Archive for December, 2010

Hope

Monday, December 27th, 2010

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13

God fills you with joy and peace. The Bible describes the pre-salvation position as “having no hope and without God in the world” (Ephesians 2:12). But the lost-ness of a fallen world has forever changed because Jesus who never sinned became sin for broken humanity (2 Corinthians 5:21). He left the splendor of heaven and came on a rescue mission for us. Joy to the world, the Savior has come!

He is the God of hope. Biblical hope is based on the integrity of God’s faithfulness—His character, performance, and nature—and differs greatly from the baseless optimism that the world calls hope. Hope in God springs from knowing His well-documented track record in the Scriptures and in people’s lives: “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). The faithful God in the Bible is the same God who will help you in your situation. Even if you fall, God is there to lift you back up (Proverbs 24:16; Psalm 145:14).

Be strong and let your heart take courage, all you who hope in the Lord. Psalm 31:24

Be a carrier of hope. God wants to use you to offset the incredible negativity and pessimism in the world. Hope should be something you carry—something that gets in your vocabulary when everybody else is complaining, that flares up when all the circumstances go the opposite way, that adjusts your thinking to keep your dreams and hopes from getting dashed. Get tenacious! Be confident that God will cause all things to work together for good (Romans 8:28). You will see the goodness of God in this life (Psalm 27:13-14).

. . . We have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men . . . 1 Timothy 4:10

Merry Christmas!
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.

Keep Jesus Central

Monday, December 20th, 2010

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. Ephesians 2:10

Overcome an Identity Crisis. Our generation has a collective identity crisis—a disorientation that comes on people as a result of being brought up under disruptive, fast-paced situations. With all the bombardment that comes with the Information Age, we need to get our priorities straight about who gets our attention. When we make Jesus central in our lives, we overcome apathy, fear, and disorientation and become ignited with something significant to deposit in our world.

Understand the Times. There was a group of people in the Bible, Issachar’s tribe, who were described as understanding the times and who had knowledge of what to do (1 Chronicles 12:32). That’s what God wants us to be in our generation! Not like the Pharisees who Jesus said didn‘t recognize the time of their visitation and totally missed what God was doing in their generation (Luke 19:39-44). The plans God has for you are considerable—don’t underestimate your moment.

Jesus fulfills. Jesus is not just one of a myriad of religious concepts in this pluralistic, relativistic world. He is the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through Jesus (John 14:6).

“There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God, the Creator, made known through Jesus.”
Blaise Pascal ~ Mathematician, Philosopher & Physicist

Take it to the world. Jesus, the resurrection and the life (John 11:25), the exact representation of the Father (Hebrews 1:3), is looking for people whose hearts are completely His that He may strongly support them (2 Chronicles 16:9). If you make Jesus central—your priority, the main deal—it will cause the confusion to dissipate and position you to be a voice in your generation. Reject apathy and trust the Savior to activate you beyond what you can even imagine.

Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look on the fields, that they are white for harvest. John 4:35b

God bless you!
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.

Perseverance and Preparation.

Monday, December 13th, 2010

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6

What is confidence? It’s a firm belief and trust. It’s reliance on the fact that God is going to see you through!

Perseverance. We are those who “through faith and patience inherit the promises” (Hebrews 6:12). The battles and challenges Winston Churchill faced early in his life readied him to defy the greatest evil of his time and inspire others to persevere. “Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, . . . never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy . . . I say that we can be sure that we have only to persevere to conquer.” Winston Churchill*

Preparation. Those battles you’ve fought are qualifying you for the next steps. The challenges you’ve dealt with up to this point have prepared you to defy and conquer the enemy. And, just as Winston Churchill motivated an entire nation to face off with evil, you are called to help those in your sphere of influence to continue.

Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:12,14

God will see you through to the end. Read Hebrews 11. Read through the Book of Acts. When you hear the testimony of someone from church, grab hold of it and say, “That God is my God!” The same God who did all those miracles in the Bible, the same God who came through for someone else, will come through for you! He never changes. You serve the God who heals (Malachi 4:2), who redeems your life from the pit (Psalm 103:4), and who makes the crooked path straight (Isaiah 42:16). Never, never, never give in!

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. *From speech delivered October 29, 1941, at Harrow School.

The Power of Unity and the Hazard of Strife

Monday, December 6th, 2010

Make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Philippians 2:2

The power of unity is a principle that resounds through the Old and New Testaments. When people get together in unity around a cause – even if it’s a negative ideology – things get done. God said of the people who unified in their own fleshly interests to build the Tower of Babel: “Nothing which they purpose to do will be impossible for them” (Genesis 11:6b). On the positive side, the Philippian church got so unified around the cause of Jesus that they were able to fund much of the outreach of the Gospel in other cities.

Unity is constantly assailed by the temptation to get in strife. Just as there is power in unity (Matthew 18:19-20), strife takes on a life of its own—don’t even open the door to it. “For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work” (James 3:16 KJV).

Woe to the world because of offenses! For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes! Matthew 18:7 NKJV

Don’t indulge in the luxury of strife this holiday season. Treat it as the poison it really is. Strife is like ringing a bell for the demons to come. As tempting as it gets to “go there,” we must do our level best to resist it and pursue peace with all people (Hebrews 12:14). Repent, humble yourself, and pursue unity.

God bless you!
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. NKJV Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.