Archive for August, 2013

August 31st, 2013

Obey What You Know

“Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.” James 4:17 (NIV)

What would God have you do today? Did you know that God has a “to-do” list for you for today? God wants you to be saved! God wants you to grow spiritually! God wants you to share His love and to shine His light! God created you to be relational, not robotic. As you walk with God, He invites you to be in such relational intimacy with Him that you respond to His voice with instant obedience.

You know the good that you ought to do. It’s not that you need more information or more imperatives. Start doing what God has already told you to do. Instant obedience demonstrates your allegiance and loyalty to God’s will. There are times when you may desire God to simply write His will on the wall so that you can read it and obey. It just so happens that the wall is the pages upon which God’s Word is written for you to read personally and obey instantly.

You may be waiting for God’s direction concerning a specific decision that you need to make. Walk in the light God gives you. If you are not at peace about a certain direction, don’t make a move. Wait until God gives you the release to move into that particular direction. Remember, that God has been at work long before your specific situation showed up on your radar. Nothing catches God by surprise. God has a purpose for anything and everything that surprises us. Wait on God’s timing and practice instant obedience. God’s way is always the best way!

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, August 31st, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Discipline, Holiness, Obedience.
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August 30th, 2013

Beneficial Intervention

“But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:22-23 (NIV)

Have you ever been desperate for God’s intervention? You do all you know to do and unleash all the creativity and energy you have to accomplish God’s will and then recognize your insufficiency. Desperation elevates your awareness of the need for divine intervention.

Our greatest need was met when God took the initiative to rescue us from our sin. Before we could run to God, God ran to us. Before we could choose God, God chose us. Before we could pursue God, God pursued us. How refreshing to know that our lives and our future and our current reality is really all about God.

We do not exist for ourselves. We exist to bring glory to God by fulfilling His mission upon the earth. Now that we have been set free from sin, we no longer live in bondage and defeat. We have been set free so that we can orient our lives as slaves to God. We choose to surrender our agenda to God’s agenda and our ambition to God’s ambition. In Christ, we shift our focus from that of seeking to please ourselves to that of seeking to please the One who created us for His pleasure.

God’s divine intervention has tremendous benefits. Our sin has been removed. His holiness permeates our lives. Our eternal security has been granted. The gift of eternal life has been given to us in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, August 30th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Holiness, Sin, Slaves.
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August 29th, 2013

Voice of Truth

“All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this. They got up, drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him down the cliff. But he walked right through the crowd and went on his way.” Luke 4:28-30 (NIV)

Jesus communicated to His hearers in the synagogue that a prophet is not accepted in his hometown. He was implying that many would miss the fact that He was the Messiah and forfeit the benefits just as many in Israel did not enjoy the benefits of the ministry of Elijah. The people were so furious with Jesus that they tried to throw him down the cliff. Jesus’ popularity in His hometown was not very positive!

Your identity is not based on what people say about you. Your identity in Christ is based on what God says about you. You are shaped by God’s hand. Your destiny is determined by the loving provision of your Heavenly Father. In the midst of opposition and being misunderstood, you can stand firm in the security of your identity in Christ.

  • “‘You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit–fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.’” John 15:16 (NIV)
  • “‘If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.’” John 15:18 (NIV)

Find a place of solitude and begin to eliminate the voices of falsehood and tune in to the voice of Truth! Now listen for God’s voice and allow Him to affirm your identity in Christ. Remember who you are in Christ!

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, August 29th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Identity, Jesus, Solitude.
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August 28th, 2013

Solidify Your Identity

“All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips. ‘Isn’t this Joseph’s son?’ they asked.” Luke 4:22 (NIV)

Jesus shared from Isaiah 61:1-2 in the hearing of those in the synagogue and identified Himself as the fulfillment of that prophecy. The people spoke well of Him. Amazed at Jesus’ gracious words, they tried to reconcile His professed identity by asking, “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?”

