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Friday, January 31, 2014

Jesus Gives Sight to the Blind

John 3: 17 – 21, For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. "He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God." NKJV
The Bible uses metaphors to describe what occurs when a person has sin in their heart. For example, we use terms such as walking in darkness or being spiritually blind. Likewise, when Adam sinned, the Bible teaches us that his eyes became opened, and he knew good and evil. We know that his natural eyes were opened already because they saw the forbidden fruit before they ate it. Therefore, we know that the Word was referring to the eyes of their understanding. For them to have known good and evil meant that they had gained an understanding of sin they didn’t have when God created them.
In other words, sin affected their hearts and darkened their understanding. I can’t discuss all that sin did to blind their hearts, so I will teach on two ways. First, sin blinded Adam and Eve to the sin in their lives. There are many scriptures that I can use to support this doctrine: Romans 7, John 15, as well as Genesis 3. Paul said that he would not have known he had sin if it hadn’t been for the Law of God, which showed what sin was, and that it dwelled undetected in his heart.  
Jesus said in John 15, if He had not come and spoken the truth and performed His mighty works, the Jews would not have known the sin in their hearts. So when Jesus spoke to them concerning the truth about their ways, it caused the sin in them to manifest and bring them under conviction so that they were without excuse.
Secondly, when Adam sinned against God, and the eyes of his understanding became darkened, he began to fear God; consequently, he ran from Him. Sin placed all of mankind under the bondage to the spirit of fear. Instead of trusting God, sin causes us to be afraid of God so that we won’t go near His presence. If you accept the truth that sin blinds us to our own transgressions, and it also keeps us from turning to God; you will begin to see how deceptive the web was that Satan devised to trap mankind into darkness. Sin had us cut off from the light and life of God.  
Here’s the good news. Even though man had become spiritually blind to their sin, their transgression couldn’t prevent the Light of Christ from shining into the darkened hearts of man. This is why many of the Jews hated Jesus. His Word shined into their hearts and exposed the hidden sin; and they desired the darkness over His light. This Word today reveals the loving heart of our heavenly Father. He knew that we were blind and didn’t have a consciousness of sin residing in our hearts. Therefore, He sent His Son to our aid so that we could find our Way to safety.
In 2 Corinthians 3 and 4, Paul teaches us that there was a veil placed over the hearts of the Jews when they saw the glory of God on the face of Moses after he had been with God upon Mount Sinai. Paul also tells us that if they turned to the Lord, the veil would be lifted from their hearts, and they would be saved. In chapter 4, Paul goes on to teach us that when someone sees the light, but decides to reject that light because of their unbelief (don’t believe in Jesus as the Christ), then Satan, the god of this world will keep them blinded to the Light of the truth. Truth is only found in the person of Jesus Christ. If a person rejects Jesus, then they will also reject the Word of God as being the final authority of truth.
Is it not amazing that sin didn’t stop God from loving a world filled with sinners? Sin couldn’t stop people from seeing the Light of truth in the face of Jesus Christ. Furthermore, sin couldn’t prevent us from coming to the saving knowledge of Christ; nevertheless, unbelief can. All who reject Christ, who is the Light of the world will perish. They won’t go into eternal torment just because they had sin. They will go because they chose to reject the only HOPE for forgiveness and redemption.
Have you placed your faith in Jesus as being the only-begotten Son of God? If you have, then His Light has set you free from the blindness of sin; you now walk in the Day and not the night. If you haven’t accepted Jesus as your personal Savior, call on Him (Jesus) today and ask the heavenly Father to forgive you and fill your heart with His Spirit, Light, and Love.
Walking in the Light,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Persistent Prayers that Produce Results

Acts 10: 1 - 8, There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of what was called the Italian Regiment, a devout man and one who feared God with all his household, who gave alms generously to the people, and prayed to God always. About the Ninth hour of the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God coming in and saying to him, "Cornelius!" And when he observed him, he was afraid, and said, "What is it, lord?" So he said to him, "Your prayers and your alms have come up for a memorial before God. Now send men to Joppa, and send for Simon whose surname is Peter. He is lodging with Simon, a tanner, whose house is by the sea. He will tell you what you must do." And when the angel who spoke to him had departed, Cornelius called two of his household servants and a devout soldier from among those who waited on him continually. So when he had explained all these things to them, he sent them to Joppa. NKJV
It is this man, Cornelius, who can be credited with the gentiles coming to faith in Christ. Cornelius was a praying man, and he also loved to give to the people. Consequently, his actions of faith captured God’s attention. What intrigues me about Cornelius and his faith is the way he persisted in his giving and praying, even though he wasn’t a Jew. If you remember, gentiles in Jesus’ day were looked down on and despised. For example, the Gospel of Mark tells us in chapter seven that a Greek woman came to Jesus begging Him to heal her daughter, and He called her a “dog." She was a gentile woman, who had no covenant with God because she wasn’t a daughter of Abraham.
In fact, all gentiles were excluded from the covenant that God made with Abraham until the day Cornelius was heard by the ear of God; and God’s heart was moved by this gentile’s faith. The writer of Hebrews tells us that we must believe until the salvation of the soul, and if any one draws back into unbelief His soul will have no pleasure in them. Nevertheless, this gentile, who had no hope prayed continuously anyway and gave without regard to his being separated from the Abrahamic covenant. Finally, God was moved by Cornelius’ persistence and sent an angel to give him specific instructions.
This story is one which greatly fascinates me because we know that Cornelius was a sinner, who had an encounter with the angel of God. We know, too, that angels can’t preach the message of salvation. Therefore, he instructed Cornelius to send for Simon, also named Peter. In the meantime, God sent word to Peter that men who were deemed “unclean” by Jews were about to show up in his life; and he was to go with them back to a gentile’s house. God visited Cornelius and Peter in order to set up a meeting between a Jewish follower of Christ and a gentile believer, who was about to become a follower of Christ. Because Cornelius had faith in Christ and acted upon His faith, it opened heaven’s door for us, who are gentiles to come into the sheepfold.  
When Peter arrived at the house of Cornelius with the three men and those who also went with him, they found his entire family awaiting their arrival. After Peter shared the good news of Christ with those that were in attendance, God saved all of them. The Jews who came with Peter, as well as the gentiles, who were present for the sermon, accepted Christ as their Savior. Afterwards, God filled them all with His Holy Spirit, and they began to speak with other tongues. Because of faith and persistent prayer, God’s heart was moved to have mercy upon the gentile race and include them in His New Covenant in Christ.  
I share this word with you today for many reasons. Nonetheless, the Lord wanted you to see what persistent faith will do when it seems like the world (and even God) is against you. In spite of feeling like there was no hope for this gentile, he kept praying and giving alms unto the Lord, and his sacrifice of faith came up before the Lord as a memorial. Are you facing a hopeless situation? Do you feel like God, Himself, is against you? Do what Cornelius did and hold onto your faith until the breakthrough comes. If you have faith in Christ and don’t turn away from Him, He has given you His Word that He won’t forsake or leave you, ever!
Hoping in Faith,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Ups and Downs of Thomas

