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Monday, April 30, 2012

Walking in the Midst of a Miracle

Exodus 14:21-25, Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea into dry land, and the waters were divided. So the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea on the dry ground, and the waters were a wall to them on their right hand and on their left. And the Egyptians pursued and went after them into the midst of the sea, all Pharaoh's horses, his chariots, and his horsemen. Now it came to pass, in the morning watch, that the LORD looked down upon the army of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and cloud, and He troubled the army of the Egyptians. And He took off their chariot wheels, so that they drove them with difficulty; and the Egyptians said, "Let us flee from the face of Israel, for the LORD fights for them against the Egyptians." NKJV

Are you walking through a hard trial right now? Well, if you're a child of God, then you have the assurance from the Holy Spirit that God is with you. Whenever the children of Israel saw Pharaoh and his army pursuing them, they were certain in their hearts that IT was over for them. They forgot to factor into the equation that God was with them.

When we face great uncertainty, we, too, must remember our God is with us. You will notice that there was a period of time when the Jews were so filled with fear that they desired to return to Egypt. Here is the lesson that we can take from the testimony of Israel at the Red Sea: if we don't faint or revert back to our old ways while we're walking through a hard place, God will deliver us from all our afflictions, just as He promised.

Therefore, we will continue to progress, even in the face of great hostility and overwhelming odds... simply because God is with us. The moment the Jews obeyed God's command to be still and wait on His plan to be revealed, God began to move. You have to determine in your heart and in your mind that you're not going to be moved from your faith because of the way things appear in the natural. Once you establish that level of resolve in your heart and spirit, the Lord will begin to take what you're walking through and turn it into the victory walk that will result in a miracle.

Keep moving forward; don't stop when you face your Red Sea or fiery furnace. Throughout the Word of God, there are many stories told of when God's people had to face impossible situations. However, as long as they kept moving ahead, God was faithful and delivered them. Establish your heart through the Word of God and be strengthened with power through the Holy Spirit, and you'll witness a miracle in your life too. God creates miracles as we continue onward in His power and might. Keep your heart's attention on the Lord; don't be moved from your stand of faith in God's ability to give you the victory. You are more than a conqueror in Christ.

Walking out My Miracle,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Thursday, April 26, 2012

They Witnessed the Miracles

Mark 3: 1 - 6, And He entered the synagogue again, and a man was there who had a withered hand. So they watched Him closely, whether He would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse Him. And He said to the man who had the withered hand, "Step forward." Then He said to them, "Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?" But they kept silent. And when He had looked around at them with anger, being grieved by the hardness of their hearts, He said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." And he stretched it out, and his hand was restored as whole as the other. Then the Pharisees went out and immediately plotted with the Herodians against Him, how they might destroy Him. NKJV

I was reading all the miracles that Jesus performed, which are recorded in Mark's gospel, and I was amazed at the hardness of the scribes and Pharisees' hearts. Instead of the Jewish leaders of the synagogue rejoicing over the various miracles that were taking place in their sight, they chose to dwell on ways to destroy Jesus.

What did these men see so wrong with Jesus that they felt they had to seek a way to kill Him? Why couldn't they be glad that members of their community and perhaps members of their synagogue were now made whole? In spite of witnessing the miraculous works Jesus performed in their midst, they still chose to harden their hearts to Jesus as being the Messiah. You see; to the religious zealots, the conflict wasn't over the miracles. It was the authority Jesus exercised that enraged them against Him.

Even though Jesus had given them examples of healing, miracles, deliverance, and salvations, they kept their hearts hardened against Him and refused to believe that Jesus was anything other than a good man "who claimed to be the Son of God." As I read the verses that were used for today's word, I was reminded of the children of Israel and the mistake that they made with God in the wilderness.

The writer of Hebrews tells us that even though God performed mighty works for forty years on their behalf, the children of Israel refused to hear the voice of God. While they enjoyed the favor and blessings of the Lord in the wilderness, they declined to allow their hearts to believe in Him as their God. As a result, the writer tells us that God became angry with that generation and said, "They always go astray in their hearts, not knowing the ways of God."  Consequently, God swore that they wouldn't be allowed to enter into His rest.

Jesus saw their hardness of heart when He healed the man with a withered hand, and He became grieved in His Spirit and was angry at them. They allowed unbelief to blind them to Jesus' true identity. They saw the mighty miracles, but rejected Jesus as being their Messiah in the flesh.

You might think that if people were to see miracles such as those in Jesus' day done today, they would open their hearts to Jesus? The truth is nothing has changed since the days of the children of Israel, and the day that Jesus walked on the earth. Jesus said that He wasn't sent to call the righteous, but the sinners to repentance. So although people today aren't moved to faith when they see a notable miracle of God, God still heals, delivers, and saves those who are humble and hungry for Him. He goes where He is welcomed.

At World Harvest Church North, we have seen many notable and documented miracles that defy physics. Only God could have done what has transpired in the lives of many people in our church. Doctors have confirmed a couple of the miracles as "acts of God," and to Jesus be all glory and praise. If you are in need of a healing touch today, you can contact us with your prayer request at prayer@whcnorth.org

Jesus Christ the Same,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Justified Or Making Excuses?

Acts 13 : 38 - 39, Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through this Man (Jesus) is preached to you the forgiveness of sins; and by Him everyone who believes is justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses. NKJV

Thank God for Jesus Christ! Can you begin to imagine what life was like for the Jewish people who were under the law? God didn't give the law so that the children of Israel could be justified by their works. It was given to make them aware of the sin hidden in their hearts. If a person doesn't understand the ways of God, they might misinterpret what God's motive was when He gave Moses His Law.

