Posts Tagged ‘draw near to God’

It’s So Good to Worship God

Friday, October 5th, 2018

Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth. Sing to the Lord, bless His name; proclaim good tidings of His salvation from day to day. Tell of His glory among the nations, His wonderful deeds among all the peoples. For great is the Lord and greatly to be praised; He is to be feared above all gods. Psalm 96:1-4

1. ADORE THE PERSON OF OUR WORSHIP. Many things try to distract and divide our attention, but Jesus deserves our whole heart. We worship Him as the supreme King and giver of life and eternal life. We worship God as our savior. We praise Him for all He has done. We celebrate, we contemplate, and we thank Him.

2. KNOW THE PURPOSE OF OUR WORSHIP. There is nothing like being able to stand before God and be invited into His presence. Worshiping God is the opposite of ignoring Him or disparaging Him. Worship is a way to show our love, our adoration, and our affection for Him.

3. ENJOY THE PRIVILEGES OF OUR WORSHIP. We in the United States are blessed to have privileges which people in many nations are denied, including freedom of assembly. But whether we are worshiping God from prison – like Paul and Silas did in the Bible – or in a church building, let’s seize our moments and worship God freely.

4. ASSEMBLE OFTEN IN THE PLACE OF WORSHIP. It’s possible to worship God 24/7 everywhere we go. But God doesn’t want any of us to be loners, and He insists on us also worshiping together. Don’t let anything keep you from church. Don’t let depression keep you isolated. These things are all the more reason to show up with your church family and draw near to God. He forgives our sins, He heals our diseases, and He redeems our life!

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

PRAY THIS PRAYER (PSALM 103:1-5):
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget none of His benefits. He pardons all my iniquities, He heals all my diseases; He redeems my life from the pit. He crowns me with lovingkindness and compassion; He satisfies my years with good things, so that my youth is renewed like the eagle. Amen!

wor·ship, verb
To honor or reverence as a divine being or supernatural power. To regard with great or extravagant respect, honor, or devotion. To perform or take part in worship or an act of worship.

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. Scripture taken from the Amplified Bible (AMP), Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved. “worship.” Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 24 Sept. 2018.

Praying Like Jesus

Monday, March 10th, 2014

But Jesus Himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray. One day He was teaching; and there were some Pharisees and teachers of the law sitting there, who had come from every village … and the power of the Lord was present for Him to perform healing. Luke 5:16-17

Result of Prayer. Jesus is the Master Teacher of what to do while we are here on earth, and He tells us to learn from Him (Matthew 11:29). He replenished himself in the presence of God, and then, in the next verse, reached religious leaders from every village in the region, and the power of God was present to heal. When Jesus would go away to pray results would follow: healing power (Mark 6:46-56), direction about next steps (Mark 1:35-38), and the choosing of the twelve apostles (Luke 6:12-13).

Resist Distraction. Get away from your phone, the blaring TV, and the crowds long
enough to not let distractions hijack your prayer time. You may feel like you are just surviving right now, but God wants you to be strengthened and ready because people need what you have.

Draw Near to God. Every day, take your stand—God has answers for you. Pray when you’re in the car, flipping channels, going to bed, loading the dishwasher, or at work when you need wisdom and direction. Don’t let guilt or regret keep you from drawing near to God. He won’t judge or condemn you—He’ll give you rest in His presence (Matthew 11:28-30).

Pray This Prayer:
God, as I draw near to You right now, I find rest for my soul. As I seek You with all my heart, I find You. I receive all the answers and direction I need from You. This is the day the Lord has made; I will rejoice and be glad in it. I reject fear and replace it with boldness and courage from the presence of God.

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

God bless you!
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.

Keep Remembering

Monday, October 14th, 2013

This is now, beloved, the second letter I am writing to you in which I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, that you should remember the words spoken beforehand by the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior spoken by your apostles. 2 Peter 3:1-2

The Apostle Peter wrote to the Early Church to stir up their minds by reminding them of the words spoken by the prophets of the past and by the apostles. He wanted them to avoid having spiritual amnesia, where they experience the richness of God but then immediately look away from the mirror of the Word and forget what kind of people they really are (James 1:23-24). God wants us to keep looking into the Word, keep poring over its pages, and keep remembering.

But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does. James 1:25

When you are cooking and something on the stove starts to spill over, you can stir down the boil to calm it down. If things are getting frenetic in life, you can go to the Word of God and “stir down the boil.” Stir down fear and anxiety by stirring up your heart and your mind in remembrance. Draw near to God and speak His Word.

We aren’t idealists who gloss over reality. But, because of Jesus, we are more than conquerors (Romans 8:37). Because of Jesus, we can have a victorious present and a breathtaking future. Keep going back to the mirror of God’s Word to remind yourself who you are and what you have through Jesus. He is available to help you right now.

