Receive Jesus

April 6th, 2018

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. WHY WE NEED JESUS. The Bible reveals that we all have sinned and fallen short of God’s wonderful plan for our lives (Romans 3:23). So God sent His Son, Jesus, to make things right. Sin can’t be overcome by self-help, philosophy, or good works. It’s conquered only by receiving Jesus who shed His blood and paid the penalty for us.

2. WHO JESUS IS. Jesus became part of the human race, taking upon Himself the form of man; yet He didn’t sin. He did not come to establish just another religion. He is not just one of many holy men. Jesus is the unique Being of the universe, one hundred percent God and one hundred percent man. And there is salvation in no one else.

3. WHAT JESUS DOES. Jesus came to save the world and restore what was lost. Whatever your problem, Jesus is the answer. He sacrificed his life, died on a cross, but then rose from the dead conquering sin and death (1 Corinthians 15:55).

4. HOW YOU CAN KNOW JESUS. God cares deeply for you, and from start to finish He has a good plan for your life. When we respond to Jesus and receive Him, something magnificent takes place: we’re no longer destined for hell – an eternity separated from God. Instead we get a new life filled with love and hope and joy. Call out to Jesus – He hears your prayer.

There is nobody like Jesus,
Pastor Jeff Perry
St. Louis Family Church®

PRAY THIS PRAYER TO RECEIVE JESUS:
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!

re·ceive, verb
To permit to enter. To act as a receptacle or container for. To accept as authoritative, true, or accurate.

How to Live for God

March 30th, 2018

Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He will do it. Psalm 37:3-5

1. KEEP A RECEPTIVE HEART. Think of our hearts as soil and the Word of God as seed. Jesus warns against rocky ground and says we must keep the soil of our hearts pliable. The condition of your heart will determine how the crop grows in your life.

2. CULTIVATE GROWTH. When you accept Jesus into your life, it’s important to take deliberate steps to let His truth take root in your heart so you can flourish and grow. Read the Bible, pray, go to church—all these things will help you mature in God and get rid of toxic thinking that tries to take root and choke your growth.

But the seed planted in the good earth represents those who hear the Word, embrace it, and produce a harvest beyond their wildest dreams. Mark 4:14-20 MSG

3. BEAR FRUIT. We are designed to be fruitful. Jesus allowed humanity to put the crown of thorns on His head and nail Him to the Cross so that the blessing of God could come into our lives. Because Jesus rose from the dead, you do not have to be driven by shame or guilt. Instead, God’s love can free you from sin and give you a fresh start today.

Happy Easter!
Pastor Jeff Perry
St. Louis Family Church®

To invite Jesus into your heart, pray this prayer:
God, I receive what You have for me. My heart is receptive. I hear the Word and accept it. 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 to be fruitful! Amen.

cul·ti·vate, verb
To break up (soil) in preparation for sowing or planting. To promote the growth of. To improve and prepare (land), as by plowing or fertilizing.

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. “cultivate.” Oxford Dictionaries. Web. 27 Mar 2018 . The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Web. 27 March 2018. Scripture taken from The Message. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.

Action Steps to Open Doors

March 23rd, 2018

But I [Paul] will remain in Ephesus until Pentecost; for a wide door for effective service has opened to me, and there are many adversaries. 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 16:8-9, 13-14

1. TO GET STRONG SEEK GOD. “The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1b NKJV). Life is at its best when we walk with the Lord. In King David’s moments of challenge, he did not disengage or go on autopilot. Instead He “strengthened himself in the Lord his God” (1 Samuel 30:6). That God is our God and He is the same faithful, strengthening God for us today as he was for David.

2. TO INCREASE FAITH WALK IN LOVE. “For [if we are] in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but only faith activated and expressed and working through love” (Galatians 5:6 AMP). Faith works through love! That’s how people will know we are Christians – by our love for each other (John 13:35). Disagreements and arguments come, but we can’t go wrong if we lift up Jesus and cover one another in love.

3. TO BE READY RENEW YOUR HEART. “Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary” (Galatians 6:9). Lethargy and numbness can creep up and make us not ready for the doors God opens. That’s why we must continually renew our hearts through prayer, by getting in the Word, by taking time to encourage someone else, and by praising God.

Press on,
Pastor Jeff

DAILY CONFESSION: THE ARMOR OF GOD
I am strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. I put on the full armor of God, so that I will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. I stand my ground and put on the belt of truth and the breastplate of righteousness, and the shoes of the peace that comes from the Gospel. I take up the shield of faith with which I will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And I put on the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit – which is God’s Word. And I stay alert and persistent in my prayers for all believers everywhere and pray at all times in the Spirit (Ephesians 6:10-18).

ac·tion, noun
Organized activity to accomplish an objective. Habitual or vigorous activity; energy.

