Archive for May, 2012

May 31st, 2012

Global Thanksgiving and Praise

“I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples; I will sing praises to you among the nations.For your steadfast love is great above the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.” Psalm 108:3-4 (ESV)

Go global with your thanksgiving and praise. Go global with your gratitude for all that God has done to rescue you, to restore you, and to reconcile you to Himself. God has poured out His mercy and He has dispensed His grace so that you can know Him personally and intimately through a saving relationship with Jesus. God has lavished you with His love. You have a new identity in Christ and you have a message to declare. Your eternal destiny has been sealed by the Holy Spirit.

How will you respond to what God has done to transform your life? Will you give thanks to Him among the peoples? Will you sing praise to Him among the nations? Thank the Lord for His steadfast love. Praise Him for his faithfulness. Acknowledge where you would be without Him. Affirm your dependency upon the Lord.

  • “Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.” Colossians 4:2 (ESV)

Infuse your prayer life with thanksgiving. Begin to specify before the Lord the people you are thankful for. Name them and express your gratitude for each person the Lord has brought into your life. Thank the Lord for their influence. Praise the Lord for His activity in their lives. Bless the Lord for the impact they have had on your life.

Thank the Lord for the circumstances He has brought you through. Praise Him for His divine intervention in the situations that He has shielded you from. Praise the Lord for revealing His peace, for distributing His provisions, and for healing your hurts. Testify of His faithfulness.

Chronological Bible Reading Plan: (Day 144:  Psalms 108-110)

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, May 31st, 2012 at 1:00 am
Category Praise, Psalms, Thanksgiving.
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May 30th, 2012

Mourning into Dancing

“Then Satan stood against Israel and incited David to number Israel. So David said to Joab and the commanders of the army, ‘Go, number Israel, from Beersheba to Dan, and bring me a report, that I may know their number.’” 1 Chronicles 21:1-2 (ESV)

When you see God at work you can rest assured that Satan is also at work. God loves you and has a plan for your life. Satan hates you and he also has an plan for your life. God’s plan is for you to honor Him and benefit others. Satan’s plan is for you to compromise your commitment to the Lord and for you to become casual in your Christianity.

In opposition to Israel, Satan incited David to drift from God’s will. David’s decision to number Israel was in violation to God’s will. “But God was displeased with this thing, and he struck Israel. And David said to God, ‘I have sinned greatly in that I have done this thing. But now, please take away the iniquity of your servant, for I have acted very foolishly’” (1 Chronicles 21:7-8 ESV).

David recognized his own iniquity and acknowledged his sin before God and asked God to remove the iniquity. Mourning over his sin, David confessed the foolishness of his actions. God gave David the opportunity to choose the consequences. David chose the pestilence of the land and 70,000 men of Israel fell. David personally experienced the mercy of God.

  • “You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, 12 that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever!” Psalm 30:11-12 (ESV)

Have you mourned over your sin? Confess your sin and receive God’s forgiveness and allow Him to turn your mourning into dancing.

Chronological Bible Reading Plan: (Day 143:  2 Samuel 24; 1 Chronicles 21-22; Psalm 30)

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, May 30th, 2012 at 1:00 am
Category 1 Chronicles, 2 Samuel, David.
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May 29th, 2012

Express Your Praise

“Oh come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods.In his hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are his also.The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land.” Psalm 95:1-5 (ESV)

We were made to worship. God placed within us the desire to worship. In the natural, we choose to worship created things instead of the Creator. When we worship things or other people, we commit the sin of idolatry. Idolatry is a perversion of God’s intended purpose for our lives. We combat the gravitational pull of idolatry by surrendering to the Lordship of Christ and yielding our allegiance to Him.

Choose to sing to the Lord. Sing to the Lord when you are alone. Sing to the Lord when you are joining fellow believers in corporate worship. Sing to the Lord when you are sitting, walking, jogging, or driving. Sing to the Lord when you are in the valley and when you are on the mountaintop. Even if you are not a gifted vocalist, make a joyful noise to rock of your salvation.

Express your praise to God for He is a great God. He is a great King above all other gods. The earth is His. The mountains are His. The sea is His. The dry land is His. You are His. There is no one else like you. God has uniquely created you so that you can uniquely worship Him and express your praise to Him.

Chronological Bible Reading Plan: (Day 142:  Psalms 95, 97-99)

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, May 29th, 2012 at 1:00 am
Category Praise, Psalms, Thanksgiving.
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May 28th, 2012

Memorial Day

“All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.” 2 Cor 5:18-19 (ESV)

The freedom we enjoy in America comes at a great price. Thousands of men and women have given their lives in service to our country to preserve our freedom. We are blessed to worship God corporately without fear of invasion. Thank God for our fallen warriors and their families.

