Archive for May, 2011

May 31st, 2011

Intentional Influence

“Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.” Romans 12:11 (NIV)

What are you passionate about? What are you giving your time, energy, and resources to? What gets the best of you? Your answer unveils your zeal.

God placed zeal in you. Your passion is an expression of your spiritual DNA. God gives you the ability to be passionate in this life. However, it is possible to misdirect the passion God gives you. Your passion can be diverted to areas that are unhealthy or unfruitful. You can channel your passion to outlets that dishonor God or even to good things that rob God’s best for you.

God’s Word teaches us to keep our spiritual fervor. Our passion in action should be vertical in nature. We are to be passionate for God. Our zeal for God and His Kingdom should never experience a deficit. As we nurture our passion for God, we are to keep our passion channeled in the paths that God provides.

Are you passionate about the things of God? Does your life give evidence to the passion God desires from you? Take some time to assess your current reality. See if your passion is misdirected. Examine your life to the level of identifying the source of your passion and the expression of your passion in action.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, May 31st, 2011 at 1:00 am
Category Contagious Christianity, Passion, Service.
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May 30th, 2011

Memorial Day & Spiritual Markers

“So Joshua called together the twelve men he had appointed from the Israelites, one from each tribe, and said to them, ‘Go over before the ark of the LORD your God into the middle of the Jordan. Each of you is to take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, to serve as a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask you, “What do these stones mean?” tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever.’” Josh 4:4-7 (NIV)

Don’t forget what God has done to bring you to the place where you are right now. Take note of the sacrifices others have made to protect our freedom and preserve our future. Recognize the ultimate sacrifice Jesus made on the cross to provide atonement for our sin.

Joshua wanted to solidify the crossing of the Jordan River as a spiritual marker for all of Israel. He wanted to ensure that future generations would know what God had done to bring about deliverance to the people of God. Joshua utilized the twelve stones, which were selected from the middle of the Jordan to serve as a memorial.

Solidify your spiritual markers. When did you come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ? When did you follow the Lord in believer’s baptism? Where were you when God revealed Himself to you during a season of adversity? Identify some God-moments you have experienced in the journey of life. Testify of God’s faithfulness by sharing with another person. They may need the encouragement you have to offer right now.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, May 30th, 2011 at 1:00 am
Category Joshua, Memorial Day, Spiritual Markers.
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May 29th, 2011

Adding Value to Others

“Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.” Romans 12:10 (NIV)

Be devoted. People matter to God and as followers of Jesus Christ we view others through the lens of God’s redemptive activity. Be devoted to demonstrating brotherly love to one another. You can add value to others by loving them with the same love you have graciously received from God.

Be humble. Value those God has placed in your life. Treat the next person you meet at the most important person on the planet. Honor others above yourself. Humility is a constant challenge in that we are by nature selfish. To put others first is a supernatural activity empowered by the Holy Spirit living in us. It is natural to think of yourself first; it is supernatural to think of others first. Yield to the prompting of the Holy Spirit and elevate others in your life. Show them that they matter and that you value them.

  • “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.” Philippians 2:3 (NIV)
  • “But the Lord said to Ananias, ‘Go! This man is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel. 16 I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.’” Acts 9:15-16 (NIV)

Ananias chose to consider Saul better than himself. God had affirmed His redemptive activity in Saul’s life and invited Ananias into the process. You could imagine the fear that gripped Ananias after hearing so many reports about Saul being a persecutor of the church. Now God was calling the persecutor of believers to become a preacher of the gospel.

Seek to add value to others by viewing them through the cross. Make yourself available for God’s use and join God in His activity.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, May 29th, 2011 at 1:00 am
Category Contagious Christianity, Honor, Love.
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May 28th, 2011

Sincere Love

“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.” Romans 12:9 (NIV)

Are you contagious in your Christianity? Your influence for Christ is propelled by sincere love. Love that is genuine, authentic, and without hypocrisy is the kind of love that makes your Christianity contagious. This kind of love originates with God and emanates from your life as you yield to His control.