The people were confused. Their understanding of the coming Messiah did not position them to anticipate a carpenter’s son from Nazareth as the Messiah. The humanity and humility of Jesus did not line up with their view of the Messiah. They were expecting a mighty military leader with position and prominence who would restore Israel.

As followers of Christ, we can identify with His dual identity. Though virgin born, Jesus had an earthly father and a Heavenly Father. We too have an earthly father and our Heavenly Father.

  • “The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.” Rom. 8:16 (NIV)
  • “Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness.” Heb. 12:10 (NIV)
  • “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.” 1 John 3:1 (NIV)

Your identity in Christ is formed and fashioned by your Heavenly Father. God has created you for His glory. You are God’s workmanship (Eph. 2:10) and you belong to God (I Pet. 2:9). If you ever forget who you are in Christ, look up! You are a child of the King!

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, August 28th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Identity, Jesus, Workmanship.
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August 27th, 2013

Your Ministry

“The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: ‘The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.’” Luke 4:17-19 (NIV)

As Jesus stood up in the synagogue to read, He was given the scroll of the prophet Isaiah and then He found the place from which He wanted to read. The passage Jesus read was what we now know as Isaiah 61:1-2. Jesus identified the ministry that He was anointed to employ. He identified the focus of His ministry as preaching the good news to the poor, proclaiming freedom for the prisoners, proclaiming recovery of sight to the blind, releasing the oppressed, and proclaiming the year of the Lord’s favor.

  • “Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, and he began by saying to them, ‘Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.’” Luke 4:20-21 (NIV)

Isaiah prophesied some 700 years before Christ was born that the Messiah would be anointed for this particular ministry. Jesus affirmed that He is the fulfillment of that prophecy.

Have you been the recipient of the ministry of Christ? Has your character and conduct been transformed? Now that you know Jesus personally, you are commissioned to embrace His ministry to bring others into His family. The ministry of Christ on earth is now your ministry. You may be the only Jesus others see!

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, August 27th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Evangelism, Jesus, Ministry.
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August 26th, 2013

Make Room for Priorities

“He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood up to read.” Luke 4:16 (NIV)

You make room for what you value. When you value participating in the ministry of your local church, you will make room in your life for that ministry. If you value short-term mission trips, then you will make room in your annual calendar of events to go on a short-term mission trip. Whatever you value will receive your time, energy, and attention. Whatever you value will be a guarded priority in your life.

Jesus valued the weekly worship experience in the synagogue on the Sabbath (Saturday). The synagogue had been a consistent part of His life for thirty years at this particular point. After His baptism and forty days of temptation in the desert, Jesus returned to Galilee and went to His hometown of Nazareth. As was His custom, He went into the synagogue.

Much of Jesus’ identity was connected to the synagogue. He had grown up being exposed to the reading of Scripture each Sabbath in the local synagogue. On this day, He stood to read. He participated in the flow of the service and contributed to the experience.

You are the sum total of your habits. In other words, you will become what you habitually invest your life in. You are in the process of becoming who you are in Christ. Value weekly participation in the local church. Value connecting with God in worship with other believers. Value weekly interaction with other believers in a small group Bible study. Make it your custom to grow in your love relationship with Jesus. Your identity is found in Christ.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, August 26th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Discipline, Jesus, Priorities.
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August 25th, 2013

I’ll Be Back

“‘And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.’” John 14:3 (NIV)

God has so much more in store for you than what you have currently in view. There’s so much more on the other shore. God is growing you and grooming you in this life in preparation for the life to come. God’s nature is that of integrity. God keeps His word. He is the real Promise Keeper.

As a follower of Christ, you will go to heaven either through the doorway of death or the reality of the Rapture. You will either go to Jesus upon your death or Jesus will come to you via the Rapture of the church. If you live, Christ lives with you. If you die, you live with Christ. As a believer, it is a win-win!

You will experience the ultimate reunion with Christ and your believing loved ones who have gone before you. The ultimate trade-in will occur as you trade-in your current body for the glorified body that God has for you. There will be no more cancer, no more arthritis, no more heart disease, no more diabetes, no more multiple sclerosis, no more Alzheimer’s, no more macular degeneration, no more mosquitoes, and no more humidity.

