Archive for December, 2008

The Best Is Ahead.

Monday, December 29th, 2008

But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, that shines brighter and brighter until the full day. Proverbs 4:18

God has called us out of darkness into His marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9). Psalm 119 tells us that the entrance of God’s Word brings light (119:130a). So, to get where God wants us to be, it’s important to pull out the owner’s manual, the Bible, and read the instructions.

We must keep ourselves filled with the Word of God and keep our spirits sensitive to the Holy Spirit by daily surrendering our lives to God’s plan. This requires us to deal with offenses and make constant adjustments to lay down things that don’t please God. Don’t get overwhelmed! Even small changes produce big results.

My son, give attention to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your sight; keep them in the midst of your heart. For they are life to those who find them and health to all their body. Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life. Proverbs 4:20-23

Don’t let your purpose be thwarted by bumps in the road. Clear off your spiritual windshield so that you can see things the way God does. You have a heavenly Father who delivers on a very profound level. He gave His Son. Meditate on that for a while. If God can cleanse you of sin and save you for all of eternity, He can certainly cover every other deal in your life.

The rubber-meets-the-road part of this letter is that I believe God wants to use you in the upcoming days to impact others. You aren’t just striving to be a “nice Christian”—the goal is to reflect who Jesus truly is so that your message to the world is clear. You might be the only Bible some people read. Make it your goal to please God and finish strong. Cast your worries on Him (1 Peter 5:7).

He can stabilize any situation. You are more than a conqueror through Jesus Christ (Romans 8:37). With man it may be impossible, but with God all things are possible (Mark 10:27). He is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that you can ask or think (Ephesians 3:20). So trust Him. Stop looking in the rearview mirror at past mistakes and step forward into the great big beautiful plans God has for you. The best is yet to come!

Happy New Year!

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.

Defeat Worry With the Word.

Monday, December 22nd, 2008

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV

When Jesus shows up in a rough situation He calms the storm. Fears that try to plague your life are not coming to you from God. God wants you to be filled with a victorious spirit. His perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4:18). He loves you not on the basis of deeds done in righteousness but because of His mercy (Titus 3:5). When you realize that God loves you completely, and that nothing can separate you from His love (Romans 8:38-39), fear can’t stay.

“Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs it down, but a good word makes it glad” (Prov. 12:25). God is calling us to better things than giving ourselves over to worry from the time we wake up till the time we go to bed. When I’ve been worried and discouraged, God has instructed me to go to the Word and read His promises and remember His great faithfulness.

To defeat fear, make the Word your confession:
My God shall supply all of my need. Philippians 4:19
No weapon formed against me will prosper. Isaiah 54:17
Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world. 1 John 4:4
The path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, that shines brighter and brighter until the full day. Proverbs 4:18
Jesus became a curse for me so the blessings of God would come upon me. Galatians 3:13-14
These blessings come upon me and overtake me. Deuteronomy 28:2
My barn is filled with plenty. Proverbs 3:10
My cup runs over. Psalm 23:5
His grace is sufficient; His power is made perfect in weakness. 2 Corinthians 12:9
• Having done all to stand, I stand. Ephesians 6:13-15

Get in your A-game by getting in the Word. Some of you will have to stop the negative intake you have been allowing into your life. Some of you need to meditate on the scripture in Philippians: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (4:6-7). Your situation may feel hopeless, but with God nothing is impossible. Give your worry over to Him and choose to step into the New Year with a spirit of faith.

God’s promises are true,

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.

Consider Jesus.

Tuesday, December 16th, 2008

When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained; what is man that You take thought of him, and the son of man that You care for him? Yet You have made him a little lower than God, and You crown him with glory and majesty! Psalm 8:3-5

On the next clear night, bundle up and go look at the stars. Consider the One who made them and how much He cares about you personally. The quiet moments are more important than you may realize. The call to meditate is not just for people with the aptitude to ponder; there is something important found in being still before God.

“If we really want some things to count, if we genuinely desire some depth to emerge, some impact to be made, some profound and enduring investment to cast a comforting shadow across another’s life (your child, a friend, whomever), it is essential that we slow down . . . at times, stop completely. And think. Now . . . not later. Don’t you dare put this off another day!” –Charles Swindoll

Slow down when you read the Bible. Years ago, a pastor told me that one verse from the Bible properly understood and acted on will change your life forever. Next time you get in the Word, stop on a verse and chew on it and digest it. Read a verse you know and get to know it better. It’s not about how many chapters you can tuck under your belt—it’s what you get out of it.

Despite how sophisticated your thinking is, or how much you may have been through, humble yourself and turn to Jesus. “For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart” (Hebrews 12:3). When Jesus died on the Cross, the enemy was gleeful because everything looked like a failure. But it turned into victory over death and sin. God can take the failures of your life and turn them into triumph.

Consider Jesus (Hebrews 3:1). Set some time aside in this busy season to quiet yourself and contemplate what God has done for you. Get your brain off the negative and remember God’s faithfulness. We all have a series of testimonies—remember yours and write them down. God has big, beautiful plans for your life. We are enrolled as participants in something bigger than we can imagine; so get ready for God to use you to change someone’s life.

God is 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.

Strength and Grace.

Monday, December 8th, 2008

[I pray] that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Ephesians 3:16-21

You can trip up in life if you don’t understand who God is and who you are in Jesus. You can’t get in faith on your own—only by hearing God’s Word can we get strong in faith. When you read that you have been freed from sin by Jesus’ blood (Revelation 1:5), when you see in the Word how God is rich in mercy (Ephesians 2:4) and able to supply all of your needs (Philippians 4:19), faith rises up in your spirit and gives you an impenetrable advantage against the attacks of the devil.

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

Take hold of the promises in the Word concerning who you are in Christ and what He has made available to you and write them down on the empty pages in the back of your Bible. Don’t be afraid to take those truths and march into your career, your marriage, and your future. An understanding of the promises in the Word will break generational curses, eliminate inferiority complexes, and straighten out distorted thinking.

If you feel ripped off, take back what the enemy stole from you (1 Samuel 30). If your joy is gone, get back in the presence of God and ask Him to revive you. If you’ve fallen into a pit, meditate on this scripture: “The law of the Spirt of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death” (Romans 8:2). God knows how to lift us out of the miry clay and put our feet on the solid rock (Psalm 40:2). If you’ve been through a thing or two lately, you’ve gained credibility to speak encouragement into others’ lives. Your answer to any challenge is found in seeking God and reading His Word—don’t back down!

Receive God’s strength,

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.