Archive for February, 2011

February 28th, 2011

The Real Zeal

“Do not let your heart envy sinners, but always be zealous for the fear of the LORD.” Prov 23:17 (NIV)

The current of our culture is counter Christian. As you seek to live out your faith in a fallen world, you will quickly discover that walking in reverence to God and in full devotion to Jesus will place you in the minority. You may forfeit popularity in this sin-saturated culture, but you will not forfeit your position in Christ. You may not be affirmed by society for your faithfulness to God, but God will reward you because He is all knowing and takes care of His own.

Don’t allow the prosperity of the wicked to distract you in this life. Don’t allow the visible affluence of the disobedient to diminish your passion for the things of God. Always be zealous for the Lord. Guard your heart and fortify your passion for God.

Revere God as your Heavenly Father. Revere God as the One who created you, pursued you, rescued you, and empowers you for victorious living. Revere God for His holiness. Revere God for His nature and character. Demonstrate your devotion to God by your unwavering allegiance to His redemptive plan.

What if you had less than thirty days to live? How would your loyalty be adjusted? Would your allegiance to God’s agenda expand? How differently would you channel your passion?

Let’s live life for God with the intensity of our final days on the earth. God deserves our best! God deserves our reverence and our diligence!

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, February 28th, 2011 at 1:00 am
Category Focus, Revering God, Zeal.
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February 27th, 2011

Your Family’s Future

“Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” Prov 22:6 (NIV)

God established the home for our benefit and for His glory. God’s blueprint for the home includes order. God expects the husband and father to be the spiritual leader of the home. During my upbringing, my parents divorced and as a result, my mother became the spiritual leader of our home. The spiritual leader of the home is responsible to set the spiritual temperature for the home. Thus, the spiritual leader of the home is to be the spiritual thermostat for the home.

When our children are elevated to the place of setting the environment for the home, something is out of order. When parenting becomes child-centered, in that everything centers around the wants and wishes of the child, something is out of order.

Excessive extra-curricular activities for our children can become space invaders. When our lives and our schedules resemble a perpetual rat race, then something is out of order. We can overload and overwhelm our home by being overextended and over-committed to too many activities. Instead of pushing your children to be involved in a myriad of activities, consider having them choose one or two. Would that simplify your family life? Would your schedule have more space or margin to do life?

Who is making the tough choices in your home to keep your family in alignment with God’s economy? Who is guarding the priorities and the order ordained by God for your home? The decisions you make to create space for doing life together as a family will serve as a tangible model for your children to emulate when they become parents one day.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, February 27th, 2011 at 1:00 am
Category Children, Family, Home.
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February 26th, 2011

Equipped and Growing

“It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” Eph 4:11-13 (NIV)

Where do you fit in this picture? God has placed equippers in your life to help you develop into a fully devoted follower of Jesus Christ. God has placed a systematic process within the local church to promote spiritual maturity. Are you an intentional part of the process?

Take a close look at your level of participation in the life of the local church family. Are you being built up? Are you reaching unity in the faith and in the knowledge of Jesus and becoming mature? Are you attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ? What is your level of teachability?

Your spiritual maturity will be proportionate to your teachability. Are you teachable as you listen to your pastor’s message? Are you teachable as you sit under the teaching of a godly small group leader? Are you teachable as you spend time alone with God in prayer and Bible reading?

Make the most of the opportunities God has given you to grow spiritually. Maximize the moments you sit under anointed teaching from God’s Word. Move from hearing and reading God’s Word to applying God’s Word in daily living. Live out what God is depositing in you.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, February 26th, 2011 at 1:00 am
Category Discipleship, Learner, Spiritual Growth.
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February 25th, 2011

Distinct Assurance

“The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.” Romans 8:16 (NIV)

The enemy seeks to distort our identity by infusing insecurity. When insecurity infiltrates the life of a believer, fear is produced. God rescues us by affirming the reality of our new identity in Christ. God’s affirmation is dispensed through the intentional testimony of the Spirit living in us. We are the temple of the Holy Spirit and He confirms His abiding Presence in us. The Spirit testifies with our spirit that we are clearly and securely God’s children.

