Archive for March, 2018

How to Live for God

Friday, March 30th, 2018

Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He will do it. Psalm 37:3-5

1. KEEP A RECEPTIVE HEART. Think of our hearts as soil and the Word of God as seed. Jesus warns against rocky ground and says we must keep the soil of our hearts pliable. The condition of your heart will determine how the crop grows in your life.

2. CULTIVATE GROWTH. When you accept Jesus into your life, it’s important to take deliberate steps to let His truth take root in your heart so you can flourish and grow. Read the Bible, pray, go to church—all these things will help you mature in God and get rid of toxic thinking that tries to take root and choke your growth.

But the seed planted in the good earth represents those who hear the Word, embrace it, and produce a harvest beyond their wildest dreams. Mark 4:14-20 MSG

3. BEAR FRUIT. We are designed to be fruitful. Jesus allowed humanity to put the crown of thorns on His head and nail Him to the Cross so that the blessing of God could come into our lives. Because Jesus rose from the dead, you do not have to be driven by shame or guilt. Instead, God’s love can free you from sin and give you a fresh start today.

Happy Easter!
Pastor Jeff Perry
St. Louis Family Church®

To invite Jesus into your heart, pray this prayer:
God, I receive what You have for me. My heart is receptive. I hear the Word and accept it. 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 to be fruitful! Amen.

cul·ti·vate, verb
To break up (soil) in preparation for sowing or planting. To promote the growth of. To improve and prepare (land), as by plowing or fertilizing.

Copyright © 2018 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. “cultivate.” Oxford Dictionaries. Web. 27 Mar 2018 . The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Web. 27 March 2018. Scripture taken from The Message. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.

Action Steps to Open Doors

Friday, March 23rd, 2018

But I [Paul] will remain in Ephesus until Pentecost; for a wide door for effective service has opened to me, and there are many adversaries. 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 16:8-9, 13-14

1. TO GET STRONG SEEK GOD. “The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1b NKJV). Life is at its best when we walk with the Lord. In King David’s moments of challenge, he did not disengage or go on autopilot. Instead He “strengthened himself in the Lord his God” (1 Samuel 30:6). That God is our God and He is the same faithful, strengthening God for us today as he was for David.

2. TO INCREASE FAITH WALK IN LOVE. “For [if we are] in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but only faith activated and expressed and working through love” (Galatians 5:6 AMP). Faith works through love! That’s how people will know we are Christians – by our love for each other (John 13:35). Disagreements and arguments come, but we can’t go wrong if we lift up Jesus and cover one another in love.

3. TO BE READY RENEW YOUR HEART. “Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary” (Galatians 6:9). Lethargy and numbness can creep up and make us not ready for the doors God opens. That’s why we must continually renew our hearts through prayer, by getting in the Word, by taking time to encourage someone else, and by praising God.

Press on,
Pastor Jeff

DAILY CONFESSION: THE ARMOR OF GOD
I am strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. I put on the full armor of God, so that I will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. I stand my ground and put on the belt of truth and the breastplate of righteousness, and the shoes of the peace that comes from the Gospel. I take up the shield of faith with which I will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And I put on the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit – which is God’s Word. And I stay alert and persistent in my prayers for all believers everywhere and pray at all times in the Spirit (Ephesians 6:10-18).

ac·tion, noun
Organized activity to accomplish an objective. Habitual or vigorous activity; energy.

Copyright © 2018 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. The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Web. 20 March. 2018. Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Scripture taken from the Amplified Bible (AMP), Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.

Five Steps Toward Fruitfulness

Friday, March 16th, 2018

If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit. John 15:7-8a

2018 is a season of fruitfulness. As we fast and pray in the following weeks, here are five words that the Lord put on my heart to help us accomplish all He has called us to this year!

1. STRENGTHENING. Like King David did, we can strengthen ourselves in the Lord and receive His power for the next steps (1 Samuel 30:6). Throughout your day, continually reinforce God’s perspective in your heart through reading the Word or a devotional or by listening to a sermon podcast.

2. FULFILLMENT. The dictionary defines this as a “feeling of satisfaction at having achieved one’s desires.” When we finish one mission, there is always another ahead. That’s why it’s important to celebrate our accomplishments and breakthroughs by taking time to be thankful and rejoice in what God has done.

3. ACHIEVEMENT. While everyone loves big heroic deeds, it’s also the daily acts of obedience that change lives. So we get up and pray expecting results. We go to our jobs expecting God to move in the workplace. We pick up our kids from school, knowing God is in it.

4. PROSPERITY. God delights in the prosperity of His people (Psalm 35:27). It’s not something to be misunderstood or ashamed of. God gives seed to the sower, meaning we are called to take His provision and be givers to the world around us.

