Archive for the ‘Holidays’ Category

Four Ways to Bring Life This Christmas

Friday, December 14th, 2018

The righteous man will flourish like the palm tree, he will grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Planted in the house of the Lord, they will flourish in the courts of our God. They will still yield fruit in old age; they shall be full of sap and very green. Psalm 92:12-14

1. ASK FOR WISDOM. Wisdom “is a tree of life to those who take hold of her” (Proverbs 3:18). You can ask God and He will give you the wisdom you need for all the complexities of life: how to raise your kids, how to deal and cope with the fast-paced nature of change, and how to excel in your job.

2. WIN SOULS. “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who is wise wins souls” (Proverbs 11:30). Because of Jesus we are made righteous before God. But it’s not just for you. You are created to be productive and fruitful, to win souls. When you walk with God, you become a carrier of the anointing of the Holy Spirit.

3. BRING HOPE. “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but desire fulfilled is a tree of life” (Proverbs 13:12). This Christmas, look for ways to bring a boost to the people around you. You might be the answer to someone’s prayers. If you have desires in your life that seem delayed, resist discouragement and commit to stand on the promises of God until you see them fulfilled.

A soothing tongue is a tree of life, but perversion in it crushes the spirit. Proverbs 15:4

4. SPEAK SOOTHING WORDS. “The tongue of the wise brings healing” and “sweetness of speech increases persuasiveness” (Proverbs 12:18, 16:21) We’ve all found that it’s often not only what we say but how we say it. Remember, your words are powerful, and you can be a carrier of life and peace wherever you go!

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

PRAY THIS PRAYER (BASED ON EPHESIANS 1:17-19):
God, I pray that You will give to me a spirit of wisdom and revelation into the knowledge of You. I ask that the eyes of my understanding may be enlightened that I may know the hope of my calling and the riches of the glory of the inheritance in the saints and what is the surpassing greatness of Your power towards those who believe. Thank You, Jesus. I love You!

flour·ish, verb
To grow well or luxuriantly; thrive. To do or fare well; prosper. To be in a period of highest productivity, excellence, or influence

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. “flourish.” American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 4th edition. Web. 11 Dec 2018 http://www.yourdictionary.com/flourish.

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.

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.

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.

TRIUMPH

Friday, April 14th, 2017

But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. 2 Corinthians 2:14

LIFE TRIUMPHS OVER DEATH. When Jesus died on the Cross, everything looked like a failure. But when He rose from the dead, it turned into victory over death and sin! Whatever you have been through, however you have messed up, Jesus wants to forgive your sins, give you a fresh start, and lead you in triumph.

But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved). Ephesians 2:4-5

MERCY TRIUMPHS OVER JUDGMENT. God loves you not on the basis of your good deeds, but because of His mercy (Titus 3:5). He loves you completely, and nothing can separate you from His love (Romans 8:38-39). Let this become a year of triumph for you. If you’ve let your heart grow cold, draw near to God and He’ll give you a fresh hunger for truth. If you’ve never asked Jesus to be your Savior, call out to Him now.

When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him. Colossians 2:13-15

PRAYER TRIUMPHS OVER OUR CIRCUMSTANCES. God, thank You for sending Jesus to set me free. I know He is Your Son and that He died for me and rose from the dead. Forgive me for all my sins. I receive Jesus into my life right now. God, I give my life to You. Amen.

TRIUMPH!
Pastor Jeff Perry
St. Louis Family Church®
HAPPY EASTER!

tri·umph, noun
A significant success or noteworthy achievement; instance or occasion of victory. Exultation resulting from victory; joy over success.

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. “Triumph.” Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House, Inc. 15 Feb. 2015. Dictionary.com.

Let’s Get Ready for Easter

Friday, April 7th, 2017

Most of the crowd spread their coats in the road, and others were cutting branches from the trees and spreading them in the road. The crowds going ahead of Him [Jesus], and those who followed, were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David; Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest!” Matthew 21:8-9

1. HONOR JESUS. Jesus is the Messiah and He fulfilled every prophecy about Himself, and someday soon Jesus is going to come back. In the meantime, we are to exalt and acknowledge Him. And just like the crowds cried out “Hosanna!” (“Save us!”) when Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, we are also coming into a time when our city, our nation, and our world will be stirred to ask for God’s salvation.

2. PREPARE IN PRAYER. As we approach Easter, let’s spend some time in prayer. Pray for the thousands of people who will come to our campus on Good Friday, on Saturday for the Easter Egg Hunt, and on Easter Sunday. 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!

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.

Get Ready!
Pastor Jeff 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.

Three Reasons to Rejoice This Christmas

Friday, December 23rd, 2016

But as for me, the nearness of God is my good. Psalm 73:28a

1. GOD IS WITH YOU. God’s presence changes everything. In the Bible Gideon was called to lead his people out of oppression, but he was a reluctant warrior who was in a rough place. When God sent an angel, Gideon argued with him asking, “Why has all this happened to us?” (Judges 6:13). God responded: “Go in this your strength and deliver Israel . . . Have I not sent you? . . . Surely I will be with you” (Judges 6:14, 16a).