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. The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Web. 20 March. 2018. Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Scripture taken from the Amplified Bible (AMP), Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.

Five Steps Toward Fruitfulness

March 16th, 2018

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. John 15:7-8a

2018 is a season of fruitfulness. As we fast and pray in the following weeks, here are five words that the Lord put on my heart to help us accomplish all He has called us to this year!

1. STRENGTHENING. Like King David did, we can strengthen ourselves in the Lord and receive His power for the next steps (1 Samuel 30:6). Throughout your day, continually reinforce God’s perspective in your heart through reading the Word or a devotional or by listening to a sermon podcast.

2. FULFILLMENT. The dictionary defines this as a “feeling of satisfaction at having achieved one’s desires.” When we finish one mission, there is always another ahead. That’s why it’s important to celebrate our accomplishments and breakthroughs by taking time to be thankful and rejoice in what God has done.

3. ACHIEVEMENT. While everyone loves big heroic deeds, it’s also the daily acts of obedience that change lives. So we get up and pray expecting results. We go to our jobs expecting God to move in the workplace. We pick up our kids from school, knowing God is in it.

4. PROSPERITY. God delights in the prosperity of His people (Psalm 35:27). It’s not something to be misunderstood or ashamed of. God gives seed to the sower, meaning we are called to take His provision and be givers to the world around us.

5. ABUNDANCE. Jesus came that we might have abundant life (John 10:10). God invites us into His abundance in every area of life. His provision is without restrictions or limitations – He wants our souls to flourish, our families to be full of life, and our finances to be healthy so that we can provide for ourselves and others.

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

DAILY CONFESSION:
I smile at the future because the joy of the Lord is my strength. The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped. Therefore my heart exults, and with my song I shall thank Him. God is able to make all grace abound to me, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, I may have an abundance for every good deed. (Proverbs 31:25; Nehemiah 8:10; Psalm 28:7; 2 Corinthians 9:8)

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. “fulfillment.” Memidex Dictionary/Thesaurus. Web. 14 Mar 2018 . “fruitfulness.” Collins English Dictionary. Web. 14 Mar 2018 .

According to God’s Word

March 9th, 2018

“May it be done to me according to Your word.” Luke 1:38b

1. BELIEVE THE WORD. We can win in the fight of faith by getting our hearts in agreement with what God says. When God sent an angel to tell Mary of Jesus’ coming birth, she responded in faith saying, “Be it done to me according to your word” – a phrase repeated twelve times in Psalm 119. As a young Jewish woman, Mary would have studied the book of Psalms and known the importance of receiving God’s Word into her heart. We too must familiarize ourselves with what the Bible says and then meditate on it and ponder it repeatedly.

My soul cleaves to the dust; revive me according to Your word. Psalm 119:25

2. GET REVIVED IN THE WORD. When we’re in trouble and feel like we’re in the pits, we can get revived in God’s Word. God can give life to a soul or body that is stuck in the dust. “He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you” (Romans 8:11b). When we’ve been knocked down, God will help us to stand up, dust ourselves off, and fight the fight of faith!

3. PLANT SEEDS OF GOD’S WORD. The Word doesn’t return empty without accomplishing what it’s sent to do (Isaiah 55:11). I know the power of a seed sown because I am a product of someone telling me about Jesus. As we grab hold of this truth, the Word of God will go forth from this place and impact the nations. And I believe we will see a billion people come to the Lord.

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

DAILY CONFESSION:
May it be done to me according to God’s Word. It’s a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. I will keep my way pure according to the Word. I am revived, sustained, and strengthened according to the Word. God has dealt well with me, according to His Word! (Luke 1:38b; Psalm 119:105, 9, 25, 116, 28, 65)

ac·cord·ing to, prep.
In agreement or accord with. Consistent with; in conformity with. On the authority of.

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. “according to.” Random House Unabridged Dictionary. Web. 7 Mar 2018 .

Let’s Prepare for Easter 2018!

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.

Conquering Adversity

February 23rd, 2018

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

1. FIX YOUR EYES ON JESUS. So often, obstacles coincide with opportunity. For instance, when the apostle Peter walked on water at the bidding of Jesus, the atmosphere was stormy—wind was blowing and waves were crashing (Matthew 14:27-30). When Peter diverted his eyes to his circumstances, he started to sink. When we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, ready to hear what He has to say—revelation will come, faith will be roused, and storms will be settled.

