How to Abide in Hope

April 5th, 2019

I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; from where shall my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. Psalm 121:1-4

1. REMEMBER YOUR HELPER. When we face challenges, we can choose to hide out, bury our heads in the sand and get depressed, or we can turn to the promise-keeping God. Our help doesn’t come from our own strength or creative ideas – it comes from the Lord. Look to Him! Abide in His Word. Not one of His promises has ever failed.
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Three Steps to Strength & Hope

March 29th, 2019

“Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

1. CONQUER FEAR. Real help comes from God. Whatever you’re facing, God will help you. He knew fear is something we humans would have to deal with, so He tells us repeatedly throughout Scripture, “Do not fear,” and He gives us reasons why we don’t have to be afraid. We can trust Him with our relationships, with our thought life, with decisions we have to make, and with our health.

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

2. BUILD FAITH. Faith is confident expectation that what God promised He will accomplish. We’re called not just to survive or constantly be in recovery mode. We are more than conquerors – so we can help people. That’s why we go to God’s Word to see how He fortified and strengthened others in the past: The apostle Paul was called to reach a pagan culture; Daniel in Babylon advised many kings through multiple regime changes; David killed a giant and became king of a nation; Esther stood up for her people against the schemes of one man; and Moses led an entire nation out of slavery.

And Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today. . . The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.” And the Lord said to Moses, “Why do you cry to Me? Tell the children of Israel to go forward.” Exodus 14:13-15

3. ACT ON WHAT YOU BELIEVE. Just like the great men and women of the Bible, we are called to stand up to the fears, challenges, and weights we encounter and to follow through and take action corresponding to our beliefs. There is more for us to do. There is more fruit for us to bear. Take seriously the responsibility to maintain momentum in your heart by shaking off fear, building your faith, and moving forward!

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

DAILY CONFESSION:
God gives strength to the weary and to those who are weak He increases power. I hope in the Lord and He renews my strength. I will soar on wings like eagles. I will run and not get tired. I will walk and not become weary (Isaiah 40:29-31).

up·hold, verb
To support or defend, as against opposition or criticism. To keep up or keep from sinking; support. To lift upward; raise. To maintain in good condition; take care of.

Copyright © 2019 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. “uphold.” Random House Unabridged Dictionary. Web. 26 Mar 2019 . Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

A Steadfast Hope

March 22nd, 2019

This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast. Hebrews 6:19a

1. STAY IN THE FIGHT. Paul the Apostle wrote to Timothy to “fight the good fight of faith” (1 Timothy 6:12a). This is different from the baseless optimism of worldly hope because it is anchored in the abiding truth of God’s promises. When we encounter challenges, we can face them with rugged determination to never quit, because when God calls us He equips us with all we need to fight and win.

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord. 1 Corinthians 15:58

2. STAY IN THE WORD AND PRAYER. The real mark of success in any endeavor is consistency. That’s why Paul said to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Sometimes in the daily grind of life, I can get in a place where I don’t want to pray and I don’t feel like reading my Bible. But I know as I draw near to God, I will find the answers and the breakthrough.

The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in You. Isaiah 26:3

3. STAY THE COURSE. God wants to bless us — not just for our own benefit but also for others who need our help! God has called us to be ready in every season. Much of life is out of season — an actual harvest goes on for only a few weeks out of the year. The rest of the time involves preparing for the harvest. So whatever season you are in, stay centered on Jesus. Stay in church, keep praising God, and stay ready for Him to use you.

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

DAILY CONFESSION:
My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises! I will not fear evil tidings because my heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord (Psalm 57:7; Psalm 112:7).

stead·fast, adj.
Firmly fixed in place. Not subject to change. Firm in belief, determination, or adherence.

Copyright © 2019 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. “steadfast.” Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. 19 March 2019.

