BY GOD’S GRACE

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God. Ephesians 2:8

1. WE ARE SAVED. God is able to make all grace abound to you in every area of your life (2 Corinthians 9:8). As a Bible student, I was told that grace is God’s willingness to use His power to work on our behalf even though we don’t deserve it. The older I get the more I rely on God’s grace for every aspect of my life. Not only are we saved from sin by grace, but then we are sustained through life by that same grace.

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Three Steps To A Healthy Heart

Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life. Proverbs 4:23

1. KEEP IT SIMPLE. A true genius doesn’t use intelligence to impress and intimidate but instead clarifies things into layman’s terms so others can understand a complex thought. God made Christianity simple enough that a child can grasp it. How much more does He want to help you approach life the same way? When we let Him, God will take what seems super complicated in our lives and simplify it. Then He equips us to do the same for others (1 Corinthians 9:19-23).

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Holiday Help

But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. John 16:7, 13

THE HOLY SPIRIT HELPS US. The Spirit who comes from God, who was hovering over the waters at creation, is the same Holy Spirit who was sent to be our Helper! He is someone who will guide us into all truth. He is available to help you daily. He can help you navigate the holidays with peace and joy and you will finish this year in breakthrough.

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Rejoice With Thanksgiving

And He [Jesus] got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s [Peter’s], and … He said to Simon, “Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.” Simon answered and said, “Master, we worked hard all night and caught nothing, but I will do as You say and let down the nets.” When they had done this, they enclosed a great quantity of fish, and their nets began to break. Luke 5:3-6

1. TURNAROUND. The night Simon Peter caught zero fish turned into the day he met Jesus (and filled his boats to overflowing). We can all relate to times of disappointment when we’ve pulled up empty nets. Yet, God is looking for people in the midst of their disappointment to respond to Him in obedience like Peter: “I will do as You say.”

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Getting Rehydrated


O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly; my soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You, in a dry and weary land where there is no water. My soul is satisfied. Psalm 63:1, 5a

MIRACLE WATERS. Jesus always has been and will be the only true satisfaction in all of life. When God freed the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, He also sustained them with food and water along the way, causing water to pour from a rock. That same God is faithful to all generations. If God can keep three million people hydrated and fed in the desert, He can sustain us as well. Jesus is our rock, gushing living water with all the provision we need (1 Corinthians 10:4).

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BREAKTHROUGH: What to Do When Trouble Hits Your Life

Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. Psalm 34:19

Win every time. When someone becomes a Christian, life does not become easy or utopian. It actually gets more intensified because we are going against the current of the world. But God is good and because of Jesus we can be convinced that even though there are challenges, we can “overwhelmingly conquer” every time (Romans 8:37). Jesus died for us, gave us His Holy Spirit as our Guide, and has given us power so that when we speak the Name of Jesus, mountains move.

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Staying Hopeful in the Daily Grind

Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. Galatians 6:9

KEEP IT SIMPLE. The devil will try to divert us from the simplicity of devotion to Jesus (2 Corinthians 11:3). It’s easy to be complicated, but we don’t have that luxury. God gave an open book test in the Bible when He said: “I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life” (Deuteronomy 30:19). Whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. It’s that simple. Choose Jesus.

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How to Get Out of a Funk

When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained; what is man that You take thought of him, and the son of man that You care for him? Yet You have made him a little lower than God, and You crown him with glory and majesty! You make him to rule over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet. Psalm 8:3-6

1. REMEMBER GOD CARES FOR YOU. King David lived at a time when there wasn’t any light pollution. At night when the sun would set in the holy land, he could see the Milky Way Galaxy. David marveled at the stars and the moon, but then settled in on, “Wow God, You care for me.” Let that sink into your heart: the Creator of the universe cares about you down to the smallest detail. And He is constantly trustworthy and faithful.

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Walk by Faith

For we walk by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7

1. BELIEVE WHAT GOD SAYS. In the Bible God told the Israelites to move into an amazing land He had promised them. Then He had Moses send 12 spies to assess and prepare for the next steps. But instead of coming back with a plan, ten came back as the voice of disbelief saying: “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are too strong for us” (Numbers 13:31b). Instead of looking to what God promised, they looked at the circumstances and decided they couldn’t do it. Caleb and Joshua were the only spies who believed what God said.

Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses and said, “We should by all means go up and take possession of it, for we will surely overcome it.” Numbers 13:30

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Break Through Your Obstacles

And Jesus answered saying to them, “Have faith in God. Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it will be granted him. Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you.” Mark 11:22-24

1. HAVE FAITH IN GOD. This is a year of breakthrough and we are called to actually move mountains. A mountain is the biggest barrier in the natural world. It represents anything in your life that is standing in the way of God’s will being done. Mountains can be fears, natural circumstances, lack, or sickness. Whatever is blocking God’s will in your life, remember that God is faithful, His Word is true, and His promises are unfailing. You can trust and rely on Him.

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Overflowing Life

The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows]. John 10:10 AMP

1. WHY WE NEED IT. Jesus is both the source and sustainer of abundant life. When He showed up on earth, the Roman Empire was in decline and had become enmeshed with hedonism and paganism. As a result, life was empty. In the Jewish religious community things had become a bit dry and there was some hollowness in all the ritualism and law keeping. Jesus came to earth at the perfect time to bring hope to a lost and diseased world. He showed a way of life that was so much better than anything in existence. And that same overflowing life is available to us today.

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The Good Shepherd

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.” John 10:10-11

JESUS THE SAVIOR. Jesus took our sin upon Him when He died on the Cross. We’ve all drifted like sheep, but the Shepherd and guardian of our souls has come to rescue us from our wanderings and get us back in fellowship with God (Isaiah 53:6).

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Taking Your Life to the Next Level

The Lord God is my strength, and He has made my feet like hinds’ feet, and makes me walk on my high places. Habakkuk 3:19

1. KNOW THAT GOD WILL EQUIP YOU. I so appreciate the animal kingdom – God designed certain animals’ hooves to have the dexterity to scale sharp and craggy mountainsides and almost vertical landscapes. Habakkuk, an Old Testament prophet, concluded that just like some animals have feet made for climbing, God makes our feet ready for our jobs. It reminds me of the equipping God gives the church – whatever God has called us to, He has also equipped us with all we need to do His will.

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God’s Abundance Is for You

And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed. 2 Corinthians 9:8

1. REALIZE GOD’S WILLINGNESS. God is always pouring out grace and abundance to His people and His nature doesn’t change—what He told the Early Church stands true for His Church today. He delights in your prosperity (Psalm 35:27). Spend some time studying the Word of God to better understand the One we are called to cast our cares upon and the Father who has provision and sufficiency for every situation.

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The Road to Breakthrough

Therefore, those who had been scattered went about preaching the word. Philip went down to the city of Samaria and began proclaiming Christ to them. But an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip saying, “Get up and go south to the road that descends from Jerusalem to Gaza.” (This is a desert road.) So he got up and went. Acts 8:4-5, Acts 8:26-27a

1. UTILIZE UNEXPECTED DETOURS. In Acts 8 the early Christians were scattered all over because of persecution by Saul, but they kept preaching the Word. God sent one of them, Philip, on a desert road where he encountered a court official from Ethiopia. This man was sitting in his chariot reading the book of Isaiah. He asked Philip what it meant and then, after learning about Jesus, he was saved and baptized! What felt like a disruption and a detour actually became the breakthrough to reach other continents with the message of Jesus.

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Called to Pray

The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23

1. PRAY IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES. God wants us to pray to Him regardless of how we feel. He hears our prayers whether we’re really enthusiastic or feeling flat. When Jeremiah prophesied to the people of Israel that God’s mercy is new every morning, it was to help them know that God wanted them to move forward and get unstuck. Thousands of years later, I have found this verse to be a great help when I have lapsed into self-pity or when I feel numb. God’s mercies are still new for us today!

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The Hope of Your Calling

For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well. Psalm 139:13-14

1. YOUR LIFE MATTERS. You and I are God’s idea. He wanted to create us in His image and give us dominion and identity and purpose (Genesis 1:26). Then when Adam and Eve failed, God had a plan to undo what Adam did by sending Jesus. Where Adam failed, Jesus succeeded. What Adam lost, Jesus restored.