Christ paid the ultimate sacrifice for our reconciliation. Jesus died to provide for the forgiveness of our sins and to remove the barrier separating us from Holy God. Jesus was obedient to death on the cross to satisfy the righteous requirements of God. As the sinless sacrifice, Jesus provided to us heaven and eternal life.

Now that you have been reconciled to God, extend the ministry of reconciliation to those disconnected from Christ. You are reconciled in order to reconcile. You have been given this life-changing ministry from God. God has empowered you to be a minister of reconciliation.

Build intentional relationships with those who are disconnected from Christ. Join God in reconciling the world to Him. Your reconciliation qualifies you to partner with God in reconciling others through Christ.

  • “I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples; I will sing praises to you among the nations. 10 For your steadfast love is great to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds.” Psalm 57:11-12 (ESV)

Because of God’s faithfulness, you have been given a ministry to extend. Give praise to the Lord by sharing His steadfast love with those who don’t know Christ.

Chronological Bible Reading Plan: (Day 141:  2 Samuel 22-23; Psalm 57)

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, May 28th, 2012 at 1:00 am
Category Memorial Day, Ministry, Reconciliation.
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May 27th, 2012

Thirsting for God

“As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. 2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?” Psalm 42:1-2 (ESV)

What are you passionate about? What makes you come alive? Consider your relationship with God. Long before you thought of God, He thought of you. Long before you could pursue Him, God pursued you with His redeeming love.

Life in a fallen world has a confetti of allurements clasping for your attention. Your appetites crave being fulfilled. In temptation, Satan seeks to get you to meet a legitimate need in an illegitimate way. Don’t allow the magnetic tug of this world to erode your passion for God.

Does your soul pant for God? Does your soul thirst for the living God? Focus your faith and allocate your affection. Nothing deserves your passionate pursuit more than the Creator of the universe. He has created you for His pleasure. You have been uniquely designed by God to fulfill His will. Pursue the Lord daily and eliminate idols. Remove anything that dilutes your passion for the Lord.

  • “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.” Psalm 42:11 (ESV)

Place your total confidence in God. Praise Him for He is your salvation and your God. When you experience frustration, hope in God. When you face challenging circumstances, hope in God. When you go through seasons of uncertainty, hope in God.

Start each day with God by having a daily quiet time. Spend time feeding on God’s Word and communing with God in prayer. Thirst for God and pursue Him daily.

Chronological Bible Reading Plan: (Day 140: Psalms 5, 38, 41-42)

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, May 27th, 2012 at 1:00 am
Category Psalms, Pursuing God, Thirst.
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May 26th, 2012

Keep Your Word

“Now there was a famine in the days of David for three years, year after year. And David sought the face of the Lord. And the Lord said, ‘There is bloodguilt on Saul and on his house, because he put the Gibeonites to death.’ So the king called the Gibeonites and spoke to them. Now the Gibeonites were not of the people of Israel but of the remnant of the Amorites. Although the people of Israel had sworn to spare them, Saul had sought to strike them down in his zeal for the people of Israel and Judah. And David said to the Gibeonites, ‘What shall I do for you? And how shall I make atonement, that you may bless the heritage of the Lord?’” 2 Samuel 21:1-3 (ESV)

The Gibeonites requested that King David bring seven of Saul’s sons to them so they could terminate their lives. David desired to position the Gibeonites to bless the heritage of the Lord. Their request would have a fatal impact on Mephibosheth. “But the king spared Mephibosheth, the son of Saul’s son Jonathan, because of the oath of the Lord that was between them, between David and Jonathan the son of Saul” (2 Samuel 21:7 ESV).

David kept his word. He and Jonathan establish an oath before the Lord and David demonstrated integrity by protecting Jonathan’s son, Mephibosheth.

  • “But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. 18 And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.” James 3:17-18 (ESV)

Ask God to give you wisdom to make decisions that will honor Him and benefit others. May a harvest of righteousness be sown in peace as you seek to make peace.

Chronological Bible Reading Plan: (Day 139:  2 Samuel 19-21)

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, May 26th, 2012 at 1:00 am
Category 2 Samuel, David, Mephibosheth.
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May 25th, 2012

New Song

“I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry.He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure.He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord.” Psalm 40:1-3 (ESV)

God answers prayer. As you wait patiently for the Lord He will incline His ear and He will hear your cry. When you express the agony of your soul, God will respond with His comfort and compassion. The Lord invites you to walk intimately with Him as you surrender to His Lordship.

God intervenes. The circumstances of life can sometimes generate seasons of heartache. God will draw you out of the pit of despair and He will make your steps secure by placing your feet upon a rock. God intervenes by rescuing you from your self-sufficiency and reminds you of your total dependence upon His daily provision.

God puts a new song in your mouth. When you became a fully devoted follower of Jesus Christ, your eternal destiny in heaven was secured. You have the privilege of having a song to sing that expresses your new identity in Christ. The new song in your mouth is filled with the grace and mercy of God.

