Archive for February, 2010

Walking in Love

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

Adapted from 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

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.

LOVE NEVER FAILS!

Copyright © 2010 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.

A Ready Heart

Monday, February 15th, 2010

Sow with a view to righteousness, reap in accordance with kindness; break up your fallow ground, for it is time to seek the Lord until He comes to rain righteousness on you. Hosea 10:12

In 2010, God is calling us to remove obstacles. He wants to rain down righteousness, but in order to receive it we must break up any hard ground in our hearts. The ground becomes hard when it’s trampled. In the same way, life can make our hearts harden so that fresh rain runs off instead of entering the soil of the heart. A tender heart is absorbent.

Water is essential to life. In Genesis, the Philistines filled Isaac’s wells with dirt, which stopped them up and blocked the flow of life-giving water. Isaac had to work at re-digging the wells until he finally reached a place where water flowed and he could live in peace.

He went on from there and dug yet another well. But there was no fighting over this one so he named it Rehoboth (Wide-Open Spaces), saying, “Now God has given us plenty of space to spread out in the land.” Genesis 26:22 The Message*

Just as Isaac literally dug wells to restart the flow of life-giving water, God is asking us to break up the fallow ground in our hearts to clear the way for His flow of life. Analyze the places where the enemy has thrown dirt down your wells and cultivate your heart with all diligence (Proverbs 4:23). Bitterness, hurt, and the flesh can clog up your heart. Be careful what you watch and listen to, and bridle your tongue. There is so much at stake!

The world doesn’t need your limited human resourcefulness; it needs living water flowing out of you. You are designed by God to be a dispenser of wisdom, an answer to someone’s problem, help for the hurting, and a carrier of the presence of God. Believers are designed to be conduits of God’s love and care. Jesus said, “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water’” (John 7:38). Clear out the obstacles and let rivers of living water flow through you!

Press On!
Pastor Jeff

Copyright © 2010 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. *Scripture taken from The Message. Copyright 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.

The Faith Perspective

Monday, February 8th, 2010

The Lord is with you, O valiant warrior . . . Go in this your strength and deliver Israel from the hand of Midian. Have I not sent you? Judges 6:12, 14

God’s perspective is different from our perspective. When God sent an angel to call Gideon to save Israel from oppression, Gideon saw only his own weakness. Like Gideon, we often see ourselves through our limited viewpoint. Instead, we should look into the mirror of the Word to see ourselves as God sees us.

Gideon responded the way we are often tempted to respond when in the midst of a protracted battle. “If the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about . . . But now the Lord has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian” (Judges 6:13). Gideon was basing everything on what he saw in the moment, while God’s amazing overriding perspective called Gideon to faith. God downloaded the deliverance of Israel to a man who, in the natural, did not look like a worthy candidate. That means there’s hope for all of us!

“Remember, God didn’t give us His Word so we could gather enough info to become theologians. He gave us His Word so we could undergo transformation and to overcome anything we face in this world with our faith.” Pastor Bill Anzevino

Even when our misery is self-inflicted, we can call on the Lord. His mercy triumphs over judgment (James 2:13). “Fools, because of their rebellious way, and because of their iniquities, were afflicted . . . Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble; He saved them out of their distresses. He sent His word and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions” (Psalm 107:17-20).

God can take a thimbleful of faith and stretch it as far as the universe. Even when we don’t have everything figured out, we have this figured out: God is faithful! He will never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). So take courage in Jesus’ words, which ring true through time: “I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20b).

God is faithful!
Pastor Jeff Perry
St. Louis Family Church®

Copyright © 2010 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.

Getting Back to Your First Love

Monday, February 1st, 2010

I know all the things you do. I have seen your hard work and your patient endurance . . . You have patiently suffered for me without quitting. But I have this complaint against you. You don’t love me or each other as you did at first! Look how far you have fallen! Turn back to me and do the works you did at first. If you don’t repent, I will come and remove your lampstand from its place among the churches. Revelation 2:2-5 NLT

This warning to the church in Ephesus is sobering, and the enemy is fighting hard to dull you, but God knows how to rouse your heart and stir you up to the fiery potential for which you’ve been designed and created. If you’ve let your Christian life become blasé, remember from where you have fallen and go back to the things you did at first. Identify the things God has called you to do (including loving Jesus with all your heart) and drop the works you’ve picked up along the way that are not what God intended you to carry.

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

God is calling us to humble our hearts, remove obstacles, and recommit to walking in love. After all, God is love, and one of the most purposeful things we can do is learn to cultivate this extraordinary love. This God kind of love, agape love, is not just an ordinary expression based on emotion or reserved solely for our nearest and dearest. We are to extend this eternal love of God to our neighbors, our enemies, and the entire world.

Don’t let John 3:16 become religious rhetoric. Instead delve into the Word and rediscover the profound truth of God’s eternal love for you.

We love, because God first loved us!
Pastor Jeff Perry
St. Louis Family Church®

Copyright © 2010 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. Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996, 2004. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.