Archive for April, 2011

April 30th, 2011

The Last Days

“First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires.” 2 Peter 3:3 (NIV)

We are living in the last days. Don’t be surprised by the turbulence of the times. Those who laugh at the things of God and dismiss the activity of God will continue to increase in number. Scoffers will litter the landscape of this life as we get closer to the coming of Christ. Wickedness will increase and love will deteriorate (Mt. 24:12). The fleshly desires of the unsaved will be fertilized and fed.

Understand your current reality. Where do you fit in the flow of end time events? Are you on the winning team? Have you received God’s offer of salvation in Jesus and turned your life over to Him? If you are in Christ, you are secure for eternity. However, you must be cognizant of the features of the end times. Sin will parade the property on this fallen planet. The scoffers will obey the cravings of their sin nature. Their behavior will reflect their disregard for plan of God.

Be alert to the presence of sin. Be mindful of the pervasiveness of sinful conduct. Satan realizes that his time is short, so he will spare no time to unleash his assault. As the deceiver, the enemy specializes in convincing scoffers to unleash their personal rebellion against God and God’s family. If there were ever a time to get right with God, the time is now!

Crucify your flesh and seek to please God with your life and your lips. Make sure that the tongue in your mouth lines up with the tongue in your shoe. Live with integrity as you surrender to the full control of the Holy Spirit in your life. Confess sin. Live above reproach. Stay close and clean.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, April 30th, 2011 at 1:00 am
Category End Times, Faithfulness, God's Plan.
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April 29th, 2011

God’s Perfect Timing

“In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Phil 1:4-6 (NIV)

God is working. His purpose and plan will be accomplished. Satan cannot thwart God’s will. Even when you experience doubts, delays, and distractions, God is still fulfilling His agenda. God is sovereign. He rules and He reigns. God factors in our sin. God factors in the reality of demonic opposition. God is not surprised by our surprises.

God’s master plan includes you. It is God’s will for you to be saved, to grow spiritually, and to join Him in His redemptive activity. Jesus took on the full wrath of God for your sin so that you could be set free to have a vibrant love relationship with God in Christ. You were filled with the Holy Spirit at the moment of your conversion so that you could continue the ministry of Jesus on this broken planet.

God will complete the good work He began in you. What God starts, He always finishes! God is not through with you. You are still in the process of becoming who God has made you to be. God is molding you and shaping you into the man or woman of God He created you to be.

Will you allow God to continue His work in you so that He can accomplish His work through you? Are you willing to trust God’s timing? God knows where He wants you. God knows what the finished product of His character development in you looks like. God’s timing is perfect. Entrust your life to His care.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, April 29th, 2011 at 1:00 am
Category God's Timing, Prayer, Sovereignty.
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April 28th, 2011

Master Conductor

“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
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, April 28th, 2011 at 1:00 am
Category Conformity, God's Purpose, Sovereignty.
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April 27th, 2011

Resurrection Power

“With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all.” Acts 4:33 (NIV)

How is resurrection power evidenced in your life? The apostles demonstrated resurrection power as they testified of the bodily resurrection of the Lord. They combated immense opposition to share the gospel. They were willing to risk everything for the sake of witnessing to the reality of the resurrected Lord. As they gave witness of the Lord’s resurrection, the grace of God was upon them.

Could it be that God reserves His resurrection power for the most important task? Is it possible that God unleashes His resurrection power when you join Him in His redemptive activity? When you testify of His redeeming love, God releases His power in you to accomplish His task of spreading the fragrance of Christ. When you enter the spiritual battlefield for the souls of men, women, boys, and girls, God empowers you for the mission.

Are you attempting anything that requires resurrection power? Are you living on mission with God to the extent that you are desperate for His divine enabling? God has given you everything you need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). As you share the gospel, remember that it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes (Rom. 1:16).

