Archive for October, 2010

October 31st, 2010

Persist to Resist

“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” 1 Peter 5:8-9 (NIV)

The enemy is persistent in his pursuit of your loyalty. The devil is on a mission to neutralize your faith and to tranquillize your passion for God. Prowling around like a roaring lion, the devil seeks to distort your vision of God. If the enemy can rob you of your passion and your vision, then he has accomplished his mission. The devil cannot attack God, so he chooses to attack God’s family. As a child of God, you are on Satan’s radar.

Persist to resist. You do not have to succumb to the attacks of the devil. You do not have to yield to his temptation to doubt God’s Word. You do not have to surrender to the enemy’s agenda to thwart God’s will. Remember, you are a child of the King! Jesus purchased you with His own blood. You have received the imputed righteousness of Christ. The Holy Spirit lives in you and there is no vacancy for the devil. The enemy is not welcome in your mind. The devil has no place in the landscape of your life devoted to the Lord.

Stand firm in the faith. Remember the confidence you placed in the completed work of Jesus on the cross. Stand firm in the reality of your new identity in Christ. Allow the fruit of the Spirit, self-control, to be released in your life. Starve the flesh and feed the Spirit. Guard your heart. Put on the full armor of God. Be alert! Don’t drift into apathy. Don’t coast into complacency. Stand firm in the faith God has given you.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, October 31st, 2010 at 1:00 am
Category Devil, Spiritual Warfare, Victory.
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October 30th, 2010

Enjoy the Journey

“One day Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Let’s go over to the other side of the lake.’ So they got into a boat and set out.” Luke 8:22 (NIV)

God will get you to the other side. His plan for you is personal. God designed you with His purpose in mind. You are not an accident. Before you were born, God knew you (Jer. 1:5). You are here at this very moment because God ordained your existence. God has a special plan for your life that includes your past, present, and future. God’s plan factors in your choices. You are not an impersonal robotic creature. You are a personal relational being with the purpose of God in your heart. God knows you by name and even the hairs upon your head are numbered (Luke 12:7).

God’s plan for you is eternal. There’s more in store than what you see in the here and now. God has placed eternity in your heart to position you for eternal life (Eccl. 3:11). Your life goes beyond the grave. God’s plan for you extends beyond the immediate and includes eternal life. As you receive the gift of eternal life by faith, your forever is changed. Heaven becomes the place where you will live with God forever.

The disciples responded to Jesus by getting into a boat and setting out. Jesus said, “Let’s go over to the other side.” Jesus did not say, “Let’s see if we can make it to the other side.” When Jesus is in your boat, there’s nothing to fear. Jesus will get you to the destination safely and right on time. Enjoy the journey!

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, October 30th, 2010 at 1:00 am
Category Jesus, Trust, Victory.
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October 29th, 2010

Examine Your Life

“Moses’ father-in-law replied, ‘What you are doing is not good. You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone.’” Ex 18:17-18 (NIV)

Living in a fallen world has immediate and progressive challenges. Sinfulness and selfishness dominate our culture. We live with an immense amount of pressure to perform at home, at school, at work, and at play. Our lives are bombarded with information and endless opportunities to expend our energy.

Do you have margin in your life? Margin is the space between your load and your limit. God has designed you to handle a certain amount of His work during your brief stay on this planet called earth. God has given you all the time you need to accomplish His plan.

Moses reached a breaking point due to being overextended and overwhelmed. The masses of people each wanted a piece of him. They wanted his time, his attention, and his decision making prowess. Though serving as judge over Israel, Moses failed to exercise proper judgment over his own life.

God came to the rescue by bringing Jethro into Moses’ life. Jethro lovingly spoke into Moses’ life to declare, “What you are doing is not good.” Moses couldn’t see the unhealthy path that he was on. Jethro saw it clearly and succinctly. Jethro was willing to help Moses’ de-clutter his life.

What is overwhelming you right now? Has your load exceeded your limit? What are you giving your life to that is outside of God’s will? Step back and evaluate your current reality. You may want to ask someone you know and love and trust to help you examine your life. Allow that person to give you feedback on what they see going on in your world. Their perspective could help you see what you are not seeing.