God didn't give the Law to condemn people; it was just the opposite. However, through the Law of God, man became conscious of his own sin nature. They began to realize that with their failure to obey the entire law, they were, in fact, committing sin against God. Consequently, the result of breaking God's commands caused the Jews to feel naked, ashamed, and exposed.

 Once the Jewish worshiper realized his or her own shortcomings, it would give way to the voice of guilt, shame and condemnation from Satan. You might be thinking, "Why did God want them to feel guilty or hear condemning voices?" Paul tells us that God's law is holy, and He is just. It wasn't the law that made the Jewish worshipers feel the way they did, but rather it was the sin which was hidden in their hearts that condemned them. God gave Moses His commandments in the hope that once the people realized they were in sin, they would turn to the Lord for salvation from it.

When Jesus came as the Messiah to God's chosen people, some accepted Him; however, many more rejected His truth. Those who rejected His teachings as truth didn't want to admit to having sin in their hearts. Therefore, in an effort to avoid falling under the convicting power of God after hearing the truth, these non-believers chose to make excuses to cover their sin.

Today, as Christians, we can try to justify ourselves by making up excuses, or we can become justified through faith in Jesus and God's Word. As you seek to be justified by faith, if Satan begins to accuse you, all you need is to point to the Word of God and let God defend your character in Christ. Anyone who rejects the righteousness of God by faith will fall into the trap of blaming the consequences of their sin on others... as Adam did with Eve. Since it's just you and God right now, be honest with yourself. Are you at peace in your heart about your life? Do you make excuses to God and to people when you know that you have done wrong? If so, then humble your heart before the Lord and ask Him to be your Justifier. It will change your life forever.

Justified by Faith in Christ,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Devil Is Still A Liar

Colossians 2 : 11 - 15, In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it. NKJV

Even though Christ has paid the price for our sin and the sin of the world, and even though Christ has stripped Satan of all power over those of us who have placed our faith in Christ, we still have to wrestle with demonic forces (Ephesians 6).

Generally, when you hear of someone securing a victory over an adversary, you tend to think that the battle is over. Well, when Jesus was on the cross, and He had completed the work of His Father, He said, "It is finished." So let's break down what happened on the cross and in hell as a result of Jesus' sacrificial death.

The work of the cross and Jesus' descent into hell purchased our souls back from Satan's authority...the Devil had been given this power when man decided to sin against God's will. Whenever Jesus died on the cross and in three days arose from the dead, the work of redemption was completed and the day of grace was extended to all people.

You may ask, "If Jesus defeated the Devil on the cross, then why was he allowed to continue to operate in the earth?" This subject is separate from the victory that Christ secured for all on the cross; nonetheless, it has an impact on our lives, even today. Just because Jesus has forever settled the issue of redemption and made a way for every person to escape the torment of hell, it doesn't mean that everyone will.

Since the creation of man, God has always given him the power to exercise his freewill. He placed them in the Garden of Eden, knowing that the Tree of Knowledge was present. God delivered the children of Israel out of Egypt and led them for forty years in the wilderness before He brought them into the Promised Land. In the book of Deuteronomy, He told them through Moses that He had set before them life and death, blessing and cursing. He then told them to choose life; however, they refused God's counsel.

Yes, the work of the cross completely guarantees us an eternal victory that we can rest upon. Nevertheless, now that we have been redeemed from the power of Satan and sin, we must choose to live for God. We are required to live by faith and to use our faith in Christ to resist the strategies of the Devil. Therefore, we must choose to stand on the Word of God whenever the accuser attacks our faith in Christ.

Yes, we have the victory in Christ. However, that victory doesn't prevent the enemy from attacking our faith. The reason for this is very simple. Satan's existence didn't cease when Jesus stripped him of the keys of death and hell. Nevertheless, thankfully, there is an appointed time at the end of the age that the Father has reserved to end Satan's reign of terror on the earth and in the heavens. Therefore, as Christians, we are required to suffer for the sake of Christ while we live in this world. Our choice to live for God will serve as a witness to those who have been blinded by Satan's lies.

Everyone who lives godly in this world will suffer persecution. Even so, if we endure faithfully to the end, God will richly reward us with the crown of life. Here's the clincher: You are in the world and have chosen to live by faith in the finished work of Christ, but will you keep the faith with confidence? You see; we have to accept Christ by faith. However, we also have to live Christ by faith until our faith becomes sight. Until then, we must endure in faith and keep our assurance that what we believe is, indeed, the truth.

Now you know the reason why you need to be encouraged as a Christian. You also understand why Satan tries every trick to keep you out of prayer, the Bible, and fellowship at church. He doesn't want you to keep your confidence built up in Christ. Nevertheless, it doesn't matter what Satan wants. As a Christian, we must concern ourselves with what our Savior and Lord desires for us. Stay strong in the Lord and walk in the power of His might so that you will endure to the end.

The Cost of Living by Faith,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Monday, April 23, 2012

His Cross Was Enough

Luke 23:33-34, And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left. Then Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do." NKJV

Do you sometimes struggle with feelings of unworthiness? Are there occasions when you feel like there's no hope? If you answered yes to either or both questions, then you can know that Satan is seeking a way into your heart so that he might rob you. In the Bible, you can read that there are many times when Satan goes to people and tests their faith: He went into the garden and spoke to Eve; He went into the wilderness and tempted Jesus; and He went before God in the Old and New Testaments with accusations against the people of God.

