Archive for October, 2011

October 31st, 2011

Embrace Your New Identity

“But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin. No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.” 1 John 3:5-6 (NIV)

Jesus established your new identity by removing your sins. Jesus willingly left the glory of heaven to come to earth in order to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. He lived a sinless life and died a sacrificial death to pay the penalty of our sin.

  • “The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, ‘Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!’” John 1:29 (NIV)
  • “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Cor 5:21 (NIV)

There’s hope for every person who turns from their sin and to Jesus alone for salvation. Jesus has already done all the work to provide the gift of eternal life and to establish our new identity.

Are you living in light of your sins being forgiven? Have you experienced the renewal that comes through the total cleansing of sin? In Jesus there is no sin. To become a follower of Jesus is to take on His nature and to reflect His character. Jesus lives in you to produce His life in you and through you.

Embrace your new identity by surrendering to the Lordship of Christ and giving Him total access to every area of your life. If there is unconfessed sin in your life, don’t hesitate to confess your sin specifically and instantly. Uncover any fraction of sin in your life and choose to walk in alignment with your new identity in Christ.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, October 31st, 2011 at 1:00 am
Category Certainty, Forgiveness, Identity.
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October 30th, 2011

Pursue Purity

“Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure.” 1 John 3:2-3 (NIV)

Since your birth, your body has been in a perpetual state of decay. Your physical body is only a temporary tent for life on this broken planet. You will not take your body with you to heaven. On that great and glorious day as a child of God, you will get to trade-in your body for the glorified body God has designed for you.

When Jesus appears, we shall be like Him. As a child of God, you can live with absolute enthusiasm and excitement because of the hope produced by the future appearing of Jesus. You will see Jesus as He is. The One you have come to know personally, the One you have trusted as your personal Lord and Savior, and the One you have communed with and prayed to all of these years will be visibly before you. You will see Jesus and you will receive the glorified body designed specifically for you.

Aren’t you excited about your future? There are some accessories that will not be featured in your glorified body. The glorified body God has for you does not have cancer, congestive heart failure, asthma, macular degeneration, AIDS, arthritis, Parkinson’s disease, or a fraction of sickness. Your glorified body will be adorned with the glory of God and saturated with the absence of sin. Your battle against Satan, the world, and the flesh will be eliminated!

Pursue purity. Be holy just as Jesus is holy. Run from sin and run to Jesus until He comes again!

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, October 30th, 2011 at 1:00 am
Category Certainty, Glorification, Purity.
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October 29th, 2011

Anticipate His Return

“And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming.” 1 John 2:28 (NIV)

Did you know that Jesus is coming again? It is so easy to settle into the cadence of a busy life and become numb towards the reality of the return of Jesus Christ. Being absorbed by the cultural current and distracted by the tugs of life can impair our vision and dissolve our attentiveness to the activity of God.

Your appointment has been confirmed. There is a specific time and date by which Jesus will return. No one knows that exact moment established by God. We are to live in the ready-mode! Live with expectancy. Jesus is coming again!

Will you be confident and unashamed before Him at His coming? What will Jesus find you doing upon His return? It matters how you live and how you allocate your time and energy. What are you giving your life to?

  • “So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.” 2 Cor 5:9-10 (NIV)

Anticipate His return. Live with a heightened awareness of appearing before Jesus one day to give an account for your life. Focus your life on pleasing Him! Eliminate distractions and remove obstacles that hinder your faith. Make the smile of God the passion of your life. Nothing matters more than living to bring pleasure to God. Live in light of the return of Jesus. Continue to walk with Him and continue to serve Him. Be ready for your appointment! It has been confirmed!

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, October 29th, 2011 at 1:00 am
Category Anticipation, Certainty, Rapture.
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October 28th, 2011

Everlasting Sufficiency

“‘The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.’” John 10:10 (NIV)

God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life. Satan hates you and has a deceptive plan for your life. Satan’s agenda is to deplete you and to defeat you. Don’t allow the thief to steal your joy, kill your peace, or destroy your passion. Don’t allow the thief to neutralize your zeal, to vandalize your victory, or to jeopardize your testimony. Don’t allow the thief to distract your devotion, to discourage your discipline, or to deflate your demeanor.

Embrace the great promise of everlasting sufficiency that Jesus provides. Jesus is the Shepherd and His agenda is to complete your life. Jesus has come to deliver your from darkness and defeat. Remember, the tomb is empty so that your life doesn’t have to be!

