Archive for August, 2010

Priorities

Monday, August 30th, 2010

A woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. She had a sister called Mary, who was seated at the Lord’s feet, listening to His word. But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.” But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:38b-42

Mary was listening; Martha was distracted. We’ve all been Martha – we invite Jesus into the house, but then we get distracted with preparations and lesser things. At some point we need to quit the activity and engage in what matters most.

C.S. Lewis said it this way: “Now there are a good many things which would not be worth bothering about if I were going to live only seventy years, but which I had better bother about very seriously if I am going to live forever.”

Do not worry then, saying, “What will we eat?” or “What will we drink?” or “What will we wear for clothing?” For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Matthew 6:31-33

These verses pull us out of the tyranny of the urgent and point us toward the perspective of eternity. Loving God and connecting with Him is the best and most important part of life: thinking about God, talking to God, talking about God, loving God, seeking God, worshiping God, and magnifying God.

“Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:42b). The “good part” is all about a relationship with the Creator; then it’s about impacting people. First, we become sensitive to God’s voice, receptive to His prompting, and aware of what matters most to Him. Then—when we have rivers of living water flowing out of us, when we are alive and present and loving—others will want that too! Let’s be like Martha and invite Jesus in; then let’s be like Mary and sit at His feet.

Press on!
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 God Requires of You

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:8

Let’s find out what is pleasing to the Lord and do it. If we dedicate ourselves to pursuing what God likes, we will stop comparing ourselves to others and accomplish God’s plan for each of our lives.

Do justice. God has called us to do what is right. We live in a world that is aimless and frivolous. But God has called us to translate our days into fruitfulness. Jesus said: “My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples” (John 15:8). I’m not talking about workaholism or using good works to become good — God looks at the heart. And He loves people who do what’s right just because it’s the right thing to do.

The people who know their God will display strength and take action. Daniel 11:32b

Love kindness. To walk in love means to regard others as valuable. Knowing God and how much value He places on people will help your attitude toward others. If your attitude goes sour, keep telling yourself: “That person is someone for whom Christ died.”

Walk humbly with God. Get close to God. Talk with Him, walk with Him. Throw yourself into God’s grace, expecting clarity to come. It’s time to get back to the root of the matter — knowing God. Jesus, in freeing us from sin, has made it possible for us to walk and fellowship with God!

There are more miracles that God wants to display through you more of the time. And it is these moments of obedience that will precipitate change in an entire city, across a nation, and throughout the whole world. Obeying God — what a noble way to spend a life.

Press on!
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.

Growing Up

Monday, August 16th, 2010

Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:13-14

We are to walk and grow in a manner worthy of the calling on our lives (Ephesians 4:1). God promises that the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn that shines brighter and brighter until the full day (Proverbs 4:18). For the sake of the call, choose to grow and increase for your entire life.

But speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ. Ephesians 4:15

People around you are looking for answers. They don’t need thoughtful impressions or good ideas—they need the substance of the wisdom of God. As we grow up in God and stay in the Word, His Wisdom floods our lives and enables us to have answers for others.

Don’t get too busy or focused to notice the amazing opportunities to speak into people’s lives every day. In your family and at your work (the people who bug you the most need you the most) there are people watching your life who need you to continue growing in the things of God.

Never stop growing!
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.

Staying Refreshed!

Monday, August 9th, 2010

The righteous man will flourish like the palm tree, he will grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Planted in the house of the Lord, they will flourish in the courts of our God. They will still yield fruit in old age; they shall be full of sap and very green. Psalm 92:12-14

v. re•fresh: To revive . . . give new vigor or spirit to. To give new freshness or brightness to; restore. To renew by stimulation, to fill up again; replenish. The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition*

When I’m old I want to still be “full of sap and very green.” I want to be like Caleb, who said, “Now behold, I am eighty-five years old today. I am still as strong today as I was in the day Moses sent me; as my strength was then, so my strength is now, for war and for going out and coming in” (Joshua 14:10b-11).

Here are some ways to stay refreshed over a lifetime:

Choose the good report. Out of 12 men sent to spy out the Promised Land, Joshua and Caleb were the only ones who chose the good report. The good report will keep us alive long enough to get into the Promised Land. That “different spirit” (Numbers 14:24) of their good report kept them fresh and filled with strength. The good report does not deny the presence of challenge. Instead, by choosing the good report we are acknowledging that we trust God in the midst of this fallen world.

Stay in the Word. We need refreshing and reviving every day. Whatever you feel, no matter what, stay committed to filling yourself with the Word. Get it on your iPod. Listen to it in your car. Read a scripture on your lunch break. Read a Proverb a day. That’s where you’ll find God’s promises for your life. God’s Word is living and eternal and the answer for every problem you face. God is your refresher, restorer, and the one who can put fire back in you when you feel burned out.

How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers! But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers. Psalm 1:1-3

Keep the vision before you. As a church we are called to the dual purpose of reaching the lost and encouraging other believers. Stay plugged into church, because that is where you will be strengthened by others, and it’s where they will call you out if you start to get weird!

God has an amazing plan for your life. As you seek Him, He will help you bear fruit that will be repercussive for generations to come.

It’s good to know God.
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 American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Copyright © 2009 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

Proclaiming the Excellencies of Him

Monday, August 2nd, 2010

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. 1 Peter 2:9

God created us because He wanted to, and we are called to show how good He is in word and deed. But how can we do that unless we know the wonderful, praiseworthy things of our God?

Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things He does for me. He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies. He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagle’s! Psalm 103:2-5 NLT

God is our rock, our fortress, and our deliverer! He is our shield, salvation, and stronghold (Psalm 18:1-3). Go back into the Word and see who God is. Stir up your love and affection for Him. Be like David who gazed at God and only glanced at his problems.

O Lord, how my adversaries have increased! Many are rising up against me. Many are saying of my soul, “There is no deliverance for him in God.” Selah. But You, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the One who lifts my head. Psalm 3:1-3

God has a hold on your life. Don’t ever imagine that you are out there alone, weak and frail. God’s grip is strong enough to hold on to you and never let go.

Trust Him.
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.