God uses other people to help us walk in obedience to His will. Pray and ask God to bring a Jethro into your life.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, October 29th, 2010 at 1:00 am
Category Jethro, Margin, Moses.
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October 28th, 2010

Amplify the Voice of Truth

“When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, ‘Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.’” Luke 5:4 (NIV)

Jesus had been teaching the crowd from Simon’s boat. The water’s surface propelled the teachings of Jesus with clarity to the hearers. Simon was in the boat with Jesus and overheard His teachings. The lesson was going to be directed Simon’s way. Jesus challenged Simon’s faith by asking him to transition the boat to deeper waters. The request escalated as Jesus exhorted Simon to let down the nets for a catch.

What is a carpenter doing telling a fisherman how to fish? Fishermen in that region knew that fishing the shallow waters at night was the protocol for success. Yet, Jesus issues a seemingly impractical call to fish the deeper waters during the daylight. Simon experienced a crisis of belief. He had to wrestle the words of this carpenter up against his own personal experience as a commercial fisherman. Simon knew the waters and the industry. Would he consider obeying the words of Jesus?

Sometimes life doesn’t make sense. Sometimes the way of Jesus is counter to the way of logic. Jesus invites us to join Him in the journey of faith. Faith is not a blind leap in the dark. Faith is trusting that Jesus knows what is best for us. We come to the place of experiencing the crisis of believing our own way or the way Jesus illuminates.

Simon was willing to take Jesus at His Word and to trust Him with the results. Simon silenced the voice of doubt and amplified the voice of Truth.

What are you currently wrestling with? Is there anything agonizing your inner being and causing you to question the best next step? Take God at His Word and trust His prompting.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, October 28th, 2010 at 1:00 am
Category Crisis of Belief, Trust, Truth.
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October 27th, 2010

Gift of Life

“And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.” 1 John 5:11-12 (NIV)

Where do you go to find life? Are you waiting for life to come sometime in the future? Are you putting life off until you have paid off your car, paid off your home, or entered into retirement? What are you waiting for?

Life is not around the corner. Life is found in one person. Life is a gift given by God. The life that is eternal is in God’s Son. If you have the Son you have life. If you do not have the Son you do not have life. Until you receive God’s gift of eternal life found in His Son, you will not know life.

Until you are ready to die, you are not ready to live. Finding life involves preparing for death. When you accept the reality of your mortality and choose to accept God’s gift of eternal life, then you find life. Life is in God’s Son. Jesus is the answer. Jesus affirmed that He is the way and the truth and the life (John 14:6). Do you know Him?

Now that you know Jesus, you have the privilege and responsibility to make Jesus known. Just as you have found life, you can help others find life by sharing Jesus with them. If they have the Son they have life. If they do not have the Son they do not have life. Give them the opportunity to have life!

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, October 27th, 2010 at 1:00 am
Category Abundant Life, Jesus, Life.
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October 26th, 2010

A True Delight

“Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4 (NIV)

A true delight is knowing God’s will and doing God’s will. A true delight is having the peace of God in the midst of life’s storms. A true delight is having the assurance of heaven and eternal life.

John Piper has affirmed, “God is most glorified when we are most satisfied in Him.” What is your primary source of satisfaction? Where do you turn to experience joy and fulfillment? Your love relationship with the Lord is the conduit through which the blessings of God flow. He is the source of life that is truly life. He fills you with an inexpressible and glorious joy (1 Pet 1:8).

As you commune with the Lord and take delight in Him, He will give you the desires of your heart. When you are rightly related to God in Christ and you choose to seek Him with all of your heart, you will find that your desires are in line. As you delight in the Lord, you will not desire anything that is contrary to His will. Intimacy with the Lord heightens your sensitivity to God’s activity. Your delight becomes God’s agenda.

  • “Surely then you will find delight in the Almighty  and will lift up your face to God.” Job 22:26 (NIV)
  • “He fulfills the desires of those who fear him;  he hears their cry and saves them.” Psalm 145:19 (NIV)

Life in a fallen world has many competing forces. There are countless distractions that seek to minimize your friendship with God and trivialize your daily pursuit of His Presence. Recognize that nothing will ever satisfy your soul like living in unbroken fellowship with the Lord. Take delight in Him. Feast on His Word. Solidify your pursuit by establishing a standing appointment with God.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, October 26th, 2010 at 1:00 am
Category Delight, Satisfaction, Seeking God.
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October 25th, 2010

God’s Kind of Love

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” 1 Cor 13:4-7 (NIV)

Can you imagine life without love? Can you imagine doing life as a family without love? Can you imagine being part of a church where love is absent? God made us to know His love and to make His love known. God created us to building meaningful relationships with others in response to His love for us and in us.

