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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

You Can Win This Battle

1 Peter 4 : 1 - 2, Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. NKJV

2 Timothy 4: 6 - 8, For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing. NKJV

The Lord has given me a very specific word today concerning Christians and the issue of sin. Our heavenly Father has provided a way that we can escape the snare of sin. Not only is it possible through Christ for us to overcome the desire for sin's pleasure, it is a requirement of God that His children live a holy life before Him. If God commands us to live holy, then we know that a life of holiness in Christ is obtainable. However, we must desire it more than anything or anyone else.

Since becoming a child of God have you noticed an increase in opposition against you and your faith? Not only will the world turn on you, but the flesh nature that once controlled your decisions will war against you as well. Peter tells us in his epistle not to be surprised when fiery trials invade our life as if something strange has just occurred. Like James, he tells us to rejoice in them. They tell us to rejoice when faced with hard trials, and Jesus commands us to be of good cheer. Their response to persecution (rejection from this world and afflictions) seems to be quite different from normal human responses.

As long as you fight the battles that war against your faith, know that you're winning the greater battle over sin. John teaches us in his epistle that whatever is born of God doesn't sin...yet we hear ministers teach precisely the opposite. We're told that Christians are just sinners, saved by grace. Why is there a contradiction between the Word of God and some who teach His Word? God tells us in Psalms 103 that Israel knew the acts of God; nevertheless, only Moses knew the ways of God. In Isaiah 55, God tells us that His ways are not our ways and that His thoughts are higher than our thoughts. Ministers are humans, who must learn the ways of God just as much as the people of God. Since we know about God, nevertheless we don't know all of His ways; it does seem strange for us to consider the persecution and trials of our faith as joyful. 

Let's look at "good fight of faith" from the view point of the Bible. Our faith in Christ is our victory over the world. As we live and walk by faith, we are rejecting the will and desires of the flesh nature. When we obey the Word of God and seek to do His will in our lives, the Word will circumcise, or cut away, the flesh from our hearts; thus, we will no longer desire the pleasures of this world. Remember, David said, "Your Word have I hidden in my heart that I might not sin against you." 

The only way to hide the Word of God in our hearts is to obey it. When the Word enters our heart through implementation, it becomes a sword which divides our flesh from our heart. While the Word is working in your heart to free your new life in Christ from your old ways, persecution will arise against you for the Word's sake. As we fight the good fight of faith and endure suffering as a good soldier, we are also winning the battle against the allure of sin's pleasures.

As we continue to win the battle over the flesh nature through our faithful obedience to God's Word, then we will grow in the ability to count all of these light afflictions as joy. Being alive to the Word and living for the Lord will put to death the evil deeds of our flesh. This insight should encourage us to keep fighting. If you're in the midst of a fiery trial, and you're wondering why God has allowed this to come upon you, be comforted; you can rest in knowing that His Word is in you and will set you free from the stronghold of the flesh nature. Afterwards, you will walk in greater peace, liberty, strength, and boldness. 

In 2 Samuel 11, King David was supposed to go out to battle. Instead, he sent Joab to lead the army of Israel, and David remained in Jerusalem. David tarried behind, took another man's wife, and committed adultery with her. As a result of David's adulterous affair, Bath-Sheba became pregnant. In order to cover up his wrong, David had Urriah, the husband of Bath-Sheba killed. There were many consequences of David's decision not to go out to battle and fight. It affected his faith, his walk with God, and his authority as a believer. 

We all grow weary while fighting in the good fight of faith. However, if we ever decide to lay down the cross that Christ commanded us to carry, and we stop fighting our own flesh nature, then we will open the door for temptation to sin. I pray that you now have a better understanding of how important it is for a Christian to be obedient. When believers refuse to put the kingdom of God first in their hearts, it can open the door for Satan to lead us astray and into sin. It comes down to choice. We all must decide to die to the flesh and live unto God so that we can overcome the weaknesses of our flesh.

Fighting the Good Fight of Faith,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

I Want To Glorify Jesus

James 2: 14 - 17, What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, "Depart in peace, be warmed and filled," but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. NKJV

How does a Christian bring glory to Jesus anyway? Do we do this through our words of praise and adoration? Partially, but it is a life that demonstrates the love of God that brings glory to Christ. James gives a great example that shows us what true and complete faith should look like. In the analogy, James addresses the issue of us telling people about Jesus, but not showing them Jesus through our love for Him. If we don't learn to effectively show them Jesus, then the need in their lives will never be supplied.

When Jesus came to earth, it was for the sole purpose of glorifying the Father among the Jews. He accomplished this by obeying the Father's will while He walked among His own people. It was toward the end of His ministry and life on earth that Jesus told the disciples of His soon coming death on the cross. As He discussed this event with them, Jesus said that He was not alone, because the Father was with Him. Catch this next statement from the mouth of our Savior: "He is with me BECAUSE I always DO THOSE THINGS that please the Father." In other words, Jesus pleased the Father by being willing to serve God's purpose in the earth and not His own desire. As a result of Jesus' obedience, the Father empowered Him in His greatest moment of anguish and suffering to glorify God in His body.

By the same token, we must show our faith ... not just talk about it to others. As we demonstrate our faith through obedience, then the life of Christ is released into our hearts; that Life will cause us to live a godly life in a sin filled world. In John 15, Jesus tells us, His disciples, that we are to abide in the Vine (Him) through active faith in accordance to the Word and the will of God. Then we will bear fruit and be His disciples indeed. As we bear fruit, our lives will glorify our heavenly Father and Christ, His Son. What is the Holy Spirit telling you to do in your life? Are you being obedient or has fear kept you from stepping out? In order for your faith or mine to be complete or save us, we must follow up His instructions with our obedient actions; then we will overcome self and glorify our Savior and Lord.

I Am Not Alone,
Pastor Asa

Monday, March 26, 2012

Keeping Your Focus on Jesus

Matt 24:9-14, "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. But he who endures to the end shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come. NKJV

Since the creation of man, Satan has tried to be creative in the area of distraction. When I was in elementary school, a couple of boys made it their mission in life to bully and intimidate me. Though they made threats and occasionally inflicted pain upon me, I never allowed their intimidation to prevent me from doing my school work. Now that I'm a pastor, I can look back and see that those bullies were only helping me prepare for the "real" battle. Satan is constantly trying to bully me and God's people around with the hope that we will become so fearful that we will lose faith in God and stop obeying His will in the earth.

 God has given me a scripture in Isaiah 54 that can help us to combat the spirit of fear when Satan rears his lying head against us. God has promised those who remain faithful to Him that no weapon that is formed shall be able to prosper against us. Wouldn't it be nice if it stated instead, "No weapon shall be able to be formed against us?" If that were the case, then where would our faith and trust in God come into the picture? Satan doesn't just use threats; he will also use pleasurable distractions to lead believers away from fulfilling the plan of God in our lives.

When we see the devastation that is going on in the world today, we must remember the words written in Hebrews 12 : 1 - 2, Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. NKJV

If the devastation should cause us to do anything, it should draw us closer in fellowship with our heavenly Father through intercession. Yet, we see in the church that when calamity occurs, people will generally become distracted and fall away from the purpose of God for their lives. Let me write to you in this light; imagine that the news has been tracking a tornado that is scheduled to come through your neighborhood. Since there is emanate danger, you have someone keep watch while you keep your eyes on the news anchor. As they announce on the news that the tornado is just about to hit your neighborhood, you hear the person watching for the actual tornado yell, "It's across the way and headed for us." And instead of remaining inside of your home, fear drives you out into the fury of the storm where you have no protection.

