Archive for November, 2011

God Is Faithful

Monday, November 28th, 2011

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. Philippians 4:8

You may have been meditating on some pretty weird stuff, but God wants us to focus on things that are excellent and worthy of praise. If we are really going to revolutionize the world, we’ve got to be different in our thinking. Shake off the heaviness and fear by focusing on who Jesus is and by renewing your mind in the Word. Here are some scriptures that will help you press past the mind-numbing attacks of the devil and remember that God is faithful. He will calm whatever storm you’re in and get you to the other side (Matthew 8:24-28).

Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap; they have no storeroom nor barn, and yet God feeds them; how much more valuable you are than the birds! Luke 12:24

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. James 4:7

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5

So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Matthew 6:28-29 NKJV

Now is not the time to waver. It’s time to be intent on one purpose, with hearts and minds in one accord with the Master’s work. While the world is anxiously looking for answers, you carry the truth. Don’t shrink back but learn to abide under the shadow of the Most High, where you can rest and find strength and renewed confidence for the journey (Psalm 91:1).

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.

Take Inventory.

Monday, November 21st, 2011

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. Philippians 4:8

These traits (in bold) are faith’s focus. To “dwell” means, in this context, to “take inventory.” In Philippians 4:6-7, Paul writes that we are to “be anxious for nothing” and then, in verse 8, he gives the very steps and cure for worry: Dwell on or take inventory of these eight attributes. Imagine two shelves: one shelf full of anxiety-producing items and one full of peace-producing things. Don’t keep examining the peace-stealers—hurtful things people have done, shortcomings of the past, regretted actions. Instead, constantly write down and think about the incredible acts God has done in your life.

in•ven•to•rynoun
A detailed, itemized list, report, or record of things in one’s possession, especially a periodic survey of all goods and materials in stock.*

Have you noticed that when you start worrying, your incentive to pray declines? Dwelling on the good equips you to avoid the pitfalls of worry, and when you trust God, His peace can guard your heart and mind (Philippians 4:8). That’s why Paul emphatically writes, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4). In Numbers 13, the Israelites murmured and chose to focus on the giants in the land, but Joshua and Caleb took account of the good report and held to the way of faith. Because of their faith, they saw the Promised Land. Anyone can shoot out words of doubt, but it’s a special individual who can speak faith in an overwhelming situation. That’s a person who has taken inventory of the faithfulness of God.

If you’re taking a worrisome approach to life, step back to a place of faith. The position of the believer is to forgive, forget what is behind, and move forward. Surround yourself with testimonies. Say, “God, You’re faithful; You will see me through.” This is not naïve optimism but courage because we know that He has overcome the world (John 16:33). As you meditate on God’s faithfulness, “The peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7).

Remembering God’s goodness,
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. *The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition.

Daily Victory

Monday, November 14th, 2011

My son, give attention to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your sight; keep them in the midst of your heart. For they are life to those who find them, and health to all their body. Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life. Put away from you a deceitful mouth and put devious speech far from you. Let your eyes look directly ahead and let your gaze be fixed straight in front of you. Watch the path of your feet and all your ways will be established. Proverbs 4:20-26

The path toward daily victory lies in how we guard our inner life. A lot of things are vying for our attention and, with all the sensory reinforcement in the world, many have forgotten the hidden person of the heart. But how we tend to the soil of our hearts will show up in our words, our thought life, and our attitudes.

One way to guard your heart is to guard what comes out of your mouth: “If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is worthless” (James 1:26). When a bridle gets in a horse’s mouth, the horse can be turned by a simple maneuver. In the same way, if you control your tongue, your whole life will get in line. Bridling, though, is not always about being silent; sometimes it means boldly declaring the Word of God in the face of opposition by calling those things that be not as though they are (Romans 4:17).

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2

The heart is influenced by sensory gates, so we need to surround ourselves with the environment of the Word—what God says. Every time you read your Bible your mind is renewed. The Word is so powerful that meditating on it causes a change in your heart and in your life (Joshua 1:8).

God wants rivers of living water to flow out of you to reach a lost and dying world, so it is critical to keep your heart from things that would block the flow. Don’t back down from a daily commitment to guard your heart, bridle your tongue, and renew your mind in the Word. Those disciplines will equip you to obtain and maintain victory in every area.

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.

Staying Refreshed!

Monday, November 7th, 2011

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 © 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. *The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Copyright © 2009 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

The Huge Deal

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:31-32

This is the huge deal: God has called us to the royal law of love (James 2:8). Bitterness and unresolved anger give the devil an opportunity to keep us from moving forward: “Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity” (Ephesians 4:26-27). Thomas Jefferson wisely wrote: “When angry, count to ten before you speak. If very angry, count to one hundred.” Though there will be times when we become frustrated, we don’t have to let ourselves become controlled by anger; instead, we can choose to walk in love.

If we aren’t walking in love we are missing it. “Love is patient” (1 Corinthians 13:4a). Let’s remember how patient and longsuffering God is toward us and increase in our capacity to endure.

pa•tience n. “The capacity to endure hardship, difficulty, or inconvenience without complaint.” The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004.

Love is the catalytic qualifier for breakthrough and blessing. When you crucify your flesh and show mercy, it defiantly deadbolts the door to the enemy and activates a heightened move of the Holy Spirit in your life.

God has called us to this revolutionary idea of love, and we aren’t to misspend in strife the energies that are reserved for mountain-moving. The devil is trying to take you out because he doesn’t want you to fulfill your call. So guard your heart from offense and don’t let strife stop the flow of your fruitfulness. There is breakthrough ahead; don’t back down from the love walk!

Choose Love,
Pastor Jeff Perry
St. Louis Family Church®

Copyright © 2009 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.