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Friday, April 29, 2011

Enlightened To See the Invisible God

Isaiah 55: 6, Seek the LORD while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near. NKJV

Isaiah 55: 8 - 9,
"For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways," says the LORD. "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts. NKJV

The Lord gave Isaiah a powerful insight into the repercussions that occur when we choose to forsake God. He reveals to us that sin separates our minds from His mind and our hearts from His heart. When Adam and Eve chose to break fellowship by sinning against the Lord, it caused all of mankind to become carnally minded. Our understanding and consciousness of God had become darkened. This spiritual ignorance which was the result of a hardened heart of unbelief caused all humans to go astray in their hearts. Spiritual blindness led us astray.

As long as a person chooses to walk in rebellion, they will walk in spiritual ignorance and not be able to see the invisible God. The writer of Hebrews instructs us to pursue peace and holiness without which no man shall see the Lord. Now that we have discussed the causes of spiritual blindness and have learned that it keeps us from seeing the invisible God and knowing His ways, let's discuss what we can do to become enlightened on how we can rectify this problem.

When I use the term "see the invisible God," I'm speaking about knowing Him and His ways through divine revelation. It's not that we will begin to see God with our natural eyes (once we are born again), but rather we can have the mind of Christ to understand God's ways. This will cause us to recognize God in any situation. The Holy Spirit will renew our minds with the understanding of God and empower us to know what to do whenever a problem arises in our lives. Here is the key to receiving sight (or understanding) in order and walk in the ways of God. You must trust in the Lord with your entire heart and don't look to your own wisdom, but in all your decisions acknowledge Him, and He will direct your steps through His Spirit within you.

Ephesians 1: 15 - 18,
Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; NKJV

What Does God Look Like,
Pastor Asa

Thursday, April 28, 2011


Proverbs 4: 23, Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. NIV

Do you view yourself as being valuable? Before you answer that question, let's qualify something. Doesn't it matter who is placing that value on us? God looked at us while we were still sinners and declared we were priceless. We know this to be true because He gave His only begotten Son to redeem us from the bondage of sin. God has placed the highest value on fallen man that could ever be set.

Satan, on the other hand, believes that we are worthless, and he works overtime trying to use harsh people and adverse situations to convince us of this lie. Isn't it wonderful to know that God saw us as redeemable and priceless before we got our "life" together? Now that we know this truth, we can have the hope and strength that we need to walk away from our old identity and embrace the new man who is created in true righteousness and holiness. 

Therefore, we must learn how to guard our hearts. Here are some indicators that will help you to determine if you're guarding your heart from Satan's ploys. As a Christian, do you value the Word of God to the point of getting in it and allowing it to get into you? Do you value your relationship and intimacy with the Lord by investing time seeking the Lord so that you can live a life that is pleasing to Him?

We must not fool ourselves into thinking that we can begin to guard our hearts from the strategies of Satan without placing value on God and His Word. In fact, the more value and honor we place on God's Word and on being in His presence on a consistent basis, the more we are keeping the purity of heart intact.

Seeing all that is happening around us should convince us that we are, indeed, living in the end times. Since we are aware of that truth, it should provoke us even more to be on guard because Jesus and Paul taught us about the last days being evil. In the evil day, we must be able to withstand (or keep the spiritual ground that we have gained) lest we succumb to the wiles of the Devil. 

In Ephesians 6, Paul tells us exactly how we can overcome the adversary of our soul and live a victorious life in the evil day. We must train ourselves through self-discipline to be strong in the Lord and walk in the power of His might. It will require dedication to God's Word and a desire to be continually in His presence in order for us to resist Satan in these last days. Even so, remember, God loved us when we couldn't love ourselves. He forgave us when we couldn't forgive ourselves. He placed His Holy Spirit in us when we had no power to change ourselves. He has the power to keep us in the evil day when we can't keep ourselves. We must be willing to yield to the leading of the Holy Spirit and fulfill God's purpose in our life to be victorious. Submit to God, resist the Devil, and he will flee from you.

Yielded and Waiting,
Pastor Asa

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Baggage Claims

1 John 1:8-10, if we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives. NIV

I have discovered that ministry has many exciting and challenging opportunities. One year, I was asked to lead a pastor's conference in West Africa. Since I had heard plenty of horror stories from fellow ministers who had traveled extensively about them losing their baggage, I thought it would be wise to place most of my valuable things in one carry-on. I was amazed at how quickly customs got me cleared with my carry-on intact.

While I was waiting to board the international flight, someone from the airlines stopped when she noticed how big this luggage was. She was so kind and soft spoken when she stated, "This piece of luggage is too large to be carried onto the plane. I will send it down to baggage." The representative went on to assure me that my baggage would be in Ghana upon my arrival. Well guess what? When we arrived, the custom attendants in Africa couldn't find the luggage anywhere. Because I had been so careful to place everything I needed in that one piece of luggage, I had no suits, and my printer was now in the U. S. They calmly assured me that it would be flown on a subsequent flight, and I would have it promptly. Guess what? It was many days later.

Our walk with the Lord is a lot like taking a journey with baggage in tow. Along the way, our humanity can flare up and cause us to slip and fall into sin. If and when this occurs, we must do as John instructed us in today's passage and confess our faults to the Lord. There's just one little problem with that process. Most times when Christians fall back into a fault or transgression, it means they are under the power of deception. Therefore, they don't really view their actions as sin. Self-justification can cause (even believers) to justify sin based on "legitimate excuses." 

If a believer falls into sin, but doesn't confess that sin to the Lord, then the sin begins to collect, and we place it in our "spiritual" baggage. When we continue our journey of life with un-confessed sin in our heart, we are literally carrying baggage. The Word of God tells us very plainly that we will give an account on that Day of every idle word and deed done whether good or evil. Since we know this, how do we keep our spiritual baggage empty of any offenses? 

When King David sinned against the Lord, God sent David's son Nathan to inform him of the evil. As Nathan told the King a story about a man's actions that had robbed another man of a ewe lamb, David's anger exploded. When Nathan told the king that he was talking about his sin, it caused David to see the evil that had been hidden in his own heart. Once God exposed the sin in King David's heart, he became broken and confessed his wrongs before the prophet and God. In his brokenness, David repented and emptied his heart (baggage) out before God in prayer. Although his sins had severe consequences, because David confessed them and asked for God to forgive him, his sins were forgotten.

