Timing Is Everything

February 2nd, 2018

For a wide door for effective service has opened to me [Paul], and there are many adversaries. 1 Corinthians 16:9

1. CALLED TO THIS TIME. Throughout the Bible we read of the different faith heroes who were strategically placed to impact their generation. The prophet Daniel advised many kings, Joseph saved a whole region from starvation, Esther was perfectly placed to rescue an entire people group, the Apostle Paul took the Gospel to the nations. Just as these people were in the right place at the right time, so are you. You are called for such a time as this.

For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this? Esther 4:14 NKJV

2. BE READY FOR YOUR TIME. Opportunities knock and we want to be ready for them. Readiness is when you’re prepared for action before any reinforcement occurs. What you’ve gone through before prepares you for what’s up ahead. This world is lost and sick and needs a Savior. People are bound up in sin and we are being launched like paramedics to bring healing.

3. WALK THROUGH AT THE RIGHT TIME. When God opens the door, we must be willing to walk through it. God is about to open up hearts and bring revival, and the power of the Holy Spirit will change our culture. If you’re afraid to walk through—do it anyway. Step over the invisible barrier of fear to minister to someone. If you feel worn out and blasé, walk through the door anyway. God is equipping you! There is amazing fruit on the other side.

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

DAILY CONFESSION:
I am God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that I would walk in them (Ephesians 2:10). I will not fear for God is with me. I will not anxiously look around me for He is my God. He will strengthen me, He will help me, He will uphold me with His righteous right hand (Isaiah 41:10).

read·y, adj.
Prepared or equipped to act or be used immediately: ready to go, ready for occupancy. Unhesitant; willing. Done or made without delay; prompt.

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. “Ready.” Webster’s New World College Dictionary, Fifth Edition. Web. 31 Jan 2018 .

Steps to Effectiveness

January 26th, 2018

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 16:13-14

These five actions from the Apostle Paul give us an amazing scriptural to-do list that can enable us to be effective all the way through our lives.

1. BE ON THE ALERT. We are called to keep watch and stay alert and always ready for what God wants to tell us (Habakkuk 2:1). This doesn’t mean we are to be anxious, but instead we’re to be distraction-free and ready to pray and act as the Holy Spirit leads.

2. STAND FIRM. “Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil” (Ephesians 6:11). Study Ephesians 6 to understand what the armor of God is and why you should wear it every day.

3. ACT LIKE MEN. God is telling both men and women to be courageous and act (1 Chronicles 28:10). Be determined to not only start, but also to follow through and complete God’s plan for your life.

4. BE STRONG. We go to God to find our strength because He is all-sufficient and His strength never runs out. “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might” (Ephesians 6:10).

5. DO ALL IN LOVE. Saturate the four other actions in love. We don’t battle against natural things but against spiritual forces (Ephesians 6:12). So let God’s love be the beginning and the end of everything you do.

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

DAILY CONFESSION:
I am steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing my toil is not in vain in the Lord (1 Corinthians 15:58).

a·lert, adj.
Watchful and prompt to meet danger or emergency. Quick to perceive and act.

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. “Alert.” Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 29 June 2015.

How to Triumph in Trouble

January 19th, 2018

We triumph even in our troubles, knowing that trouble produces endurance, endurance produces character, and character produces hope — a hope which never disappoints us, since God’s love floods our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us. Romans 5:3-5 Moffatt

1. REALIZE JESUS HAS TRIUMPHED. The Bible makes us aware of a couple things: (1) the inevitability of problems here on earth and (2) the certainty that God will work things out. Because of what Jesus did for us on the Cross, we are not only saved, but we have abiding victory. And we triumph even in our troubles!

The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous runs into it and is safe. Proverbs 18:10

2. RUN TO GOD. God deeply loves you. He is your refuge and strength (Psalm 46:1). When you encounter trials — don’t back off, don’t get melancholy, don’t feel condemned — instead consider it an opportunity to run to God. If you need wisdom for your finances, about your kids, about symptoms in your body, about a career change — God has that available for you.

In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 1:6-7

3. REJOICE EVERY DAY. We are called to be people who praise God instead of just articulating the problems of life. When the apostle Paul wrote “rejoice in the Lord always,” he wasn’t in denial about the problems he was facing, but he was plowing through and praising in the middle of it (Philippians 4:4). We can also rejoice in the middle of our trials because we have inside information from the Bible that breakthrough is ahead!

