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Friday, May 27, 2011

A Wonderful Future

Psalms 37 : 35 - 37, I myself have seen it happen: a proud and evil man, towering like a cedar of Lebanon, but when I looked again, he was gone! I searched but could not find him! But the good man-what a different story! For the good man-the blameless, the upright, the man of peace-he has a wonderful future ahead of him. For him there is a happy ending. TLB

As a believer in Christ, do you concern yourself with knowing and obeying the principles contained in God's Word? When we come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, He delivers us from the sin nature, but we are the ones who must choose to live according to His commands. He desires, and even commands, that we live according to His will so that He will be able to bless us.

If you find that obeying the Word of God is burdensome or laborious, but in your heart you love God and seek to please Him by your faith, then you may need to have your mind renewed. It's very true that God desires for His children to prosper and live in His peace. It's also a fact that we have an adversary who doesn't want us to know God in the same way that Jesus does.

In order to renew your mind to think like Jesus thinks, you must first develop a hunger for the Word of God. The Word of God is the only source on earth that has the power to renew our minds so that we are able to see as God sees and to think as He thinks. Before we follow instructions, don't we first need to know what they are? The psalmist wrote that a blameless, upright person who seeks peace has a wonderful future ahead of them. Don't you desire to enjoy a wonderful future? If so, then we must become willing to know the Word of God and have our minds renewed by the Word so that we may inherit the promises of God through obedient faith.

Christians tend to blame their problems on Satan, but, for the most part, he only preys on our spiritual ignorance. It is our responsibility to use the power of the Word and the Holy Spirit within us to crucify self and form a hunger to know and walk in the Word. We all have a choice to make once we become a Christian. We can live our new life in bondage to the flesh, or we can live it in victory over our flesh by choosing to live by faith in God's Word. Paul tells us in Romans 8 that those who choose to live in the power of the flesh can't please God, but those who, through the Holy Spirit, crucify the flesh nature will please the Lord. 

If the flesh nature has you feeling like you're a victim of circumstances instead of being more than a conqueror in Christ, then you will need to get in the Word and remain there until your mind becomes renewed. God never told us to "TRY JESUS." The Word tells us to ABIDE IN CHRIST as His children. God wants us all to have a bright future, but it will only happen if we abide in Christ through faith and obedience.

Abiding In His Peace,
Pastor Asa

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Restoration Takes Time

Joel 2 : 25, So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the crawling locust, the consuming locust, and the chewing locust... NKJV

In Genesis chapter one, God is restoring what was previously destroyed by Satan and his fall. Many of us have been taught that this is the account of God creating the earth. In Genesis 1:1, we're told that God created the Heavens and the earth in the beginning. Later, in that same chapter, God told man to REPLENISH the earth. 

Genesis 1 : 28,
And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth... KJV

The purpose of today's devotion isn't an attempt to try and convince you to believe something differently than what you might have been taught. Today's word goes much deeper than a theological debate over terminology. Whether you believe God was in the mode of creating or restoring, the fact remains the same. It took God six days to make earth a place that was conducive for man to exist. 

The Lord wants me to point this truth out to you so that as a believer, and  especially as one of His children, you will know and understand that restoration takes time. I know that sometimes we like to think of God as a "being" that can snap His fingers and poof, "there it is." If this is your heart's view of God, then Satan will use that mindset (or point-of-view) against you. Our God isn't a "poofer," but He is the Creator God, who works through the power and confines of His spoken Word. The writer of Hebrews teaches that Jesus (God) is the same yesterday, today, and forever. The writer also reveals to us that God upholds all things by the word of His power.

 God set a principle in motion in Genesis 8 when He stated, "While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, and day and night shall not cease." NKJV

When God was ready to restore the earth and place man over His creation, He operated through the power of His spoken word. Throughout the Bible, the Word is described as being "The Seed of God." These principles that I am sharing with you today are to give you a better understanding about the ways of God. When God does "a work" in the earth, then know that He is bound by the principles that He has set in place to govern the universe. We know that God operates through the spoken Word that has gone forth from His mouth. However, He also operates in seasons. Just as a farmer waits on springtime before he plants the seed into the ground, God operates in seasons  (Ecclesiastes 3) 

Here is the reason why I am writing today's word to you. Are you going through a season of loss...and as a believer in Christ you're waiting on the Lord to restore what has been stolen from you? In today's passages from Joel, we read where God promised to restore the YEARS that the enemy has stolen from us... but know that restoration can take time.

Before God caused any life to begin to appear on the earth, He first placed things in their proper order. He spoke structure into existence that would govern the earth before He released the Word to bring forth life on the earth. Restoration takes time because God first must place structure in our hearts and lives that will allow life to exist and continue unhindered. As Christians, if we don't know the ways of God and how it takes time for Him to carry out His promises in our lives, Satan can cause us to doubt the faithfulness of our God. When God's people don't know the ways of God and why He doesn't just "snap" His fingers, then they must resort to waiting (or being patient) under the test of their faith.   

James teaches us in his epistle to count it all joy when we fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of our faith produces patience. He goes on to say that when patience has done her perfect work, we will complete, entire, not lacking. Today, if you're waiting on God to bring restoration into your life, know that it will take time, but it will come. Be careful that you don't give up on God and fall back into a life of unbelief. There are examples of those who lost faith and missed their hour of visitation or salvation because of unbelief. He remained faithful even though some in the Bible gave up. 

I Don't Want to Miss Him,
Pastor Asa

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

This Could Be A Trial

Galatians 5 : 5, For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. NKJV

Today the Lord has directed me to write to you on the subject of waiting on God for your breakthrough. Throughout the Word of God, we're instructed to wait on the salvation of the Lord by faith. The Lord has already done everything in order to see to it that we are blessed, but sometimes we're required to wait for a promise to be manifested by faith. It breaks the heart of God when His people give up on His faithfulness because He doesn't always come in our time frame. God knows that our spirit is willing, but He also knows that our flesh is weak.

God was indeed faithful to the entire nation of Israel during the wilderness experience, but in spite of His faithfulness, they continually doubted Him. Instead of learning through their past experiences of seeing the faithfulness of God, they would murmur and complain against Him when He didn't respond on their terms. Occasionally, they would become so rebellious that they would rise up against Moses in opposition to God's will for them. 

If we should allow unbelief to rule our hearts during difficult times, it will grieve the heart and Spirit of God because it shows Him that we don't really trust Him. To avoid grieving the heart of God or His Spirit, who leads us through this wilderness experience, we must trust Him with our entire heart. If we will trust the Lord with all our heart and lean not to our own understanding, and allow Him to direct our paths, then He can (and will) deliver us from our enemies and trials.