Draw near to God,
Pastor Jeff Perry
St. Louis Family Church®

Copyright © 2013 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 Big Deal

Monday, November 26th, 2012

Now as they were traveling along, He entered a village; and 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.” Luke 10:38-40

ONE THING IS NECESSARY. When Jesus visited these sisters we see two different reactions to His presence. Mary was restful and receptive to whatever He had to say. Martha was distracted by trying to serve Him. Mary was getting clarity and peace, but Martha got caught up in worry. When Martha asks Jesus to correct Mary, He addresses the real problem by telling her that only one thing is necessary.

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 10:41-42

FIGHT FOR THE PRIMARY THING.
It’s critical to get in the secret place. Martha was caught in the momentum of all the busyness and missed what Mary was receiving from Jesus. The weapons of mass distraction are aimed at our time of receptivity and rest because that is where we get charged and renewed. That’s why we’ve got to fight to keep the primary thing the primary thing.

One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life. Psalm 27:4

SET YOUR MIND ON JESUS. Prioritization is easier said than done. Often the urgent is also important. But you can start by taking—as Pastor Chuck Swindoll calls them—“minute vacations” with God. Sing praises to Him. If you wake up in the middle of the night, pray. Go outside and look at the moon while it’s waxing and waning. Look at the stars and think, “I know the One who named those things.” It’s not mystical. Time with God is where you receive direction and clarity. It’s where you get the answers to the problems you’re facing.

If you’ve been distracted away from the primary thing—connection to Jesus—today is a new day! You can start fresh. Talk to Him. Open your Bible. Meditate. Smile at Him. He loves that stuff. Fix your heart on Jesus. Because when you draw near to God, He draws near to you every time (James 4:8).

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

Nothing Is Too Difficult For God

Monday, August 6th, 2012

If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. John 15:7

Expectancy—anticipating that God will show up in your circumstances—is not manufactured by our energies as much as it is a by-product of God’s presence. God created you for this time and He put gifts in you for a purpose. As you keep your eyes on Him and pray and daily draw close to Him you will see greater fruitfulness and results in every area of your life.

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Psalm 23:1-3

When you feel like your brain has gone flat, draw near to God afresh. He is abundantly available to help in tight places (Psalm 46:1). His Word is living and active and sharper than a two-edged sword (Hebrews 4:12). Read the Psalms when you are going through battles, read Proverbs when you need wisdom, go through the Gospels to see Jesus’ character, read the Epistles to learn the amazing provision of redemption.

You can confidently follow God because He always leads us in the truth (John 16:13). He has a guidance system that is way better than a GPS, and He will never lead you over a cliff or into a ditch.

Ah Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm! Nothing is too difficult for You. Jeremiah 32:17

You actually can do what God has called you to do. You can be the parent, business owner, worker, and friend that God has called you to be. You can be the steady Christian and the fruit-bearer and impact-maker in your world. When you get around Jesus, He stabilizes things. When you get around Jesus, the possibility for healing, miracles, and change is exponentially multiplied. Trust Him fearlessly. There is nothing too difficult for Him.

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

“Relying on God has to begin all over again every day as if nothing had yet been done.” —C.S. Lewis*

Copyright © 2012 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. * Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer Copyright © 1964, 1963 by C.S. Lewis PTE Limited.

God’s Word Is True

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

Hear my cry, O God; Give heed to my prayer. From the end of the earth I call to You when my heart is faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For You have been a refuge for me, a tower of strength against the enemy. Let me dwell in Your tent forever; let me take refuge in the shelter of Your wings. Selah. Psalm 61:1-4

You may be overwhelmed in a situation where you flat-out need divine intervention. Jesus came for that purpose, that He might destroy the work of the devil (1 John 3:8). “For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the Kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1:13-14). Jesus became a sin substitute and set us free, and He has given us authority over all things (Luke 10:19).

Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. James 4:7-8a

God is looking for us to understand our authority as believers. Satan comes to paralyze your planning, dilute your hopes and abort your dreams, and he must be resisted. “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith” (1 Peter 5: 8-9a). Satan will try to hinder you from stepping out and fulfilling the things assigned for you to do (1 Thessalonians 2:18). Remember: God’s Word is true. Drive a stake in the ground and stand firm knowing that at the name of Jesus demons flee. If you are preoccupied, spend some time in worship, meditate on the Word, and listen to good Bible-based teaching to get your mind renewed and on Jesus (Isaiah 26:3).

We are called to trouble-shoot and problem-solve. We are called on a mission to alleviate suffering, address poverty and famine, and save lives. Take hold of what God has for you and step into effectiveness.

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

Copyright © 2012 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.

Let Us Draw Near

Monday, May 14th, 2012

Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus . . . LET US draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith. Hebrews 10:19, 22a

LET US hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. Hebrews 10:23

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, LET US also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and LET US run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2

LET US consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds. Hebrews 10:24

LET US press on to maturity. Hebrews 6:1b

Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, LET US hold fast our confession. Hebrews 4:14

Therefore LET US draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16

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

Copyright © 2012 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.