Archive for the ‘seeking God’ Category

The Pursuit

Monday, February 24th, 2014

Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace,
with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. 2 Timothy 2:22

Pursue God. A relationship with God is worthy of all your faith, interest, and passion. Jesus tells us that if you seek first the things of God, the things you need will be added to you (Matthew 6:25-34). If you search for God, you’ll find Him.

Pursue People. Your pursuit of God benefits you, but it also pays off for others. As you truly walk with God, it’s noticeable because people are yearning for something authentic and real on which they can base their lives. Sometimes it’s just the lowliest gesture, a seemingly insignificant act of love that changes a life.

Pursue Perseverance. God has begun a good work in you and He will complete it. If you know Jesus, then you have a life of faith with God in Christ and you have the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. You have God’s Word as a lamp to your feet and a light to your path (Psalm 119:5). Heaven is cheering you on!

Daily Confession
Based on Psalm 34
I bless the Lord at all times; His praise is continually in my mouth. I keep my tongue from evil and pursue peace. I seek the Lord, and He answers me and delivers me from all my fears. I look to Jesus and am radiant and never ashamed. When I cry out the Lord hears me and delivers me out of all my troubles. The angel of the Lord encamps around me and rescues me. I seek the Lord and do not lack any good thing.

pur•sue verb – To follow in an effort to overtake or capture; chase. To strive to gain or accomplish. To proceed along the course of; follow. To carry further; advance: To take action regarding (something), especially with the intention of sustained effort. -The American Heritage Dictionary

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

Copyright © 2014 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. “pursue” The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2013 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Web. 19 Feb. 2014.

New Morning. New Mercies.

Monday, April 18th, 2011

Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and He shall hear my voice. Psalm 55:17 KJV

The greatest thing we can do as Christians is to maintain and cultivate our time with God—to start, end, and fill the middle of our days by connecting with Him. Set time aside—in the corner of your basement, in a quiet spot in the woods, at the kitchen table—find a place to pray. Start your day ministering to the Lord. While you’re getting ready in the morning, just begin to tell Him you love Him. In the car, turn off the radio and talk to God.

There are challenges all around, all the time. Yet, we are not without the presenceof a Savior who came to this earth on a rescue mission. He conquered death (1 Corinthians 15:55), so He can take care of everything else! Situations may be far beyond your human skill, but Jesus is the resurrection and the life, and nothing is beyond Him. He is willing and able to deliver.

The following verses show the prophet Jeremiah at a time when he had lost hope and was depressed, and anxiety gripped his heart. Then he shifted his focus from his circumstances and began to focus on God’s faithfulness.

I’ll never forget the trouble, the utter lostness, the taste of ashes, the poison I’ve swallowed. I remember it all—oh, how well I remember— the feeling of hitting the bottom. But there’s one other thing I remember, and remembering, I keep a grip on hope: God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out, His merciful love couldn’t have dried up. They’re created new every morning. How great your faithfulness! I’m sticking with God (I say it over and over). He’s all I’ve got left. Lamentations 3:19-24 The Message

God’s grace is covering your life. His love is steadfast. His mercies are hovering at your waking moment—new every morning. God is not vague and distant—He is present to help you in you time of need. Do you need wisdom? Ask God who gives to all generously (James 1:5). God’s arm is never too short to save you (Isaiah 59:1), and He is going to come through in your situation.

Seek God!
Pastor Jeff Perry
St. Louis Family Church®

Copyright © 2011 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. Lamentations scriptures taken from The Message. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

A Fresh Start

Monday, April 11th, 2011

This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope. The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:21-23

I’m grateful we get a fresh start every day. Each morning is a new day with Jesus. I could’ve had a weird last night, a weird yesterday afternoon, a weird last week— but His mercies are new every morning. If we start our day by giving Jesus priority, giving thanks, and cracking open the Bible, our spirit will be filled with substance and strength for the day.