In today's scripture, Paul mentions three components that must be active in our heart if we're going to see the righteousness of God and experience the manifestation of His promises in our lives on the earth. We are to operate through the Holy Spirit while waiting on the Lord to reveal His salvation on our behalf. God has given every believer the Holy Spirit; He will endue us with His power to endure until the victory is obtained. Secondly, we're to wait. When the Word of God commands us to wait on God for our breakthrough or deliverance, it is with the understanding that we are actively waiting while standing on the Word (Ephesians 6). This reveals to Satan and your flesh nature that you have HOPE in God because you TRUST God more than your flesh nature that wants you to doubt God.

The very reason Satan had the power to deceive Eve was that she didn't know the character or heart of God. You and I have seen the faithfulness of God in every situation, but sometimes we can find ourselves in a new circumstance that challenges our knowledge of God. When this occurs, you must rely on God's faithfulness instead of your lack of knowledge in this particular situation. Even if you can't see God's hand at work right now, it doesn't mean that He has forsaken you. It can mean that He is doing a new thing in which you're not yet familiar, and it can cause you to doubt.   

Today, if doubt is trying to convince your heart to give up on God's Word, and you're growing weak in your faith, then take another breath and decide not to be moved by Satan's lies. Remember, the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead also dwells in you and will give you strength to gain the victory, but you must be willing to lean on Him. Remain engaged in the good fight of faith until God brings you victory in this area of your life. 

Do I like everything our family is going through? Absolutely not! Am I allowing these trials and discontentments to cause me to waiver in my faith? Absolutely not! I've experienced the faithfulness of God in our lives as a family and as a church, and this has convinced me of one thing (or perhaps two things). Satan is a liar, and God is faithful to His Word. The only other component that has to be brought into this scenario is our faith in God and His Word. When we continually stand in faith, the Holy Spirit can strengthen us daily until our faith becomes sight. The Lord will come, but will He find us waiting? Don't STOP! Keep STANDING by faith.

The One Who Called Us Is Faithful,
Pastor Asa

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Some Things Take Time

Psalms 25 : 1 - 5, To You, O LORD, I lift up my soul. O my God, I trust in You; let me not be ashamed; let not my enemies triumph over me. Indeed, let no one who waits on You be ashamed; let those be ashamed who deal treacherously without cause. Show me Your ways, O LORD; teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; on You I wait all the day. NKJV

Do you find it difficult to wait upon the Lord to come to your defense? As I was seeking the Lord about today's devotion, He instructed me to write on the subject of waiting on God. When you're engaged in a spiritual battle that has manifested in a natural situation, it's tempting to want to step out ahead of God and miss His moment of deliverance or breakthrough.

The enemy will use natural events to maximize pressure against us in the hope of getting us to respond to him in our strength instead of waiting on God's strength. We know that God has promised us that He will cause all things to work together for our good. If we know this, then we must remind ourselves of this promise when we are faced with the mounting pressures that can push us into acting on our own. Over and again, we are instructed to wait upon the salvation of the Lord and not be moved by Satan's attacks.

You and I both know that God could arrive on the scene of a storm the very moment it occurred, but He doesn't always. Sometimes, He allows us to wait on Him, so He can accomplish more than just getting us out of "hot water." Here's the key: When we wait on God through faith, it is our faith that gives God an opportunity to make an impossible situation become a miraculous event. Do you remember when God instructed Moses and the children of Israel to be still at the Red Sea even though Pharaoh and His army was on their heels? When they decided to be still, it gave God the time needed to roll back the waters of the sea and allow them to cross on dry land. Could God have already had the waters parted before they got to the shores of the Red Sea? Yes.

This tells me that there is something even greater going on when we decide to wait through faith on God's delivering power to come on the scene. He is building us in our faith so that we aren't moved by the threats of Satan's attacks against us. This brings us to the point of today's word. All Christians are in the midst of a process called conversion. Jesus told Simon Peter that Satan had asked to have Simon so that he could sift him as wheat. After Jesus shared the request of Satan to have Simon, He told Simon that when he was converted, he would be able to strengthen his brethren.

The conversion process is at work in our hearts through the Holy Spirit, and He is transforming us into the image of Christ. As long as we remain submitted to the process by waiting on God's timing and not jumping out of the oven prematurely, He will continue to strengthen, encourage, and build us up in our hearts. Be careful that you don't allow the fear of facing a trial cause you to move without God's direction. By doing this, we can abort the process in our lives and disrupt God's plan to deliver us without repercussions. God only thinks good thoughts toward us and has good plans for us. He wants to prosper us... not harm us, His children. We can reciprocate that love through trusting that He knows best.

If you're being pressured today because of adverse situations, then ask the Lord to strengthen you to wait until He shows up. Think of it as if this is Christmas Eve, and God has some gifts waiting for you, but you must wait until morning. Sorrow may endure for the night, but joy comes with the morning.

Lord, Am I Done Yet?
Pastor Asa

Monday, May 23, 2011

False Hope Spoken By False Prophets

2 Thessalonians 2: 1 - 4, Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers, not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by some prophecy, report or letter supposed to have come from us, saying that the day of the Lord has already come. Don't let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. NIV

For over two thousand years false prophets have been misleading and deceiving people about the return of Christ. Paul had to write a second letter to the believers in Thessalonica to warn them against the reports that they had heard about the Day of Christ having already come and gone. He qualifies his argument about the eminent return of Christ with two immutable facts.

Note: Whenever someone teaches you "A WORD" from the Word of God concerning subjects such as eschatology, look for more than one Bible reference. Jesus tells us plainly to let every truth be established by the witness of two or three in the Bible. It proves helpful that there are four distinct and different gospels that establish truths concerning the validity of Christ. Anyone can take "a word" out of context from the Bible and make it say anything they want, but true principles, that are forever established, are confirmed in the Word of God by more than just one prophet.

Back to the teaching: Paul warns the believers against false predictions concerning the return of Christ, and then he gives us two different signs that we must look for when considering the fulfillment of Bible prophecy. He taught that there would be a massive falling away of people from the faith before the great and terrible Day of the Lord. Jesus said in Matthew 24, that lawlessness shall abound, and it will cause the love of many ("Christians") to grow cold. 