This occurs whenever Christians focus on the report of the enemy's plots and plans and not on God's promises to protect and preserve us as in Psalms 91. Let me conclude with this thought. Jesus foretold us about these events transpiring over two-thousand years ago, and it was written down for our admonishment. "Seeing" warns us in Matthew and says, "See that I have told you before it happens, lest you become offended." (My version)

Read the passage from Matthew 24 again and look at what Jesus tells us while all of the deceit, hard heartedness and tribulation are taking place. ...And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.

He commands us to remain focused and walking by faith and NOT BY SIGHT. He is very capable and willing to keep us in our hour of need as long as we don't break rank and run out from spiritual covering (Obedience). If fear has gripped your heart and your attention to the point that you're slipping in your walk, it means you're being seduced into Satan's deceptive web of fear. Ask the Lord to strengthen your heart with might through the Holy Spirit and repent. (Ephesians 3) Though we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, we will fear no evil. Why? Because God is with us; His rod and staff they comfort us, and we will DWELL in the house of the Lord forever. PROTECTION from the storm!

Abiding Under the Shadow,
Pastor Asa

Saturday, March 24, 2012

When She Heard

Mark 5:27-28, When she heard about Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment. For she said, "If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well." NKJV

You can see in the passage above that what we hear can, and will affect our lives. That's not only true in the world, but also in the church. When you hear negative comments about healing being in the past, and that miracles aren't for today, those words can affect your ability to believe. The Bible instructs us to guard our hearts, for out of it flow the issues of life. Fortunately, this woman, who had an issue of blood for twelve years heard about all the wonderful things Jesus had been performing in other people's lives, and this caused faith to arise in her heart. She believed that if she could touch Him, what had happened to others would also come true for her. She heard, she said, and she acted on her belief in what she had heard. Doctors couldn't help her, and money had failed her, but faith in Jesus made her whole.

Mark 5:29-30, Immediately the fountain of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of the affliction. NKJV

Immediately her problem of twelve years was over. Active faith caused her to overcome a long-term problem. Do you have an issue in your life that needs a touch from the Master's hand? Take a few moments and read about miracles that Jesus performed in the Word of God, and allow your faith to reach out and touch Him through prayer. Like this woman, you have no need that anyone pray for you; just believe that you receive, and Jesus said you shall have what you ask for.

Romans 10:17, So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. NKJV

The moment you receive your miracle, or healing let us know; through your testimony others can have their faith increased and receive their breakthrough.

In His service,
Pastor Asa

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Blessing of Abraham

Galatians 3: 13 - 14, Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree"), that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. NKJV

I'm sure that if you have attended a church service during the resurrection season (Easter), then you have probably heard a sermon about Jesus dying for our sins. Jesus was the perfect Lamb that was offered as a ransom (or payment) for mankind's sin. But under the Levitical priesthood, there were men that were selected to serve as priests, and who offered sacrifices for the covering of Israel's sin. The office that Jesus filled while He was on the earth was very unique; Jesus is our High Priest, but He was also our spotless Lamb. As the High Priest, He offered Himself unto the Father in heaven, His offering was accepted, and payment was made in full.

Now that we have discussed the payment of sin by our Savior, let's look at the principle that Paul teaches us in Galatians. He tells us that Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law... having become a curse for us. The Bible is very clear that all of us have sinned and fallen short of God's glory; but did you realize that God gave mankind the Law so that we can know (or have consciousness) of sin in our hearts? Sin blinded man's heart to our own transgression against God's law. This is why you read in Genesis where Adam blamed Eve instead of confessing the sin in his own heart. His heart was darkened by sin to his own sinful ways.

When God handed down the Law to Moses on Mount Sinai, and the Jews transgressed against the Law, it caused the curse to manifest in their lives. Look at the account where the Jews were in the wilderness before the law was given; there you'll see that they murmured against Moses and God and nothing happened (no consequences). Then look at the time that they murmured against Moses and God after the Law; they were bitten by fiery serpents. The Law revealed that we were living under the curse of sin and not just living in sin. The wages of sin is death.

Today the Lord wanted me to teach you the difference between sin and the curse of sin through the Law. If we are saved by faith, then we must also live or obey by faith so that the grace of God might continue to set us free from the bondage's of our flesh nature. But if we should decide to live according to the lusts of our flesh nature instead of walking by faith, then we place ourselves back under the law... through works and the curse of the Law. When, as Christians, we choose to live according to the lusts of the flesh instead of obeying God by faith, we are committing iniquities that allow the curse of the Law to manifest in our lives. If you struggle with iniquity as a Christian, which is defined as:  do amiss; bow down; make crooked; perverse; do wickedly, then all that the Father requires is that we repent and turn from our own wicked ways and obey His ways. Isaiah tells us that God has laid on Christ the iniquities of us all. In Christ, not only are our sins forgiven, but when we repent for disobedience and begin to obey, so are our iniquities forgiven. We are in Christ, but we must also live and walk in Christ in order to be free from the curse of the Law.

Class Dismissed,
Pastor Asa

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Sweet Taste of Freedom

Exodus 5: 1 - 2, Afterward Moses and Aaron went in and told Pharaoh, "Thus says the LORD God of Israel: 'Let My people go, that they may hold a feast to Me in the wilderness.'" And Pharaoh said, "Who is the LORD that I should obey His voice to let Israel go? I do not know the LORD, nor will I let Israel go." NKJV
Very few things in life deserve the price of spilled blood and the loss of life in order to obtain it. However, freedom is definitely worth the fight. If you have never been held against your will, imprisoned, or bound by an addiction, you may not give much thought to the value of freedom. Nevertheless, for millions of people around the world who live under great oppression and persecution, freedom is forefront in their minds.
God created man to have and enjoy liberty. Man had this right because God placed us over the works of His hands; we were "in command." However, along with liberation and authority, the Lord God gave us freedom to choose. Unfortunately, the result of man's freewill was that he chose to subject himself to the control of Satan and his will. Since the fall of man, men have fought throughout history in an attempt to regain their freedom. Still, after thousands of years of conflicts, battles, and wars, we're living in a generation where freedom is only a dream to millions around the world; and those who are a free people are constantly threatened by the enemies of liberty.
Let's look at Israel; they cried unto the Lord to be liberated from their afflictions in Egypt.  Even so, after the Lord sent Moses into Egypt to set His people free, the children of Israel soon turned on their liberator. When faced with the harshness of the wilderness, they longed in their hearts for the past land of bondage. Is it not amazing that they sought God for deliverance? Yet, after they were emancipated, they desired to go back into slavery once again? What they didn't realize and what Adam and Eve failed to see is that freedom comes with responsibility. Even though God had delivered the children of Israel and had given them their own land, we see where they forsook God for the idols of the heathen and went back into bondage as slaves to Babylon.

As sweet as freedom tastes to us all, there is still something that lies within all humans that looks for ways to keep us in or pull us back into the bondage of sin. The fallen nature of man doesn't desire to be submitted to God. In fact, the old nature and the carnal mind are enemies of God; we must die to "self" in order to live in freedom. We know that Christ came to free us from the power and the curse of sin. He dealt with the sin nature on the cross so that we could be set free to live a life of liberation through submission. Now that we have accepted Jesus' spilled blood as payment for our sin debt, we have overcome the sin nature. However, we must choose to submit to God's will daily in order to obtain victory over our carnal mind.         

