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Monday, March 21, 2016

Between His Passion and Pentecost

Acts 1 : 1 - 3, The former account I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, until the day in which He was taken up, after He through the Holy Spirit had given commandments to the apostles whom He had chosen, to whom He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God. NKJV

Have you ever wondered what happened in Jerusalem the week after Christ’s passion? Can you imagine being in Jerusalem on the day of His crucifixion and witnessing the death of Christ and later the next week running into Him alive? They all knew it was Him because He had the wounds to prove it. Here you are a Jew, having witnessed one of the most horrific acts of violence against a man who was guiltless, and you see Him alive! What kind of impact would that have on you? He didn’t return from heaven for just a cameo appearance. He remained with the apostles for forty days and performed many infallible proofs to those who would believe, so that their faith might be solidified.

If you read Matthew’s account of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection, you will learn that after He arose, many who were asleep in their graves arose after Him. I haven’t heard that preached much in my circles concerning Jesus’ Resurrection. To put it frankly, Jesus’ resurrection wasn’t something that was done in the corner and out of sight. It turned that city upside down. How do you explain people coming back to life after being dead for no telling how long?

Remember, the Chief priests and the Pharisees went before Pilate and asked him to place guards at the tomb of Jesus. They didn’t want the disciples of Jesus to stage a breakout and claim that He had risen. I’m being a little facetious, but who’s going to believe these disciples? They, themselves, didn’t even believe Mary when she told them that Jesus had sent her to let them know He was alive. That wasn’t the point, here’s the point. Who’s going to believe the story of a resurrection, if there is no person with the name Jesus, having His wounds, who is alive? On the other hand, how do you dismiss a story of Jesus’ resurrection, when He is standing in front of you performing miracles once again?

They could have left the tomb wide open, but it would not have brought Jesus back to life. Jesus dispelled the lies of the chief priests, the Pharisees, Pilate, Herod and everyone else that had plotted against Him. Now you have even more evidence to prove your case as a believer. May these truths that the Lord has brought out today lift your faith, and may you become even bolder in your profession of faith and declare the goodness of your God. He wasn’t ashamed to call us His brothers and sisters, and we’re not ashamed to call Him our risen Lord.

Remember, for forty days Jesus walked on this earth with His disciples and at least one hundred and nine other people (120 in upper room). For the length of time that He was in the wilderness fasting and then being tempted by the Devil, the Father allowed Him to prove beyond any doubt to the Jews that He was the Christ. He was indeed the Lamb of God, who has taken away the sin of the world. Now, go tell someone about Jesus!

He is Risen,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Friday, March 18, 2016

It's all About the Truth

Matthew 11 : 16 - 19, "But to what shall I liken this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to their companions, and saying: 'We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we mourned to you, and you did not lament.' For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, 'He has a demon.' The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, 'Look, a glutton and a winebibber, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!' But wisdom is justified by her children." NKJV

I have discovered that some of the best teachings immerge from the hardest trials in life. Please take a moment to read chapter eleven so that you can get the full context of what Jesus was teaching and to whom He was directing His comments.

In the above scripture, Jesus is openly rebuking the cities that He had performed the majority of miracles in because the people refused to repent. Instead of repenting of their sins, the people who had witnessed and received miracles at the hands of Jesus turned on Him. When they should have been honoring Jesus as their Messiah, they tried to defame Him as a winebibber, a glutton, and a Friend of tax-collectors and sinners.

Jesus tells those who were present that day that John came to them neither eating nor drinking, and they accused him of being demon possessed. Jesus came eating and drinking, and they accused Him of many things as well. When I read these verses, the Holy Spirit spoke to me very clearly about the mindset or spirit that Jesus was confronting.

Even though the people had witnessed first-hand the mighty miracles of Jesus, they refused to submit to Him as their Savior and Lord. As a result of their rebellious ways, they tried to turn people against John and Jesus because they didn’t agree with the teachings of either of them.

As a pastor, I, too, have faced this type of persecution; people will try to kill your witness by attacking you on a “carnal level,” to create a diversion from the truths that are being taught. If you have experienced this type of persecution, then you know that it is futile to try and please someone who isn’t going to submit to the truth that you have spoken. It didn’t matter what John or Jesus did or didn’t do in their personal lives, they were never going to please those who had rejected the truth. Guess what? None of us will be able to please God and man. Therefore, at some point, we all have to make a conscious decision concerning whom we are going to please, God or man.

When the Holy Spirit revealed these truths that I’m sharing with you today, I better understood why Jesus began to rebuke the cities where He had performed His mighty works. He rebuked them because they had rejected the truth; and He let them know just how hard it would be for them on the Day of Judgment.