Matthew 24: 8 - 13, All these are the beginning of sorrows. "Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name's sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. NKJV

Paul is only confirming the warnings of Jesus in his letter to the church. Take notice that false prophets will seize the opportunity of people turning on one another in the faith. As a personal note from a pastor, I have seen Christians, who refused to obey the will of God while He was dealing with them, turn their hearts toward offense, and begin to spew bitterness toward leadership and other believers as an excuse to justify their disobedience. When schisms are created in the body of Christ because of blatant disobedience, it opens the door for the enemy to come into the midst of the people to sow discord and lies. Jesus and Paul both agree that when there is a falling away by Christians from the faith, it gives place to falsehood. 

The next truth that Paul mentions to establish the season of Christ's return is the rise of the Anti-Christ. Jesus gives the details surrounding His second return. He tells about false prophets arising while, at the same time, people are departing from the faith. Although we are seeing a resurgence of false teachers in our day, and even though we're witnessing the love of many grow cold... who used to walk in the faith, both sheep and leaders, we haven't seen the rise of the Anti-Christ to prominence. So when you hear "another" false prophet or voice rise up and say that the "rapture" is on a certain day, PRAY!!! They're a vain attempt of the enemy to mislead and hurt lost people who don't know the TRUTH. Trust is the key when it comes to people believing and accepting Jesus as their Savior. The more voices rise up and say Christ's return is going to occur on a certain day, the more this has the potential to harden lost hearts to the truth concerning Jesus' return. 

In the words of Paul, "Don't be easily unsettled or alarmed by some false teacher or report." Let's guard our hearts with all diligence and be prepared for the DAY that Christ does return in the clouds to receive us unto Himself. Didn't the angels scold the disciples for gazing into the heavens as Christ ascended? We mustn't become distracted by false rumors or false hope, but we are to keep our eyes on Jesus. "Occupy till I come."

Pastor Asa

Friday, May 20, 2011

Breaking the Stronghold Of Isolation

John 8 : 29 - 30, And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him." As He spoke these words, many believed in Him. NKJV

When God created us, He said that it wasn't good for us to be alone. Although the first man and woman, Adam and Eve, were created in the image and likeness of God, they were not created "self-sufficient." Had God created us as self-sufficient beings, there would not have been any need for man to have a companion. Nor would there have been any need for God to show them what to eat while in the garden. Furthermore, if God had created us as self-sufficient beings, we would not have needed Him. However, this is exactly the lie that Satan perpetrated upon Eve's ignorance about God and about herself. 

Satan convinced Eve that she didn't need God to become "like God" or become "self-sufficient." When he swayed her with his lies about God, it caused her to reject the commands of God and to partake of the forbidden fruit. What was the result of listening to the lies of the serpent? They became alienated from the life of God. Now let's review this for a moment. God created man with certain needs, and one of them is companionship with others. Knowing this, Satan followed God's original plan with his own agenda to separate us from the SOURCE of life, God, and ultimately from one another. God's goal is for us to be one with Him and each other, but Satan's goal is to isolate us. Satan first separated us from God through sin... preventing us from becoming one with each other. As a result of the fall of man, we lost God- consciousness. This simply means our conscience has been defiled with sin, and we are now sin-conscious. 

We see this sin-consciousness in the Garden of Eden shortly after they had partaken of the tree of knowledge. God came to Adam, but he and Eve hid themselves in the midst of the trees because they were afraid, and they were naked (self-conscious). Before the fall of man, Adam was neither frightened, nor was he ashamed. Therefore, we can conclude that as a result of sin (resulting in sin-conscience), we are separated from God through guilt, shame, and fear.

Now that we have been redeemed from sin and from the curse of the law as believers in Christ, how do we break the stronghold of isolation? You might tend to think that the stronghold over us would have been broken off of our lives at the point of salvation, and you would be correct (to a degree). In Christ and through His shed blood, the curse of sin has forever been broken off of our hearts and lives. Our spirit man has been regenerated, but our minds still need to be renewed. This is why Paul teaches us in Romans 12 that we must have our minds renewed so that we're not conformed to this world. It is through the renewing of our minds that we become transformed. This process doesn't happen overnight or with a one-time encounter with God. Remember, the JUST shall live by FAITH. We're not only saved by faith, but we're renewed daily by faith through the life of God dwelling within us.
As Jesus was preaching to the Jews in our opening verses, He told them that He was not alone. Isn't it something that Jesus was preaching on "spiritual isolation?" If He thought it important enough to mention to the chosen people of God, shouldn't we also take notice? As Jesus preached about the Father being with Him, He qualified (or gave the reason) why the Father had always been with Him, and He attributed it to unfailingly doing those things which pleased the Father. Now, remember that Adam didn't please the Father and became isolated from the life of God. The Last Adam, Jesus, obeyed the Father, and He knew or was cognoscente that God was always with Him.

In the following verses, Jesus is sharing to those who believed on Him that day. He made a very powerful and important statement to the Jews. He said, "If you continue in my word, then you are my disciples indeed." This tells us that we're not complete at the moment of salvation... although we ARE made complete in Christ. Salvation is the "beginning" of the restoration process of bringing us to a completed state in Christ. After Jesus told them to continue in His Word, He went on to say that they would come to know the truth, and the truth that they knew or experienced would make them free. If you truly want to break the stronghold of a guilty conscience and the feeling of being isolated from God, then you must live your new life in and through the Word of God. As believers learn and live the Word of God daily, it empowers us to break free from the stronghold of isolation and purges our guilty conscience. As the stronghold is broken, you will regain a God-consciousness. This is a very important principle for Christians to know and understand. 

Why did Satan want man to become separated from God in our minds? He knew that we would become weak and vulnerable to his vicious lies and attacks against us if we walked around with a guilty conscience or unworthy attitude concerning God's goodness. Furthermore, Satan wanted to disrupt and uproot us from inheriting the promises that God had spoken over man in Genesis 1. God had given us dominion over the earth so that we would cause it to become fruitful and bring an increase. God wanted us to REPLENISH the earth, but Satan wanted it to be destroyed. This is the reason he attacked Eve's faith in the garden. Satan didn't want mankind to have spiritual authority over him. He used the power of sin (creating fear in us) to make us feel unaccepted and unworthy of walking with God. 

Today, if you feel as though God has abandoned you because of circumstances that have occurred, then know that it is the stronghold of isolation. Satan uses this weakness of feeling separated in our minds to try and prevent us from stepping out in faith and challenging our feelings. One thing you and I as believers have that Adam and Eve didn't have is "Christ in us the hope of glory." This is the only sign that we need to overcome any stronghold that sin has placed on our minds from our past life. Today, submit this stronghold on your mind to the Lord and ask Him to guide you out of this pit of isolation. Once you pray the prayer of faith, you will begin to think differently. See yourself with God as the victor and not the victim. Finally, stay in the Word, in the fellowship of believers, live your new life according to the principles of God's Word, and in the liberating power of the Holy Spirit. "Whom the Son has set free, they are free indeed."