Satan is always looking for an open door to our hearts so that he might gain entrance through a lie. He first approaches a person to get them to believe something that doesn't agree with God's Word. If they should fall prey to his deceptive ways, then he gains access to wreck havoc in their lives. This is why God requires His children to live by faith in Him and His promises. We must stand by faith in God if we are to have the power to resist the lies of Satan.  

Even if Satan says something that seems to be true in the earthly realm, don't listen! Let me explain. You have been given a free will from your divine Creator. Therefore, God has to have your consent in order to bring change and blessing into your life. In Hebrews 11, we're told that, without faith, we can't please God. Another meaning for the word "please," is to come into agreement. The Lord addresses the subject of agreement throughout the Word of God. If we should believe something that doesn't line up with God's will or His Word, then we aren't walking in faith.

Even so, when Satan shows up in your life and tries to convince you to agree with his suggestions, opinions, or deceptive lies, know that he is seeking agreement from you. Once Satan had convinced Eve in the garden to agree with his lies, he caused her to sin against the Lord. Likewise, in the wilderness, Satan tried to move Jesus to come into agreement with his plan. However, Jesus refused to align Himself with Satan's lies. As a result, Jesus overcame the Devil, and God released great power and authority into Jesus' life.

As Jesus was dying on the cross, He asked the Father to forgive mankind for the sins they had committed. Even though His own people rejected Him as their Messiah, this didn't prevent Jesus from dying for their sins, as well as ours. We know that God loved the world enough to give His only- begotten Son for our sin. God valued us, even though we, sometimes, see no value in ourselves. Through the cross of Christ, God offered us an eternal hope and future that sin wasn't able to rob from us.

All that you and I have to do to inherit the promise of eternal life and all the other promises of God is to believe or agree with Him first. Just because we go through times and seasons where it seems as though God has forgotten or forsaken us, we must never allow ourselves to become a victim and believe those thoughts. Even though we experience hardships and disappointments that can cause us to feel unworthy or hopeless, we must not give into the subtleties of the wicked one and allow unbelief to rob us.

We must guard our hearts at all times from Satan and his lies. Nevertheless, if you struggle with unworthiness or hopelessness, you can be certain that Satan is speaking to you. God cannot leave you, one of His own; neither will He forsake you. The only reason we would ever believe that He would is because we have found ourselves in a place that is dark and lonely. Always remember this: God loved you while you were still a sinner; He demonstrated this love by offering Jesus as payment for our sin debt. If He loved us that much when we were His enemy, how much more is the blood of Jesus going to save us from the wrath to come (Romans 5)?

Anytime we allow feelings that are the result of a setback or hardship to control us and to dictate our decisions, then we are certain to fall into one of Satan's pits. Just because we have thoughts and feelings that reflect the reality of our life at a particular moment in time doesn't mean we have to own them. It doesn't mean that you're being a hypocrite or living in a fantasy if you decide to believe God's Word in spite of your situation. Satan loves to condemn Christians who refuse to succumb to his suggestions and lies...in the hope that we will cave into his pressure.

The cross of Jesus was enough to cover both the sins of our past and the trials of today. Just as we had to take a stand of faith for our salvation, we must also continue to stand against the Devil anytime he tries to regain territory that now belongs to the Lord (our hearts). When you feel like giving up, go to the Lord; and He will deliver you from all your distresses.

Complete in Christ,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Learning To Rely On Jesus

Galatians 1: 3 - 5, Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. NKJV

When God sent His Son into the earth, it was for more than just the payment of sin. It is true that Jesus destroyed the works of the Devil; however, He also appeased the wrath of God and removed the charges that were leveled against us. The shed blood of Jesus opened the door of heaven for all peoples. Now anyone who believes in Jesus as the Christ is the recipient of God's grace and peace.

Paul teaches us that we are complete in Christ. Even so, what exactly does this mean? Now that we're in Christ, He is and will be everything that we will need in order to overcome this world of sorrow and sin. As a child of God, we have a responsibility to turn to our heavenly Father anytime we meet up with spiritual opposition. Whenever the enemy comes in against us like a flood, and we turn to the Lord, He will respond quickly to our humility and brokenness. As we turn to the Lord in times of trouble, we are accessing the benefits of the covenant between Jesus and God. 

The Father has given Jesus all power in heaven, on earth, and beneath the earth. Consequently, anytime His people are attacked or overwhelmed by the evil from this world, the Lord will arise on our behalf and deliver us from our oppressors and afflictions. In order to access the riches of God's glory in Christ and see the liberating power of God move on our behalf, we must be willing to humble ourselves and seek God.

It is very common for people who are believers in Christ to want to turn away from Him during troubling times. In the natural realm, when people are in trouble, they quickly reach out to others for assistance. However, in the spirit realm, it seems to be just the opposite. The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe. How do you respond when this world tries to intimidate and overtake you?  For us to acknowledge God in a time of hardship is to admit that we are fighting a spiritual battle that must be won through our faith.

So instead of fighting according to our flesh and trying to defend ourselves, God first requires us to submit to Him then resist the Devil to ensure our victory. When we submit to the Lord during a battle, it keeps our hearts right before Him. We're not trying to seek revenge upon another human; we are calling upon our Righteous Judge and allowing Him to fight for us.

In Christ, God has given every believer the answer or deliverance that will be needed to successfully complete the journey we are on. We must first train ourselves to go to God... not take matters into our own hands. As we fully learn to rely upon Christ, we will begin to witness the hand of God move in our situations. 