2. GOD IS GUIDING YOU. As we close out the year, God is saying, “The Lord is with you, oh valiant warrior” (Judges 6:12). Like Gideon, we may feel depleted, we may be in a bad situation, we may feel weak—but God sees us differently than we see ourselves. And when we step out in obedience and in faith, amazing victories can happen. Take time to seek God—with Him at your side you will not be shaken (Psalm 16:8).

“I, even I, am the one who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake, and I will not remember your sins.” Isaiah 43:25

3. GOD IS FOR YOU. The only answer is Jesus. He is the hope for our country: the cities, the suburbs, the rural areas. He is the hope for every nation. When you are facing challenges, remember that God is for you (Romans 8:31). When you sin, repent. He wants you to succeed and be fruitful more than you do. So walk into the future with the strength of knowing God is with you, He is guiding you, and He is for you. With Him you can get through anything!

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

PRAY THIS PRAYER
Jesus, I give You my heart today. Be the Lord of my life. I repent for all my sins and ask You to forgive me. Help me to press past worry, fear, and discouragement and walk into Your big, beautiful plan for my life. I dedicate my life to serving You all of my days. Amen!

Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Listen carefully, the virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and she will call his name Immanuel (God with us). Isaiah 7:14 AMP

Copyright © 2016 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. Scripture quotations marked “The Amplified Bible” are taken from The Amplified Bible, Old Testament copyright 1965, 1987 by the Zondervan Corporation. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

LIFE!

Friday, March 25th, 2016

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” John 14:6

LIFE IS FOUND IN JESUS. Jesus is the greatest friend we will ever have—we can run to Him in time of need. He is not just part of a myriad of religious concepts in a pluralistic, relativistic world. He is the way, the truth, and the life, and He loves us so much that He took our sin upon Him when He died on the Cross.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I [Jesus] came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. John 10:10

LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL. God wants to give you the gift of an abundant life. When you accept Jesus as your Savior, you are invited to a life spent loving and connecting with Him—it’s the answer to every search for fulfillment.

Happy Easter – God loves you!
Pastor Jeff Perry
St. Louis Family Church®

PRAY THIS PRAYER:
God I need You. I open my heart wide to You. I repent for my sin and I ask for Your forgiveness and mercy to come into my heart. I receive Jesus as my Savior. Thank You for new life! In Jesus’ Name, amen!

life, noun
That which imparts or excites spirit or vigor; that upon which enjoyment or success depends.

Copyright © 2016 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. “Life.” Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913).

Jesus Is the Light

Friday, December 25th, 2015

In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name. John 1:4-5, 12

1. RECEIVE THE LIGHT. For God so loved the world that He gave Jesus. Two thousand years ago, Mary and Joseph were looking for a place where they could deliver their Baby. Today, Jesus is looking for people who will open their hearts and welcome Him in. That’s when the miracle of salvation takes place.

Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the Light of life.” John 8:12

2. WALK IN THE LIGHT. With Jesus, we can walk in the light and see things more clearly than ever before. Read your Bible to find out who God is, what He has done for you through Jesus, and who you are in Christ.

You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:14, 16

3. BE A LIGHT. This Christmas, God wants to rekindle the fire in your heart. If you’ve let worries, cares, or sin choke your love and devotion to God, simply repent. God will take your tiny fire, pour fuel on it, and set your spirit ablaze to radiate His light to others.

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

PRAY THIS PRAYER
I receive You, Jesus, as my Savior and Lord. Help me to walk in the light in a manner worth of You. I pray You do abundantly beyond all that I can ask or think according to Your great power (Ephesians 3:20). I love You, Jesus. Amen!

Light, noun
Something that makes vision possible. A source of light. Spiritual illumination.

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. “Light.” Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. 19 Dec 2015.

Five Reasons to Rejoice This Christmas

Friday, December 18th, 2015

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. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. John 3:16-17

1. HE IS HERE. The good news of Jesus can change everything in a moment. When a Pharisee named Nicodemus asked Jesus how to be born again, Jesus replied with words that resound through time: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son…”

2. IT IS MADE CLEAR. Jesus came to replace confusion with peace, doubt with clarity. While He was on earth, He fulfilled every prophecy about the coming of the Messiah. Then at age 33, He laid down His life to redeem us and bring us back into closeness with God.

3. YOU ARE DEAR. You are of great value to God. God loved the world so dearly that He was willing to pay the price and ransom us from sin and death.

4. YOU DON’T NEED TO FEAR. On the night of Jesus’ birth, angels appeared to the shepherds in the fields and said, “Do not be afraid.” And because of Jesus’ sacrifice, we don’t have to live in constant dread and apprehension. Jesus came with good news and great joy for all people (Luke 2:10).

5. YOU CAN DRAW NEAR. Sin, disappointment, and our own failures can weaken our faith, but when we draw near to God and get into His Word, we can get strengthened (Isaiah 40:31; Romans 10:17). God is offering you hope and radical change—draw near to Him today.

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

PRAY THIS PRAYER
Dear Heavenly Father, I open my heart wide to You. I ask for Your forgiveness and mercy to come into my heart and my home. I receive Jesus as my Lord and King. Heal the relationships around me. I pray this will be the best Christmas that I’ve ever had. I pray blessing on our city, our country, and our world. Thank you for new beginnings! In Jesus’ Name, amen!

Dear, adjective
Loved and cherished. Greatly valued; precious. Highly esteemed or regarded.

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. “Dear.” The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2015 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.