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Friday, May 31, 2013

Thank God for His Infinite Love

Hebrews 8: 7 - 12, For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second. Because finding fault with them, He says: "Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah -- not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they did not continue in My covenant, and I disregarded them, says the LORD. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more." NKJV

I'm so grateful that God doesn't leave us to figure out salvation for ourselves. Will you praise the Lord with me today for His boundless love toward mankind? Even when we are faithless, God remains faithful. Let me explain what I mean. It was God who spoke to man after He had created him. He told him about the blessings, the power, and the provision that was provided for them. It was the Lord, who bound Himself to mankind through His covenant to be our Savior, Protector, Provider, and all that we would ever need.

Nevertheless, it seems that man has struggled to have a heart for God since before the fall. If we look at Adam's actions when he was with Eve in the garden, it seems that he was more wrapped up in Eve and what she desired than what God wanted. Even so, God has never allowed our lack of love and devotion toward Him to prevent His love from freely flowing toward us, His people.

While His own chosen people rejected His covenant and Him, God declared that He would make yet another covenant; and He would see to it that it was fulfilled. However, this new covenant could only be satisfied if He could find someone who would love Him as much as He loves us. Therefore, God sent His Son to earth, and through Jesus' love for the Father, God could make the declaration that the writer of Hebrews has made known to us, "All shall know Me."

Isn't it wonderful that God didn't let man's rejection of Him as God keep Him from accepting us in Christ? The greatest gift that God has ever given to mankind was the gift of His only- begotten Son. In Christ, every promise from God has been made forever secure. We can place our soul's trust in His Word and know of a surety that it will never fail or be altered. 

You see; the first covenant included mankind and his willingness to obey God (or lack thereof). However, the second covenant isn't that way. It is based on the blood of Jesus, Jesus' faithfulness, and on the love of God for His people. It is steadfast and sure; and it has been confirmed through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. Consequently, if you have placed your faith in the Lordship of Jesus Christ, there is rest for you today.

We don't have to work like those who were born under the old covenant. However, we are to believe and obey His voice out of a heart filled with gratitude. The new covenant is based on God's love, not on man's goodness. May we love God, honor His Word in our hearts, and be grateful to Him for the blessings that He has given to us through Christ.

Thank God for God,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Seeing Clearly

John 16: 1 - 4, "These things I have spoken to you, that you should not be made to stumble. They will put you out of the synagogues; yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service. And these things they will do to you because they have not known the Father nor Me. But these things I have told you, that when the time comes, you may remember that I told you of them. NKJV

In today's scripture, Jesus was giving His disciples (including us) a warning. He was preparing them for the battle they would encounter when He left them to return to heaven. As He warns them about the treatment that some of them would have to face, He also exhorts them to remember what He has said, so that when persecution strikes, they won't become offended and lose their faith in Christ.

What the Holy Spirit has given for today is very important to our faith walk. We must constantly guard our hearts against the attacks of the enemy, so that we don't fall prey to any of his devices and lose faith in the heat of the battle. We begin to guard our hearts by asking the Lord to keep us from temptation and deliver us from evil long before either of them shows up at our door. Secondly, we guard our hearts by remembering that the battle isn't ours; it belongs to the Lord. If we keep this in the forefront of our minds, it will help us remain neutral when persecution enters our lives.

Satan wants us to take spiritual assaults personally. Remember what Jesus told us. He has already forewarned us about the conflicts and collateral damage that we would incur during the battle; He did this so that we wouldn't turn our hearts against the Lord. We will remain strong and of good courage, as long as we keep our eyes on Jesus. The writer of Hebrews tells us to consider Jesus and to keep our eyes on Him when we have to face hardships, lest we grow weary and become discouraged in our soul. 

The moment we begin to take the spiritual attacks personally, they will begin to affect both our perspective and our attitude toward God adversely. Instead of looking to Jesus as our source of inspiration and encouragement, we will begin to blame Him for the situations that we've had to encounter. If this has happened to you, or if it should occur in the future, the enemy has been effective at turning your heart against the Lord. It even happened to John the Baptist; therefore, it can very easily happen to you and me.  

It doesn't matter to Satan if you're a leader in the body of Christ or one of God's children, he doesn't want you to lean on the Lord. Therefore, it is essential that we keep our hearts protected and pure so that we can see the heart of God clearly during times of great persecution. We must never take the Lord's battle personally when we enlist in the good fight of faith. 

Let me leave you today with a final question: Has the enemy attacked you at some point in your walk of faith, and it has caused you to back off or lose a degree of trust in the Lord? John tells us in his epistle that God is light and that there is no darkness in Him. In other words, God doesn't change when we become wounded in battle. It just means that Satan was successful at inflicting a hurt in your heart that has altered your perception and/or attitude toward God. 

If this describes you, and you desire to be free from the hurt caused by your adversary, then ask the Holy Spirit to heal your wounded heart and fill it with God's love. Just because Satan occasionally gets the upper hand and deceives us into believing something that isn't true, it doesn't mean that we have to continue living with the guilt of that burden.  Jesus told us in John 8 that when we come to know the truth, it will make us free! This word was shared with you as a means to help you overcome the Devil. It is not intended to condemn you. Therefore, if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed. 

How Great Is Our God,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

This Life Is No Dress Rehearsal

Deuteronomy 30: 19 - 20, I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the LORD your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them." NKJV

Have you ever met someone who believed that if they didn't get things "right" in this life, they could just do it over in the next one? We know for certain that the Bible doesn't support that belief. The life that God has already given us is the only one we will have. Consequently, what we do with it now will determine where we spend eternity. The Lord told Moses that heaven records our actions on earth, and those same actions will judge us at the end of the age.  

Further, the Lord, through the writings of Moses tells us to choose life while we are still sojourners in this world so that we and our descendants may live. If it really doesn't matter what we do in this life-time, then why does God command us to choose life now? There is no dress rehearsal, and there is no second chance after this life is over. However, once we realize that we have made some wrong choices and committed transgressions against Him, God gives us the ability through His infinite grace to begin again.