We all must make one decision. Is God's freedom worth the price it costs us to gain and maintain it? In the natural, the only way to freedom is to win the victory over our enemies. However, in the Spirit realm, Christ has already won our victory. Nevertheless, the only way to hold on to freedom is to surrender our hearts and lives to God. Satan doesn't want you to view God as an ally; he would love for us all to view Him as our enemy to personal freedom. We must choose to believe the Word of God and live by it, if we truly desire to live free from sin. Faith in Christ is the victory that overcomes the world. If your life isn't surrendered to Christ and His plan for you, will you consider turning the control over to Him? Be set free so that you can enjoy life in Christ today.  

Freedom Is Everything,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Advancement of Technology

Daniel 12: 1 - 4, "At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people-everyone whose name is found written in the book-will be delivered. Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever. But you, Daniel, close up and seal the words of the scroll until the time of the end. Many will go here and there to increase knowledge." NIV

It seems of late that the world has gotten on a fast-track when it comes to the advancement of technology. The foundation of technology is knowledge; and it has increased in the past decade like never before. During the industrial revolution, people's eyes and attention were focused on what man could extract from the earth and create for the betterment of society. Horse-drawn carriages gave way to cars and trucks. Plows that were pulled by oxen or mules were quickly replaced with farm tractors, which made agriculture easier for those who lived on farms; and humans were no longer limited to travel on the ground because aeronautics was introduced as the new, quicker way to get to your destination.

However, in recent decades, it seems that the industrial age has given way to the era of technology. We can now send an e-letter to someone on the other side of the world in a matter of seconds. Therefore, it seems our focus has been turned from that which man can extract from the earth; in today's world, we are captivated by the wisdom of man and his ability to move us with the latest and greatest electronic discovery. 

In many ways, life through technology has been enhanced and made much easier. It is as though there is no limit to what man can imagine and design. Now we have 3-D and 4-D imagery that pulls you into the very center of the action. Technology has shown us how to live life in a virtual world that has no bounds.

Even so, all this knowledge, technology, and various modes of travel were foretold by a prophet named Daniel. The God of creation and eternity revealed to Daniel things that would occur in the last days before the return of Christ to the earth. So as great as the technology and discoveries of our time are, we must not forget our God, who said how it would be... centuries before it happened. 

Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 13 that knowledge will vanish. Like a fleeting thought of the mind, the technology that we are awed by today will be a thing of the past very soon. Obviously, God considered the knowledge and the technological advancements of our day as being note-worthy, or He wouldn't have shown them to his servant Daniel. It doesn't matter how old the Bible is because it is just as relevant today as it was in Daniel's time. Therefore, the Word of God must continue to be a part of our lives just as much as the breakthroughs and discoveries of today's modern world. We must learn how to break free from just being infatuated by today's electronic wizardry and learn how to utilize the tools that God has placed in our hands to reach a world with the "Good News" of Jesus Christ. 

Instead of drowning ourselves in the electronic age as a means of escape from the real world or separating ourselves from the world's advancements altogether, why not capitalize on this wave of knowledge for God's glory? After all, it is God who said these things would occur, and they have. The internet, social media, electronic devices, satellite, and, etc. are all forms of communications; and what greater message to be communicated than the hope that is found in Jesus and His cross.

I encourage you to both learn about and utilize the tools of today's technology to further your reach as a witness of Christ so that He might save a world that has become distracted by the frills of this modern age. Not since the Garden of Eden have we seen "knowledge" promise mankind so much as a way to distract us from what is really important... the will of God for our lives.  
Press "LIKE",
Pastor Asa Dockery

Monday, March 19, 2012

Turn To Jesus When Satan Attacks

Hebrews 12: 1 - 3, Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. NKJV

The work of the cross is finished; however, we are still required by the Lord to repent of the evil that we have committed in His sight, ask for forgiveness, and move forward in the power of Christ. You can do all things through Christ; and this includes overcoming your past and walking in victory over the strategies of the Devil.

Even so, once you make a commitment to the Lord to begin to forget those things which are behind you and press toward the upward calling of Christ, you must learn how to place trust in the Lord. While we were in the world and living life for our own pleasures, we only placed confidence in ourselves (or our "self" nature). However, now that we have decided to live the life that God intended for us to live in Christ, we have to undergo the process of relying on the power of God and His Word to bring us through the tests and trials; we will then become established in the faith.

Satan didn't have any say so when it came to the salvation of your soul because it was God's will for you to be saved. Nevertheless, now that you've decided to commit to Jesus and live your life for Him, Satan will still try his best to "trip you up" as you go through the conversion process of becoming established in Christ. Our adversary couldn't prevent God from loving and saving us, but he will definitely try to prevent us from allowing our faith in Christ to transform us into becoming powerful sons and daughters of God. Be careful that you don't fall into the trap of the enemy where you believe that you can do God's will in the strength of your flesh because you will fail every time.

Here's how you will know that you're trying to walk by faith in your own strength, knowledge, and abilities: you will have an encounter with Satan, and you will try to defeat his schemes without turning to the Lord, first. We see this in the story of Eve. Eve was confronted by Satan, who had embodied the serpent so that he could deceive her. It was after she told the serpent what God had told them (not to eat of the forbidden tree of knowledge because they would die) that Satan began to dispute God's Word with her. Once he engaged her in a conversation, he knew that he would win the battle because she didn't invoke the Word of God or the power of God; she simply argued with him in her own strength. We must never try to outsmart Satan with our knowledge, talent, strength or abilities; instead, we must train ourselves to turn to the Lord and pray. If we don't, then we will enter into temptation...just as Jesus taught His disciples in Matthew 26.

Let's break it down so that we can know the correct way to overcome Satan when he attacks our faith in Christ. Eve did okay as long as Satan didn't go outside her knowledge or understanding of God. However, you and I both know that Satan will begin in something we know; and then he will lead us as he did with Eve into deeper, darker waters of the unknown. We must not go there; we must turn to the Lord for assistance. After she told the serpent what God had said, the serpent responded with a lie and an attack on God's character. Think about this for a moment: if Eve knew the truth about what Satan was suggesting concerning God's command and His character, do you think she would have fallen for his lies?

Consequently, we can see that after the serpent engaged her attention to his plan or attack, he proceeded to move her over into doubt and unbelief because she didn't know the truth about what he had told her concerning God. It is here when Eve should have called on God for backup. It is also at this same place that we, as children of God, must turn to the Lord in our own times of trials and temptations. For this reason, we're told over and over in the Word of God, "to be still," "do not fear," or to "be of good cheer." God doesn't want us to be impulsive when Satan attacks our lives or threatens our well being. Paul tells us in Ephesians 6 that we must put on the whole armor of God that we might be able to withstand our enemies in the evil day. We are to turn to the Lord and His Word when life hits us with a problem or a dilemma that goes beyond our knowledge of God's Word or our understanding of God's ways.

If we should act out of fear, desire, or our emotions in response to Satan's schemes, then we will fall into his trap and enter into temptation. Begin today by asking your heavenly Father to guard your heart when offenses come into your life. Ask Him to keep you from allowing your flesh to lead you into temptation and sin. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding; acknowledge Him in all your ways, and He will direct your steps. The only way for you and I to live a victorious life over the strategies and lies of Satan is to keep our faith in Christ, no matter what comes our way. Eve failed to do this because Satan convinced her that God was holding "good things" back from her. She believed something that wasn't true about God, and it caused her to act out of unbelief; and she sinned. So when the tempter comes, and he will come; don't buy his lies. Turn to the Lord and begin to seek Him. As you do this, then the Lord will begin to show you greater revelations and give you His understanding so that you can be empowered to make the right decisions and not fall prey to Satan's lies. You can do this...