Walking with God,
Pastor Asa

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Walking With God

Hebrews 4 : 8 - 10, For if Joshua had given them rest, then He would not afterward have spoken of another day. There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His. NKJV

We demonstrate our complete trust in God by our obedience to His commands.

 I have written many times about God being with us, but today I want to discuss us walking with God. Enoch walked with God, and God took him, so he wouldn't see death. The writer of Hebrews tells us, "By faith, Enoch walked with God." Every day that you and I keep the commandments of God and ignore human fears, lusts, and weaknesses, we are literally walking by faith. As we walk with God by faith, we're resisting the temptation to allow our hearts to lead our lives.

As we continue to walk with God through our obedient faith, we will become sensitive to the presence of the Holy Spirit with us in a very real way. Now let's digress for a moment. The Israelites struggled constantly with a lack of confidence when it came to trusting the truth that, indeed, God was with them. Why did they struggle with this issue, yet Moses didn't struggle? Moses walked with God, but the Jews refused to obey God because of hardened hearts of unbelief. Psalms 103 tells us plainly that Moses knew the ways of God, but Israel simply knew the acts of God. We can only know the ways of God by obeying Him through our faith. 

Now let's get back to your "MOUNTAINS." Whenever the Israelites would run into a life-threatening situation (like a lack of food or water), they were immediately ready to turn their backs on God, but this wasn't so with Moses. Remember, Moses walked with God through obedience, but the Jews hardened their hearts to His voice. You see... unbelief blinded the Jews to the consequences of walking contrary to the ways of God, but we see what unbelief does to a person once calamity hits. It causes them to feel as though God has forsaken or abandoned them. Moses never struggled with these feelings because HE WALKED WITH GOD! If we obey, through faith, then we are walking with God, and when trouble comes, we won't struggle with the issues of unbelief...which causes us to feel as if God has forgotten about us.

Once you get past the point of struggling over whether or not to obey God's way, then you have begun to enter the rest of God. You will know when you have entered into His rest when you can have complete peace in the midst of a horrific storm. Instead of retreating in unbelief because of the adverse winds, you will be still until you see the salvation of the Lord. Are you just a Christian, or are you a Christian, who is daily walking with God? Jesus tells us in John 8 that He was never alone because the Father was with Him. He said, "I do always those things which please my Father."   
Hebrews 10 : 36 - 39, For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise: "For yet a little while, and He who is coming will come and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith; but if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him." But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul. NKJV

Amen and Amen,
Pastor Asa

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

God Can and God Will

Jeremiah 32: 27,  "Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me? NKJV

One of the greatest honors that we can give God is to completely trust Him. If we ever struggle with trusting His will over our own, disastrous results occur in our lives. I want to share some facts and stats about the Civil War as a means of effectively communicating a principle on faith.

Jesus has told us in Matthew 24 that there will be wars and rumors of wars in the last days. Therefore, we know that conflicts are going to be inevitable in this fallen world. In the mid 1860's, America became divided over social issues. Pursuant to that conflict, slavery was abolished, and the territorial integrity of our country was preserved... but with a tremendous cost. This great nation lost more than 620,000 of its citizens in a period of four years.

Let's bring this story down to a personal level and bring out the real reason for today's word. Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 10 that the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but they're mighty THROUGH GOD to the pulling down of strongholds. He also teaches us that, although we live in the flesh as Christians, we do not war in the manner as the world. Our battle isn't with flesh and blood, but with principalities and powers. Therefore, we are to fight in the Spirit and through our faith and trust in God.

When slavery was abolished in America, it came with a great loss of life. However, when God brought Israel (slaves of Egypt) out of Egypt, not one arrow was shot or one sword drawn. Why did Pharaoh let God's people go without a declaration of war against Israel? God had promised Abraham 430 years earlier that He would bring them out of the land of bondage and would judge that land. He also promised that they would come out with great substance. When the TIME had come, God remembered His promises and sent Moses into Pharaoh's court to demand that he release the Jews. After the ten plagues were poured out, Pharaoh let God's people go in peace.

Forty years later, God told Israel's new leader, Joshua, to take the people on into the Promised Land. As they marched around the walls of Jericho according to God's instructions, the walls of that great city were brought down. God had given them the city. They were now living in the land of promise. They had property that they didn't have to purchase, and houses they didn't build. God gave them the wells that other inhabitants had dug and vineyards that other gardeners had planted. Their houses were filled with possessions. (They didn't bring furniture with them) As we read the accounts of God's faithfulness to His people, we see His favor was poured out upon their lives.

Now let's review what we've covered today. By faith, Israel was allowed to go free from Egypt without a war. Forty years later, they were allowed to possess a land they didn't purchase and move into houses they didn't build. Do you see a pattern developing? God is faithful to His people, ALWAYS! He did these mighty works with Israel so that you and I could know what our God is capable of when we believe in Him for our needs to be met. We can trust Him, or we can fight the battle in our own strength. We can pay the price for our needs to be met, or we can let Him supply all of our needs according to His riches in glory. The choice is up to us, and we must choose. Remember this: the blessing of the Lord makes rich and adds no sorrow.

God Is Not Man,
Pastor Asa

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Amazing Wisdom of God

Proverbs 21 : 1 - 2, The king's heart is like a stream of water directed by the LORD; he turns it wherever he pleases. People may think they are doing what is right, but the LORD examines the heart. NLT

When Jesus was on the cross, He prayed something that we need to look more closely at today. He asked the Father to forgive those who had beaten and crucified Him; He said that the people who were doing this to Him did not know what they were doing. Paul gives us some insight into why they didn't know in 2 Corinthians 4. When people reject truth, or in this case, they rejected Jesus as the truth and treated Him as a blasphemer, it allows Satan to spiritually blind them.

In the countries of the world, you will find that governments rule over the affairs of the people, yet the government leaders may or may not know the Lord. But if some governments refuse to acknowledge God, it won't prevent Him from being Lord over the earth or His people. Many government leaders will do what they perceive is right according to the thoughts of their own hearts. Yet the Word tells us in Proverbs 29 that when the righteous are in authority the people rejoice, but when the wicked rule, the people mourn. We are instructed in God's word to pray for our leaders on a consistent basis; this empowers the Lord's will to be carried out in the earth over the will of man or governments.

