Archive for November, 2009

Say The Word: Love

Friday, November 27th, 2009

“And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.” The second is this, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” There is no other commandment greater than these. Mark 12:30-31

Because of the distractions of life, we must daily choose to make our relationship with God the central focus of our lives. Our love for self and neighbor will flow directly from our relationship with God.

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another” (John 13:34). Love is a verb—we are commanded to show love not only with our words but through our actions (1 John 3:18). People in need aren’t so concerned with what we believe, but they want to see if we care. Simple acts of kindness can provide a phenomenal platform for preaching the gospel.

And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment. Philippians 1:9

Believe God for love to abound in the areas where it has grown cold. As you step out and obey God, there will be challenges along the way. But on the battlefield, love is lived out through faithfulness—choosing every day to get up, commit to your convictions, and not back off.

Press on!
Pastor Jeff

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.

Growing In Love

Saturday, November 21st, 2009

Hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Romans 5:5

God’s love does not originate from our niceness—it’s been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit!

Our first increase of love needs to be toward God. We can start well in our love walk and then drift if we aren’t connected to the source. The believers in the Ephesian church, despite all their good works and perseverance, were held accountable by God because they left their first love (Revelation 2:4). If we’ve let our love grow cold, there is a way to get strengthened so that once again our love for God is central. “Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first” (Revelation 2:5a).

And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ; having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. Philippians 1:9-11

The love walk is the most vital thing you can be doing right now. As you renew your dedication to grow in your relationship with God and walk in love toward others, a by-product will be a sharpened understanding of the next steps you should take in life. As you are seeking God first, the other concerns in life will start to work out according to God’s will (Matthew 6:33)!

Press on!
Pastor Jeff

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.

It’s Never Too Late In God

Monday, November 16th, 2009

Without becoming weak in faith he [Abraham] contemplated his own body, now as
good as dead since he was about a hundred years old, and the deadness of Sarah’s
womb; yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief but
grew strong in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully assured that what God
had promised, He was able also to perform. Romans 4:19-21

Even though Abraham was beyond what seemed like the proper time for the
fulfillment of God’s promise to make him a father of many nations, Abraham
remained “fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform”
(Romans 4:21). That God is our God! Let the mighty deeds God has done through
history generate hope for your specific situation.

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

Believers who have their roots in the truth of the Word have a foundation for their
hope. It’s not false optimism—it’s anchored on the faithfulness of God to His
people (Psalm 1:1-3). Renew your determination to seek God and read the Word.
Don’t back down, because that is where you find the strength and substance for
your hope!

If you feel like life has passed you by and you missed your time to see God’s plan
come to pass, take a stance like Abraham who “in hope against hope” believed
(Romans 4:18a). It’s not too late! God is looking to strongly support those whose
hearts are His (2 Chronicles 16:9). “Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why
have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him,
the help of my countenance and my God!” (Psalm 42:11).

Press on!
Pastor Jeff

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.

God’s Love

Monday, November 9th, 2009

And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ; having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. Philippians 1:9-11

Without agape—the God kind of love—all other loves fall short. God’s love is different from natural human love; it’s supernatural and changes a person. Agape love is value: looking at a person and realizing that is someone for whom Christ died.

If you started out walking the love walk, but over time life has dealt you a weird hand and your attitude has changed, go back to the Bible and see the pattern that God set in place. “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21).

You can’t control other people, but you can control yourself. Here is a description of love adapted from 1 Corinthians 13. It’s been modified so you can confess it over your own life every day—or ten times a day!

• I am patient.
• I am kind.
• I am not jealous.
• I don’t brag.
• I am not arrogant.
• I don’t act unbecomingly.
• I don’t seek my own.
• I am not provoked.
• I don’t take into account a wrong suffered.
• I don’t rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoice with the truth.
• I bear all things, believe all things, hope all things, and endure all things. I won’t be driven off course, because love never fails!

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, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation.

It’s God’s Battle

Monday, November 2nd, 2009

Thus says the Lord to you, “Do not fear or be dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours but God’s.” 2 Chronicles 20:15b

Are we ever going to learn that last line? How often do we try to take the battle back into our own hands! Our God is a warrior and has a plan for this whole universe. He knows more about the future than we do about the past, and He is worthy of our trust.

When Jehoshaphat, the king of Judah, learned that his enemy was about to attack him on three fronts, he sought God. Instead of dwelling on all the problems, he deliberately focused on how big and great God is: “O Lord, the God of our fathers, are You not God in the heavens? And are You not ruler over all the kingdoms of the nations? Power and might are in Your hand so that no one can stand against You” (2 Chronicles 20:6).

Then Jehoshaphat did something unprecedented in military history: He put praise-and-worshipers on the front line of battle.

He appointed those who should sing to the Lord, and who should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army and were saying: “Praise the Lord, for His mercy endures forever.” Now when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushes against the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; and they were defeated. 2 Chronicles 20:21b-22 NKJV*

While they were worshiping God, the enemy was defeated! God is telling us something about the power of seeking Him: Your flesh may loathe praising God when you are going through a struggle, but that is right where you’ll find the solution.

As Jehoshaphat sought God, he declared, “We don’t know what to do, but our eyes are on You” (2 Chronicles 20:12b). So gaze at God and only glance at your problems. Rededicate yourself to reading the Word, where you’ll see the faithfulness of God through the ages. Pull up breakthrough moments in your past and write them down.

“Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out to face them, for the Lord is with you” (2 Chronicles 20:17b). You can face tomorrow with confidence because the forever-faithful God is with you!

Give it to God,
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. * New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.