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

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

How To Live Free Of Sorrow

Proverbs 10 : 22, The blessing of the LORD makes one rich, and He adds no sorrow with it. NKJV
The Lord created you to be blessed and to be a blessing to others. Therefore, if you feel like you’re not blessed to the degree that God would have you to be, then you must seek Him. Isaiah tells us that God’s ways are higher than ours, and His thoughts are above our thoughts. Here’s an insight into the truth about God’s blessing coming on your life in a greater dimension. If Adam and Eve were already blessed, just because God created them, then why did He see the need to speak the Word of blessing and dominion over them?
We can conclude that Adam and Eve had a role to fulfill in order to receive and to live in the blessing of the Lord that makes one rich and adds no sorrow. The destiny they were to fulfill, which would release God’s power into their lives, was to obey God’s purpose and will for their lives. Let me explain the principle of faith that releases the blessing. When God instructs anyone to do anything, and they fulfill His instructions, it’s called walking by faith. We walk by faith when we make the choice to live the life that God intended for us, not the will of our flesh nature. When we seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, we are living by faith in obedience to His Word.
Obedient faith allows the same blessing that the Lord spoke over Adam, Abraham, and Jesus to begin to flow into our lives as well. How will we know when the blessing of the Lord is beginning to come upon our lives as we walk by faith before the Lord? Before I answer this, let’s look at what happened when Adam and Eve decided to disobey? When we decide to disobey God, this is called living in unbelief. Only faith can produce the promises of God and attract the blessing of the Lord. So when Adam and Eve chose with their will to sin against God, the result was, you guessed it, sorrow.
Now let’s jump a few books of the Bible to Deuteronomy. God spoke to the children of Israel through Moses and commanded them to keep all of His commandments, statutes, and judgments. Then, He followed up these instructions with the promise that they would be blessed. In another part of Deuteronomy, God told them if they decided not to obey, and turned, instead, to other gods and began to serve them, they would bring a curse on themselves. The result of those curses would be great sorrow of heart.
Here is the answer to the question from paragraph three. How will you know when the blessing of the Lord is being released in your life? The promises of God will begin to come to pass. The pain and SORROW of your past will begin to dissipate, giving way to peace and hope, along with a brighter future. The blessing of the Lord makes one rich and adds no SORROW! Therefore, if we desire to be blessed and say good-bye to sorrow, we must choose to obey and put God first in our lives. Remember, God promises us in His Word that He will make all things new.
I have one final thought for today. You must be careful to be diligent to obey God’s voice. The enemy will try to throw all types of devices and weapons at you, but you must resist the temptation to give up in your faith walk. Walking by faith is very hard on your flesh simply because it crucifies it. You must decide to suffer a little while so that you can live a life filled with joy and not sorrow.      
Thank You Lord,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Friday, January 24, 2014

When God Speaks Through Creation

Romans 1 : 18 – 23, For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man -- and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. NKJV
If you have personally tasted and seen that the Lord is good, then you might wonder why people turn away from the love of God. Perhaps the Words of Jesus explains how so many people in the world have rejected, or at the least ignored God’s forgiveness and His great love. It is because they have not taken the time to experience it. However, Jesus tells us that when someone has been forgiven of much, there will be much love. Therefore, for those who have participated in His unmerited favor and the riches of His glory dwelling in their hearts, it seems unnatural to them that anyone would not want to partake of God’s goodness.
Until a person humbles their heart and turns to the Lord, Satan will continually offer temptations and distractions as a means to prevent them from getting to know God personally. Even though millions of people throughout the world discount or dishonor the relevance and significance of God’s love and grace, God has not rejected them.    
Peter teaches us in his epistle that God is longsuffering, not willing that any should perish, but that all would come to repentance. Therefore, God reveals Himself to them through His creation. I know that may sound a little unorthodox, but it’s the truth. Reread today’s passages from Romans to confirm that what I am writing to you is the truth. Paul says that God uses creation to make known His invisible attributes to those who have rejected the “orthodox” method (preaching) of reaching them. You see; God is the Creator of all things. Consequently, His invisible fingerprint is on His creation. It’s not that creation is something that is to be worshiped; it will, however, lead us back to its Creator.  
God has and will continue to use both His creation and the creatures that He has made to remind man that He is God. I’ll give you a few examples: The prophet Balaam was called on by King Balak to speak a curse over Israel. God warned Balaam not to go; nevertheless, Balaam hardened his heart to God’s voice. The prophet saddled his donkey and moved ahead with his plans to appease King Balak. On the way to his destination, Balaam was about to encounter the sword of an angel. Even though Balaam couldn’t see the angel and his drawn sword, his donkey saw him. Afraid to go on any further, the donkey refused to move, even though Balaam beat him. Finally, the Lord opened the mouth of the donkey to tell Balaam that there was an angel, who wouldn’t allow him to pass by. When his beast of burden spoke, it got the attention of Balaam, the prophet, who had decided to ignore the voice of God.
In both illustrations that I have shared, the man was in rebellion to God’s voice. Therefore, God used an animal to speak on His behalf. If it seems strange that an animal would be able to communicate to a person, let me remind you of Eve and the serpent. In her story, it wasn’t the woman who was in rebellion; it was the serpent that was being used by Satan. The serpent spoke lies to Eve and deceived her into believing that she would become like God if she partook of the tree of knowledge. In the previous stories, it was God who used the animals. However, in this one, it was Satan who was using the serpent. I use Eve’s encounter with a serpent to show you that not only did God speak through animals, but so did Satan. Satan uses God’s creation as an attempt to turn people’s hearts away from worshiping God, and to persuade them to worship creation.  
When God uses the creation to deal with the hearts of the rebellious, it will point them back to God. Nevertheless, when Satan uses the creation to harden people’s hearts, it will lead them away from God. Neither the trees nor the creatures are God; nonetheless, they will clearly reflect the attributes of their Creator. Only God is to be worshiped.
Witnessing the Invisible Attributes of God,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Truth