Choose to hate what God hates and love what God loves. Hate what is evil. Despise those things that break the heart of God. Fortify your life from poison of sin and the pollution of worldliness by hating evil and clinging to what is good. Consider those things that bring glory to God and cling to those things.

Be discerning. Decipher the tactics of the enemy and embrace the way of the cross. Don’t give the devil a toehold which can become a foothold and ultimately become a stronghold in your life. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the schemes of the devil. Run from sin and run to Christ. Flee the impulses of immorality and pursue the purity of the Prince of Peace. Turn from the terrain of trespass and walk in the way of God’s Word.

Allow the sincerity of God’s unconditional love permeate your life. Allow God’s love to illuminate your world and to influence the people He brings into your path. As you hate what is evil and cling to what is good, let the river of God’s love flow through you in order to bring hope and healing to a world in desperation. God loves you so much and desires that you be a channel of His love to a hurting world.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, May 28th, 2011 at 1:00 am
Category Contagious Christianity, Love, Sincerity.
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May 27th, 2011

Protect Unity

“Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” Romans 12:4-5 (NIV)

God’s will is for you to believe in Jesus alone for salvation and to belong to His local body of believers known as the church. When you are saved you are adopted into God’s forever family and then you choose to connect with a local church where you can grow spiritually and serve faithfully.

Every member is important. In God’s economy, every member of the local body of believers matters to God. God graces you with salvation and with spiritual gifts so that you can honor God and benefit the body of Christ. In Christ, we form one body.

Every member has the responsibility to protect the unity of the body. Choose to diffuse gossip and infuse an attitude of gratitude throughout the body. Gossip is when you say something behind another person’s back that you would not say to their face. Flattery is when you say something to a person’s face that you would not say behind their back. Don’t glide into the gully of gossip.

Protect the unity of the church you are connected to. Believe in Jesus and demonstrate the privilege and responsibility of belonging to Christ and His local body of believers. Testify of His redeeming love in your life and protect the unity of His local church by being intentional in your conversation and conduct.

Sometimes protecting unity involves confronting others who are sowing discord. God empowers you to speak the truth in love. Don’t allow the weeds of this world to grow in the garden of God’s family.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, May 27th, 2011 at 1:00 am
Category Division, Living Sacrifices, Unity.
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May 26th, 2011

Practice Humility

“For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.” Romans 12:3 (NIV)

Our tendency is to view ourselves from a distance and to view others under a microscope. Overestimating yourself leads to pride. Underestimating yourself leads to false humility. Make an accurate assessment of your current reality by using Jesus as your standard.

The highway of happiness is paved with humility. Happiness and humility go together. Jesus modeled a life of humility by submitting to the Father’s agenda and by living to benefit others. In humility, Jesus sacrificed His life on the cross to provide for the forgiveness of our sins and to reconcile us back to God.

Discover the haven of humility. Admit that you don’t have it all together. Admit that you haven’t arrived. Recognize that you haven’t learned all that God wants you to learn and you haven’t completed everything God wants you to do. Make an accurate assessment of yourself before a holy God in light of His holiness.

  • “Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.” Romans 12:3 (NIV)
  • “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” Col 3:12 (NIV)

Give up your kingdom so you can inherit God’s kingdom! Clothe yourself with humility. You cannot live the life God has for you without His supernatural enablement. His power comes to you through the doorway of humility.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, May 26th, 2011 at 1:00 am
Category Humility, Living Sacrifices, Pride.
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May 25th, 2011

Renew and Render

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2 (NIV)

There is an immense gravitational pull to succumb to the allurements of the world. We combat the pattern of this world, the flaming arrows of the evil one, and the cravings of the flesh. Choosing to conform to the path of worldliness dilutes our spiritual passion and distorts our spiritual focus. We will bypass God’s best for us. We will forfeit God’s good, pleasing, and perfect will.

God gives us the freedom to choose our path. We do not have to travel down the lane of lust or the highway of hostility or the sidewalk of selfishness. Floating down the river of culture and allowing the current of compromise to corrode our character is not God’s will for us. God did not sacrifice His only Son in order for us to drift into sin.