There’s no need to be ashamed. Operate in the resurrection power God provides. Allow God to take you places you have never been in your love relationship with Him. Trust God to give you the boldness and the courage to confront the culture and to present the wonderful saving news of Jesus.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, April 27th, 2011 at 1:00 am
Category Power, Resurrection, Witnessing.
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April 26th, 2011

Belief and Relief

“Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?’” John 11:25-26 (NIV)

Belief brings ultimate relief. Believing in Jesus brings the ultimate relief of knowing that you will never die. In Christ, you will never experience the sting of death (1 Cor. 15:55-57). Those who choose to live and believe in Jesus will never die. For the Child of God, death is not a wall to climb, but rather an open door to enter. Jesus has built the bridge to transfer a believer from life on earth to life in heaven.

Martha was troubled by the death of her brother, Lazarus. She did not understand why Jesus delayed in coming to the rescue. Jesus comforted Martha and affirmed that He was the resurrection and the life. Martha placed her faith in Jesus (John 11:27). Jesus called Lazarus forth from the grave and he came out wrapped in grave clothes. Jesus commanded that his grave clothes be removed. Lazarus experienced Jesus as the resurrection and the life. Martha witnessed the miracle of resurrection.

As a child of God, you are armed with the powerful message of eternal hope and security. You can personally deliver the good news that whoever confesses Christ will never die. You can participate with God in His redemptive activity by sharing the saving news of Jesus with the lost. Heaven and eternal life are fixtures in the life of every believer.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, April 26th, 2011 at 1:00 am
Category Belief, I am sayings, Jesus.
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April 25th, 2011

Post Resurrection Ministry

“Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died–more than that, who was raised to life–is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.” Romans 8:34 (NIV)

What did Jesus do? He lived a sinless life, He died a sacrificial death, and He rose bodily from the dead. After His resurrection, Jesus appeared to over five hundred eyewitnesses (1 Cor. 15:6). Then, Jesus ascended back to His Father in heaven (Lk. 24:51).

Now what? What does Jesus do? Jesus intercedes for us. He is at the right hand of God praying for us. Jesus always lives to intercede for us (Heb. 7:25). Not only do we enjoy the fruit of His death, resurrection, and ascension, but we also continue to benefit from Jesus’ ministry of intercessory prayer. Jesus is alive and actively fulfilling God’s agenda.

You can receive God’s offer of salvation by grace through faith (Eph. 2:8-9). You can be adopted into God’s family (Eph. 1:5). Your name can be written in the Lamb’s book of life (Rev. 21:27). Your sins can be forgiven (1 Jn. 1:9). You have access to everything you need for life and godliness (2 Pt. 1:3).

As you abide in Christ and grow in your love relationship with Him, you have the permanent indwelling of the Holy Spirit within you. In Christ, your salvation is secure and Jesus makes intercession for you. Not a moment goes by in which Jesus is not praying for you. Your name, your life, your circumstances, and your future continually go before our Heavenly Father through the compassionate lips of Jesus. Jesus died for you and Jesus lives to intercede for you.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, April 25th, 2011 at 1:00 am
Category Intercession, Jesus, Resurrection.
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April 24th, 2011

Removing the Stone

“When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb and they asked each other, ‘Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?’” Mark 16:1-3 (NIV)

On their way to the tomb, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome were troubled by the challenge of removing the massive stone covering the entrance to the tomb. They were perplexed by the apparent dilemma. The question lingered in their minds, “Who will roll the stone away?”

When the women arrived at the tomb, they saw that the stone had been rolled away (Mark 16:4). The very thing that had worried them most was alleviated first. God had rolled the stone away, not to let Jesus out, but to let the women in. God had already provided for their victory. God did for the women that which they could not do for themselves.

Perhaps you are facing a challenge that defies your ability to bring about resolution. Maybe there is an obstacle keeping you from living the victorious Christian life God offers. Who will roll the stone away for you? Your stone may be financial, relational, or vocational. Your stone may be medical, emotional, or familial. Whatever your stone represents, God has the power to roll your stone away.

Have you given your stone to the Lord? In prayer, spend some time releasing your stone of adversity, your stone of worry, or your stone of uncertainty. Receive the comfort God provides. Embrace the resolution God prompts. Trust God’s timing to accomplish His will His way.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, April 24th, 2011 at 1:00 am
Category Easter, Jesus, Resurrection.
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April 23rd, 2011

Sympathy in Action

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet was without sin.” Heb 4:15 (NIV)

Jesus understands your trials from without and your struggles from within.