Nevertheless, when we start living for the Lord, we don't always get things right the first time. Thankfully, we have been given the Holy Spirit. He will guide us INTO all truth and show us the way to eternal life. He is the Spirit of God, and He dwells within our hearts. Whenever we stumble or fall into sin, He is the One who convicts us of trespasses and brings us back into right a relationship with the Father.

The only thing in this life that is to be practiced is our obedience to the voice of the Lord. Many of the patriarchs and matriarchs of the Bible didn't fully obey God at the onset of their faith walk. God's spirit worked with the saints of old and with the disciples as well. However, once they became submitted and committed in their hearts, obedience became their first nature. You see; the Holy Spirit will get us adorned and READY for the day that we stand before our Lord. He works in our hearts perfecting us so that we will not be naked and ashamed when we see our Great Shepherd.

Please take a moment to read the book of Jude. In one short chapter, this man of God deposited very important truths, which teach us to abstain from the corruption of this present world. Jude tells us to separate ourselves from wickedness and from wicked people so that we can live a life that is holy and pleasing unto the Lord. Jude understood the principle that God gave Moses in the book of Deuteronomy about making right choices in THIS life.

Are you living your life as if it were a dress rehearsal? Or are you living each day as if it were the last one before you go to meet your Lord? God doesn't want us to be caught off guard; He wants us to be prepared for the Day that we see Him face to face. Who knows? This could be the Day!

Preparing To Meet My Lord,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Inspirational Thoughts,
Jack Jones
Church Elder 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Only Be Strong and Courageous

Judges 6: 14 - 16, Then the Lord turned to him and said, "I will make you strong! Go and save Israel from the Midianites! I am sending you!" But Gideon replied, "Sir, how can I save Israel? My family is the poorest in the whole tribe of Manasseh, and I am the least thought of in the entire family!"  Whereupon the Lord said to him, "But I, Jehovah, will be with you! And you shall quickly destroy the Midianite hordes!" TLB

When I read this passage, it reminded me of a principle that Jesus taught His disciples about servants. He said, "The greatest among you shall be your servant." Generally, a true servant doesn't see themselves as great. However, it seems to me that God has established a track record in the Bible of looking over people who were famous or of a grand stature. Instead, He would pick candidates whom we would think were the least likely to serve Him.

Gideon struggled deeply with a lack of self-confidence because of his "standing" in his community and family. Even so, when God looked on Gideon, He saw a mighty man of valor, a man of strength, ability, and force. We know from the story of David that God doesn't look on the outward appearance of a man or woman; He looks on their heart. Consequently, when God finds a person who may be considered the least of the least, but, nevertheless, he has the heart of a servant-leader or is a warrior of righteousness, He calls them into service.

You may be reading this today and saying, "I can so relate to the way Gideon felt." When we struggle with a lack of confidence, and we can only see our weaknesses, then we need to allow God to speak His Word into our heart. God saw the hidden potential in Gideon and spoke what He saw into Gideon's ears. We're told in Romans 4 that God calls those things that are not as though they were.

Like Gideon, when we see what we've been called to do for the Lord, we can certainly be overwhelmed. Even so, we must understand that God doesn't call us to serve Him in "our" strength, but "His" strength. This is the reason why the Lord could call Gideon a mighty man of valor and why He had full confidence that Gideon could finish all that God had instructed him to accomplish. The Lord knew that Gideon would fully rely on the presence of God and in the Words that He had spoken over him.  Gideon was assured of success because he knew that God was with him. When you and I have God's presence and God's instructions, we will also fulfill the purposes of God; and we will be victorious like Gideon was against the Midianites. With God all things are possible! It all begins with that first step of faith. ..Only when you step out will you know that God is truly with you.

Walking with God,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Friday, May 24, 2013

I Cannot Tell It All

Psalms 68 : 19, Blessed be the Lord, Who daily loads us with benefits, the God of our salvation! NKJV

The Lord desires that we celebrate His goodness in our lives. Therefore, we are instructed in His Word to acknowledge Him as the Source of all our needs. It is His good pleasure to give us His kingdom and to see that we're provided for in every area of life.

The psalmist teaches us to bless the Lord because He loads us with daily benefits through Christ. You've probably noticed that life has become very demanding. Consequently, as a result of these demands, we can on occasion become overwhelmed.

Nevertheless, we must always remember that it is the Lord, Who has brought us this far; and He will watch over us and keep us as we continue in our walk with Him.

We must guard our hearts from becoming consumed by life's challenges to the point that we ignore the hand of God that moves daily on the behalf of His children. I can't even begin to tell you all that the Lord has done for our family, the church, and the members of WHCN. However, I can tell you that if we keep  our eyes on the Lord and allow Him to move in His time, He will show up on time.

Even though John tells us in his gospel about the works of Jesus, he also said that there are far more things Jesus did that haven't even been written. He goes on to say that if everything that Jesus did while He walked on the earth was written down, the world couldn't contain the books. Amazing!

Do you have a book of testimonies where you've written down the times you've seen the faithfulness of God in your life or in your family's lives? Will you join with me today as I celebrate the faithfulness and goodness of the Lord? Let's tell Him that we know where our daily blessings come from... and we're not ashamed to admit it to others.

I Still Cannot Tell It All,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Thursday, May 23, 2013

A Sacrifice of Worship

Exodus 10: 21 - 26, Then the LORD said to Moses, "Stretch out your hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, darkness which may even be felt." So Moses stretched out his hand toward heaven, and there was thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days. They did not see one another; nor did anyone rise from his place for three days. But all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings. Then Pharaoh called to Moses and said, "Go, serve the LORD; only let your flocks and your herds be kept back. Let your little ones also go with you." But Moses said, "You must also give us sacrifices and burnt offerings, that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God. Our livestock also shall go with us; not a hoof shall be left behind. For we must take some of them to serve the LORD our God, and even we do not know with what we must serve the LORD until we arrive there." NKJV

Do you feel like you're in a place or a season of oppression? Unfortunately, all believers experience hard places in their walk; and it may seem as if it would be better to "make a deal with Pharaoh" and "cut our losses." Nevertheless, we must remember our covenant with God. The Lord revealed something to me several years ago, and it remains just as relevant today. He said, "Men love to make deals, but God only "makes covenants." The terms of our spiritual release from our foes have already been predetermined by the Lord; they are not up for negotiation by our captors.