We Have the Victory in Christ,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Truth

Ephesians 4 : 11 - 15, And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head - Christ... NKJV

Why doesn't Satan want you and me to know the truth that is only found in the person, Jesus Christ? My prayer is that by the time you finish reading today's devotion, you will know the answer to this question. In John 8, Jesus instructed the Jews who had believed in Him as their Messiah to continue in His teachings. He went on to say that they would come to know the truth and IT would make them free from the bondage to sin.

When we think of truth, we have the tendency to view it as simply words written on the pages of the Bible; however, in reality, truth is a person. John tells us in his gospel that the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld HIS glory. Therefore, the truth is more than commandments that we're to keep; He is a person who desires to fellowship with us through the Holy Spirit. Since the truth is in Christ, we must come to know Him for ourselves. 

Before I continue with today's thoughts, I want to make you aware of something concerning the truth. Since the creation of man, Satan has worked very diligently to keep man from discovering the truth about God and about who we are. If the Word of God isn't true, as man's religion and Satan would have you and me to believe, then why does Satan work overtime to keep us from getting in the Word and allowing it to get into our hearts? Could it be that he knows and understands that anyone who knows the truth (Christ) for themselves becomes strong in their faith, overcomes this world, and is victorious over him? Remember what Jesus told those Jews who believed in Him, "You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." Satan doesn't want us to become liberated, and, consequently, inherit the promises of God.  

The reason Satan came to Eve in the form of a serpent is so that he could mislead Adam and Eve from the truth and rob them of their inheritance. We, too, must be careful that we don't allow any distraction or person to keep us from reading, discovering, and obeying the truth for ourselves. As we set our hearts to learn and obey the truth in Christ, God has promised that we would receive an inheritance in Christ. Only those who follow Christ and walk in His teachings by faith will be allowed to inherit the promises of God. It is those who commit their lives to Christ and become His followers who will have authority over Satan. This is the reason why Satan fights anyone who seeks to please the heavenly Father through obedient faith.  

One final thought: You can view the conflicts that you have encountered, or will face, as just a battle, or you can view them as an assault against your coming into your spiritual inheritance and authority in Christ. If you view Satan's attacks against you as a battle for your inheritance, instead of a personal fight, you are standing in faith; and this will assure you the victory. If you should see Satan's altercation with you as personal, it can cause you to feel isolated and become weary. Those who are tired are more likely to give into the Satan's lies and forfeit their inheritance. We must stand on the Word of God and fight the good fight of faith until we see the manifestation of God's promises in our lives. Be strong and of good courage for the Lord is with you, and He will do what He has promised.

Standing and Waiting on God,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Confidence To Stand

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jesus Is That Rock,
Pastor Asa

Monday, April 16, 2012

When God Speaks through Creation

Romans 1 : 18 - 23, For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man -- and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. NKJV

If you have personally tasted and seen that the Lord is good, then you might wonder why people turn away from the love of God. Perhaps the Words of Jesus explains how so many people in the world have rejected, or at the least ignored God's forgiveness and His great love. It is because they have not taken the time to experience it. However, Jesus tells us that when someone has been forgiven of much, there will be much love. Therefore, for those who have participated in His unmerited favor and the riches of His glory dwelling in their hearts, it seems unnatural to them that anyone would not want to partake of God's goodness.

Until a person humbles their heart and turns to the Lord, Satan will continually offer temptations and distractions as a means to prevent them from getting to know God personally. Even though millions of people throughout the world discount or dishonor the relevance and significance of God's love and grace, God has not rejected them.

Peter teaches us in his epistle that God is longsuffering, not willing that any should perish, but that all would come to repentance. Therefore, God reveals Himself to them through His creation. I know that may sound a little unorthodox, but it's the truth. Reread today's passages from Romans to confirm that what I am writing to you is the truth. Paul says that God uses creation to make known His invisible attributes to those who have rejected the "orthodox" method (preaching) of reaching them. You see; God is the Creator of all things. Consequently, His invisible fingerprint is on His creation. It's not that creation is something that is to be worshiped; it will, however, lead us back to its Creator.

God has and will continue to use both His creation and the creatures that He has made to remind man that He is God. I'll give you a few examples: The prophet Balaam was called on by King Balak to speak a curse over Israel. God warned Balaam not to go; nevertheless, Balaam hardened his heart to God's voice. The prophet saddled his donkey and moved ahead with his plans to appease King Balak. On the way to his destination, Balaam was about to encounter the sword of an angel. Even though Balaam couldn't see the angel and his drawn sword, his donkey saw him. Afraid to go on any further, the donkey refused to move, even though Balaam beat him. Finally, the Lord opened the mouth of the donkey to tell Balaam that there was an angel, who wouldn't allow him to pass by. When his beast of burden spoke, it got the attention of Balaam, the prophet, who had decided to ignore the voice of God.

In both illustrations that I have shared, the man was in rebellion to God's voice. Therefore, God used an animal to speak on His behalf. If it seems strange that an animal would be able to communicate to a person, let me remind you of Eve and the serpent. In her story, it wasn't the woman who was in rebellion; it was the serpent that was being used by Satan. The serpent spoke lies to Eve and deceived her into believing that she would become like God if she partook of the tree of knowledge. In the previous stories, it was God who used the animals. However, in this one, it was Satan who was using the serpent. I use Eve's encounter with a serpent to show you that not only did God speak through animals, but so did Satan. Satan uses God's creation as an attempt to turn people's hearts away from worshiping God, and to persuade them to worship creation.

