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Thursday, October 31, 2013


Acts 26: 27 – 29, King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you do believe." Then Agrippa said to Paul, "You almost persuade me to become a Christian." And Paul said, "I would to God that not only you, but also all who hear me today, might become both almost and altogether such as I am, except for these chains." NKJV
Christians can find themselves in some challenging situations that often provide opportunities to witness to unbelievers. Even though Paul was the accused and had to defend himself to the King, it was King Agrippa, who ended up being witnessed to about Paul’s faith in Christ. Isn’t it interesting that Paul’s life was hanging in the balance, and yet God used this occasion to give King Agrippa an opportunity to believe in Jesus as the Christ?
 King Agrippa wasn’t a man of faith in the Jesus, whom Paul both believed in and testified about. Consequently, Paul seized the moment to share evidence and facts about Christ that could potentially lead the king to faith. In order to bring someone to faith, you have to give them sufficient creditable information that will assist them in making an educated decision based on the evidence. Remember, unbelievers only operate based on logic. Their hearts have been made hard by sin; trusting God isn’t something they're comfortable doing. Once there is sufficient evidence offered to the unbeliever, they may allow the Holy Spirit to bring them to a place of faith or trust in their heart. This process is called winning them over to Christ.
Paul not only spoke about his own encounter and experiences with Christ, but he also mentioned the writings of the prophets. We, too, must be able to share effectively our own testimony of how Christ has transformed our lives. We also need to have scriptures that we can share, which will bring them to faith in Jesus and His Word. One of the greatest truths that we can take away from Paul’s defense of himself, and of his faith in Christ is that he seemed more concerned about King Agrippa coming to faith than his own well-being.
Ultimately, it was up to King Agrippa to decide whether he would believe or reject Paul’s offer for him to believe in Christ… “Almost!” Apparently, Paul gave the king a sufficient argument; nevertheless, the king still decided he wasn’t quite ready to surrender his heart to Christ. Even though someone may have enough truth and facts to make an informed decision, they may not be willing to submit their lives to Christ. All we can do as a witness for Christ is to provide sufficient evidence and pray for the person. It is the Lord, who will give the increase.  
Sharing My Faith,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Love Activates Faith

John 3 : 16 – 17, For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. NKJV
I cannot even begin to imagine what would have happened to mankind had God looked at the world and said, “I believe in you,” but, nonetheless, didn’t act on His faith. Likewise, God hasn’t called Christians just to believe; He requires us to mature in His love and become His disciples, indeed. The Apostle James warns us not to be hearers of the Word only. He exhorts us to be doers of the Word so that we will be blessed. Aren’t you eternally grateful that God loved the world so much that He GAVE His only-begotten Son?
In Christianity, we place a great deal of emphasis on faith and believing; nevertheless, this is only part of the work. Whenever we put our faith in the work that Jesus has already done for us on the cross, according to Ephesians 2:8, it saves us.  However, now that we are saved, is having faith all that it takes to be a child of God? When we become saved, we have only just entered the race. The writer of Hebrews tells us to run the race that is set before us with endurance while we keep our eyes on Jesus.
Now we must begin to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling. When we decide to move forward in our faith and allow it to become a “walk of faith,” we have moved beyond faith and into love, or faith in action. James tells us that faith without obedient actions is dead. Consequently, there comes a time in every believer’s life when we must choose to love God more than ourselves. In other words, we take what we have read and learned from God’s Word, and we allow it to change our hearts and lives through “acts” of love toward our Savior.
Isn’t it interesting that after the gospels, God allows those who canonized the scriptures to place a book called, “Acts” after them? Acts is where we move on into a deeper commitment to Christ; it is where we will place Him before self. This is also the place where Christ begins the work of transformation in our hearts through our love and devotion to Him.
In John 15, Jesus told His disciples, who had believed on Him that if they loved Him, they would also keep His commandments; consequently, they would abide in His love as well. Through faith, we abide in Christ. Even so, when we decide to apply God’s Word to our lives through our love, do we begin to allow His love to abide in our hearts? Once we learn how to abide in God’s love by keeping His Word, it will give us the power to die to self and to live a sinless life. The psalmist wrote in Psalm 119, “Your Word have I hidden in my heart that I might not sin against it.” The psalmist understood something about spiritual maturity and how it is connected to submitting to the spiritual authority of God’s Word. Didn’t James teach us to first submit to God, and then resist the Devil, and he would flee? We, in and of ourselves, can’t quit sinning, but if we will seek to keep God’s Word through love, then we will abide in His love and defeat the power of sin.
God didn’t save our souls so that we would have to live in bondage to our flesh and to sin until Jesus returns, or until we go to meet Him. He saved us and gave us the Holy Spirit and His Word so that we might overcome the flesh and sin through our obedient faith and out of our love for God. We love God because He first loved us. Only when we begin to live the Word does God become glorified and honored in our lives. How serious are you about becoming a disciple of God’s Word? If you’ve never been poised with this question, then, please allow me to challenge you to get into the Word and put it into action in your life.
Growing in the Grace and Knowledge of God,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Do Not Be Ashamed Of The Gospel