Do you have any baggage in your life that needs to be buried before you reach your final destination? If we bury our sins one DAY they will be resurrected without one defense, but if we will confess our sins before the Lord today, then He will bury them for us... never to be remembered again. If you can't remember any transgressions, but you feel like there might be some buried, simply ask the Holy Spirit to bring them back to your remembrance. Let us lay aside every weight and the sin that does so easily ensnare us and run this race with endurance.

We Have Located Your Baggage,
Pastor Asa

Monday, April 25, 2011

At The Movies

Psalms 91: 5 - 8, You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day, nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday. A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it shall not come near you. Only with your eyes shall you look, and see the reward of the wicked. NKJV

Recently, our area has experienced some violent storms. Even today as I am writing this devotion, we are expecting more thunderstorms. Earlier, we were driving out of our subdivision, and I noticed the wind had become so forceful that the trees were swaying back and forth. It was at that moment the Lord reminded me of something found in Psalms 91: When we hide in the presence of the Lord, we also abide under the protective shadow of His wings.

As we were driving through the fallen debris on the road, it reminded me of people who love watching horror movies. (I don't why, but it did.) Even though the images on the big screen are frightening to the viewers, we realize that it is just that, images. Perhaps this is why so many people in the world are drawn to these types of films. They know that the people are actors, and the scenes have been staged. Nevertheless, the movies are produced in such a realistic way that it makes the viewer respond out of fear anyway. Apparently, people love the experience of being out of control or watching violent situations... as long as they don't have to face them personally. 

Didn't the psalmist write, "Only with our eyes shall you look and see the reward of the wicked?" Doesn't that sound a lot like being at a movie? Although there are correlations between watching a movie and seeing the reward of the wicked with our eyes, we must understand that movies are fictional, and life is reality. Just like the psalmist wrote, we are a witness to the horror and threats, but we're not partakers of it because we have made the choice to be secure under the wings of safety.

Satan loves to imitate and to pervert the principles of God's Word and kingdom. He uses these devices of deception to entangle people and distract them from the truth. I enjoy going to an encouraging or humorous movie occasionally. It is an excellent time for our family to enjoy something together. As long as people see movies for what they are, entertainment, there is no real danger. 

However, if we allow ourselves to get caught up in the emotion of the way things appear, we may lose sight of truth (or what is real). Remember, Satan is big into image and sight. He promised Eve that she would become like God by eating of the forbidden fruit which looked so appealing. It was the feeling that she experienced that caused her to buy into Satan's lies. Eve left reality. Therefore, she was unprotected from Satan, and he took full advantage of the opportunity to destroy what God had already given them in the garden. We must stay under the safety of God's protection so that Satan does not trick us into perceiving a lie as the truth. If God is our refuge and our dwelling place, no evil will come upon us, nor will any plagues come near our dwelling. He gives His angels charge over us to keep us in all our ways. I choose to dwell in the secret place of the Most High, and I invite you into the safety of His presence today. 

Watching God's Protection with My Eyes,
Pastor Asa

Friday, April 22, 2011

Good Friday, Remembering the Lord

1 Corinthians 11: 23 - 25, For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, "Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me." In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me." NKJV

Good Friday is the day that Christians around the world set aside to commemorate the death of our Christ and what His sacrifice has meant to us. Jesus commands us to remember His death as we partake of Holy Communion. On this Good Friday, I am reflecting on Jesus' love, loyalty, and devotion to His heavenly Father. John tells us in chapter 3 that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. God loved the world, and Jesus loved His Father.

It was on Thursday evening that Judas betrayed Jesus into the hands of men. He spent the night being tormented, tortured and judged. Early on Friday, as an angry crowd was beginning to gather, the chief priests and the elders plotted the death of Jesus. They led Him before Pilate, but he could find no fault in Jesus that would justify His condemnation to death on a Roman cross. Instead, Pilate found Him innocent and with the crowd as his witness, Pilate washed his hands of this sinless man's blood. It so happened that there was a feast, and it was the custom of the governor to release one criminal to the people during this time. Pilate asked the people if they wanted Jesus or Barabbas, a notorious criminal. 

After the crowd had chosen Barabbas as the one who would be set free, Jesus was brought into the governor's palace ...perhaps a courtyard where He was surrounded by a garrison (400- 600) of soldiers. He was separated from the Jews, and the soldiers took turns spitting on Him. They beat Him with reeds and slapped His face and plucked His beard with their hands. Finally, they plaited some thorn vines together and placed them on His head as they bowed before Him and mocked Him. 

After this, they led Him to Golgotha, the place of the skull. It was there that they hung Him on a criminal's cross. Perhaps it was supposed to have been the cross of Barabbas, but now the Lamb of glory was nailed to it. The High Priest was offering the Paschal lamb somewhere in Jerusalem that day, and at the same time, Jesus, the Lamb of God was being hung upon the cross. Unlike the Paschal lamb, this Lamb (Jesus) wasn't being offered to cover the sins of the Jews for another year; He was given to take away the sins of the entire world. 

As you go through your day, take a moment occasionally and reflect on all that Jesus suffered on your behalf. There's nothing on earth that can compare to the love Jesus displayed on the first Good Friday.

It Was My Cross That He Bore,
Pastor Asa

Thursday, April 21, 2011

POWER Within

2 Corinthians 4: 7, But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. NKJV

I find this passage to be very intriguing. On one hand, Paul speaks to the frailty of our humanity and on the other he speaks to the power of God that each believer contains within their vessel. While we are weak in the natural, we have a power on the inside that can give us life to go on and overcome any obstacle.

Anyone can choose to live a very mundane life...where we accept whatever life throws at us and call it fate. However, Christians can choose to live a life that is powerful, victorious, and overcomes whatever life sends our way.

As a human, you can allow life to bully you around, but as a Christian you have the power and potential to face your giants and slay them. Life for the average believer should be anything but average (or normal). We have the same power that created the heavens and the earth abiding within us. So let me ask you a question. What created thing has more power than the power that abides in you... that it would be able to defeat you?