Allow the Shepherd and Overseer of your soul to infuse you with His power, to inject you with His love, and to inspire you with His compassion. Allow the Shepherd and Overseer of your soul to ignite your worship, to excite your prayer life, and to incite your sensitivity to His activity.

My mind is made up: I have been designed by God and for God. My eyes are looking up: Jesus sought me! Jesus bought me with His own blood! Jesus thought of me before I ever thought of Him! My faith is growing up: He who began a good work in me will bring it to completion!

Remind the devil that your sin has been removed, the blood of Jesus has been applied, and your eternal security is securely fastened in the all-sufficient, all-powerful, and all-knowing nail-scarred hands of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, October 28th, 2011 at 1:00 am
Category Gate, I am sayings, Sufficiency.
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October 27th, 2011

Endless Satisfaction

“‘I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture.’” John 10:9 (NIV)

Has your life on this broken planet delivered what it promised? Have you ever been disappointed with your life? God never intended for this world to satisfy the longings of your heart. The treasures of earth cannot complete the treasure chest of your existence. God created you with a longing that will never be satisfied by temporal pursuits and earthly manna.

Enjoy the green pasture of endless satisfaction that comes through an abiding relationship with Jesus Christ. He is the gate for the sheep. In Him, you will be granted the privilege of coming in and going out to find pasture. As John Piper says, “God is most glorified when we are most satisfied in Him.”

  • “The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” Psalm 23:1-3 (NIV)
  • “For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.” 1 Peter 2:25 (NIV)

Soul nourishment comes through an ongoing love relationship with Jesus that is real and personal. Enjoy the endless satisfaction of His green pasture by feeding on His Word, resting in His purpose, and trusting in His daily provision. Jesus is more than enough. He is your sufficiency. Jesus has already overcome any obstacle that you face. Entrust your life to Him and seek Him with all of your heart. Draw close to Jesus and cultivate a vibrant prayer life. Build meaningful relationships with other sheep and live to benefit others.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, October 27th, 2011 at 1:00 am
Category Gate, I am sayings, Satisfaction.
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October 26th, 2011

The Gate

“‘I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture.’” John 10:9 (NIV)

In Bible times, the shepherd would lay down at the entrance of the sheep pen in order to provide protection and security for the sheep from the threat of beasts of prey. The sheep were vulnerable outside of the shepherd’s care. His willingness to serve as the gate gave the sheep security and access to the pasture.

Jesus is the gate. It is through Him that a person enters into a saving relationship that provides eternal security and perpetual spiritual nourishment. Jesus is the gate that grants access to the spiritual resources of heaven.

  • “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)

To enter through Jesus is to believe in His name and to be born again (John 3:3). Being born again is the event of conversion whereby you experience the regeneration provided by the atoning work of Jesus on the cross. Jesus is the gate through which you experience the divine transaction by transferring your trust from yourself to Christ alone for salvation.

A few weeks ago a couple church members joined me in visiting some first-time guests. We walked up their driveway and had the privilege of sharing the plan of salvation with the entire family and they each prayed to invite Jesus to take over their life. I congratulated them on their decision and the reality of their spiritual birthday. The dad let us know that it was also his physical birthday. His daughter immediately announced, “Daddy, you need two birthday cakes!”

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, October 26th, 2011 at 1:00 am
Category Eternal security, Gate, I am sayings.
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October 25th, 2011

Light of the World

“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’” John 8:12 (NIV)

Are you a recipient of the Light? When you turned from your sin and turned to Jesus alone for salvation, you became a child of God and a recipient of the Light of the World. Just as Jesus illuminated His world during His earthly ministry, He has called us and commissioned us to be the light of the world by continuing His ministry on the earth.

  • “There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.” John 1:6-9 (NIV)

Your role in this Christian life is to point people to Jesus. When others view your life, they should see Jesus. You may be the only Jesus others see. As Dr. Johnny Hunt says, “People in your community may not read the Bible, but they will read the gospel according to your life.” What are they reading?

