Archive for May, 2011

LOVE

Monday, May 30th, 2011

Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily.

It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong].

It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail.

Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening].

Love never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end]. As for prophecy (the gift of interpreting the divine will and purpose), it will be fulfilled and pass away; as for tongues, they will be destroyed and cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away [it will lose its value and be superseded by truth].

1 Corinthians 13:4-8
Amplified Bible

The Impact of Love

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

Jesus answered, “The foremost [commandment] is, ‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is one Lord; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:29-31

The primary thing. We are all looking for the thing that is primary—what matters most. Jesus lays it out: Love God and love your neighbor. God wants to steer us away from all the secondary issues so we can get back to the simplicity of loving and acknowledging Him. Then, He wants to extend His kingdom through each one of our lives to reach a hurting world.

A Christian should always remember that the value of his good works is not based on their number and excellence, but on the love of God which prompts him to do these things. ~ St. John of the Cross

Impact. Some of the most amazing impact we’ll have in society is going to come from an unassuming, genuine surrender of time and effort to just let people know we care. Then, instead of taking credit as do-gooders, we say, “Have I told you about my Jesus?”

The love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Romans 5:5b

Love. God wants to translate our actions into a communication of His love. But the enemy of our lives is working hard to dull, distract, and numb us so that we live far below our privilege and potential. That’s why it’s essential for us to return to our first love—Jesus. Only then can we reach out with courage to strategically engage a detached and lost world. Love God. Love your neighbor. It’s the paradigm that could revolutionize this era.

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.

A Heart to Serve Others

Monday, May 16th, 2011

“It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life
a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:26-28

A Different Way. These words of Jesus provide an example that is totally different from the human framework we inherited from man’s fall. Stop and really think about it. It’s incredible that God was born in a manger and not in a palace. Jesus did the opposite of what the people of the time thought revolutionaries were supposed to do—He didn’t brag or try to get praise—He came to serve. And through that, He altered the eternal course of humanity.

Do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Philippians 2:4

Refreshing. Sometimes it seems as if seasons of refreshing elude us, but they are available when we abandon our constant introspection and preoccupation with “me, me, me” and get out and serve others. I’m most miserable when I have my arms crossed in inaction. But when I recognize that God has done something good through my life, when I become grateful, when I praise and worship God—I am refreshed.

Acts of Love. God wants to anoint your daily routine. Start praying on a daily basis: “Here I am, God, use me,” and let the Holy Spirit use you. The little things you do for people—a text, a thank you, a door held open, an extra tip—are the big things. If we function in these little acts of love with the heart of a servant, we can create a revolution in our world.

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. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

The Reset Button

Monday, May 9th, 2011

This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope. The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:21-23

Because of God’s grace, we get to push a reset button every day. Every morning, every night, at any moment of the day—we can choose to lift our eyes past the circumstances we see looming around us and say, “This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24 NKJV).

“Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and He shall hear my voice” (Psalm 55:17 KJV). We can sometimes take for granted the call to connection and intimacy with God, but it’s the source of our greatest strength. As you go about your day, acknowledge Jesus. Pause from your routine and take “minute vacations with God” (Chuck Swindoll).

You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. Isaiah 26:3

As you draw near to God, He’ll draw near to you. Not only will consistent devotion to God produce joy and a renewed mind, but it will show up in the subtle steps and nuances of your life. It will keep you from getting so worn down and distracted by life’s issues that you miss those God-moments of reaching out in love to someone who is hurting.

If you feel like you’re doing a crummy job as a Christian or you’re dealing with insecurity—God’s faithfulness overrides man’s inconsistency! God told Jeremiah, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations” (Jeremiah 1:5). God knows the plans He has for you! Give Him a thimbleful of devotion and He’ll flood you with an ocean of life. Pray a little prayer and mean it and He’ll stretch it as big as heaven.

Great is His faithfulness!
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.

What God Has Done

Monday, May 2nd, 2011

I pray that your partnership in the faith may become effective as you fully acknowledge every blessing that is ours in the Messiah. Philemon 1:6 ISV

Ac•knowl•edge v. To admit the existence, reality, or truth of; to recognize as being valid or having force or power; to express thanks or gratitude for.*

Jesus has done something so great—we have so much to be thankful for. Getting saved is the best feature of your life. And now you’ve been given the mission to communicate this amazing truth of the gospel of Jesus.

But how can we spark a hunger in others if we’re not really excited about what God has supplied? How can we be joyous about it if it’s dull to us, or inform people if we aren’t familiar with it? That’s why we need to delve into the Scriptures and find out what God has done for us. We have been blessed with every blessing that heaven has itself (Ephesians 1:3). We could spend a lifetime discovering and understanding what those amazing blessings are.

But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. Romans 8:37

You don’t have to “feel” spiritual in order to be used by God. As you press through the attack of the enemy and stay sensitive to the Holy Spirit, you will have moments of impact that can precipitate change in a family, a neighborhood, a region.

People can tell you’ve been with Jesus, not because of your superior speech but because of the authentic presence and power of God (1 Corinthians 2:1-5). God has given you the heart of a conqueror (Romans 8:37), so shake off the heaviness, fear, and doubt and be ready to intercept broken lives.

Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. Psalm 34:19

God is faithful!
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. ISV verse taken from the International Standard Version®. Copyright © 1996-2008 by the ISV Foundation. *The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition Copyright © 2009 by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.