Jesus has prepared a place for you. There isn’t a place on earth to compare to the glorious mansion Jesus has built for you in Heaven. Jesus has also provided the way for you to get to Heaven. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6).

Are you ready for Jesus to come back?

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, August 25th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category End Times, Jesus, Salvation.
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August 24th, 2013

Rapture Ready?

“For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.” 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 (NIV)

If you are a child of God, then there is no need to fear death. You will either experience the Rapture or the resurrection. If you are still alive when Jesus comes for His Bride, you will be raptured. You will be snatched up from your earthly existence. However, if you die before the Rapture occurs, you will not experience the sting of death (I Cor. 15:55). To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord (2 Cor. 5:6-8). The moment you take your last breath on earth, you are ushered instantaneously into the Presence of the Lord.

Are you Rapture ready? Have you solidified your spiritual status? Do you have the assurance of salvation? The Bible is clear that you can know that you have eternal life. “And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life” (1 John 5:11-12 NIV).

Revisit the day of your salvation. Spend some time tracing the spiritual markers in your life. Thank God for His assurance of your salvation. Now that you are Rapture ready, invest your life in making a Kingdom impact for the glory of God. Make your life count for eternity!

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, August 24th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category End Times, Rapture, Readiness.
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August 23rd, 2013

God Is Patient

“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9 (NIV)

Have you ever lost your patience? Waiting in a fast food line for an extended period of time has a way of testing your capacity to embrace patience. In our instant gratification saturated society, we just don’t wait well. Our lifestyles have been conditioned through advancing technology to expect everything to come to fruition in a matter of seconds.

Aren’t you thankful that God is patient with us? God has graciously given us time to respond to His salvation love gift. God has been patient with us in the process of our spiritual development. In the midst of our sins of omission and sins of commission, God patiently conforms us into the image of Christ. God forgives us of our sins and cleanses us of our unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). God’s patience means salvation!

The heart of God is for everyone to come into a vibrant love relationship with Him through Christ. God does not want anyone to spend eternity in hell. God wants everyone to come to repentance. Yet, God has given us the freedom to choose Him or to reject Him. God did not create us to be robotic, but rather to be relational.

Will some perish and experience eternal separation from God? Yes! Those who fail to confess Jesus as Lord and believe in their heart that God raised Jesus from the dead will spend eternity in hell (Rom. 10:9-10). God has provided the way for those who believe in Jesus to not perish (John 3:16).

Have you come to repentance? Will you invest the rest of your life helping others come into a growing relationship with Jesus? Remember to be patient with others just as God has been patient with you.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, August 23rd, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category God's Nature, Patience, Salvation.
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August 22nd, 2013

God’s Perspective

“But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.” 2 Peter 3:8 (NIV)

Perspective is everything. When you view life from your own perspective, the view can be incomplete. In our humanity, we may only view ten yards at a time on the football field. God sees the entire field of our lives. God is not limited by time or space.

God is eternal. God was never born and God will never die. God is not decaying nor growing old. God is immutable in that He is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Heb. 13:8). In other words, God is.

God is omnipresent. There is nowhere God is not. God is omniscient. There is nothing God does not know. Nothing ever occurs to God. Nothing catches God by surprise. Nothing happens without God’s permission. God is sovereign. He rules and He reigns.

From our human perspective, a thousands years is a long time. For us, it is more than twelve times our life expectancy. God views a thousand years like a day. From God’s perspective, a day is like a thousand years. God does not operate in the confines of our human perspective. God is not limited by our finite comprehension of His eternal nature.

Choose to live your life in light of eternity. Realize that there is more to this life than what you see. There is life beyond the grave. Every moment counts. Therefore, make every moment of your life count for God’s glory. View others through the reality of eternity. Live in such a way as to compel those outside of the family of faith to become followers of Jesus Christ.

Pursuing God,

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

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, August 22nd, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category God's Perspective, Omnipresence, Omniscience.
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