Four Ways to Bring Life This Christmas

December 14th, 2018

The righteous man will flourish like the palm tree, he will grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Planted in the house of the Lord, they will flourish in the courts of our God. They will still yield fruit in old age; they shall be full of sap and very green. Psalm 92:12-14

1. ASK FOR WISDOM. Wisdom “is a tree of life to those who take hold of her” (Proverbs 3:18). You can ask God and He will give you the wisdom you need for all the complexities of life: how to raise your kids, how to deal and cope with the fast-paced nature of change, and how to excel in your job.

2. WIN SOULS. “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who is wise wins souls” (Proverbs 11:30). Because of Jesus we are made righteous before God. But it’s not just for you. You are created to be productive and fruitful, to win souls. When you walk with God, you become a carrier of the anointing of the Holy Spirit.

3. BRING HOPE. “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but desire fulfilled is a tree of life” (Proverbs 13:12). This Christmas, look for ways to bring a boost to the people around you. You might be the answer to someone’s prayers. If you have desires in your life that seem delayed, resist discouragement and commit to stand on the promises of God until you see them fulfilled.

A soothing tongue is a tree of life, but perversion in it crushes the spirit. Proverbs 15:4

4. SPEAK SOOTHING WORDS. “The tongue of the wise brings healing” and “sweetness of speech increases persuasiveness” (Proverbs 12:18, 16:21) We’ve all found that it’s often not only what we say but how we say it. Remember, your words are powerful, and you can be a carrier of life and peace wherever you go!

God bless you!
Pastor Jeff Perry
St. Louis Family Church®

PRAY THIS PRAYER (BASED ON EPHESIANS 1:17-19):
God, I pray that You will give to me a spirit of wisdom and revelation into the knowledge of You. I ask that the eyes of my understanding may be enlightened that I may know the hope of my calling and the riches of the glory of the inheritance in the saints and what is the surpassing greatness of Your power towards those who believe. Thank You, Jesus. I love You!

flour·ish, verb
To grow well or luxuriantly; thrive. To do or fare well; prosper. To be in a period of highest productivity, excellence, or influence

Copyright © 2018 St. Louis Family Church. All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reprinted or distributed in any form without prior written permission of St. Louis Family Church. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. “flourish.” American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 4th edition. Web. 11 Dec 2018 http://www.yourdictionary.com/flourish.

The Assurance of God’s Abundance

December 7th, 2018

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the men of old gained approval. For he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him Hebrews 11:1, 6b

1. ASCERTAIN GOD’S WILL. God’s will and nature are all about abundance. He delights in our prosperity (Psalm 35:27). God “supplies seed to the sower and bread for food” (2 Corinthians 9:10), which means He will meet your needs and enable you to help meet the needs of others.

2. ASSESS HIS PROMISES. To understand God’s will, it’s imperative that we go to God’s Word and learn about His promises. The psalmist tells us to “forget none of His benefits” (Psalm 103:2). So take time to study and write out God’s promises as they pertain to your life.

3. ACQUIRE EACH BENEFIT. King David didn’t say, “My cup is half empty” or “it’s half full.” He declared, “My cup overflows” (Psalm 23:5). God wants every area of our lives to overflow – spirit, soul, body, our relationships, our finances, and our callings.

4. ACT ON THE WORD. We are called to take action, to be doers not just hearers of the Word (James 1:22). God’s Word is like a light guiding our path (Psalm 119:105). As you act on the Scriptures and stand on the promises of God, you can trust that His mercy, provision, and forgiveness will be available to you every day.

5. ACCEPT IT BY FAITH. Faith is not mythology, denial, or escapism. It’s firm persuasion based on the reliability and unchangeableness of God’s nature. Hebrews 11 lays out the compelling examples of men and women who have gone before us in faith – Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham and Sarah, and others – they trusted God to fulfill what He promised! Just as God was faithful to them, God will be faithful to you. Trust Him. He will do it.