When God uses the creation to deal with the hearts of the rebellious, it will point them back to God. Nevertheless, when Satan uses the creation to harden people's hearts, it will lead them away from God. Neither the trees nor the creatures are God; nonetheless, they will clearly reflect the attributes of their Creator. Only God is to be worshiped.

Witnessing the Invisible Attributes of God,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Faith Waits

John 20: 24 - 29, Now Thomas, called the Twin, one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said to him, "We have seen the Lord." So he said to them, "Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe." And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, "Peace to you!" Then He said to Thomas, "Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing." And Thomas answered and said to Him, "My Lord and my God!" Jesus said to him, "Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." NKJV
Thomas has been named "doubting Thomas" by many ministers and believers over the years. However, let's take the time to consider a couple of truths about Thomas, and we might come to the conclusion that he was a man of faith, after all. When Jesus called Thomas away from his old life to follow Him, Thomas forsook all. For example, there was a time toward the end of Jesus' earthly ministry when He told His disciples that it was time for Him to return to Jerusalem to heal Lazarus. The disciples warned Jesus not to go because men in Jerusalem were out to kill Him, but Jesus would not relent. In response to Jesus' decision to go back to Jerusalem, Thomas spoke up and said, "Let's go that we might die with Him." I ask you. Does this sound like a "doubting Thomas?" I don't think so either.
It's not out of the ordinary for someone to believe in Christ and still struggle on occasion with moments of unbelief when they hear or face something that seems impossible to believe or to overcome. I have been in some seemingly hopeless situations that I believed would not turn out for my good, but God! Have you struggled to believe God "would" or "could" at times? Well, this was the very place Thomas was in his walk. He just wouldn't allow himself to believe that Jesus had actually overcome death. It was here that Thomas erred. Jesus had promised them that He would arise from the dead after three days, but Thomas refused to submit to Jesus' Word.
Because Thomas decided not to submit to Jesus' Word and believe it until He had appeared, it caused him to revert back to his old ways of walking in unbelief. We know this because he told the other disciples, "I won't believe what you have said about the resurrection of Christ until I see Him for myself." Even so, let's bring this down to where you and I live today.
Thomas was hanging out with other believers, and it appeared that he had faith because he said, "I will believe when I see." In reality, this was unbelief acting as faith. It doesn't require faith for us to say I will believe it when I see it, or I will believe after Jesus shows up with proof. God requires us to believe His Word or promises, even though we can't see any proof that they actually exist. If we absolutely believe in God's Word as the truth, then we will wait on God in faith until He brings His Word to pass. If we wait until His Word or promises become sight as Thomas did, we won't inherit the promise or be blessed. We know this because after Jesus had appeared the second time with Thomas present, He said to him, "You have believed because you have seen, but blessed are those who have not seen, yet they have believed."  
As I stated in earlier paragraphs, Thomas had a degree of faith in Christ. Nevertheless, he had come to a place where he allowed unbelief to keep him from continuing in that faith. God requires the JUST to live by faith! Therefore, Thomas' lack of faith caused him to be in sin. He had come to a place in his walk with Christ where he wouldn't remain submitted to the truth of Jesus' resurrection, and he refused to wait IN FAITH UNTIL...
(This is very important.) When operating in the life of a "Christian," both faith and unbelief will wait on God. The difference is... Faith waits with hope and expectancy while continuing to obey God's will. Unbelief waits until after Jesus shows up before believing God or obeying His will. The generation we're living in is a lot like Thomas. People confess faith in Christ; however, because they've hit a hard spot in their faith walk, they've put Christ on the back burner until He shows up again and proves He's still with them. This is not faith; it is unbelief, and it tempts the Lord. Be careful that you don't fall into the trap where you provoke God, and you miss the opportunity to inherit God's promises.  
If this Word has enlightened your understanding about unbelief, and faith will you contact us with your feedback?
Waiting in Faith,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

How to Live Free of Sorrow

Proverbs 10 : 22, The blessing of the LORD makes one rich, and He adds no sorrow with it. NKJV

The Lord created you to be blessed and to be a blessing to others. Therefore, if you feel like you're not blessed to the degree that God would have you to be, then you must seek Him. Isaiah tells us that God's ways are higher than ours, and His thoughts are above our thoughts. Here's an insight into the truth about God's blessing coming on your life in a greater dimension. If Adam and Eve were already blessed, just because God created them, then why did He see the need to speak the Word of blessing and dominion over them?

We can conclude that Adam and Eve had a role to fulfill in order to receive and to live in the blessing of the Lord that makes one rich and adds no sorrow. The destiny they were to fulfill, which would release God's power into their lives, was to obey God's purpose and will for their lives. Let me explain the principle of faith that releases the blessing. When God instructs anyone to do anything, and they fulfill His instructions, it's called walking by faith. We walk by faith when we make the choice to live the life that God intended for us, not the will of our flesh nature. When we seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, we are living by faith in obedience to His Word.

Obedient faith allows the same blessing that the Lord spoke over Adam, Abraham, and Jesus to begin to flow into our lives as well. How will we know when the blessing of the Lord is beginning to come upon our lives as we walk by faith before the Lord? Before I answer this, let's look at what happened when Adam and Eve decided to disobey? When we decide to disobey God, this is called living in unbelief. Only faith can produce the promises of God and attract the blessing of the Lord. So when Adam and Eve chose with their will to sin against God, the result was, you guessed it, sorrow.