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

DAILY PRAISE CONFESSION:
I will bless You, Lord, at all times; Your praise will continually be in my mouth. (Psalm 34:1). Thank You, Jesus, for what You did on the Cross. Because of You, I triumph even in trouble. I have the victory in every circumstance. I can do all things because You are strengthening me (Philippians 4:13). I hold up my shield of faith and know that God, You are working on my behalf.

en·dure, verb
To face and withstand with courage. To last and be usable. To persist for a specified period of time.

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. “Endure.” Memidex Dictionary/Thesaurus.

Faith for the Future

January 12th, 2018

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:2-4

1. FEAR NOT, ONLY BELIEVE. God has called us to this life of faith. We build endurance as we learn to walk by faith and not by how we feel. Our emotions can change from morning to night or in a split second—that’s why we don’t rely on them. Instead, we get our eyes fixed on God, who has covered everything from the cradle to the grave and from eternity to eternity.

And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint. Romans 5:3-5a

2. RENEW CONFIDENCE IN HOPE. God never disappoints. Those of us who aspire to fulfill God’s plan sometimes get discouraged when we aren’t where we thought we were going to be at certain times in our lives. But even in challenging times, endurance and hope are produced! So we stop looking at our circumstances and look to God. He is the one who can and will open a door.

For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. 1 John 5:4

3. LEARN TO OVERCOME. The power of faith is dynamic. It’s action-oriented (James 2:14-17). Jesus saw the faith of the men who dug a hole in the roof and lowered their paralyzed friend to be healed. (Luke 5:20). That’s why we put practicality to our concepts and live out faith in action. Even in temptations, tests, and trials we can look at things in a redemptive way, with confidence and firm persuasion that God is working it out for our good and that endurance, perseverance, character, and hope are being produced.

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

PRAY THIS PRAYER:
Jesus, You are the strength of my life. Jesus, I really need You. I absolutely rely on You. I cast my cares and worries on You. I receive the miraculous in my life. I receive healing in my body, help in my family, blessing on my finances, and wisdom on my time expenditures and prioritizations. May this be a year of strengthening, fulfillment, achievement, prosperity, and abundance in Jesus’ Name, amen!

dy·nam·ic, noun
A force that stimulates change or progress within a system or process. Origin: Early 19th century (as a term in physics) from French dynamique, from Greek dunamikos, from dunamis – “power.”

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. “Dynamic.” Oxford Dictionaries. Web. 9 Jan 2018 .

New Year — Same Faithful God!

January 5th, 2018

“Every place on which the sole of your foot treads, I have given it to you, just as I spoke to Moses. From the wilderness and this Lebanon, even as far as the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and as far as the Great Sea toward the setting of the sun will be your territory.” Joshua 1:3-4

1. TAKE YOUR PLACE. In Joshua 1 we see a transitional moment for Joshua and the people of Israel. Joshua was in his seventies when he became the leader of the people of Israel. But God imparted something fresh and called the people to go out and take their places. We too have empowerment from God. Young or old, God has something fresh for you in 2018, and as you seek Him, He will order your steps (Proverbs 16:9).

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

2. CAST YOUR CARES. Anxiety is nervous worry and tension. It distracts us and muddies up our headspace. That’s why God spoke to Joshua and encouraged him repeatedly to be courageous because He was with him. That’s why God tells us to cast our cares on Him (1 Peter 5:7) and take every thought captive (2 Corinthians 10:5).

For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. Romans 15:4

3. FIX YOUR EYES. Be dogged and determined to fix your eyes on Jesus and His Word. The Bible’s voice from antiquity is as fresh now as it was then. The Book of Joshua is a powerful tool in a transitional moment. Reference it and re-reference it. Make it your own and let your life harmonize with it as you move forward into all God has for you in 2018. Like Joshua, we can emerge from different seasons and decades with fruitfulness and faithfulness!

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

PRAY THIS PRAYER:
Here am I, Lord. Send me. Speak to me. I have open ears. I have a receptive heart. Help me to walk in the Spirit. Help me to be obedient to You, Lord. I lift up my eyes and I lift up my needs to You in prayer. Help me to increase my Word-intake. I trust You to lead and guide me in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

fix, verb
To direct steadily. To capture or hold. To direct one’s efforts or attention; concentrate. To become stable or firm; harden.

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. “Fix.” The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Web. 3 Jan. 2018.

Life in Jesus

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

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

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

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

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.