WHCNorth Mobile App

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Tried By Our Words

Matthew 12 : 35 - 37, A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the Day of Judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned." NKJV
Have you ever been hurt by someone who had “good intentions?” On many occasions, people have promised me they would do something, yet I have found that their words weren’t followed through with action. It’s a good thing to be sincere when we tell someone that we will offer our help to them. Nevertheless, sincerity alone won’t bless others; we must keep our word. If a relative or friend whom you love and trust doesn’t do what they have told you, it gives place to disappointment and can damage the relationship between you.
In today’s scripture, Jesus teaches us that we are either justified or condemned by our words. What we speak out our mouths will reflect what is really in our hearts. Needless to say, if we tell someone that we’ll be there for them and fail to show, afterwards, our words will condemn us. However, on the other hand, if we are who we say we are, and we do what we tell people that we will do, then we are justified by our words; and they can trust us.
There’s an interesting scripture in James that will help us to understand why Christians have to go through fiery trials in life. James says that we are blessed when we ENDURE temptation; for when we are TRIED/APPROVED, we will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love Him. Notice that tried and approved or interchangeable.
Why are Christians tried? It is to see if we are, indeed, who we say we are in Christ and to see whether we will do what we tell others we will do. Be aware of this principle when you speak “a promise or commitment” out your mouth. You will be tried by your words to see if what you have spoken is, in fact, true. We come “under attack” after making or speaking a vow because the enemy wants to prove we’re not the REAL thing; however, God wants to know if He can reward us for sticking to our commitment, even after we have been tried by our words.
Satan is out to cause us to fail by throwing obstacles in our way. Nevertheless, if we’ll hold on and ENDURE (follow through anyway), then we will overcome, and Satan will learn that we are for real; and we will, subsequently receive a reward/blessing from God because we “kept His Word or principles of character.”
Consequently, don’t think it strange if you are inundated by attacks when you take a stand or publicly declare something that has not yet been put to the test. A perfect example of the principle that I’m expounding on is found in the book of Job. Before Job was tried by Satan, God had spoken some great words of praise over Job’s character. It was these declarations of God that got Job “placed on trial.” Immediately, after God spoke to Satan about Job’s integrity, his entire life was turned upside down. Did Job curse God, like Satan said that he would? No, he did not. Did Job sin against God, like Satan thought he would? No, he did not. Did Job keep the integrity of his heart and hold on to his faith in the goodness of God and endure the trial? YES, he did!
Did Satan’s attempt to discredit Job and make God a liar materialize as he said it would? No, it did not. Therefore, we can conclude that Job’s trial further solidified or established the truth about God’s faithfulness, Job’s character, and Satan’s self-deception. At the end of the trial, Job was blessed by the Lord with a double portion of everything that he had lost, just as James said in his letter. After you have been tried/approved, then the Lord will give you the promise.
We must be very careful when we make grandiose statements and embellish the truth about something, lest we open the door for Satan to try our words by throwing us in the furnace of afflictions. By our words, we will be justified and by them, we will be condemned.
If the Lord Is Willing, I Will Do Such and Such,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Monday, September 29, 2014