When men and women in leadership don't place their faith in Jesus as their Savior, it allows Satan to blind them to God's will. But the church has a higher calling and authority than the government. If we will pray, then the Lord can turn the hearts of the kings and accomplish His will in the earth. Please pray with me and ask the Lord to place His wisdom and direction in the hearts of our leaders. In Genesis, there is a great example of Godly wisdom that led a heathen ruler during a famine. While Joseph was in prison, as the result of false accusations, Egypt was about to face a seven year famine. Joseph's hard times in prison were about to end, but for Egypt, they were about to begin. Here's the reason why we need to pray for God's wisdom to lead our officials:

The Lord knew that a famine was about to cover the land for seven years, but before the famine began, there would be seven years of plenty. So He gave Pharaoh a dream concerning the next fourteen years of his administration. This gave Joseph, the "dreamer," an opportunity to interpret the dream for the King. When Pharaoh heard the meaning of his own dream, he placed Joseph over the kingdom... even though he was not an Egyptian. The wisdom that God gave Joseph preserved the lives of Jews and gentiles alike. It doesn't matter what party is in office as long as we pray for Godly wisdom to rule that office. James teaches us that when we find ourselves in various trials or temptations, we should ask God for wisdom. 

Why would James be directed by the Holy Spirit to tell us to ask for wisdom during trying times? Wouldn't it make better sense to ask for the trial to be over? This is why we shouldn't listen to man's wisdom, but rather seek God's direction. If God delivers us out of a trial, but we don't know what caused the trial, then there is a very good chance that we will slip back into the same trial again.

Like never before in my generation, we need the wisdom of God to lead us through these tough times. Who knows, there may be Godly wisdom and direction that comes out of this test that will astound the greatest minds in the earth today and win them to Christ. Now let's pray!

Lord We Come to You Today,
Pastor Asa

Monday, May 16, 2011

Defeating the Devil on His Turf

Just because you and I live in a fallen world doesn't mean that we have to live in bondage. Remember what Jesus said, "You're in the world, but not of it." What makes us so special or different? It is Christ in us who makes us who we are; it is our faith in Him and not our works. Therefore, we have nothing to boast about except Him. In the scripture below, Paul, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, gives us the key to living a victorious life.

Romans 1: 16 - 17, For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "The just shall live by faith." NKJV

The key to living in victory, while existing in this present world is to live always by faith. Let's take a moment to gain a better understanding of what living by faith really means to a Christian. In Ephesians 2, Paul taught us that we are born again by faith. However, just because we're saved by faith doesn't mean we stop living this new life by faith. You may ask, "Why are we required to live by faith, and what exactly does that mean?"   

Even though you and I are saved, we still have a flesh nature that wants to regain control of our will and cause us to live by sight. This is called walking in unbelief. Israel gave us a good example of what walking around in unbelief does to the people of God. They died in the wilderness... not inheriting the Promise Land under the leadership of Moses. So as long as we live in this flesh suit, we must crucify self daily; we accomplish this by faith. As we live by faith, it empowers our spirit man to overcome our flesh nature so that we are able to live a spiritually victorious life. Jesus tells us in Matthew 24 that those who endure this world "until the end" shall be saved. We're not only saved by faith, but we are to endure this world by faith.

To walk by faith simply means that we look to our heavenly Father and not self to direct our steps. It also means that we keep His commandments because we love Him. The more we love God, the easier it is to obey His commands. Take notice of the priority that I placed on your fellowship before the Word. Anyone can make the Word say what they want it to say. This is called perverting the Word for the sake of personal lust. For this reason, we must also listen to the Father and wait on Him to direct our steps or decisions from His Word. As disciples who follow Christ, we are made accountable to our heavenly Father as we walk faith. It is this submission of walking and living by faith that gives us power to resist the Devil. As we are submitted to God and resist the Devil, then he has to flee from us. Faith is our victory that overcomes this world. Through faith I am saved, and through faith, I live a victorious life in Christ.

You Can Do It,
Pastor Asa

Two Options

Psalms 34 : 8 - 10, Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him! Oh, fear the LORD, you His saints! There is no want to those who fear Him. The young lions lack and suffer hunger; but those who seek the LORD shall not lack any good thing. NKJV
As believers in Christ, who also happen to live in a fallen world, we have two options. We can either live in fear of lack, or we can place our trust in the Lord to provide. According to the Psalmist, we can avoid "want" if we will only fear Him. Simply put, this means we must revere and adorn Him over the threats that can loom over our lives. He goes on to write that there is no lack for those who seek the Lord. 

Please understand when I write these words of encouragement to you that I am also living by faith. My faith is not raised to a place that God would want it to be... where there is peace in my heart about every situation. The one thing that we all must do is keep pressing on toward the goal of complete peace no matter what our state of affairs looks like.

The passage for today's word begins by exhorting us to taste and see that the Lord is good. I have found that I can't always experience His goodness without first having to experience some discomfort. It has been in the trials and pressures of life that I have sought the Lord, and He revealed Himself to me. It's not that the Lord's goodness isn't always with us, but that we don't always see or acknowledge it. Could this be the result of this world diverting our attention away from the Lord's goodness because of the care of this world?... Possibly

When lack or higher prices begin to challenge our peace, these are good indicators that the eyes of our faith must remain on the Lord. This will require us to go to the "ROCK" of our salvation and stand until we see the threatening storms subside and the clouds of doubt dissipate. This world does not, nor will it ever, be our provider. The Lord is our Provider, and He knows exactly what we need and when we will need it, but we must be willing to seek Him in the storm. Guard your heart from being consumed and filled with fear by placing total trust in the Lord to take complete care of you and your family.

Resting in Him,
Pastor Asa

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Someone Is Praying For You

John 13:34-35, A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." NKJV

Have you been born again by the Spirit of God? If you have, then you are a member of the body of Christ and a part of the largest family on earth. Paul tells us in Ephesians that we are one body, and all have one Father. In Christ, we are all made one family. As members of the same family, we are to love, care for, and bear one another's burdens. As we do this, we are fulfilling the law of Christ which is love.

When you're going through very hard, tragic, and perplexing situations, it can open the door for Satan to try and convince you that you're all alone, and God has somehow forsaken you. Peter addresses this sense of abandonment in his epistle as he teaches on suffering as a believer. 

1 Peter 5: 6 - 11, Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

The Lord directed me to open this opportunity up for all the recipients who receive our daily devotions. He doesn't want you or me to feel alone when we're faced with horrible or difficult attacks from the adversary. Let me encourage you to take this opportunity to allow us to help you carry any burdens that you may be carrying today. Jesus, Himself, had to have someone help carry His cross, and sometimes we do too. We are placing a link at the bottom of future devotionals, which will directly connect you with our PRIVATE intercessory email account. It's very easy and will take no more than a minute or two. We have several prayer times throughout the week at our church. 

