Archive for January, 2014

Forgiveness & Freedom

Monday, January 27th, 2014

Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.” Matthew 18:21-22

After Peter asked about forgiveness, Jesus told a parable of a slave who owed
his master $7.5 billion dollars (by today’s standards). Instead of throwing him
into prison, “the lord of that slave felt compassion and released him and forgave
him the debt” (Matthew 18:27).

But the slave who had just been forgiven a HUGE debt threw a fellow slave into prison when he couldn’t repay $2,054. When the master found out about this, he said, “You wicked slave, I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. Should you not also have had mercy on your fellow slave, in the same way that I had mercy on you?” (Matthew 18:32-33).

Jesus is telling us to factor in how much He has forgiven us. Offenses will come—some deliberate, some unintentional—and they hurt. Yet, by the grace of God, we can forgive. Don’t be a doormat or gullible, but when you have compassion and you release and forgive someone, you are setting yourself free.

Pray this prayer:
“Father, I forgive even as You have forgiven me. I refuse to be skilled at
bitterness. I choose today to bear no resentment—to forgive those who have
despitefully used me. I thank You that the love of God is poured out in my heart
through the Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!”

Forgiveverb
1. To give up resentment against or stop wanting to punish (someone) for an
offense or fault; pardon. 2. To relent in being angry or in wishing to exact punishment for (an offense or fault). 3. To absolve from payment of (a debt, for example). –The American Heritage Dictionary

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

Copyright © 2014 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. “Forgive”- The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2013 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Web. 14 Jan. 2014.

Guard Your Heart

Sunday, January 19th, 2014

Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.
Proverbs 4:23

See No Evil. The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light (Matthew 6:22). In the Old Testament, King Saul and the people of Israel got incapacitated by fear because they gazed at their problem and only glanced at God (1 Samuel 17). To move ahead, we keep our eyes focused on God—not in denial of circumstances, but knowing that God is mightier than any problem we face.

Hear No Evil. And He [Jesus] was saying to them, “Take care what you listen to. By your standard of measure it will be measured to you; and more will be given you besides” (Mark 4:24). Your brain is not a trashcan. It’s designed to carry the amazing, golden Word of God. This doesn’t advocate naivety, but as you and I feast on the promises and provisions of Scripture from Genesis to Revelation, our standard changes to match God’s heart.

Speak No Evil. Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry, and He will say, “Here I am.” If you remove the yoke from your midst, the pointing of the finger and speaking wickedness (Isaiah 58:9). As we spend time fasting, murmuring is one of the things that hijack its effectiveness. It’s so easy and habit-forming to grumble. But when you put away the temptation to murmur, your fasting will take on a new dimension of breakthrough and you will be ready for God to lead you and use you for His purposes.

Pray this prayer:
“God, I know You’ve designed me for good works and I renew my determination to guard my heart so I can be alert and ready for the exploits You have for me. When You tell me to pray about something, I will pray. When You tell me to talk to someone, I will do it with boldness. Thank You for fruitfulness in 2014!”

Guard verb – To keep safe from harm or danger; protect; watch over. Dictionary.com Unabridged

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

Copyright © 2014 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. “Guard” Dictionary.com Unabridged Random House, Inc. Web. 13 Jan. 2014.

A Time to Seek the Lord

Monday, January 13th, 2014

“Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things,
which you do not know.” Jeremiah 33:3

“Call to Me” is the prelude to God’s promise to give us answers and understanding. Let’s get our hearts receptive so we are ready for the great and mighty things God has for us in 2014. As we seek God through His Word and prayer and fasting this month, here are four ways to help you study the Scriptures:

1. Approach the Bible reverently. We approach the Holy Bible with reverence, knowing it is God’s Word, living and active and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart (Hebrews 4:12).

2. Read the Bible prayerfully. When Billy Graham reads his Bible, this is the verse he prays: “Open my eyes, that I may behold wonderful things from Your law” (Psalm 119:18).

3. Learn to understand each aspect of the Bible. From beginning to end you’ll find Jesus on every page—from the law and history books to the prophets and the poetry to the gospels and the epistles. Every chapter of the Bible blends into a beautiful harmony.

4. Endeavor to apply God’s Word in all you do. A New Year’s resolution that’s better than losing inches off your waist is to get strengthened in your spirit and seek God’s way. When you meditate on the Word, when you call out to God, you will get wisdom beyond your experience, expertise, or age.

Pray this prayer:
“God, I dedicate this season to a fresh inclination toward Your priorities. I call upon You and pray You show me great and mighty things which I don’t know. Help me to shake off apathy and not be hijacked by the dailies of life. I pray for breakthrough in my career advancement, spiritual growth, and relationships. Help me to respond to 2014 as a radical, on-fire person. This year I will be more effective than ever before by the grace of God in the Name of Jesus!”

CALL - Hebrew: qara’.
To call out to . . . cry (for help) . . . preach, (make) proclaim (-ation), pronounce, publish, read, say. –Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible

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

Copyright © 2014 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. Footnote: Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible. Copyright 1890 by James Strong, Madison, N.J.

Security of Those Who Trust in the Lord

Monday, January 6th, 2014

1. Do not fret because of evildoers, be not envious toward wrongdoers. Psalm 37:1 One of the daily battles you and I face is conquering worry and pushing away the tendency to fret. Psalm 37 itemizes the trustworthiness of God. He promises security for those who trust in Him.

2. Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness. Psalm 37:3 God is the God of abundance. Instead of worrying, make your requests known to Him and let His peace flood your situation.

3. Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4 The joy of the Lord is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10). Let your life be defined by joy and delight.

4. Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He will do it. Psalm 37:5 God always wants to confer blessing on you and open doors of opportunity. When Jesus is number one in your life, your heart shifts to the place where you yearn for the things of God and His will. Pray the prayer of committal: “If it’s not You, God, let it pass. If it is You, bring it to pass.”

5. Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him. Psalm 37:7a We don’t have to enter into God’s gates with nervousness and worry, but instead we can rest and carry the conviction that God is going to see us through every time.

Daily Confession:
“I rejoice in the Lord always. I am anxious for nothing, but in everything with prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, I make my requests known to God. And the peace of God will guard my heart and mind in Christ Jesus. I think on whatever is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, and of good repute. If there is any excellence and anything worthy of praise, I will dwell on these things.” (Philippians 4:4-8)

se•cu•ri•ty, noun
The quality or state of being secure as: a: freedom from danger: safety. b: freedom from fear or anxiety. –Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Happy New Year!
Pastor Jeff Perry
St. Louis Family Church®

Copyright © 2014 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. Footnote: “Security” Merriam-Webster.com. Wed. 18 Dec. 2013.