Wise Investments

Matthew 6 : 16 - 21, "Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. NKJV
There are two types of mindsets mentioned in the Word of God. There is an eternal perspective, and there is an earthly or temporal perspective. The person who has an eternal outlook on this life will live for Christ. However, the person who has an earthly take on life will live only for themselves; they will not concern themselves with eternity.
When Jesus preached His Sermon on the Mount, He emphasized to God’s chosen people just how vitally important it was for them to obey God because He wanted them to have treasure in heaven. He also warned them not to be like the scribes, Pharisees, and hypocrites, who did religious activity only to be seen by people... rather than to please God. According to Matthew 6, they received their reward when they sought to impress men...in other words, that’s all they got. However, if we choose to obey God in secret, then He will reward us openly.
James warns us in his epistle to be doers of the Word and not just hearers only. If we are merely hearers, we won’t follow through with obedient actions; consequently, we deceive ourselves. If we should decide to do only those things that our flesh nature agrees to, instead of obeying the Holy Spirit, then we will have no eternal reward laid up for us in heaven ( 1 Corinthians 3:15). In Matthew 16, Jesus teaches us to deny ourselves, take up our cross daily, and to follow Him. Consequently, if we practice these commands, we will store up treasures in heaven, and God will reward us here on earth as well...all because we have chosen to please Him instead of ourselves.
It’s human nature for a person to want to do only just enough to “get by.” Jesus addresses this slothful attitude in His sermon. He gives many examples of how the scribes and Pharisees had “watered-down” the commandments of God in order to please themselves. Jesus also said that they would not enter into the kingdom of heaven. The Lord goes on to tell us to "Go the extra mile.” When we go beyond the limitations and weaknesses of our flesh, and we obey God’s voice and Word, then He will reward us for our sacrificial obedience unto Him.
Paul tells us in Colossians 3 not to be “man pleasers,” only doing those things that we think will please someone so that we might receive a reward or accolade from them. Instead, he instructs us to do everything as unto the Lord; if we seek to please God, He can reward our faith.
It’s obvious to us that God used the story of the scribes, the Pharisees, and the hypocrites as examples of men, who were trying to appease God with their own unrighteous works. However, their labor in the flesh was not accepted by Him. In comparison, we see Jesus, who exceeded, through simple obedience, all that the religious zealots had done in the “name of God.” Jesus never tried to make excuses for disobedience; He never killed one lamb or goat to atone for His sins because He ALWAYS obeyed His Father. Like Jesus, our faith and reward only begin when we say “NO” to our fleshly ways and obey God’s will. (Ro. 10:4)
If you, too, desire to please your heavenly Father and want to receive an eternal reward for your obedient works, then you must first crucify self and its evil passions; and, after that be willing to listen to the direction of God in your life. Faith alone is what God requires to please Him. Jesus did just that! Therefore, we, who obey like Jesus did and walk by faith, instead of pleasing ourselves are going to have both an eternal reward and be blessed while on earth.
Through Christ Alone,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Friday, September 26, 2014

Quenching Satan’s Fiery Darts

Psalms 42 : 1 - 5, As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God? My tears have been my food day and night, while they continually say to me, "Where is your God?" When I remember these things, I pour out my soul within me. For I used to go with the multitude; I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept a pilgrim feast. Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance. NKJV
There may be a small chance that you haven’t realized it yet; nevertheless, you are in a spiritual battle. Perhaps you have not recognized the battle as demonic because the conflict was in the realm of the physical. However, in Ephesians 6, Paul tells us that we do not wrestle with flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this age, and against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
Nevertheless, there is a deceptive part concerning spiritual warfare that many Christians aren’t aware of. Let’s suppose that on your drive to work one day, you have an accident. Then, you arrive at work only to find that you’re being dismissed. Both of these events transpired in the natural or tangible world. Consequently, where is the spiritual aspect of this warfare? First of all, Satan, the thief has stolen your car and your job. Nonetheless, here’s where the deceptive part enters into the mix. Your spiritual opponent has you shaken up and “on the ropes.” Therefore, he will begin speaking to you through the troubling circumstances that have taken place.
Why does the enemy want to speak to us after a loss or a conflict has occurred? Allow me to explain further. In the Garden of Eden, Satan appeared as a serpent. If we are bitten by a snake, we will experience pain inflicted by his fangs. Consequently, the snake bite is representative of the car accident and the lost job.
When a snake bites its victim, it is for releasing poisonous venom into the bloodstream in order to cause death. The venom is representative of the spiritual warfare that occurs after troubles have arrived in the natural realm; those troubles can open us up to toxic thoughts and feelings; if these feelings are left unchecked, they can adversely affect our (spiritual) hearts. When we allow ourselves to be harmed by these thoughts, then we are at a place in the trial where our difficulties devolve from the natural realm, move into the spiritual realm and can begin to undermine our faith.
If a natural occurrence takes place in our lives that opens our hearts up to the entertainment of doubts, fears, or unbelief, then we can know that Satan is definitely behind the scenes trying to overpower our faith in God and His Word. We have arrived at the place in spiritual warfare where it is crucial for us to guard our hearts from receiving any thoughts or feelings that might cause us to see God in a negative connotation.
Satan will try to use losses or tragedies to cause us to doubt God and His Word. His goal is to get us to abort any, and all promises that we may have received from the Lord by getting us to harden our hearts against God. Satan knows that faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. Therefore, if he can get us to harden our hearts so that we don’t listen to God’s voice, then we can’t receive our promises.
Now, you can clearly see why Satan attacks us in the natural first. He needs for us to give him an open door so that he can get us to turn our own hearts against the Lord. This is why God has given every single believer the shield of faith. By it, we are able to quench the fiery (poisonous) darts of the wicked. Faith becomes the shield we use in times of conflict; we must place it over our hearts so that we don’t receive an evil report from Satan. We can’t prevent bad things from happening to us. However, we CAN stop the venom from entering our hearts and further robbing us of future promises.
Fully Utilizing the Shield of Faith,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Restoration of the Soul of America