Standing on the Word,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Friday, March 16, 2012

Leaving Your Past While Embracing Your Future

Matthew 10 : 37 - 39He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it. NKJV

The life that you and I have lived according to the pleasures of this world wasn't the life that God offered us in Genesis 1: 26 -28. It is however, the life that Adam and Eve chose when Satan tempted Eve with sin. In order for us to truly experience the LIFE that God intended for us to have in the earth (not heaven), it  has to be lived by faith and not according to lusts. In other words, we must not choose as Eve did when she fulfilled her own desire and will and not God's will in the garden of His provision.

Since all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, we all have a past that must be overcome in order to embrace our new life in Christ. When Adam and Eve chose to sin instead of living their life based on God's plan, it caused all of mankind to be blinded by the carnal mind. The carnal mind simply bases decisions on how they will affect us for the moment with NO thought for our future. The mind of Christ or the spiritual mind that Paul teaches about in Romans 8 operates on the basis of faith and not pleasure. Now that we're in Christ, we can't live the same way that we did in the world and expect to get a different outcome. We can't be a Christian and have the right to continue to live according to fleshly desires or worldly pleasures. This is why we're told, in Hebrews 11, that without faith, we can't please the Father.

If you truly want to separate yourself from the heartaches, setbacks, and failures of your past, then you must submit your will to the Father's will and crucify the flesh (or carnal nature). If we continue in Christ, there will come a time in our walk where we must decide God's way or our way. This is what Jesus is addressing in today's scripture. In Christ, God has great plans to prosper you and give you a bright future. It's bright and hopeful, because HE will be with you in it leading the way. Our past is dark, because it was based on "our" ways instead of "God's" ways.

I want to leave you with an example of someone who chose, while living in luxury, to leave his past behind and to suffer with his brethren by faith. Hebrews 11 : 24 - 27, By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward. By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured as seeing Him who is invisible. NKJV

It doesn't sound very inviting for a person to leave a palace, with all of its pleasures and to choose to suffer affliction with his own people, but that's exactly what Moses did, and what we must do if we truly desire to be free from our past. In the flesh, Moses was known and remembered as a murderer; but, in the spirit, after suffering for a while, He became known and remembered in Egypt and the world as God's man of deliverance and power. Moses is known as the greatest prophet of the Old Testament. He was a man that found favor in God's sight and was allowed to talk with God face to face. Wow!

You and I must make that same choice... if we haven't already. By faith, we must be willing to lay down both the pleasures and the regrets of our past and embrace a new future in Christ. If you have been a slave to sin's pleasure or brought into captivity and bondage to its wages,  then "right now" you can have a new beginning. Like Moses, lay it all on the altar and choose to follow Jesus. The Lord has promised to give us a hope and a future when we turn to Him with our whole heart.

Leaving My Past Behind,
Pastor Asa

Thursday, March 15, 2012


John 11 : 35, Jesus wept. KJV 

It only takes this one very short verse to show you that Jesus had emotions just like the others who wept at the tomb of Lazarus. I find it strange that Jesus would shed tears because He knew why Lazarus was dead; and He also knew that He was about to raise him up. Perhaps Jesus wept to show us that, as our High Priest, He could be touched with the feelings of our infirmities. However, my goal in today's Word is to help you see that Jesus is our example of how to live a life that isn't controlled by emotions. 

Through His Word, we know that God, Himself, has emotions. He feels both joy and anger; and since we were created in the image of God, we, too, have emotions. Nevertheless, unlike God, we are sometimes controlled and held like prisoners by them. Just as your skin has feelings, your soul or consciousness has emotions or feelings as well. God has given us feelings so that we can enjoy and experience His presence and His goodness; however, when the fall of man occurred, emotions became an easy target for Satan to exploit and use like a weapon against us.
Have you had someone hurt you recently? If so, then you are more than likely experiencing some "raw emotions." When we are in a healthy emotional state, we can enjoy life through those things we are passionate about; nonetheless, the moment we become wounded, those emotions can become chains that can keep us from forgiving others and moving on with our lives.   
If you have been hurt by someone, the first thing you felt was an emotional pain from your soul. I don't see much difference between a hurt in your physical body and a hurt in your emotions. After you experience a pain in your body, it is usually followed by a reaction to try to protect the affected area. The same occurs with our emotional heart when pain has been inflicted upon it. Our emotions kick in and demand a response that will protect our heart from further hurt.   
Here is where our emotions can become chains that can prevent us from facing those who hurt us and dealing with the pain. Emotional pain can cause us to feel anger, hatred, or vengeful, which can lead to bitterness or a hard heart. When we're in this state of mind, Satan will try to exploit our emotional pain and the feelings that have resulted from that pain. He is the cause of most offenses in the world. We know this because Paul tells us in Ephesians 6 that we don't war with flesh and blood; we war with spirits of darkness. Satan wounds us, hoping that we will begin to harbor "ill feelings" against the person or persons that have injured our hearts.   

As long as we hold onto the hurtful feelings, we hold ourselves in bondage to our emotions. If we don't let go, it will only prolong the healing process and can cause infection (sin) to fill our hearts. Here is where the Lord must be given a place to minister to us and our wounded heart and emotions.   

Paul teaches us in Romans 8 that, as the sheep of God, we are counted for the slaughter. He goes to write that we are killed all the daylong for Christ's sake. Next, he writes something that is very powerful that you must know in order to overcome this world and its offenses against you. Paul wrote that, through Christ, we are more than conquerors in all these hardships and heartaches. Therefore, we must not turn inwardly and view ourselves as the victim; we must turn to Christ and see ourselves victorious in our afflictions. How we see ourselves in the light of emotional hurt will either help or will hamper our healing process.

Satan wants us to view ourselves as victims so that we will hold onto the pain; we will then feel justified in our own mind in returning the favor to those who have wronged us. Although vengeance may make your flesh feel better, you will remain in bondage to your emotions, and can become physically ill as a result of holding onto the pain for an extended time. Refusing to let go will also displease our heavenly Father because He wants us to be free from unforgiveness.
The key is to keep our eyes on Jesus, and on the afflictions that He endured and overcame through obedience to His heavenly Father. If we will see ourselves as God does and open our hearts up to His healing power,  He will begin to remove the pain. We hold the key to the chains of our emotions that keep our pain alive. If we give control of that key to the Lord, He will release us from the bondage that we have to hurt emotions; and the underlying pain will heal.  Our release of desiring revenge will empower God to set us free from Satan's agenda and power.    

Trying to hold on to hurt or wounded emotions only holds us in bondage and keeps the pain of the past fresh. Once we obey the Word of God and forgive from the heart, as God, for Christ's sake has forgiven us, then the healing process can begin. The hurt can be filled with God's love, making that area of your heart stronger than it was before the offense occurred. Finally, it comes down to your will or willingness to forgive and release. This is an act of the heart.   

Forgiven and Forgiving,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Christ in You

2 Peter 1: 2 - 8, Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. NKJV

In Ephesians 2, Paul is very emphatic when he describes how we become saved. He teaches us that God's grace, through our faith in Christ saves us. Paul teaches us that, once we make the commitment to serve the Lord, we are then required to live by faith. As Peter teaches us in today's scripture, it is through our continued faith and obedience that we are empowered to partake of God's divine nature.