God bless you!
Pastor Jeff Perry
St. Louis Family Church®

DAILY CONFESSION:
Every good thing comes from God (James 1:17). No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly (Psalm 84:11). As I tithe, I trust God to open up the windows of heaven and pour out overflowing blessing (Malachi 3:10).

a·bun·dance, noun
An extremely plentiful or over sufficient quantity or supply. Overflowing fullness.

Copyright © 2018 St. Louis Family Church. All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reprinted or distributed in any form without prior written permission of St. Louis Family Church. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. “abundance.” Random House Unabridged Dictionary. Web. 5 Dec 2018 .

Steps to Strengthening

November 30th, 2018

He gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might He increases power. Those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary. Isaiah 40:29, 31

1. GET IN THE WORD. How amazing is it that from weakness we can be made strong? As realistically as push-ups help your physical body, starting the day in the Bible will give you an advantage. It will strengthen your spirit. It will light your path (Psalm 119:105). It will help you overcome bad habits and not be led by the flesh. You will become strengthened with all power in your inner person (Ephesians 3:16).

For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace. Romans 8:5-6

2. WAIT ON THE LORD. Everything good in our lives involves faith and patience. Because of all the modern conveniences and technology, our culture has become addicted to immediacy. But sometimes there are divine delays. Think about how an oak tree takes time to grow. That’s why it’s important to acclimate yourself to the process. Decide to stay with it for the long haul — it’s worth it.

3. SERVE THE LORD WITH GLADNESS. Realize the strengthening value of showing up and serving. When we show up and do our work wholeheartedly for the Lord, it takes us out of introspection and turns our focus to helping someone else. Find a place to serve joyfully!

Press on!
Pastor Jeff Perry
St. Louis Family Church®

DAILY CONFESSION:
God is not weak toward me, but mighty in me. I am strengthened with power through God’s Spirit. I am rooted and grounded in love. My mind is set on the Spirit and is full of life and peace (2 Corinthians 13:3; Ephesians 3:16-17; Romans 8:6).

strength·en, verb
To make strong or stronger. Fortify. To gain strength. To make firm or secure.

Copyright © 2018 St. Louis Family Church. All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reprinted or distributed in any form without prior written permission of St. Louis Family Church. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. “strengthen.” Memidex Dictionary/Thesaurus. Web. 26 Nov 2018 .

The Value of Gratitude

November 24th, 2018

As He [Jesus] entered a village, ten leprous men who stood at a distance met Him; and they raised their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” When He saw them, He said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they were going, they were cleansed. Now one of them, when he saw that he had been healed, turned back, glorifying God with a loud voice, and he fell on his face at His feet, giving thanks to Him. Luke 17:12-16a

1. THANK GOD FOR WHAT HE’S DONE. Ten men were healed, but only one turned back to give thanks while the others were so excited they took off to re-enter society. We don’t want to be part of the group that forgets to be thankful. This season is a great time for us to pause, recognize any ungrateful habits, and start to celebrate and count our blessings instead.

2. DEVELOP THE HABIT OF THANKSGIVING. Complaining is contagious, but so is thankfulness. “Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise” (Psalm 100:4a). Thank God going into your prayer, thank God in the middle of it, and thank God at the end. Get in the habit of praising and thanking God.

3. GRATITUDE TRANSFORMS US. When we’re thankful, we push aside indifference and deepen our appreciation for what we have instead of being constantly aware of what we lack. Start to thank God for what He has done in your life. Say it out loud, even if you can barely get the words out. As we begin to praise and thank the Lord, we are transformed from murmurers to praisers, from being self-absorbed to being reflective of who God is and how capable He is to take care of our every need. Self-pity is ugly. Gratitude is beautifying.

Sing for joy in the Lord, O you righteous ones; praise is becoming to the upright. Psalm 33:1

Thank You, Jesus!
Pastor Jeff Perry
St. Louis Family Church®

DAILY CONFESSION BASED ON PSALM 118:
I give thanks to the Lord for He is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting. The Lord is for me; I will not fear. What can man do to me? The Lord is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation. I will not die, but live, and tell of the works of the Lord. This is the day that the Lord has made! I will rejoice and be glad in it. You are my God and I give thanks to You!

thank·ful, adj.
Conscious of benefit received. Expressive of thanks.