The distinct assurance made available to us by God was also delivered to Jesus at His baptism and His transfiguration. The Son of God was affirmed by our Heavenly Father.

  • “As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.’” Matthew 3:16-17 (NIV)
  • “While he was still speaking, a bright cloud enveloped them, and a voice from the cloud said, ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!’” Matthew 17:5 (NIV)

As an adopted child of God, you have the indwelling Holy Spirit as your divine resource continually offering distinct assurance to your true identity in Christ. Do you detect His affirmation of your adoption into the family of God? The Spirit of God bears witness with your spirit. Walk in the security of your new identity in Christ!

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, February 25th, 2011 at 1:00 am
Category Adoption, Assurance, Romans.
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February 24th, 2011

Direct Access

“Because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’” Romans 8:14-15 (NIV)

In the Old Testament, the children of Israel were led by the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night. God made His direction clear to them by making His Presence known to them. As children of God, we are led by the Spirit and we are given access to His Presence. Our relationship with Him is both intimate & permanent. You become a child of God by being born again. The divine transaction that takes place at the moment of your conversion replaces the spirit of fear with the Spirit of sonship.

  • “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.” John 1:12-13 (NIV)
  • “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” 2 Ti 1:7 (NIV)

One of the hallmarks of the Holy Spirit’s habitation in you is the reality of your direct access. Now that you are a child of God, you are led by the Spirit of God and you have direct access to the Presence of God. Being led by the Spirit of God demonstrates your full surrender to the Spirit’s leadership in your life.

Now that you have the Spirit of sonship, enjoy unbroken fellowship with God. You are a child of the King! What will you do with the direct access you have been granted?

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, February 24th, 2011 at 1:00 am
Category Access, Identity, Romans.
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February 23rd, 2011

Divine Intervention

“I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me faithful, appointing me to his service.” 1 Timothy 1:12 (NIV)

Twenty-five years ago on February 23, 1986, I was involved in a Jet Ski accident through which God called me to preach. I was sixteen years old and a junior at Bolton High School in Alexandria, Louisiana. Just moments before that life-changing experience, my dream was to be an architect and build great buildings. God reoriented my life to focus on building lives for eternity.

Over these twenty-five years I have learned that God always develops your character to match His assignment. Ministry originates with God and He equips you to join Him in the redemptive process. Throughout the journey of ministry, you come to learn how to trust in God’s daily provision and to practice His Presence. God uses the terrain of the valleys and mountaintops to conform you into the image of Christ. Every interaction is a divine transaction. God is passionate in His pursuit of you and His desire for you to be on mission with Him.

God delights in using broken vessels to shine His light in a broken world. I am so humbled that God would choose me to bear His Name and to share His love. God wants to use you to point people to Christ. You are His workmanship (Eph. 2:10) and He receives glory as you surrender to His agenda.

I am so thankful to Christ. He has consistently given me strength, considered me faithful, and appointed me into His service. God invites you into His story. What will be different in eternity because of your life on earth today?

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011 at 1:00 am
Category Calling, God's Purpose, Spiritual Markers.
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February 22nd, 2011

Divine Assistance

“For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.” Romans 8:13 (NIV)

Have you noticed the two roads available to you? One road aligns with your sinful nature and seeks to gratify the desires resident within that nature, yet produces spiritual death. The other road available to you is less traveled and is supernatural. Access to this road is granted by the Spirit and produces life.

You cannot fulfill God’s plan without God’s power. The sinful nature must be put to death in order for you to experience the life God has for you. Jesus won the victory over sin on the cross. As John Phillips wrote, “In order to enjoy this victory, the believer must cooperate with God and determine that by God’s grace sin shall not be sovereign.” God has provided everything needed for a life of victory.

  • 2 Pt 1:3-4 “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.”

As a child of God, you have the Holy Spirit living in you. He is in you! Does He have all of you? A hallmark of His habitation is divine assistance. The Holy Spirit has you completely when you choose to depend on His power to deliberately choose to crucify the cravings of the sinful nature. Scottish Theologian David Brown remarked, “If you don’t kill sin, sin will kill you.” Fully yielded to the Spirit, you can put to death the misdeeds of the body. By the Spirit, you can live a life of victory!