Ephesians 4 : 11 – 15, And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head – Christ NKJV
Why doesn’t Satan want you and me to know the truth that is only found in the person, Jesus Christ? My prayer is that by the time you finish reading today’s devotion, you will know the answer to this question. In John 8, Jesus instructed the Jews who had believed in Him as their Messiah to continue in His teachings. He went on to say that they would come to know the truth and IT would make them free from the bondage to sin.
When we think of truth, we have the tendency to view it as simply words written on the pages of the Bible; however, in reality, truth is a person. John tells us in his gospel that the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld HIS glory. Therefore, the truth is more than commandments that we’re to keep; He is a person who desires to fellowship with us through the Holy Spirit. Since the truth is in Christ, we must come to know Him for ourselves.
Before I continue with today’s thoughts, I want to make you aware of something concerning the truth. Since the creation of man, Satan has worked very diligently to keep man from discovering the truth about God and about who we are. If the Word of God isn’t true, as man’s religion and Satan would have you and me to believe, then why does Satan work overtime to keep us from getting in the Word and allowing it to get into our hearts? Could it be that he knows and understands that anyone who knows the truth (Christ) for themselves becomes strong in their faith, overcomes this world, and is victorious over him? Remember what Jesus told those Jews who believed in Him, “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” Satan doesn’t want us to become liberated, and, consequently, inherit the promises of God.  
The reason Satan came to Eve in the form of a serpent is so that he could mislead Adam and Eve from the truth and rob them of their inheritance. We, too, must be careful that we don’t allow any distraction or person to keep us from reading, discovering, and obeying the truth for ourselves. As we set our hearts to learn and obey the truth in Christ, God has promised that we would receive an inheritance in Christ. Only those who follow Christ and walk in His teachings by faith will be allowed to inherit the promises of God. It is those who commit their lives to Christ and become His followers who will have authority over Satan. This is the reason why Satan fights anyone who seeks to please the heavenly Father through obedient faith.  
One final thought: You can view the conflicts that you have encountered, or will face, as just a battle, or you can view them as an assault against your coming into your spiritual inheritance and authority in Christ. If you view Satan's attacks against you as a battle for your inheritance, instead of a personal fight, you are standing in faith; and this will assure you the victory. If you should see Satan’s altercation with you as personal, it can cause you to feel isolated and become weary. Those who are tired are more likely to give into the Satan’s lies and forfeit their inheritance. We must stand on the Word of God and fight the good fight of faith until we see the manifestation of God’s promises in our lives. Be strong and of good courage for the Lord is with you, and He will do what He has promised.
Standing and Waiting on God,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Learning To Rely Upon Jesus

Galatians 1: 3 – 5, Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. NKJV
When God sent His Son into the earth, it was for more than just the payment of sin. It is true that Jesus destroyed the works of the Devil; however, He also appeased the wrath of God and removed the charges that were leveled against us. The shed blood of Jesus opened the door of heaven for all peoples. Now anyone who believes in Jesus as the Christ is the recipient of God’s grace and peace.
Paul teaches us that we are complete in Christ. Even so, what exactly does this mean? Now that we’re in Christ, He is and will be everything that we will need in order to overcome this world of sorrow and sin. As a child of God, we have a responsibility to turn to our heavenly Father anytime we meet up with spiritual opposition. Whenever the enemy comes in against us like a flood, and we turn to the Lord, He will respond quickly to our humility and brokenness. As we turn to the Lord in times of trouble, we are accessing the benefits of the covenant between Jesus and God.
The Father has given Jesus all power in heaven, on earth, and beneath the earth. Consequently, anytime His people are attacked or overwhelmed by the evil from this world, the Lord will arise on our behalf and deliver us from our oppressors and afflictions. In order to access the riches of God’s glory in Christ and see the liberating power of God move on our behalf, we must be willing to humble ourselves and seek God.  
It is very common for people who are believers in Christ to want to turn away from Him during troubling times. In the natural realm, when people are in trouble, they quickly reach out to others for assistance. However, in the spirit realm, it seems to be just the opposite. The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe. How do you respond when this world tries to intimidate and overtake you?  For us to acknowledge God in a time of hardship is to admit that we are fighting a spiritual battle that must be won through our faith.
So instead of fighting according to our flesh and trying to defend ourselves, God first requires us to submit to Him then resist the Devil to ensure our victory. When we submit to the Lord during a battle, it keeps our hearts right before Him. We’re not trying to seek revenge upon another human; we are calling upon our Righteous Judge and allowing Him to fight for us.
In Christ, God has given every believer the answer or deliverance that will be needed to successfully complete the journey we are on. We must first train ourselves to go to God… not take matters into our own hands. As we fully learn to rely upon Christ, we will begin to witness the hand of God move in our situations.  
We Have the Victory in Christ,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