Let's digress for a moment. In Romans 3, Paul tells us that we have all sinned and come short of the glory of God. So, how does a holy God and a vile sinner become one? For us to be partakers of God's nature, we must become one with Him; how is this possible? Let's give this issue more than a fleeting thought. Peter begins his exhortation talking about how we (become partakers of God's divine power), but toward the conclusion of this passage, he explains that we must move on into the place in Christ (by faith) where we (become partakers of His divine nature). Yes, Jesus saved you the very moment you believed in Him as the Lamb of God that takes away your sin, but that was the power of God. Do you remember what Paul wrote in Romans 1? The preaching of the gospel is the power of God unto salvation, to the Jew first and then the gentile.

Therefore, we can conclude that God wants us to be filled with His divine nature to live a godly life and not just be partakers of His divine power. To assure that we, who name the name of Jesus move beyond the moment of salvation and become partakers of His divine nature, He has designed our new walk to be carried out by His eternal promises. As Christians, we haven't received the fullness of our inheritance. In fact, Paul teaches us, in Ephesians, that God has only given us the earnest (or down payment) of our inheritance in Christ. So the benefits of our full salvation are given to us as we continue to become partakers of Christ's divine nature through faith.

We can see more clearly now why God requires us to first fulfill the will of God, before we can receive the promise of God through our faith in what Christ has already (past tense) done for us. Through these great and precious promises, we are being (present tense) transformed by faith. If we should stop living by faith, we stop the transformation process. But as the writer of Hebrews stated, we are not of those who draw back in perdition (lawlessness), but we believe unto the salvation of our soul. Jesus tells us, "Those who endure to the end shall be saved."

Let us, who have been touched by the power of the gospel continue, by faith, in obedience to the Word of God in order that, through our obedient faith, we can become partakers of God's divine nature... having escaped the lustful corruption that is in this world. Please take the time to read the excerpt from Peter's epistle in the above passage once again. The Holy Spirit inspired him to instruct us to continue moving in our faith until we become partakers of His divine nature, but it doesn't stop there. As we mature and begin developing the fruit of the Spirit, we are to add to our faith: virtue, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love. We are on a journey, walking away from the image of the first Adam and, through faith becoming like the Last Adam (Christ). Indeed, our God is an awesome God!!!

Becoming a Partaker by Faith,
Pastor Asa 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Love Never Fails

1 Corinthians 13 : 4 - 8, Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. NIV

The Word of God warns us not to place confidence in the flesh of man. We are also taught that we should be wise as a serpent, yet remain harmless like a dove. It's easy to recognize a serpent in the natural; nevertheless, it can be very difficult to have the discernment needed to recognize one in the heart of a person. When we care about a person, and they fail us, it can injure us. Therefore, we need to use our wisdom and our ability to discern people's character so that we're not blinded by their charisma and end up hurt. We must view people as God sees them. He knows that we're flesh, and we have weaknesses. Nevertheless, in spite of our weaknesses and flaws, He chooses to love us. 

Several times in the gospels the writers mention a time when Jesus knew what was in people's hearts. He knew when they were trying to manipulate and play Him. Even though the religious zealots of His day tried to entrap and falsely accuse Jesus, He would always see through their smoke-screens and ploys. Jesus discerned the hearts of men and knew what was really under their false pretenses. He wasn't moved by their accolades, nor was He tempted to buy into their praises of Him. The same people who shouted, "Hosanna, blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord," were found later that week shouting, "Away with Him, crucify Him."

We can learn something about discerning the character of people from the teachings of Jesus that will prevent us from being vulnerable to their charisma. God told the Prophet Samuel that He didn't see as man sees... for man looks on the outward appearance; however, He looks at men's hearts. Therefore, we should be focused like Jesus on a person's actions and on how they align them with the words of their mouth more so than just their ability to charm us. Love doesn't need a fan-fair; however, charisma demands it. The Lord recently revealed something to me about the principle of charisma versus character in a clearer way than I have seen it before.  

If you read Numbers 20, you will see that God commanded Moses to speak to the rock so that the children of Israel would have water to drink in the wilderness. Previously, however, God had instructed Moses to smite the rock... but this time, He told him to speak to the rock. When Moses and Aaron stood before the congregation to carry out God's command and bring forth water, Moses decided to disobey God's command, and he struck the rock with his rod. Immediately, the rock brought forth water, and the people began to drink from the rock. Wait! Did you catch what I just wrote? Moses disobeyed God's command, yet water still came out of the rock. The people viewed Moses as a "Miracle worker" and a "Mighty man of great power." However, God's view of the situation was that Moses had refused to believe Him and had brought dishonor to God's name before the people. Only when we obey God's commands will we be able to bring honor to His name. When we disobey God, we might get results; nonetheless, those results won't honor His name, even though they might meet our present needs. We must be careful that those we choose to follow honor the name of the Lord with their character; we must not just be concerned about our needs being met.

Because Moses chose to operate in unbelief by disobeying God's command, God told him that he wouldn't be allowed to lead His people into the Promised Land. You see; without faith, Moses couldn't please God, nor could He be allowed to enter God's rest. The moment Moses decided to disobey, he also stopped walking by faith and was no longer able to lead God's people. Was God impressed with Moses' power to get water from the rock? No! God doesn't buy into man's abilities, charisma, or charm; He seeks those who will worship Him in Spirit and truth. If you read Matthew 7, you will see where Jesus is teaching on the coming Judgment Day. In that chapter, he tells us that many will come to Him demanding He let them enter into His rest because of the "great miracles" they had performed while on the earth. At which point, He will tell them, "I never knew you, depart from Me, you who practiced lawless deeds." Just like Moses, who could get water from a rock even though he had disobeyed God, there will be many who have used God's anointing and Jesus' name to get results, but they won't be able to enter into the Promised Land (heaven) because of their unbelief.  Please note that Jesus called their self-proclaimed "great works" acts of rebellion. God is looking for leaders who will obey Him and His Word with their hearts. As God's people, we should settle for nothing less. However, if we choose the wrong path, we will get what we deserve and what we settled for. In that same chapter in Matthew, Jesus tells us that we will know false prophets by their fruit, or the lack thereof. Don't be impressed by people's ability to get results, but rather be fruit inspectors. This could very well keep you from getting bit by a serpent and from becoming poisoned by their seductive lies.  

Fruit and Not Fluff,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Monday, March 12, 2012

When Jesus Wakes Up His Church

Matthew 26 : 36 - 41, Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to the disciples, "Sit here while I go and pray over there." And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed. Then He said to them, "My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me." He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, "O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will." Then He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, "What! Could you not watch with Me one hour? Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." NKJV

We are living in a season of time that the giant called "The Church" has fallen asleep. We know this because of the signs which prove sleep has overtaken it. We see in today's scripture that Jesus told the foundation of His church to watch and pray for one hour, lest they enter into temptation. Therefore, we can conclude that prayer will keep us awake, alert, and remaining on watch in the spirit against the enemy that creeps about in the night. On the other hand, we will know that the body of Christ has drifted into a slumber when she begins to be seduced and succumbs to the ways of the world and enters into temptation.