This shows us that God can heal anything but offense. The spirit of offense is very prevalent in the “church world” today. Offense isn’t a sickness or disease; it is a spiritual condition of the heart that must be brought before the Lord through repentance. Once a believer seeks forgiveness for becoming offended because of the truth, then they can be restored and reconciled with God through Christ.

We Can Only Serve One Master, 
Pastor Asa Dockery

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Desiring More Of God’s Presence

Psalms 24 : 3 – 5, Who may ascend into the hill of the LORD? Or who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation. NKJV

The purpose of today’s word is to call your attention to the privilege of having the presence of God in and on our lives. Paul tells us in Acts 17 that in Christ, we live, and move, and have our being. There are many great and wonderful blessings that God bestows upon us daily, which enable us to live and to prosper. Nevertheless, there is no greater blessing in our lives than being able to experience the very presence of God.

As I was thinking about the subject of God’s presence, a thought came to me in prayer. Which is worse, being born under the time of the law and not being allowed to enter into the holiest of Holies as a worshiper, or being born under the time of grace, where we have full access to God’s presence, but have no desire to enter? All believers have been granted a valuable treasure. We have the ability to come into the presence of God, who created us and has redeemed us from the curse of the law of sin and death.

Now that we see the favor and love of God… that He would grant us passage into His holy presence to commune with Him, what kind of life should we live? There’s one thing about entering into the presence of a holy and all-knowing God. If our conscience hasn’t been purged through the blood of Jesus, then guilt will manifest in the Lord’s presence. Therefore, we must choose to honor the gift of God’s presence in such a way that we conduct ourselves the same way in the world that we would while in the secret place of God.

The psalmist wrote that only those who have clean hands and a pure heart can ascend the holy hill of God, and then be able to stand in His holy presence. Through our faith in the work of Christ on the cross, we are made righteous in God’s sight. Because of our faith in Christ, God has granted us the grace to enter into the holiest of Holies (His presence). Although we are counted righteous in God’s sight through our faith in Christ, we must also choose to live righteously, so that we can have the boldness to approach God’s throne in prayer or worship.

The Lord is drawing His people back to Himself. What does that mean? He’s calling us (His children) back to living a life that is dedicated and consecrated to the principles of Christ. Consecration simply means that we are devoted to living for the sole purpose of pleasing God both in His holy place and in the world.

As we commit ourselves to living holy before the Lord, His presence will go with us into the world. Instead of ascending the holy hill of God, we will become carriers of God’s holy presence, just as Jesus did while He walked on earth. Jesus has commanded us to be salt and light to the world.

Even if you are currently living a devoted life to Christ, allow the Holy Spirit to use this message to challenge you to seek the Lord at a greater level in your pursuit of Christ. Remember, we are being changed from faith to faith, and from glory to glory. Just because we are passionate for Christ today doesn’t mean that God wants us to settle at that place, and grow stagnate. We must follow Him continually and passionately until we cross the finish line.

Seeking His Presence,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Got Hope?

Hebrews 11 : 1, Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

How is your thought life? Are you hopeful or are you experiencing discouragement? It seems when things are going well, folks tend to be very hopeful about their future. Nevertheless, when life takes a turn for the worse, and you can’t see a way out of your dilemma, hope can be very hard to hold on to. Perhaps you have been in a tough place, and all hope seems to be lost. Before you give up on life or God, let me share some truths with you from God’s Word.

Proverbs 13 : 12 tells us, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes it is a tree of life.” It matters greatly where you and I place our hope. In what or whom are you placing your hope today? We must not place too much emphasis on hope and consequently, lose focus of our purpose for having faith in our hearts. As the scripture states concerning hope being deferred: it can make our hearts sick. If “heart sickness” is happening in your life today, it may produce all types of negative thoughts and emotions. This is why we’re instructed in Proverbs 4 : 23 “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.”

The Word of God teaches us that when we are hit with hard situations and negative events that try to shape our perspective on life, we must guard our hearts from negativity. Solomon teaches us under the direction of the Holy Spirit that issues will spring from our hearts if we leave it unprotected. Therefore, keep your heart from becoming sick by utilizing the power of faith to support your hope.

Hope by itself has the power to sustain us. Even so, after a while, we can lose hope and be thrown into a downward spiral. What is the answer to this problem? It’s found in the scripture that I opened this column with today. Hope needs to be supported by a foundation (something greater than it), especially during trying times. There is such a thing as blind faith…where you know absolutely nothing about the outcome of a particular situation, but you continue to believe anyway. Then, there is biblical faith! This is faith that has been produced in your heart through prayer with your heavenly Father.

Take a few minutes and read all of Hebrews 11. You will see plenty of examples of ordinary people who, in prayer, received specific instructions from the Lord and then acted on their faith. This is true biblical faith at its best. Have you invested significant time in prayer about your current situation, or are you relying on hope alone? Allow me to give you an example of how biblical faith works, so that you’re not just hoping; you will have a sense of “knowing” what the outcome is going to be.