When People Decide To Leave You

John 6: 66 – 69, From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more. Then Jesus said to the twelve, "Do you also want to go away?" But Simon Peter answered Him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." NKJV
Whenever we make the choice to follow Christ, we never know where He will lead us.  As we walk our journey of faith, many different people will come into our lives. Consequently, since we are disciples of Christ, those whom we come into fellowship with will tend to look more closely at the way we handle life. Some people will watch as we face and endure struggles and be inspired; however, others will take the same opportunity to become offended and no longer walk with us.
Those who are in your life, but don’t share your faith in Christ may have a tendency to be critical of your faith in “a God” that would allow you to suffer. While they may decide to sever any relationship they have with you because of your stand of faith, they fail to see that you have kept your faith in spite of the hardship that has come to pass in your life.  
You must not allow the actions or the words of others to cause you to stumble. In the scriptures from the gospel of John, we read where Jesus was confronted with the unbelief in people who acted as though they were His followers. Even so, Jesus knew what was in their hearts; therefore, He knew who would betray Him. As He watched some of them walk away from Him, Jesus turned to His most faithful disciples and asked if they were going to leave as well. You see; Jesus wasn’t moved from His commitment to the Father just because some people didn’t agree with Him or failed to see the value of following any longer.  
If you are going through a trial, and you’ve had people make the decision to break their relationship with you as a result of your hardship, then I challenge you to be strong and persevere. Like I stated earlier, when we come to faith in Christ, we don’t always know what the Lord will permit us to go through. Nonetheless, you can know this as a surety; everything that God directs you to do or allows you to face is for a specific purpose. It may not have anything to do with you. Since Jesus wasn’t moved by the decisions of so many, we can gather that this incident had more to do with them than it had to do with Jesus personally.
You are a witness of Christ to others. Consequently, as a witness, you are going to be tried on occasion. When you encounter the fiery trials of life, just remember that you’re a reflection of Christ and know that others are watching to see how you react to the trials. Don’t allow yourself to be moved aside from your faith. Others may pull away from you, but if you remain faithful, the Lord will deliver you and reward your faithfulness.  
People will come and go in your life. Just remember to keep your eyes on Jesus; do not be moved by the actions of other people. As Christians, we need to be rooted and grounded in our faith in Christ and built up through His Word. Therefore, when something or someone tries to shake us, we won’t let go of the Vine and fall.
Abiding in Christ,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Monday, January 20, 2014

They Witnessed The Miracles

Mark 3: 1 – 6, And He entered the synagogue again, and a man was there who had a withered hand. So they watched Him closely, whether He would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse Him. And He said to the man who had the withered hand, "Step forward." Then He said to them, "Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?" But they kept silent. And when He had looked around at them with anger, being grieved by the hardness of their hearts, He said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." And he stretched it out, and his hand was restored as whole as the other. Then the Pharisees went out and immediately plotted with the Herodians against Him, how they might destroy Him. NKJV
I was reading all the miracles that Jesus performed, which are recorded in Mark’s gospel, and I was amazed at the hardness of the scribes and Pharisees’ hearts. Instead of the Jewish leaders of the synagogue rejoicing over the various miracles that were taking place in their sight, they chose to dwell on ways to destroy Jesus.
What did these men see so wrong with Jesus that they felt they had to seek a way to kill Him? Why couldn’t they be glad that members of their community and perhaps members of their synagogue were now made whole? In spite of witnessing the miraculous works Jesus performed in their midst, they still chose to harden their hearts to Jesus as being the Messiah. You see; to the religious zealots, the conflict wasn’t over the miracles. It was the authority Jesus exercised that enraged them against Him.  
Even though Jesus had given them examples of healing, miracles, deliverance, and salvations, they kept their hearts hardened against Him and refused to believe that Jesus was anything other than a good man “who claimed to be the Son of God." As I read the verses that were used for today’s word, I was reminded of the children of Israel and the mistake that they made with God in the wilderness.  
The writer of Hebrews tells us that even though God performed mighty works for forty years on their behalf, the children of Israel refused to hear the voice of God. While they enjoyed the favor and blessings of the Lord in the wilderness, they declined to allow their hearts to believe in Him as their God. As a result, the writer tells us that God became angry with that generation and said, “They always go astray in their hearts, not knowing the ways of God.”  Consequently, God swore that they wouldn’t be allowed to enter into His rest.
 Jesus saw their hardness of heart when He healed the man with a withered hand, and He became grieved in His Spirit and was angry at them. They allowed unbelief to blind them to Jesus’ true identity. They saw the mighty miracles, but rejected Jesus as being their Messiah in the flesh.  
You might think that if people were to see miracles such as those in Jesus’ day done today, they would open their hearts to Jesus? The truth is nothing has changed since the days of the children of Israel, and the day that Jesus walked on the earth. Jesus said that He wasn’t sent to call the righteous, but the sinners to repentance. So although people today aren’t moved to faith when they see a notable miracle of God, God still heals, delivers, and saves those who are humble and hungry for Him. He goes where He is welcomed.  
At World Harvest Church North, we have seen many notable and documented miracles that defy physics. Only God could have done what has transpired in the lives of many people in our church. Doctors have confirmed a couple of the miracles as “acts of God,” and to Jesus be all glory and praise. If you are in need of a healing touch today, you can contact us with your prayer request at prayer@whcnorth.org
Jesus Christ the Same,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Friday, January 17, 2014