We're Praying for You Today,
Pastor Asa

We want to hear from you, send us your prayer requests and praise reports via email.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Active Faith Releases Increase

Matthew 14: 18 - 20, He said, bring them hither to me. And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude. And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full. KJV

Take notice that the miracle in the above scripture began with a command. Jesus told them to bring the fishes and loaves to Him. What need are you faced with today? Take it to the Lord in obedience. Doesn't the Word of God tell us to take our burdens and cares to the Lord and leave them on the altar? When life brings us into a situation that requires more of us than we have to offer, we must learn how to activate our faith by standing on the Word.

To the disciples, the five loaves and two fish didn't seem worth mentioning, but Jesus knew the value of what they had and wanted to show them the hidden potential. This brings up the reason for this word today. We have things we own, and we have connections with other people in our life that have potential, but we can't always see the potential that is right before our eyes. Our humanity can cause us to see only the obvious and not the potential, when it comes to our resources. When we mix the Word with our faith, it takes our eyes off of the obvious and places them on the potential. 

Faith will reveal and release the potential that creates miracles, but we must be willing to activate our faith. Let's look at the example found in the book of Kings. God had commanded the widow to feed the prophet before he had entered Zarephath. When he asked her for a cake, the woman tried to ignore God's command and Elijah's request, but later she obeyed. It was very good for her that she ultimately obeyed God because it allowed the prophetic anointing on Elijah to show the woman what she had in her own house. However, because of her fear she couldn't see the potential.

What do you have in your possession that, once it's given to the Lord, could become the next miracle that will break your cycle of lack? Remember Jesus told the disciples to bring Him the fish and loaves. Elijah commanded the widow to bring him a cake first, and then (after he had eaten) she could fix one for herself. Take your lack before the Lord today and keep bringing it until He reveals through your eyes of faith the hidden potential and releases His power upon it to supply all of your need. Those who trust in the Lord shall not lack. The Lord is my Shepherd, and I shall not be in want.

Lord Show Me What I Can't See,
Pastor Asa

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Sensitivity and Submission

John 10: 10, The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. NKJV

Jesus' statement in the above verse is very interesting. On one hand, you have Satan, who comes into your life trying to destroy it and take it from you. On the other hand, you have Jesus, who has come that you might have, keep, and enjoy your life... all in the same verse. In Matthew 10, Jesus tells us how we can keep our life, and how we can lose it. If we lose our life for His name's sake, we shall find it, but if we seek to keep our life (on our terms), then we will lose it. When Jesus tells us that Satan does not come except to steal, kill, and destroy, it is with the understanding that Satan must have your cooperation to do so.

 Therefore, we must be wise when it comes to understanding and resisting the Devil's devices. Jesus spoke about Himself and Satan in the same verse to show us that a particular situation can be won or lost depending on how we respond to it. God doesn't want you to lose the life that Jesus died in order for you to have and enjoy, but He also won't override your will should you choose to live this new life according to the pleasures of the flesh. We are the ones who will determine whether Jesus succeeds in blessing us or if Satan succeeds in cursing us.

Let's look at this principle through some practical situations. Have you ever had the feeling that you needed to stop what you were doing to go pray? Have you ever been living life, and suddenly you had a spiritual burden placed on your heart? Have you ever had a sense in your heart that you weren't supposed to do something at a particular moment, but you followed through with it anyway only to discover that it was disastrous? These are just three scenarios that I personally know and have experienced from the Lord that depict how God works in our lives trying to help us prevent the success of a spiritual attack... but we must be sensitive to the Spirit in order to abort Satan's plans.

If for the sake of convenience we choose to ignore the tugging of the Lord on our heart and decide to charge full steam ahead, then we have just played into the hands of Satan. When we harden our hearts to the direction of God to humble ourselves and seek Him for a direction, we open the door for Satan to enter the picture unrestrained. 

The Lord gave me this word for you today out of the passage in Matthew 26. This is where Jesus enters the Garden of Gethsemane because His heart is feeling sorrowful. He went there because of what He was feeling in order to get prayed through. Notice that the disciples didn't feel the sorrow. Peter, James, and John who were closer to Him than any of the others didn't feel the sorrow of heart as Jesus did either. Prayer will make us sensitive to the feelings of the Holy Spirit. He will warn us when He foresees a danger on the horizon. Nevertheless, if we neglect this type of prayer for sensitivity, then we won't be able to discern danger when it is near.

Since the disciples didn't feel the sorrow of heart, it was difficult for them to pray with Jesus for an hour. In spite of the hardness of the disciples' hearts, Jesus went on a little further from them and obeyed the leading of the Father to pray. As He prayed under the pressure of great sorrow, He submitted His will to accomplish the Father's will. After praying this prayer three times, He returned to the disciples only to find them asleep. They were walking and living in the power of their flesh and were detached from the sensitivity of the Spirit. Their spirits were willing, but their flesh won out over the will of God for them. Consequently, they all entered temptation because they weren't willing to subject their will to the will of Jesus and pray for God's power to overcome their hour of temptation.

We can see through this story how Jesus submitted His will to what the Father was telling Him to do at that moment. Therefore, the Father empowered Jesus to prevail. We can also see what happens to us when we choose to ignore the leading of the Lord for the sake of our flesh (as the disciples did), and we succumb to the temptations of the Devil. As the Holy Spirit troubles your spirit or deals with your heart, submit your will and drop what is important to you at that moment and pray the Father's will for your life. If you will obey, then He will be released through your submission to empower you to overcome the plans of Satan. Listen to the leading of the Holy Spirit through the feelings, burdens, and checks that He places on your heart as you set out to live your life in this fallen world. It will make the difference.

Humbling My Heart in His Presence,
Pastor Asa

Monday, May 9, 2011

Keep It Real

John 17: 3, And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. NKJV

Can you name a religion that allows you the honor of becoming a child of the Most High God? Why is Christianity so different than religion? It is different because it's not a religion at all, but rather it is predicated on our relationship with Jesus Christ and His heavenly Father. In fact, Christianity is defined as being "in Christ." A Christian becomes a child of God through the Spirit of Christ which dwells in all that believe in Him as God's only Son.

Christ is in us; we are in Him, and He is in God the Father. Through Jesus Christ, we have been granted reconciliation with God through His shed blood on the cross. Even the word reconciliation is a relationship term that describes the very reason for Jesus coming to earth and redeeming man back to a right relationship with our heavenly Father.