2 Timothy 1: 7 – 12, For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God, who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began, but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, to which I was appointed a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day. NKJV
The Holy Spirit has been dealing with my heart about the bondage that Christians are living in pertaining to fear. We must understand and realize that Satan is the author of fear, and he uses it to hold Christians (and all people) in bondage. The Lord has also revealed some powerful truths that will help His people overcome the spirit of bondage to fear that so we can step out in faith and please Him. One of these truths is found in today’s scripture.
Paul is encouraging Timothy, a young minister, to exercise his faith instead of allowing the spirit of fear to cause him to be ashamed of preaching the gospel. Paul reminds Timothy of the faith that was in his grandmother as well as in the heart of his mother, and he was certain that it was in Timothy. Paul was striving to divert young Timothy’s focus off the negative works of Satan; therefore, he asked him to remember the legacy of faith that resided in his family’s rich history. As Christians, we, too, must take our focus off of the “what if’s” of this world and the rejection of people toward our message of Christ, and, instead, concentrate on our faith walk.
Satan loves to get our attention off of Christ being in us and working through us, so that he can draw our attention to ourselves. When we look at ourselves instead of Christ, it will cause us to fall prey to either intimidation or self-exaltation. Being the elder minister, Paul understood this. He went on to tell Timothy that, although he had suffered much as a minister, he wasn’t ashamed to preach the gospel of Christ, whether it was in a church or in prison. Not only did Paul use the strong examples of Timothy’s family to direct his attention, he also used his own personal testimony of suffering to show Timothy that he needed to trust God with the circumstances and just preach the Word of God.
The Apostle John tells us in his epistle that it is our faith in Christ that gives us the victory over this world. Therefore, as believers in Christ, if we’re struggling with being ashamed of the gospel of Christ and sharing our faith with others, then we must make an important decision. We must choose to obey God’s will and to suffer for Christ’s sake so that the power of Christ will rest upon us. We’ve been called out of darkness to be salt and light to this world. As such, we are commanded to go into the entire world and declare the Good News of the kingdom.
It’s time for us as Christians to begin to set our heart’s attention on Christ and on fulfilling the Father’s will, instead of allowing fear to intimidate us so that we don’t speak God’s truth in love to this world. Will you join with me in prayer and ask God to grant to the body of Christ the courage that we need to proclaim His truth to this generation? In addition, pray that the Lord would give us a heart that is committed more to Christ than to ourselves or self-preservation. It’s time for us to reach the world for Christ.
In His Service,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Monday, October 28, 2013

Experiencing The Love Of God

Mark 10 : 17 – 22, Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, "Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?" So Jesus said to him, "Why do you call Me good? No one is good but one, that is, God. You know the commandments: 'Do not commit adultery,' 'Do not murder,' 'Do not steal,' 'Do not bear false witness,' 'Do not defraud,' 'Honor your father and your mother.'" And he answered and said to Him, "Teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth." Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, "one thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me." But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. NKJV
We’re living in a very interesting time in history. There are many people in today’s society who are much like this rich young ruler. They come to Jesus asking Him to save them from their sin; nevertheless, they aren’t willing to trust Him with their whole heart. If salvation and the gift of eternal life were based on obedience alone wouldn’t you think this young man would have qualified? After all, he kept all the commandments that Jesus required of him, even from his youth.
However, in order to have a relationship with God through Christ, you must be willing to love and place God first. Salvation isn’t just about obedience; rather, it’s about obeying the Lord from a heart that is filled with His love. Anyone can appear to be “religious” and even have the semblance of being obedient to God. Nevertheless, they are not saved because they will only do those “things” that don’t require trust.
God is love, and when we are saved by His love, we, too, will be motivated by the love of God in our hearts. When we obey from a heart filled with God’s love, then we will have NO problem sacrificing whatever God requires of us in order to fulfill His will. Jesus wanted this man to move beyond his own abilities and strength over into trusting in the Lord so that love would fill his heart. As we trust God and obey Him, even when our flesh nature won’t, He will in turn fill our hearts with His love and grace that will enable us to accomplish the task.
The young man in today’s scripture knew all about religion. However, he was unwilling to allow Jesus to fill his heart with love for God so that he could experience eternal life in his soul. As a result of his unwillingness to trust God at that level, he decided that his wealth was of greater value to him than everlasting life. How difficult is it for you to trust God with your possessions? When the Lord requires something that seems impossible for you to give up do you obey or do you ignore His will? Love requires personal sacrifice. It isn’t that your sacrifice is “buying salvation.” Instead, it is showing God that you do trust Him with your whole heart.
As I stated at the onset, there are many people in today’s society that seem to be religious, but they don’t trust God; nor do they operate through His love. As a result, they tend to walk away from Christ when He gives them the opportunity to love and trust Him with their heart. You see; apart from Christ and His love residing in our hearts, we are powerless to obey His will fully. Without faith, no one can please God. Let us love the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind, strength and body.
Experiencing His Life,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Friday, October 25, 2013

Blessings Flow When We Honor God

Deuteronomy 28: 1 – 2, "Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the LORD your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the LORD your God will set you high above all nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the LORD your God: NKJV
Whenever Adam sinned against the Lord, he lost the blessing of the Lord on his life; you can read about that blessing in Genesis 1. As a result of Adam’s decision to dishonor God and His commandment, he had to live under the curse of sin. As a sinner, he discovered what hard-labor and sorrows were all about. There was something else that man inherited from the sin nature besides hard work, and that is a “works” based mindset. The fallout from living in sin and the neediness it develops in us and from being separated from the life of God is to feel “unworthy.”
It doesn’t matter how guilty we may feel when we choose to live in sin; nor does it matter how hard we may try to work to earn the blessing of God, it can’t be earned. People who refuse to submit to God’s will for their lives, but, instead, choose to live on their own terms will, likewise, try to compensate for the void of God’s life and blessing in their heart by working harder. It isn’t just about getting their needs and desires met; if someone who dishonors God in their heart becomes successful, then they will also seek to draw their identity and self-worth from their accomplishments. Too many times, we equate success with being blessed. However, blessing has everything to do with honoring God in our hearts and not in the riches or acceptance of this world.
 Through Adam’s decision and failed example, we can see more clearly that we shouldn’t try to earn what can only be freely given through honor. Once the Lord reveals to us that we struggle with a “performance” mentality, instead of trusting and honoring Him, He can then teach us how to learn the principle of honor… and, consequently, we will be blessed. As we honor God and His Word in our hearts, His favor will grant us entrance back into His blessing of increase, fruitfulness, and multiplication.
This new journey to spiritual liberation from dead works and to becoming blessed by God’s presence begins when we seek the Lord with our whole heart. As we endeavor to please Him and to live according to His Word and His will, then the blessing of the Lord will come upon us and overtake our lives. You see; the blessing of the Lord can’t be earned. Nevertheless, it surely will be given to those who live to please God.
Do you find that most of the things that you set out to accomplish are difficult and produce very little joy, peace, and contentment? If so, then stop seeking those things and begin to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness; and all the rest will begin to follow you. It’s time to get our hearts in agreement with God’s heart, to get our lives in proper order, and to live the blessed life in Christ.
Honoring God,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Thursday, October 24, 2013