Justified By Faith Alone

Acts 13 : 38 – 39, Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through this Man (Jesus) is preached to you the forgiveness of sins; and by Him everyone who believes is justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses. NKJV
Thank God for Jesus Christ! Can you begin to imagine what life was like for the Jewish people who were under the law? God didn’t give the law so that the children of Israel could be justified by their works. It was given to make them aware of the sin hidden in their hearts. If a person doesn’t understand the ways of God, they might misinterpret what God’s motive was when He gave Moses His Law.
God didn’t give the Law to condemn people; it was just the opposite. However, through the Law of God, man became conscious of his own sin nature. They began to realize that with their failure to obey the entire law, they were, in fact, committing sin against God. Consequently, the result of breaking God’s commands caused the Jews to feel naked, ashamed, and exposed. Once the Jewish worshiper realized his or her own shortcomings, it would give way to the voice of guilt, shame and condemnation from Satan. You might be thinking, “Why did God want them to feel guilty or hear condemning voices?” Paul tells us that God’s law is holy, and He is just. It wasn’t the law that made the Jewish worshipers feel the way they did, but rather it was the sin which was hidden in their hearts that condemned them. God gave Moses His commandments in the hope that once the people realized they were in sin, they would turn to the Lord for salvation from it.    
When Jesus came as the Messiah to God’s chosen people, some accepted Him; however, many more rejected His truth. Those who rejected His teachings as truth didn’t want to admit to having sin in their hearts. Therefore, in an effort to avoid falling under the convicting power of God after hearing the truth, these non-believers chose to make excuses to cover their sin.
Today, as Christians, we can try to justify ourselves by making up excuses, or we can become justified through faith in Jesus and God’s Word. As you seek to be justified by faith, if Satan begins to accuse you, all you need is to point to the Word of God and let God defend your character in Christ. Anyone who rejects the righteousness of God by faith will fall into the trap of blaming the consequences of their sin on others… as Adam did with Eve. Since it’s just you and God right now, be honest with yourself. Are you at peace in your heart about your life? Do you make excuses to God and to people when you know that you have done wrong? If so, then humble your heart before the Lord and ask Him to be your Justifier. It will change your life forever.
Justified by Faith in Christ,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Thursday, January 16, 2014

His Cross Was Enough

Luke 23:33-34, And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left. Then Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do." NKJV
Do you sometimes struggle with feelings of unworthiness? Are there occasions when you feel like there’s no hope? If you answered yes to either or both questions, then you can know that Satan is seeking a way into your heart so that he might rob you. In the Bible, you can read that there are many times when Satan goes to people and tests their faith: He went into the garden and spoke to Eve; He went into the wilderness and tempted Jesus; and He went before God in the Old and New Testaments with accusations against the people of God.
Satan is always looking for an open door to our hearts so that he might gain entrance through a lie. He first approaches a person to get them to believe something that doesn’t agree with God’s Word. If they should fall prey to his deceptive ways, then he gains access to wreck havoc in their lives. This is why God requires His children to live by faith in Him and His promises. We must stand by faith in God if we are to have the power to resist the lies of Satan.  
Even if Satan says something that seems to be true in the earthly realm, don’t listen! Let me explain. You have been given a free will from your divine Creator. Therefore, God has to have your consent in order to bring change and blessing into your life. In Hebrews 11, we’re told that, without faith, we can’t please God. Another meaning for the word “please,” is to come into agreement. The Lord addresses the subject of agreement throughout the Word of God. If we should believe something that doesn’t line up with God’s will or His Word, then we aren’t walking in faith.
Even so, when Satan shows up in your life and tries to convince you to agree with his suggestions, opinions, or deceptive lies, know that he is seeking agreement from you. Once Satan had convinced Eve in the garden to agree with his lies, he caused her to sin against the Lord. Likewise, in the wilderness, Satan tried to move Jesus to come into agreement with his plan. However, Jesus refused to align Himself with Satan’s lies. As a result, Jesus overcame the Devil, and God released great power and authority into Jesus’ life.
As Jesus was dying on the cross, He asked the Father to forgive mankind for the sins they had committed. Even though His own people rejected Him as their Messiah, this didn’t prevent Jesus from dying for their sins, as well as ours. We know that God loved the world enough to give His only- begotten Son for our sin. God valued us, even though we, sometimes, see no value in ourselves. Through the cross of Christ, God offered us an eternal hope and future that sin wasn’t able to rob from us.
All that you and I have to do to inherit the promise of eternal life and all the other promises of God is to believe or agree with Him first. Just because we go through times and seasons where it seems as though God has forgotten or forsaken us, we must never allow ourselves to become a victim and believe those thoughts. Even though we experience hardships and disappointments that can cause us to feel unworthy or hopeless, we must not give into the subtleties of the wicked one and allow unbelief to rob us.  
We must guard our hearts at all times from Satan and his lies. Nevertheless, if you struggle with unworthiness or hopelessness, you can be certain that Satan is speaking to you. God cannot leave you, one of His own; neither will He forsake you. The only reason we would ever believe that He would is because we have found ourselves in a place that is dark and lonely. Always remember this: God loved you while you were still a sinner; He demonstrated this love by offering Jesus as payment for our sin debt. If He loved us that much when we were His enemy, how much more is the blood of Jesus going to save us from the wrath to come (Romans 5)?  
Anytime we allow feelings that are the result of a setback or hardship to control us and to dictate our decisions, then we are certain to fall into one of Satan’s pits. Just because we have thoughts and feelings that reflect the reality of our life at a particular moment in time doesn’t mean we have to own them. It doesn’t mean that you’re being a hypocrite or living in a fantasy if you decide to believe God’s Word in spite of your situation. Satan loves to condemn Christians who refuse to succumb to his suggestions and lies...in the hope that we will cave into his pressure.  
The cross of Jesus was enough to cover both the sins of our past and the trials of today. Just as we had to take a stand of faith for our salvation, we must also continue to stand against the Devil anytime he tries to regain territory that now belongs to the Lord (our hearts). When you feel like giving up, go to the Lord; and He will deliver you from all your distresses.
Complete in Christ,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Walk By Faith Until You See The Light