All you need in order to stir the power of God that is contained within your earthen vessel is "faith." Once faith comes in contact or agreement with the power of God within your life, all things will become possible. Do you want to live a mundane life, or do you want to live a supernatural life that doesn't roll over when Satan roars? Take a stand today, and let faith fill your heart and connect with the power source in your spirit. It will be nothing less than explosive.

Prayer Connects Faith with Power,
Pastor Asa

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Faith in Christ Changes Everything

2 Corinthians 5: 16 - 18, Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. NKJV

I've recently finished writing a book entitled "The Greatest Revelation." Obviously, before I could send it to the publisher, it had to be checked for errors. While I was proofing, the Lord suddenly revealed something to me in a line that I read in the book concerning the identity of Abraham and Jesus, and that is what I want to share with you today.

In Genesis 12, God appeared to Abram and instructed him to leave his father's house and go to a land that He would later give to his descendants. During the twenty-five year journey, God began to reveal all the things He wanted to accomplish through Abraham's seed... Paul tells us in Galatians that the Lord was speaking about Jesus being the Seed of Abraham.

 God told Abram that he was going to give him a new name. He would now be called Abraham because he would be the father of many nations. After God changed Abram's name, He introduced him to the ordinance of circumcision. Therefore, through the seed of Abraham, a new race of people had begun, one that wasn't based on natural ethnicity, but, instead, was based on faith.     

Now let's progress ahead to the time of Jesus. When it was the appointed time for the Christ to come to earth, God used His Word and Mary's faith to form Jesus in her womb. Jesus was conceived by faith just like Isaac was conceived by faith, and like Isaac, Jesus was the first-born of a new race. In Christ, we are born again into the spirit realm of eternal life. Just as Abraham's faith brought into being the Jewish people, Mary's faith in God's Word brought into being a royal priesthood and a holy nation. Even as Abraham entered a covenant with God and through faith was no longer a gentile, we, who enter a covenant with God through our faith, are no longer sinners. Do you hear Jews going around saying, "I'm just an ole gentile saved by grace?" Once we accept Christ and die to our old man, we are a brand new creature in Christ. (2 Cor. 5: 16) Hallelujah!!

I Was Dead Before I Was Born Again,
Pastor Asa

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Goodness and Mercy Shall Follow You

Matthew 16 : 24 - 26, Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. NKJV

Are you a believer in Christ? If so, are you living the blessed life that God through Christ desires for you? The very moment that you accepted Jesus as your personal Savior and Lord, you became born again by faith. If we truly desire to live a blessed life, you and I must continue to obey by faith. It's one thing to believe in Christ, but once we accept Him as our Lord, our relationship with Him takes on a different dimension. In order to receive the blessings that have been promised to us as children of God, we must begin to obey God's will and His voice when He speaks to us and not our own desires.

Our faith in Jesus as Christ has given us access into the grace of God. Now that we're standing in His grace through faith and not in our own works, His favor will supply all of our need. When we understand this concept in our hearts, it will free us to give and to obey all that the Father asks of us. In today's scripture, Jesus tells us that if we desire to keep our life, we must deny our "self" nature and follow Him. So, a person cannot just say they're saved and think that they will have "a blessed life" if they have no intentions of continuing to obey by faith. However, if they will choose to obey and deny their "self" nature, then the promises of the covenant that they have entered with God through Jesus will become theirs.

By faith, Abraham and Sarah received the life of God in their old age to have Isaac. It was through faith that this miracle occurred, but the plan of God for them didn't stop when they received their promised heir... it had only just begun. God instructed Abraham to take Isaac, his only son, upon Mount Mariah and offer him upon an altar unto the Lord.  This act of Abraham's obedience illustrates what Jesus told us in today's verse. We must our deny our fleshly desires in order to live "the blessed life." Let me point out something that is essential for you to know in your walk of faith: had Abraham disobeyed God's command to offer Isaac because he loved him more than he trusted God, Abraham would have forfeited the blessing of God. Anytime we as believers decide that God's requirements are too great and choose, instead, to preserve self, we will forfeit the blessing of God on our life that comes through His promises. 

Since Abraham did obey and offered Isaac up to the Lord, God revealed to Abraham another way... after he obeyed. If you will read Genesis 22: 1, you will see that this event was only a test. If God asked us to give up something that is of value in order to continue in obedience, then know that it is a TEST of our love. He wants to know if we love "self" more than Him. If you love God more, then He will see to it that goodness and mercy follow you as you obey. God provided a ram, which was caught in the thicket, but Abraham didn't notice it until after he had obeyed God's will. In chapter 22, the Word tells us that the ram was behind Abraham as he faced the altar. After the test was completed, and Abraham had passed it, God could bless both Abraham and his descendants forever. That sounds like a blessed life to me! Whoever seeks to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for His name's sake will find it. Allow goodness and mercy to continue following you today as you lose your life for His.

I Surrender All to Him,
Pastor Asa

Monday, April 18, 2011

Faith Corrects Wrong Attitudes

Genesis 4: 3 - 7, And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the LORD. Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the LORD respected Abel and his offering, but He did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell. So the LORD said to Cain, "Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it." NKJV

It was simply because Cain chose to reject God's way and decided to give his own type of offering to the Lord that a horrible situation was set into motion. You will notice that Abel, the brother of Cain, had given God an acceptable offering. Abel's sacrifice was accepted, so we know he offered it in faith and according to God's guidelines.

Today, we need to look at the outcome of someone who might choose as Cain did... to reject walking by faith and, instead, choose to live according to their own carnal (fleshly) desires. In Genesis 3, God killed an animal and used its skin to cover the nakedness of Adam and Eve. The Lord's choice to use an animal sacrifice revealed to Adam and his sons that this was the acceptable offering for the atonement (covering for their sin debt). Cain was a gardener, so he disregarded this ordinance and chose, instead, to offer God something that he had grown.

