Archive for February, 2009

The Value of Endurance.

Sunday, February 22nd, 2009

We count those blessed who endured. You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome of the Lord’s dealings, that the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful. James 5:11

When we observe the outcome of Job’s life, we see his endurance and we see the faithfulness of God: “The Lord restored the fortunes of Job when he prayed for his friends, and the Lord increased all that Job had twofold” (Job 42:10).

Longsuffering is the King James word for “endurance,” and it’s a good description of what we need when we’re being long-bothered (Galatians 5:22). Longsuffering doesn’t mean that we have to crawl through life in defeat, but as we encounter the inevitable challenges of life we are to consider the value of endurance and be confident that the outcome of the Lord’s dealings will be breakthrough! Look at these words about Jesus:

When the devil had finished every temptation, he left Him [Jesus] until an opportune time. Luke 4:13

Then the devil left Him; and behold, angels came and began to minister to Him. Matthew 4:11

These verses show that every temptation and trial the devil throws at you has a beginning, middle, and end. If you don’t understand this when you march into a battle you’ll cave in, thinking you’ve been defeated. Don’t quit! God knows how to take bad situations and turn them around. “Then Job answered the Lord and said, ‘I know that You can do all things, and that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted’” (Job 42:1-2).

If you’re in the middle of a battle, don’t grow weary and become lethargic and vegetate on TV and ice cream. Strengthen yourself in the Lord (1 Samuel 30:6). Sometimes this is easier than other times, but God has called us to flat out do it. The world needs Christians who will stand up, have some backbone, and press on! Good things are ahead.

Persevere,

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.

The Helper Has Come.

Monday, February 16th, 2009

But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. John 16:7, 13

The Spirit who comes from God, who was hovering over the waters at creation, is the same Holy Spirit who was sent to be our Helper! He is someone who will guide you into all truth. “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God” (1 Corinthians 2:12).

When the Holy Spirit first came to the early church, He transformed Peter, who had denied knowing Jesus, into someone who boldly preached the gospel and led thousands of people to Jesus in one day! In the same way, the Holy Spirit activates us to be ambassadors for Christ, carriers of the presence of God to a lost and dying world. We aren’t navigating life alone; we have the Holy Spirit on the inside of us to say, “This is the way, walk in it” (Isaiah 30:21b).

Do you not know that you are a temple of God
and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
1 Corinthians 3:16

It’s quite important that we learn how to rely on the Holy Spirit. The lost world needs people who know how to follow the Holy Spirit: people who stand in the gap and bring comfort to the hurting, light to the confused, good news to the afflicted, healing to the sick, and who push back injustice in the nations and address need and famine.

Don’t let the amusement and trivialities of the world prevent you from being a vibrant example of a follower of Jesus. There are hills to climb, mountains to conquer, souls to win, and miracles to experience. Since before you were born, God has prepared amazing things for you. Lean on the Holy Spirit; sensitize yourself to know His voice through the Word and prayer. He knows how to lead and guide through every step of life. He is “our God forever, who guides us till the end of time” (Psalm 48:14 The Message).

Pressing 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.

The Huge Deal.

Monday, February 9th, 2009

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 NASB

This is the huge deal: God has called us to the royal law of love (James 2:8). Bitterness and unresolved anger give the devil an opportunity to keep us from moving forward: “Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity” (Ephesians 4:26-27). Thomas Jefferson wisely wrote: “When angry, count to ten before you speak. If very angry, count to one hundred.” Though there will be times when we become frustrated, we don’t have to let ourselves become controlled by anger; instead, we can choose to walk in love.

If we aren’t walking in love we are missing it. “Love is patient” (1 Corinthians 13:4a). Let’s remember how patient and longsuffering God is toward us, and increase in our capacity to endure.

Love is the catalytic qualifier for breakthrough and blessing. When you crucify your flesh and show mercy, it defiantly deadbolts the door to the enemy and activates a heightened move of the Holy Spirit in your life.

pa•tience n. “The capacity to endure hardship, difficulty, or inconvenience without complaint.” Source: The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004.

God has called us to this revolutionary idea of love, and we aren’t to misspend in strife the energies that are reserved for mountain-moving. The devil is trying to take you out because he doesn’t want you to fulfill your call. So guard your heart from offense and don’t let strife stop the flow of your fruitfulness. There is breakthrough ahead; don’t back down from the love walk!

Choose Love,

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.