How to Be Occupied With God’s Provision

September 21st, 2018

And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed. 2 Corinthians 9:8

1. UNDERSTAND GOD’S WILL & HIS NATURE. God is a giver. Parents know how to bless their kids. How much more will your Heavenly Father give what is good to those who ask (Matthew 7:11). God loves you, and that fact translates into spiritual and practical blessings. His will is to save you, heal you, bless you, fill you with the Holy Spirit, answer your prayers, deliver you, and protect you.

2. UNDERSTAND GOD’S METHODS & RESOURCES. God’s ways are higher than ours, but He has given us His Word and invited us to ponder His thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9; 1 Corinthians 2:16). His abundance is clearly evident from Genesis to Revelation. There is more of Jesus than could ever be depleted. He is enough for everybody, for all generations who have been or will be born. He can do far more abundantly beyond all we ask or think (Ephesians 3:20).

3. UNDERSTAND YOUR DAILY NEED TO BE OCCUPIED WITH JESUS. “Give us this day our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11). The sustenance and the assurance that build our faith come from the bread of God’s Word. Take time every day to shift your attention onto Jesus. It honors God when we fixate on how good and big He is. Turn off the TV or radio, lose your phone for a while, and open your heart to God.

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

DAILY PRAISE:
In the morning I will get up and seek God (Psalm 5:3). For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord gives grace and glory; No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly (Psalm 84:11). God has blessed me with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ (Ephesians 1:3). I can do all things through Him who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13).

abun·dance, noun
An extremely plentiful or oversufficient 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. 12 Sep 2018 .

Patterns of Breakthrough

September 15th, 2018

When he [Jehoshaphat] had consulted with the people, he appointed those who sang to the Lord and those who praised Him in holy attire, as they went out before the army and said, “Give thanks to the Lord, for His lovingkindness is everlasting.” When they began singing and praising, the Lord set ambushes against the sons of Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; so they were routed. 2 Chronicles 20:21-22

1. START WITH PRAISE. Praise brings breakthrough. When armies came to attack Judah, King Jehoshaphat immediately directed his people to seek God and he began praising God.

2. WAIT. When we wait for God, we gain strength. (Isaiah 40:31). It’s important to settle down, calm any impulsiveness, and let God act on behalf of those who wait on Him (Isaiah 64:4).

3. CONFESS. This is your bold declaration of what you believe: who God is, what His capabilities are, and what He has provided for you (Romans 10:9-10; Mark 11:23).

4. PRAY GOD’S WORD. Find scriptures to attach your faith to and then pray them out loud.

5. WATCH. Resist distraction and dullness and instead be alert in your spirit and “watchful in your prayers” (1 Peter 4:7 NKJV).

6. INTERCEDE. Praying on behalf of someone else is part of our calling as Christians. We are to intercede for all people, including those in authority (1 Timothy 2:1).

7. PETITION. When we minister to the Lord and worship Him, it helps us get our priorities straight and then, as we ask in faith, we receive direction and wisdom from God (Acts 13:2).

8. THANK GOD. Thank God all day long – for what He has done, for what He is doing, and for what He is going to do.

9. SING. God surrounds us with songs of deliverance (Psalm 32:7). Before going into battle, King Jehoshaphat sent out people who sang to God. So sing to God often – sing in the Spirit and sing out God’s Word.

10. MEDITATE. Take time to ponder and focus on the Lord (Psalm 19:14).

11. LISTEN. Like King Jehoshaphat prayed: We don’t know what to do, “but our eyes are on You.” Tune in to God and listen for His voice (2 Chronicles 20:12).

12. END WITH PRAISE. From beginning to end, God deserves our worship. Jehoshaphat began with praise before they had won the battle and ended with praise after God delivered them.

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

pattern, noun
A model considered worthy of imitation.

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. “pattern.” Memidex Dictionary/Thesaurus. Web. 12 Sep 2018 .

The Benefits of Praising God

September 7th, 2018

Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created. Revelation 4:11

1. IT CONNECTS US TO GOD. We are actually designed to praise God, and He alone is worthy of it. God has requested that we come before Him in praise and worship, and He is searching for the ones who will connect with Him and worship Him (John 4:23-24).

