The Attitude of the Church

June 23rd, 2017

Make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose . . . Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus. Philippians 2:2-5

MAKE JESUS CENTRAL. The chief project of life is cultivating closeness with Jesus.

LOVE ONE ANOTHER. We love because God first loved us (1 John 4:19). Every day we have a choice to get bitter and hard or to forgive and walk in love. Decide today to be an agent of love.

HAVE FAITH IN GOD. The language of faith isn’t just a set of principles—it’s based on our faithful, trustworthy God. Because Jesus rose from the dead we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us (Philippians 4:13).

FOLLOW SOUND DOCTRINE. Read the Bible! The Word of God is the plumb line that will keep us from veering off into the ditch of false teaching or trends (Ephesians 4:14-15).

KEEP CRYSTAL CLEAR VISION. Let the Gospel of Jesus inform every other area of your life. Jesus will keep us focused and keep us out of secondary issues.

HAVE A MIND TO WORK. Church culture is a dynamic family with a spirit of faith and love who with diligence work heartily unto the Lord.

COMMIT TO THE MISSION. This is all for Jesus. If you’ve never made Jesus Lord of your life, ask Him to be your Savior. If you’ve been apathetic, recommit yourself to finding that original spark. If you catch yourself murmuring and complaining, repent. There is beauty and power in commitment when you follow through and say, “But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15).

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

PRAY THIS PRAYER
God, I know that love, like faith, grows with my continual confession of it. I love because You first loved me (1 John 4:19). Thank You that Your love is poured out in my heart (Romans 5:5). Thank You, God, that as I walk in Your love, I am patient, kind, and not jealous. I do not brag and am not arrogant. I do not act unbecomingly or seek my own. I am not provoked; I do not take into account a wrong suffered or rejoice in unrighteousness, but I rejoice with the truth. I bear all things, believe all things, hope all things, and endure all things (1 Corinthians 13)! In Jesus’ name, Amen!

at·ti·tude, noun
The arrangement of the parts of a body. A position assumed for a specific purpose. A bodily state of readiness to respond in a characteristic way to a stimulus.

Copyright © 2017 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. All rights reserved. “Attitude.” Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 19 June 2017.

Obstacles and Opportunities

June 16th, 2017

For a wide door for effective service has opened to me [Paul], and there are many adversaries. 1  Corinthians 16:9

1. WALK THROUGH THE OPEN DOOR. Opportunities are often disguised by obstacles. With every promise there will be inherent challenges and problems. Paul knew he was going to have challenges, but he kept forging ahead anyway. Instead of shrinking back or hesitating, we must seek God about what opportunity He has for us in the midst of difficulty.

Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving; praying at the same time for us as well, that God will open up to us a door for the word. Colossians 4:2-3a

2. PRAY WITH THANKSGIVING. Gratitude will help us stay out of self-pity. It will keep us out of the “poor me” club. It will help us to stay buoyant and on the cutting edge of where God wants us to be. As we rouse ourselves with prayer and thanksgiving, we will be bold and have courage to walk through the open door!

“I know your deeds. Behold, I have put before you an open door which no one can shut, because you have a little power, and have kept My word, and have not denied My name.” Revelation 3:8

3. FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT OF FAITH. Some of the greatest miracles in my life have happened in the context of crisis and trial. Even if you feel like you only have a “little power” and are just plodding along, keep pressing on. God wants to open a door that no one can shut. That’s why we must not get so caught up in the obstacles that we miss the opportunities. As you live your life in the Word and keep your eyes on Jesus, you will be ready to seize the many amazing moments God has ahead for you.

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

DAILY CONFESSION
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. I stay on the alert, I stand firm in the faith, strong—and I let all that I do be done in love (1 Corinthians 16:13-14). And God is opening a door of opportunity for me that no one can shut!

op·por·tu·ni·ty, noun
A favorable or advantageous circumstance or combination of circumstances. A chance for progress or advancement.

Copyright © 2017 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. All rights reserved. “Opportunity.” The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright © 2017 by Houghton.

Created for Impact

June 9th, 2017

Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work. Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look on the fields, that they are white for harvest.” John 4:34-35

GOD’S AMAZING PLAN. Jesus lived to do God’s will. There is nothing more fulfilling than to follow God’s plan for our lives. God has called us to be a culture of effective workers who do our work heartily to Him and have genuine impact in the lives of others around us.

Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.” Matthew 9:36-38

ENDURANCE BRINGS EFFECTIVENESS. We’ve all been through rough stuff. But don’t get stuck in your devastation. God can use what you’ve been through to bring credibility as you reach out to others going through difficulty. Lift up your eyes and see the amazing opportunities all around you. Every day there are people you come into contact with who need some encouragement, who need prayer, who need kindness—be available to God and the amazing assignments He has for you as you go on your way!

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

PRAY THIS PRAYER
Thank You, Jesus, for the hope I have in You. Whoever calls on Your Name will be saved (Romans 10:13). I pray that You send people to cross the paths of my family and my friends who need You. And use me this week to be the answer to someone else’s prayer for a loved one. I pray that You will use me this year in my daily life to have a greater impact than ever. When You tell me to talk to someone, to encourage someone, to call someone—I will! I love You, Jesus!

im·pact, noun
Forceful impression. Influence; effect.

Copyright © 2017 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. All rights reserved. “Impact”. Online Etymology Dictionary. Douglas Harper, Historian. 6 Jun. 2017. .”impact”. Dictionary.com Unabridged.

Capacity for Compassion

June 2nd, 2017

Jesus was going through all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness. Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd. Matthew 9:35-36

1. FOLLOW THE SHEPHERD. When Jesus saw the crowds, He wasn’t moved with disdain but with compassion. He went about “doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil” (Acts 10:38). Because God has poured out His love in our hearts, we actually have a capacity for compassion. Like our Shepherd, we are made to be carriers of this type of love. Take time to listen to what God is saying to you: repent quickly and forgive quickly.

But earnestly desire the greater gifts. And I show you a still more excellent way. If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 1 Corinthians 12:31-13:1

2. A MORE EXCELLENT WAY. Love is a force. Thankfully, God’s kind of love is not feeling-based, but we walk it out by faith. It’s not always easy to walk in love, and that’s why we must continually appreciate and pursue the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23

3. RECHARGE IN GOD’S PRESENCE. Jesus would leave the 99 sheep to find the one lost sheep (Matthew 18:12-14). We can have that same divine flow of compassion toward others. But if you’re feeling compassion fatigue, Jesus invites you to come into His presence and rest and recharge (Mark 6:31). Jesus never changes and He has all the strength, compassion, and energy you need to have an impact greater than you dreamed possible.

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

DAILY CONFESSION (Based on Colossians 3:12-16):
I put on the heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. I bear with others and forgive everyone. I put on love which is the perfect bond of unity. I let the peace of Christ rule in my heart and I am thankful! I let the word of Christ richly dwell with in me with all wisdom.

com·pas·sion, noun
Deep awareness of the suffering of another accompanied by the wish to relieve it.

Copyright © 2017 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. All rights reserved. “Compassion.” The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright © 2017 by Houghton.

The God Kind of Love

May 26th, 2017

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma. Ephesians 5:1-2

1. IT’S GOD’S LOVE. Walking in love is a process that involves sacrifice, commitment, and follow-through, but it doesn’t originate in our humanity. We are born with a tendency to act selfishly, but the moment we receive Jesus, God’s love is deposited within us and we can move into a new dimension of becoming considerate and valuing others.

The love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Romans 5:5b

2. SHOW MERCY. When you show mercy, you will be shown mercy (James 2:13). Study the Word to learn how God’s love responds: Bless those who curse you (Luke 6:28), pray for your enemies, and forgive those who have hurt you. If you get tempted to become judgmental toward someone, all you have to do is look in the mirror and get a reminder of how much mercy God has shown you.

3. FAITH WORKS THROUGH LOVE (Galatians 5:6). The power of the Holy Spirit— His anointing—is activated to flow when we are walking in love. If you aren’t getting good results in prayer, check your love walk. The world will know we are Christians by our love for one another (John 13:35)!

God Bless You!
Pastor Jeff Perry
St. Louis Family Church®

PRAY THIS PRAYER:
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me (Psalm 51:10). The love of God has been poured out in my heart by the Holy Spirit within me (Romans 5:5). By His grace I can do this thing. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

a·gape, noun
Love as revealed in Jesus, seen as spiritual and selfless and a model for humanity.

Copyright © 2017 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. All rights reserved. “Agape.” The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright © 2017 by Houghton.

It’s Good to Get in the Word!

