Archive for December, 2013

Advancing Into the New Year

Monday, December 30th, 2013

For it is God Himself whose power creates within you the desire to do His gracious will and also brings about the accomplishment of the desire. Philippians 2:13 WNT

Power. God wants to give you both the desire and the power to accomplish all that you need to do in 2014.

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV

Love. Love is the atmosphere that will make the success of our lives happen. We’re at our best when we’re carrying tidings of comfort and joy.

Sound Mind. Stir yourself up by way of reminder (2 Peter 3:1). Take some time to study the Scriptures. They will show you who you are in Christ. As you realize that God is with you and the Holy Spirit dwells in you (1 Corinthians 6:19), insecurity gets overturned. You’ll get free from fear and go forward gladly and unafraid into the New Year.

Daily Confession:
“Jesus lives big on the inside of me. God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind. I carry the presence of God everywhere I go. It is not I who live but Christ in me (Galatians 2:20). I go forward boldly into all God has for me this year. I will not back down or let anything keep me from the plans and purposes of God.”

Happy New Year!
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. Weymouth New Testament in Modern Speech. Third Edition 1913. Public Domain. Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Jesus—God With Us

Monday, December 23rd, 2013

Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14

A few thousand years ago the Hebrew prophet Isaiah foretold the birth of the Rescuer who would come and save us. Jesus did come. Fully God and fully man, He shouldered all the sins of humanity and gave His life as a ransom. When you think of Christmas, don’t just think of baby Jesus in the manger—let your view expand to the whole plan of redemption.

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. John 3:16-17

If you haven’t made Jesus the Lord of your life, make this Christmas the most significant transition into the New Year you’ve ever had. Respond to and receive Jesus. He’s the Messiah to the Jews, Savior to the Gentiles, Redeemer to every nation and every tribe, and Rescuer to you. The only requirement is to sincerely repent and simply acknowledge and confess Him as your Lord.

Pray this prayer:
“Jesus, I open the door of my heart. Come into my life, forgive all my sins, and give me a brand new start. I confess You as my Lord and Savior. Make my heart Your home, Jesus. Let joy push out sluggishness and hope replace bleakness. You are the God who saves, heals, and protects. Instill in me a fresh sense of vision and purpose. Let 2014 be a tremendous year in my life. I ask this in Jesus’ Name. Amen.”

IMMANUEL
Hebrew `Immanuw’el. “with us (is) God”
–Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible

Joy to the world, the Lord is come! Merry Christmas!
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.

Ten Ways To Enjoy The Holidays

Monday, December 16th, 2013

But Martha was distracted with all her preparations . . . But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:40-42

1. Acknowledge your feelings. We love the beauty and togetherness of the holidays, but this time of year can also bring up feelings of loss and lack. Understand you are human, and keep everything in perspective. Lift your eyes to the Rescuer who came to push aside the darkness and set us free from sin.

2. Reach out. Look for fun opportunities to bless others, and deny self-pity this season! Every day make someone’s life brighter. Volunteer. Slip extra money to somebody. Buy someone’s meal at a restaurant.

3. Be realistic. Don’t over-idealize this season—it’s expensive and busy. If you don’t get something done, just say, “Oh well, there’s always next year!”

4. Set aside differences. This is not the time to tackle dysfunctional weirdness or sophisticated family issues that are floating around in your life. Bathe circumstances in prayer, walk in love, and express kindness.

5. Pray ahead. Anticipate a situation and pray ahead. Don’t let the devil sabotage your appointments—stay in a place where God can use you.

6. Stick to a budget. The worth of your holidays is not determined by how much you spend. Evaluate your spending and give yourself permission to make meaningful adjustments.

7. Learn to say no. The best gift you can give to others is a healthy you. Learn how to delegate and let others help you.

8. Don’t abandon healthy habits. Take your vitamins, go for walks, and drink lots of water. Stay tucked into the Word of God and continue praying.