If you remember, God had promised Abraham, the father of Israel that his people would live in a land for four hundred years and afterwards, they would come out with great substance. Pharaoh told Moses that he would let the people of God go so that they could worship the Lord.... However, he also said they had to leave their livestock behind. Therefore, Moses wouldn't agree with him.

You see; when the enemy seems to have the upper hand in a situation in our lives, we must remember our covenant with the Lord. I'm sure there are some of you reading this today that are in a situation you can't get out of; and your adversary wants you to take a loss before releasing you.

Please note that Pharaoh was willing to let them go, but he wanted to keep their animals so that they couldn't worship the Lord in the wilderness. What is the enemy in your situation trying to steal from you that could be used to bring glory and praise to God if it were released with you? God doesn't want you to come out with regrets. He wants you to walk free with everything that He has given to you; it will be a witness to others of His faithfulness and honor.

God will lead you with peace. When Pharaoh gave Moses the conditions of his release, Moses didn't have peace and, therefore, rejected the offer. So be still and know that God has your best interest at heart. When the conditions match the covenant, then the release will come without strings or regrets. Those who wait upon the Lord are renewed. The Lord waits until we can come out with our praise intact so that the world, and our enemies will know Who it was that has delivered us.

Not Leaving Without My Praise,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Breaking the Stronghold Of Isolation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Walking with God,
Pastor Asa

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

God's Word Exposes Deception

Hebrews 4 : 11 - 13, Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience. For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a Discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account. NKJV

The Word of God is alive! And if you take a moment to think about it, it seems strange to our carnal mind. Jesus tells us in John that not only is the Word of God alive, it gives life to those who hide it in their hearts.  

I want you to imagine for a moment how many books there are in the world today... that's a lot of knowledge! When we read one of them, we may be able to gain some great insights into the author's heart, imagination, experiences, and knowledge. However, when we read the Bible, we will gain spiritual life for our thirsty soul.  

When you begin to hide the Word in your heart, you should soon notice that you are gaining a deeper understanding of it. As we set our minds to ingest God's bread from heaven, it will begin to illuminate our understanding, thereby enabling us to comprehend spiritual matters. The Light of God's Word will fill your heart, and you will begin to walk in spiritual discernment. We see examples of this throughout the gospels. Many times people would address Jesus in what appeared on the surface as a goodwill gesture. Nevertheless, He would discern what was really hidden in their heart. Often times their motives weren't pure. Even so, He knew their hearts and didn't fall prey to their schemes. 

Jesus instructs us in Matthew 10 to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. Through spiritual discernment, God equips us to face the world and to know what is hidden in the deep recesses of people's hearts. We are guarded from getting hurt by those we don't know, if we recognize what the Holy Spirit is telling us about them. As a minister, I rely on spiritual discernment constantly. Serpents in the Bible represent subtlety and deception through smooth speech. Discernment gives Christians the ability to see beyond a person's words, revealing the hidden motives of the heart. Didn't God tell Samuel that He didn't look at the outward appearance of a man, but He looks at their hearts? God wants to protect us from wolves and the poison of bitter people. So we must get the Light of His Word in our own hearts so that we are able to know what is hidden in the hearts of others.

Protected by God's Word,
Pastor Asa Dockery 

Monday, May 20, 2013

God Can and God Will

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

God Is Not Man,
Pastor Asa

Friday, May 17, 2013

Do Not Be Afraid

Deuteronomy 31: 6 - 8, Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the one who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you." Then Moses called Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, "Be strong and of good courage, for you must go with this people to the land which the LORD has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you shall cause them to inherit it. And the LORD, He is the one who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed." NKJV

Sometimes the Lord has to speak very plainly in order to get us to move forward in life. We see this in today's passage as God ENCOURAGES Moses and Joshua to move ahead and possess the land of promise, even though there were enemies there. It's obvious that they were struggling against the fear that came as a result of the Lord's instructions. When fear gets a stronghold on our hearts, it stops our forward movement in the Spirit. Satan doesn't want us to be confident in the Lord, thereby, inheriting the promises of God, so he attacks our confidence. It is Satan's aim to take courage away from our hearts and paralyze us so that we won't advance against his forces. 

Most everyone has a dream or a set of goals they want to accomplish in life. Have you ever set out to live "your dream" or accomplish a certain goal and had a setback or hit a wall? Whenever we reach forward to achieve greatness, and the enemy doesn't want us to obtain the prize, he will attack us through unforeseen circumstances in an attempt to shake our confidence and get us under the control of fear.

When a person is under the influence of fear, it robs them of their confidence so that they don't have the power to fulfill what God has placed in their hearts. However, before a person can begin to move forward, they first have to address and overcome the fear in their heart that came as the result of an attack. Here is where you must allow faith to fill your heart and give you the courage to face your fears and overcome them. God spoke to Moses and said, "Be strong and of good courage, do not fear or be afraid of them. When God speaks to us, and we listen to His voice, faith will overcome the fear, and courage will return to our hearts.

Since we didn't receive the spirit of fear from God, it means that we have received Satan's lies, and we revere them as truth. The only way to reveal the blind spot in our hearts that believes the lies of Satan is to listen to God's voice and obey Him. God has you covered!

There's something about fear that needs to be highlighted in the statement that God told Moses to convey to Joshua. The Lord told them to stop giving fear and discouragement a place in their hearts. He also reassured them that He was with them and would not leave nor forsake them in future conflicts. They had a choice to make. Would they choose to allow fear to hold them captive and rob them of the Promised Land, or would they choose to listen to God, overcome the fear and face their enemies?