Now let's jump a few books of the Bible to Deuteronomy. God spoke to the children of Israel through Moses and commanded them to keep all of His commandments, statutes, and judgments. Then, He followed up these instructions with the promise that they would be blessed. In another part of Deuteronomy, God told them if they decided not to obey, and turned, instead, to other gods and began to serve them, they would bring a curse on themselves. The result of those curses would be great sorrow of heart. 

Here is the answer to the question from paragraph three. How will you know when the blessing of the Lord is being released in your life? The promises of God will begin to come to pass. The pain and SORROW of your past will begin to dissipate, giving way to peace and hope, along with a brighter future. The blessing of the Lord makes one rich and adds no SORROW! Therefore, if we desire to be blessed and say good-bye to sorrow, we must choose to obey and put God first in our lives.

I have one final thought for today. You must be careful to be diligent to obey God's voice. The enemy will try to throw all types of devices and weapons at you, but you must resist the temptation to give up in your faith walk. Walking by faith is very hard on your flesh simply because it crucifies it. You must decide to suffer a little while so that you can live a life filled with joy and not sorrow.

Thank You Lord,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Prayer of Cornelius

Acts 10: 1 - 8, There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of what was called the Italian Regiment, a devout man and one who feared God with all his household, who gave alms generously to the people, and prayed to God always. About the Ninth hour of the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God coming in and saying to him, "Cornelius!" And when he observed him, he was afraid, and said, "What is it, lord?" So he said to him, "Your prayers and your alms have come up for a memorial before God. Now send men to Joppa, and send for Simon whose surname is Peter. He is lodging with Simon, a tanner, whose house is by the sea. He will tell you what you must do." And when the angel who spoke to him had departed, Cornelius called two of his household servants and a devout soldier from among those who waited on him continually. So when he had explained all these things to them, he sent them to Joppa. NKJV

It is this man, Cornelius, who can be credited with the gentiles coming to faith in Christ. Cornelius was a praying man, and he also loved to give to the people. Consequently, his actions of faith captured God's attention. What intrigues me about Cornelius and his faith is the way he persisted in his giving and praying, even though he wasn't a Jew. If you remember, gentiles in Jesus' day were looked down on and despised. For example, the Gospel of Mark tells us in chapter seven that a Greek woman came to Jesus begging Him to heal her daughter, and He called her a "dog." She was a gentile woman, who had no covenant with God because she wasn't a daughter of Abraham. 

In fact, all gentiles were excluded from the covenant that God made with Abraham until the day Cornelius was heard by the ear of God; and God's heart was moved by this gentile's faith. The writer of Hebrews tells us that we must believe until the salvation of the soul, and if any one draws back into unbelief His soul will have no pleasure in them. Nevertheless, this gentile, who had no hope prayed continuously anyway and gave without regard to his being separated from the Abrahamic covenant. Finally, God was moved by Cornelius' persistence and sent an angel to give him specific instructions. 

This story is one which greatly fascinates me because we know that Cornelius was a sinner, who had an encounter with the angel of God. We know, too, that angels can't preach the message of salvation. Therefore, he instructed Cornelius to send for Simon, also named Peter. In the meantime, God sent word to Peter that men who were deemed "unclean" by Jews were about to show up in his life; and he was to go with them back to a gentile's house. God visited Cornelius and Peter in order to set up a meeting between a Jewish follower of Christ and a gentile believer, who was about to become a follower of Christ. Because Cornelius had faith in Christ and acted upon His faith, it opened heaven's door for us, who are gentiles to come into the sheepfold.

When Peter arrived at the house of Cornelius with the three men and those who also went with him, they found his entire family awaiting their arrival. After Peter shared the good news of Christ with those that were in attendance, God saved all of them. The Jews who came with Peter, as well as the gentiles, who were present for the sermon, accepted Christ as their Savior. Afterwards, God filled them all with His Holy Spirit, and they began to speak with other tongues. Because of faith and persistent prayer, God's heart was moved to have mercy upon the gentile race and include them in His New Covenant in Christ.

I share this word with you today for many reasons. Nonetheless, the Lord wanted you to see what persistent faith will do when it seems like the world (and even God) is against you. In spite of feeling like there was no hope for this gentile, he kept praying and giving alms unto the Lord, and his sacrifice of faith came up before the Lord as a memorial. Are you facing a hopeless situation? Do you feel like God, Himself, is against you? Do what Cornelius did and hold onto your faith until the breakthrough comes. If you have faith in Christ and don't turn away from Him, He has given you His Word that He won't forsake or leave you, ever!

Hoping in Faith,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Monday, April 9, 2012

Jesus Gives Sight to the Blind

John 3: 17 - 21, For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. "He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God." NKJV

The Bible uses metaphors to describe what occurs when a person has sin in their heart. For example, we use terms such as walking in darkness or being spiritually blind. Likewise, when Adam sinned, the Bible teaches us that his eyes became opened, and he knew good and evil. We know that his natural eyes were opened already because they saw the forbidden fruit before they ate it. Therefore, we know that the Word was referring to the eyes of their understanding. For them to have known good and evil meant that they had gained an understanding of sin they didn't have when God created them.

In other words, sin affected their hearts and darkened their understanding. I can't discuss all that sin did to blind their hearts, so I will teach on two ways. First, sin blinded Adam and Eve to the sin in their lives. There are many scriptures that I can use to support this doctrine: Romans 7, John 15, as well as Genesis 3. Paul said that he would not have known he had sin if it hadn't been for the Law of God, which showed what sin was, and that it dwelled undetected in his heart.