I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies. 2 Samuel 22:4

2. IT CURES INTROSPECTION. Excessive introspection can lead to the extremes of self-loathing on one side or megalomania on the other. Praise pulls us out of over-focusing on our deal and helps us fix our eyes on the Creator. This isn’t denial or just ignoring our problems. It’s connecting with the answer, with a God who expressed His love by sending His Son to die for our sins.

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

3. IT BEAUTIFIES. Praise will lift your spirit, your thought life, and your face. It’s better than any kind of lotion or procedure because it’s not of human manufacture. God wants us to have a spirit that is tuned to Him 24/7. Take five minutes right now to pause from whatever you are thinking about or doing and lift your voice to thank and praise God for what He has done in your life. Remember out loud your past breakthroughs. Sing out scriptures about God. And tell Him how much you love Him.

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

DAILY PRAISE:
God, You are worthy of my praise. There is no one like You. Thank You for rescuing me from: (name three specific things He has done for you). Thank You for surrounding me with songs of deliverance. Holy, holy, holy are You, Lord God, the Almighty, who was and who is and who is to come (Revelation 4:8). Jesus, You are so wonderful! I love You.

praise, noun
An expression of strong approval or admiration. Words or music worshiping God.

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. “praise.” Macmillan British English Dictionary. Web. 4 Sep 2018 .

A Clean Heart

August 31st, 2018

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and sustain me with a willing spirit. Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners will be converted to You. Psalm 51:10-13

1. REPENTANCE. In the Bible, King David is the only person called “a man after God’s own heart.” But so many times we read about David sinning against God. Yet, after every blunder, David repented and learned from his mistakes. When he got in trouble, he didn’t run away from God. Instead, he humbled himself and ran toward God.

2. REBELLION. There is so much blessing found in having a relationship with God, and we don’t want to forfeit it. The story of the prodigal son shows how a son rebelled and ran off, squandering his inheritance and messing up his fellowship with his father. The Bible says the son “came to his senses” and realized his true condition and decided to return home and repent (Luke 15). We can do the same thing by repenting – God is the only one who can restore what has been lost.

I [God] have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants. Deuteronomy 30:19b

3. RECONCILIATION. God’s kindness leads us to repentance. You could be in a situation where you have given in to temptation, but you can humble your heart and repent now. Or maybe you are doing great, but God wants to use you to pray for others and ask God to grant them repentance and help them see clearly the emptiness of the world. All of heaven rejoices when one person repents and gets saved!

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

PRAY THIS PRAYER:
God, I have sinned against You and I repent. I want to have unhindered connection and relationship with You. Restore my connection to You. Forgive me for all my sins. Remove any apathy and create in me a clean heart. I love You, Jesus. Amen!

re·pent, verb
To turn from sin and dedicate oneself to the amendment of one’s life. To feel regret or contrition. To change one’s mind.

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. “Repent.” Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 29 Aug.

What Is Your Preoccupation?

August 24th, 2018

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget none of His benefits; Who pardons all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases; Who redeems your life from the pit, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion; Who satisfies your years with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle. Psalm 103:1-5

1. GOD HAS A PLAN. Do you have a vision for your life – to do and see great things? When you receive Jesus as your Savior, God redeems your life from the pit and sets you on a path of abundant life. If you’ve been in a fog of darkness and heaviness, God’s grace is available to help you to get up, get out there, and believe God and conquer.

Don’t let them waste their time in endless discussion of myths and spiritual pedigrees. These things only lead to meaningless speculations, which don’t help people live a life of faith in God. The purpose of my instruction is that all believers would be filled with love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and genuine faith. 1 Timothy 1:4-5 NLT

2. GOD WILL PROVIDE. “Forget none of His benefits.” Instead of speculating about the hype and superficiality in the world around us, we need to preoccupy ourselves with God’s provision – to remember all that He has done and is doing. God, who created everything, knows your needs. He can and will sustain you both in good times and difficult times.

3. GET IN GOD’S PRESENCE. Auto pilot doesn’t work in a relationship with God. Morning by morning, we must reinforce who God is in our lives, continually feeding on the nutrition of the Bible. From the time we wake up, till we go to bed, we can fellowship with God. If you’re going to get preoccupied with anything, occupy yourself with what God is saying. As you let God’s Word become real in your life, you will be ready to share it with others.

