Archive for January, 2009

Moving Forward

Saturday, January 31st, 2009

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 2 Corinthians 5:17

I’d rather have the pain of moving forward than the pain of stagnation. God loves and accepts you right where you are, but He doesn’t want you to stay stuck there. When you become a Christian, you change and then you become a change agent to impact others’ lives. Some of you are encumbered by so many variables, and the stresses of life have been wearing you down, but don’t let the devil make you back away from a tenacity to push forward. Lift up your head, because Jesus has things figured out.

Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. Romans 6:4

As I’m advocating change, I’m talking about getting ready for increase. The purpose of the change is not about personal comfort, but about reaching souls. People who have been disinterested in the things of God are becoming interested because they have been shaken. Now we need to be ready. Nations and hearts that were closed are opening up, and God wants to gear you up to answer the problems in other people’s lives. This is not a spectator sport but the proper working of each individual part (Ephesians 4:16).

At some point you need to decide to trust God. Instead of succumbing to all the worries of the world, stay engaged in the presence of God and spend some more time in the secret place where you’ll find rest (Matthew 11:28). As you draw near to Him, He will draw near to you (James 4:8). And, as you wait upon the Lord, you’ll gain new strength (Isaiah 40:31). This Christian life of change and moving forward is not for the elite few—it is accessible to all who seek God.

Press forward!

Pastor Jeff Perry
St. Louis Family Church®

Copyright © 2009 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, 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.

God Is Faithful.

Monday, January 26th, 2009

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. Philippians 4:8

You may have been meditating on some pretty weird stuff, but God wants us to focus on things that are excellent and worthy of praise. If we are really going to revolutionize the world, we’ve got to be different in our thinking. Shake off the heaviness and fear by focusing on who Jesus is and by renewing your mind in the Word. Here are some scriptures that will help you press past the mind-numbing attacks of the devil and remember that God is faithful. He will calm whatever storm you’re in and get you to the other side (Matthew 8:24-28).

Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap; they have no storeroom nor barn, and yet God feeds them; how much more valuable you are than the birds! Luke 12:24

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. Phil. 4:6-7

Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. James 4:7

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5

So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Matthew 6:28-29 NKJV

Now is not the time to vacillate. It’s time to be intent on one purpose, with hearts and minds in one accord with the Master’s work. While the world is anxiously looking for answers, you carry the truth. Don’t shrink back but learn to abide under the shadow of the Most High, where you can rest and find strength and renewed confidence for the
journey (Psalm 91:1).

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

Copyright © 2009 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, 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. New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

Forgive.

Monday, January 19th, 2009

Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions. [But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your transgressions.] Mark 11:25-26

Faith works through love (Galatians 5:6). Faith can’t work unless we let go of all bitterness and walk in love. Jesus said that, after loving God, the greatest commandment is to love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:37-39). There is no way around forgiveness; God has made it imperative for every Christian.

We all deal with offense at some point, but the greatest hindrance to faith is harboring resentment. When my prayers seem hindered, God reminds me to check up on my love walk. If even Jesus on the cross said “Father, forgive them” (Luke 23:34), how important is it for us to forgive in our daily lives—even one person several times a day!

Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.” (Matthew 18:21-22)

Don’t let your actions toward people be based on what they did to you. Instead, consider how great a debt of sin God has forgiven you. In comparison, every other offense is small (Matthew 18:21-35). You don’t have to be a doormat and let people take advantage of you, but you do have to forgive. Turn your hurt into a prayer and stir yourself up to walk in love.

We are called to impact our culture—don’t let the sabotage of unforgiveness cripple your effectiveness. Christianity has to work where the rubber meets the road. That’s how people will know we are followers of something real: “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35). Don’t wait for your flesh to feel like forgiving—choose the path of love today.

Thank God for His forgiveness!

Pastor Jeff Perry
St. Louis Family Church®

Copyright © 2009 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.

Rest.

Monday, January 19th, 2009

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. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.
Matthew 11:28-30

God wants you to come into His presence and enter into His rest. Through the battles of life, it’s important to press past the urge to back off from God’s plan (Galatians 6:9). You may be so overwhelmed with pressure that you don’t even feel like praying, but as you draw near to Him, He draws near to you (James 4:8). Jesus, the Good Shepherd, who laid down His life for the sheep, has an inexhaustible supply of strength available for the weary.

Sometimes we need to sneak away to find moments with Jesus. We don’t always have the luxury of going to the shoreline or the mountains, but we can have interludes with God right here in the middle of our busy lives. Don’t underestimate the value of these moments in His presence; small adjustments to seek Him more will yield big results. Drawing near to God for even a few minutes a day can refresh, rejuvenate, and revitalize you for life’s journey.

God asks you to console yourself with Him the oftenest you can. Lift up your heart to Him even at your meals, or when you are in company—the least little remembrance will always be acceptable to Him. You need not cry very loud: He is nearer than we think. –Brother Lawrence, from “The Practice of the Presence of God”

Spending time with God is not an obligation or an option but an opportunity—it’s where you find the answers to every problem you are facing. Start your day with the Lord before you do anything else. Battles are won one step at a time. In the presence of God there is enough power to not only sustain you through the trials and rigors of life, but also fortify you to radically impact the world around you.

Draw Near,

Pastor Jeff Perry
St. Louis Family Church®

Copyright © 2009 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.

Someone You Can Trust.

Sunday, January 4th, 2009

For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6

At the end of the day we need God — He is an ever present help in time of need (Psalm 46:1). As we forge into the New Year, I want to focus on who Jesus is in our lives and what He came to earth to give us.

One of the facets of God’s character is Wonderful Counselor. “Your testimonies also are my delight; they are my counselors” (Psalm 119:24). If you don’t know who to talk to about a certain situation, go to the Word and receive God’s counsel. The Word is more precious than a field of rubies, than doorknob-sized diamonds; these words of God are the truth that created the world! When you spend time with God and in His Word, He replaces confusion with clarity.

O Lord, how my adversaries have increased! Many are rising up against me. Many are saying of my soul, “There is no deliverance for him in God.” Selah. But You, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the One who lifts my head. Psalm 3:1-3

God is not weak toward you but mighty (2 Corinthians 13:3). You can rely on Him to intervene in your situation. God is so trustworthy that we can cast all of our cares on Him (1 Peter 5:7). Look in the Word and realize that Jesus is able to bring you through whatever perplexing deal is trying to wipe you out. Make yourself speak words of faith over your situation. God said that the mountains move when we speak to them (Mark 11:23).

It’s amazing that God, the Creator of the universe, would so choose to give His only Son for us. Because of that great gift, the fear of death is resolved. The price has been paid and we can have fellowship with God and receive help and counsel from this Eternal Father. Thank God that we don’t have to embrace a religious routine; instead we can have a vibrant relationship with the Creator of the universe who is called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, and Prince of Peace!

There is nobody like my Jesus,

Pastor Jeff Perry
St. Louis Family Church®

Copyright © 2009 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.