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 the Bible, the word “darkness” has different connotations; it could mean evil, deceit, hidden sins, as well as spiritual ignorance of the truth. Today, however, I want to explore the latter… spiritual ignorance in the life of a believer. If we walk in darkness or a lack of understanding of God’s Word, then we resort to leaning on our own understanding (the word “understanding” is also referred to as LIGHT in God’s word).
In Proverbs, we’re told to guard our heart, for out of it flow forth the issues of life. If our heart doesn’t have the Word of God hidden within it, then we won’t know when we are in violation of His Word. Here is wisdom: we might not know a particular principle that is written in the Word of God; however, our ignorance of that truth won’t prevent us from suffering the devastating fallout from the sin that is hidden in our hearts.
The deceitful thing about sin is that it can be very deceptive. For this reason, God sent His Son, the Word incarnate, into the world. God wanted His people to see the LIGHT and, through the truth, be set free from the blindness of sin. We already know that sin produces death. We also know that God’s Word is the only way we can both have and enjoy life. Therefore, we must develop a hunger to know God’s Word and to hide it in our hearts by honoring it. As we honor God’s Word, it will cleanse our hearts and keep us from sin. When we choose to obey the truth and our ways begin to please the Lord, our life will begin to reflect the goodness and protection of God’s grace.
Paul teaches us in Romans 10 that faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. As we set our hearts to listen to God’s Word and receive it as truth, it will begin to illuminate our understanding and reveal what is in our hearts. After we have been enlightened by the Word, we must decide whether to align our life with it or to remain the same old person. You see; God’s truth or “light” not only gives us understanding, but it also corrects wrong thinking and wrong action.
Perhaps you have had an issue in your life that wars against your joy and peace as a believer and nothing you have done has seemed to work to stop it. If this describes a situation in your life, James gives us the key to victory. Whenever we find ourselves in various trials/temptations, we are to turn to the Lord and ask Him for wisdom (enlightenment through truth), and He will give it to us liberally.
You have to get serious about circumstances and situations that seem never to end. You must reach a point where you are willing and ready to turn them over to the Lord. As you cast your cares on Him, He will provide you with the answer you need to overcome this problem. James also instructs us to have patience and wait on the Lord as we seek Him for wisdom concerning spiritual mountains that overshadow our lives. Stand on God’s Word today; and continue standing until the LIGHT comes on, and you are able to see things through the eyes of faith.  
Walking in the Light,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Walking In The Midst Of A Miracle

Exodus 14:21-25, Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea into dry land, and the waters were divided. So the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea on the dry ground, and the waters were a wall to them on their right hand and on their left. And the Egyptians pursued and went after them into the midst of the sea, all Pharaoh's horses, his chariots, and his horsemen. Now it came to pass, in the morning watch, that the LORD looked down upon the army of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and cloud, and He troubled the army of the Egyptians. And He took off their chariot wheels, so that they drove them with difficulty; and the Egyptians said, "Let us flee from the face of Israel, for the LORD fights for them against the Egyptians." NKJV
Are you walking through a hard trial right now? Well, if you’re a child of God, then you have the assurance from the Holy Spirit that God is with you. Whenever the children of Israel saw Pharaoh and his army pursuing them, they were certain in their hearts that IT was over for them. They forgot to factor into the equation that God was with them.
When we face great uncertainty, we, too, must remember our God is with us. You will notice that there was a period of time when the Jews were so filled with fear that they desired to return to Egypt. Here is the lesson that we can take from the testimony of Israel at the Red Sea: if we don’t faint or revert back to our old ways while we’re walking through a hard place, God will deliver us from all our afflictions, just as He promised.  
Therefore, we will continue to progress, even in the face of great hostility and overwhelming odds… simply because God is with us. The moment the Jews obeyed God’s command to be still and wait on His plan to be revealed, God began to move. You have to determine in your heart and in your mind that you’re not going to be moved from your faith because of the way things appear in the natural. Once you establish that level of resolve in your heart and spirit, the Lord will begin to take what you’re walking through and turn it into the victory walk that will result in a miracle.  
Keep moving forward; don’t stop when you face your Red Sea or fiery furnace. Throughout the Word of God, there are many stories told of when God’s people had to face impossible situations. However, as long as they kept moving ahead, God was faithful and delivered them. Establish your heart through the Word of God and be strengthened with power through the Holy Spirit, and you’ll witness a miracle in your life too. God creates miracles as we continue onward in His power and might. Keep your heart’s attention on the Lord; don’t be moved from your stand of faith in God’s ability to give you the victory. You are more than a conqueror in Christ.
Walking out My Miracle,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Monday, January 13, 2014

God's First Command Is Love

Mark 12: 28 – 31, Then one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, perceiving that He had answered them well, asked Him, "Which is the first commandment of all?" Jesus answered him, "The first of all the commandments is: 'Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is one. And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.' This is the first commandment.  And the second, like it, is this: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these." NKJV
Why do you suppose the first commandment is to love God? God is love. Therefore, when we love Him more than all else, we are allowing the very nature and essence of God to live and flow through our hearts. It’s interesting, to say the least, that God requires us to love Him because there is no love (agape) apart from God; and man was separated from God through sin. It is no surprise then that when God gave the commandment for Israel to love Him, they naturally fell short.
As a minister of the gospel, I hear and see many people who confess faith in Christ, but fall short in living for God. The reason they most often give me as to why they fall short is they lack the power to live for God and to overcome the pleasures and desires of sin. What many believers who struggle to live a godly life fail to realize is that it takes the love of God abiding in our hearts before we can successfully live for God.
Even as Christians, we can’t love the world and love the Father at the same time; we will have no power to live holy before Him. We are required to choose whom we will serve. The Apostle John tells believers in Christ that if they love the world, then the love of the Father is not in them. Thus, we will fail whenever we try to live for God. We must accept the gift of God’s Son, who was given by the Father out of His great love in order to bridge the gap between Him and us.
After Jesus had risen from the dead, He appeared to His disciples several times. About the third time, Jesus “cornered” Simon Peter and asked him if he loved Him. Jesus asked Simon Peter this question three times. Perhaps, Jesus dealt with Simon’s heart three times because he had previously denied knowing Jesus three times. Nevertheless, Simon wasn’t living for Jesus, and Jesus wanted to know if Simon truly loved Him. It was there with Simon that we see Jesus tying together living and serving God with loving Him.  
No one can live for God for a lifetime, if they don’t truly love God first. We’re told in 1 Corinthians 13 that love never fails. Consequently, if you regularly struggle to overcome sin and to live for God without feeling under condemnation, then you must ask the Lord to fill your heart with His love. You must also seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. The more you allow yourself to love God by placing self on the cross of obedience, the additional liberty you will have to live for Him.
To love God or even someone else is simply an act of your will. You’re willing to put them first in your life. As we prioritize our life to live for God’s pleasure, then He will be released to fill our hearts with His divine nature and give us power to overcome the will of our flesh. You can do all things through Christ, and live a holy life.
Loving God,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Friday, January 10, 2014