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

DAILY CONFESSION: Let all that I am praise the Lord; with my whole heart, I will praise His holy name. Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things He does for me. He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies. He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagle’s (Psalm 103:1-5 NLT).

pro·vi·sion, noun
From Latin provisionem: “A foreseeing, foresight, preparation, prevention.” A providing beforehand, action of arranging in advance.

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. “provision.” Online Etymology Dictionary. Web. 20 Aug 2018 . 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.

A New Spirit

August 17th, 2018

Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances. Ezekiel 36:26-27

1. SALVATION BRINGS CONNECTION. God is inviting us to know His thoughts (1 Corinthians 2:16). The new birth – salvation through Jesus – is not just verbiage. We actually become a new kind of being where our spirits can connect with God’s Spirit.

For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4:12

2. THE WORD OF GOD BRINGS RENEWAL. We are spirits, we have souls, and we live in bodies. Every day you can choose to be governed either by your new spirit or by your flesh. Distinguishing between the two hinges on how much your mind is getting renewed in the Word of God. There is so much seeking after intellectual, emotional, and physical fulfillment in the world, but there is a better way: don’t rely on your own understanding, but seek God’s way of thinking. Take time to seek Him and get into His Word, and let your inner self get renewed every day.

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). I repent for any sin in my life and ask You to forgive me. Jesus, You are Lord of my life. I ask for Your Spirit in me to help me walk in and obey Your Word. In Jesus’ name, amen.

re·new, verb
To make like new: restore to freshness, vigor, or perfection. To make new spiritually: regenerate.

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. “renew.” Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. Web. 04 Aug 2018.

The Mission Is Go!

August 10th, 2018

And He [Jesus] said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them, and confirmed the word by the signs that followed. Mark 16:15, 20

1. HERE IS YOUR MANDATE. Jesus commissioned His disciples to take the good news of salvation to the fallen world, and this assignment is for all believers down through the ages – including us. The mission is clear. We are called to impact our fallen world in order that people can serve Him, love Him, and know Him. Embracing the biblical revelation of God – who loves the world so much that He sent His only Son Jesus to save us – reveals our origin, underscores our purpose, and inspires our destiny.

2. THE MESSAGE IS MAGNETIC. God does not want anyone to perish, but He does want all to have everlasting life. Sadly, society is zombified by lesser pursuits, and the world is in turmoil. Instead of reacting in frustration or anger or becoming numbed to life, Christians are called to the electromagnetic response of love. As we live out the Gospel in an accessible and appealing way, people will be drawn to and changed by the love of God.

And as you go, preach, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Matthew 10:7

3. BE A CONDUIT FOR MIRACLES. Each one of us is a portable container of the presence of God to the world. Business, arts & entertainment, politics, family, education – every area needs the love of God. A great opportunity to proclaim the Gospel to all people of all nations is immediately upon us. Accepting this Great Commission is an enormous task that deserves the best and the greatest that any believer can offer. Be bold. Share with people about Jesus. Let it become so real in your own heart that it spills out of you. Miracles are waiting.

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

DAILY CONFESSION:
I will go into all the world and preach the Gospel to all creation. These signs will accompany me: in Jesus’ name I will cast out demons, I will speak with new tongues, nothing—not poison or snakes—will hurt me, I will lay hands on the sick and they will recover (Mark 16:15-18). In Jesus’ name, amen.

com·mis·sion, noun
An act of entrusting or giving authority. An authorization or command to act in a prescribed manner or to perform prescribed acts. Authority to act for, in behalf of, or in place of another.

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. “commission.” Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. Web. 06 Aug 2018.

Help People Know God’s Love

August 3rd, 2018

For the love of Christ controls us. Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation. 2 Corinthians 5:14a, 17-18

1. GOD’S LOVE CONTROLS US. Jesus died for all. He became a ransom and paid the price to free captive humanity. When we let God’s love inform our actions, we get to participate in God’s purposes, and we are given a ministry of reconciliation. Everyone needs Jesus – both the down-and-outers rejected by society and the up-and-outers who seem to have everything.

2. GOD’S LOVE CHANGES US. When we accept Jesus, the old things of our former life pass away. You could be one of the most undisciplined people who ever lived, you could have flunked out of anger management school, you could be from a long line of hot heads, but when Jesus comes on the scene, He makes all things new. It doesn’t happen automatically – it involves perseverance and renewing your mind by reading God’s Word. And when we let God’s love produce self-control in our lives, we are truly changed.