Luke 12 : 13 - 21, Then one from the crowd said to Him, "Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me." But He said to him, "Man, who made Me a judge or an arbitrator over you?" And He said to them, "Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses." Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: "The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. And he thought within himself, saying, 'What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?' So he said, 'I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. And I will say to my soul, "Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry."' But God said to him, 'Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?' "So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God." NKJV
The Word of God declares that we are blessed from the very moment we come to faith in Christ. Even so, just as a farmer plants a seed into the ground and waits for the harvest, the Word of God that brings the blessing of God takes time to produce fruit. Consequently, we must continue to abide in Christ and in the Word so that we will become partakers of God’s blessings, bearing much fruit. When we walk with God, the blessings of God will come upon our lives and will eventually overtake us.
Read the story of Abraham, who is known as the father (founder) of the faith in Christendom; you will see that when God first called him out of his father’s country and away from his kindred, Abraham didn’t have many possessions. Nevertheless, as he continued to walk by faith, God began to bless him in the natural realm making Abraham’s name great among the people.
The longer Abraham walked with the Lord, the greater He blessed him. The increase was so great that the herdsmen of Abraham and Lot begin to quarrel over the land in order to obtain adequate pasture for their herds. Therefore, the only thing the uncle and nephew could do was to divide the land and part company. After God had greatly blessed Abraham and made him rich, God gave Isaac to he and Sarah. The couple had finally acquired their heart’s desire from the Lord. They both had reached a pinnacle in their faith walk and had witnessed the riches of God’s favor and blessing on their lives.
It was after God had richly blessed Abraham that He told him to take Isaac upon the mountain and offer him as a sacrifice unto the Lord. Did you realize that Abraham could have said, “I’ve gotten all that I’ve ever needed and wanted from the Lord, and I don’t need God any longer?” We must be very careful when, after we’ve walked with God for a while, and He has blessed us that we don’t get lifted up in pride and give the Devil a place to rob us of our spiritual inheritance. It is very hard stepping out in faith with nothing in the natural except “a word from God.” However, it can become very dangerous when, after we’ve been blessed by the Lord, we allow ourselves to lose focus of God and dwell only on His blessings.
When God has blessed us with everything that we have desired, we must beware of the flesh nature and keep it crucified, lest we get lifted up and forget the Lord. If we should become lifted up through pride, then we will give the enemy an opportunity to take our passion and focus away from God and redirect it toward our possessions. God doesn’t mind us being blessed and having possessions; He just doesn’t want possessions to possess us.
If we allow ourselves to get to a place where our possessions and our earthly wealth cause us to disobey and ignore God in our hearts, then we will be walking away from the only hope we will ever have in this life, or in the life to come. When we disregard God, we disobey God’s Word; if we refuse to obey the Word, we no longer walk by faith. Consequently, the blessings, along with our hope will dry up.
If we choose to walk away from the God of hope because He has blessed us in the natural, then we are cutting off our own souls. Blessings apart from God cannot save our souls. Our souls can only live when we hear God and keep His Word. Remember the man in today’s scripture. Instead of honoring the Lord with his substance, he decided to hoard up his blessings and take it easy.
After we have been blessed, our faith will be threatened; the enemy will begin to tempt us to relax. If we give in to Satan's plans, and we back away from God because of all the goodness in our lives, then we will fall into the same snare that the man in today’s story did. What will it profit us, if we should gain the entire world, but forfeit our very soul? Nothing!
America has experienced the greatness of God’s favor, provision, and authority. Nevertheless, over the past fifty or sixty years, Americans have chosen to indulge in the pleasures of “our success,” at the expense of standing up and defending the truth in our society. As a result, we are living in a secular society that offers no hope. Somewhere along the way, Americans have lost their way. However, it’s time for us to return to the God of our salvation. It’s not too late for both America and the church to turn to God, repent of our sin, and allow God to restore greatness to this country and His church. All God asks is that we, who are called by His name, humble ourselves and pray, seek His face, and turn from our wicked ways; then, He will hear from heaven, forgive our sins, and heal our land.
We must return to the Lord with our whole heart, allowing God’s mercy to restore the soul of America back to righteousness and holiness. If we want to see both America, and the church in this nation become what God intended us to be, then it must begin with you and me.
The Goodness of God Produces Repentance,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Wednesday, September 24, 2014