It comes down to this. Do you believe that God is still for you, even though you've been attacked by Satan? Do you believe that He will fight your battles for you, even though God requires you to face your greatest fears? If you really believe God is for you and will fight the battles in your heart, then you will overcome the fear and inherit the promises of God. Let me leave you with a scripture that Paul wrote to the Christians in Rome.

Romans 8: 31 - 39, What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall bring a charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. 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

You Can Do It Through Christ,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Thursday, May 16, 2013

In The Arms of Love

2 Corinthians 4 : 8 - 9, We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed... NKJV

Have you ever been rejected by someone you loved? Rejection is like a hot fire. It can bring out the best and the worst in all of us. Rejection in this life is pretty much enviable. Nevertheless, it's how we choose to respond to it and to the person by whom the offense has come that will determine whether we will allow it to control us, or whether we will rise above it. 

Before I go on any further, let me remind you that rejection wasn't in God's plan. Satan was the originator of this horror from hell. Satan talked Adam and Eve into sinning by rejecting God's plan for their lives. Afterwards, because of their sin, God had to reject them. Even so, we know that God still loved man because He killed an animal (Redemption) to cover the shame of their nakedness. Love covers sin. Consequently, we know that God didn't reject mankind; however, He had to reject the sin that was in them. Didn't God warn Adam in Genesis 2 that if he ate from the tree of knowledge, he would die? Yes. Therefore, it was sin that brought separation between man and God (Life). Now, we can go a little deeper in our study.

Rejection is a trap that Satan will use to try to pull people into his web of deceit. His next step is to exploit the hurt that has been caused. If a person decides to become a victim of rejection, and they open their heart up to Satan's lie, then he will have a hook in their heart and will pull them down to the bottom of the pit. Rejection, like temptation, is just another ploy the enemy will use to take us on a treacherous path to destruction and death.

There is only one way for us to overcome the schemes or tricks of Satan. We must fully engage and utilize our faith to continue to believe in God's goodness. Here is where your will comes into play. You will have to fight with everything in you, so that you do not give into the pain of rejection, and, as a result, give yourself over to the enemy because of the hurt you are experiencing. There is something alluring about listening to Satan's subtle lies and acting on our impulses because of an emotion that demands revenge. You may get a very temporary release when you act out of your hurt and strike back in unbelief, but it will be short-lived and will throw your soul into bondage. 

However, faith offers us another way; this way leads to life. Nevertheless, we must be willing to choose that path over self-gratification. If you honor God's Word in your heart, instead of giving into your human emotions, God will give you grace that brings comfort, peace, and restoration to your broken heart. Further, because you chose to take the difficult path of faith, God will reward you afterwards with a promotion over your enemies. 

Let me leave you today with a powerful story of someone who suffered great rejection, but overcame it. Consequently, God raised him up to be a leader over Israel. In Psalms 51, David tells us that his mother conceived him in sin. Scholars who studied this say that his mom conceived him out of wedlock. In other words, she had an affair; therefore, she broke her covenant vow with Jessie. Whenever God sent the prophet Samuel to anoint the new king for Israel, he entered the house of Jessie. It was there that Samuel met all the sons of Jessie. Or did he? Where was David and why wasn't he invited to the inauguration? After Samuel looked Jessie's boys over, God told him that none of them was going to be the next king. Samuel asked Jessie if he had another son, and reluctantly, he told him about David.

There was another time when David was treated with great disdain; this confirms he was an outcast and had been rejected by his brothers: When Jessie sent David out to the battlefield to take his brothers lunch, David was met with jealousy and contempt. Nevertheless, David just let it roll off his shoulders and focused his attention on Goliath. David always responded to rejection and hatred from his kinfolks with a tender heart for God. He didn't blame God for the actions of others. In fact, their actions seemed to drive David to seek God's heart even more. Here is a passage that will further prove what I've been sharing with you today:

Psalms 27: 4 - 12, One thing I have desired of the LORD, that will I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in His temple. For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; in the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock. And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me; therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the LORD. Hear, O LORD, when I cry with my voice! Have mercy also upon me, and answer me. When You said, "Seek My face, "My heart said to You, "Your face, LORD, I will seek." Do not hide Your face from me; do not turn Your servant away in anger; You have been my help; do not leave me nor forsake me, O God of my salvation. When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take care of me. Teach me Your way, O LORD, and lead me in a smooth path, because of my enemies. Do not deliver me to the will of my adversaries; for false witnesses have risen against me, and such as breathe out violence. NKJV

In the verses above, we can see that David was forsaken by his father and mother. Even so, he chose to turn to the Lord, who had His arms out-stretched and waiting with great love. David allowed the love of God to embrace and fill his heart. Do you need to allow the love of God to wash over your heart and soul today? God has His arms open and waiting for you to jump into His love. 

Only God,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Love Isn't Earned But Given

Matthew 5 : 43 - 48, "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect. NKJV

If there is a message that resounds throughout the New Testament, other than the gospel of Christ, it is that no one can earn God's love. Paul tells us in Ephesians 2 that salvation isn't about works; it is a gift of God. Grace comes from who God is, and He is love. Until we freely accept God's love, we will always struggle with unworthiness and the need to measure up to a certain standard. You accept God's love by believing that He loves you as you are. Could it be that we often struggle with receiving God's love because we (humans)  sometimes make others earn our love, before we give it to them?  

One of the hardest portions of scripture in the New Testament for me personally is Matthew 5. Jesus doesn't mince His words with those who are considering becoming His disciples. In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus lays out the requirements for becoming His disciple. When you read the entire chapter, it doesn't take long to realize that we can't fulfill His requirements apart from God's grace and the Holy Spirit. After all, it was for this reason that Jesus came to earth, suffered, and died on a cross (that should have been ours) because we couldn't live it.