5. ABUNDANCE. Jesus came that we might have abundant life (John 10:10). God invites us into His abundance in every area of life. His provision is without restrictions or limitations – He wants our souls to flourish, our families to be full of life, and our finances to be healthy so that we can provide for ourselves and others.

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

DAILY CONFESSION:
I smile at the future because the joy of the Lord is my strength. The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped. Therefore my heart exults, and with my song I shall thank Him. God is able to make all grace abound to me, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, I may have an abundance for every good deed. (Proverbs 31:25; Nehemiah 8:10; Psalm 28:7; 2 Corinthians 9:8)

Copyright © 2018 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. “fulfillment.” Memidex Dictionary/Thesaurus. Web. 14 Mar 2018 . “fruitfulness.” Collins English Dictionary. Web. 14 Mar 2018 .

According to God’s Word

Friday, March 9th, 2018

“May it be done to me according to Your word.” Luke 1:38b

1. BELIEVE THE WORD. We can win in the fight of faith by getting our hearts in agreement with what God says. When God sent an angel to tell Mary of Jesus’ coming birth, she responded in faith saying, “Be it done to me according to your word” – a phrase repeated twelve times in Psalm 119. As a young Jewish woman, Mary would have studied the book of Psalms and known the importance of receiving God’s Word into her heart. We too must familiarize ourselves with what the Bible says and then meditate on it and ponder it repeatedly.

My soul cleaves to the dust; revive me according to Your word. Psalm 119:25

2. GET REVIVED IN THE WORD. When we’re in trouble and feel like we’re in the pits, we can get revived in God’s Word. God can give life to a soul or body that is stuck in the dust. “He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you” (Romans 8:11b). When we’ve been knocked down, God will help us to stand up, dust ourselves off, and fight the fight of faith!

3. PLANT SEEDS OF GOD’S WORD. The Word doesn’t return empty without accomplishing what it’s sent to do (Isaiah 55:11). I know the power of a seed sown because I am a product of someone telling me about Jesus. As we grab hold of this truth, the Word of God will go forth from this place and impact the nations. And I believe we will see a billion people come to the Lord.

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

DAILY CONFESSION:
May it be done to me according to God’s Word. It’s a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. I will keep my way pure according to the Word. I am revived, sustained, and strengthened according to the Word. God has dealt well with me, according to His Word! (Luke 1:38b; Psalm 119:105, 9, 25, 116, 28, 65)

ac·cord·ing to, prep.
In agreement or accord with. Consistent with; in conformity with. On the authority of.

Copyright © 2018 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. “according to.” Random House Unabridged Dictionary. Web. 7 Mar 2018 .

Let’s Prepare for Easter 2018!

Sunday, March 4th, 2018

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you. 1 Peter 1:3-4

I often refer to Easter as the New Year’s Day of the church. This is both a time for us to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection and what He has done in our lives and an opportunity for us to reach people with the Good News!

Here are some ways we can prepare.

1. PRAY FOR THE PEOPLE. As we approach Easter, let’s spend some time in prayer. Pray for the thousands of people who will come to the service on Good Friday, to the Egg Hunt on Saturday, and to Easter Sunday services. Pray for people you know and for the opportunity to invite them to church for Easter weekend. We are believing that people will get saved, rededicated to the Lord, delivered from oppression, and on fire for God!

2. INVITE OTHERS. Let’s stay open to the opportunities God has for us to invite others to church. Be bold to send the text, make the phone call, or ask a friend to come with you.

Your people will volunteer freely in the day of Your power. Psalm 110:3a

3. VOLUNTEER AT CHURCH. Easter weekend and the weeks leading up to it offer great opportunities to plug in and help at church! We will have a clean-up day to help the campus look fresh and inviting, or you can help at the Easter Egg Hunt or during the weekend services. Even if you can’t volunteer in this season, you are an ambassador wherever you go. When you come to church, smile and greet those around you. Believe God for the opportunity to bless someone—it could be life-changing for that person! God is moving in our time, and we get the opportunity to be part of it! So stay fresh in the Word and keep your heart open to what God wants to do through you!

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

WHAT WE ARE PRAYING FOR AS A CHURCH:
• The leadership of our nation.
• God’s strategy for our church to be revealed.
• Our church to be strong, obedient, and on fire.
• The children of the church—to succeed in life.
• Everyone’s needs to be met abundantly.

pre·pare, verb
To make ready beforehand for some purpose, use, or activity. To put in a proper state of mind.

Copyright © 2018 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. “prepare.” Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam- Webster, n.d. Web. 28 February 2018.