Your life is a testimony of God’s activity. As others view your life, you can affirm the promises of God and know that He places you in the display window of life to draw others to Jesus.

Praise God that you have a new song to sing. Your life has been transformed by the grace of God.

Chronological Bible Reading Plan: (Day 138:  Psalms 26, 40, 58, 61-62, 64)

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, May 25th, 2012 at 1:00 am
Category Praise, Psalms, Trust.
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May 24th, 2012

Dealing with Disappointment

“And the king ordered Joab and Abishai and Ittai, ‘Deal gently for my sake with the young man Absalom.’ And all the people heard when the king gave orders to all the commanders about Absalom.” 2 Samuel 18:5 (ESV)

While all the army marched out by hundreds and by thousands, King David stood at the side of the gate. His fatherly compassion was articulated as he instructed the commanders to deal gently with Absalom. David’s own son had become an enemy. Absalom had orchestrated an ambush on David and his fighting men. David wanted Absalom brought to him unharmed.

In the midst of Absalom’s pursuit of David, the mule he was riding went under some of the thick branches of a great oak. Absalom’s head got wedged between the branches and the mule continued on leaving Absalom suspended. When Joab heard about Absalom’s vulnerable status, he violated King David’s request and took matters into his own hands by thrusting three javelins into the heart of Absalom while he was still alive in the oak (2 Samuel 18:14 ESV).

When the news of Absalom’s death was personally delivered to David, he went up to the chamber over the gate and wept. “And as he went, he said, ‘O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! Would I had died instead of you, O Absalom, my son, my son!’” (2 Samuel 18:33 ESV).

How do you deal with disappointments? People are fallible and will let you down at times. Occasionally, your own family members will disappoint you. There are times when you may disappoint others. Seasons of disappointment arise related to unfortunate circumstances that you find yourself in.

Find comfort in the fact that God is on His throne and nothing will thwart His will. If God allows a disappointment to come into your life, He will use it for your good and for His glory.

Chronological Bible Reading Plan: (Day 137:  2 Samuel 16-18)

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, May 24th, 2012 at 7:00 am
Category 2 Samuel, David, Grief.
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May 23rd, 2012

My Strength and Shield

“The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.” Psalm 28:7 (ESV)

How many years have you been walking with God? Think through each year and decipher when your love relationship with God catapulted to a new level. Sometimes God will use a season of adversity in your life to bring your experience with Him to a deeper level. Sometimes God will bring someone into your life to spur you on in your daily walk with Him.

As you navigate the terrain of living in a fallen world, you come to know by experience that the Lord is your strength. He nourishes your soul and infuses you with power to be on mission with Him. You also come to learn that the Lord is your shield. He extinguishes the flaming arrows of the evil one. The Lord shields you from the onslaught of darkness, doubt, and defeat. Your help comes from the Lord.

  • “Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.” Psalm 55:22 (ESV)

Exalt the Lord and give Him thanks for all that He has done to provide you with everything you need for life and godliness. Sing praise to His Name for He alone is worthy. Place your burdens before the Lord and rest in His sustaining power. Learn to praise Him when you are on the mountaintop and when you are in the valley. Learn to trust Him when the path is clear and when the fog refuses to lift. Keep your eyes on the prize. Keep your faith grounded in the reality of God’s redeeming love.

Chronological Bible Reading Plan: (Day 136:  Psalms 3-4, 12-13, 28, 55)

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012 at 1:00 am
Category Psalms, Refuge, Strength.
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May 22nd, 2012

Desperation and Prayer

“But David went up the ascent of the Mount of Olives, weeping as he went, barefoot and with his head covered. And all the people who were with him covered their heads, and they went up, weeping as they went. 31 And it was told David, ‘Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom.’ And David said, ‘O Lord, please turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness.’” 2 Samuel 15:31-32 (ESV)

What do you do when your world is falling apart? David had to combat discord within his family and within his kingdom. Absalom tried to usurp King David’s authority and sought to generate a conspiracy to overtake the throne. David entered a season of brokenness and wept before the Lord in prayer.

The people with David emulated David’s posture and covered their heads and wept as they went up the ascent of the Mount of Olives. In desperation, David prayed for God’s divine intervention. David asked the Lord to turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness before Absalom.

How do you respond to adversity? What do you do when you experience unfair treatment by another person? You can choose to become bitter and allow your circumstances to dictate your feelings or you can choose to turn to the Lord in prayer. In desperation and brokenness before the Lord, express your pain and your plight to the Lord in prayer. Unveil your feelings and your frustrations.

God invites you to come before him with the truth of your circumstances. If God allows adversity to come into your life, He will use it for your good and for His glory. Allow God to conform you into the image of Christ in the midst of the challenges you face. Trust God to work in you and through you to accomplish His plan.

Chronological Bible Reading Plan: (Day 135:  2 Samuel 13-15)

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012 at 1:00 am
Category 2 Samuel, Brokenness, David.
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