Shortly after Cain's offering is rejected by the Lord, he begins to develop a wrong attitude toward God and life. God attempted to correct Cain, but he wouldn't hear of it. God concluded His talk with Cain with a warning about sin crouching at his door. He told Cain that he should rule over sin, but if he continued to disobey God's rules, sin would rule over his heart.

 Cain used the rejection that he felt from God as a justification for his inappropriate attitude... because he refused to repent of unbelief. Therefore, his anger quickly escalated to wrong actions. In anger, he rose up against his brother and killed him in the field. All of this stemmed from an evil heart of unbelief in the heart of Cain who chose to live life according to his own rules. 

Likewise, what you and I believe will develop our attitude. Unbelief will cause a wrong attitude, and faith will create a right attitude. It will be from our attitudes that our actions are created and directed. Wrong belief or unbelief cause wrong attitudes and wrong attitudes will lead us to carry out wrong actions. Wrong actions lead us to hard consequences. If the hard consequences don't produce in us a repentant heart, then the next step will lead to death, which is separation from life or things that are the result of the blessings of God's life.

In one day, Cain lost his freedom, Abel lost his life, and Adam and Eve lost their sons...all over an offering service that went wrong. How could something good like receiving an offering go so wrong? SIN

None of us know what is really hidden in our hearts until our attitudes begin to reveal it. Watch your attitude. It will tell you whether or not sin is hiding out in your heart. ATTITUDE is "literally" a word to live by today! Thank you Lord, for Godly wisdom that saves us from destructive ways!

Saved by Grace,
Pastor Asa

Friday, April 15, 2011

Confidence To Stand

Hebrews 12: 25 - 27, See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven, whose voice then shook the earth; but now He has promised, saying, "Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven." Now this, "Yet once more," indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain. NKJV

Throughout the New Testament, we are encouraged by the Words of Jesus and the writings of Paul not to be shaken when trouble comes. The Lord has taught us not to fear when calamity strikes the world. In spite of the wisdom and words of comfort from the Bible, do you find it hard not to fear when Satan roars?

Basically, what Jesus and our heavenly Father are asking of us is that we trust them while living in a world of volatility. The key to trust is found in knowing someone, in this case, knowing our heavenly Father. Are you an avid student of the Word of God? Do you invest the time that is needed in prayer to build a foundation of confidence in your own heart? These simple truths will empower your heart to have confidence to confront and overcome fear.

If you have not developed the confidence you need, there is a very good possibility that when shaking occurs through wars, famine, or economic hardship, you might become shaken in your heart and spirit as well. As we see the world's situations becoming more fragile with each passing day, it's an indication to the believers in Christ that we need to arm ourselves with the whole armor of God. (Ephesians 6)

When we take the necessary time to understand and to know through experience the ways of God, we will have peace when situations warrant fear. In today's world, Christians have a very important decision to make about deepening their faith in Jesus as their Lord. If we choose to remain ignorant of God's Word and ways, then we will make ourselves prey for Satan's devices through our fears. Thankfully, this doesn't have to be the case. 

When you know and obey the truth, it will set you free from the feelings of fear and vulnerability. There are times that we experience trouble in our personal lives or have a calamity in the world, but our heavenly Father has not abandoned us. These troubles just mean that the enemy is seeking someone who isn't confident in their God...so that he can devour them through fear.

Jesus asked a question of His disciples in Matthew 16 that I want to pose to you? "Who do you say that I Am?" True confidence is established when we know Jesus as the Christ and not just our Savior. When we truly know Him as the "ROCK" of our faith, then He will keep us when this world begins to crumble around us. Are you hiding in the cleft of the ROCK today?

Jesus Is That Rock,
Pastor Asa

Thursday, April 14, 2011

A Time Of Refreshing

Psalms 16: 11, You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. NKJV

Do you find it difficult to set aside the time to be in God's presence? The enemy fights us so that we don't invest more of our time in the Lord's presence. Imagine for a moment what a plant that is dependent on sunlight would look like if it never got to soak up the sun's rays. Just as a plant grows because of the nutrients from the sun, Christians also thrive when we take the time to be in God's presence.

As we delight ourselves in His presence and worship Him, it opens our hearts up to receiving understanding. Like plants respond to sunlight, our body, mind, and spirit respond to being in His presence. If this seems a little strange to you, let me remind you about the teaching of Jesus in John 15. He tells us that we are the branches, and He is the Vine. If we abide in Him, and He abides in us, we will begin to bear fruit. Further, Jesus tells us that when we abide in Him and His Words abide in our hearts, we can ask whatever we desire, and it shall be done for us. 

Now we can better understand why the adversary of our soul doesn't want us to take the time needed to refresh our souls in God's presence. Being in His presence releases the blessings and power of God's life into our souls, which causes us to flourish in the natural realm. Jesus said that we will bring glory to the Father through the fruit that we bear, and we will be His disciples, indeed. If, as a Christian, you're not accustomed to taking the time to get alone in the presence of God and worship Him regularly, I challenge you to begin today. Set aside a part of your day to be with the Lord and receive refreshment from Him.
After a while (be consistent), you will begin to see the results in your life. Your time and energy level will be blessed, and you will be able to accomplish more things; the benefits are limitless. In order to the progress of your investment of time, I suggest you begin to keep a record (every day) of the blessings you receive. At the end of one month, take the journal, look back over what He has done for you and through you, and you will see how the Lord's presence has increased favor and grace in your life.  will discover that God's presence yields high dividends... and you really didn't have to do all that you thought you had to do. Other than the natural blessings that you will receive, there's one more added benefit to you taking the time to be in God's presence: you will become a stronger believer in your walk of faith... and others will recognize that by your countenance. Moses was in God's presence for forty days, and his face was illuminated to the point that he had to wear a veil over his face. Now that's power!

Being Refreshed in God's Presence,
Pastor Asa

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Jesus Has Given You Authority

Luke 10:17-20, When the seventy disciples returned, they joyfully reported to him, "Even the demons obey us when we use your name." "Yes," he told them, "I saw Satan falling from heaven as a flash of lightning! And I have given you authority over all the power of the Enemy, and to walk among serpents and scorpions and to crush them. Nothing shall injure you! However, the important thing is not that demons obey you, but that your names are registered as citizens of heaven."