Copyright © 2018 St. Louis Family Church. All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reprinted or distributed in any form without prior written permission of St. Louis Family Church. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. “Thankful.” Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. 08 August 2016.

Daily Thankfulness

November 16th, 2018

In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:18

WRITE DOWN THREE THINGS YOU’RE THANKFUL FOR. Thank God for everything you can think of. The atmosphere of gratitude can foster amazing things. For starters, it breaks us out of selfish moodiness and prepares the way for us to enter into praise. As we accumulate things to be thankful for, we will get an increased awareness of God’s grace.

WRITE DOWN TWO BREAKTHROUGHS THAT SEEMED INSURMOUNTABLE, BUT GOD TURNED THEM AROUND. Faith comes by hearing the Word and it involves corresponding action. The Bible tells us consistently to stir up ourselves by way of reminder. Take time to build your faith in the Word of God and remember to thank God daily for past victories and future breakthroughs.

WRITE DOWN TWO THINGS IN PROCESS THAT YOU ARE BELIEVING GOD FOR. No one wants you to succeed more than Jesus does. He knows the challenges you will face and He understands every emotion you will ever have. He will supply clear, practical answers to help you face off with life’s problems.

Press on!
Pastor Jeff Perry
St. Louis Family Church®

PRAY THIS PRAYER:
Thank You, Jesus! I give thanks with a grateful heart. Forgive me for any complaining. Fill my mouth with Your praises. Help me, Jesus, to be a person of blessing – to bless You and to bless the people around me. In Jesus’ name, amen!

grat·i·tude, noun
A feeling of thankful appreciation for favors or benefits received; thankfulness

Copyright © 2018 St. Louis Family Church. All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reprinted or distributed in any form without prior written permission of St. Louis Family Church. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. “gratitude.” Webster’s New World College Dictionary. Web. 12 Nov 2018 .

Three Benefits Of Praising God Continually

November 9th, 2018

I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. I sought the Lord, and He answered me, and delivered me from all my fears. They looked to Him and were radiant, and their faces will never be ashamed. Psalm 34:1, 4-5

1. DELIVERANCE FROM FEAR. Both fear and faith are planted as seeds of thought. The Hebrew word for fear is also translated as a “storehouse,” which gives a good visual of how you can fill a whole barn with all your fears. Praise breaks that cycle. When you constantly speak out praises reminding yourself of Who God is and what His Word promises, God will deliver you from a whole silo full of freak-out!

2. DELIVERANCE FROM SHAME. When you look to God you become radiant. Let God’s praise continually be in your mouth – not just when you feel happy or when you are singing at church. This is counter-intuitive to our emotions, but praise and thanksgiving are the way to breakthrough. The apostle Paul wrote from prison: “Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say rejoice” (Philippians 4:4).

3. DELIVERANCE FROM APATHY. Connecting with God through praise and worship activates us. We are called to believe for people’s hearts to turn to Jesus, for evil in the world to be stopped, and for tough situations to turn around. When Paul and Silas praised God from jail, it set the atmosphere that caused the jailer and his family to get saved (Acts 16:25-34). Take time to magnify the Lord and tell of all His works. In doing so, you will prepare the way for lives to be changed, including your own.

Press on!
Pastor Jeff Perry
St. Louis Family Church®

DAILY CONFESSION:
I will rejoice in the Lord always; again I will rejoice! I will be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving I will let my requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard my heart and mind in Christ Jesus. Whatever is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, of good repute; if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, I will dwell on these things. (Philippians 4:4; 6-8)

ra·di·ant, adj.
Sending out rays of light; bright; shining. Characterized by health, intense joy, happiness, etc.

Copyright © 2018 St. Louis Family Church. All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reprinted or distributed in any form without prior written permission of St. Louis Family Church. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. “radiant.” Collins English Dictionary. Web. 31 Oct 2018 .

Prayer Patterns

November 2nd, 2018

“Pray, then, in this way: ‘Our Father who is in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.’” Matthew 6:9-13

1. START WITH FOCUSING ON GOD, and then make it personal. These patterns we’ve been studying for praise, prayer, and provision get us out of the “me, me, me” mentality. When we follow the prayer pattern Jesus set out in Matthew, and shift our focus to who God is, that fleshly side gets adjusted and we get free from too much introspection.

