Abounding in Hope

January 18th, 2019

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13

1. REDEMPTIVE HOPE. When something we are hoping for is delayed, our hearts can get discouraged (Proverbs 13:12). But even then, “the Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18). We base our hope not on the shifting sands of man but on the eternal Word of God. And we know that what He promises, He will do.

For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. Romans 15:4

2. BIBLICAL HOPE. “Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs it down, but a good word makes it glad” (Proverbs 12:25). Jesus cares about the smallest detail in our lives. There is help for us when our hearts grow cold and our vision for the future becomes blurred. If you’re running low on hope, go to God’s Word to equip, encourage, anchor, and gladden your soul.

Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord. Acts 3:19

3. RENEWED HOPE. God wants our hearts to reconnect with expectation. Those of us who have been stuck in depression or have given into our flesh realize how great it is to be forgiven. The Bible is filled with examples of imperfect people and challenging circumstances, and God helped them and renewed their hope. Open your heart to God today and let His eternal hope fill you with anticipation for what He has ahead!

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

DAILY CONFESSION:
This is a year of breakthrough for me. I hope in the Lord, and my heart is strengthened and takes courage. When I pray, I obtain. I walk by the Spirit and do not carry out the desires of the flesh. I grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus and I am filled with the knowledge of God’s will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding (Psalm 31:24; Mark 11:24; Galatians 5:16; 2 Peter 3:18; Colossians 1:9).

a·bound, verb
To exist or occur in abundance; be plentiful. To be plentifully supplied (with); teem (with).

Copyright © 2019 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. “abound.” Collins English Dictionary. Web. 16 Jan 2019 .

Hope for the New Year

January 11th, 2019

For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. Romans 15:4

1. ANCHORING TRUTH. Hearing the Word produces the ability to face the future with hope. What does the Bible say? Its anchoring thoughts are why we keep going back to the amazing stories of the Old and New Testaments. It builds in us an unshakeable confidence in God so that we can face off with the world’s challenges.

We who have taken refuge would have strong encouragement to take hold of the hope set before us. This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast. Hebrews 6:18b-19a

2. ENVIRONMENT OF HOPE. The Bible tells us to “consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds” (Hebrews 10:24). Look for ways to help people get out of the harsh dilemma of hopelessness – not by being flattering or offering hollow optimism, but by being encouraging according to the anchoring truth of God’s Word and making Jesus known.

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13

3. STRONG IN FAITH. If faith is the substance of things hoped for, then we should maintain biblical hope. Hope is an expectation of some good, and hearing the Word produces the ability to face the future with hope and faith. So take time this month to draw near to God and get your hope strengthened. 2019 is going to shine!

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

DAILY CONFESSION (Lamentations 3:21-24):
This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope. The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I have hope in Him.”

hope, verb
To expect with confidence: trust. To desire with expectation of obtainment or fulfillment.

Copyright © 2019 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. “hope.” Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. 08 January 2019.

Growing in God’s Abundant Grace

January 4th, 2019

And God is able to make all grace [every favor and earthly blessing] come in abundance to you, so that you may always [under all circumstances, regardless of the need] have complete sufficiency in everything [being completely self-sufficient in Him], and have an abundance for every good work and act of charity. 2 Corinthians 9:8 AMP

1. SOW TO THE SPIRIT. Grace is God’s willingness to work on our behalf even though we don’t deserve it. The Bible says: “where sin abounded, grace abounded much more” (Romans 5:20b). But that’s not an excuse to sin. Instead we can fight the devil, crucify our flesh, and not conform to the world. How? By meditating on and investing in the things of God (Galatians 6:8).

2. COMMIT TO CONTENTMENT. Contentment is an attitude of faith. The hour hand on a clock is like much of our Christian walk with God – we can’t always see it, but it is moving forward! I’m not a sentimentalist looking back to the good old days. And I’m not anxiously waiting for the future. I’m committed to consistent growth over the course of my entire life. Let your past be fuel for the current moment, to press on in to all God has for you. And lay your future before God, humbling yourself so He is the one to exalt you at the right time.

Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you. Colossians 3:16a

3. WALK IN THE WORD. We get the Word of God in us so that it can flow out of us in our daily lives. Take time to read the Bible, to listen to it, to meditate on a specific scripture. Read a chapter of Proverbs or a whole book like Ephesians – get the Bible in you by any means you can. As Christians, we can’t be inactive or neutralized by worry. Instead, we must let God’s Word equip us to fight and win in life. Because of Jesus, we can overcome!

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

DAILY CONFESSION:
One thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. In all these things I overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved me because greater is Jesus, who is in me, than he who is in the world (Philippians 3:13b-14, 1 John 4:4, Romans 8:37).

grow, verb
To spring up and develop to maturity. To be able to grow in some place or situation. To have an increasing influence. Increase, expand.

Copyright © 2019 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. “grow.” Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. 02 January 2019.

Seven Promises of God’s Provision

December 28th, 2018

1. CONSTANT JOY. “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice” (Philippians 4:4). God told us that the joy of the Lord is our strength, and it comes from a place so deep that it’s not contingent on what’s going on around us.

2. ABSOLUTE FREEDOM FROM CARE. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6). Our creative brains can whip up a lot of variables and “what ifs” that cause anxiety to build up. Prayer is the opposite of worry – it’s talking to God about matters of life and existence and knowing that God hears and answers you!

3. ABSOLUTE PEACE. “And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7). Jesus is called the Prince of Peace, and He will guard your life as you connect to Him.

4. EVER PRESENT FRIEND. “The God of peace will be with you” (Philippians 4:9b). Jesus said I will never leave you or forsake you. He’s with you!

5. NEVER FAILING CONTENTMENT. “Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity” (Philippians 4:11-12b). God’s grace is available to help us flow through the daily challenges of life and also stay steady through times of great abundance and breakthrough.

6. ALL PREVAILING STRENGTH. “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). God is the strength of your life. You can be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. God is strengthening you by might and power in the inner man.

7. INEXHAUSTIBLE SUPPLY. “And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19). God has an unending amount of strength, love, faithfulness, and grace. Whatever need you have, He can meet it.

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

DAILY CONFESSION BASED ON PHILIPPIANS 4:4-7:
I rejoice in the Lord always. I am anxious for nothing but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving I 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.

in·ex·haust·ible, adj.
Incapable of being used up. Incapable of being wearied or worn out.

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. “inexhaustible.” Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. 19 December 2018.

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 .