In the text that I used today, we see that Jesus requires us to return good for evil and to love those who don't deserve our love. Human nature wants to argue with the Holy Spirit when He convicts us to obey this command. "Lord, this person hasn't done anything worthy of my love." However, through this one scripture, Jesus shows us how (agape') God's kind of love operates. His love isn't based upon our ability to do something to earn or even deserve it. It isn't based upon our ability to repay or reciprocate His love. God's love for us is based on His will. Doesn't Paul tell us that God loved Jacob, but He hated Esau? Yes. Therefore, by His will, God has chosen to love us, even while we were still sinners and hostile toward Him. By the same token, Jesus requires those of us who choose to accept His love and His gift of eternal life to love others the same way that God, for Christ's sake, has loved us. By our love, we will show or prove that we are the children of God. 

I've already told you that chapter 5 has been a challenging portion of scripture for me personally. Even so, allow me to share a secret with you that I have discovered. When I choose to show love (out of my obedience to Jesus) to someone who hasn't done anything deserving of my love, I am set free from the chains of the fallen human nature that wants me (us) to disobey Jesus' commands. 

Furthermore, God gives me His empowering grace to obey commands that are humanly impossible to do at times, so that He can bless my obedience. The more we allow ourselves to do God's will and follow through with our commitment to keep the Word, the freer we become. As a result, we will be a greater witness to the world, and we will bring glory to our heavenly Father. The next time someone deserves your wrath, ask the Lord to help you show them His love.

Walking It Out!
Pastor Asa Dockery 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Controlling the Tongue

Proverbs 6: 16 - 19, These six things the LORD hates, yes, seven are an abomination to Him: A proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that are swift in running to evil, a false witness who speaks lies, and one who sows discord among brethren. NKJV

Jesus tells us in Matthew's gospel that we will know false prophets by the fruit they bear. He also tells us that it is from the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks. Have you listened to what is on the hearts of people lately? When we step back and take a good look at the fruit of people's thoughts and imaginations, it tells us a whole lot about the condition our society is in. 

Out of the seven things that Solomon calls an abomination to God, three of them are directly connected to the tongue. Almost half the things that God hates about the wickedness of man originate from an evil tongue. Satan used the tongue to speak great lies to Eve about God and about Eve's identity. Through his words, he was able to deceive Eve, and then turn her heart against God. In other words, Satan caused division in the world. We know from the account in Genesis 3 that Satan spoke a lie to Eve; he bore false witness against God concerning the consequences of eating from the tree of knowledge, and finally, he sowed discord. 

Therefore, we can say that Satan is the originator of the problems mankind has with the tongue. James tells us that the tongue is a small member, but it can do great damage to the body. It can set small fires that quickly escalate into huge infernos, which destroy lives, marriages, careers, churches, and businesses. I have personally witnessed the tongue stop moves of God in the church by sowing discord among other members. 

Almost two years ago, our church experienced a mighty move of God's Spirit, and miracles begin breaking out in the body. There is a woman in our church that was in her house when it exploded from a gas rupture under her house. The explosion almost destroyed her leg. As a result of the extensive surgery on her femur bone, her leg was shortened. She had to walk with the assistance of a cane because her heel couldn't touch the floor. God did a creative miracle in her leg; it grew so that she is able to walk with her foot on the floor. Other miracles were also documented by doctors as notable and unexplainable (but we knew what really happened.) Nevertheless, soon after the outbreak of miracles, a spirit of offense entered into the hearts of some of the people; they began to speak against one another..., and the miracles were over. 

God created the tongue to speak life, but Satan perverted the heart of man so that we would begin to speak death over ourselves and over others. Death and life are in the power of the tongue. If we can control our tongues, then James tells us that we are perfect and able to control our entire body. Consequently, we must be very careful who we allow to influence our hearts and what we speak through our mouths. When we stand before the judgment seat of Christ as believers, we will have to give an account to the Lord for every word we have spoken. 

Are you able to control what comes out your mouth? Are you speaking faith and life? Proverbs tells us that we'll eat the fruit of our words. Guard your heart, so that you don't take up someone else's offense and become a party to sowing discord among the brethren. It's far better for us to take our grievances to the Lord in secret, and then allow Him to deal with the issue, than for us to say something that would bring judgment on us from the Lord. May the Lord help us to speak life always, so that He might be allowed to perform His good Word in our lives and in our situations. Let me leave you today with the priestly blessing that God gave to Moses, Aaron and the children of Israel.

Numbers 6 : 24 - 27, "The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace."' "So they shall put My name on the children of Israel, and I will bless them." NKJV

Pastor Asa Dockery

Monday, May 13, 2013

Repentance Brings Times of Refreshing

Acts 3: 19 - 21, Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began. NKJV

The Spirit of the Lord has been dealing with my heart about the spiritual condition of the church, as well as our nation. However, the purpose of this word today isn't to preach about what's wrong; it is to share with you what the Word says about repentance. The Holy Spirit took me took me to several scriptures recently that illustrated times when Israel had turned their hearts away from God. Nevertheless, God remained faithful to them, as a faithful Husband to an unfaithful wife. Through these scriptures, He showed me how His love for the children of Israel (and for us today) goes far beyond our unfaithfulness.

Please allow me to share just a few passages with you, so that the truth about times of refreshing from the Lord can be established in our hearts. As a result of our being refreshed, hope can spring forth in our hearts for a brighter tomorrow. 

1 Kings 18 : 37 - 42, Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that You are the LORD God, and that You have turned their hearts back to You again." Then the fire of the LORD fell and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood and the stones and the dust, and it licked up the water that was in the trench. Now when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said, "The LORD, He is God! The LORD, He is God!" And Elijah said to them, "Seize the prophets of Baal! Do not let one of them escape!" So they seized them; and Elijah brought them down to the Brook Kishon and executed them there. Then Elijah said to Ahab, "Go up, eat and drink; for there is the sound of abundance of rain." NKJV

Take note that after the children of Israel repented, and the prophets of Baal, as well as the false prophets who ate at Jezebel's table were killed, the rain began to fall in Israel, and the forty-two-month drought was ended. We see in this account the faithfulness of God to His people; He brought refreshing times to them and their land, after they turned their hearts back to the Lord.