Jesus said in John 15, if He had not come and spoken the truth and performed His mighty works, the Jews would not have known the sin in their hearts. So when Jesus spoke to them concerning the truth about their ways, it caused the sin in them to manifest and bring them under conviction so that they were without excuse.

Secondly, when Adam sinned against God, and the eyes of his understanding became darkened, he began to fear God; consequently, he ran from Him. Sin placed all of mankind under the bondage to the spirit of fear. Instead of trusting God, sin causes us to be afraid of God so that we won't go near His presence. If you accept the truth that sin blinds us to our own transgressions, and it also keeps us from turning to God; you will begin to see how deceptive the web was that Satan devised to trap mankind into darkness. Sin had us cut off from the light and life of God.

Here's the good news. Even though man had become spiritually blind to their sin, their transgression couldn't prevent the Light of Christ from shining into the darkened hearts of man. This is why many of the Jews hated Jesus. His Word shined into their hearts and exposed the hidden sin; and they desired the darkness over His light. This Word today reveals the loving heart of our heavenly Father. He knew that we were blind and didn't have a consciousness of sin residing in our hearts. Therefore, He sent His Son to our aid so that we could find our Way to safety.

In 2 Corinthians 3 and 4, Paul teaches us that there was a veil placed over the hearts of the Jews when they saw the glory of God on the face of Moses after he had been with God upon Mount Sinai. Paul also tells us that if they turned to the Lord, the veil would be lifted from their hearts, and they would be saved. In chapter 4, Paul goes on to teach us that when someone sees the light, but decides to reject that light because of their unbelief (don't believe in Jesus as the Christ), then Satan, the god of this world will keep them blinded to the Light of the truth. Truth is only found in the person of Jesus Christ. If a person rejects Jesus, then they will also reject the Word of God as being the final authority of truth.

Is it not amazing that sin didn't stop God from loving a world filled with sinners? Sin couldn't stop people from seeing the Light of truth in the face of Jesus Christ. Furthermore, sin couldn't prevent us from coming to the saving knowledge of Christ; nevertheless, unbelief can. All who reject Christ, who is the Light of the world will perish. They won't go into eternal torment just because they had sin. They will go because they chose to reject the only HOPE for forgiveness and redemption.

Have you placed your faith in Jesus as being the only-begotten Son of God? If you have, then His Light has set you free from the blindness of sin; you now walk in the Day and not the night. If you haven't accepted Jesus as your personal Savior, call on Him (Jesus) today and ask the heavenly Father to forgive you and fill your heart with His Spirit, Light, and Love.

Walking in the Light,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Thursday, April 5, 2012

"I Didn't Do It!"

James 4: 17, Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin. NKJV

Sometimes bad things do happen to good people. Occasionally, it's a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Allow me to share an example from my own childhood: Our parents raised seven children, and obviously, there were times when one of us would get out of hand. Now, I have to admit our family was "old school."Dad and mom believed that we should understand that wrong actions can cause pain in our lives, so they corrected us whenever we misbehaved. Although there were times that we might have gotten out of hand, we were never out of hand's reach.

One of the best places for our parents to correct us was in the car while driving down the road. You can probably imagine the limited space we had being a large family bunched up in one car. So whenever my sisters decided they just had to get their way, and mom heard the ruckus, we all knew what was about to come our way. You guessed it. It was mom's hand, and she didn't even have to know who the culprit was or which one she made contact with; justice was going to be served.

Inevitably, I would usually get caught in the crossfire of mom's disciplinary actions and begin to plead foul. I would cry out, "I didn't do anything!" Did you notice I was the innocent one in the family? It's my story girls. Now, let's get back to the scene of the offense. Mom would defend her actions by telling us, "Well you were doing something." Now, let's turn the light on you. Did you ever get corrected when you seemingly did nothing wrong? Well, perhaps you need a new understanding concerning the ways of God that can help you: The sin of omission has consequences that are as real as the sin of commission.

The sin of omission in Adam's life gave way for Satan to enter the Garden of Eden after God had told him to protect it. Adam didn't try to prevent Satan from speaking to Eve about God, nor did he try to stop her from eating the forbidden fruit. Do you see how the sin of omission is just as destructive as any other sin? Our disobedience to God's will can and will open the door for Satan to enter into our lives and destroy. Our heavenly Father loves us; therefore, He will chastise us when we allow sin into our lives...even the sin of omission.

Has the Lord instructed or impressed on you to do something that to date you haven't done? If so, then repent for being passive and take a step of faith to obey God.  Your action will keep the door shut so that Satan doesn't get a foothold in your life, and your obedience will keep you out of the corrective reach of God's hand.

I Might Have Been the Instigator on Occasion,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Why Pray?

Matthew 6: 9 - 13, In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen. NKJV
Why should Christians pray? Fortunately, I don't have to give you any other answer than the one Jesus has already spoken directly to us. God calls us to pray to Him as our heavenly Father for the purpose of inviting His will to be revealed and fulfilled in the earth. Out of all the issues that plague and perplex mankind, Jesus instructs us to pray for the Father's will to be done on earth, first.  

Who better to tell us what and how we should pray than Jesus. After all, He knows the Father like no other. Therefore, we should draw great comfort and strength from the wisdom of Christ concerning our prayer life. (As a Christian, you are called to form and maintain a life of prayer.)  