We know that while Jesus prayed and brought His will into subjection to His Father's plan, the disciples all fell asleep. It was because Jesus remained in prayer and submitted to God's will in the garden that He was given power over His flesh to obey. However, the disciples decided to sleep, even though in their spirit that desired to pray; consequently, they lacked the power to overcome their flesh nature, and they entered into temptation... and all of them denied knowing the Christ.

It's time the body of Christ wakes from its slumber and begins to pray so that we will receive the power needed to overcome our flesh and resist temptation. Prayer will keep our spirit man awake and in control over our flesh. Prayer will empower us to obey God, which, in turn, will keep us from entering into a sinful lifestyle. If you're a believer, who struggles with temptation to the point of committing sin, then begin to look very closely at your prayer life, or lack of prayer life. The power of prayer will empower you to crucify the flesh nature that is too weak to obey God; and it will strengthen your spirit man to lead your body in obedience to God and His plan for your life. 

I want to invite you to join in prayer with the congregation at World Harvest Church North as we are about to embark on a season of non-stop prayer for ten days. During our prayer time, the Lord directed us to launch a move of prayer; and we are gathering believers from around the world to join in with us. In light of what I have taught today, the Lord must want us to pray so that we don't enter into temptation in the coming months ahead. Below is the information you will need to become a part of this great prayer movement. If you read Acts 1, you will discover how long the 120 people continued in prayer in the Upper room. Jesus walked with His disciples for forty days after His passion. We know that the Day of Pentecost came fifty days after the Passover of the Jews. Therefore, there were ten days remaining when the 120 followers of Christ entered into the Upper room and began to continually pray. Will you please consider agreeing with us in prayer?

It's Time...

10 Day Prayer Gathering
March 28 - April 7, 2012

Psalms 102: 12 - 17, But you, O LORD, sit enthroned forever; Your renown endures through all generations. You will arise and have compassion on Zion, for it is time to show favor to her; the appointed time has come. For her stones are dear to your servants; her very dust moves them to pity. The nations will fear the name of the LORD, all the kings of the earth will revere your glory. For the LORD will rebuild Zion and appear in his glory. He will respond to the prayer of the destitute; he will not despise their plea. NIV

The Purpose:

The Spirit of the Lord has instructed us to call on the body of Christ to come together for a special season of prayer for our region, our nation, and the world. Consequently, World Harvest Church North is hosting ten days of continual prayer. The purpose of this holy convocation is to call all believers to prayer so that together, we can see the Lord rebuild the church and appear in His glory. God has promised us that as we seek Him, He would respond to the prayer of the destitute and would not despise our plea. 

The Plan:

Please join forces with us as we seek to fulfill the calling of God to assemble His people for 10 days of continuous prayer. We are asking believers to commit to praying for a period of 2 hours. There will be a calendar posted on our website at http://www.whcnorth.org/intercessory.html  We will post the blocks of time that people have committed to praying on that calendar. 

There will be 12 blocks of time for each day; this will ensure that there is someone praying throughout the day and night. Spouses, families, churches, co-workers, and students can pray together. The 10 days of prayer will begin at 6:00 p.m. on March 28th and will conclude April 7 at 6:00 p.m. If you decide to take a block of time either once, or daily you may also contact Lydia Long, Lead-intercessor at World Harvest Church North via email at prayer@whcnorth.org or (706) 374-6175 ext. 302.

The Promise:

The Lord has promised us from His Word that as we pray, He will rebuild Zion (the Church) and appear in His glory. He promised to respond to our prayers and not to despise our plea. Will you make a commitment to pray with us, so we can see the hand of God move on our behalf in our nation and world? 

Thank You and May God Bless You,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Comfort One Another

2 Corinthians 1: 3 - 5, Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ. NKJV

I recently spoke with a young man who is aspiring to be a minister one day. He was telling me how hard his week had been. As I listened to his plight, I was reminded, as a pastor, of the things Debbie and I have endured. Then the Holy Spirit began to use me to speak wisdom into the heart of this young minister. As we sat in the sanctuary where he attended church, I began to explain how the people had come that Sunday morning to hear words of comfort, hope, and faith. If, as ministers, we never go through any difficultly, then there will be no way that any of us can relate to those who sit on the pews. Hebrews tells us that we have a High Priest who has been touched with the feelings of our infirmities. He can comfort us, because He knows what it is like to be afflicted and have the Father comfort Him in His afflictions.

Today, as I was asking the Lord what to send to you as a word of encouragement, He directed me to this passage in Corinthians. As I read the words that Paul had written over two thousand years ago, it dawned on me just how much the Lord had directed me to speak into the young minister's heart. God allows ministers to experience pain and suffering that He might give us comfort. As we receive that comfort, then we can, in turn comfort others who do not know God as we do.

As we talked on, I shared with him that he should take notice of how he was struggling in his difficulties, and that he should realize that perhaps he knew God at a greater degree than many of those who had attended service with him that day. If he, having an intimate relationship with the Lord is struggling, then how much more will the people who attend church, and who might not even know the Lord be struggling to either grasp faith, or hold onto faith in God? We are to comfort one another... whether the people we comfort are Christians or sinners. In doing so, we are allowing others to experience the love of God. They already know what the world does to them, but do they really understand that God loves them and desires that they be comforted with the same comfort that we have been comforted with ourselves?

None of us enjoys pain or suffering, but there's nothing we can do to prevent it from visiting us from time to time. Remember, we're told by Jesus that in this world we will have tribulation, but we should be of good cheer, because He has already overcome the world. (Ref. John 16) BUT, in our suffering we can allow the Lord to comfort us with His love through the Word, the Holy Spirit, and the body of Christ. As difficult as it is to have to endure suffering, it's an even greater blessing to be comforted by the God of comfort, and then be allowed to share that comfort with others as they hurt. So in a way, we are all the ministers of God... comforting one another in the love of God.

Who knows, but the Lord might just use you one day to bring comfort to a hurting person who is lost, and through your love, you will lead them to the God who IS LOVE. It is a pleasure and an honor to be allowed by the Lord to minister to you on a daily basis. May these words uplift you and give you the hope to endure and overcome so that you can comfort others in their time of need.

Freely We Have Received,
Pastor Asa

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Faith That Has Proof

Acts 4 : 8 - 12, Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, "Rulers of the people and elders of Israel: If we this day are judged for a good deed done to a helpless man, by what means he has been made well, let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole. This is the 'stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.' Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." NKJV

Our beliefs alone will not get us into heaven or paradise; rather, it is in whom we have placed our belief that will determine whether or not we see God. Just because someone places faith in a religion, it doesn't mean that their faith will prove one day to be correct. Let me ask you a very important question about belief. Have you ever believed something to be true only to find out that you were wrong? We can be mistaken about many things; consequently, we must not assume or hope that we're correct when it comes to our eternal existence.  

Therefore, we must have proof that what we believe about our faith in Christ will become reality one day. Personally, I would find it much harder to believe in someone or something for my salvation when there is no real evidence to back up the claims of that religion. We cannot grasp a hold on something without confirmation and believe in it. Even so, Christ already confirmed to us that He is the ONLY WAY to the Father and to have eternal life.  

There is a huge difference between walking by faith in the Words of Christ and walking in blind faith period. I know that various religions, especially those who are widely accepted and respected make many claims that their way is the only way, but they can't confirm it will become reality to the believer. The writer of Hebrews defines the Christian faith. Our faith in Christ or the result of our faith in Christ is the SUBSTANCE of things hoped for and the EVIDENCE of things not seen. In other words, our faith in Christ has built within it a support system which confirms that what we believe from the Word of God about Christ is indeed truth.  