Proverbs 3: 1 – 4, My son, do not forget my law, but let your heart keep my commands; for length of days and long life and peace they will add to you. Let not mercy and truth forsake you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart, and so find favor and high esteem in the sight of God and man. NKJV
Do you suppose a Christian wakes up one morning and suddenly decides to commit a sin or a crime? Shouldn’t the power of the Holy Spirit be enough to prevent God’s children from committing the same wickedness as sinners? The Bible teaches us, “Greater is He (Jesus) that is in us than he (Satan) that is in the world?” So what is it that we need to know that can keep us, Christians, from falling from grace and doing the unthinkable?
I can tell you, today, that it can be summed up in one word, “honor”? If a person doesn’t honor God, then it limits what God can do for that person. In Matthew 13, we see where the Jews in Jesus’ hometown didn’t honor Him as the Son of God, and, therefore, He couldn’t perform many mighty miracles because of their unbelief. God calls dishonor of Jesus’ divinity in people’s hearts, unbelief. Consequently, we must guard our hearts from dishonoring God (unbelief), lest we open the door for sin to enter our lives.
I want to give you a couple of examples that will show you just how important it is for Christians to honor God, His Word, and His authority in our hearts…especially when we feel justified to resort to the flesh nature and ignore God’s Word in a situation.
King David is described in the Word of God as a man after the heart of God. David found great favor in God’s sight, and his throne has been forever established. How could such a mighty man of God fall from the pinnacle of spiritual success that was bestowed upon him, slip into the deepest recesses of hell’s power, and sin against God? The answer to this question is addressed in 2 Samuel 12: 8 – 9, I gave you your master's house and your master's wives into your keeping, and gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if that had been too little, I also would have given you much more! Why have you despised the commandment of the LORD, to do evil in His sight? NKJV
Satan seized a moment in David’s life when he had turned his heart from the Lord and despised His commandment. David chose not to honor God’s Word in his heart, and it opened him up to the allure of temptation and sin. I must also point out that Satan sought this opportunity to get into David’s heart so that he might destroy the king’s family as well. If you read chapter 12 completely, you will discover what it cost David personally to dishonor God’s Word and to fall into sin. We’re told in Romans that the wages of sin is death.
Let’s look at an example of a king who was given an opportunity to commit adultery with another’s man’s wife, much like the sin of David. However, he was kept by the Lord from following through with it. Abraham had lied to the king and deceived him into believing that Sarah was Abraham’s sister.
Genesis 20: 6 – 7, And God said to him in a dream, "Yes, I know that you did this in the integrity of your heart. For I also withheld you from sinning against Me; therefore I did not let you touch her. Now therefore, restore the man's wife; for he is a prophet, and he will pray for you and you shall live. But if you do not restore her, know that you shall surely die, you and all who are yours." NKJV
Notice that the Word doesn’t describe King Abimelech as a man of God or of faith. It simply says that he was a man who had integrity, and he respected certain lines of morality. As a result of this king’s honor, God was allowed to keep him from sin and from bringing death into his family. Hopefully, through these two examples from the Bible, you can see more clearly the importance of honoring God’s Word and His will in our hearts.
In Galatians 5, Paul teaches us that if we walk in the Spirit, we won’t fulfill the lusts of the flesh. How do you respond to the Holy Spirit when He instructs you to do something, and it doesn’t agree with what you want to do in your heart? Do you submit your will to God, or do you ignore the Lord? Sin doesn’t just come on us suddenly. God gives us little nudges and warnings, and if we ignore those warnings and despise His conviction and command to relinquish, then we open the door for sin to rule over our hearts. We must remain submitted to God, and we must resist the Devil. Obeying this principle is the only way to keep ourselves from sin. Honor God first.
Praising God for Truth,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

God Shall Give His Angels Charge over You

Psalms 91 : 9 – 12, Because you have made the LORD, who is my refuge, even the Most High, your dwelling place, no evil shall befall you, nor shall any plague come near your dwelling; for He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways. In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone. NKJV
In the day that we are living in, we should seriously take the words of this psalm to heart. In Psalm 103, we’re instructed not to forget all the benefits of being in a covenant with God. The Word of God is alive. Nevertheless, in order for it to have an impact on our lives and so that we reap the benefits of it, we must keep it living in our hearts. As we honor God’s Word by reading, obeying, and declaring its benefits over our lives, we are releasing the power that the Word of God contains into the atmosphere around us.
If this principle seems strange to you, let me remind you of what Jesus taught us to do when we are faced with seemingly impossible situations (Mark 11). He told us to speak to the mountain (or whatever the opposition) that may be hindering us from moving forward spiritually. As we proclaim God’s Word over our lives and the situations that we encounter, it releases the Lord to perform His good Word in our life. He is allowed to move on our behalf.
Notice that it says, “For He will give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways.” As we speak, God begins to release the forces of heaven to preserve and keep us safe on earth. He will also remove any spiritual stronghold that might be used by the enemy to prevent us from accomplishing our purpose in Christ.
If you read Jeremiah 1, you will see where God asked Jeremiah to speak what he saw. As Jeremiah recited the vision back to God, God said that He would watch over His Word to perform it. It wasn’t until after Jeremiah proclaimed God’s Word that the Lord could fulfill it in Jeremiah’s life, as well as in Israel.
It’s obvious that we are living in perilous times, and because we are, we must be proactive with the spiritual weapons that God has equipped us with in Christ. Many people begin to earnestly pray only after a problem has arisen. We should be diligent in praying the benefits of God over us and our family to keep the enemy from gaining an upper hand against us.
You may say, “Well, I’ve prayed for God’s protection, and bad things still happened anyway.” To this I would answer, “The weapon was formed against you. However, because you had already prayed and sought the Lord’s protection, the enemy’s plans weren’t able to prosper.”
As a pastor, I pray weekly over our members and their families. It doesn’t mean that they won’t have troubles and trials. Nevertheless, I have personally seen our members walk away from situations that have taken others out. Praying the Word of God over ourselves works. God has promised that if we honor Him and His Word, He will give His angels charge over us.
Protected under God’s Shadow,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

