Archive for October, 2013

First Love

Monday, October 28th, 2013

“First” – pro’-tos (Greek): The reason you went after it in the first place.

I know your deeds and your toil . . . and you have perseverance and have endured for My name’s sake, and have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first. . . Revelation 2:2-5a

1. Remember. This verse is a snapshot of how God reignited the church of Ephesus when they had grown cold in their first love. The Lord commends them for their endurance and hard work, but something else had happened—there had been a priority shift and self-reliance had set in. God is urging them to get back to the basics and remember the beginnings of their faith.

2. Repent. Repentance is a moment of commitment and change that prompts us toward healing, breakthrough, and progress. With the Ephesian church, the strategy of the devil was to dampen their fire and reduce their effectiveness. If you’ve let worries, cares, or dead works choke your love and devotion to God, simply repent. God wants to help you rekindle the fire in your heart.

For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. Galatians 6:8

3. Do. Sow to the spirit by developing your spiritual life—pray in the Spirit, spend time in God’s Word, and worship Him. Get up tomorrow morning and choose to put Jesus first. Spend time talking to Him. When we remember it’s all about Jesus, and we repent for letting other distractions hinder that first love, God will help us restore our connection with Him so we can stay effective and on fire our entire lives!

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

Copyright © 2013 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.

Be Assured

Monday, October 21st, 2013

Remember this, and be assured…Remember the former things long past…I am God, and there is no one like Me, declaring the end from the beginning…saying “My purpose will be established, and I will accomplish all My good pleasure.” Isaiah 46:8-10

Be assured by God’s Word. Assurance is a settled trust in God’s faithfulness, and it is a byproduct of biblical remembrance. When things are bewildering, go to what is clarifying. Instead of obsessing about things you can’t figure out, go back to the Bible’s amazing ancient truths to build your faith.

Be assured by God’s grace.
Sin is a terrible disease that causes eternal separation from God. It’s a breach that cannot be spanned except through Jesus Christ. But be assured! Because of Jesus we have the free gift of righteousness, and “if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9).

Be assured by God’s faithfulness. In the Book of Lamentations the author starts out focusing on the bad: “Remember my affliction…surely my soul remembers and is bowed down within me,” but he soon switches over to remembering God’s faithfulness, which completely changes his outlook to one of hope (Lamentations 3:19-20).

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

With all the variables in the world demanding your attention and time, you must choose what to focus on. Deliberately look at the biblical accounts of past miracles and take the time to itemize and jot down some of the cool stuff God has done in your life. Your confidence will grow, your purpose will be renewed, and your joy will increase.

I shall remember the deeds of the Lord; surely I will remember Your wonders of old. I will meditate on all Your work and muse on Your deeds. Psalm 77:11-12

There is no one like God!
Pastor Jeff Perry
St. Louis Family Church®

Copyright © 2013 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 Remembering

Monday, October 14th, 2013

This is now, beloved, the second letter I am writing to you in which I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, that you should remember the words spoken beforehand by the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior spoken by your apostles. 2 Peter 3:1-2

The Apostle Peter wrote to the Early Church to stir up their minds by reminding them of the words spoken by the prophets of the past and by the apostles. He wanted them to avoid having spiritual amnesia, where they experience the richness of God but then immediately look away from the mirror of the Word and forget what kind of people they really are (James 1:23-24). God wants us to keep looking into the Word, keep poring over its pages, and keep remembering.

But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does. James 1:25

When you are cooking and something on the stove starts to spill over, you can stir down the boil to calm it down. If things are getting frenetic in life, you can go to the Word of God and “stir down the boil.” Stir down fear and anxiety by stirring up your heart and your mind in remembrance. Draw near to God and speak His Word.

We aren’t idealists who gloss over reality. But, because of Jesus, we are more than conquerors (Romans 8:37). Because of Jesus, we can have a victorious present and a breathtaking future. Keep going back to the mirror of God’s Word to remind yourself who you are and what you have through Jesus. He is available to help you right now.

Draw near to God,
Pastor Jeff Perry
St. Louis Family Church®

Copyright © 2013 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.

Pay Attention

Monday, October 7th, 2013

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. Proverbs 4:20-23

Guard your heart. When we enter the secret place with God, we obtain strength, direction, and refreshing (Psalm 91:1 NKJV). But the strategy of the devil is to provide weapons of mass distraction that pull us away from attention to God’s Word. That’s why we must stay attentive—to guard our hearts and to keep life’s distractions from choking out the fruitfulness of the Word.

But the worries of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. Mark 4:19

Stay thankful. Take time to consider how rich, how amazing, and how wonderful redemption is. Unfortunately, on the way to the Promised Land, the Israelites let their discouragement lead them into trouble. They even complained about the heavenly food God provided for them, saying, “We loathe this miserable food” (Numbers 21:4-5). So savor all that Jesus has provided. A thankful heart will strengthen you and enable you to fend off discouragement.

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget none of His benefits. Psalm 103:2

Attend to the Word. Whatever distraction you’ve been dealing with, commit to refocusing your heart on the Word of God. If you ask Jesus to help you in your walk, He will help you. Take hold of the promises of God and continue to move forward—keeping your eyes on Jesus and staying activated for God’s purposes for your life.

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

Copyright © 2013 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.