Taking The Shield Of Faith

Ephesians 6: 10 – 16, Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the Wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery Darts of the wicked one. NKJV
Amazingly, the book of Job allows us a glimpse into the heavenly realm. One day Satan came before God, and God asked him what he had been doing. He told the Lord that he had been going to and fro throughout the earth. It was at this point that God asked Satan if he had considered His servant Job. On the surface, it appears that God is simply inviting Satan to wreck havoc on Job’s life. However, in reality, God is allowing us to see the protective hedge that had been hidden from us because of the fall of man.
There is so much to discover from the book of Job about God, His hidden wisdom, and Satan; however, today I want to discuss the hedge that was around Job. When God asked Satan if he had considered Job, Satan’s reply clues us in on something that is a key in the understanding of spiritual warfare. The Devil reminded God that God had placed a protective hedge around Job and Job’s livelihood; therefore, Satan could not touch him.
When the people of God are ignorant about God and His protection in our lives, it will cause us to open ourselves to worry, doubt, unbelief, and fear.  Likewise, we see how Job’s ignorance of God’s protection from Satan caused him to have fear as a father. Job constantly sacrificed to the Lord because he was afraid that his sons and daughters would sin against God and be destroyed…this tells us that Job didn’t have personal knowledge of God’s hedge. Fear filled Job’s heart because he didn’t have the truth to establish his faith upon. Therefore, he continually sacrificed out of works.
There are two words used to define “hedge.” One is protection; however, the other is restraint. We know from reading in Job how the hedge served as a wall of protection in the spirit realm; nevertheless, how does it serve as a restraint? The Lord warns us in Proverbs to guard our hearts with all diligence. This requires us, as God’s people, to show considerable restraint when it comes to living in a fallen world that is filled with great temptation. As we restrain ourselves from the pleasures of this world, we are allowing the hedge of God to keep us from stepping out of bounds into disobedience. Even so, the only way for us to restrain ourselves is through personal knowledge of God’s Word and promises.
Now let’s fast forward a few thousand years. When Jesus came to earth, He gave the people who heard His message the opportunity through faith to be protected from Satan, sin, and destruction. Once we place our faith in Christ and become born again, we are no longer of this world; we are hidden in Christ. Just as there was a hedge around Job, there is a protective force surrounding the children of God.
We see this in Matthew when Jesus tells Simon that Satan asked God for permission to sift him as wheat. Simon was protected from Satan’s ability to touch his life while he was walking with Christ. However, Simon was about to deny Christ and therefore, give place for the Devil to operate in his heart through unbelief. Even when Simon was willing to be used by the enemy to deny his knowledge of Christ, Satan still had to gain access from God in order to invade Simon’s life.  
We must take responsibility if we desire to keep God’s protection on our lives and have hearts that are kept from Satan’s deceitful plans. We have been given the shield of faith as part of our spiritual armor. If we use our faith to quench or extinguish the fiery darts of Satan, then we will also keep ourselves from giving in to his lies. Eve didn’t use faith when she was approached by Satan; consequently, he led her astray from God’s protection. When Jesus was tempted by Satan, He answered those temptations with the Word of God. We, too, must use the Word of God through our faith to adequately address the issues we face from Satan.  
Whenever we stand in faith on God’s Word and Satan tries to trip us up, God’s Word will keep us from falling prey. In the book of John, Jesus tells us that we must continue in His teachings; if we choose to progress in them, we will come to know the truth, and the truth that we know or place our faith in will set us free from bondage. Are you building your faith and life on God’s Word?
Standing on the Rock,
Pastor Asa Dockery  

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Receiving God's Best

1 Peter 5: 6 – 10, Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. NKJV
In the book of Proverbs, we’re instructed to place our complete trust in the Lord instead of leaning on our own understanding. As Christians, we must be willing to acknowledge God in ALL our ways and allow Him to direct our steps or decisions in life. It is God who has given us the privilege of having free-will. However, apart from the wisdom of God, and since we have the freedom of choice, we run the risk of making poor and even destructive decisions in life.
God tells us in Deuteronomy that He has set before us death and life, and He counsels us to choose life so that we and our children might live. Having stated this let me ask you a probing question. Are you pleased with your life? Do you believe the life that you are living is God’s best for you, or are you living in bondage? You see; humans have a tendency to take life as it comes, not really challenge it, until it gets to be overwhelming.  
Many times in the Word of God, we’re told that we will reap the fruit of our choices and suffer the consequences of wrong actions. Therefore, we must be careful to allow God’s Word and Spirit to have entrance into our hearts so that we can discern the difference between a bad decision and a good one. God’s Word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. If we should reject God’s principles by not applying them to our everyday lives, then we will walk in spiritual darkness and stumble (stumble means to transgress or sin).
Even though God knew the dangers of giving men free-will, He loved us enough to give us that freedom. God wants us to choose freely to accept and love Him with our whole heart. Nevertheless, if we decide to ignore God and His love for us, we will pay the price for our decision. We must all come to the place in our life where we’re willing to turn to the Lord for direction and spiritual protection; we must forsake our ways for His.
It’s not enough to say, “I will turn to the Lord and accept His will.” We must also choose to forsake our old ways, old thoughts, and old habits in exchange for His ways. If we decide not to give up that flesh nature, we will FALL short of God’s best for us. Instead of choosing to decrease and crucify self, it’s simply easier for our flesh nature to add Jesus to our ways. Consequently, the door of our hearts will be left open for the lies of Satan to enter through the old ways of our flesh nature.  
In order for the principles of life (God’s life in us) to operate at an optimal level, we must be willing to discipline ourselves to come into agreement or alignment with God’s Word. If we should fail to transform our ways by applying God’s Word, the Word will have very little to no impact on our lives. Therefore, we are instructed to “take no thought” when placing our complete trust in God and His Word. Satan will speak lies from your old ways and try to get you to act the same way you always have so that he can neutralize the power of God’s seed from impacting your life.
On a practical level, I have watched Christians who knew God’s Word up one side and down the other decide to give themselves over to the desires of their flesh rather than fully obey God’s Word. Consequently, they suffer great loss. Instead of allowing the Sword of the Spirit (WORD) to circumcise their hearts of the fleshly ways, they decided to obey their lusts and live in bondage to Satan’s lies. James said, “When I know the good that I should do and do not do it, then it becomes sin to me.” Whatever is not of faith is sin, and sin will destroy our lives.
So the next time you face a decision that requires you to die to the flesh and live for God’s glory, choose life that you might live and possess the promises of God.  
Living by Faith,
Pastor Asa Dockery 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Oh How I Love Jesus