May 20th, 2017

The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart. Psalm 19:7-8a

1. GOD’S WORD RESTORES THE SOUL. There is such a battle for our thinking, and what goes into our minds will come out. When the Word of God gets inside us, life flows out of us. When garbage gets in, garbage comes out. Weapons of mass distraction are vying for our attention and bombarding our minds and hearts. But as we constantly feed on the Word of God, we will be renewed and restored (Romans 12:2).

2. GOD’S WORD MAKES WISE THE SIMPLE. The Word of God is ancient truth, it’s living and active. It brings wisdom where there is naivety, and it brings understanding even when you’ve never before encountered a certain kind of problem. Feed on the Scriptures (Read a chapter of Proverbs a day.) and pray for wisdom. God will give us customized wisdom for each trial we face.

“For I know the plans that I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11

3. GOD’S WORD REJOICES THE HEART. Jesus is our hope. As we meditate on the Word of God, optimism and gladness will fill our hearts because we know that God is working on our behalf. God’s Word can enable a depressed, melancholy person to experience joy. It can take an anxious person into a place of confidence, a sick person into healing, and a sinner into a place of availability for righteousness and salvation.

God Bless You!
Pastor Jeff Perry
St. Louis Family Church®

DAILY CONFESSION:
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer (Psalm 19:14). I will taste and see that the Lord is good. How blessed is the person who takes refuge in Him (Psalm 34:8).

re·store, verb
To give back (something taken away, lost, etc.). To bring back to a former or normal condition, as by repairing, rebuilding, altering, etc. To bring back to health, strength, etc.

Copyright © 2017 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. All rights reserved. “Restore.” Webster’s New World College Dictionary. Web. 17 May 2017 .

The Fruit of the Spirit

May 12th, 2017

NINE RESULTS OF THE PRESENCE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IN YOUR LIFE

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23

1. LOVE. Loving God and connecting with Him is the best part of life. God is love and His Spirit who dwells within us helps us to respond to others by walking in His love.

2. JOY. When we are going through hard times and we ache, there is a different kind of joy, independent of circumstances, that gives us strength deep down inside us (Nehemiah 8:10).

3. PEACE. God offers us peace that passes understanding (Philippians 4:7). Whatever you are dealing with that stresses you out, depresses you, or makes you feel numb – do not fear. God is an ever-present help in the time of need and He will surely help you!

4. PATIENCE. Patience is the ability to wait calmly for something that is expected and desired.

Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. Galatians 6:9

5. KINDNESS. Strife cripples, love heals. There is legitimate power in kindness, so take time to consider what might be going on behind the scenes when someone else is acting weird or mean. Don’t be overcome by their irritability – overcome meanness with kindness.

6. GOODNESS. Goodness is love in action. When Jesus comes into our lives, He changes us and makes it possible for us to operate in His goodness.

7. FAITHFULNESS. Every day we can get up and remain committed to our convictions, not backing off, not throwing in the towel!

8. GENTLENESS. Like kindness, gentleness is power under control. It’s humble and full of mercy and love. God’s wisdom from above is gentle and that’s how we can walk out our Christian life toward others.

9. SELF-CONTROL. When we set our priorities to stay sensitive to God’s voice and be aware of what matters most, then we can win in the battles of life.

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

fruit, noun
The effect or consequence of an action or operation; product, result.

Copyright © 2017 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. All rights reserved. “Fruit.” Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 09 May 2017.

The Love Atmosphere

May 5th, 2017

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 1 John 4:7

Set the Thermostat. Just like you can change the temperature to heat or cool your home, if you walk in love, you will set the thermostat of the world you live in. When you walk into a room and sense strife or conflict, you can bring change to the environment by simply operating in love. Every person you encounter is someone for whom Christ died. Even if you disagree with someone, ask yourself: “How can I genuinely value that person without compromising the truth?”

Do Care. Don’t Worry. The Word of God doesn’t return empty without accomplishing what it’s been sent to do (Isaiah 55:11). When you pack yourself full of the Word of God, you can be ready for the amazing moments God has prepared for you. In every situation you can bring life to yourself and to others by speaking God’s Word. It is salvation for those who need to know Jesus, healing for the sick, and encouragement for the oppressed.

Jesus answered . . . “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second [commandment] is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:29-31

You Are Loved. God’s perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4:18). The best way to love others is to first realize you are loved by God. You can overcome insecurity and change the atmosphere in your life by meditating on God’s love.

