Archive for April, 2010

The River of God

Monday, April 26th, 2010

When the man went out toward the east with a line in his hand, he measured a thousand cubits, and he led me through the water, water reaching the ankles. Again he measured a thousand and led me through the water, water reaching the knees. Again he measured a thousand and led me through the water, water reaching the loins. Again he measured a thousand; and it was a river that I could not ford, for the water had risen, enough water to swim in, a river that could not be forded. Ezekiel 47:3-5

There’s rich symbolism in those words that God inspired Ezekiel to write. The river is a symbol of the Holy Spirit, and God has called every one of us believers to flow in it.

Ankle deep water symbolizes our walk in the Spirit. “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16). Every day we are being invited to get out of our beds and not let our primal instincts govern us but, instead, to walk by the Spirit.

Knee deep water reveals the importance of getting on our knees and praying. “With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints” (Ephesians 6:18). We are at our best when we make our prayer life central.

Loin deep water represents serving in the Spirit. Your loins are the part of your body where your leverage comes from, and when these muscles are being worked, you have a greater bounce in your step. We are to translate our walk and prayer in the Spirit into action by serving in the Spirit. “Serving the Lord with all humility and with tears and with trials . . .” (Acts 20:19).

Enough to swim in. Now you are completely saturated with the rivers of living water: “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18). Let’s get filled with the Holy Spirit and let it spill out into all of life.

Jesus said, “‘If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, “From his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water.”’ But this He spoke of the Spirit.” (John 7:37b-38). Christianity is not meant to be a sub-culture contained in a reservoir, but a mighty flowing river of God bringing healing to the nations.

Jump in – the water’s fine!
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.

What Are You Expecting?

Monday, April 19th, 2010

Abide in Me, and I in you. . . I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing. John 15:4-5

God has made us His garden, and the Gardener wants us to realize that our branches are designed to bear a lot of fruit: “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10).

Expect results from fellowshipping with God. It’s pretty simple. As we abide in Him and He abides in us, we can expect fruit when we pray for the sick, when we give, and when we serve.

Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields, that they are white for harvest. John 4:35b

Expect to see your life bear fruit. The Lord of the harvest is looking for people that He can use. So lift up your eyes with expectancy. On your worst day you still have this amazing potential to see more of Jesus flow through your life and to bear more fruit more of the time.

Expect God to watch over His Word to perform it. “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you. By this is My Father glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples” (John 4: 7-8). Our best days are up ahead and as we raise our expectancy level and trust God, we will bear increasing fruit throughout our life!

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.

What About the Good Report?

Monday, April 12th, 2010

You know the word which the Lord spoke to Moses the man of God concerning you and me in Kadesh-barnea. I was forty years old when Moses the servant of the Lord sent me from Kadesh-barnea to spy out the land, and I brought word back to him as it was in my heart. Nevertheless my brethren who went up with me made the heart of the people melt with fear; but I followed the Lord my God fully. Joshua 14:6b-8

When the twelve Israelites came back from spying out the Promised Land, only Joshua and Caleb chose the good report. All those guys saw the same land and the same people, but they had different conclusions which produced different results. The bad-report guys died within a week. But Joshua and Caleb not only made it to the Promised Land, they finished as strong as when they started out (Joshua 14:11).

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Philippians 4:8 KJV

The essence of good-report people is that they speak from deep-seated conviction and refuse to let the majority sway them. Choosing the good report is not automatic—it takes discipline and a heart filled up with God’s Word. Protracted battles can give us a loss-centered attitude, and it takes some time to get back to the place where we let the God of peace govern our hearts and minds.

When God was about ready to bust those Israelites loose into the Promised Land, the bad report stopped what God was trying to do. Don’t let grumbling keep you from God’s promises. Like Joshua and Caleb, we are called to lift up our eyes and obtain every promise of God, to see this generation come to a vibrant understanding of who Jesus is and what He provided for us when He conquered death.

Finish strong!
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.

The Results

Monday, April 5th, 2010

Jesus Came. Jesus Died. Jesus Rose.

God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago.
Ephesians 2:8-10 NLT

Free from sin. God has good things planned for your life! Jesus came on the scene at a clarifying moment in history to find and save those who were lost (Luke 19:10). When Jesus was nailed to the Cross for our sins, it got radical: He paid the price for humanity, and the result is freedom from the vicious cycle of sin and death (Romans 8:2 Phillips).

Free from the old way of living. If the challenges of life have left you feeling broken and numb, call out to Jesus. Don’t buy into the monotony of our mixed-up culture—while it is very good at assessing problems, it can’t deliver the solution. But Jesus brought the answer and addressed the problem by giving His life.

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

Free to serve people. You are not insignificant; God wants to use you to do some extraordinary things. He can even take the hurts of your past and turn them into credibility when you reach out to someone else going through similar pain. Lift up your eyes and see the amazing life God has for you.

Knowing Jesus is what it’s all about,
Pastor Jeff Perry
St. Louis Family Church®

Copyright © 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. Phillips Translation. Copyright © 1958-1972 by JB Phillips: The Gospels. New Living Translation © 1996, 2004.