Can you imagine the response of these disciples when they excitedly declared to Jesus their ability to have authority over demons, and He sets them straight? I can almost hear it now, "You might think that Jesus would be more grateful to us than that." "I thought He would have been proud of our accomplishments." Have you stepped out for the Lord, and seen great success in something, but afterwards you experienced a response in your spirit that let you know the Lord wasn't pleased with what you did? You did this on your own; that is immaturity, and it can pop up its head at the most inopportune times. How many times do we read in the gospels where Jesus was constantly refocusing the attention of the disciples? Immaturity in the principles of the kingdom of God can get us in hot water; so Jesus is faithful to correct us... even if it does bruise our ego. He has given us authority over all the power of the enemy, and desires us to walk in that authority. What He doesn't want to see is Christians obtaining their identity or acceptance with someone for having authority over demons. We are to walk in authority over our adversary, not rejoice over our defeating him. It might seem insignificant, but the violation of this very principle has brought down powerful ministers; they lost their focus, and made it about themselves and about the giants they had defeated. Freedom and not acclamation should be sufficient gratification for overcoming our adversaries. It's the little foxes that spoil the vines.

What practical application can be used to implement this in everyday living? Have you ever been the target of an enemy at work? Perhaps a fellow worker made it their life's mission to get you fired and replaced, but the Lord turned it around for you. How did you respond when you were delivered from the attack, and your enemy fell into their own trap?

In His service,
Pastor Asa

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A Penny Is All I Ask

James 4 : 13 - 15, Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit"; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. NKJV

I would like to share an allegory with you today that the Lord revealed to me about our time on earth. In this story, we will imagine that you are currently a very wealthy person. All of your relatives and friends know you to be a billionaire. In Deuteronomy 8 the Lord told us that He is the one who has given you the power to get wealth in order to establish His covenant.

One day the Lord comes to you and asks for a penny. Instead of giving Him the penny, you explain to Him that it will take some time for you to decide whether you will give it to Him. In order to get your head clear, so you can make a wise and profitable decision, you hop aboard your private jet and whisk away to a secluded villa on an island which you've purchased.

While you're there being lavished with all of the comforts that money can offer, you begin to consider what has been asked of you by the Lord. After all, your education and experience in the financial world has taught you not to make an unwise investment.  Time passes quickly. You retreat to your library and begin to pour through books on investing, seeking wisdom from famous entrepreneurs about this strange request. When you have exhausted all resources that are available to you, your heart still has not found the answer needed in order to respond to the Lord.

Finally, after being held up on your island for months on end, you remember hearing of someone else that had become successful in the financial world. You board your jet again and excitement begins to fill your heart. You anticipate finding your answer in another's success. While in the air on the way to the meeting, you begin to imagine how you will explain such an odd investment to this person of great prominence and affluence. The moment you've been waiting for has arrived, and you find yourself in the palatial office of this corporate executive. Together, you sit down at "the round table," and you begin to share this strange petition from the Lord. However, after hours of deliberation and thought provoking debate, you walk away from the meeting even more baffled than before. In bewilderment, you tell your driver to follow you as you walk to the park to contemplate the debate in your own heart.

You enter the park and find a seat. The sun has disappeared and the moon begins to shine its light on your face. After sitting there for hours looking up at the stars, you begin to sense that someone is beside you on the bench. You turn to see who has invaded your private space and realize that the Lord has returned for your answer. Unfortunately, after all of your searching and researching, you still don't know how to answer the Lord. As you begin to explain to Him that you need more time to further examine your options, He places His fingers over your lips.

The Lord tells you that He has not come for the penny. He has come to let you know that your days on earth have come to an end. It is at that very moment you realize just how much time you have wasted trying to determine if giving a penny to the Lord was a wise investment. Now the billions that you once possessed will go to another.

It seems foolish to think that someone would be so selfish as to deliberate so long about such a trivial request. What is the length of this life in comparison to eternity or eternal life? There is nothing on this earth that we can use to compare the time that we have on earth to an eternity (infinite time). A penny verses a billion dollars doesn't even begin to come close. What are you doing with the life God has given you? Are you living it for Him, or are you spending it in search of the way to best live it?

Life Is Too Short to Waste,
Pastor Asa

Monday, April 11, 2011

Perplexing Situations

Psalms 78: 41 - 44, Yes, again and again they tempted God, and limited the Holy one of Israel. They did not remember His power: The day when He redeemed them from the enemy, when He worked His signs in Egypt, and His wonders in the field of Zoan; turned their rivers into blood, and their streams, that they could not drink. NKJV

Life can be overwhelming at times. Given the perplexity of the times in which we now live, that statement has more relevance than ever before. Perhaps you have had, or you are currently facing a perplexing situation. Just this week, I have spoken with two people who are battling with this type of issue. They didn't know how their situation was going to be corrected or when it would end.  

Whenever life hands us a problem that seems to be out of our power or control, we can simply turn to the Lord. At first glance that statement might seem like a clique'. However, throughout the Word of God, we are instructed to turn to Him when we are faced with various trials and troubling (hard to understand) problems. When we turn to the Lord in a trying season, it teaches us to rely on the strength of God. This is a good thing, because the fall of man has caused humans to become self-sufficient or self-reliant. Whenever we are faced with complex and long-term ordeals, if we will seek the Lord for solutions, He will open the realm of possibilities for an answer. 

The Lord invites us to bring our cares, burdens, and concerns to Him in prayer so that He will be able empower us to confront our fears and defeat our enemy (Satan) through faith. As we seek the Lord in faith, we are also allowing the Lord's wisdom an opportunity to be released to assist us in our understanding. Until we open ourselves up to Godly understanding and allow His wisdom to be released to us, self-sufficiency can cause us to see only one way of "unraveling our ball of yarn." 

If you're faced with a situation that seems to grow more difficult each day, then drop to your knees and begin to seek God's wisdom and understanding. He will direct your path out of the fog and confusion. 