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011 at 1:00 am
Category Dependency, Holy Spirit, Romans.
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February 21st, 2011

Facets of Forgiveness

“Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” Matthew 6:12 (NIV)

Forgiveness is always the best decision. The Bible teaches us multiple facets of forgiveness. We have the privilege of receiving God’s forgiveness provided by the atoning work of Jesus on the cross. This vertical forgiveness initiated by God allows us to be in a right relationship with God. We also have to come to the place of forgiving ourselves. Once we have received God’s forgiveness for our sins, we need to forgive ourselves so that we can walk in the freedom Christ provides. Another facet of forgiveness is that of extending forgiveness to others.

In teaching His disciples how to pray, Jesus included the discipline of extending forgiveness to others. Before asking God to forgive us of our sins, we are to have already forgiven those who have sinned against us. In order to have a proper vertical relationship with God, we must ensure a proper horizontal relationship with others.

When it comes to extending forgiveness to others, you never have to wonder if God wants you to forgive someone. God expects you to extend instant forgiveness to others. To harbor bitterness or resentment breaks the heart of God. To fail to forgive others is to disobey God.

Spend some time in prayer asking God to search your heart. As God reveals fragments of unforgiveness in your life, deal with them before God in prayer. The more specific you are in prayer the more dynamic your experience in prayer will be. Forgiveness is always the best decision. Honor God by extending forgiveness to others.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, February 21st, 2011 at 1:00 am
Category Forgiveness, Prayer, Unforgiveness.
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February 20th, 2011

God’s Plan for You

“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” Jer 29:11 (NIV)

God has plans for your life. Where are you currently in relation to God’s plans? Have you had some bumps along the way? Have you experienced any delays or detours? God factored in your response to His plans before you were ever born. God knew how you would navigate the path He has for you. Remember, nothing catches God by surprise. God sees the totality of your life from beginning to end. He knew when you would be born and where you would live and even the personality you would express. God’s plans always prevail.

  • “But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.” Psalms 33:11 (NIV)
  • “Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.” Prov 19:21 (NIV)

You can anchor your life in God’s plans. His plans are to prosper you, to give you hope and a future. Your future goes beyond this present life. Your future includes eternity. God’s plans stand firm forever. Where Satan puts a period, God puts a comma. God’s purpose prevails.

You may not know what tomorrow holds, but you know who holds tomorrow! Turn this verse into a prayer. “Lord, I know that You know the plans you have for me. Your plans are to prosper me and not to harm me. Thank You precious Lord that Your plans are to give me hope and a future. I entrust my present and my future to Your care. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, February 20th, 2011 at 1:00 am
Category God's Plan, Hope, Promise.
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February 19th, 2011

Live by Faith

“All these people were still living by faith when they died.” Heb 11:13 (NIV)

It’s not how you start; it’s how you finish. Commit to finish well. When you study the Hall of Faith found in Hebrews chapter eleven, you will discover great men and women who chose to finish well. They were still living by faith when they died.

What are you giving your life to? Have you determined the focus of your life? Living by faith involves allowing Christ to live His life through you. Living by faith includes surrendering your life to God’s agenda. Yielding to the Lordship of Christ moment by moment validates the reality of living by faith. Living by faith is not walking in the dark, but walking in the light of God’s will.

  • “Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9 for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” 1 Peter 1:8-9 (NIV)
  • “Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.” 1 Peter 1:13 (NIV)

Determine to cross the finish line of this life living by faith. Don’t let anything or anyone deter you from living a life pleasing to God. Grow in your love relationship with the Lord so that your daily walk will give evidence to a life of faith. Trusting God with the details of your life requires activating your faith. Will you submit to God’s authority? Will you obey God’s Word and embrace His way?  Finish well by demonstrating a life of instant obedience.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, February 19th, 2011 at 1:00 am
Category Commitment, Death, Faith.
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