Romans 8 : 1 - 4, There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. NKJV
Paul was having a great day in the Holy Spirit when he wrote these passages on freedom in Christ. When Jesus came to earth, it was to save us from our sin, not to condemn us. If we have accepted Christ as Savior, we have been born again. However, we were born the first time as sinners, and as a result, we still have some residue from our old flesh nature that spills over into our new lives. When we have a sin conscious, it makes us feel guilty; and when our flesh nature gets into the mix, it makes us feel unworthy or less-than.
If we struggle with FEELINGS of unworthiness, and we’re in need of a touch from God, the unworthiness can be a stumbling block to us receiving our answer. Therefore, we must overcome any feelings of guilt and/or unworthiness so that we can freely receive what Jesus has already paid in full for us to have. It’s just a matter of us being able to receive the love of God into our hearts.
It’s time we get past the old mindsets of the sin and flesh nature and begin to walk in, and declare our new identity in Christ. If we are in Christ, then we are a brand-new creature in Him; old things must now pass away, and this includes feelings of inadequacy. We all have weaknesses and blind spots that the enemy of our soul will try to hold over us. Nonetheless, if we look to Jesus and realize that it’s not Him condemning us, it is our old man who is accusing us; we can overcome and receive spiritual freedom.
The best and quickest way to grow past any negative feelings or weaknesses of the flesh nature is to be certain that we are living according to the Spirit and not according to the desires of our flesh nature. We can overcome the flesh nature daily through our obedience to the Holy Spirit. Once our obedience is matured, we will have confidence over the voices of the flesh nature and begin to enjoy our new-found freedom in Christ. (The key is being persistent and consistent until we get the breakthrough that we need to silence the lies of the enemy.)
If this word describes you, and you have struggled to walk in the freedom of Christ as a child of God, then start practicing your liberty in Christ today. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you any areas in your life where your flesh has control instead of God. When you have identified these areas, then you can begin the process of crucifying the flesh through obedience... until condemnation is no more. You can do this! Christ will give you the strength to face any fear, guilt, or shame that may stand in the way of you walking in total freedom.
Walking It Out,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Walking in the Overflow

Genesis 1 : 27 - 28, So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth." NKJV
When you received the Spirit of Christ into your heart, God blessed you with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. It might not have seemed like you were blessed the minute you were saved. Nonetheless, you were because you were reconnected to the Vine. When you received the love of God into your heart, you also received the life of God. The life of God empowers us to grow spiritually so that we can become who God intended us to be. However, although we have the life of God dwelling in our hearts, we still need to make the time to be in God’s presence. In God’s presence is FULNESS of joy (Joy is the fruit of the Spirit).
In John 15, Jesus tells us that apart from Him, we can do nothing. He also warns us to abide in Him (the Vine) so that we will bear fruit. If we don’t abide, continue, and dwell in Him, we will wither spiritually. It’s not enough for us to have the life of God; if we desire to be filled and produce fruit in the spirit, we must also live in the presence of God.
In Christ, we are indeed blessed, but are we filled? Jesus tells us in Matthew 5 : 6 that if we hunger and thirst for His righteousness, we will be filled. After the Lord blessed Adam and Eve, He gave them instructions. He commanded them to be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth. Even so, it’s impossible to fill something if we’re drawing from an empty vessel. Therefore, if we’re going to be blessed enough that we are able to bless others, then we must first be filled. As we abide in the Vine and bask in the presence of the Lord, He begins to fill us with Himself. Consequently, because of the overflow of our communion with the Lord, others can partake of the blessings that are released on us.
Abraham walked with God; and as a result of his persistent faith, He was greatly blessed with physical things. Because Lot walked with blessed Abraham, he became blessed as well. Do you see how the overflow is supposed to operate? When we continue to walk with the Lord, others become blessed by the overflow of our communion with Him. Nevertheless, we must remain connected to the Vine long-term, if we want our abundant blessings to spill over onto the lives of others.
There can be times in our walk with God that we may feel as if we have been uprooted. Sometimes it seems as if we have found momentum in our walk, we begin to produce, and suddenly the flow gets disrupted. Consequently, we may find it difficult or impossible to be faithful in our walk with the Lord long-term. When this happens, the enemy is trying to prevent us from being filled; if we are not filled, how can our overflow bless others? It is certain that Satan does not want us blessed; however, neither does he want us so blessed that we’re able to bless others who walk with us.
Like Abraham, there will be those times in your life where distractions and attractions to “good” things have to be left behind. We must always keep God first in our hearts and in our walk, if we want to be a blessing to others. Your heavenly Father wants you to be so blessed that others become blessed just being around you. It’s time for the children of God to be filled and to walk in the overflow of God’s presence and blessings.
Abiding in the Overflow,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Monday, September 22, 2014

