break from writing for a season of personal renewal.)
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, June 27th, 2009 at 1:00 am
Category Memory.
Interact No Comments
June 26th, 2009

Personalization

 “Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions.” Psalms 51:1 (NIV)

David came to the point of desperation after committing the sins of adultery and murder. God used the prophet Nathan to confront David. Nathan used a parable to personalize David’s sin and then injected the piercing accusatory statement, “You are the man!”

Have you heard these lyrics before? “It’s me! It’s me O Lord, standing in the need of prayer!” Both David and the prodigal son would have embraced this song. It is common throughout our earthly existence to go through seasons of personalization. In fact, if you want to become Christ-like and reach your God-given potential then you must be willing to acknowledge your sin personally.

Personalization is looking into the mirror and confronting the reality of your own sin before you start judging others. The next step is to personalize God’s mercy, unfailing love, and compassion.

Now let’s get personal. What specific area of your life is in desperate need of God’s touch? Identify the sin that entangles you and trace Satan’s strategy. How does the enemy attack you? When are you most susceptible to sin? Where are you when you are most vulnerable to the enemy’s flaming arrows? Is it when you travel? Is it when you are home alone? Is it when you are at work?

Personalize Psalms 51:1 and pray it to God right now. Go ahead and pray this Scripture and see how God reveals his mercy, unfailing love, and compassion.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor
(This devotional was originally posted in ’07 or ’08. I’m taking a break from writing for a season of personal renewal.)
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, June 26th, 2009 at 1:00 am
Category Personalization, Transgression.
Interact No Comments
June 25th, 2009

Soul Consciousness

“The harvest is past, the summer has ended, and we are not saved.” Jer 8:20 (NIV) 

How much time do you have left on earth? How many people will die without a saving relationship with Jesus Christ within the next twenty-four hours? What difference will your life make in light of eternity? 

Jesus modeled a deep abiding passion for souls. The Bible says, “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost”(Luke 19:10 NIV). Jesus never lost His focus of redeeming the lost. He did not neglect His mission to save the lost at any cost. 

How many lost people are in your sphere of influence? What kind of relational bridge are you building to them? What are you willing to do to introduce them to a saving relationship with Jesus? 

Pray this prayer with me. “Father, forgive me for my passive neglect. Forgive me for being so self-absorbed that I have minimized the urgency of soul-winning. Elevate my soul consciousness. Give me eyes to see lost people in their desperation. Anoint me with the courage of Jesus. Empower me to be your witness and to be your laborer in the harvest field. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.” 

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor
(This devotional was originally posted in ’07 or ’08. I’m taking a break from writing for a season of personal renewal.)
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

 

 

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, June 25th, 2009 at 1:00 am
Category Soul Consciousness.
Interact No Comments
June 24th, 2009

Refreshing Reliance

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Mt. 11:28-30 (NIV)

Jesus is always on time. He knows just what we need right when we need it. His invitation to join Him and to find rest in Him is the antidote to our fast pace lifestyle. As one person said, “If we don’t learn to come apart, we will come apart!”

Why do we feel guilty when we slow down? Why do we gravitate toward the performance trap and end up equating productivity with spirituality? Sometimes the most spiritual move we can make is to slow down and experience the rest Jesus offers.

Be sure to notice in our verse for today that there is a prerequisite to encountering His rest. We must be willing to come to Him. We must be willing to take the initiative to respond to His invitation. That just doesn’t fit our adrenaline addicted society. We tend to long for the next high or the next rush. Maybe we can just capture a few more sips of caffeinated coffee. Will that deliver what we need most?

Perhaps the invitation is to come to the place of total reliance upon God. If I yoke up with Him, then I will have to be willing to go where He goes and embrace the pace He sets. Remember, His yoke is easy and His burden is light. Sounds refreshing!

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor
(This devotional was originally posted in ’07 or ’08. I’m taking a break from writing for a season of personal renewal.)
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, June 24th, 2009 at 1:00 am
Category Reliance, Rest.
Interact No Comments
June 23rd, 2009

Rewards of Serving

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” Col 3:23-24 (NIV)

What motivates you to serve? Do you serve for immediate recognition or eternal reward? Who is calculating your service? Jesus is the Rewarder! As you live to please Him and serve Him, Jesus rewards you personally both now and in the life to come. Your belief determines where you spend eternity. Your behavior determines how you will spend eternity. Jesus rewards your obedience in serving Him.

  • Personal Reward for Giving: “But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” Matt 6:3-4 (NIV)
  • Personal Reward for Praying: “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)
  • Personal Reward for Fasting: “But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” Matt 6:17-18 (NIV)

Your life counts. Are you willing to allow Jesus to live in you and through you today in order to serve others?

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor
(This devotional was originally posted in ’07 or ’08. I’m taking a break from writing for a season of personal renewal.)
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009 at 1:00 am
Category Fasting, Giving, Praying, Rewards.
Interact No Comments
June 22nd, 2009

Intentional Serving

“But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” Josh 24:15 (NIV)

Once you decide to serve the Lord, your life becomes intentional. You begin to live on purpose. In serving Jesus, you are drawn to connect with His family. Jesus is in charge!

  • “And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.” Eph 1:22-23 (NIV)
  • “From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” Eph 4:16 (NIV)

Stability flows from the Head, Jesus, down to the members of His Body, the church. The church is connected and held together by every supporting member. The design is for the church to grow and build itself up as each member does his or her part. Serving together as a team produces organizational stability.

The local church is an organism that God grows as we serve. Stability is the byproduct of a church family serving together in unity. Unity produces stability.

Does that describe the church you are connected to? Are you soaking or serving? Are you a spectator or a participator? Are you a consumer or a contributor?

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor
(This devotional was originally posted in ’07 or ’08. I’m taking a break from writing for a season of personal renewal.)
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, June 22nd, 2009 at 1:00 am
Category Intentionality, Stability, Unity.
Interact 1 Comment
June 21st, 2009

Carrying Your Corner

“Some men came, bringing to him a paralytic, carried by four of them. Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus and, after digging through it, lowered the mat the paralyzed man was lying on. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven.’” Mark 2:3-5 (NIV)

Are you carrying your corner? What if one of the men decided not to carry his corner? Would the paralytic have made it to Jesus and received healing? Jesus saw their faith and healed the paralytic. Each man was carrying his corner.

When you serve through the ministry of the local church with others, God produces the practical unity to fulfill His plan. God honors the unified body of believers who are committed to being on mission with Him. Unity is a mark of spiritual maturity. Jesus exemplified unity in His relationship with our Heavenly Father and with His disciples.

Have you been brought to complete unity with the local expression of the Body of Christ, His Church? Is there anyone that you need to make things right with? Don’t hesitate to do the right thing in order to honor God and to bring unity to His Body. Do whatever it takes to ensure unity. Serving the one who offended you will produce practical unity.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor
(This devotional was originally posted in ’07 or ’08. I’m taking a break from writing for a season of personal renewal.)
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, June 21st, 2009 at 1:00 am
Category Jesus, Serving others, Unity.
Interact No Comments