2. REMEMBER HOW GOD HAS PROVIDED. When I read the phrase “daily bread” I think of all God’s provision from Genesis till now. There is so much blessing, and we can choose to acknowledge it or ignore it. In the Bible, Moses called all the people together to set a time to remember all God had done for them (Deuteronomy 8). Thankfulness has to be deliberate or, as flawed humans, we can easily forget.

A Call to Remember and Obey: “Be careful to obey all the commands I [Moses] am giving you today. Then you will live and multiply, and you will enter and occupy the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors. Remember how the Lord your God led you.” Deuteronomy 8:1a NLT

3. RAISE YOUR EXPECTATION. Faith is confidence that God’s promises will come to pass. God wants to meet all your needs and answer all your prayers. When you build that assurance of God’s faithfulness by reflecting on scriptures in the Bible, you no longer are paralyzed by fear or dread, but instead you can step out and do the job God has for you. We are called to be restorers – to help lead people to Jesus. He brings peace in place of depression, He fixes toxic marriages, heals bodies, and offers eternal life to those who receive it!

God bless you!
Pastor Jeff Perry
St. Louis Family Church®

DAILY CONFESSION:
I will remember the Lord my God. He is the one who gives me power to make wealth. God’s promises will not return empty. They will accomplish what God desires and succeed in what He sends them to do (Deuteronomy 8:18; Isaiah 55:11).

ex·pec·ta·tion, noun
Belief about (or mental picture of) the future. Anticipating with confidence of fulfillment.

Copyright © 2018 St. Louis Family Church. All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reprinted or distributed in any form without prior written permission of St. Louis Family Church. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. “expectation.” Memidex Dictionary/Thesaurus. Web. 24 Oct 2018 . All rights reserved. NKJV: Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Tell Others

October 25th, 2018

Thus says the Lord to you, “Do not fear or be dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours but God’s.” 2 Chronicles 20:15b

1. LET GOD FIGHT YOUR BATTLES. When Jehoshaphat, the king of Judah, learned that his enemy was about to attack him on three fronts, he sought God. Instead of dwelling on all the problems, he deliberately began to praise God and remember how powerful God is (2 Chronicles 20:6). When there is an alarming situation or a terrible circumstance, our minds want to fixate on it instead of turning our attention to seek the Lord. But it’s when we get our hearts fixed on God that breakthrough happens.

2. WORSHIP YOUR WAY TO VICTORY. Jehoshaphat did something unprecedented in military history: He put praise-and-worshipers on the front line of battle. While they were worshiping God, the enemy was defeated! Instead of being overcome by impossible-looking circumstances, we can actually sing, pray, and worship our way to victory.

He appointed those who should sing to the Lord, and who should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army and were saying: “Praise the Lord, for His mercy endures forever.” Now when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushes against the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; and they were defeated. 2 Chronicles 20:21b-22 NKJV

3. FIX YOUR EYES ON JESUS. As Jehoshaphat sought God, he declared, “We don’t know what to do, but our eyes are on You” (2 Chronicles 20:12b). So gaze at God and only glance at your problems. Rededicate yourself to reading the Word, where you’ll see the faithfulness of God through the ages. Pull up breakthrough moments in your past and write them down. When you praise and worship God, darkness is pushed back, anxiety dissipates, and God brings the breakthrough.

Press on!
Pastor Jeff Perry
St. Louis Family Church®

DAILY CONFESSION:
Therefore, since I have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding me, I lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles, I run with endurance the race that is set before me, fixing my eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of my faith (Hebrews 12:1-2).

fix, noun
To cause to be firmly attached. To decide upon or fix definitely. To make fixed, stable or stationary. To put (something somewhere) firmly.

