Archive for November, 2008

Draw Near to God and Receive Strength.

Sunday, November 30th, 2008

Why do you say, O Jacob, and assert, O Israel, “My way is hidden from the Lord, and the justice due me escapes the notice of my God”? Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable. He gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might He increases power. Though youths grow weary and tired, and vigorous young men stumble badly, yet 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 40:27-31

In these verses, the prophet Isaiah is rebuking those who say that God doesn’t care about them. The Creator, the Everlasting God, sees every detail of our lives. I know some of you ache from the pressure on you right now, but instead of thinking God doesn’t notice, draw close to Him to find the answers—He can meet every challenge. You’ll be drawing near to someone who never gets tired and never tires of your drawing near.

Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Matthew 11:28-29

Nothing is complicated with God. You may be going through some difficult times, where you don’t know what to do, and don’t even have the energy to look like you know what to do. But as you lean into God, He will take your weary soul and give strength and grace for every situation. I’ve watched the grace of God pour out on my fatigue, my inexperience, my lack of perspective, and on my bad attitude.

As you draw near to God and wait on Him, He gives you the strength to win the battle even when things in life aren’t the way they should be. “The lame will take the plunder” means that God is able to give you victory even when you are wounded by life (Isaiah 33:23b). Remember, it’s not by your might or power but always by His Spirit (Zechariah 4:6). And by God’s Spirit you can receive more than enough strength, new strength, to not only fix your situation but transfer the message to others. Because people need Jesus and they need to know that He wants to help them with every detail of their lives.

God is able,

Pastor Jeff Perry
St. Louis Family Church®

 

 
Copyright © 2008 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.

Remember God’s Faithfulness.

Saturday, November 15th, 2008

This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope. The Lord’s loving-kindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:21-23

It’s easy to forget what God brought us out of and instead focus on the negative. In Lamentations the author first remembers all his afflictions, and his soul becomes “bowed down” (3:20). But then he shifts and begins to recall God’s faithfulness, and that is where he receives hope. You must choose to pull your focus away from the problem and set your gaze straight on Jesus. Recall to mind how good He is, how great His loving kindness is toward you, and how He rescued you in the past.

I shall remember the deeds of the Lord; surely I will remember Your wonders of old. I will meditate on all Your work and muse on Your deeds. Psalm 77:11-12

Yes, again and again they tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel. They did not remember His power: The day when He redeemed them from the enemy. Psalm 78:41-42 NKJV

Paul considered frequent reminders a safeguard for the church: “Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things again is no trouble to me, and it is a safeguard for you” (Philippians 3:1). Go over scriptures about the great deeds of God’s trustworthiness. Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). The God who did those miracles in the Bible, who showed faithfulness and provided provision for the Israelites in the wilderness—that God is your God.

Break from spiritual amnesia and stir yourself up by way of reminder (2 Peter 3:1). Write down times that God has been faithful to you so you don’t forget. In order to show a lost and dying world how wonderful and loving God is, you first need to remember the great deeds God has done for you.

God is forever faithful,

Pastor Jeff Perry
St. Louis Family Church®

Copyright © 2008 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.

Choose Love.

Monday, November 10th, 2008

Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you,
along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other,
just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:31-32

God has called us to follow Christ’s example: He showed His great love and died for us when we were still stuck in our sin. Consider the parable Jesus told of the king who forgave his servant an enormous debt, but then that servant still demanded payment of a small debt from another man. When we don’t forgive, we are forgetting about the huge debt of sin Jesus forgave (Matthew 18:21-35).

Choose to be governed by love instead of bitterness. “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). It’s easy to justify resentment, but it will hinder the quality and progress of your walk. Don’t wait around for someone else to do all the repenting—be quick to forgive.

Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a

We can’t afford bitterness. This is a new season and the church is being called upon to reach a world that is shaking off complacency and asking to know God. Choose to unhitch your wagon from offenses one more time, and open your heart to God. When you get up in the morning, meditate on verses about walking in love. On the other side of this obedience you’ll experience advancement and greater effectiveness.

Love never fails!

Pastor Jeff Perry
St. Louis Family Church®

Copyright © 2008 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.

Equipped With Power.

Saturday, November 1st, 2008

He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” Acts 1:7-8

We are not powerless. God has clothed us with power from on high to meet every situation we encounter; to be witnesses and love and serve Him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength (Luke 10:27; Luke 24:48). Apart from Him we can do nothing (John 15:5b). Our authority is rooted in relationship and connection with Jesus. “Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it.” (Psalm 127:1a). But through Jesus we can do all things (Philippians 4:13).

“I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” John 15:5-7

Let God’s Word settle in your heart and life. It is thunderously powerful. It is your sharp sword to combat the attacks of the enemy (Ephesians 6:17; Hebrews 4:12). Meditate on the promises of God until they bring a renewal to your mind and strength to your soul that push you past impotence into the effectiveness for which you’ve been created. “Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God” (Colossians 3:16).

In order to make a meaningful difference in the world, to see impossible situations in our lives turn around, we must connect with Jesus and abide in His Word. Talk to Him when you get up in the morning. Pull out your Bible over breakfast. God will help you to be able to understand the Scriptures (Luke 24:45). Even if you don’t feel like it, sing praises about God’s faithfulness. It’s impossible to keep worrying when you are praising God. His power is not for just an elite few. It is for you, for your everyday life (Acts 2:17).

Thank God for His Power!

Pastor Jeff Perry
St. Louis Family Church®

Copyright © 2008 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.