Joel 2 : 16 - 19, Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children and nursing babes; let the bridegroom go out from his chamber, and the bride from her dressing room. Let the priests, who minister to the LORD, weep between the porch and the altar; let them say, "Spare Your people, O LORD, and do not give Your heritage to reproach, that the nations should rule over them. Why should they say among the peoples, 'Where is their God?'" Then the LORD will be zealous for His land, and pity His people. The LORD will answer and say to His people, "Behold, I will send you grain and new wine and oil, and you will be satisfied by them; I will no longer make you a reproach among the nations. NKJV

Just look at all the blessings and the increase that God promised Israel He would pour out on His people, if they would only turn to and pursue Him with all their hearts. God promised to restore to Israel the years that the enemy had stolen from them and to remove the reproach that had come upon them as a NATION... if they would only repent. Once again, we see that God is waiting on His unfaithful wife to return to Him so that He can show her His goodness and lavish His love on her. After repentance came into the hearts of God's people, the Lord relented from the harm that was about to be released upon them for their sin. Instead, God desired to pour out blessings and to bring them times of refreshing. 

Isaiah 54 : 4 - 10, "Do not fear, for you will not be ashamed; neither be disgraced, for you will not be put to shame; for you will forget the shame of your youth, and will not remember the reproach of your widowhood anymore. For your Maker is your husband, the LORD of hosts is His name; and your Redeemer is the Holy one of Israel; He is called the God of the whole earth. For the LORD has called you like a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, like a youthful wife when you were refused," says your God. "For a mere moment I have forsaken you, but with great mercies I will gather you. With a little wrath I hid My face from you for a moment; but with everlasting kindness I will have mercy on you," says the LORD, your Redeemer. "For this is like the waters of Noah to Me; for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah would no longer cover the earth, so have I sworn that I would not be angry with you, nor rebuke you. For the mountains shall depart and the hills be removed, but My kindness shall not depart from you, nor shall My covenant of peace be removed," says the LORD, who has mercy on you. NKJV

Once again, the Lord led me to a scripture that uses the reference of a husband and a wife. Even though God was angry with Israel for a moment and even forsook them, afterwards, He swore to them that He would never again forsake them... just as God had sworn to Noah that He would never again destroy the earth with a flood. If you will read the entire chapter from Isaiah, you will discover the tremendous blessings that God promised His people, if they would only repent and return to Him with whole hearts. 

I sense in my spirit that God's heart is broken over the choices of the hearts of His children; they have turned a deaf ear to the truth of His Word. It grieves the Holy Spirit when we seek to please ourselves rather than please our Husband, Jesus. The Lord led me to share this with you today so that you would know that it is always God's intention to bless His children, even while we're being unfaithful to Him. However, He cannot bless us, until we repent of our wicked ways and return to Him with whole hearts. 

Let us pray for our governmental leaders, church leaders, our nation, and one another, so that God will grant us the privilege of repentance. Consequently, He can, once again, shower us with His blessings and restore our nation to a place of honor. Change begins with us as individuals, as we become broken and honest before a holy God.

Seeking the Lord with All My Heart,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Friday, May 10, 2013


Isaiah 9: 2, The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, upon them a light has shined. NKJV

In John 8, Jesus teaches us that if we will continue in His Word, we will come to know the truth and the truth that we know will make us free (paraphrased). We know that Jesus is the Light of the world. We also know (from John 1) that Jesus is the Word of God made flesh. When God saw the sin and depravity of man, He sent us a Savior. When Jesus came, He spoke the truth, which is the light that shines in darkness and exposes the hearts of sinful man.

The purpose of Jesus coming into a world that was spiritually blinded by sin wasn't to condemn us; it was to show us what was hidden deep in our hearts. After the truth exposed the sin, the blood of Jesus was offered as the sacrifice that would save us from the condemnation of sin. Isn't it interesting that Jesus preached the truth that convicted people of their sins BEFORE He died and paid for our sin debt? 

Why did the truth come before the offering for man's sin was completed? Before mankind was able to receive a Savior, we first had to realize that we were sinners. Sin had blinded all of mankind, and without the light of God's truth, no one would have known about sin. We know this because Jesus and Paul both taught on the subject. Let me share a couple of excerpts from both. 

John 15: 22, If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. NKJV

Romans 7: 7, What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, "You shall not covet." NKJV

We can see by these two examples that the truth had to come first, and then, once conviction was felt in the hearts of the sinner, the sacrifice was made for remission of those sins. Therefore, we know that God has given us hope for the problem that sought to take our souls to hell. Instead of God sending His Son to condemn us with His Law, Jesus came to shine the light of truth and hope so that we could choose life or death. 

Just like the prophet, Isaiah, declared in today's scripture, the people who walked in darkness have seen a great light. The Light was sent to set us free from sin's bondage; it was not sent to condemn us for our sin. However, we must now make the decision to forsake our sin because, according to Jesus' Words, we no longer have an excuse for it.

If we will choose to walk in the light of God's Word, then sin will lose its hold on our soul. Darkness isn't greater than light, and sin isn't more powerful than God's love or His truth. While we still have the time, let us cast off the works of darkness and let us put on the armor of light in Christ. Whom the Son of God makes free, they are free indeed.

Give Me the Word, So I Can Be Free,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Thursday, May 9, 2013

It Is Time for Revival in the Land

Romans 13: 8 - 14, Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, "You shall not commit adultery," "You shall not murder," "You shall not steal," "You shall not bear false witness," "You shall not covet," and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts. NKJV

Today, I want to share some findings about the church and our culture with you that were taken from the research of "The Barna Group." The purpose of this word is to encourage you in your walk of faith as a follower of Christ. If you have ever wondered if you're making a difference in the world, or if you even matter to anyone as a believer in Christ, let me share these staggering stats with you about American society. After reading these percentages, you should have a new-found sense of duty and responsibility to be all that God has ordained you to be as one of His children.