But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. Romans 8:37

2. RELAX IN GOD’S TIMING. There are perfect timetables for our lives if we follow the Holy Spirit. FOMO—fear of missing out—is built into our culture, where people become discontent, afraid they’ve missed opportunities. We can’t control the past, but the good news is that the Holy Spirit is present and ready to guide us into all truth (John 16:13). As we stay tuned to what God is saying, we can relax and trust that our steps are ordered by the Lord.

3. GET STRENGTHENED IN THE WORD. The Word of God is our sword and our weapon. Instead of speaking from a place of want or lack, we are called to speak from a heart filled with the promises of God’s Word. It puts us in a strong position to fight and win. From this place of strength, having done all to stand, we stand: we pray for one another, we believe God, and we step through open doors!

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

DAILY STRENGTHENING CONFESSION:
The Lord is the strength of my life and there is nothing to fear. I wait on Him and I gain new strength! I mount up with wings like eagles. I run and don’t get tired, I walk and don’t become weary. I am strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus and I can do all things through Him who strengthens me (Psalm 27:1 NKJV; Isaiah 40:31; 2 Timothy 2:1; Philippians 4:13).

con·quer, verb
To gain control of or subdue . . To defeat in war. To eliminate or minimize (a difficulty, for example). To overcome or surmount mentally or emotionally. To be victorious; win.

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. The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Web. 20 Feb. 2018.

A Time For Everything

February 16th, 2018

There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven. He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart. Ecclesiastes 3:1, 11a

1. SAVOR THE SEASONS. Life is a series of seasons and stages. God has an overall mission for your life but there are different stages of your course. Along the way He has divine appointments prepared for you. So enjoy the journey!

2. WHEN YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO. We often want new direction and new anointing, when God is just looking for us to follow through and complete the things He’s already told us to do. If you feel unsure, obey what you already know to do—work hard and stay faithful in the small things. Daily obedience fosters big time breakthrough.

Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13-14

3. PRESS ON. When we quit focusing on ourselves, we can begin to live a life of gratitude and purpose instead of a life filled with “should’ve, could’ve, would’ve.” Next time you get a prompting in your heart to pray—do it. If you feel like you should encourage somebody—don’t hesitate—call or send that person a text. Dig deep in the Word and get ready. God is opening doors for you!

The best is yet to come!
Pastor Jeff Perry
St.Louis Family Church®

DAILY CONFESSION:
I am strong in the Lord and the strength of His might (Ephesians 6:10). I devote myself to prayer, keeping alert with an attitude of thanksgiving, praying that God will open a door for the Word (Colossians 4:2-3). I am fighting the good fight, I will finish the course, I will keep the faith (2 Timothy 4:7).

stage, noun
A section or portion of a journey or course. The distance between stopping places on a journey; a leg. Any distinct time period in a sequence of events.

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. “stage.” Memidex Dictionary/Thesaurus. Web. 12 Feb 2018 .“stage.” The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Web. 12 Feb. 2018.

Sowing and Reaping

February 9th, 2018

For whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. Galatians 6:7b-9

God’s Word is spiritual seed and food. As realistically as your physical body needs physical food, your spiritual self needs the Word of God. It’s pure and powerful, and when you sow it into your spirit, you will reap amazing benefits.

1. BE INTENTIONAL. Take the responsibility to tend to your life as you would a garden. First till the soil of your heart to break up any hard ground, then the Word of God can take root and grow. For example, pull the weeds and remove bitterness, unforgiveness, and apathy.

2. DO EVERYTHING IN LOVE. Words are seeds. Stay away from seeds that yield poisonous plants and weeds that choke out the life of God’s Word (Mark 4:14-20). Avoid discord and strife. Instead, sow seeds of love and encouragement. As we sow God’s promises, faith is produced in our lives.

Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 2 Corinthians 9:6

3. MAINTAIN AN ATTITUDE OF ABUNDANCE. Each one of us is called to be like “a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers” (Psalm 1:3). Keep sowing seeds of life morning, noon, and night into yourself and others with the expectation that it’s going to produce a giant result—both now and into eternity.

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

DAILY CONFESSION:
Today I sow life into my spirit. I treasure God’s Word in my heart (Psalm 119:11). For it is not my strength, but it is God who is effectively at work in me, both to will and to work — strengthening, energizing, and creating in me the longing and the ability to fulfill God’s purpose for His good pleasure. (Philippians 2:13 AMP).

“The land doesn’t care. It will return poison in just as wonderful abundance as it will corn … What we plant it must return to us.” –Earl Nightingale

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. Nightingale, Earl. The Strangest Secret. Merchant Books, 2013. Scripture taken from the Amplified Bible (AMP), Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.

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 .