He Gives Beauty For Ashes

Isaiah 61 : 1 – 3, "The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me, because the LORD has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn, to console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified." NKJV
In the town where we live, there is a vacant building that is undergoing a transformation. It blesses me to watch the progress the workers have made because the empty building is being restored and filled with purpose once again. In Ecclesiastes, we’re told that God makes all things beautiful in its time. Therefore, I suppose the time has come for that old building to be made new again.
We all go through various stages and seasons in our lives. Consequently, this word may find you entering a time when it seems that everything in your life is unraveling at the seams. On the other hand, you may have been in a situation similar to that of Job in the Bible, and God is making all things new to you again. You may have been in that place of bondage for many years, and the Lord has moved to give you a new lease on life. Our God is in the work of redemption.  
It’s not significant where we find ourselves in life; however, it is vitally important that we allow the Lord to work in our hearts to restore us back to His original plan. As horrible as sin and its consequences are on us who live in this world, God’s redemptive power is even greater. When God performs a work of redemption in someone’s life, which others said would never be worth the time or investment, there is a sense of value and validation that emerges from that person’s heart. Why? They have experienced first-hand the love of God.
When God looked upon fallen man and the destruction that had come upon us, He still loved us and saw us as redeemed, even though we may not have seen ourselves as worthy. If we will just move on past the place of brokenness and allow God’s love and power to restore us, then we will receive from the Lord the strength we need to live the redeemed life. Too many times, Christians fall into a performance mindset, and, consequently, try to live a perfect life. However, God wants us to love and appreciate Him for giving us a redeemed life. When we look at our life through the lens of redemption, it will cause us to be thankful and humble so that God gets the glory for a life well lived.
We’ve all sinned and fallen short of God’s glory, but not from His infinite love. If your life is in need of redemption today, just turn the controls over to the Lord. Give Him your heart; He will begin its renovation and give you a fresh outlook on life. You will have more hope in your heart than you ever thought was possible. If your dreams have been reduced to ashes, won’t you give them to Jesus and allow Him to give you beauty?
A Work in Progress,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Monday, October 21, 2013

Doing The Right Thing Requires Grace

Genesis 22: 1 – 3, Now it came to pass after these things that God tested Abraham, and said to him, "Abraham!" And he said, "Here I am." Then He said, "Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you." So Abraham rose early in the morning… NKJV
On occasion, God may call on you to give up something or do something that will require His grace in order for you to be able to obey Him. We can see this in today’s scripture when God requires Abraham to offer his only son upon an altar of sacrifice. We read in this story about how quickly Abraham responded favorably to God’s request. However, we need to dig deeper and glean some truths from his obedience that will help us to submit to God when it’s hard to do so.
We must realize that Abraham and Sarah endured pain and disappointment for twenty-five years while waiting on their promised son. When it’s been hard, or you’ve waited a long time for God to supply a desire or need, and you finally acquire it, it becomes even more special to you because of the process that you had to undergo. Nevertheless, Abraham arose early in the morning and set out to fulfill God’s will for his life.
How did this man muster up the strength that he needed to offer up his only son in order to be obedient to God’s command? It’s very obvious that Abraham had acquired great faith in God over the previous twenty-five years. It was his faith in God’s character that empowered him with the grace that he needed to sacrifice Isaac. 
We’re living in a time when sacrifice isn’t a popular subject. It’s seems doing the “right thing” or fulfilling the purpose of God is difficult to find. Instead of paying the price to stand up for Godly principles that cause a change throughout the world, too many are succumbing to fleshly pressures and comprising their values and personal convictions.
Even though these are things that Christians have to confront and to overcome in this generation, we don’t read where Abraham backed off from doing the right thing in God’s sight in his day. You see; Abraham loved God more than Isaac or anything else, and he proved his love for God by offering Isaac up on Mt. Moriah.
As Christians, we are inundated by secular humanism and the exaltation of self, but if we truly desire to please the Lord through our faith, then we must choose to love God more than ourselves. I have found in my own walk with God that when He requires something that stretches my faith and challenges me to the core of my being, it is because the Lord wants to bless me even greater. It’s in those moments of great tests that I have to decide to either please God in faith or please myself through unbelief.
Do you have the power to do the right thing in your walk with God? If not, then today God is giving you the truth from Abraham’s story that will empower you to defeat the enemy and to step out in faith. You can do all things through Christ, who strengthens you. Nevertheless, you have to also be willing to sacrifice (obey) first.
Living the Blessed Life,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Friday, October 18, 2013

Calling Attention To Prayer

Hebrews 4 : 14 – 16, Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. NKJV
In Luke chapter 4, we can read that Jesus was tempted by Satan in the areas of provision, protection, and power. Nevertheless, The writer of Hebrews tells us that although Jesus was tempted in every point as we are, He remained without sin.
What gave Jesus the power that He needed to resist the temptation from Satan and remain obedient to the will of God on His life? The answer may shock you. The answer is prayer. Unlike many Christians, Jesus never underestimated the power of prayer; neither did He ignore the times when the Father would call Him away to the mountains to pray alone.
How is your prayer life? If it is weak, then how well do you resist temptation when it comes against you? There is a direct correlation between a prayer less life and unhealthy faith. Jesus told His disciples that they should pray lest they enter temptation; nonetheless, they slept while He prayed. He said, “Indeed the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” We don’t have to fall prey to our flesh nature, consequently, allowing it to rule our hearts or our walk with God. If we will simply commit to spend time regularly in prayer, especially when we feel the drawing of God’s Spirit to pray, then we will walk with God’s presence on us.
When Moses was upon Mount Sinai for forty days, he didn’t realize that his face was shining with the brilliance of God’s glory. However, when he returned to the people, they saw the glory and hid their faces from it. Even the scribes and Pharisees acknowledged that Jesus had a greater authority on His life than they had. It was because He prayed to the Father… not just religious prayers. If you spend much time in prayer, others will recognize the presence of the Lord on your life.
Beyond giving us power over temptation, prayer is simply inviting the Father to have His will done on earth as it is in heaven. You don’t have to look very far to realize that this world is in desperate need for a move of God. It’s time for the body of Christ around the world to enter our prayer closets and seek God’s face for His divine intervention. Isaiah tells us that when the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him.
I’m asking pastors and believers around the world to join together in prayer for America. Let’s stand in agreement for God to move by His Spirit in our nation’s capital.  If we will pray, God has promised to respond with favor toward us and heal our land. Prayerfully consider becoming a part of this mighty move of God which is calling attention to prayer.
Seeking the Lord,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Preparing Us For A Brighter Future

