Archive for March, 2011

Starting Your Day With Jesus

Monday, March 28th, 2011

But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Matthew 6:33

How you start your day is important. So important that during this month leading up to Easter, I am asking everyone to set aside the first moments in the morning to draw near to Jesus. Every day, before you turn on the news, check the weather, or have conversations with your family, seize the time (even if it is in the quiet of waking) and acknowledge Jesus.

The morning watch is essential. You must not face the day until you have faced God, nor look into the face of others until you have looked into His. You cannot expect to be victorious if the day begins only in your own strength . . . Meet Him with His open Book of counsel before you; and face the regular and the irregular duties of each day with the influence of His personality definitely controlling your every act. ~”Streams in the Desert” Devotional

The Creator of the Universe has invited us to connect with Him. David wrote: “In the morning, O Lord, You will hear my voice; in the morning I will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch” (Psalm 5:3). And again he says, “I will awaken the dawn” with praise (Psalm 108:2). The Lord Jesus himself would slip away and start His day in God’s presence (Luke 5:16; Mark 1:35). If Jesus did it, how much more should we!

Every one of us has a start to our day. If you work the night shift, don’t think you are missing out on being spiritual. This is not about the legalism of an exact time; it’s about seeking God first—at whatever time of the day or night that is.

So be ready by morning, and come up in the morning to Mount Sinai, and present yourself there to Me on the top of the mountain. No man is to come up with you. Exodus 34:2-3a.

The days when I’ve started in my own strength aren’t the best days; but the most fruitful, peace-filled days happen when I’ve filled my heart with God’s presence and His Word. Get your mind fixed on what’s good, praiseworthy, true, and honorable (Philippians 4:8), and calibrate your day by putting Jesus first.

Thank God for new beginnings!
Pastor Jeff Perry
St. Louis Family Church®

Copyright © 2011 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. Streams in the Desert, P. 75, L.B. Cowman. Copyright 1996 by The Zondervan Corporation. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

A First Century Church Model

Monday, March 21st, 2011

[I thank my God] for your fellowship (your sympathetic cooperation and contributions and partnership) in advancing the good news (the Gospel) from the first day [you heard it] until now.

And I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ [right up to the time of His return], developing [that good work] and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you. Philippians 1:5-6 AMP

The Gospel is the power of God, and when it went to the city of Philippi in Macedonia, the people were radicalized. They grabbed hold of it and stood on the edge of the Mediterranean region reverberating life to their city and all through the populated area of their world. God anointed that group of people to spread the Gospel in the first century, and God has appointed you to reach your world in the 21st Century (Acts 17:26).

In Acts, we see the beginning of the Philippian church when Lydia and her household got saved (Acts 16:14-15), when Paul cast a demon out of the slave girl (Acts 16:16-18), and when the jailer and his family were saved (Acts 16:27-34). These people didn’t just embrace a fancy philosophy; they found something with inherent, life-changing power.

They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Acts 2:42

As it was in the first century so I believe God wants it to be now. That’s why we keep going back to the Bible to see real people who experienced salvation with God and had a real effect on the world.

Take 15 minutes and read the book of Philippians. As you study the pages, faith will come and you will see the target God has for your life. The Philippians were of the same mind (Philippians 2:2) and committed to the cause of Jesus, and God used them in a powerful way.

God bless you!
Pastor Jeff Perry
St. Louis Family Church®

Copyright © 2011 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. AMP Scripture quotations are taken from The Amplified Bible, Old Testament copyright 1965, 1987 by the Zondervan Corporation and The Amplified New Testament copyright 1958, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Who You Are in Jesus

Monday, March 14th, 2011

For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority. Colossians 2:9-10

The truths in the Bible, inspired and revealed by the Holy Spirit, will liberate you from the devil’s accusations (Revelation 12:10) and bring you into the understanding of who God created you to be. Understanding who you are in Jesus isn’t just for a feel-good moment; it will make you more effective in your prayer walk, in your relationships, and in your church life!

Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God. 1 Corinthians 2:12

God is a God of revelation. He wants to reveal things to us through His Holy Spirit. When we look away from the mirror of God’s Word, it’s easy to forget what we truly look like (James 1:22-24). That’s why we need to be constantly reminding ourselves of who we are and what we have in Jesus.

Let the Word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Colossians 3:16

God’s Word is more stable than the trends and seasons of the world. There is power in the name of Jesus. There is power in prayer. There is power in getting a renewed mind (Romans 12:2; Ephesians 4:23)—it enables you to cast down imaginations and resist the accuser. So delve into the Scriptures and begin acknowledging every good thing that is in you through Christ Jesus (Philemon 1:6 NKJV).

Press on!
Pastor Jeff Perry
St. Louis Family Church®

Copyright © 2011 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 reference taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Your Identity in Jesus

Monday, March 7th, 2011

And I pray that the fellowship of your faith may become effective through the knowledge of every good thing which is in you for Christ’s sake. Philemon 1:6

Our identity needs to be clarified by the Word of God. God wants us to understand who Jesus is, why we were created, and what His death, burial, and resurrection bring into our lives. Human nature is prone to acknowledge failure and weakness and forget what God says. That is why our mind must be renewed daily. (Ephesians 4:23).

This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success. Joshua 1:8

For quick reference, print up verses about who you are in Christ. Speak God’s Word over your day first thing—when you’re getting ready for work or while you’re in the car. Walk around your house saying what you have in God. Don’t let the devil shut your mouth—confess God’s truth till the devil leaves you alone. The knowledge of what Jesus has done for you will free you and open the door for greater effectiveness.

[I pray] that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. Ephesians 1:17-19a

God bless you!
Pastor Jeff Perry
St. Louis Family Church®

Copyright © 2011 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.