It's time for believers to begin to take prayer very seriously. If the people of God don't pray, then the will of God can't be done on earth as it is in heaven. Please hear me out. God has already bound Himself to the principle of the earth being governed by mankind. The original plan of God was for man to rule on earth in the same way that He rules in heaven. Thankfully, we can see His plan reinstated in the book of Revelation when Jesus comes to earth at the end of the age and establishes His kingdom with His people for one-thousand years.  

Since the Creator of heaven and earth has given authority over the earth to man, He has chosen to work through us humans, who have faith in Christ. God desired someone to fellowship with and to co-create with Him; therefore, He created man. When God was ready to establish a covenant in response to the separation of sin, God called on Abraham, a man. When it came time for God to deliver His people, Israel from the land of bondage, God sent Moses, a man. When God needed a prophet, God called Samuel, a man. When God was ready to redeem mankind with His sacrificial Lamb, God used Mary, a woman.  

When God wanted the plan of salvation established in the earth so that He could redeem us from the fall of sin, God became flesh, as Jesus the Son of man. Likewise, the Father has placed you in the earth for such a time as this to be a vessel that He can reveal His will to, and that He can depend upon to pray His will into existence in the earth.    

God came to young Jeremiah and asked him what he saw. Jeremiah told God that he saw the bud of an almond tree. Afterwards, God told Jeremiah that He would watch over His word to perform it in the earth. God used the vision and mouth of Jeremiah as His prophet to speak His divine will into this earthly realm. The conduit of the spoken word of Jeremiah empowered God to move in the earth and perform His will. If we aren't praying, and we're not speaking the Word of God to the mountain, then we're tying the hands of God.  

The enemy of your faith would love for you to think that praying isn't your "thing." Nevertheless, you should tell him that it IS your "responsibility and calling." When Jesus spoke about prayer in Matthew, He didn't say, "If you pray" but rather, "When you pray." World Harvest Church North and other churches are currently praying continuously for 10 days. Will you join in this mighty move of God, which spans at least eight countries? The Lord wants to rebuild Zion (the church) and appear in His glory. (Psalms 102: 12 - 17)  

Please let us know that you want to be included with the hundreds of other believers who are praying in symphony for the Father's will to be done on the earth. Contact us via email at prayer@whcnorth.org. We only need to know the time you wish to pray. If you have a prayer request, you may send it as well.
Thank You in Advance,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Resurrection Power of Christ

2 Corinthians 12 : 7 - 10, And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. NKJV

Have you ever gone through something as a Christian that you thought you would never be able to bear, much less overcome? Can I tell you, by the authority of God's Word, that there is something far more destructive to your soul than anything you have faced in the past or will ever face in this life while walking by faith? SELF is a far greater enemy to our own soul than Satan, suffering, and even death.

In order to keep us on guard as His children, God has given every person both a measure of faith and His Word (Romans 12). With this portion of faith, we can choose to resist the works of the Devil that cause us great horror, anguish, and pain. As we stand in defiance to Satan's attacks through our faith in Christ, the grace of God will come upon our hearts and will empower us to overcome our flesh nature (self) and trust the Lord. The end result of this type of battle against our faith will cause us to know Christ and will also cause us to become conformed into His image... as long as we stay the course. 

In John 3, Jesus tells us that He wasn't sent into the world to condemn the world, but that THROUGH HIM the world might be saved. He goes on to say that many will reject Him, because their deeds are evil, and they hate the LIGHT. It is the will of man that will send people to hell to live eternally in the lake of fire... not God. In order to become a child of God, we had to submit our will to Him as our Lord. Now He is the Lord of our lives, and we are the earthen vessels that are to bring Him glory and honor through a holy life. Since self has been and will continue to be our worst enemy, God uses our faith in His Son to overcome the world. 

Do you remember, in Daniel 3, the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, the three Hebrew men that were threatened with being burned alive in a fiery furnace if they didn't bow their knee to the King's idol? They told the king that their God was able to deliver them from the fire, but that, even if He didn't, they would still be delivered in the fire from the wicked king. You see, they didn't allow the threat of being tortured and killed by fire make them go back on their faith in God. Here's the clincher! Since they chose to suffer for their faith, God kept them with HIS resurrection power while they were in the furnace. When we choose to suffer for the sake of Christ instead of giving into the will of our flesh (self), then God will give us, in exchange for our trust, His mighty power to confront, endure, and conqueror our enemy. Then we will know our God and be strong. 

As we are conformed unto the death of Christ, in order that the body of sin might be done away with, we are at the same time, through our faith, partaking of His resurrection power. As we partake of God's resurrection power during the furnaces of our life, we also know that death has no power over our souls either. You might be asking, "Why does God put us through all these trials and afflictions? Does He want to kill us?" NO! He wants us, through faith in Him, to crucify the flesh nature so that we might become partakers of His DIVINE nature and overcome the last enemy which is death. 

Hebrews 2 : 14 - 15, Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. NKJV

Through our faith and God's amazing GRACE, He empowers us to live a life of spiritual freedom in spite of Satan's attacks against us. He sent Jesus to set us free from sin through His death and to liberate us through His life in us from the fear of death so that we can obey His Word. So the next time you're faced with an unthinkable horror, remember this: You're a child of the Most High God, and He is with you to empower you with resurrection power. His power will carry you through if you will submit to His will as Paul did.  

Submitted to His GRACE,
Pastor Asa

Monday, April 2, 2012

Sharing Your Testimony

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Walking in My Future,
Pastor Asa