9. Take a breather. Do something that you enjoy. If you don’t feel like you have time for a break, lie down and pray about whatever task is at hand—you’ll be productive and you’ll rest your body!

10. Laugh more. Complain less! You only get one December in a year, so stop and enjoy the beauty of the lights. Step outside and breathe in the winter air. Enjoy family and friends. We pray that this will be the best holiday season you’ve ever had—full of joy and buoyancy!

Merry Christmas!
Pastors Jeff & Patsy Perry
St. Louis Family Church®

Ten points paraphrased from “Stress, Depression And The Holidays: Tips for Coping” by Mayo Clinic Staff.

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. 1998-2013 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER) All rights reserved. Mayoclinic.com.

Faith & Love

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

For [if we are] in Christ Jesus, neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith activated and energized and expressed and working through love. Galatians 5:6 AMP

Faith works through love. Just as oil prevents friction and causes things to flow in a car, operating in love will help your faith to operate. The love of God will cause you to go from good to great to breakthrough.

When love becomes the driving motive in our lives, the atmosphere around us becomes charged with increased potential for higher effectiveness. Why? Because even Jesus was “moved with compassion” (Mark 1:41). He only did what He saw His Father doing. As we learn to yield to those heart promptings, results will take place.

If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 1 Corinthians 13:1

We are able to love because God first loved us (1 John 4:19). The next few weeks, discipline yourself to meditate on the love of God. It takes courage to crucify that Ebenezer Scrooge grumpiness and get over in a place where you are choosing love. But the results of answered prayer, healthy relationships, and breakthrough are worth it!

Pray this prayer:
“Here am I, Lord. I commit my heart today. Today, God, I bridle my tongue. I’m not going to let bitterness or hurt fester. I don’t want any blessing blockers in my heart. Today I forgive. Help me, God, to be kind to others at home, at my job, out in public. Help me to be consistent and to grow with ever-increasing faith and love. I love You, Jesus!”

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

Love (verb)
In short, we love whatever gives us pleasure and delight…and if our hearts are right, we love God above all things, as the sum of all excellence and all the attributes which can communicate happiness to intelligent beings. –Excerpt from the 1828 Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary

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. Scripture quotations marked “AMP” 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. “Love.” webstersdictionary1828.com. Web. 04 Dec. 2013.

Walking Humbly With God

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time. 1 Peter 5:6

Fulfillment. In God, exaltation means identifying and fulfilling that place where God has called you to walk. For each one of us it’s different. Don’t get hijacked by an obsession for self-fulfillment. Jesus found His highest joys in doing what God wanted Him to do (John 4:34 NLT). Give your efforts to God and say, “Not my will but Yours be done.”

Then Jesus explained: “My nourishment comes from doing the will of God, who sent me, and from finishing his work.” John 4:34 NLT

The Big Deal. Seek God by getting up in the morning and starting with something other than just TV talk shows, music, or social media. Fill your sails with a fresh awareness of Jesus. “In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:6).

Timing. God has beautiful timing. As you trust Him, He’ll take your present circumstances and use them as building blocks for your tomorrow. Someday you’ll look back and realize how seemingly insignificant moments were actually turning points in your life. Be kind, be thankful, love people, and pray. Don’t value the distorted agenda of the world. Your real validation comes from simply obeying God and doing what He calls you to do.

Daily Confession:
I humble myself before God and in due time He will exalt me. What the enemy means for harm, God turns around for good in my life because I love God and am called according to His purpose. All the past sin or present feeling of dysfunction is covered by the blood of Jesus. I am a standard bearer of excellence everywhere I go. I do my work heartily unto the Lord and trust that I walk out His perfect timing in every area of my life.

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

Hum•ble (adj.) – not proud or haughty; not arrogant or assertive. reflecting, expressing, or offered in a spirit of deference or submission. –Merriam Webster Dictionary

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. Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996, 2004. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. “Humble.” Merriam-Webster.com. Web. 25 Nov. 2013.