Jeremiah 29: 10 – 14, For thus says the LORD: After seventy years are completed at Babylon, I will visit you and perform My good word toward you, and cause you to return to this place. For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, says the LORD, and I will bring you back from your captivity; I will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you, says the LORD, and I will bring you to the place from which I cause you to be carried away captive. NKJV
It amazes me how the Lord can bring so many teachings from just one verse or small portion of scripture. Over the years, the Holy Spirit has led me to the above prophecy from Jeremiah many times, and each time He has brought out new understanding from it that I haven’t seen before. Well, He has done it again. Let’s dig into today’s Word.
Israel had been in rebellion for an extended period of time and had rejected the prophecies of His prophets (Jeremiah 25). The Jews refused to turn from their evil ways and wouldn’t stop worshiping false gods. Consequently, they provoked God to anger. Even so, the Lord comes to Israel once again through Jeremiah and reveals what is about to happen to them as a nation over the next seventy years.
There are two things taking place while Jeremiah is declaring the Word of the Lord to the Israelites. First of all, God tells them that after seventy years are completed, He will visit them; He will perform His good word (Sin had delayed it); and finally, He will cause them to return to the place from where they were driven. We can see this as a picture of repentance because the Jews would be broken from living in captivity for seventy years.
 While the Lord is telling Israel that they’re about to be led into captivity, He is also revealing what He is feeling toward them and what He is thinking about them in His heart.  His heart was filled with love for them; and the actions that He was about to perform were also motivated out of His love. God said, “I know the thoughts that I think toward you; thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
Although it was God that drove His own people to captivity in the land of Babylon; in His heart, He was looking forward to the day that His people would repent of their evil ways and return to Him with their whole hearts. God had to punish His people. Nevertheless, the punishment was to insure that their future would be bright and filled with peace… the day when they would be reconciled with God after being punished for their sins.
Isn’t it wonderful to know that our heavenly Father loves us so much that even when He has to punish us for our sins, He isn’t looking at our past. Instead, He is focused on the day that we are fully restored to our rightful place in Christ? Oh, the love that the Father has bestowed upon us that we should be called His children.
Praising His Goodness,
Pastor Asa Dockery
P.S. Please join me in prayer for America and its leaders during this very crucial time. Our government needs to hear from the Lord in order to lead this nation and to bring this great country back into unity as “One nation under God!” We must stand on God’s promises in faith until we see the salvation of the Lord for America with our physical eyes. God has promised us in 2 Chronicles 7 : 14, If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. KJV
May the Lord grant repentance to America and to His church in America, as we humble ourselves before Him. It’s time for revival in our land. If you want to help Billy Graham reach America on November 7, 2013 with the saving message of Jesus Christ, click on the link provided for complete details. www.MyHopewithBillyGraham.org

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Precious Gift Of Repentance

2 Corinthians 7: 8 – 10, For even if I made you sorry with my letter, I do not regret it; though I did regret it. For I perceive that the same epistle made you sorry, though only for a while. Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you might suffer loss from us in nothing. For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. NKJV
Where would you and I be if God had not granted us the gift of being able to repent of our sins? Truly, God’s love and grace are amazing, especially to those of us who realize that He only wants to save us from destruction. Paul brings out a VERY important point in his second letter to the believers at Corinth; however, the truths he spoke of actually came from his initial letter to them. In his first letter, he mentioned some things that made some feel sorrowful (sorry) in their hearts. Sorry means to be sad, grieved, heavy.
Nonetheless, after hearing about the effects of his first letter on the believers, Paul regretted that he had sent them the news because of those who were made sorry by it; this leads me to the point of today’s word for believers. We can plainly see that “Godly sorrow” is the beginning of the work of repentance. Paul almost made the mistake of thinking that it was HIS FAULT that the believers in Corinth were made sorrowful; however, obviously, God showed him differently. We know this to be the truth because at first Paul was remorseful, but, later, when he heard that his letter caused them to repent, he recanted his attempt to apologize…because God had used the truth Paul spoke to break the spirit of deception from their hearts.
Let’s expound on what you just read in the previous paragraph. Preaching and teaching the Word of God can cause hurt feelings. The main reason people feel the sting of the truth when it’s preached is because they recognize that what they believed to be right was actually an error. The truth enabled them to realize that they were deceived and had gone astray in their hearts. Sometimes it shocks us when we come to the understanding that we were wrong in our thinking.
It’s at this point in the work of repentance that people can easily take offense and turn on the one who delivered the truth because of the pain
“they have inflicted." I thank God that He loves us enough to tell us the truth about the sin in our hearts, instead of allowing us to die in our sins and suffer eternally in torment.
Repentance is a progressive work. It begins in sorrow, but when it is complete, it produces a change of heart in the recipient’s life. Repentance is a very precious gift from God. Nevertheless, if we disdain the “hurt caused by Godly sorrow,” then when our time of correction comes, we will have contempt for the work of repentance. Solomon tells us in Proverbs 15: 5, A fool despises his father's instruction, but he who receives correction is prudent. NKJV
Therefore, when the Lord deals with our hearts about “wrong thinking” or sin, we need to be humble before Him; however, if we choose not to be, we may misunderstand God’s attempt to correct, take it as rejection, and become angry. There is a very thin line between getting offended by the truth we hear and in being broken by that same truth, and then repenting. We’re told many times in the Word to remain broken before the Lord so that He can extend His grace to us. God loves to give grace to the humble, but He WILL oppose the proud.
Grateful for the Love of God,
Pastor Asa Dockery    

Talona Mtn. Ellijay, Ga.