We know that when Jesus departed and returned to heaven, He promised us that He wouldn't leave us orphans. He told us that He would pray to the Father, and the Father would send us the Comforter, who is the Spirit of Truth. Once we place faith in Jesus as the Christ, God forgives us of our sins and imparts into our spirit, His Holy Spirit, who seals us until the Day of Redemption.

The Holy Spirit bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God; we are heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ. Now I ask you, does this sound like blind faith to you? Certainly not! Why would anybody believe in something or someone if there is no confirmation or proof that what the religion claims is really truth, unless they are already blind in their heart? 

If you have placed your faith in Jesus and believe that He is indeed the Christ, the Son of the living God, then you are not all by yourself. In fact, from the very moment that you believed and confessed faith in Christ, you have never been alone. The Spirit of God lives and dwells within your being; you have yet another confirmation that tells you that you're born again, and that is peace with God. The religions of the world can make many claims, but none of them can give a sinner peace with God. Finally, you have the blood of Jesus, which has cleansed your guilty conscience so that you can know God and have peace with Him. If you look at those who worship other gods or religions, you will see that they try to earn or work their way to peace. God tells His children to be still and find rest when they come to faith in Christ. Do you have rest for your weary soul today? Do you have peace in your heart about where you'll spend eternity? If not, I challenge you to put God to the test and place your complete faith in Christ. Act on your faith; take just one step, and you will find the Lord already waiting there for you.  

Our God Is An Awesome God,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

You Can Overcome

Romans 8: 35 - 39, Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: "For Your sake we are killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter." Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. NKJV

Nothing pleased Satan more than when Adam and Eve decided to act on his lie and sin against God. Since the fall of man, Satan has used fear and condemnation to oppress mankind and to hold us without mercy in his prison. Just as Satan exploited the desires of Eve and used them to lead her into a trap of spiritual bondage, he also wars against you and me trying to keep us in bondage to our Adamic nature. Nevertheless, in Christ, we have been redeemed from the power of sin and Satan. We no longer have to pay attention to the lying voices of doubt, fear, unworthiness, and unbelief.

People who have been beaten down their whole lives have a tendency to accept that they are unworthy; and this can cause them to give in to the lie that tells them sinning is all they will ever be able to enjoy. I have faced adversity my entire life. I too have heard the voices of condemnation, shame, and unworthiness that try to keep me at the back of the line, but there has been a larger power within my heart that kept telling me, "It's not so"! You see; the Bible says, "Greater is He who is in you than he that is in the world." I've been saved since I was around the age of 7 or 8; however, I still had to face some very intimidating giants who exploited my fears and weaknesses.  

Unlike the world, I chose to submit to God. I did not allow the voice of condemnation to tell me that sin, and perversion was the only way to enjoy life. As I remained submitted to the Lord, He gave me the grace to "turn the other cheek" whenever someone bullied or cursed me. I didn't allow their opinions or the curse words directed at me to define me and cause me to abort my assignment in Christ. It is because I chose to remain submitted to God, instead of becoming filled with bitterness and rage that God empowered me to resist the Devil and overcome his lies. Had I not had faith that God was for me, and that, through Christ, I would be able to endure and overcome, I would have fainted and given into a lifestyle of sin and destruction.

If what I have written today resonates with you and describes the kind of oppression that has taunted and lorded over you, I want to encourage you to take back your life. I'm not talking about regaining it by revenge or rebellion, but through faith in Christ. We must understand that our battles are not with those who have hurt and wounded us; they are with spirits of darkness. So we fight back by standing on God's Word and character. I refuse to allow people's opinions and hate-filled words to hold me back from being the person God ordained for me to be from the foundation of the world. He ordained me to be a holy and loving man long before there was a Devil, a serpent, and a beguiled woman. 

Instead, I choose to believe the report of the Lord. I stand on what He has declared over me and my family. You must, AT NO TIME, allow the enemy to obtain a place in your heart that will cause you to believe that God doesn't love or care for you because you've had to face some JUNK in your life. NEVER GIVE IN!!! As you stand and continue to stand against the pressures of guilt, shame, fear, unbelief, unworthiness, condemnation, and isolation, you will grow in the power of God. Instead of seeing yourself as a grasshopper and your enemies as giants, they will begin to see you as one of God's giants and themselves as the grasshoppers.  

You must choose whom you're going to serve today. Are you going to allow Satan to convince you that God doesn't love you, even though He gave His Son in your place? Or are you going to believe the Word of God? If you said, "God's Word," then you will have to stand on IT when Satan throws another jab or punch at the weak areas of your life. You must resist the temptation to respond out of your flesh, causing you to sin. God didn't create us to live in sin; He created us to have authority over the Devil and dominion in this world and to be blessed so that we will be a blessing to others. Now hold your head up high and know that God has your back. 

Sitting in Heavenly Places in Christ,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Monday, March 5, 2012

God Is Not Mad at You

Ephesians 1 : 3 - 8, Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace... NKJV
Do you really believe the Word of God when you read in it that He loves you? One of the most well-known scriptures of all time is about the love God has for the world and how He demonstrated that love through Jesus on the cross. Nevertheless, many people believe that God either hates them or is angry at them. Therefore, we need to answer the question, "Why do so many people believe that God is angry with them?"
Paul tells us in Romans 8 that the carnal mind is an enemy of God; it is our fallen nature that is at odds with God and defies His authority. Therefore, we can say God loves the sinner; but He hates the sin nature that was introduced to man in the Garden of Eden when the serpent beguiled or deceived Eve into believing God had rejected her. It was one lie from Satan that convinced Eve to sin against God; however, it is easy to see with just one example how Satan instigated the separation of man from God through that lie.
Today, let's look at God's heart from a biblical perspective as it pertains to sinners, and let's see if it gives us the same view that the world would have us believe about Him. Shortly after man sinned, we read that God killed an innocent animal in order to cover the nakedness and shame of fallen man. Does this sound like a wrathful God to you? Instead of condemning Adam, Eve, and all their descendants to eternal damnation, God took the life of an innocent animal and covered them; this demonstrated His love for man, even though they had fallen from His grace, and they were naked and ashamed. This is the first sign or prophetic story that portrays the future sacrifice of His only-begotten Son, who would die in man's place. Does this sound like God is mad at us? Certainly not!
Let's fast-forward to the time of Moses. Israel was in Egypt for 400 years; and God heard the cries of His people and saw their afflictions. This situation symbolizes us being sinners in the world and under the rule of Satan, and of God sending His deliverer into the world to save us. Just before God delivered the nation of Israel, He instructed Moses to have the people kill lambs and to apply the blood of those lambs to the doorposts and lintels of their homes to protect them from the death angel who was about to sweep through the land.   

You can see that God wasn't angry at His people; He sacrificed hundreds of lambs to protect them. However, He destroyed the first- born males of the Egyptians. It might sound as if God was angry at Pharaoh and the Egyptians..., and it does appear to be that way from a human perspective; but remember, Pharaoh represented the defiant, sin nature that opposes the heart of God and His love, and, which sought to enslave and destroy God's chosen people. The Egyptians suffered God's wrath because of their rebellious ways and their idolatry. It was what they represented that brought the wrath of God on them.   