There is so much more than I could write to prove further the point that Christianity isn't a religion that was conceived in the mind of fallen man. The Bible is very clear when it comes to revealing who originated and initiated our relationship with our Creator and Father. In the book of the Revelation, we're told that Jesus was the Lamb, who was slain before the foundation of the world. Therefore, we can conclude that man had nothing at all to do with the fact that God set out to form a relationship with man and not a "religion". 

Religion is man's vain attempt to reach God or become like God without knowing Him through Christ. Even though we have established that Christians are indeed the children of God, and He is our heavenly Father, it is very possible to make Christianity into just another religion simply by going through the motions without your heart being engaged in the process.

Matthew 15: 8 - 9,
"These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.'" NKJV

Christianity or a relationship with the Father begins in our hearts as His children. If we should love the world more than Him, allow something or someone else to come before our relationship with Him, or become invested in anything besides the Lord and His kingdom, then according to Jesus, our worship of Him will be in vain. This is why Jesus instructs us in Matthew 6 to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these earthly things will be added. Vain worship in the words of Jesus is the definition of religion. We must keep our heart engaged in an active pursuit of God through intimacy. Be very careful to guard your heart so that you don't slip from intimacy over into performance based religion.

The scripture from Matthew 15 also reminds me of another one from the Psalms where David, the King of Israel, is repenting for his sins. In this psalm, we can see that true repentance and reconciliation begin with a humble and contrite heart. David had allowed himself to sink to a place in his heart where pleasure had taken the place of intimacy with the Lord. As a consequence of David's misplaced priorities, Satan was allowed to seduce this mighty king into committing adultery and murder. Through David's sin, we can see the importance of diligently keeping our heart from lusts, lest we fall from grace and enter sin ourselves.

Psalms 51: 15 - 17, O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall show forth Your praise. For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it; you do not delight in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart --These, O God, You will not despise. NKJV

David began his prayer of repentance asking the Lord to open his lips so that he could praise Him. It is God and His grace that gives us the ability to repent of sins that we have committed. David goes on to describe what God requires of any of His children that have fallen from intimacy and given themselves to the power of sin. We must get our hearts right before the Lord if we truly desire to be reconciled back to a correct relationship with God. God doesn't accept sacrifices for the forgiveness of sins. However, He does accept a humble and broken heart. Religion requires sacrifices and paying of penance through acts of our own strength and not of Christ. 

Today, I want to encourage you to maintain a healthy fellowship with your heavenly Father. Only in His presence will you find the strength that is required to live a holy life before Him. Anything else will be in vain.

Keeping It Real,
Pastor Asa

Friday, May 6, 2011

Again I Will Say

Matthew 4 : 23, And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people. NKJV

What is the one message that church goers have heard more so than any other? If you said "the gospel message" you are absolutely correct. Paul tells us in his epistles that he preached on Christ and His suffering to the Jew first and then the gentile. Since we have established that the gospel is the mainstay for the Christian church, now let's look at the results of people hearing this message time and time again.

When I ask someone who knows they are born again if they have any doubts about where they will spend eternity, generally I discover they are certain that heaven will be their destination. We can even take this a step further. Christians are very emphatic when it comes to their faith in Christ that He is the way to heaven. If you should try to argue with a truly born again Christian about their faith in Christ and where their soul will go when they die, you might discover they are very dogmatic and unyielding. We can attribute this tenacity to the continual preaching of the gospel to the saints.

The very moment a person accepts Jesus and receives the Holy Spirit into their heart, they can be assured their destination is heaven. How can Christians be so certain of that belief? When God gives a person His Spirit, there is a peace that will comfort their heart, and they will know they are truly forgiven.

A person may be born again because of the preaching of the Gospel, but is that all they will need in order to live a victorious life? Look back at the verse that was used for today's word. Jesus preached the message "of the kingdom" to those who once followed John the Baptist. The gospel of the kingdom teaches us to walk in our new identity and spiritual authority by walking in the spirit and not the flesh.

Now let's take what we've discussed and put it into perspective. When a Christian is challenged by Satan about their salvation or eternal destination, he is met with resistance and a fight. However, when a Christian who doesn't know who they are in Christ (the kingdom message) is challenged with a fiery trial or God requires them to trust Him through a difficult situation, generally the stance of the average believer is not as strong against the doubt and unbelief that arises. Why is this? 

We have heard the gospel repeatedly, but the gospel of the kingdom which turns converts into disciples who are strong in the Lord has not been widely taught. This leaves converts struggling to know God in that context. We know the God of salvation, but we don't all know the God of the kingdom message. In chapter 11, Daniel tells us: only those who know THEIR GOD shall be strong and do great exploits. Once we become born again, we must not live on salvation messages alone, but on the message of the kingdom of God that teaches us about God... after the salvation experience.

Isn't it amazing that we can trust an invisible God with our eternal security and think nothing about it, and then turn around and not trust Him to supply our earthly needs this week? As Christians, we must advance in our understanding of God so that we might learn how to be strong when Satan rages against us as believers.

Hebrews 6: 1 - 3,
So let us stop going over the basics of Christianity again and again. Let us go on instead and become mature in our understanding. Surely we don't need to start all over again with the importance of turning away from evil deeds and placing our faith in God. You don't need further instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And so, God willing, we will move forward to further understanding.  NLT

Moving Forward in the Faith,
Pastor Asa

Thursday, May 5, 2011

And You Shall Know The Truth

1 John 4 : 6, We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error. NKJV

When Jesus came to earth, He was the embodiment of TRUTH. There are many people in our world that have knowledge of the truth, but He is the truth. Everywhere He traveled during His life on earth, He preached the truth to those who would listen to His Words. One day as He was speaking, some Jews believed the words that He spoke, and Jesus told those who believed that if they would continue in His Word, they would become His disciples and know the truth.

Just like the Jews, who believed in Jesus, but had to be persuaded to continue walking in it, we, too, must learn how to place our complete faith and trust in God's Word as the absolute truth. It's one thing to say that you believe in God's Word as being the truth, but it's another thing altogether to say that you now trust in His Word as the truth. This place of confidence is established by living according to God's principles on a daily and consistent basis allowing those truths to become a part of who you are.

As you and I continue to receive the truth of God into our hearts, we will grow past the initial stage of "just believing in His word" to walking in truth. Once the truth of God's Word is believed and acted upon, it begins to change us by changing our hearts. The truth of God's Word is far more than words in a book; they are living and will live in us. Once we learn how to walk in the truth (or the light of His Word), then we will be kept alive spiritually by His Word in us. 

Jesus ministered for forty-two months before He was crucified. However, before He departed, Jesus told the disciples that He would not leave them (us) as orphans. He prayed to the Father and asked Him to send us another Comforter. This Comforter is called the Holy Spirit of God...we also know Him as the Spirit of truth. As Christians, we must die to the self-nature and become one with the Spirit of truth through our new nature. 

