Archive for December, 2017

Life in Jesus

Friday, December 29th, 2017

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. Psalm 91:1

LIVE DEEP. Have you ever noticed how your thought life can get bombarded with negativity? That’s why God invites us to study, ponder and meditate on His Word. I love to marinate foods, and the longer a steak is marinated, the more flavorful and tender it becomes. You and I are invited to soak in God’s presence and in His Word and let the truth go deep into our hearts.

This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success. Joshua 1:8

LIVE READY. Our culture has become skilled at restating the negative with very little inclination toward action to change. But what I see from the Scriptures is that God has called us as Christians to be His ambassadors; to be the forward presence of the Kingdom of God. Our responsibility is to make Jesus known. God has called us to bring real change, to be builders. He has called us out of apathy and basic survival into fruitfulness and freedom!

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

PRAY THIS PRAYER:
God, I thank You for giving us Your amazing Word as a lamp to our feet and a light to our path (Psalm 119:105). I thank You for Your mercy and Your strength; for Your wisdom and Your availability. You want to bring Your plans and purposes to pass through me. So I open up and trust You. Please guide me and show me the next steps of obedience. God, I pray 2018 will be the best year I’ve ever had – a year of accomplishment and fruitfulness; a year of abundance and blessing; a year of growth and progress; and a year of favor and protection in Jesus’ Name, amen!

med·i·tate, verb
To reflect upon; study, contemplate, etc. To plan or intend. To think deeply and continuously; reflect; muse.

Copyright © 2017 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. Used by permission. All rights reserved. “Meditate.” Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam- Webster, n.d. 20 December 2017.

Jesus Brings Freedom

Friday, December 22nd, 2017

For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6

1. THE FORETELLING. When humanity first sinned, it was promised that a Savior would come. God is really good at following through, and all the prophecies in the Bible have been or will be fulfilled. Hundreds of years before Jesus’ birth, Isaiah, the Hebrew prophet, foretold of a Messiah in such specific terminology that, as we read it today, it produces faith, gives us bearing, and shows us God’s plan.

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

2. THE FULFILLMENT. Jesus is called Immanuel—God with us—a name that underscores God’s desire to be present and involved in our lives. God set eternity in our hearts and we are hard-wired for a relationship with Him. Sin separates us from God, and the only way to be set free is to be forgiven and redeemed.

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. John 3:16

3. THE FOLLOW-THROUGH. God so loved the world that He gave Jesus. But there has to be an action on our part. However much someone intends to give you a gift, it sits idle unless you reach out and receive it. Call out to Jesus today—if you ask, you will receive; if you seek, you will find; if you knock, the door will be opened to you.

Merry Christmas!
Pastor Jeff Perry
St. Louis Family Church®

RECEIVE JESUS:
Dear God, in my heart I believe that Jesus truly is Your Son and that He died for my sins and rose from the dead. I repent for every time I have sinned. I accept Jesus into my life right now, to lead and guide me as my Lord. Thank You for saving me, and thank You that You have a great plan for my life! Amen.

Im·man·u·el, noun
Messiah. From Hebrew ‘immanu’el, literally: “with us is God.”

Copyright © 2017 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. Used by permission. All rights reserved. “Immanuel.” Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam- Webster, n.d. 20 December 2017.

The Path of God’s People

Friday, December 15th, 2017

But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, that shines brighter and brighter until the full day. Proverbs 4:18

When we allow the Holy Spirit to lead us, we can trust Him to take us from faith to faith, glory to glory, and strength to strength.

For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed, both springing from faith and leading to faith [disclosed in a way that awakens more faith]. Romans 1:17a AMP

1. FROM FAITH TO FAITH. God sent Jesus to rescue us—He came to seek and save that which was lost (Luke 19:10). When we believe and receive the Good News message of Jesus, we can go forward and grow into ever-increasing faith.