Three Ways God Wants to Establish You

March 15th, 2019

And David realized that the Lord had established him as king over Israel, and that his kingdom was highly exalted, for the sake of His people Israel. 1 Chronicles 14:2

1. ESTABLISHED WITH PURPOSE. King David realized that God was doing something distinctive in his life and in the lives of the people and the country. This realization lifted David’s eyes off the difficulties he faced and gave him a new perspective. As we understand more about who God is and what He’s assigned each one of us to do, we can lift our heads, throw our shoulders back, and move forward in purpose.

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, just as from the Lord, the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:18

2. ESTABLISHED IN GOD’S WORD. When we look into the mirror of God’s Word, change occurs and we will start to act according to what God says about us (Romans 12:2). King David knew that God had established him, and he stepped out and began to take action in his new role. By spending time in the Scriptures our minds will be renewed, we will become transformed, and we can know God’s will.

3. ESTABLISHED IN WISDOM. The exhilaration of knowing he was established by God was followed by conflict for David. When the Philistines heard that he was king, they sent an army to attack him. David responded by first asking God what to do. After that first victory, he kept going back to God for each fresh situation. Inevitable pressure will come as we step out into what God has called us to do. But whatever challenge we face, we can take it to God and receive His wisdom and insight (Ephesians 1:17).

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

DAILY CONFESSION:
I am not conformed to this world, but am transformed by the renewing of my mind so that I may prove what the will of God is, that which is good, acceptable and perfect (Romans 12:2). I am a doer of the Word. I look intently at it and abide by it. I am not a forgetful hearer, but I am an effectual doer and I am blessed in what I do (James 1:23-25).

es·tab·lish, verb
To place or settle in a secure position or condition. To cause to be able to grow or thrive.

Copyright © 2019 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. “establish.” American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 4th edition. Web. 12 Mar 2019 .

How to Overcome

March 8th, 2019

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:21

1. KEEP HANGING OUT WITH GOD. We become like who we hang out with. “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children” (Ephesians 5:1). How can we imitate God unless we spend time with Him? This week, instead of watching the news as much, or spending hours on social media, step away and take in some good news by fellowshipping with God.

Then [they] sent a message to me, saying, “Come, let us meet together . . .” But they were planning to harm me. So I sent messengers to them, saying, “I am doing a great work and I cannot come down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and come down to you?” Nehemiah 6:2-3

2. KEEP DOING GOD’S WORK. We are called to overcome and be carriers of God’s presence to the world around us. That’s why we can’t come down to indifference, to revenge, to being a hater, or to getting bored or overwhelmed. God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). Jesus is the answer to society’s problems. Jesus is the answer to your situation. He is available and He is an ever-present help in time of need.

3. KEEP OBEYING GOD’S WORD. In obedience to God, the Early Church stepped out and impacted the Roman culture; Daniel impacted Babylon; and Joseph, in a moment of famine and social distress, brought improvement and help to the Egyptian people. As you spend time with God, don’t quit, and keep on obeying Him. God will open a door that no one can shut and the Word of God will go into all the world.

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

DAILY CONFESSION:
God’s praise is continually in my mouth! I don’t fret. I cast all my cares on God and receive His peace that surpasses understanding. He is available to help and He cares about me affectionately (Psalm 34:1; Psalm 37:8; Philippians 4:7; Psalm 46:1; 1 Peter 5:7).

o·ver·come, verb
To deal with successfully; prevail over. To surmount opposition; be victorious.

Copyright © 2019 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. “overcome.” American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 4th edition. Web. 6 Mar 2019 .

Love Never Fails

March 1st, 2019

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” Matthew 22:37-39

1. LOVE GOD. We can love because God first loved us. When we accept Jesus as our Savior, His love changes us completely. If you feel distracted or dull or if you have drifted, you can step into closeness with God again. Love grows when you spend time with Him. Take some time to turn off the phone, mute the TV, and say simply, “God, here I am. Forgive me for getting distracted. I seek You first. I trust You, Lord.”

2. LOVE YOURSELF. We can show love to others only in proportion to how much we love ourselves. If we listen to what the devil (known as the Accuser) says, then we will constantly feel like we are doing a crummy job as Christians. But if we focus on how much God loves us, then we can change the world. The battle is in our minds – so we must constantly go to the Bible to see what God says about us!

