Archive for May, 2018

Serve and Give

Friday, May 18th, 2018

Whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant . . . just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many. Matthew 20:26b-28

1. SERVING IS FUN! These words of Jesus provide an example that is totally different from the selfish human framework we inherited from man’s fall — He came to serve. And through that, He altered the eternal course of humanity. We honor God when we help people (Matthew 5:16). When we abandon constant introspection and preoccupation with “me, me, me” and get out and serve others, we get refreshed. “A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed” (Proverbs 11:25 NIV).

And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed. Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness; you will be enriched in everything for all liberality, which through us is producing thanksgiving to God. 2 Corinthians 9:8, 10-11

2. HOW TO GIVE. Since we are made in the image of God, we are called to be givers like He is — liberal and generous. When we give, it remedies greed and self-centeredness. The Bible tells us to tithe (give ten percent) from our income to our local church (Leviticus 27:30; Matthew 23:23, Malachi 3:10). Giving in addition to a tithe is an offering, over and above our tithe. Additionally, when we give our money or goods to the poor this is called alms. It’s better to give than receive, but we do also receive! We reap when we sow. It’s a win-win situation.

3. SHOW LOVE. God wants to anoint your daily routine. Start praying on a daily basis: “Here I am, God, use me,” and let the Holy Spirit use you. The little things you do for people — a text, a thank you, a door held open, an extra tip, sharing the Gospel — are the big things. If we function in these little acts of love with the heart of a servant, we can create a revolution in our world.

It’s more blessed to give than receive!
Pastor Jeff Perry
St. Louis Family Church®

DAILY CONFESSION:
I get to be a blessing to people – I don’t just look out for my interests, but I look out for the interests of other people. God delights in the prosperity of His people. When I refresh others, I will be refreshed, and when I sow bountifully, I reap bountifully! (Philippians 2:4; Psalm 35:27; Proverbs 11:25; 2 Corinthians 9:6).

tithe, noun
A tenth part. A portion of one’s annual income contributed voluntarily . . . especially a contribution of one tenth of one’s income for the support of the church.

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. “tithe” The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Web. 15 May 2018. Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

The Equipping Power of Baptism

Friday, May 11th, 2018

Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.” Acts 2:38-39

The Early Church models what Christianity is to be in the 21st century. Those believers went into the upper room, they prayed, and came out changed. The disciple Peter used to be a denier of Jesus. But in one day he was filled with the Holy Spirit and led over 3,000 people to Jesus (Matthew 26:74; Acts 2:14-41). Through the power of the Holy Spirit, we have the same mission to make Jesus known!

WATER BAPTISM. Baptism is a significant moment in the life of a Christian. Being baptized in water is an outward expression of the inward change of new life in Jesus (Galatians 3:27). The old person you once were has passed away, and the new person you are in Christ is alive and well! For a believer, going under that water symbolizes the death of the old person you were before salvation. Coming up out of the water symbolizes rising up into new life in Jesus (Romans 6:4).

You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth. Acts 1:8

BAPTISM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT. Jesus promised that after He died and rose again, He would send us another Helper — the Holy Spirit. This promise of the Holy Spirit is for every person who receives Jesus as Savior. The baptism in the Holy Spirit is a separate event that happens after a person has become a Christian (John 20:22; Acts 1:5). It is a baptism of power and fullness (Acts 1:8). It gives us the ability to receive and function in the gifts of the Holy Spirit so that we can benefit the global Church and carry the message of Jesus Christ to the world (Luke 24:49; Mark 16:17).

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

PRAY THIS PRAYER (Based on Colossians 1:9-11):
I pray that I may be filled with the knowledge of God’s will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding so that I will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord and please Him in all respects: bearing fruit in every good work, increasing in the knowledge of God, and strengthened with all power. In Jesus’ Name, amen.

bap·tize, verb
To initiate. To cleanse or purify

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. “baptize” The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Web. 09 May 2018.

Why Church?

Friday, May 4th, 2018

And let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day [of Jesus’ return] drawing near. Hebrews 10:24-25

1. CHURCH IS GOD’S IDEA. When we study the Bible, we see people who experienced salvation through Jesus, and they had a real impact on the world. Throughout the book of Acts, the Early Church gathered together in unity before experiencing great acts of fruitfulness. They weren’t embracing a fancy philosophy; they found something with inherent, life-changing power.

2. WE GET EQUIPPED. God throws us all together with our porcupine quills to learn and grow together. Offenses will come – some deliberate, some unintentional – and they hurt. Yet, by the grace of God, we can forgive and move forward in love. When we maintain the simple, beneficial exercise of the Word, prayer, and staying in church, then we’ll grow strong in the Lord!

3. WE CAN SERVE OTHERS. Just as God anointed a group of people to spread the Gospel in the first century, God has appointed you and me to reach our world in the 21st century (Acts 17:26). As individuals, we’re meant to not only receive but also share our unique gifts, personalities, and abilities in order to strengthen and encourage each other and to accomplish much for the Kingdom of God.

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

DAILY CONFESSION:
I forgive others and maintain the love walk. I am intent on serving God and I consider how to encourage others to love and good deeds. I stay in church. For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in me will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 2:2, Hebrews 10:24-25, Philippians 1:6)

as·sem·bly, noun
A group of persons gathered together for a common reason. The putting together of manufactured parts to make a completed product.

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. “assembly” The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Web. 29 March. 2018.