Renew your mind by replacing sin with Scripture, by replacing falsehood with truth, and by replacing self-centeredness with Christlikeness. Scrape off the peeling paint of improper thinking and apply the fresh paint of God’s Holy Word. Your life is too valuable to allow corrupt thinking to occupy your mind. God’s plan for your life is too important to waste another moment allowing toxic thoughts to contaminate your mind.

Unload your mind! Make room for God’s Word to take full possession of your mind. Make a commitment to feed on God’s Word daily. Seek to memorize a verse each week, internalize that verse, and then align your thinking with that verse.

Renew your mind and render your transformation. Let God control your thinking.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, May 25th, 2011 at 1:00 am
Category Living Sacrifices, Renew, Transformation.
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May 24th, 2011

First Things First

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” 1 Peter 2:9 (NIV)

If you have become a child of God through faith in Jesus alone, then you are a priest before God. Your new identity in Christ has given you direct access to God. You do not need to go through a human mediator. The priesthood of every believer is the reality for those adopted into God’s forever family.

As a priest before God, start your day with God. Make it your daily spiritual discipline to start your day with the One who saved you. Do as Jesus did during His earthly ministry. “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed” (Mark 1:35 NIV). Carve out time to start your day with your Creator.

Start your day with God by feeding on His Word, communing with Him in prayer, and receiving His daily provision. Guard your daily intimacy with the Lord. You will have to strive to protect this most important daily spiritual discipline. Many other things will tug at your time, energy, and attention.

What needs to change in your daily routine in order to start your day with God? Have you found a place to have your time alone with God without interruption? Prepare for this daily spiritual discipline. Develop a plan for reading through the Bible. Try to read at least one chapter from the Bible each morning. If you choose to read four chapters each day, you will read through the entire Bible in one year.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, May 24th, 2011 at 1:00 am
Category Priesthood of the Believer, Priorities, Quiet Time.
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May 23rd, 2011

Employing God’s Priorities

“I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” Luke 24:49 (NIV)

Your priorities will determine how you invest your time and energy. If you value what God values then His priorities will be reflected in your schedule. For example, after Jesus rose from the dead and revealed Himself to the disciples He affirmed that He would send what His Father promised.

If the disciples value what God values, then they are going to Jerusalem to await the coming of the promised Holy Spirit. Their number one priority is obeying God. Their priorities will be validated by their obedience to the command of Jesus. The good news is that 120 believers gathered in the Upper Room in Jerusalem and experienced ten days of anticipation and obedience.

They were willing to value what God values. They were willing to allow God’s priorities to be their priorities. As a result, they cleared their schedule and allocated their time and energy to obey Jesus. What was the result? The day of Pentecost, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and the salvation of 3,000 souls!

What will your schedule look like today? How will your time be allocated? Dave Ramsey says, “Tell your money where to go!” You must also tell your time and energy where to go. You have 86,400 seconds to allocate within the next twenty four hours.

Now let’s take a look at your life. What does your schedule say about your priorities? What do you value? Are you willing to make necessary adjustments to bring your life into alignment with what God values? Take the initiative!

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, May 23rd, 2011 at 1:00 am
Category Discipline, Priorities, Time Management.
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May 22nd, 2011

Complete Unity

“I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” John 17:22-23 (NIV)

Jesus prayed that believers would be brought to complete unity. Jesus reconciled us to God through His atoning death on the cross. Every believer has been adopted into God’s forever family. Our unity in the midst of diversity is a witness to the watching world that Jesus has loved us just as the Father has loved Him.

Unity is not natural. Displaying unity in the midst of apparent diversity is supernatural. Our new identity in Christ enables us to experience authentic community with other believers. As we deny ourselves and seek to consider others better than ourselves, we will exhibit the unity that brings glory to God.

  • “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Gal 3:28 (NIV)
  • “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” Eph 4:3 (NIV)

In Christ, we are one with other believers. The Trinity, namely, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit model unity. We are to exhibit that same unity with those who are children of God. Are you seeking to keep the unity of the Spirit in the relationships you have with other followers of Christ?

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, May 22nd, 2011 at 1:00 am
Category Surrender, Trinity, Unity.
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