But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory. 2 Corinthians 3:18a

2. FROM GLORY TO GLORY. It’s easy to be negative, but when we focus on who Jesus is and what He has done for us on the Cross, we see the amazing transformation in our lives. Because of Jesus, you are now a new creature and a carrier of God’s presence (2 Corinthians 5:17).

How blessed is the man whose strength is in You . . . They go from strength to strength. Psalm 84:5-7a

3. FROM STRENGTH TO STRENGTH. The God of miracles from the Bible is undiminished and unchanged. He has designed you to travel on the pathway of His plan, and when God calls you to do things out of your comfort zone, the Holy Spirit is there to help! God gives strength and power to those who need it (Isaiah 40:29).

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

DAILY CONFESSION
I walk by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). I don’t waver in unbelief, but I grow strong in faith, giving glory to God (Romans 4:20). God is granting me, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man (Ephesians 3:16).

“Our weaknesses do not repel God; they attract Him. We may be hopeless, but the Spirit is God’s gift specially for the weak, to make up for our feebleness.” Reinhard Bonnke

Copyright © 2017 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. Used by permission. All rights reserved. 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. Bonnke, Reinhard. Holy Spirit: Are We Flammable or Fireproof? Christ for All Nations, 2017.

You’re Covered

Friday, December 8th, 2017

He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings you may seek refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark. Psalm 91:4

1. GOD’S PROTECTION. Though Psalm 91 was written for Israel thousands of years ago, it is just as pertinent for us today. The Bible informs our faith, shows us who God is, what He will do, and how His amazing provision covers us. God’s pinions (v.4) represent His arms which are your refuge and your shield. God has your back!

My arm also will strengthen him. Psalm 89:21b

2. GOD’S POWER. A person’s arm is often used in the Bible to symbolize spiritual strength and power. The arm of the Lord is revealed to those who believe (Isaiah 53:1). Believing in faith is a magnet that exponentially increases and improves our effectiveness (Ephesians 1:15-19). These symbols of arms and wings help us understand that God’s protection, His power, His provision, and His presence are available to each one of us who call out to Him.

The Lord has bared His holy arm in the sight of all the nations, that all the ends of the earth may see the salvation of our God. Isaiah 52:10

3. GOD’S PRESENCE. Jesus is the hope of the world. God is extending His arm of salvation, which is Jesus, to the whole world. One of the first who believed in the New Testament was Jesus’ own mother, Mary. She spoke in faith before Jesus was even born: “And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. He has done mighty deeds with His arm” (Luke 1:47, 51a). The devil works hard to get us to back away from inspiration and expectation. But God is calling us to stand up, believe Him, and fight in faith. He will cover us!

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

PRAY THIS PRAYER: Based on Ephesians 1:15-19
I pray that the Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory will give me a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him. I pray that the eyes of my heart will be enlightened so that I will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.

cov·er, verb
To guard from attack. To afford protection or security to. To make provision for.

Copyright © 2017 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. Used by permission. All rights reserved. “Cover.” Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam- Webster, n.d. 06 December 2017.

Ten Ways to Enjoy the Holidays

Friday, December 1st, 2017

From Pastors Jeff & Patsy
Be hospitable to one another without complaint. 1 Peter 4:9

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 Jesus 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. Put 40 bucks into Build-A-Bag.

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. Try to keep things light and encouraging. If things start going toxic, maybe change the subject.

5. PRAY AHEAD. Anticipate a situation and pray ahead. Don’t let the devil sabotage your contacts—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. It might help to talk this over with your family.

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. (Guys, it’s a documented, scientific fact that girls are attracted to husbands who help with the dishes.)

8. DON’T ABANDON HEALTHY HABITS. Take your vitamins, go for walks, and drink lots of water. Stay consistent with 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! Also, drive across town and go to a restaurant you normally don’t go to. Change things up a bit.

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! After all, it’s Jesus’ birthday! Woohoo!

God Bless You!
Pastors Jeff & Patsy Perry
St. Louis Family Church®

Copyright © 2017 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. Used by permission. All rights reserved.