During the WWII generation, the percentage of Bible-believing Christians was 65%. This generation gave birth to the largest baby boom in history... up to that time; they were called the "Baby Boomers." There was a sharp decline of Bible-believing Christians in the Baby-Boomer generation; the percentage went from 65% down to 36%. The Baby Boomers gave then gave birth to Generation X. In this particular generation, the number of Bible-believing Christians now dropped to only 16% from the previous number of 36%.

Now, we come to the new generation that has exploded in number and exceeds the record number of babies who were conceived shortly after the end of WWII. The Millennial Generation has the lowest number of Bible-believing Christians of any generation that we have a record of in the church, at only 4%. Finally, 91% of those polled by The Barna Group say there is "no" absolute truth. 

It is high time, as the Apostle Paul proclaimed in his epistle to the church of his day, for Christians to put off the "works of darkness" and to put on the "armor of light." Our salvation is much nearer now than when we first believed. I was compelled by the Holy Spirit to share the findings of this poll with you to show that we are, indeed, living in dark times. Nevertheless, it is not the time to get in despair or to become despondent over the situation we find ourselves in, but rather it is the time for the CHURCH to RISE UP and be counted for Christ. It's time for us separate ourselves from the pleasures of this world and to become the "salt and light" that Christ ordained us to be. 

Instead of the world influencing the church, let us live out the Word of God so that we are able to influence and impact the world for the glory of God. It is the prayer of many believers; myself included, that we will see a revival of God's holy fire return to the hearts of His children. It's also time that we return to our First Love, Jesus, and seek to please Him, instead of our fleshly appetites.

According to the stats that I have shared with you today, this nation is poised for a revival like this world has never seen. I don't believe it is a coincidence that God has moved upon the heart of Reverend Billy Graham during this season to bring a grassroots movement of evangelism back to the church of America and Canada. It is possible for us to see millions of souls swept into the kingdom of God in 2013. In Romans 5:20, Paul tells us that where sin increased, grace increased the more. God has always had a plan; even so, He needs people to carry out that plan. Won't you join with thousands of believers to turn this tide of evil descent around and proclaim that this is the year for a mighty harvest? You can learn more about "MyHope with Billy Graham on our website. Go to www.whcnorth.org. You will find the link to MyHope there. Will you be a part of this great move of God's Spirit in these last days? Contact me at passion30@whcnorth.org. I look forward to hearing from you.

Reaching Out to a Dark World with the Love of Christ,
Pastor Asa Dockery 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Perfect Peace

Isaiah 26 : 3, You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. NKJV

John 16 : 33, These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." NKJV

Have you ever set out to accomplish a task that required the help of others? Perhaps you've been in need and have reached out for assistance, only to realize that no one would cooperate with you. Isn't it frustrating when someone's help is essential, and it's just not there? There are times when God allows us to experience what it is like when He tries to work on our behalf, but can't get us to cooperate with His Spirit. 

If we would just work with the Lord, instead of resisting His way of doing things, life would go much smoother. In Isaiah 26:3, we read that God will keep us in "perfect peace" as we keep our minds fixed on Him. After all, isn't He the answer to all of our problems? Consequently, shouldn't we be focused on Him and listening to His voice rather than being focused on the impending trouble we face? Absolutely!

We can do without many things in this life; however, peace isn't one of them. Peace comes from having the presence of God in our hearts, surrounding us  every minute of the day. There is nothing in this world that can give you the peace that only God can give. 

One of the mantra's of the world is "world peace." The problem with the kind of peace that the world seeks is that it will always elude them because they're trying to accomplish peace apart from God. No one, including Christians, can have peace while walking in opposition to His Spirit. Therefore, we must be willing to yield our hearts and the thoughts of our minds to relying upon Him and allowing His presence to keep us in His peace. 

Jesus tells us in John 16:33 that we can only find peace in the Word that He has spoken. In this world, or if we are focused on the world, we will have tribulation that can take away any peace that we may have in our hearts. Therefore, let us give our time and attention to the Word of God and the will of God for us, and as a result, God will be allowed to keep our hearts in peace. Through His peace, we will reduce our stress and  greatly improve our quality of life.

Nevertheless, before you set out to "get God" to go along with your plan, why not first ask Him what His plan is? If He gives you peace about the plan that you have offered up to Him in prayer, then you have His approval to move ahead. We will have the peace of God when we come into agreement with HIS will for us. Father always knows best.

There Is No Peace like His Peace,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The Candle Maker

Matthews 13 : 13 - 17, Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says: 'Hearing you will hear and shall not understand, and seeing you will see and not perceive; for the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, so that I should heal them.' But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear; for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it. NKJV

When you read this passage of scripture and take it at face value, it appears as though Jesus doesn't want the Jews to be saved and healed. However, we know that just isn't the case because Jesus was sent by the Father to the household of Israel. He also tells us that He was sent to seek and to save that which was lost. Therefore, we need to study the Word of God and see what this portion of scripture really says so that we can learn truths from it that will help us receive the answers we need from the Lord.

Why did Jesus speak to the Jews in parables, if He was sent to save, deliver, and heal them? Conversely, why did He speak plainly with His own disciples so that they heard and understood the mysteries of the kingdom of God? Unlike the majority of the Jews in Jesus' day, His disciples obeyed Jesus when He commanded them to forsake all and follow Him. Because the disciples believed in Jesus and obeyed His commands, God gave them spiritual ears to hear and spiritual eyes to see. God also gave the disciples understanding so that they could perceive or grasp the truths that Jesus taught them. God did this for the disciples because they believed Jesus and placed their trust in Him as their Messiah.

Even so, we see the majority of the Jews still rejected Jesus and His testimony that He was the Son of God. Therefore, they HARDENED their hearts and rejected Him as their Messiah. Consequently, He could do no mighty works to help them. The hardness of their hearts kept or prevented God from releasing His power and favor upon His own people. Jesus gives us the reason why the Jews hearts were hardened and why they couldn't understand His parables. They repeatedly hardened their hearts to the prophets of God and to His Laws.  