If God is not first in our thoughts and efforts in the morning, He will be in the last place the remainder of the day. ~E.M. Bounds, “Power Through Prayer”

Try beginning your day praising Jesus. Let the first words out of your mouth be, “Thank You, Jesus!” In Psalms, David wrote: “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name” (Psalm 100:4). God is inviting us to shift out of bitterness or an affliction mentality and instead magnify God and remember how great and mighty He is.

The enemy tries to keep us out of the secret place by keeping us busy doing other things. The devil knows that starting your mornings with God will precipitate a spirit of faith that will have repercussive effects for others. So you’ve got to be deliberate about spending the first moments with God. Find encouraging devotionals; read a Proverb a day; train yourself to read entire chapters and books of the Bible. If you don’t like reading, download the audio Bible on your phone or computer. Do whatever it takes to get the Word in you.

Whatever your battle, deny doubt and unbelief the right to govern your worldview and start praising God this very moment. Instead of gazing at your problems, gaze at Jesus, who has all the answers you will ever need.

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

Copyright © 2011 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.

Starting Your Day With Jesus

Monday, March 28th, 2011

But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Matthew 6:33

How you start your day is important. So important that during this month leading up to Easter, I am asking everyone to set aside the first moments in the morning to draw near to Jesus. Every day, before you turn on the news, check the weather, or have conversations with your family, seize the time (even if it is in the quiet of waking) and acknowledge Jesus.

The morning watch is essential. You must not face the day until you have faced God, nor look into the face of others until you have looked into His. You cannot expect to be victorious if the day begins only in your own strength . . . Meet Him with His open Book of counsel before you; and face the regular and the irregular duties of each day with the influence of His personality definitely controlling your every act. ~”Streams in the Desert” Devotional

The Creator of the Universe has invited us to connect with Him. David wrote: “In the morning, O Lord, You will hear my voice; in the morning I will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch” (Psalm 5:3). And again he says, “I will awaken the dawn” with praise (Psalm 108:2). The Lord Jesus himself would slip away and start His day in God’s presence (Luke 5:16; Mark 1:35). If Jesus did it, how much more should we!

Every one of us has a start to our day. If you work the night shift, don’t think you are missing out on being spiritual. This is not about the legalism of an exact time; it’s about seeking God first—at whatever time of the day or night that is.

So be ready by morning, and come up in the morning to Mount Sinai, and present yourself there to Me on the top of the mountain. No man is to come up with you. Exodus 34:2-3a.

The days when I’ve started in my own strength aren’t the best days; but the most fruitful, peace-filled days happen when I’ve filled my heart with God’s presence and His Word. Get your mind fixed on what’s good, praiseworthy, true, and honorable (Philippians 4:8), and calibrate your day by putting Jesus first.

Thank God for new beginnings!
Pastor Jeff Perry
St. Louis Family Church®

Copyright © 2011 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. Streams in the Desert, P. 75, L.B. Cowman. Copyright 1996 by The Zondervan Corporation. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Continue to Seek God

Monday, November 29th, 2010

Uzziah was sixteen years old when he became king, and he reigned fifty-two years in Jerusalem . . . He did right in the sight of the Lord according to all that his father Amaziah had done. He continued to seek God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding through the vision of God; and as long as he sought the Lord, God prospered him. 2 Chronicles 26:3-5

“Seek” (verb): to go in search or quest of; to try to find or discover by searching. To ask for; request.*

It’s worth it to seek God. As long as Uzziah sought the Lord, God prospered him—not just in economic terms, but in every area of his life. God’s presence and wisdom in our lives are more precious and vital than gold or any other substance of value (Proverbs 8:10-11). The qualifier, “as long as we seek God,” will help keep us from the lethargy and apathy that try to distract us from knowing the Creator of the Universe.

So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. Luke 11:9

Continue seeking God. Everyone is excited when the start gun goes off at a race, but crossing the finish line is what really matters. Serve God your whole life. Don’t become satiated with the things of the world. Instead, let your life be filled with the Holy Spirit.