Do You Want To Follow Jesus?

Luke 9 : 56 - 62, For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men's lives but to save them." And they went to another village. Now it happened as they journeyed on the road, that someone said to Him, "Lord, I will follow You wherever You go." And Jesus said to him, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head." Then He said to another, "Follow Me.” But he said, "Lord, let me first go and bury my father." Jesus said to him, "Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God." And another also said, "Lord, I will follow You, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house." But Jesus said to him, "No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God." NKJV
In the context of today’s scripture, Jesus tells us that He didn’t come to destroy men’s (women’s) lives, but to save them. Later in the passages, Jesus asked some men to follow Him. However, they all gave an excuse why they couldn’t follow at that moment. Do you realize that same mindset is still alive and well in the church today? People want to be saved; nevertheless, they aren’t concerned with following through by serving the purpose that God has saved them to accomplish.
In the western world, we have made Christianity all about being saved. Unfortunately, we have omitted the key component to walking in salvation, which is following the commands of Christ. In Matthew 10 : 38, Jesus tells us that if we don’t take up OUR cross and FOLLOW Him, then we are not worthy of Him. Notice in both scripture references today Jesus’ focus isn’t on salvation. His attention is on us following His lead and doing what He says, when He says to do it.
The men who “wanted to follow Jesus” didn’t want to do so on Jesus’ terms, but on their own terms. When you and I came to Christ, it was because we didn’t have life; and we desired that He give us His life. However, now that we’ve accepted His life, does it mean that we are free to do as we please, or do what He requires of us whenever it’s convenient for us? According to the verses that I’ve given you today, the answer is NO!
Jesus also instructs His followers in Matthew 16 : 24 that we are to deny self. This is depicted in today’s text by Jesus rejecting those who said they “desired” to follow Him; nevertheless, they excused themselves in order to do something they esteemed “more important” at the time. We may tend to think that this teaching is harsh. However, we need to remember that hell is eternal, and the rejection of Christ’s invitation to follow Him is too serious to be taken lightly.
Throughout his epistles, Paul teaches about being a true disciple of Christ. He tells us to crucify self by dying to the desires of our old man; when we are dead to our fleshly ways, we can then live for Christ. Paul also teaches us that our life in Christ is not ours; it is His, and we should live “the life” that is pleasing to Him. Christianity isn’t based on convenience; it is based on commitment. If we aren’t committed to following Christ, then Jesus tells us that we’re not fit for the kingdom.
Finally, in Matthew 6 : 33 Jesus tells us to seek first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you. Placing Jesus and His will before our own makes it easier for us to forsake this world and its pleasures for an eternal reward.
Throughout the gospels, you will find that Jesus was always very gracious and longsuffering with people’s ways so that He might gain their trust. Even so, whenever someone came to Him, or when He called on them to do something, you will see that He was harder on them than those who just sought Him for a miracle. It is better not to make a vow to the Lord than it is to make one and then break it.
Deuteronomy 23 : 21 - 23, "When you make a vow to the LORD your God, you shall not delay to pay it; for the LORD your God will surely require it of you, and it would be sin to you. But if you abstain from vowing, it shall not be sin to you. That which has gone from your lips you shall keep and perform, for you voluntarily vowed to the LORD your God what you have promised with your mouth. NKJV
Let’s be doers of the word, not just hearers; and then we can all fulfill Hebrews 10 : 39, But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul. NKJV
Following Christ and Denying Self,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Friday, September 19, 2014