Ephesians 3 : 20 - 21,
Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. NKJV

Seeking the Lord,
Pastor Asa

Friday, April 8, 2011

Praise will Flow from a Heart that has Hope

Romans 8:22-25, For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance. NKJV

Christians have an eternal hope that Christ is returning one day for us. Everyone that has this hope, according to John's epistle purifies themselves. The hope that Christ gives us causes Christians to behave, talk, live, relate, give, and etc. differently than people who are lost. If we are cognoscente of the fact that Jesus is returning one day, and that this world isn't our final resting place, it puts a fire in our hearts to live a disciplined life...a life that is free from the lusts and cares of this world.

Eternal hope should have an impact on every area, and in every day of our lives on this earth. It can, and will give you strength to endure with patience a fiery trial. Hope in Christ can prevent us from having a sour attitude toward God, life, or those around us. Hope empowers us to rise above the temptation to live in our flesh.

Acts 16:16-19, Now it happened, as we went to prayer, that a certain slave girl possessed with a spirit of divination met us, who brought her masters much profit by fortune-telling. This girl followed Paul and us, and cried out, saying, "These men are the servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us the way of salvation." And this she did for many days. But Paul, greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, "I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her." And he came out that very hour. But when her masters saw that their hope of profit was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to the authorities. NKJV

Can you imagine leading someone to Christ, so that they are able to experience the hope that you have, and then find yourself being beaten for it, and thrown into prison? Yet, this happened to Paul and Silas one day as they were going to pray.

After they had beaten Paul and Silas, they threw them into the inner dungeon where it was dark and nasty. There's no way to describe the Roman jails of Paul's time to us who live in America... with prisons that have heat, air, and television for the inmates. Nevertheless, about the midnight hour, Paul and Silas, even though they still had their own dried blood on their backs from the beating began praising God.

You're probably wondering how they could be in such a horrific situation, and find the strength or desire to praise God. Perhaps it seems impossible to find anything about the treatment of these men of God that is praise worthy. Didn't Paul instruct us in all things to be thankful? Remember we have a hope that causes us to even think differently than others. Look back at the passage that the Lord had me to highlight for this devotion. Paul experienced what it was like to be beaten and held in bondage in chains, and waiting for God's salvation through hope. It was about the midnight hour that Paul felt the hope of God's delivering power filling his heart, and they began to sing and praise the Lord. As they were lifting up the Lord, God's presence began to shake the foundation of that prison, and the doors flung open.

It was so dark, when the commotion woke up the jailer, that he couldn't see if the prisoners had escaped. They were praising God in complete darkness. When he saw no prisoners, the jailer took a sword and was about to kill himself, but Paul yelled out at him. "We're all still here." How is it that the jailer couldn't see them... but Paul was able to see the jailer? Chew on that a moment! The jailer came to the place where Paul and Silas were being held, and asked how he might be saved.

Isn't that just like our God? The salvation of a girl got him in prison, and now the salvation of a jailer is about to get him out! It was at that very hour the jailer and his entire household were saved and baptized. Paul had a hope that praised God... even in a Roman prison. We have a hope that can cause us to praise God when there's nothing in the natural worthy of praise, because we have the Deliverer living on the inside of us. Praise will flow out of your heart, especially in adversity, because you know God is faithful to deliver us from every affliction.

Help is on the way,
Pastor Asa

Thursday, April 7, 2011

A Word in Season to Those Who Are Weary

Isaiah 50:4, "The Lord GOD has given Me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him who is weary. He awakens Me morning by morning, He awakens My ear to hear as the learned. NKJV

It seems that receiving a letter through the postal service has just about become a thing of the past. I can remember, as a very young child looking forward to seeing a letter from a relative, or friend. Methods of communicating sure have changed over the past 40 years.

In the past decade, emails have just exploded onto the world's scene as a new way of staying in touch with family and friends around the world. I've heard people say it's free communication, but I've never paid $55.00 a month for stamps before. More recently, we've witnessed a new wave of communication exploding on the worldwide web called social networking sites... both Christian and secular. Now people are finding old friends from high school, college, seminary, or past churches they have attended together. It's interesting to watch people's comments posted on their "page" when they find someone they haven't heard from in years.

Even though we all have friends and relatives that we're reconnecting with, it can't come close to hearing a Word from the very One who gave His life for our sin debt. The Lord God communicated with Adam in the Garden of Eden, and walked with him in the cool of the day. One day the Lord came to Adam, but this time He knew that something dreadful had happened. The connection that God had with man had become interrupted by sin. You can hear the separation in His voice as He asked, "Adam where are you?"

Adam wasn't so well hidden among the trees in the garden that God Himself couldn't find him; God was speaking to Adam relationally. Where is the open line of dialogue we once enjoyed? Has something come between us?

We can read the Old Testament and see how God desired to communicate with man once again, but sin and rebellion wouldn't allow Him to address man directly. We read in Exodus that when God descended on Mount Sinai, the thundering, lightning, and mountain shaking under the power of God made Israel very afraid. They rejected the voice of God; they told Moses to speak with God, and then tell them what He said. From then on, you can read how God spoke through the prophets of old with a very common phrase, "Thus saith the Lord."

Reconnecting with old friends can be encouraging, as well as helpful at times. However, God has a way of connecting with His people in an area of our hearts that even man can't.

1 Corinthians 2:10-12, But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. NKJV

The Holy Spirit knows where you are at all times, and He also knows what you need at the very time you need a word of direction from the heavenly Father. He will only communicate to us according to the will of God for our lives. Sometimes, if you're like me, you can doubt His voice, and dismiss it as a thought, or an impulse of your own mind. At any rate, the Lord still loves to keep an open line of communication with His beloved children. If we read Ephesians 4, Jesus tells us that He has set the five-fold ministry over the church. He gives us the ability to communicate what the Holy Spirit is saying to the church, both on an individual basis, as well as corporately. So don't be surprised if one day God uses one of these devotions to read your mail to you... through little ole me.

One day in the early 90's, as I was walking through the living room... out of nowhere... God spoke to me, and told me to go read Isaiah 50. Before that day, I doubt that I had ever read that chapter in my life. As I obeyed the voice of God, He caused verse 4 to leap off of the page at me. From that day until now, I have never struggled with dyslexia... ever again! Indeed God has taught me, and I have listened; you just might be one of the benefactors of that line of communication. Until next time... perhaps I'll see you on facebook, or cross.tv, but if not, I'll be back at this same time tomorrow... giving God glory and honor for the great things He is doing, and has done.

