Archive for July, 2015

Simplicity and Purity of Devotion to Jesus

Friday, July 31st, 2015

Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 18:3-4

Childlike Faith. The greatest in God’s Kingdom is the person who humbles himself, and becomes not childish but childlike. The Scriptures say that Jesus increased in wisdom and stature (Luke 2:52), but He still maintained complete reliance on God, only doing what He saw His Father doing (John 5:19). The fruitfulness of our future depends on staying reliant on and sensitive to the voice of the Holy Spirit.

But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ. 2 Corinthians 11:3

Fellowship with God. You are the greatest threat to the devil when you enjoy sweet fellowship with God. When the devil deceived Adam and Eve, he convinced Eve that God was holding out on her, and a great breach took place (Genesis 3). Paul warned the Corinthian church not to get deceived and be led astray from simple and pure devotion to Christ.

Where Are You? Jesus came to restore what was lost. Just like God called out to Adam and Eve in the garden when they hid from Him, God is calling out to us, “Where are you?” (Genesis 3:9). Jesus’ voice is described as the sound of many waters (Revelation 1:15b). When you listen to the roar of a waterfall, a Missouri thunderstorm, or the clapping of waves, think about God’s deep, rich, profound voice calling out to you. Wherever you are, draw near to Him and let your life be changed by the simplicity and purity of devotion to Jesus.

Daily Confession
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13). I walk in joy, love, and peace (Galatians 5:22). God’s grace is sufficient to see me through at every turn (2 Corinthians 12:9). Though my outer man perishes, my inner man is being renewed day by day (2 Corinthians 4:16). Surely goodness and mercy are following me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever (Psalm 23:6).

Sim·pilic·i·ty, noun
The quality of being easy to understand or use. The state of being simple, uncomplicated, or uncompounded. Freedom from pretense or guile. Directness of expression.

God Bless You,
Pastor Jeff Perry
St. Louis Family Church®

Copyright © 2015 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. “Simplicity.” Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 29 July 2015.

The Greatness of Humility

Friday, July 24th, 2015

At that time the disciples came to Jesus and said, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And He called a child to Himself and set him before them, and said, “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:1-4

1. Who Is the Greatest? This question is posed in a setting where so many civilized empires had come and gone. The great sophistication of the Egyptian civilization had already been expressed. The power of the Roman Empire was expanding. Because of Alexander the Great, Greek culture had spread throughout the known world. But when asked about the greatest, the best, the highest, Jesus calls over a child and tells the disciples to become like children. Greatness and significance are found in the place of continually humbling yourself and cultivating a childlike spirit.

For You are my hope; O Lord God, You are my confidence from my youth. By You I have been sustained from my birth; You are He who took me from my mother’s womb; my praise is continually of You. Psalm 71:5-6

2. To Know Him Is to Love Him. A child who has good parents never wonders if they are going to follow through. God is the Father you can rely on completely. You can have a childlike hope and expectancy that God is going to completely take care of you.

Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord. Acts 3:19

3. Be Renewed Every Day. You can become childlike again. First, repent and surrender to Jesus. After that, there are daily opportunities to humble yourself and get your mind renewed. You can choose to go out into the world sour and harsh or to become refreshed. Get in the Word, spend time with Jesus, and trust Him for times of refreshing.

Pray This Prayer:
God, You are great and do wondrous things! You alone are God (Psalm 86:10). Restore to me the joy of Your salvation (Psalm 51:12). Help me to approach the future with childlike faith and expectancy knowing that You, God, are working all things out for my good (Romans 8:28). I love You, Jesus! Amen.

“Ah, but I was so much older then.
I’m younger than that now.” — Bob Dylan

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

Copyright © 2015 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.

Master of the Breakthrough

Saturday, July 18th, 2015

Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:12

Overcoming Depression. If you feel burdened by worries and cares, God wants to lift the load and set you free. Depression can weigh you down and prevent you from expression and advancement. Thanks to the honesty of the Apostle Paul, we see a man who was weighed down both by conflicts without and fears within, but he looked to God and found his deliverance.

For we would not have you ignorant, brethren, concerning our affliction which befell us in Asia, that we were weighed down exceedingly, beyond our power, insomuch that we despaired even of life. 2 Corinthians 1:8

Comfort Others. Even when you’re in the middle of a personal battle, you can be used by God to alleviate the suffering of others. And, when you refresh others, you will actually get refreshed yourself (Proverbs 11:25).