What does that kind of love look like? That kind of love looks just like Jesus. Jesus is patient and kind. Jesus does not envy, He does not boast, and He is not proud. Jesus is not rude, He is not self-seeking, He is not easily angered, and He keeps no record of wrongs. Jesus does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. Jesus always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres.

Will your name fit there? Are you living in such a way as to embody God’s love? God has placed you in a fallen world to continue the ministry of Jesus. You are here to know God’s love and to make His love known by building meaningful relationships with others. Will those who know you, but don’t know Jesus, come to know Jesus because they know you?

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, October 25th, 2010 at 1:00 am
Category Christ, Love, Unity.
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October 24th, 2010

Portray God’s Love

“And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” Col 3:14 (NIV)

Love is the fuel that ignites compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, and forgiveness. As you experience God’s love personally, you will unleash His love freely. Loving others will be a byproduct of your personal encounter of God’s love for you. God is not asking you to do anything that He has not already done for you. His love in you is available to express to others. Love keeps your spiritual wardrobe in unity.

  • “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:35 (NIV)
  • “Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” 1 John 4:11 (NIV)

Is it clearly evident that you are a fully devoted follower of Christ? Are you loving others the way God loves you? Your discipleship is demonstrated through your treatment of others. When you love others the way God has loved you, the reality of your love relationship with God becomes obvious. Portray God’s love by expressing God’s love to every person you come into contact with.

You will find that some people are very easy to love and some people are more challenging to love. Choose to love people based on God’s love for you and in you. Place the same value on others that God does. God loves them perfectly and completely. Allow His unconditional love to flow through you in this love-deficient world. People need to know God’s love. God has chosen you to be the conduit of His love.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, October 24th, 2010 at 1:00 am
Category Love, Others, Unity.
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October 23rd, 2010

With You Forever

“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever–the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.” John 14:16-17 (NIV)

Jesus had a vibrant prayer life and a vigilant compassion for people. He personally mentored the Twelve Disciples and gave them countless opportunities to experience His personal touch ministry. They were eyewitnesses of His life-changing ministry. Jesus announced His imminent death and as you could imagine, the disciples where troubled in spirit.

Jesus reassured them by sharing that He would pray to the Father and that He would give them another Counselor, the Holy Spirit, to be with them forever. Jesus gave them a glimpse of their future reality by letting them know that the Holy Spirit would come to live in each of them.

That same truth applies to us in our current context. When a person comes to faith in Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit takes up permanent residence within that believer’s life. The Counselor, the Spirit of truth, becomes your constant companion simultaneously with your conversion experience. When you place your faith in Christ alone for salvation, you become the walking tabernacle of the Presence of God. The Holy Spirit indwells you personally and permanently.

You will never be alone. You will never go anywhere without the Person of the Holy Spirit living in you. He is your Counselor, your Comforter, and your Guide. The Holy Spirit lives in you and will be with you forever. He intercedes for you in accordance with God’s will (Rm 8:26-27). Submit to His control in your life and allow Him to bear His fruit through your life for God’s glory!

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, October 23rd, 2010 at 1:00 am
Category Prayer.
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October 22nd, 2010

Find Your Rhythm

“But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31 (NIV)

The Christian life has an exciting destination, but don’t minimize the value of the journey. You will experience a varying cadence through the seasons of your life on mission with God. There will be times of sowing and times of reaping. You will experience times of planting and times of watering. Sometimes the pace of life will feel like the turbulence of white-water rafting and at other times, the pace will be more tranquil like a duck treading water on a peaceful pond

Learn to experience God in each unique setting you find yourself in. If your life feels fragmented, then hit the pause button and allow God to re-orient you to His abiding Presence. Stop fretting and seeking to produce more and more. Allow God to refuel you and to refocus you. Sometimes the most spiritual activity you can embrace is going down pit road and enjoying a refreshing pit stop to allow God to put you back together.

God’s will for your life has a certain rhythm. Find your rhythm. How do you best reconnect with God? How do you best revitalize your passion for God and renew your passion for life? Put your hope in the Lord. Trust Him with your life and entrust your worries to Him. He loves you and knows what’s best for your life.

Are you walking, running, or soaring? Life tends to accentuate a different tempo based on the season you are in. Whether you are walking, running, or soaring, remember to anchor your life to the stable and consistent relationship you have in Christ. He is your source of strength. Jesus is the reason for every season of life. Rest in Him and revel in His love.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, October 22nd, 2010 at 1:00 am
Category Renewal, Rhythm, Strength.
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