MyHope with Billy Graham is quickly approaching. On November 7, 2013, The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association will present a crusade that will reach America and Canada. Will you join this massive outreach? For details on how you can be a part of this great crusade in your home you can log onto http://myhopewithbillygraham.org/      

Monday, October 14, 2013

Super Cake

1 Kings 19 : 1 – 8, And Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, also how he had executed all the prophets with the sword. Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, "So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by tomorrow about this time." And when he saw that, he arose and ran for his life, and went to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there. But he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he prayed that he might die, and said, "It is enough! Now, LORD, take my life, for I am no better than my fathers!" Then as he lay and slept under a broom tree, suddenly an angel touched him, and said to him, "Arise and eat." Then he looked, and there by his head was a cake baked on coals, and a jar of water. So he ate and drank, and lay down again. And the angel of the LORD came back the second time, and touched him, and said, "Arise and eat, because the journey is too great for you." So he arose, and ate and drank; and he went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights as far as Horeb, the mountain of God. NKJV
You may enjoy baking. However, if you’re like me, you just enjoy eating foods that someone else baked, especially cake. I want to use the cake mentioned in this story about Elijah to share a very empowering principle for anyone who may be on-the-run from Satan. In today’s scripture, we find Elijah on the run from danger. His life has been threatened by Jezebel because he had killed all her false prophets.
Nevertheless, after Elijah heard about Jezebel’s threat to kill him, he ran into the wilderness alone and prayed that the Lord would take his life (in other words, Elijah wanted to die). In response to Elijah’s prayer request, God sent him an angel, who baked a cake for him to eat. Imagine with me for a moment how frightened for his life Elijah must have been. Now imagine how he must have felt when he was awakened from a nap (brought on by depression and fatigue) and instructed to eat a cake. 
Hannah Queen Photo

A cake… what was Elijah going to do with a cake while his life is on the line? Well, we know that He was going to eat it and live. Let’s not overlook the importance of the meaning of the cake. If God was offering him a cake to eat because his journey was going to be too great, then Elijah knew this was more than just the last meal before his execution. God was letting him know that his life would continue, even though there was a bounty on his head. Psalms 23: 5, You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; NKJV
Have you ever been in a serious situation and prayed specifically to God about it? Nonetheless, instead of Him responding in the way you asked, He gave you something else that appeared insignificant at the time? We mustn’t despise or overlook an answer to prayer simply because it wasn’t the answer that we “thought” we needed. Grab hold of this truth. Elijah could have resented God’s offer of the cake and ignored it because of the threat. However, he chose to obey God and, consequently, ran for forty days on the strength from that one meal.
We all know that the natural food from one meal cannot give us the strength to live for forty days. So let’s look deeper at the ingredients of this “super cake." Because Elijah accepted God’s gift and ate it, God gave him the grace (strength) to continue living in spite of the threat from Jezebel. The lesson that we learn from today’s word is to be humble before God and obey Him when He answers our desperate plea for help with something that is “seemingly” insignificant.
Compared to the authority of Jezebel, and Elijah’s frame of mind at the time, receiving a cake must have seemed like a joke to Elijah; nevertheless, Elijah knew God and understood His ways. Therefore, he submitted to Him and received the grace to live. Likewise, you and I must also honor God’s answer to prayer when something is threatening us. As we obey God, no matter how ridiculous His answers may seem to us, He will give us the grace to move forward in faith.
If God be for us, then who can be against us? No one can, not even the spirit of Jezebel! What are you running from today? Are you asking the Lord to take your life? Look around you with spiritual eyes and notice how He is answering your cries for help. It’s not about what He isn’t saying, but rather what He is saying through insignificant things He is doing on your behalf. God is in control of your life; He has given His angels charge to watch over you. So be still and SEE the salvation of the Lord in your situation today.
Now Let’s Eat Some Cake,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Friday, October 11, 2013

Beyond Tired

Matthew 26: 40 - 45, Then He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, "What! Could you not watch with Me one hour? Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." Again, a second time, He went away and prayed, saying, "O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done." And He came and found them asleep again, for their eyes were heavy. So He left them, went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words. Then He came to His disciples and said to them, "Are you still sleeping and resting? Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. NKJV
Today I would like to use relationship terms to convey what salvation is and what it isn’t. Salvation isn’t a date where you meet someone and make a connection, but then later move on to someone else. Instead, salvation is much like entering a marriage covenant, which is to last until death.  Salvation is only the beginning of our relationship and walk with Jesus. After accepting Jesus and His love into our hearts, we begin the process of being made complete in Christ and of furthering our journey toward heaven. Nevertheless, just as in other relationships, salvation requires commitment, determination, and endurance.
One of the greatest depictions of salvation in the Bible is the story of the Israelites when they were delivered from Egypt (sin) and given the promise of God’s rest in their own land. Even so, the only thing that God asked of the Jews when He brought them to His holy hill (Mount Sinai) is that they hear His commands and obey His voice. Nonetheless, in order for them to accomplish God’s demands, they had to live and walk by faith.
You see; salvation is more than just eternal life; we must also live it out daily. As we all know, salvation is by promise. Consequently, we must fulfill our part of the covenant, as did the Jews… if they wanted to inherit the promise of salvation when they were delivered from the land of bondage. There’s much more I could say regarding the subject of salvation being a promise; however, that isn’t the reason for today’s word. The Holy Spirit prompted me to write this special devotion for His people today to expose the weariness that is so prevalent in the church.
The weariness that the Lord wants to address doesn’t necessarily come from manual labor. Instead, it comes from being spiritually exhausted. How is it possible for believers to become weary without physical labor? Did you notice in today’s scripture that it was because the disciples were exhausted that they didn’t obey Jesus’ command to pray so that they wouldn’t enter into temptation?
Spiritual fatigue can prevent believers from fulfilling the things that are NEEDFUL in order to maintain their spiritual strength, so that they can endure the rigors of being righteous in a fallen world. Weariness in believers is mainly attributed to being exhausted of patience, tolerance, and pleasure, thus we become tired. You will know that you are spiritually weary when you can’t muster the strength to pray, fast, praise, or obey God’s voice.
Weariness will also zap your joy, which is a fruit of the Spirit and comes from simply taking the time to be in the presence of the Lord. The word of God tells us plainly that the joy of the Lord is our strength. Therefore, if we’re too tired to receive joy from being in the presence of the Lord, as the disciples were that night with Jesus, then, just like them, we will grow weary in well doing and could possibly faint. Faint simply means that we stop moving forward; it could also mean that we have fallen away from the Lord and gone back to our old ways.  Thus, our relationship with Christ requires much time and attention so that we are able to grow in our faith and overcome anything that might try to stand in our way and keep us from successfully completing the race.
In conclusion, Jesus repeatedly tried to get the disciples to pray, but they allowed their weariness in the flesh to overrule the desire of the Spirit. As a result of the disciples’ unwillingness to pray, every one of them entered into temptation and denied Christ. So if you’re weary to the point of backing off any of the aforementioned items that help to keep us spiritually strong, then begin praying today; ask the Lord to give you a desire to pray so that you will overcome temptation. Restoration of all things begins with prayer. Let us pray!
Encouraging You in the Faith,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Your Harvest Is Closer Than You Think