But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God. Jude 1:20-21a

3. LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR. Love is value. As Christians we’re assigned to be carriers of love and to show Jesus as He really is – someone who is “a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1). When we show up in work boots to help people with no other agenda but to love, it plants a seed that will germinate and grow into an awareness that God really loves them!

Press on in love,
Pastor Jeff Perry
St. Louis Family Church®

DAILY CONFESSION:
I walk in love. I am patient, I am kind and not jealous. I don’t brag and I am not arrogant. I don’t act unbecomingly; I don’t seek my own, and I am not provoked. I don’t take into account a wrong suffered. I don’t rejoice in unrighteousness, but I rejoice with the truth. I can bear all things, believe all things, hope all things, endure all things because love never fails (1 Corinthians 13:4-8; Ephesians 5:2).

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians  13:13

Copyright © 2019 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..

How to Build for Eternity

February 22nd, 2019

And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13:13

1. USE THE RIGHT COMPONENTS. Concrete is a durable building material composed of three things: rock, cement, and water. The Romans began construction on the Pantheon dome in 27 AD, and this concrete marvel still stands over 2,000 years later! Just as three elements come together to form concrete, so FAITH (belief and trust in God), HOPE (confident expectation of what God has promised), and LOVE (valuing and forgiving others because God first loved us) mix together to create the lasting substance of a Christian life.

2. GO BACK TO THE BASICS. The devil is real and he will try to antagonize us in areas of uncertainty. That’s why it’s important we reacquaint ourselves with what the Word of God says about how we should shape our lives and not just go by our assumptions. Take time to study scriptures about faith, hope, and love and how they can work in your life!

3. LET GOD BE THE BUILDER. You are under construction and God has designed you for longevity, for stability, and for purpose. God has achievements ahead for you that you can’t even grasp yet! Don’t underestimate the stabilizing you can bring into the marketplace, in a society, in a culture. As you stay in faith and maintain your hope and walk in love, watch your life become a steadying structure for those around you.

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

DAILY CONFESSION:
I trust You, God. I walk by faith and not by sight. I am an imitator of You, and I walk in love, just as Christ also loved me. I take hold of this sure and steadfast hope set before me and let it be an anchor for my soul. Above all, I’ll keep fervent in my love for others, because love covers a multitude of sins (2 Corinthians 5:7; Ephesians 5:1-2; Hebrews 6:19; 1 Peter 4:8).

a·bide, verb
To endure without yielding: withstand. To wait for: await. To remain stable or fixed in a state. To continue in a place.

Copyright © 2019 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. “tenacious.” American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 4th edition. Web. 12 Feb 2019 . “abide.” Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. Web. 19 Feb 2019 .

Three Ways to Get Tenacious in Hope

February 15th, 2019

Be strong and let your heart take courage, all you who hope in the Lord. Psalm 31:24

1. REMEMBER YOU WERE RESCUED. The Bible describes the pre-salvation position as “having no hope and without God in the world” (Ephesians 2:12). But the emptiness of a fallen world has forever changed because of Jesus. He left the splendor of heaven and came on a rescue mission for us. He died to forgive our sins and heal our diseases (1 Peter 2:24).

2. KNOW GOD’S WORD. Biblical hope is based on the integrity of God’s faithfulness – His character, performance, and nature – and differs greatly from the baseless optimism that the world calls hope. Hope in God springs from knowing His well-documented track record in the Scriptures (Romans 15:4). The faithful God in the Bible is the same God who will help you in your situation.

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13

3. CARRY HOPE TO THE WORLD. God wants to use us to offset the incredible negativity and pessimism in the world. Hope is something that gets in our vocabulary when everybody else is complaining, that rises up even when circumstances go the opposite way, and that adjusts our thinking to remember God’s faithfulness. You can be confident that God will cause all things to work together for good and as you stay steady in hope, you will see the goodness of God in this life (Romans 8:28; Psalm 27:13-14).