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

DAILY CONFESSION:
I love because God first loved me. His perfect love casts out all fear in my life (1 John 4:18-19). My love abounds more and more with all knowledge and discernment (Philippians 1:9). Everything I do, I do in love (1 Corinthians 16:14).

at·mo·sphere noun
A surrounding influence or environment

Copyright © 2017 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. All rights reserved. Scripture taken from The Message. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group. “Atmosphere.” Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 01 Oct. 2014.

Yielding and Advancing

April 28th, 2017

“Yield now and be at peace with Him; thereby good will come to you. Please receive instruction from His mouth and establish His words in your heart.” Job 22:21-22

1. YIELD. A yield sign is a beautiful thing–it tells us to look and acknowledge traffic and people around us. We yield and listen to the Holy Spirit, not to be reticent or fearful, but instead to become aware of what He is saying in order to move forward.

Then the Lord said to me, “You have seen well, for I am watching over My Word to perform it.” Jeremiah 1:12

2. SPEAK. The Word of God doesn’t return empty without accomplishing what it’s been sent to do (Isaiah 55:11). When you pack yourself full of the Word of God, you can be ready for the amazing moments God has prepared for you. In every situation you can bring life to yourself and to others by speaking God’s Word. It is salvation for those who need to know Jesus, healing for the sick, and encouragement for the oppressed.

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God [set aside self-righteous pride], so that He may exalt you [to a place of honor in His service] at the appropriate time. 1 Peter 5:6 AMP

3. FOLLOW. When we follow Jesus, we’ll see amazing things come to pass. People are ahead who need what we have. Occasions are ahead that will make all the endurance worth it. Don’t give up between now and then. Yield to the Holy Spirit, speak God’s Word, and watch God use your life in unique and impactful ways.

Press On,
Pastor Jeff Perry
St. Louis Family Church®

PRAY THIS PRAYER:
I dedicate my life to Jesus—no turning back, no distraction. I yield to You, Lord, to serve and obey You. I establish Your words in my heart. Thank You, God, for opening doors and giving me favor and new opportunities. In Jesus’ Name, a door for God’s Word is opening and I am walking through it!

yield, verb
To surrender or submit, as to superior power. To give place or precedence.

Copyright © 2017 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. All rights reserved. “yield.” Random House Unabridged Dictionary. Web. 26 Apr 2017 .Scripture quotations marked “The Amplified Bible” or “The Amplified New Testament” are taken from The Amplified Bible, Old Testament copyright 1965, 1987 by the Zondervan Corporation and The Amplified New Testament copyright 1958, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Fruit of the Spirit

April 21st, 2017

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:16, 22-23

1. WALKING BY THE SPIRIT. When you receive Jesus as your Savior, your spirit is made alive in God! You become a child of God and you have the ability to hear His voice and receive His guidance. These are blessings attached to choosing the things of God. These attributes—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control—are the tools that give us victory in life.

Be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth. Ephesians 4:23-24

2. RENEWING YOUR SPIRIT. God has called us to walk in a manner worthy of Him. His Word makes it possible for us to display the fruit of the Spirit instead of the deeds of the flesh. When you are consistently in the Word, then the Scriptures will be the first thing that comes to your mind when challenges try to overwhelm you. Speaking the Word will turn around the most impossible-looking situations.

3. ACTIVATING THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT. Every day we are being invited to get out of bed and walk by the Spirit—not letting primal instincts govern us, but letting the Holy Spirit pull us out of the flesh and into being divinely effective. As we fortify ourselves by getting in the Word, praying in the Spirit, and continually walking in love, we will become more sensitive to the subtle promptings of the Holy Spirit, and the fruit of the Spirit will show up powerfully in our lives.

Press On,
Pastor Jeff Perry
St. Louis Family Church®

DAILY CONFESSION
I am God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that I would walk in them (Ephesians 2:10). I am not conformed to this world, but am transformed by the renewing of my mind (Romans 12:2). I walk by the Spirit and I will not carry out the desire of the flesh. I daily walk in LOVE, JOY, PEACE, PATIENCE, KINDNESS, GOODNESS, FAITHFULNESS, GENTLENESS, and SELF-CONTROL.

fruit, noun
The effect or consequence of an action or operation: product, result.

Copyright © 2017 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. All rights reserved. “Fruit.” Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam- Webster, n.d. 17 April 2017.