Copyright © 2018 St. Louis Family Church. All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reprinted or distributed in any form without prior written permission of St. Louis Family Church. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. “fix.” Memidex Dictionary/Thesaurus. Web. 9 Oct 2018 . All rights reserved. NKJV: Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Prayer & Fasting

October 20th, 2018

“Is this not the fast which I choose, to loosen the bonds of wickedness, to undo the bands of the yoke, and to let the oppressed go free and break every yoke?” Isaiah 58:6

I’m dedicating this week, October 21-25, to prayer and fasting for our church and for our country. We’ll be praying together in the Worship Center every night this week: Sunday-Thursday 6:30-8 p.m.

WHY WE FAST. Fasting is one of the biblical ways to seek breakthrough. In fasting, we break sin patterns in our lives. Fasting is sowing to your spirit. When you fast, you’re saying, “Flesh, you’re not the boss.” It humbles the soul (Psalm 35:13b) and addresses the pride we all think we don’t have. Paul wrote: “I discipline my body and make it my slave” (1 Corinthians 9:27a).

WHAT TO FAST. Approach fasting prayerfully. Don’t get legalistic. God may be calling you to fast just one meal. Daniel in the Bible fasted everything but vegetables (Daniel 1:12-18). Or you might fast media: King Darius fasted entertainment while Daniel was in the lions’ den (Daniel 6:18). Use wisdom; if you have blood sugar or medication issues, don’t just stop eating. The point is to ask God what kind of fast He is calling you to.

THE RESULT OF FASTING. Ninety-nine percent of fasting isn’t all that exciting. It sows seeds that may not be visible immediately but will yield amazing fruit. You may not sense the breakthrough at the time of your fast, but know that you will walk into blessing and clarity. God has some significant things up ahead. As we fast and pray, we will see breakthrough and we will receive direction.

God bless you,
Pastor Jeff Perry
St. Louis Family Church®

PRAY THIS PRAYER:
Thank You, God, that this is a year of fruitfulness. I dedicate this week to prayer and fasting. I thank You for strength, fulfillment, achievement, prosperity, and abundance in my life, in our church, and for our country, in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

PRAY:
• For the removal of obstacles.
• For increased love.
• For God’s perfect will.
• For spiritual growth.
• With the end in mind.

The Attitude of Faith

October 12th, 2018

Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep His promise. Hebrews 10:23 (NLT)

1. FAITH BELIEVES GOD’S WORD. In the Bible, the Israelites sent 12 spies to check out the land God promised them. When they came back and reported, ten men were freaked out by the fortified cities and the giant warriors, while only two, Caleb and Joshua, believed they could take the land. Caleb said, “We should by all means go up and take possession of it, for we will surely overcome it” (Numbers 13:30).

2. FAITH TAKES ACTION. The context for breakthrough is usually in the midst of conflict. Yes the Israelites had to face off with giants, but God was with them and they made it to the Promised Land. When Peter walked on water, it wasn’t on a glassy sea on a sunshiny day – it was in the middle of the night when the disciples were fighting strong winds and waves. We’re at our best when we aren’t waiting for ideal circumstances but stepping out and trusting that God’s Word is true – even in the middle of turbulent circumstances.

3. FAITH PRODUCES CONFIDENCE. “Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging word cheers a person up” (Proverbs 12:25 NLT). God’s love for you and His protection over your life are real. Find the encouraging word you need in the Bible. Remember all the Lord has done for you, and as you meditate on the Word of God, faith will replace fear.

Press on!
Pastor Jeff Perry
St. Louis Family Church®

Declare these truths based on Psalm 3:
But You, O Lord, are a shield around me; You are my glory, the one who holds my head high. I cried out to the Lord, and He answered me. I lay down and slept, yet I woke up in safety, for the Lord was watching over me. I am not afraid of ten thousand enemies who surround me on every side. Victory comes from You, O Lord (NLT).

con·fi·dence, noun
A feeling of trust (in someone or something). Freedom from doubt. A trustful relationship. A state of confident hopefulness that events will be favorable.

Copyright © 2018 St. Louis Family Church. All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reprinted or distributed in any form without prior written permission of St. Louis Family Church. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. Scripture taken from the Amplified Bible (AMP), Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved. Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996, 2004. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. “confidence.” Memidex Dictionary/Thesaurus. Web. 2 Oct 2018 .