I have set the Lord continually before me; because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Psalm 16:8

3. GOD’S LOVE IS CONTAGIOUS. The message of Jesus is contagious. Let’s always remember that we are alive from the dead. When you keep your eyes fixed on Jesus and let Him anchor you, not only will your words preach, but your entire life will be a testimony to draw people to the love of God.

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

DAILY CONFESSION:
I am loved by God. I let the love of Christ control me. I am a fellow laborer with God (1 Corinthians 3:9). I am always ready to give an account for the hope that is in me (1 Peter 3:15).

help, verb
To give assistance to (someone); make it easier for (someone) to do something; To be of use or provide relief.

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. “help.” The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Web. 31 July 2018.

Mission Possible

July 27th, 2018

Now as to the love of the brethren, you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another . . . But we urge you, brethren, to excel still more, and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands. 1 Thessalonians 4:9-11a

1. LOVE ONE ANOTHER. The Apostle Paul praised the Thessalonian church for identifying and doing what pleases God and encouraged them to keep excelling. What this early church exemplified holds true today: The hallmark of Christianity is our love for one another. We can’t thrive and advance when we carry the weight of resentment. Let God deal with other people. When you show others mercy, you will receive mercy (Matthew 5:7).

2. BECOME CONTENT. Life is all about Jesus. When we envy someone else’s life or compare ourselves to them, we are basically saying that we think God doesn’t have enough. But God has plenty for everybody including you – plenty of guidance, plenty of blessing, plenty of resources, plenty of plans and purposes and strategies. In the midst of this information age when everybody knows everybody else’s business, God actually wants you to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business, doing your work for God and not for people (Colossians 3:23).

The soul [appetite] of the lazy person craves and gets nothing [for lethargy overcomes ambition], But the soul [appetite] of the diligent [who works willingly] is rich and abundantly supplied. Proverbs 13:4 AMP

3. DEVELOP DILIGENCE. We are created for good works (Ephesians 2:10). All of us had different starts, but we can become diligent even if we didn’t begin that way. As you dedicate yourself to work with all your heart, you’ll see breakthrough. It won’t happen overnight, but as you are faithful in the little things, God will give you responsibility over more (Luke 16:10).

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

Pray this prayer:
God, my ambition in life is to do Your will and be pleasing to You. Help me to excel still more. I submit my actions, my attitude, and my motives to You. Help me keep my heart right. I love You, Jesus, amen!

dil·i·gent, adj.
Characterized by steady, earnest, and energetic effort. From the Latin diligere: to value or esteem highly, to love.

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. “diligent.” Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. Web. 25 Jul 2018 . Scripture taken from the Amplified Bible (AMP), Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.

The Lift of Love

July 20th, 2018

“By this all men will know that you are My [Jesus’] disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:35

1. LOVE ENRICHES LIFE. The greatest thing we can do in our life expression is to walk in love. A man in the Bible asked Jesus what the greatest commandment was and He replied, “‘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 is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself’” (Mark 12:30-31a). When life is dominated by love inspired by Jesus, it will grow and develop and make all of life’s relations sweeter.

2. LOVE ENABLES LIFE. The love of God enables us to grow in spirit, soul, and body and have an indelible impact on the world around us. Love will bear burdens and break oppression. We can love people without condoning everything they do. Love enables parents to create a happy household and a loving home. Love can change entire nations. As people start to realize the empty cavern in their hearts, we need to be ready with love to intercept a broken culture.

[Love] bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. 1 Corinthians 13:7-8

3. LOVE ENDURES. None of us is exempt from this life of love. Not only does the love of God lift us, but God wants us to go out with joy and peace and lift others. This is a deep, deep requirement. Other things will fail. Car collections will rust. Buildings will topple. Kings and kingdoms will all pass away – but love never fails.

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

Daily Scripture Confession (Based on 1 John 4:7-21):
I love because God first loved me. Love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that I might live through Him. If God so loved me, then I will love others. If I love others, God abides in me, and His love is perfected in me.

love, noun
A strong feeling of affection and concern toward another person, as that arising from kinship or close friendship. A feeling of devotion or adoration toward God. A feeling of kindness or concern by God toward humans.

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. “love” The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Web. 17 July 2018.