When Jesus was speaking privately to His disciples, He used a term that refers to the making of candles as to why He used parables to speak to the Jews. The KJV says, "This people's heart is waxed gross. The NKJV says, "Grown dull." In Jesus' day, candles were formed by dipping wicks into hot wax and then pulling it out to allow the wick to cool. This process was repeated many times until the candle reached the thickness that the candle maker desired. In the same way, Jesus said that the Jews had hardened their hearts to God's Word over and over, until they could no longer hear the truth. In other words, their hearts were completely closed to God's voice, and now He could do nothing to help them. 

Here is the sobering part of today's teaching. The writer of Hebrews teaches us in chapter 3 that the Jews, who were led by Moses in the wilderness hardened their hearts to the voice of the Holy Spirit for forty years, even though they saw the mighty acts of God. Because the Jews constantly disobeyed God and hardened their hearts to His voice, they weren't allowed to enter His rest. All the Jews who had been delivered from the land of bondage died in the wilderness; they didn't inherit the Promised Land. Only those who were twenty years of age and younger were allowed to possess the promise of their inheritance from God.   

Let's put a draw string on this and bring it altogether. In the same way that the Jews could not enter the Promised Land because their hearts were hard and because of their unbelief, the Jews in Jesus' day didn't accept Jesus as their Messiah (Promised Deliverer). As a result, they also perished, just like their predecessors. The writer of Hebrews tells us that if God's own chosen people didn't inherit the promises of God because of their unbelief, then we (Gentile believers) should believe and obey God's Holy Spirit, lest we allow the promises to slip away from us, and we perish as well.

Should you hear the voice of God or the Word of God preached and choose to harden your heart because it doesn't agree with your carnal desires for sin, be careful that you don't harden your heart to the point that you cut your soul off from God's power and presence. It happens more than you might think. The generation that we're living in "chooses to believe" that their sin won't be punished. James calls this being deceived by ourselves. People who deceive themselves by ignoring the truths of God's Word so that they can continue sinning against it, don't need Satan or a person who lies to deceive them, they're already deceived by their own deceptive ways. 

God is calling His people to become broken over our evil ways. We must forsake them and return to Him with whole hearts. Therefore, we must be more than just hearers of the Word; we must also obey the truth so that it can save our souls from deception. God doesn't want us to be religious. God wants us to walk by faith and be obedient sons and daughters so that we will inherit the promises of God. All of God's promises are yes, and they are amen in Christ. You have an inheritance in Christ. Therefore, keep your heart humble and pliable to His voice, and you will possess His promises.

Seeking the Lord with My Whole Heart,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Monday, May 6, 2013

You Are Loved!

Matthew 8 : 8, The centurion answered and said, "Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed. NKJV

Throughout the Old Testament, the gentiles are excluded from the covenant that God made with Abraham. In fact, Ishmael, Abraham's flesh and blood son was also excluded because he wasn't conceived of God's will; he was birthed through Abraham's desire to have his own son. You may ask, "Why was God so set on having His own chosen people upon the earth, even though we're told in Psalms 24 that the earth belongs to the Lord and all that dwell therein?" 

Perhaps it wasn't that God was seeking to exclude the peoples of the earth from being in covenant with Him; it was God establishing His ways in the earth so that people could be brought to faith. Allow me to call to your remembrance John 3:16: For God so LOVED THE WORLD that He gave His only-begotten  Son, that WHOSOEVER believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting or eternal life. By this scripture, we can conclude that God did love the peoples of the world. He was revealing to Abraham, the Jews, and us just how important faith is to Him... and to us who desire to walk in covenant with God and be saved.

God rejected the acts of Abraham that he had done in his own power, but accepted Abraham's obedient acts when they were done through faith according to God's instructions. God loved Isaac, but rejected Ishmael. God loved Jacob, but hated Esau. Once again, let me say that we see this distinction throughout the Old Testament and even into the gospels. The scripture that I shared above exemplifies what the Lord has given to share with you today. Even though the centurion was a gentile, he still had a need that only Jesus could supply. Instead of allowing the fact that he was a gentile to prevent him from receiving from Christ, he acknowledged the authority that Jesus walked in as the Son of God.

Because the centurion didn't dwell on not being worthy, although he mentioned it, his focus was on Jesus' authority. The centurion did this by faith because he had heard about Jesus from the Jews. It was this gentile's faith in Jesus that caused Jesus to sit up and take notice. Moreover, Jesus sent His Word and healed the servant of the centurion. When Jesus saw the humility and faith of this gentile man, He told those who were assembled that He had not found such great faith, even in all of Israel.

Once we get past the gospels, and through the book of Acts where the Holy Spirit is poured out upon the gentiles, as well as the Jews, Paul, who wrote almost two-thirds of the New Testament books, teaches us a new principle. (Please allow this new-found  revelation to get down into your heart and spirit.) When Paul begins writing a letter to the believers in Ephesus, he tells them (Gentile believers) that they are ACCEPTED in the Beloved, Jesus. Instead of Paul's emphasis being on our unworthiness, he placed it on Jesus' worthiness and our acceptance from the Father through the work of Christ.

Now you are accepted in Christ, if you have placed your faith in Him as God's only Son. You no longer have to listen to the voices of condemnation and guilt that still accuse you because of the things you have done in the past that were wrong in God's sight. So instead of focusing on being unworthy and having nothing to offer to God, begin to focus on Jesus and to declare that He is worthy of all adoration, praise, and honor for saving us and for reconciling us back to God through His cross.

Let us sing praise songs that exalt Jesus and focus only on Him instead of telling God how unworthy we are while we're in His presence. If God has forgotten our past, shouldn't we honor His request, not insult Him by bringing up our unworthiness before Him? It never was about us anyway. It's all about Jesus and our faith in Him that causes us to be accepted in God's sight. Now we can be blessed and walk in the favor of God because of what Jesus has already done for us. 

I Am Blessed and Accepted in Jesus,
Pastor Asa Dockery