Let God fill your holidays. As you go into the holidays, spend some extra time seeking the Lord. Use your coffee break at work to pull out your New Testament and read some verses. Pray. Turn off the radio and use the moments in your car to talk to God. Seek God and invite Him to be number one in every area of your life.

Seek the Lord and His strength; seek His face continually. Psalm 105:4

Keep seeking God!
Pastor Jeff Perry
St. Louis Family Church®

Copyright © 2010 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.*”seek.” Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House, Inc. 21 Nov. 2010.

Priorities

Monday, August 30th, 2010

A woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. She had a sister called Mary, who was seated at the Lord’s feet, listening to His word. But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.” But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:38b-42

Mary was listening; Martha was distracted. We’ve all been Martha – we invite Jesus into the house, but then we get distracted with preparations and lesser things. At some point we need to quit the activity and engage in what matters most.

C.S. Lewis said it this way: “Now there are a good many things which would not be worth bothering about if I were going to live only seventy years, but which I had better bother about very seriously if I am going to live forever.”

Do not worry then, saying, “What will we eat?” or “What will we drink?” or “What will we wear for clothing?” For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Matthew 6:31-33

These verses pull us out of the tyranny of the urgent and point us toward the perspective of eternity. Loving God and connecting with Him is the best and most important part of life: thinking about God, talking to God, talking about God, loving God, seeking God, worshiping God, and magnifying God.

“Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:42b). The “good part” is all about a relationship with the Creator; then it’s about impacting people. First, we become sensitive to God’s voice, receptive to His prompting, and aware of what matters most to Him. Then—when we have rivers of living water flowing out of us, when we are alive and present and loving—others will want that too! Let’s be like Martha and invite Jesus in; then let’s be like Mary and sit at His feet.

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

Copyright © 2010 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.

The Secret Place

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. Matthew 6:6

Time with God in the secret place is the key to effectiveness. Madake is a common type of bamboo in Japan, and during its growth season will grow up to almost four feet in one day! It can take years, though, for the visible shoots to push through the ground because the plant first prepares for fast growth by developing a strong root system out of sight. Likewise, our public life is rooted in the preparation that happens during secret-place moments.

Don’t despise the day of small beginnings (Zechariah 4:10) or underestimate the value of the secret place. If you stick around long enough and refuse to grow weary in doing good, your strong root system will produce major growth (Galatians 6:9).

Because time in the secret place produces fruit for the public place, it is the subject of the greatest attacks by Satan. Don’t wait to have “enough time” to spend with God. Learn how to fellowship with God even when you are on the run. Take two minutes at the beginning of the day and connect with God. Turn off the car radio and the cell phone and set aside time to be with Him. Whether you’re in the shower, driving the car, or cooking in the kitchen—these are all moments you can use to draw close to God.

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, and so prove to be My disciples. John 15:7-8

When you abide in the secret place, you are under the protecting shadow of the Almighty. Fear has to leave (Psalm 91:1 NKJV*; 2 Timothy 1:7). God protects you from others’ evil intentions: “You hide them in the secret place of Your presence from the conspiracies of man” (Psalm 31:20a). And God, who sees what you do in secret, will reward you openly (Matthew 6:6).

The secret place may feel dreary and dry at times, but God promises that if you seek Him, you will find Him (Deuteronomy 4:29). As a result of consistently spending time in the secret place, you will bear fruit, change lives, and reach the world.

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

Copyright ©2010 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 taken from the New King James Version. Copyright ©1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Seeking Hidden Things

Monday, July 27th, 2009

It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, but the glory of kings is to search out a matter. Proverbs 25:2

God has called us to be seekers. He has hidden treasures not from us, but for us. Our disinterest, though, can hinder our finding. Our world of information saturation can numb us to our desperation and need for God. Even Uzziah, a great king in the Old Testament who prospered by seeking God, had a bad end because he stopped seeking (2 Chronicles 26).

Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. Colossians 3:1-2

What’s bugging you right now? Seek God about it. “It is He who reveals the profound and hidden things” (Daniel 2:22). Even if you seek God while feeling flat-lined, God is looking at the heart of faith. So dust off your Bible. Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly now so you can draw upon the Word when you need it (Colossians 3:16).

Jesus promised that if you seek you will find (Matthew 7:7-8). Spend time alone with God. Set the Lord continually before you and you won’t be shaken (Psalm 16:8).

Keep Seeking!
Pastor Jeff Perry
St. Louis Family Church®

Copyright © 2009 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.

Seeking God

Monday, July 20th, 2009

But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Matthew 6:33

God designed us to be seekers and find what He has prepared for us (Luke 11:9-10). As we seek God, we’ll understand things about our world and the times we live in: “Evil men do not understand justice, but those who seek the Lord understand all things” (Proverbs 28:5). Seeking God is also the cure for depression: “Let the heart of those who seek the Lord be glad” (Psalm 105:3). Here are some practical steps to help you seek God in your daily life.

Thanksgiving. Every day enter into thanksgiving for what God has given you and for what He’s doing in your life. Psalm 100:4

Praise. Offer up praise—tell God you love Him! Hebrews 13:15

Fellowship. Spend time talking with God apart from request-making. John 15:4

Church. Nothing can substitute for corporate worship and praise. Hebrews 10:25

Meditate. Stop and ponder a verse. Marinate in it. Psalm 1:1-3

Read. Read the Bible. Just sit down and read a chapter and watch how it refreshes your soul. Psalm 119

Think of Jesus. Every few moments acknowledge Him. Philippians 4:8; Psalm 105:4

Jesus said to seek first His kingdom. The Greek word used here for “first” is proton, which means “first in time, place, order, and importance.” Whenever you wake up, before you put your feet on the floor, put Jesus first in time, place, order, and importance. Focus on Him.

God is working mightily on the inside of you. He is beckoning and prompting you to know Him more. He is not allowing you to be comfortable with a fleshly, subordinate, minimized approach toward life. He’s giving you big dreams and big visions because He is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond the natural (Ephesians 3:20). Break out of the mundane and the monotonous and go after it with God. He has promised that “they who seek the Lord shall not be in want of any good thing” (Psalm 34:10).

Press On!
Pastor Jeff

Copyright © 2009 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.

The Value of Continued Devotion

Monday, July 6th, 2009

Uzziah was sixteen years old when he became king, and he reigned fifty-two years in Jerusalem . . . He did right in the sight of the Lord according to all that his father Amaziah had done. He continued to seek God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding through the vision of God; and as long as he sought the Lord, God prospered him. 2 Chronicles 26:3-5

As Uzziah sought the Lord, God blessed him in every feature and aspect of his life. Uzziah built, restored, reigned, prospered, went forth, warred, and broke down walls, and he became famous. Uzziah didn’t prosper automatically—he prospered as long as he sought God. The phrase “as long as” comes from the Hebrew word yowm, which means “from sunrise to sunset.” That’s daily devotion—keeping Jesus continually before us from morning to night.

Hence his fame spread afar, for he was marvelously helped until he was strong. But when he became strong, his heart was so proud that he acted corruptly, and he was unfaithful to the Lord his God. 2 Chronicles 26:15b-16a

When Uzziah became strong he stopped seeking God. Through pride he became corrupt, and at the end of his life he was remembered not as a powerful king who accomplished mighty things, but as a leper. His persistent wrongdoing should be a warning, and provoke us to explore the depths of the wisdom of the riches of the knowledge of God. God is calling us to stick with this thing by constantly seeking Him. As long as we do so, He promises to prosper us.

I want everyone reading this to get the breakthrough that Jesus died to give. Start your day by reading your Bible. Turn off the TV and read even just one verse before bed. Meditate on the Word. Don’t underestimate the value of a devoted life. “For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His” (2 Chronicles 16.9).

Seek God!
Pastor Jeff Perry
St. Louis Family Church®

Copyright © 2009 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.