Help others get delivered from darkness by introducing them to the Light of the World. Intercede for them and invest in them by navigating them through the journey of discovering the Light of the World. Let the light of Jesus shine through your life and love people to Jesus. There’s no higher calling than participating with God in His redemptive activity by shining His light and sharing His love.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, October 25th, 2011 at 1:00 am
Category Clarity, I am sayings, Light of the World.
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October 24th, 2011

Make Jesus Visible

“’You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.’” Matt 5:14-16 (NIV)

Let’s go light our world with the love of Jesus, the compassion of Jesus, the humility of Jesus, and the servitude of Jesus. Let’s go light our world by shining His light, sharing His love, mending broken hearts, extending personal touch ministry, serving the less fortunate, and encouraging the distraught. Let’s go light our world by practicing instant obedience, maintaining intimacy with God, loving what God loves, and hating what God hates.

Let’s go light our world by interceding for the lost, investing in lives of lost people, going public with our personal testimony, and giving financially to the Lord’s work. Let’s go light our world by making ourselves available for God’s use, being responsive to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, and living in light of eternity.

Make Jesus visible by declaring that lost people go to hell, proclaiming that saved people go to heaven, and clarifying that Jesus is the only way. Make Jesus visible by demonstrating that people matter to God and affirming that God is not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance (2 Pt 3:9).

Unless we reveal the light, others will be unable to receive the light. If they don’t receive the light, they will be unable to walk in the light. If they don’t walk in the light, they will be unable to reveal the light. Make Jesus visible!

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, October 24th, 2011 at 1:00 am
Category Clarity, I am sayings, Light of the World.
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October 23rd, 2011

God’s Mercy

“And the LORD commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land.” Jonah 2:10 (NIV)

Where would you be if God were not the God of second chances? You would be without hope and without a future. God will not only pursue you with His redeeming love, but He also gives you a second chance to obey His will.

The fish obeyed God in the midst of Jonah’s rebellion. God commanded the fish to vomit Jonah onto dry ground. Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time (Jonah 3:1).  After a three day aquatic experience of prayer in the belly of the fish, Jonah was now hurled onto the beach for a second chance to obey God’s way. The wonderful news is that Jonah obeyed the word of the Lord and went to Nineveh (Jonah 3:3).

Jonah responded to God the first time by saying, “Lord, here I am, send someone else!” The second time, Jonah responded by saying, “Lord, here I am, send me!” On the Ship Jonah was singing, “I did it my way!” Inside the Fish Jonah was singing, “Have Thine Own Way, Lord!” Jonah came to know God as the God of second chance. Jonah learned a valuable lesson about obeying God.

Ponder the grace of God in your own life. Think through the decisions you have made over your lifetime to choose to go your own way. Do you remember how God pursued you with His redeeming love? God is so patient, so tender, and so persistent. He wants you to come to know Him by experience as the God of second chances.

Don’t give up. God has not given up on you. What God has begun in your life, He will bring to completion (Php 1:6). God always finishes what He starts. What God originates He always orchestrates.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, October 23rd, 2011 at 1:00 am
Category God's Character, Jonah, Mercy.
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October 22nd, 2011

Praying through Seaweed

“From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the LORD his God.” Jonah 2:1 (NIV)

If you spent three days and three nights inside a great fish that God provided, you would probably place that in the category of a life changing experience. Your entire life would be marked by that one experience with God. You would never be the same. Your view of God and your reverence for God would be catapulted to a new level.

  • “The engulfing waters threatened me, the deep surrounded me; seaweed was wrapped around my head.” Jonah 2:5 (NIV)
  • “To the roots of the mountains I sank down; the earth beneath barred me in forever. But you brought my life up from the pit, O LORD my God.” Jonah 2:6 (NIV)

Can you imagine Jonah, with seaweed wrapped around his head, praying to God from inside this large fish that God provided? I wonder if Jonah was kneeling, standing, floating, or treading water while he was praying. It clearly illustrates that God is willing to go to extreme measures to rescue us from ourselves and from our sin.

You don’t have to wait for God to bring you to a place of desperation to call out to Him in prayer. You have the perpetual invitation to nurture your love relationship with God in moment-by-moment prayer and surrender. Remove the seaweed that tends to cling to your mind and embrace the opportunity to commune with the Creator of the universe.

Whether you are in the tumultuous waters within the large fish called life or on the tranquil dry ground of daily life, pray to our Living God. God loves you and His heart beats for you. You are the apple of His eye!

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, October 22nd, 2011 at 1:00 am
Category Desperation, Jonah, Praying.
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