When God called Moses to lead His people out of the land of bondage (Egypt), the Lord told Moses about a land He was going to give to His people. God went on to tell Moses that this land of promise would flow with milk and honey. God also said the land would have houses they didn’t build, wells they didn’t dig, and vineyards they didn’t plant. However, since the Jews, nor Moses had ever been in the land of promise, they had to take God’s Word by faith.

One day, Moses sent spies into the Promised Land to see if it was as God had told them. When the spies returned, they brought back fruit from the land that confirmed what God had promised them. In other words, they had evidence (fruit) to confirm their faith and support their hope. It wasn’t blind faith. Once faith is released in your heart through prayer, it will fuel your hope. If you’re in a hard season, then seek the Lord until faith fills your heart. You will be able to move forward by God’s strength until the answer comes to pass in your life.

Hoping by faith,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Lord, Heal Our Land

Lord, Heal Our Land

2 Chronicles 7 : 14, If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

The key to revival and to the restoration of our country is found in today’s scripture. The Bible gives us many accounts of God’s people calling upon the Lord  when they were in affliction and distress. They interceded to God concerning the plight of His people, and God answered their pleas for help with great delivering power.

In Exodus 2, the children of Israel cried out because of the hardships the new king of Egypt forced on them. God heard their prayers and sent Moses to deliver them. In Exodus 17, the Israelites had to fight against Amalek and his people. While Joshua and his warriors fought against Amalek, Moses stood on the hill above the battle and lifted his arms toward God. As long as Moses held his hands up before the Lord, Joshua and the Israelites would prevail. Nevertheless, when Moses grew tired and his arms dropped, Amalek would prevail over the Israelites.

In Genesis 18, the Lord told Abraham that He was about to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. However, after hearing God’s plans, Abraham began to pray to the Lord on behalf of the righteous people who might live in these cities. He asks the Lord if He will destroy the righteous with the wicked. To this question, God tells Abraham that He would stay His hand of judgment against these wicked and vile cities for the sake of only ten righteous souls. 

I’ve given you only three accounts of where someone interceded (prayed) to God, and God answered their prayers with deliverance in each situation. However, there are many more instances, in both the Old and New Testaments, where God heard and answered the prayers of His people and delivered them from evil and possible annihilation.

As children of God, we have been given the power to have our prayers heard by the Lord of all creation through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Jesus tells us in Matthew 18 that we have the power, through prayer, to affect change on the earth. We can pray for God’s will to be done and for Satan’s will to be stopped, and our prayers will change the outcome of situations. The key to answered prayer is believing. Jesus tells us in Mark 11:24, “Whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.”

As Christians, you and I have the privilege and the responsibility to go before the Lord in prayer whenever we see evil at work in our land. If we pray fervently and believe that God hears and answers our prayers, we will see God’s hand at work on our behalf.

For nine years, I have had the honor of being a part of Awake America prayer gatherings. The sole purpose of these prayer gatherings is to pray for revival in America. We also lift up our leaders on every level of government, as well as the presbytery (ministers) of the churches in America. There’s no doubt that we need God to move in America again and to bring a spiritual awakening to the church. America is also in need of a revival of true repentance.

Here’s the best part! You can be a part of this growing prayer movement in your town or city. Currently, we meet in the following counties: Towns, Union, Fannin, Gilmer, Hall, and Cherokee, N.C. It’s an honor to stand together in prayer with the elected and appointed leaders of our communities and call on the Lord in prayer on behalf of our great country.  For more information about Awake America in your area, contact Lydia Long, prayer coordinator at 706-374-6175 X – 302.

Prayer is the Key,
Pastor Asa Dockery



Friday, February 20, 2015

One Decision

2 Corinthians 6 : 2, For He says: “In an acceptable time I have heard you, and in the day of salvation I have helped you.” Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation. NKJV

I’m sure that you, like me, have had days that started out very demanding; you had to address one issue after another. Some matters are easy to deal with; however, there are also those that we tend to put off until the last minute because they’re so difficult for us to tackle.  

What is it that causes us to delay making certain important decisions? As a pastor, not only have I been guilty of procrastinating, but I have counseled many who have struggled with the stress of making a life-altering choice. If having to make a decision causes us to be anxious, uptight, and worried, then we need to remember what the Lord has promised in His Word. God promised us in Hebrews 13 : 5: “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

When you realize this truth, and you decide to place your trust in the Lord’s faithfulness, He can empower you to face your fears of the unknown; and you can make the correct decision for your life.

However, out of all the decisions that you have made or will ever make during your lifetime, there is only “one decision” that determines your eternal destiny. The Word of God is very clear concerning this decision; we must all make it before we leave this earth. Further, if we should choose not to make this decision, then we have decided already.