James 1: 12 – 15, Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. NKJV
Satan is after anyone who loves and serves the Lord. Nevertheless, the Apostle James tells us that when we choose to endure temptation, we are blessed. Satan doesn’t want us to reap the harvest for the labor that we have done for God. We must realize that Satan is after us because he wants to consume our harvest or reward before it matures.  
We are children of promise. We have been given the assurance of the Holy Spirit, and He is the earnest of our inheritance in Christ until the day of redemption. Everything in the New Testament is based on faith and promise. If we will keep God’s Word and remain committed to His work, we will inherit the promises of God. Even so, James tells us that we are blessed long before we receive the promises he mentions in the passage above. Nonetheless, how can he call us blessed when we haven’t received the fulfillment of the promise?
James understood that if we endure temptations when they come our way and not be distracted from our heavenly calling, then we will absolutely inherit our reward for being faithful. Not only did James understand this principle, but Satan also understands it and seeks ways to seduce us from remaining steadfast in the work of the Lord. Our adversary, the Devil is always trying to tempt us with various things to see whether any will get our attention. If his scheme isn’t successful with us, then he will move on and try something else.
Therefore, we must constantly guard our hearts so that we don’t allow Satan to get our heart’s attention and pull us away from our faithfulness in serving the Lord. I have seen that Satan can be most effective with his evil devices when believers are waiting on an answer from the Lord. The writer of Hebrews tells us in chapter 10 that we have need of patience, so that after we have done the will of God, we will receive the promise of God. He goes on to write that we must not draw back into lawlessness and unbelief while waiting on the Lord, even when it seems to us that He is late.
 Christians oftentimes become weary in doing well while we’re waiting on God to fulfill a promise or meet a need in our lives; this is the time that we are most susceptible to Satan’s seductiveness and stand a greater chance of being lured away from our faithfulness in Christ.  
When it comes to enduring temptation, that we might receive the reward of our faith, we have to be completely submitted to the timing of God, rather than try to get God to move in “our” time frame. Satan will definitely use our lack of patience to PUSH us into stepping ahead of God and to pull us away from the presence of God through evil desires. (Desires become evil when we allow Satan a place in our heart to lead us astray from God’s will).
Please take this word to heart today; use it to benefit your life and walk with Christ. I am seeing an increase in believers being pulled away, or at the least, becoming distracted from remaining faithful to their work of the Lord. We are truly living in perilous times, and we must guard our hearts so that we don’t fall prey to Satan’s schemes and lose our harvest. I would like to ask you to please pray for your brothers and sisters in Christ that God would strengthen and keep others from falling away from the Lord in order to meet an evil desire in his or her life. Together, we can pray and see a move of God in the hearts and lives of believers everywhere. We’ve come too far to turn back now!
Standing Together In Faith,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

He's Already Been There

Psalms 139: 7 – 12, Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me. If I say, "Surely the darkness shall fall on me," Even the night shall be light about me; indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You, but the night shines as the day; the darkness and the light are both alike to You. NKJV
Hebrews 4 : 14 – 15, Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. NKJV
Do you ever feel as though no one understands you? One of the hardest places to be in life is where you struggle with an issue and have no one in your life that can begin to fathom your situation. It’s a lonely place when it seems as though no one can really relate to you and the unique challenges that come against you.
Did you know that all of Satan’s strategies are exposed in the Word of God? Nevertheless, Satan still plots against God’s children; and the scheme he uses most is isolation. Didn’t God say in Genesis 2 that it wasn’t good for man to be alone? However, God filled that void and prevented Adam from being alone when He created a wife for him. Even so, isolation is still a very effective weapon against humans because it can make us feel and believe that no one can connect with us on a level that can help us out of the pit we are in.
Just as the Lord God saw in Adam’s life the need to connect with others and filled that void, God also knows what we need. The answer to our every need has been freely offered in Jesus. He is a Friend who sticks closer than a brother. It doesn’t matter where we are in life or what we’re dealing with, Jesus has already been there. Not only has Jesus suffered with ALL that any of us will ever encounter in this life, He has gone a step further and defeated these strongholds on our behalf so that we can overcome them through Him.
One of the worst times to lose a valued relationship is when we’re in trouble, and we realize that our friend can’t relate to our circumstances and/or reactions and, as a result, he pulls away. Family and friends can only walk with us as far as their ability and/or willingness to understand can take them. However, it doesn’t matter how deep we may be in an adverse situation; Jesus has already been there.
The psalmist wrote in today’s passage that it didn’t matter if he ascended into heaven or made his bed in hell, God’s Spirit was there. If you have Christ in your life, then He is right there with you. I’m not just suggesting that His presence is there; I’m saying that He understands what you’re feeling and why you’re feeling the way you are.
The key to overcoming isolation and the rejection of others, who may not understand you, is to open up your heart to the Lord and allow His presence to fill it. The writer of Hebrews tells us that as our High Priest, Jesus has been tempted in EVERY point as we are, yet He did not sin. Therefore, don’t believe the lie Satan keeps telling you: that no one understands you, and no one loves you. Jesus can completely relate to you; and what’s so great is He can give you His power to defeat the demon of isolation and pull you safely out of the pit.
If this word has spoken to your heart in a real way, please take a very important step and place your trust in Jesus; allow Him to lead you out of the darkness of isolation. The very moment that you reach out in faith, you will sense His presence flood your heart. This will give you the hope that you need to defeat the enemy of your soul and overcome the obstacles in your way. Just reach out to Jesus and watch Him move on your behalf.
What a Friend We Have In Jesus,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Tuesday, October 8, 2013