Listening for His voice,
Pastor Asa

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

It's All about Relationship

Romans 8:14-17, For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out,"Abba, Father." The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs -- heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. NKJV

What honor and love God has bestowed upon us... that we should be called the children of God! This tells us that God is big into relationship, and not religion. To take this point even further, let us look at the principle that God set in motion in the first book (Genesis) of the Bible, the principle of seed-time and harvest. A farmer that is looking for a harvest of corn doesn't go out and scatter acorns in his field and hope for corn. Matthew tells us in the genealogy of Jesus that Adam was also God's son. After Adam fell into sin, and brought sin upon the entire human race, God sent, you guessed it, His Only begotten Son into the earth. To put it in farmer's terminology, God sowed a Son, that He might be the firstborn of many brethren.

One day Jesus was teaching, and some religious leaders came to Him and addressed the infraction of his disciples not washing their hands while eating. They told Jesus that His disciples were breaking the traditions of the elders. Jesus asked them why they, through their traditions made the Word of God of no effect. Jesus proceeded to tell those, who said they worshiped God, that they drew near God with their lips, but that their hearts were far from Him; therefore, their worship of God was in vain. (Ref. Matthew 15)

God isn't into vain religion, or men's traditions, but desires us, as His children, to love Him with our whole hearts. God desires His children to honor His Word by obeying it daily. Jesus continued that honor of God's Word by telling His disciples and us that if we love Him, we will keep His commandments. To God, it isn't about being religious, but it is about having and maintaining a healthy and holy relationship through obedient faith.

Religion creeps in when people desire to go to God, or worship God another way than what He has already ordained. Once again, Jesus builds on this in the gospel of John when He told His disciples that He was the way, the truth, and the life... no one goes to the Father but by Him. In Isaiah 14:14, Lucifer is recorded as saying, "I will be like the Most High" before he fell from heaven. So when God created man and placed them in the Garden of Eden, Satan came to Eve as a serpent and offered her religion over relationship.

Genesis 3:2-5,
And the woman said to the serpent, "We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, 'You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.'" Then the serpent said to the woman, "You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." NKJV

Did you notice what Satan said to Eve in order to deceive her? He promised her that if she would dishonor God's Word and obey his lie, she would be like God. Doesn't that sound like man's religion to you? Going outside of God's will, and finding another way, through sin, and against His will, to be like God. Don't you find it interesting that she was already a child of God created in His image, but she sought a way to 'become' like God? Satan is most effective against people before they discover their identity in Christ. We were created in Adam, and ordained to be children of God, but Satan interrupted God's plan. Now we have an opportunity to be reconciled back to God in Christ... to become a child again. If you'll remember the story of the prodigal son, he no longer felt worthy to be called a son; after all, he had gone against his father. Look at the response of the father. Instead of rehearsing all of the son's wrong decisions and bad behavior, he welcomed him back into his arms and treated him as a son.

God doesn't take pleasure in sacrifices, offerings, and burnt offerings, but His delight is in a broken and contrite heart and spirit. He is looking for children who will love Him, and honor His Word in their hearts. Are you honoring God's Word in your life? True worship can quickly turn into vain religion the moment we turn from God's Word and seek another way to please God in our own strength.

Being a true worshiper of God is the most rewarding experience for a believer on this side of heaven. Through our obedience and love for the Word of God, we can become one with God (not like Him as Satan offered). May the power of God's Word and Holy Spirit fill your heart to overflowing today as you seek to put Him first in every area of your life.

In His service,
Pastor Asa

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

When Satan Speaks, How Will You Respond?

Genesis 3 : 2 - 7, And the woman said to the serpent, "We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, 'You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.'" Then the serpent said to the woman, "You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." NKJV

When you're faced with a situation that challenges your faith, how do you respond? I'm not suggesting that every issue we face is the result of an attack of Satan. Having stated that fact let me say. Our adversary, the Devil seeks those that he might devour through difficult situations. Our trials (or situations) seem complex when we assess them, and it seems as if there's no easy solution. It is how we respond to these circumstances and trials that will determine how strong we are in the Word concerning them.

We read where Eve tried to ward off the serpent's initial attack by defending what God had originally said about the forbidden tree. What I would like to ask before we continue is, "How did the serpent know to ask Eve about what God had stated?" Did he hear it when God told Adam or when Adam told Eve? Why did she add to what God originally told Adam about the tree of knowledge? God told Adam simply not to eat of the tree of knowledge, but Eve told the serpent that they couldn't touch it, or they would die.

Since she disobeyed God's command, it tells us that she wasn't strong enough in that area of her heart to stand against the lies of Satan. Therefore, she gave place to doubt and succumbed to the strategies of the enemy and sinned. 

Luke 4: 3 - 4,
And the devil said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread." But Jesus answered him, saying, "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.'" NKJV

Once again, we read where Satan is trying to tempt someone about eating food. This time Satan met up with someone who knew God and the Word. Take notice that Jesus answered Satan with the Word exactly how it is printed. He also answered the Devil with confidence. If you will read the entire account where Eve was tempted, you will see that they argued back and forth. It wasn't that way with Jesus. Once Jesus spoke the truth and refuted the lie, it was the end of the conversation at that level of the temptation. Eve answered the serpent with doubt in her heart about God, but Jesus answered with the truth and in authority, because He knew God. 

If you're facing something that you're just not confident about concerning the heart of God for you and your family, then begin to ask the Lord for wisdom. I have found that we can make our worst decisions when we don't have all the facts on the table. We're also warned in Hosea 6 that God's people are destroyed because they lack knowledge. 

Satan pushed Eve and Jesus to respond. If you're in a situation, and you don't have peace (green light from God), then don't be pushed around by Satan. Be still before the Lord and seek His wisdom; He will direct your steps. When we allow our flesh nature to push us to go ahead and give an answer without God's peace, the results are usually disastrous. 

If this word has ministered to your particular situation would you let me know what God has done for you through it?