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

DAILY CONFESSION:
I take courage and hope in the Lord. I fix my hope on the living God, who is the savior of all. I hope because Jesus took my sins on the cross and by His wounds I am healed. He strengthens my heart, and I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living (1 Timothy 4:10; 1 Peter 2:24; Psalm 31:24; Psalm 27:13-14).

te·na·cious, adj.
Characterized by extreme persistence; relentless or enduring. Holding fast; characterized by keeping a firm hold.

Copyright © 2019 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. “tenacious.” American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 4th edition. Web. 12 Feb 2019 . “tenacious.” Random House Unabridged Dictionary. Web. 12 Feb 2019 .

Three Steps to Renew Your Hope

February 8th, 2019

“For I know the plans that I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11

1. TRUST GOD’S PROMISES. The prophet Jeremiah wrote these words almost 500 years before Jesus came to earth; yet we still have a right to this promise of hope. The same God who declared a future and a hope to an exiled people is our God today. He never changes (Hebrews 13:8). And because Jesus died for the sins of all humanity, we have a new covenant “inaugurated under better promises” (Hebrews 8:6). How much more are we now called to hope.

2. COMMIT TO GOD’S PRIORITIES. It is our responsibility to keep our hopes alive. Start your day with devotion to Jesus. Just as we follow through on commitments even when we don’t feel like it – going to work, taking care of our kids, etc. – we must set Jesus as a priority day in and day out. Read a Proverb a day, find a good devotional, read some Psalms, read a chapter of the New Testament. When we continually remind ourselves what God’s Word says, then we become equipped, encouraged, and established in truth (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:12-13).

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13

3. RELY ON GOD’S PERSPECTIVE. Hope and faith do not deny reality. They are the product of trust in God’s faithfulness. Faith-filled believers understand that more is going on than what they can see. As Christians, we are called to have faith and hope that God is creating a masterpiece, even if we can’t yet see how it all ties together. So keep praying, keep loving others, don’t cave into negative bias, stay in the Word – and watch God use you as a voice of hope in the world.

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

PRAY THIS PRAYER:
I love You, Jesus. Today I renew my devotion to You. You are Lord and I give You first place in my life. Help me to be ready to give an account for the hope that is in me to anyone who asks. And help me to do it with gentleness and respect (1 Peter 3:15). Amen!

prom·ise, noun
A declaration that one will do or refrain from doing something specified. Reason to expect something. To pledge to do, bring about, or provide (verb).

Copyright © 2019 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. “hope.” Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. 08 January 2019.

Hold Fast!

February 1st, 2019

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds. Hebrews 10:23-24

1. BE PERSISTENT. In your pursuit of Jesus be persistent. If you are going to be stubborn about anything, then get adamant about your love for God. A lot of lesser things will vie for your attention. But lift up your eyes—the only place where you will get refreshing is in the presence of the Lord. Resolve to overcome drifting, and become really passionate about returning to your first love of Jesus (Revelation 2:1-5).

But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it. And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:25, 28

2. BE PERSEVERING. We can continue despite opposition because we have hope that God is working on the behalf of those who trust in Him. Resist self-pity, which the devil uses to shut your mouth to keep you from speaking God’s Word and then to get you complaining—instead, hold fast to hope!

3. BE PATIENT. You can build your life on the Word of God. The devil will try to pry these truths out of your hands, but you have to tighten your grip! Hold fast to God’s promises and let them thunder forth in your life—He is faithful and He is abidingly trustworthy. As you rely on God, you will be one of those who through
faith and patience inherit the promises (Hebrews 6:12).

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

DAILY CONFESSION:
I hold fast to the confession of my hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful (Hebrews 10:23). God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). I consider it all joy when I encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of my faith produces endurance. I let endurance have its perfect result, so that I may be perfect and complete lacking in nothing (James 1:4).

pa·tient, adj.
Enduring trying circumstances with even temper. Tolerant; understanding. Persevering or diligent

Copyright © 2019 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. “Patient.” Collins English Dictionary. Web. 5 Jul 2017.