John 10: 31 – 39, Then the Jews took up stones again to stone Him. Jesus answered them, "Many good works I have shown you from My Father. For which of those works do you stone Me?" The Jews answered Him, saying, "For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a Man, make Yourself God." Jesus answered them, "Is it not written in your law, 'I said, "You are gods"'?  If He called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken), do you say of Him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, 'You are blaspheming,' because I said, 'I am the Son of God'? If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; but if I do, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and believe that the Father is in Me, and I in Him." Therefore they sought again to seize Him, but He escaped out of their hand. NKJV
Let’s begin today by giving thanks to the Lord for the wisdom He reveals so that I can share His truths with you daily. Our heavenly Father loves us so dearly; therefore, He seeks out ways to encourage and bless us. Will you take a moment and praise God for His goodness in your life?
If you read John 10 in its entirety, you will see that Jesus uses the term “Father” when speaking about God to the Jews. However, in response to Jesus declaring that He is the Son of God, the Jews wanted to stone Him. Now let’s bring us into the story. There are trials and threats that we often have to face as a Christians. Nevertheless, when trouble invades our lives, what is our response? There is a term commonly used for the behavior that people exhibit who feel in danger; it is called, “Fight or flight.”
Do you try to hide or run from trouble? If so, then let me share a truth with you that can break that “fear of man” off your heart and life. You are a child of God, and He has given His angels charge over you. You’ve been bought with the blood of Jesus, and Satan can’t do anything to you without God’s permission. If God allows trouble to disrupt your life, then it’s there for a “good” reason. Anything that God does or allows to come our way is for our good (Romans 8: 28).
Now, let’s focus on Jesus and His response to the threats that were made on His life by the Jews. Jesus never ran in fear; neither did He try to fight to preserve His life. Instead, He stood His ground with them and told them the truth. Therefore, we are to imitate the Lord when we are being threatened with harm. Once again, if God has allowed someone or something to threaten us with harm, then He has a plan to help us escape. However, we must let our stand of faith speak to those who want to harm us.
After Jesus spoke the truth to the people, John tells us that the Jews sought to stone Him once again. However, Jesus escaped out of their hand. Paul tells how God makes a way of escape for us during temptation in 1 Corinthians 10: 13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. NKJV
Whenever you and I find ourselves in a dangerous situation, it is human nature to want to do something in order to defend “self.” Nevertheless, God is our heavenly Father, and if we’re living for Him, we are supposed to place our trust in Him for protection and deliverance from our troubles, when He is ready. So the next time you find yourself being threatened, remember to look to the Father, instead of trying to fight or run. God wants you to be still and obey His will during the trial.
Although the flames may burn hot around you, God won’t allow them to burn you. Therefore, you will need to exercise patience and longsuffering while you wait on God’s plan to unfold. As you set your heart to obey, God will give you the grace to continue standing while under the pressure until it’s your time for promotion. When His will is fulfilled in you and in the situation, God will make a way of escape, and you won’t have to deal with that enemy again. Why? You overcame it; now it’s a defeated foe. Ain’t God good? Save this devotion in your favorites so the next time the enemy tries to intimidate you into fighting for yourself or running away in fear, you will have these truths to help you stand in faith until…
Waiting on God to Make a Way,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Monday, October 7, 2013

Trials That Prayers Can't Change

Matthew 26: 36 – 39, Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to the disciples, "Sit here while I go and pray over there." And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed. Then He said to them, "My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me." He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, "O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will." NKJV
As an instructor of the Bible, I have taught from this portion of scripture many times. Even so, there has always been something that puzzled me about the context of Jesus’ prayer. I’ve often wondered why Jesus prayed to the Father for the “cup of suffering” to pass from Him. Let’s look at a couple of scriptures that further illustrate the point of today’s devotion.
Luke 24 : 46 – 47, Then He said to them, "Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. NKJV
John 1: 29, The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, "Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! NKJV
We all know from the Word of God that Jesus knew exactly why He was sent to earth. The Old Testament prophets prophesied that the Messiah would come and take away the sins of His people. Jesus also spoke many times during His earthly ministry about the suffering that He would endure and about His death. Nevertheless, we see Him in the garden praying and asking that the cup of suffering pass from Him. Why would He do this, knowing what was at stake for the entire world?  
The Lord showed me a truth that is new to me, and I taught it at a recent church service. The sermon dealt with believers learning how to trust God while under a threat from the enemy. This is what the Holy Spirit revealed: When Jesus prayed for the cup of suffering to pass, He was, in fact, establishing “it” as being the will of God. We have to realize just “who” was praying to the Father. This was Jesus, God’s only-begotten Son. God always responded to Jesus’ prayers with great miracles, signs, and wonders. Nevertheless, Jesus received confirmation that He would, indeed, have to partake of the cup and die for His people. Since God didn’t release Him from suffering on the cross, Jesus submitted to God’s will.
If you read the beginning of the scripture for today, you will see that Jesus’ soul was exceedingly sorrowful, even unto death. However, when He left the garden of prayer, His soul was comforted and at rest. What changed? Because Jesus prayed and submitted the way that He did, God was able to confirm His will to Jesus and give Him the grace to carry out the Father’s will.
There will be trials that we will have to face as God’s children, and it’s not because we did something wrong or that God is mad at us; they come because it is His will for our lives, in order for us to be made complete. Therefore, the next time you enter a season where your faith is being tried, “go to the garden” and pray. Ask the Father to remove this trial or affliction from your life so that you won’t have to suffer. If God doesn’t remove it after you have prayed, then know that He has another plan in mind, and it requires your FULL cooperation. Consequently, you must do as Jesus and submit to God’s will, not yours.
Don’t worry; once you submit to God and move forward in faith, He will give you the grace both to face and to endure whatever is required of you. In the end, you will be rewarded, and God will be glorified through your obedience. Can I get an “Amen”?
I’m about to Get Happy,
Pastor Asa Dockery