Hebrews 5: 5 – 8, So also Christ did not glorify Himself to become High Priest, but it was He who said to Him: "You are My Son, today I have begotten You." As He also says in another place: "You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek"; who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear, though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. NKJV
While in prayer, the Lord dealt with me through His Spirit about the hearts of His people growing cold toward Him. However, before we proceed, let’s break this down. If you were to ask Christians if they loved the Lord, I’m sure that all would answer, “Yes.” We can be sincere in our hearts, but God doesn’t just look at our sincerity or our intent; He also looks at our actions. “For God so loved the world that He GAVE His only-begotten Son.” God looks at our obedience in order to gauge the degree of love we really have for Him.
Jesus warns us in Matthew 24, that in the last days, the love of many will wax cold. As the Spirit was speaking to me, this is what I heard. “Ask my people to remember if there was ever a time in their walk of faith when they were more on fire (passionate) for My work than they currently are?”
Can you recollect a time in the past when you were excited to attend “His church” and fellowship with the saints, nevertheless, you no longer possess that enthusiasm? Has there been a time in your relationship with Jesus when it was both a blessing and a privilege to serve, pray, give, and obey His commands, but now it’s more difficult to find the willingness? If you find yourself in this condition, don’t feel condemned because that isn’t the reason God is giving us this word. God wants His people to return to Him with their whole heart. His desire is that they fall madly in love with Jesus all over again. In other words, He wants us to return to our First-love.
You may have very legitimate reasons why you’re not as passionate as you once were. However, God doesn’t want our excuses because He has given us His grace. Paul sought the Lord when he was persecuted, beaten, reproached, and hated and asked Him to remove these things from his life. Nevertheless, God told Paul, “My GRACE is enough!”
We all have a decision to make. The Lord is dealing with our hearts concerning our love for Him and for His work on the earth. What are we going to do to change how we demonstrate our love for God and for His church? While this Word is still speaking to our hearts today, we must make a fresh commitment to reengage in the good fight of faith.
Allow the Spirit of God through His grace to stir up the embers that have grown cold in your heart. The fire may have diminished, but the love is still there in your heart. Get alone with God and spend the time that is needed in His presence to reignite your passion to serve, to give and to be Jesus’ hands and feet to the world. You can do all things through Christ. Let’s do this for the glory and honor of God.
We are currently in the first week of our 21 day fast and would love for you to join us. We have had some who have already pledged that they would. We must decrease, so that Christ can increase in us in 2014. We want to pray for you and lift you up to the Lord, so that you can overcome any hurts, setbacks, or disappointments of the past. It’s time for you to experience the joy of being fulfilled while pouring out the love of Jesus to others who may not know His love.
Serving God Beside You,
Pastor Asa Dockery
Email us at: prayer@whcnorth.org 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

When God's Love Reached Down

Matthew 23 : 37 – 39, "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! See! Your house is left to you desolate; for I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say, 'Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!'" NKJV
There is absolutely nothing in this world that can compare to the LOVE that God has for mankind. Throughout the Bible, we can read many accounts of when God stretched out His hands to His people; unfortunately, we can also see where they rejected His love. I would like to remind you that the Bible was written over the space of many centuries. Still, from the book of Genesis to the Revelation of Christ, God is recorded as being a Savior, who is yearning to save a world that is lost.
Book after book and chapter after chapter, God remains the same in the Bible. However, throughout scripture, His people decided to reject His love and His law, and they ended up in trouble or in bondage. Even so, God had a plan that would bring them out of their afflictions. Over and again, we can read where God brought His people out of bondage and slavery, and delivered them from their enemies. Nonetheless, how many times do we find a place where He was able lead them to Himself?  
Even in the verses that I used today from the gospel of Matthew, we can see Jesus “lamenting” over a Jerusalem, who had rejected the prophets and Him. You can feel His heart break as you read the words that He spoke over Jerusalem when He saw their choice to turn a deaf ear and a hard heart toward Him.
Out of all the stories in God’s Word where God is reaching out to mankind, we need to consider a very important truth. Shouldn’t it have been the other way around? Shouldn’t the Jews and mankind as a whole reached out to God? How many verses do you suppose are written in the Bible where God is instructing His followers to turn to Him and away from the path of destruction?
From a Biblical understanding, I know why it has to be that way. Jesus said, “You did not choose Me, but I have chosen you from the world.” What I am asking is, “Where are the hearts of those whom God is reaching out to save?” Which direction are you walking today? Are you pursuing God or the world? May the Lord continue to grant us the privilege to pursue Him with our whole hearts so that we might find Him and experience His unconditional love? If we draw near to Him, He has promised to draw near to us.
In Love with God,
Pastor Asa Dockery