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Three Ways to Resist Temptation

O taste and see that the Lord is good; how blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him! Psalm 4:8

1. RECOGNIZE YOUR NEED FOR JESUS. We all need Jesus. We all have sinned. When Jesus bore our sins on the Cross, the devil thought he had won by killing Jesus. But God, in His infinite wisdom, worked a miracle and reconciled the world to Himself through Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:19). Today God is still taking what the devil meant for harm and turning it around for good!

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Get Your Hope Refreshed

We have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men . . . 1 Timothy 4:10b

1. REMEMBER YOUR CREATOR. When someone loses hope, it’s hard to move forward and grow. Life’s pressures can distract us from the sweetness of knowing Jesus. That’s why we must resist stagnancy by keeping our eyes on Jesus and remembering our Creator (Ecclesiastes 12:1). In the busyness of life, carve out moments to take a deep breath and remember God’s goodness, His power, and His daily presence. He has created you in Christ for good works! (Ephesians 2:10)

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Free

It was for freedom that Christ set us free. Galatians 5:1a

1. FREE FROM PRISON. Jesus came to set captives free (Luke 4:17-18). We can be free because of what happened on Calvary 2000 years ago when Jesus took the burden of our sin and laid down His life. A love like that can’t be earned; it just needs to be received.

Because of the sacrifice of the Messiah, his blood poured out on the altar of the Cross, we’re a free people—free of penalties and punishments chalked up by all our misdeeds. And not just barely free, either. Abundantly free! He thought of everything, provided for everything we could possibly need, letting us in on the plans He took such delight in making. Ephesians 1:7-9 The Message

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Keep Your Confidence in God

Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised. Hebrews 10:35-36

1. GET FREE FROM THE PAST. We are not called to just survive, but to win. If you feel stuck and behind, don’t lose heart. God sent Jesus to strengthen you and free you. Take time to fortify what you believe by reading the Bible. Instead of speaking only what you may feel about yourself, speak out what God says about your life. Example: I am a new creation in Christ! The old things have passed away. New things have come.

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Run Your Race

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us. Hebrews 12:1 NKJV

1. LAY IT DOWN. Every day, minute by minute, we can cast our cares on the Lord. If stuff has happened to discourage you, then enter into God’s presence with thanksgiving and watch Him lift your heart and head as you praise Him and lay down every weight.

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 12:2

2. STEP OUT. An amazing path lies before each of us and we are called to step out of the confines of fear and into a life of faith and love. Some of the great achievements that you and I are called to are rooted in a simple life of obedience and faith, keeping an attitude of thankfulness, and being quick to repent.

Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. Galatians 6:9

3. RUN WITH ENDURANCE. We are made to be durable, to run this race, not just for a short time, but to bring glory and honor to Jesus our whole lives. Study and meditate on the Scriptures to get an awareness of your destiny and purpose so that you don’t miss out on a life of great fruitfulness.

Press On!
Pastor Jeff

DAILY CONFESSION:
You, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory and the One who lifts my head (Psalm 3:3). I keep my confidence in God, which has great reward (Hebrews 10:35). I walk by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7).

en•dur•ance, noun
The ability of an organism to exert itself and remain active for a long period of time, as well as its ability to resist, withstand, recover from, and have immunity to trauma, wounds, or fatigue.

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. “Endurance.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.

Nine Results of the Presence of the Holy Spirit in Your Life

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23

1. LOVE. Loving God and connecting with Him is the best part of life. God is love and His Spirit who dwells within us helps us to respond to others by walking in His love.

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Walking with God

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

1. FIND REST. God has called us to a life that is different than it was before we knew Him—to a life of joy and abundance (John 10:10). If you’ve been distracted and things have gotten bland spiritually or you’ve been so filled with anxiety that you can’t rest, be assured that God wants to bring you into a place of focus and peace.

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Three Ways Praise Brings Peace

I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. I sought the Lord, and He answered me, and delivered me from all my fears. Psalm 34:1, 4

1. PRAISE SETS OUR MINDS ON GOD. Your thought life doesn’t have to be worn down by a bunch of fear. God said that He would keep us in perfect peace when our minds are set on Him (Isaiah 26:3). Lifting our voices in praise to God prevents introspective self-loathing. He has designed praise and worship as powerful tools to help us obtain breakthrough and freedom.

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