In our contemporary vernacular: Jesus has been there and done that. Jesus has been tempted in every way, just as we are. He understands our struggles. Jesus endured temptation and chose to honor God throughout the process. Jesus entered the process and completed the process sinless. Our example is Jesus. Our pattern for victory is Jesus.

God never intended for us to live the Christian life outside of His enabling. In and of ourselves, we are insufficient. Our sufficiency is found in Christ. As we abide in Christ and submit to the Spirit’s control in our life, victory results.

  • “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5 (NIV)
  • “Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.” Eph 5:17-18 (NIV)

Surrender to the Lordship of Christ. Surrender fully to the Spirit’s control in your life. Jesus has been where you are and He knows what you need in order to walk in victory. Jesus demonstrated a life of instant obedience and total surrender. Abandon to His call and allow Him to live His life through you.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, April 23rd, 2011 at 1:00 am
Category Compassion, High Priest, Sympathy.
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April 22nd, 2011

Convinced by the Crucifixion

“And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, heard his cry and saw how he died, he said, ‘Surely this man was the Son of God!’” Mark 15:39 (NIV)

What was it about the final hours of Jesus’ life that made an eternal impact on the centurion who approved of the crucifixion of Jesus? What were the features of Jesus’ death that convinced the centurion that Jesus was the Son of God? I wonder how many crucifixions this centurion had witnessed before he even knew Jesus existed. Perhaps the centurion had personally witnessed hundreds or thousands of these executions.

There was something about the way Jesus died that changed everything for this centurion. Maybe the centurion overheard the conversation between Jesus and the thief on the cross who said to Jesus, “Remember me when you come into your kingdom”(Luke 23:42 NIV). Jesus responded to the thief, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise”(Luke 23:43 NIV). Perhaps the centurion saw the grace of God in action as Jesus put the needs of someone else before His own.

The centurion could have been standing close enough to overhear Jesus say to His mother, “Dear woman, here is your son” and to the disciple whom Jesus loved, “Here is your mother”(John 19:26-27 NIV). Maybe the centurion detected the deep love that Jesus had for His mother and the compassion Jesus extended from the cross. In the midst of extreme adversity, Jesus made sure His mother’s needs would be met. Of all the crucifixions the centurion assisted in, perhaps he had never seen such love.

Adversity creates unique opportunities to show the love of Jesus as you serve others. Jesus exemplified servitude in the midst of extreme adversity. Are you watching for opportunities to serve others while you navigate the terrain of adversity?

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, April 22nd, 2011 at 1:00 am
Category Christ, Cross, Crucifixion.
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April 21st, 2011

Paid in Full

“When he had received the drink, Jesus said, ‘It is finished.’ With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.” John 19:30 (NIV)

Jesus died so we could live. Our destiny was destruction. Our identity was diluted by sin. Our iniquity was placed upon Jesus (Is. 53:6). Jesus became sin for us so that we could be recipients of His righteousness (2 Cor. 5:21). Jesus bore our sins on the cross. The penalty for our sin was atoned for. Jesus paid our sin debt in full. It is finished!

  • “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.” 1 Peter 2:24 (NIV)
  • “He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.” 1 John 2:2 (NIV)

God took the initiative to communicate His unconditional love (Rom. 5:8). The cross is a visible and tangible demonstration of God’s redeeming love. Jesus died as the sinless atoning sacrifice for you. You can now die to sin and live for righteousness. His physical wounds spiritually heal you.

When God sees you, He views you through the shed blood of Jesus. Your life is now hidden with Christ (Col. 3:3). God’s love is made complete in you. What if you started living in light of that reality? In Christ, you are a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17). Jesus demonstrated complete obedience to purchase your salvation.

Take a moment to consider the depth of God’s love. Try to fathom the finality of the atoning work of Jesus on the cross. What if everyone you knew came to the recognition of their personal need to place their faith in Jesus alone for salvation?

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, April 21st, 2011 at 1:00 am
Category Atonement, Crucifixion, Redemption.
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