For even when we came into Macedonia our flesh had no rest, but we were afflicted on every side: conflicts without, fears within. But God, who comforts the depressed, comforted us by the coming of Titus. 2 Corinthians 7:5-7

I Press On. Depression is designed to keep you from progressing. “I press on” is intentionally choosing to move forward. Don’t trust in yourself; instead, trust in God who raises the dead. Draw near to the Master of the breakthrough. Put your hope in Him—He has delivered you, is delivering you, and will yet deliver you (1 Corinthians 1:9-10).

Pray this Prayer:
God, Your Word says that You comfort the depressed. I thank You that You comfort me in my affliction so that I am able to comfort others with the same comfort in their afflictions (2 Corinthians 1:3-4). I thank You that You have given me abundant life (John 10:10). I put my hope in You. You are Master of the breakthrough and I thank You for deliverance! I praise You, Jesus! I love You! Amen.

The best is yet to come,
Pastor Jeff Perry
St. Louis Family Church®

Copyright © 2015 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. “depress.” Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House, Inc. 14 Jul. 2015. Dictionary.com.

Desperate Faith

Friday, July 10th, 2015

One of the synagogue officials named Jairus came up, and on seeing Him, fell at His feet and implored Him earnestly, saying, “My little daughter is at the point of death; please come and lay Your hands on her, so that she will get well and live.” Mark 5:22-23

Jesus is available. This powerful story shows a man of great prominence and authority willing to humble himself—even to the point of falling at Jesus’ feet in the middle of a large crowd—and Jesus was ready and willing to respond to the man’s request. At any given moment, in an emergency situation or in the daily grind of life, we all need Jesus. And He will answer when we call.

Jesus is all-sufficient. While Jesus was on the way to heal Jairus’ daughter, a woman touched the hem of His robe. Not only did Jesus heal that woman, but when He got to Jairus’ house, He spoke to the little girl and she rose from the dead! God is not limited to one miracle — His power is unlimited. He is able to meet ALL your needs (Philippians 4:19).

A woman who had had a hemorrhage for twelve years … after hearing about Jesus, she came up in the crowd behind Him and touched His cloak. For she thought, “If I just touch His garments, I will get well.” Immediately the flow of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction. Mark 5:25-29

Jesus offers results. Jairus and the woman with the hemorrhage got breathtaking results. You can take your kids to the Lord just like Jairus took his daughter’s need to Jesus. At any point with any issue—you don’t have to wait for an emergency—you can throw yourself at Jesus’ feet and be assured He’s going to be willing and able to see you through.

Daily Confession:
I love You, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies (Psalm 18:1-3).

des•per•ate, adj.
Showing a willingness to take any risk in order to change a bad or dangerous situation

I love Jesus,
Pastor Jeff Perry
St. Louis Family Church®

Copyright © 2015 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. “Desperate.” dictionary.cambridge.org. Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary. n.d Web. 06 July 2015.

Steps to Effectiveness

Saturday, July 4th, 2015

Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love. 1 Corinthians 16:13-14

These five actions from the Apostle Paul give us an amazing scriptural to-do list that can enable us to be effective all the way through our lives.

1. Be on the Alert. We are called to keep watch and stay alert and always ready for what God wants to tell us (Habakkuk 2:1). This doesn’t mean we are to be anxious, but instead we’re to be distraction-free and ready to pray and act as the Holy Spirit leads.

2. Stand Firm. “Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil” (Ephesians 6:11). Study Ephesians 6 to understand what the armor of God is and why you should wear it every day.

3. Act Like Men. God is telling both men and women to be courageous and act
(1 Chronicles 28:10). Be determined to not only start, but also to follow through and complete God’s plan for your life.

4. Be Strong. We go to God to find our strength because He is all-sufficient and His strength never runs out. “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength
of His might” (Ephesians 6:10).

5. Do All in Love. Saturate the four other actions in love. We don’t battle against natural things but against spiritual forces (Ephesians 6:12). So let God’s love be the beginning and the end of everything you do.

Daily Confession
I am steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing my toil is not in vain in the Lord (1 Corinthians 15:58).

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

a·lert, adjective
Watchful and prompt to meet danger or emergency. Quick to perceive and act.

Copyright © 2015 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. “Alert.” Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 29 June 2015.