Archive for December, 2009

God Loves You

Monday, December 28th, 2009

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16

God loves you! When you know you’re loved, you are free to spend life loving and valuing others. If you catch yourself being bitter, you have probably been giving until your tank is empty and trying to operate out of your own strength instead of relying on God. Take some time to meditate on God’s love for you and watch your attitude turn around!

During the holiday season, most of us get extra opportunities to take “pop quizzes” on the love walk! The best way to pass these quizzes is not to imitate your idea of a nice person, but to imitate God. “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). Learn from God and then do it.

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

If you’re feeling pressure this Christmas, apply these ten rules for getting rid of the blues: Do something for someone else — then repeat it nine times! Every person has a fundamental need for a Savior, and the best way to introduce people to Jesus is by showing love. It’s the most important thing we can do with our lives. “Kindness has converted more sinners than either zeal, or eloquence, or learning” (Frederick W. Faber).

God bless you and Merry Christmas!
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.

God With Us

Monday, December 21st, 2009

On that day, when evening came, He [Jesus] said to them, “Let us go over to the other side.” Leaving the crowd, they took Him along with them in the boat, just as He was; and other boats were with Him. And there arose a fierce gale of wind, and the waves were breaking over the boat so much that the boat was already filling up. Jesus Himself was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” And He got up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Hush, be still.” And the wind died down and it became perfectly calm. Mark 4:35-39

This journey to the “other side” paints a picture of our lives. Between the initiation and the conclusion of life’s journey, there is this thing called the daily grind, and sometimes we find ourselves in the middle of some stormy weather.

 And He got up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Hush, be still.” And the wind died down and it became perfectly calm. Mark 4:39

When we encounter storms, it’s easy to freak out like the disciples and say to Jesus, “Do You not care that we are perishing?” (Mark 4:38). That’s pretty insulting when you realize that Jesus’ entire mission was to save the world from perishing. We need the same attitude as David when he encountered Goliath: “The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine” (1 Samuel 17:37).

Remember: When God initiates something, He sustains it and brings it to completion. Jesus is “Immanuel,” which means “God with us” (Matthew 1:23). If He tells you to go to the other side of your situation, you can be certain that He’ll get you there and He’ll be with you every step of the way.

They came to the other side of the sea. Mark 5:1a

 God is with you, and you will make it to the other side!

Merry Christmas!
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.

The Disciple Whom Jesus Loved

Monday, December 14th, 2009

See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God. 1 John 3:1a

You’ll become frustrated trying to walk in love if you don’t understand that we love because God first loved us. We can only truly walk in love as it flows out of our understanding of God’s love for us.

The apostle John had a profound understanding of God’s love. Four times John reiterated his awareness of God’s love by calling himself “the disciple whom Jesus loved” (John 13:23; 19:26; 20:2; 21:7). I used to think John was rubbing it in to Peter and the other disciples that he was the favorite. But now I realize the contrast between those two disciples at that point in their journeys: Peter was the disciple who tried to love Jesus, but John was the disciple who received the love from God.

It’s not about your loving God more—it starts at square one: God’s love for you. Let it resonate in your spirit that you are the disciple whom God loves, and out of that value, you can start valuing your relationship with God and valuing the people around you.

By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 1 John 4:9-11

God is calling us to revolutionize our generation with this radical approach called love that emanates from our relationship with God. We are at our best when this translates into practical action. How are we going to win the world? Not by our amazing sophistication, but by our love.

It’s good to be loved,
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.

Turn Your Eyes On Jesus

Monday, December 7th, 2009

What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, has found? For what does the scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.” And [he is] the father of circumcision to those who not only are of the circumcision, but who also follow in the steps of the faith of our father Abraham which he had while uncircumcised. Romans 4:1, 3, 12

I met a modern day prospector on the beaches of California. He had a metal detector and a fanny pack full of his precious-metal findings. Fascinated, I asked him, “What did you find?” He excitedly began to show me his treasure of gold rings, watches, and old coins. When we go to God’s Word, the same question is posed: What has Abraham found? What treasure did he find concerning God’s character, about coping, about overcoming when he failed? He found that his justification before God came through grace and not by works. Even when things look “as good as dead,” there is still hope! (Romans 4:19).

Abraham developed a lifestyle of listening to God and obeying Him. We are called to learn from Abraham and walk in his footsteps (Romans 4:12 NET*). This is not just a fanny pack full of gold; it’s far more significant for our lives.

By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing where he was going. Hebrews 11:8

Let God be your preoccupation. Abraham had such confidence in where God was leading his life that he let his nephew, Lot, take what seemed like a better land choice. Lot became so focused on the here and now that he lost out in the long run. Don’t be attached to the stuff of this world, because it’s stifling to the larger things God has called you to. Abraham knew he wouldn’t lose out, and neither will you as you follow God.

“For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2). I’ve found that the best times in my life are when I’m walking by faith and obeying God. So turn your eyes on Jesus. As you do, it will cause rightness to flourish in your life and help you to overcome wicked temptation and get up one more time than you fall. God is trustworthy. He will equip you to do His will (Hebrews 13:21). When we step out in obedience, He is there.

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. *New English Translation Bible (NET) Copyright © 1996-2009 by Biblical Studies Press (BSP), L.L.C. and the authors. All rights reserved.