We will know that our hearts have been changed by the Word of God, and that we're walking in the truth when we can begin to recognize when someone is walking in the truth or in error. In order for the Word to keep us from deception or from becoming deceived by people and the lies of the enemy, we must become one with God's Word. Take the time that is required to build your confidence in God's Word so that you can walk in the spirit of truth. As you grow in the Word spiritually, then your knowledge of the truth will move from your mind and will become a part of who you are in your heart. Other people will begin to see that you walk in the truth without you having to quote one verse. It's a heart thing!

Walking in the TRUTH,
Pastor Asa

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Truth About Hell From Someone In Hell

Lately, it seems many voices have arisen trying to discredit, distort, and pervert the truth contained in God's Word about a place called "HELL." Don't you find it strange that suddenly so many voices are coming out with their argument against the Bible concerning this subject? These "instructors" seem convinced that their personal belief is correct in the face of truth that is found in the Bible. Even though I have heard men argue the nonexistence of HELL, I've never heard any of them say that they have gone there.

So today, the Lord told me to share this excerpt from HIS WORD that directly quotes a man who not only went to hell, but still remains there today. This story that Jesus shared with the people of His day was not a parable, but was taken from a real account of people who had real names. Listen very closely to a man who once enjoyed the best of this world's pleasures, but now lives in torment. Take note that he begs Abraham to warn his other brothers about this place called "HELL." 

NOTE: The Bible says that the wicked are forgotten, but the righteous are remembered. The rich man's name isn't used in this true account, but Lazarus, the beggar, is remembered.

Luke 16 : 19 - 31, "There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day. But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate, desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham's bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. "Then he cried and said, 'Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.' But Abraham said, 'Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented. And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us.' "Then he said, 'I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father's house, for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.' Abraham said to him, 'They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.' And he said, 'No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.' But he said to him, 'If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.'" NKJV

Friends Don't Let Friends Go to HELL!
Pastor Asa

Please post this on your status, forward it on or tweet it.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Be Renewed

Ephesians 4: 20 - 24, But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness. NKJV

As we are renewed in the spirit of our mind, we will also put on the "new man." Many Christians struggle from time to time to STOP doing something that, as born again believers, they should not to be doing. In Galatians 5, Paul teaches us that if we will walk in the Spirit, then we won't fulfill the lust of the flesh. Do you walk in spiritual authority over the flesh to the point of living in liberty? If not, this word can empower you to gain the knowledge you may need to overcome fleshly ways or weaknesses.

In Romans 12, we're told that God has given every person a measure of faith. He also warns us believers not to think more highly of ourselves than we ought, but to think soberly. Once we become born again, it's true that our sins have been forgiven, and our conscience has been purged by the precious blood of Jesus. Jesus did defeat the Devil on the cross as well as paid the debt for our sins, but there's something that He left for us to do "after" we accept Him as our Savior and Lord. This has nothing to do with earning our salvation because salvation is a gift of God. 

If you're a Christian, and you still struggle with issues that should have been left behind with your past life, it only means that you need to be renewed in the spirit of your mind. This is where the measure of faith that Paul taught about comes into operation. As God deals with our hearts to change old mindsets and habits, we must use our faith to trust in His will over our human will. This is called changing our ways.

Once you recognize that there is a weakness in your walk and know that God wants to see a transformation in it, you can begin to submit to "His" process of changing your will. When you submit to God's will first, then He will empower you to resist the Devil. In due season, the Lord will lift you above the old ways, and you will begin to walk in authority and liberty. We must be aware of the enemy of "self" that tries to dominate and control our lives as Christians... lest it is allowed to prevent us from walking in victory.

Isaiah 55: 6 - 7, Seek the LORD while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, and He will have mercy on him; NKJV

We forsake our old ways by seeking the Lord and His will... and it begins with the Word of God and prayer.

Let the CHANGE Begin,
Pastor Asa

Monday, May 2, 2011

Keeping Our Wells Clean

Genesis 26: 18,  And Isaac dug again the wells of water which they had dug in the days of Abraham his father, for the Philistines had stopped them up after the death of Abraham. He called them by the names which his father had called them. NKJV

We live in a subdivision that has a pond for the homeowners to enjoy. Periodically, the Property Owners Association has to hire someone to come with a piece of earth moving equipment and clean the sediment out of the reservoir that feeds the pond. Over the course of a year or two of rain, the dirt that is washed into the stream is carried to the reservoir before it enters our pond. If that reservoir isn't maintained, eventually the pond will be full of sediment and will become unhealthy for the fish.

Just as it is in natural, so it is in the spiritual. Whenever God brings showers of blessings down on the earth, the flesh of man can become stirred up and pollute the flow that originated at the Head of the stream. In the book of Job, we can read that the sons of God presented themselves to God, and Satan was among them. It seems that anywhere God is pouring out His blessings, Satan is somewhere very close ready to defile through the frailties of man's fleshly ways.

After the death of Abraham, the Philistines, who were the enemies of Israel, sought to destroy all the wells that provided water for the Jews and their livestock. I don't believe that it was just a coincidence that the Philistines did these evil deeds AFTER the DEATH of Abraham. It seems that Satan can have a greater influence to pollute the blessings of God in people's hearts in the midst of death. Satan also works very diligently to set up scenarios to make us believe that something is beyond hope so that we will cast off all restraint and give ourselves over to His devices. 

I'm writing you this word today to encourage you to guard your heart from the strategies or methods of the Devil. God is moving in our generation like no other generation before our time. He is preparing us for the return of Christ. However, while God is on the move, so is Satan. He is orchestrating diversionary tactics to draw our attention away from the impact of what God is doing in order to rob us of seeing the hand of God at work and to discourage us with his destructive acts. Beware of anything that would cause you to lose hope and place doubt in your heart concerning God's ability to save us from destruction. 

Satan desires to regain access back into your heart, but you must STAND YOUR GROUND against him. The enemy of your soul wants to use the weakness of your flesh to try and defile your heart through actions brought on by fear. If you're concerned that you have given a place to the enemy, and he is robbing you of God's pure blessings, and you want to be free from the impurities of this world, ask the Lord to keep your heart continually. If "God" keeps watch, then we will be kept, but if "we" try to keep watch, there's a good chance that we will fall asleep. His eyes are on us to watch over us as our Great Shepherd. Our duty is to listen for His voice and keep our eyes fastened on Him. Place your hope and trust solely in the Lord.

God Has the Key to My Heart,
Pastor Asa