I’m reminded of a passage in 2 Peter 3:9, “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” The Lord is patient with us, giving us time to repent of our sins and to turn our hearts and lives over to Him. We’re not promised tomorrow; that is why today is the acceptable day of salvation.

Far too many people believe they can wait until the very last minute of their lives to make this extremely important decision. Perhaps they believe that choosing to accept the gift of salvation will keep them from something pleasurable in this life. If you feel this way, let me share the words of Jesus. Matthew 16 : 26 says, “For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?”

Perhaps no one has ever asked you about accepting Jesus as your personal Savior and Lord. If not, allow me to give you an opportunity to accept Him TODAY. Paul teaches us in Romans 10 : 9, “that if you will confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved.”

If you haven’t prayed to the Lord and asked Him to forgive your sins and fill your heart with the Holy Spirit, please invite Jesus into your heart today. It will be the greatest decision of your entire life. In addition, let a pastor, a family member, or a close friend know that you have made this decision to live for Christ. As you confess the Lord to others, you will become stronger in your new walk of faith. We would love to hear from you as well. You can contact me at prayer@whcnorth.org.

Living by Faith,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Keep the Dream in You Alive

Keep the Dream in You Alive
Genesis 37 : 23 - 24, So it came to pass, when Joseph had come to his brothers, that they stripped Joseph of his tunic, the tunic of many colors that was on him. Then they took him and cast him into a pit. And the pit was empty; there was no water in it. NKJV
If you haven’t read the story of Joseph, I encourage you to do so. The Lord has given us great wisdom in it that will help anyone who has a dream, yet feels as if it will never come to pass.
The Lord showed me a truth by His Spirit that will greatly encourage “dreamers.” Dreamers are people that God has given an inner-knowing, plan, or vision about their destiny in Christ. When we have this unction or knowing from God, it gives us great expectancy and hope, even when it looks impossible in the natural.
Before I go on any further, let me ask you an important question. Do you feel like your life is on the wrong track and the situations you’re facing aren’t taking you toward your vision? Be very careful that you don’t allow these disruptions to discourage you from pursuing your dream. A pit was never mentioned in the dream God gave Joseph. Therefore, can you imagine how Joseph must have felt when he found himself being sold into slavery, and later, when he was thrown into prison? Life has a way of “throwing” a curve that we don’t expect; nevertheless, it is all a part of the vision.
No enemy and/or no situation can keep us from fulfilling our destiny in Christ, as long as we don’t give up along the way. We can’t see the big picture right now, and we don’t know how the things that we have experienced, or are experiencing can ever get us to our goal. Nevertheless, we must remember to keep our eyes on the Lord.
God used the adversity that the enemy brought against Joseph (because of the dreams) to build character and to develop his abilities to be a leader in hard times. Consequently, Joseph succeeded when he arrived at the destination. Joseph’s example teaches us that we have choices to make when adversity hits us. We can allow them to tear us down and see ourselves as victims of our circumstances, or we can choose to look to God for guidance and allow Him to build the characteristics that we need to sustain us when we arrive at our destination. How we choose to respond to adversity will greatly determine how long we will be in the process.
Paul teaches us in Philippians 1 that God is doing a work in us, and He won’t stop until that work is complete. We are in this world, and God is using it to develop some things in us that we need to fulfill our destiny in Christ. Let me leave you with a powerful truth: When we become a covenant friend with God, the world will hate us. However, if we keep our eyes on Jesus, He will cause our enemies to be used to assist us in completing the process and fulfilling our dream.
Here’s an example: Jesus told His disciples that He was going to Jerusalem, and that He would be tortured and crucified there. At that moment, Simon began to rebuke Him by saying that he would not allow those things to happen to Jesus. However, Jesus rebuked Simon; He said, “Get thee behind me, Satan! For you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.” Later, while Jesus was in the garden praying, Judas leads Roman soldiers to Jesus and kisses him as a sign to them that Jesus was the One they were seeking. When Judas kissed Jesus, He called Judas, friend. Why would Jesus call Simon, Satan, and then call Judas, friend? It was because God was using Judas to fulfill His vision for Jesus, and Satan was exploiting Simon in order to get in Jesus’ way of fulfilling His destiny; it was all centered around Jesus’ suffering.
Satan doesn’t want you to suffer for Christ because you will learn how to obey God through suffering. Instead, Satan wants you to protect “self,” and then suffer the loss of your eternal reward...because of disobedience to your calling in Christ. So once again, we all have a choice to make; when life offers us adversity, what will we do? Remember, your adversity comes because of God’s dream. Allow God to fight for you; you be still and see God’s salvation on your behalf.
P.S. I want to thank all of you that have subscribed to Kingdom Moments. I felt that this devotion was perfect to end on. Keep dreaming and God bless you on your journey.
It’s All About the Lord,
Pastor Asa Dockery