Waiting on God's Wisdom,
Pastor Asa 

Monday, April 4, 2011

True Confessions That Heal

James 5 : 16, Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. NKJV

Just like in the physical world, we go through many seasons in the body of Christ. In our church, we are in a season where the Lord is instructing our people to share their testimony with others. When we ask people to share their testimony of victory over their past, the response is about the same every time. They say, "I just don't know if I can obey the Lord by sharing what I've gone through in my life." This hesitancy is very common; people want to give glory to the Lord for what He has done in their lives, but they aren't comfortable with sharing their past issues with others. The fear of reprisal or rejection is a real barrier that most of us must confront and overcome if we're going to defeat our enemy completely.

It is in this context that I want to share with you the principle that James discusses in his epistle to the church about the process of restoration from sin. James tells us to confess our faults and transgressions with one another as we pray for each other so that healing will be released. Isn't it interesting that as we seek to rid our hearts and lives of sin, we are instructed in the Word of God to confess our deepest and sometimes darkest secrets? Just to have the ability to be so vulnerable and transparent with those who may know us the most requires us to place a high level of trust in God. Nevertheless, God requires us to trust Him and to share our faults so that He will be allowed to heal us from the sickness or disorder that has apparently occurred as a consequence of living in sin. 

I asked the Lord to give me an analogy that would help to relay this principle in a simplistic way so that we all might walk in divine forgiveness and health. If you cut yourself and the wound isn't properly cared for, it can become infected. All of us have incurred hurts and wounds in our emotions, hearts, and bodies. However, we don't always know how to dress the wound properly or address the issue from a biblical perspective. Not knowing how to care for an injury can allow our enemy, through the heart of man, to infect us with sin or infection. Catch this! If we don't properly address the wound with godly truth, then the enemy can lead us to medicate the pain without addressing the heart issue... thus giving place to spiritual corruption or infection. (Our Response)

Once a cut becomes infected, it creates an atmosphere where death and decay  begin to erode our flesh tissue. Guess what? This is the way unforgiveness and bitterness can corrupt our souls and bring about spiritual death. As we seek the Lord for His instruction on how to address our faults and emotional scars, we must also remember what James has told us in this passage. We must be willing to tell people who are (SPIRITUALLY MINDED) our faults and sins so that as they pray with us and for us, we can be made completely whole. Remember James qualifies with whom you should confess your faults ... a righteous person that has a solid prayer life and knows how to get God's attention on other people's behalf. Now you can ignore his guidelines and share your secrets with anybody, but you'll only be opening yourself up to more hurt and greater infections that can exacerbate the sickness and prolong your illness.   

Find a good church and get planted in it; it is the place where spiritually ill people need to go and find a "safe place" to be restored from the ravages of sin and disease. Even though your local Pharmacy has medication and bandages, you won't  go there for major surgery and have the cashier perform the procedure. You know people who are Christians, and you feel safe with them, but it is still not recommended that you share heavy sins with those who aren't otherwise qualified to handle them. The Bible tells us to be wise as serpents, but remain harmless like doves. If you have sin in your life or an infection in your soul, use godly wisdom; obey the principles shared with you from the book of James today. The Lord wants you to be healed, and He wants others to know what He has done for you so that they can be inspired to have faith in Him for their situations. 

911, What Is Your Emergency,
Pastor Asa

Friday, April 1, 2011

Sharing Your Testimony

Exodus 4: 19, Now the LORD said to Moses in Midian, "Go, return to Egypt; for all the men who sought your life are dead." NKJV

There are two principles of grace that I want to share with you today. Since all of us have sinned and come short of God's glory, we all need God's grace to save us. In order to be saved (become born again), we must access God's grace through our faith in Christ. Everyone that has confessed Jesus as Savior and Lord should already know about this side of God's grace. But once we become born again, we must continue to walk by faith; then, through grace, we can obey God's will and serve His purpose in our new life in Christ.

The first principle of grace is given to us when, as a sinner, we become broken over our sins against the Lord. Because Jesus has already paid the price for our sins with His blood (the cross), through this principle of grace, we are empowered to overcome Satan, sin, and receive the Spirit of Christ into our hearts. God gives us "saving" grace so that we can walk away from our past life...a life where sin held us captive.

After we become born again, we are then able to receive the second principle of grace; this grace offers a different kind of work in a Christian's life. Through this grace, we now have the dunamis power of God to live a holy life and obey His commands... especially when He tells us to go back and face our past (this time through faith).

In today's passage from the Word, God told Moses to return to Egypt and be His mouthpiece to Pharaoh and Israel. If you're not familiar with Moses' story, he is a fugitive who is on the run from Egypt, because he killed an Egyptian. Moses was hiding out in the plains of Midian near Horeb, the mountain of God. It is at this point in Moses' life that God appears to him and calls him to deliver His (God's) people, Israel. Now put yourself in Moses' shoes for a moment. God is commanding Moses to go back into his past in order to serve His purpose in Egypt. Obviously, if Moses obeys, God's purpose will cause him to have to face his past mistakes. Would you not agree that this might be a little intimidating to say the least... even though God reassured Moses that those who sought to kill him were dead?

After the Lord gave Moses his marching orders and announced to him that he didn't have to worry about those who sought him, He told Moses that He was with him and not to be afraid. You may be asking, "But what does this have to do with me as a Christian?" You and I have a past, and the Lord won't allow our past to keep us from fulfilling a glorious future in Christ; so He will use our testimony of the grace of God that saved us from our past to inspire others to believe in Jesus for themselves.

As you share your testimony, you are being like Moses in that you are going back into your past life; but now you have a good ending, because of God's grace. BUT GOD!!! In order to have the boldness to share your testimony about your past with others, you will need the grace of God to empower you to face your fears, confront them, and conquer them. So while God is using your testimony to deliver others, like Moses delivered the children of Israel, He is at the same time building godly character in you as you confront your fears. In conclusion, once again, as Moses ran from his past, we also ran. Now we no longer run from our past, but through grace, we are confronting it. It is through our willingness to share our testimony of God's saving grace with others that God saves others and liberates us from fear. God doesn't miss a beat. That's why He's God.

Walking in My Future,
Pastor Asa