If God is so angry at people, then how do we explain the cross where He gave His ONLY begotten Son to die in our place? Lest you think that I'm teaching a slanted view of God, let me conclude with these final thoughts. It's true that God has wrath stored up. It's also true that God hates SIN, not sinners. Even so, it is also TRUE that God's wrath against mankind has been forever appeased in Christ. So if you have accepted Christ, you will never experience the WRATH of God. Hebrews tells us in very plain terms that we are appointed unto salvation and not wrath. If anyone should harden their heart against Jesus and decide to reject the gift of eternal life, which He died to give to us freely, then we can know that they WILL experience God's wrath. However, it won't be because God didn't love them; it will be because they wouldn't submit to His WAY of redeeming them from sin.
Therefore, the spirit of rebellion that they have chosen to align themselves with will cause them to suffer His wrath. It's a spirit that brings on the wrath of God, and it's called rebellion... the rejection of God, His truth and His love. Are you submitted in your heart to God? If not, then today can be the day that you overcome the greatest enemy of your soul and live forever apart from God's wrath. Simply bow your heart and head before God, and ask Him to forgive you for Christ's sake; and He will do just that. Ask Jesus to be your Savior and LORD and to fill your heart with His love for God and mankind. If you did this, then you have been saved from God's wrath and from eternal damnation. Let us know if you prayed the prayer of surrender to the Lord so that we can rejoice with you.   

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Yes Jesus Loves Me,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Thursday, March 1, 2012

God Desires to Build and Fill Your House

2 Corinthians 6: 16 - 18, What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people." "Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you." "I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty." NIV

"A Christian can say that they love Jesus, and continue to live in sin." The previous sentence goes against the teachings of Christ; however, in today's society, this contradiction is a real threat to the witness of Christianity in the world.

It's easy to love Jesus because He came to earth and paid the price for our sin debt. He never condemned people for their sins; He loved them in spite of their ways. We can love Jesus; but even so, we must also understand that He came to call us out of the darkness so that we can become salt and light to a lost world.

Jesus tells us in Matthew 16 that He will build His church on the revelation of His identity and who He is in us..., and the gates of hell will not be able to prevail against it. Jesus is the very foundation of love and holiness that we are to build our lives upon. Therefore, we must learn the identity of Christ before we can become a holy building or temple that is suitable for God to dwell in. This will require us to seek the Lord for ourselves, instead of trying to become the person that "men" say we are to be.  

Much of what is incorrect in the body of Christ can be traced back to a lack of hunger and self-discipline to seek God. Israel was chastised many times by the Lord because they strayed away from God's ways and began to walk in the ways of the heathen. As new covenant believers, we MUST become hungry to be in the presence of God and to know Him for ourselves if we are ever to become the house that God's glory will abide.

Too many times, man will make excuses and exceptions for certain types of behavior, which don't line up with God's Word or character because of the sin in their own lives or the mistakes they have made in the past. We mustn't condemn them because we're all prone to fail on occasion; however, we need to know that our calling is to please God and not man. Therefore, we are to work out our own salvation with FEAR and trembling.  

Developing a healthy sense of reverential fear or respect for the holiness of God is the only way for a believing human to live a holy life (Exodus 20).  As I mentioned before, we can love Jesus all day long and fail to see any discrepancies with our lifestyle, even though it doesn't agree with God's Word. It's easier to justify sin or a lack of character if it is compared with the human nature in others, but we are instructed to keep our eyes on Jesus as our Example. 

1 Peter 2: 1 - 5, Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good. As you come to him, the living Stone-rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him- you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. NIV

Throughout the New Testament, Christians are referred to as being the temple or the house of God that is being built up on Jesus as the foundation. It is essential that we build our house according to God's blueprint (Jesus) and not according to man's standard of holiness. As Paul stated in today's text from 1 Corinthians, the Day will reveal whether or not we have built our house according to the pattern of Christ. 

If believers don't grow a healthy respect for God, the righteous Judge, then we can be under-developed in many areas of our lives. You may want to take some time and read the first three chapters of the book of the Revelation. It will show you some powerful insights about the churches of Asia. Over and again, the churches "felt" as though they were living a holy life that was pleasing to their Lord. However, as Jesus inspected each church, He would tell them about their strengths and would finish with revealing their weaknesses to them. Even though their weaknesses didn't please Jesus, the churches didn't seem to have a problem or notice an issue until after they had been inspected by the Lord.

Remember, He is the Light that reveals what has been kept secret or hidden in darkness or spiritual ignorance. Jesus has a purpose in the Kingdom of God, and that is to build us (the Church) up into a holy dwelling place for the glory of God to abide.    

Hebrews 3: 1 - 6, Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess. He was faithful to the one who appointed him, just as Moses was faithful in all God's house. Jesus has been found worthy of greater honor than Moses, just as the builder of a house has greater honor than the house itself. For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything. Moses was faithful as a servant in all God's house, testifying to what would be said in the future. But Christ is faithful as a son over God's house. And we are his house, if we hold on to our courage and the hope of which we boast. NIV

So, how are we as individuals supposed to build our lives by faith, so that we are able to please the Father and be filled with His glory? It all begins with us learning how to become intimate with the Holy Spirit. He is our Teacher and Guide. He will teach us about the Father and will never lead us in a way that is displeasing to the Lord. The Holy Spirit will give us the ability to discern truth. Believers who can discern truth can also discern lies or half-truths. Equally important, He gives us the understanding that we all need to grasp the Word of God and apply its truths to our lives.  

As we begin to place our trust in the Holy Spirit and listen to His voice, instead of relying on our personal convictions or values, He will guide us on the path of righteousness that leads us to a holy life. God works in our lives to make the spirits of just men and women perfect. The Father has given us the Holy Spirit to be our assurance or guarantee that we will be fully redeemed from sin and death. If we should ignore His voice and try to live according to man's standards and rules, then we won't have the power or wisdom to please our heavenly Father. 

Ephesians 2: 8 - 10, For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. NKJV

If you truly desire to please your heavenly Father and have His glory abide in your temple, then you will seek Him with your whole heart. I'll explain this by using Moses and Noah as examples. God gave Moses and Noah very specific details about the structures that He wanted each one of them to build for Him. Both were totally different in every way, yet they served the same purpose. Noah and His entire family were saved simply because Noah wasn't afraid or too busy to listen to the voice of God. As a result of his obedience, he built an ark that was never tested, but never failed. It was filled with every type of animal and enough food to keep them all alive during the time that they were held on the ark. The ark represented salvation to Noah's family as well as the animals.

Moses was also given detailed instructions of how to build the tabernacle of God. This was the mobile temple, if you will, where the Priests entered and offered up sacrifices to God. Just like Noah, Moses followed God's spoken instructions to the letter. You see; it wasn't about Noah and Moses keeping a list of laws. It was their willingness to hear God's voice that saved them.  

If you have placed faith in the work of Christ and His cross, then you have a big project to complete before you meet Jesus in person. You must follow the blueprint that God has laid out for you personally to fulfill. Don't worry if you don't know how to understand the blueprints because God has given you the Holy Spirit, and He will show you how to follow God's instruction guide.

If you should try to build your walk with Christ according to someone else's plans, then they will very possibly fail you. We know that God orders the steps of His righteous people. Allow the Lord to form in you a hunger for His holiness as well as His love so that you will live a life that is blessed and well pleasing to Him. At the end, when you stand before the righteous Judge, you won't be ashamed; instead, you will rejoice with exceeding great joy and possess your inheritance. Jesus is the Builder and you are the house, and God desires to fill you with His glory.

Hungry to Fulfill God's Plan,
Pastor Asa Dockery