No Further Proof Is Needed

1 Corinthians 15 : 22 - 26, For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ's at His coming. Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be destroyed is death. NKJV
The validity of the entire Bible rests upon one event... the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. Paul uses different terminology; nevertheless, the sentiment is the same. If Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and our faith is also empty (or in vain.) Let’s take this discussion to a deeper level. The resurrection of Jesus from the dead proved that He was, indeed, the Son of God. It also demonstrated that He had authority over death, hell, and the grave. His resurrection also attested to His sinless life. By these, we know beyond any shadow of doubt that Jesus pleased the Father and redeemed us from the curse of sin.
Let’s digress for a moment. God warned Adam not to eat from the tree of knowledge, lest he die. However, since Adam didn’t heed the warning of God, he sinned; and consequently, brought death upon all mankind. From the time of Adam until the time of Jesus’ resurrection, humanity lived under the bondage of fear and death. Outside faith in God’s promises of the coming Messiah, no one had any hope of defeating death and leaving the grave.
The result or consequence of sin was, and still is death. Death symbolizes the cessation of life or the separation of mankind from God, who IS life. In order for someone to have power over death, they would first have to overcome sin completely. The writer of Hebrews says that our High Priest (Jesus) was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. There was no deceit in His mouth. Nevertheless, the scribes, the Pharisees, and most of the Jews refused to believe that Jesus was their Messiah. They couldn’t accept the truth that Jesus was the Son of God, and that He lived a sinless life, even though He gave them many infallible proofs.
As the day drew closer for Jesus’ passion, He warned His disciples of what would transpire when He returned to Jerusalem for Passover. When they heard what the elders would do to Him, they tried to prevent Him from going because they wanted to spare Him from suffering and death. These men understood the finality of death more than they understood that Jesus was the Son of God. Had they understood and accepted the truth of Jesus’ identity and of His mandate from God to give Himself as the ransom for the souls of mankind, they would not have tried to stop Him from going to the cross. It was very difficult for them to believe that Jesus actually had the authority of God to overcome death, hell, and the grave.
The DAY finally arrived for Jesus to make His triumphant entry into Jerusalem on the back of a donkey. A multitude of worshippers laid down palm branches to welcome their King. However, a few days later, the same crowd that had ushered Him into town with worship, and praise turned on Him and demanded that He be crucified. What caused the people to turn their hearts from worshipping Jesus to becoming angry and demanding His death? We know from what Jesus had previously told His disciples about the elders, scribes, and Pharisees that they were the reason for the revolt. Nevertheless, they were fulfilling the reason for Jesus’ arrival on earth.
Questions were flooding the hearts of those who secretly believed Jesus’ teachings. Was Jesus really the Son of God? Did He actually tell them the truth when He taught them in their synagogues? There was only one way to lay their concerns and doubts about Him to rest, and that was through Jesus’ crucifixion. On the dawn of the first day of the week, the two Marys came to the tomb to finish preparing Jesus’ body for burial. However, when they approached the entrance of the borrowed tomb, they saw that Jesus was missing. Later, Jesus appeared to Mary and told her that He was raised from the dead and instructed her to tell His disciples the “GOOD NEWS.”
The moment of vindication and authentication had finally arrived. Jesus overcame death, hell, and the grave. This was the proof that all of mankind needed in order to know, beyond any doubt, the true identity of Jesus. There would no longer be any need to question Him or to look for another man to be their Messiah. The truth that Jesus had come back from the dead and walked among His people for forty days before His ascension was proof positive He was the Son of God; and that He had pleased the Father. It also gave the Jews and all of mankind the hope that there is life beyond the grave.
God, our heavenly Father, used death, which was the result of sin, to prove that He has all power over sin and death. Had it not been for the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, no one would have ever known the love that God has for humanity. We would have never known that God has authority over sin and death; and through His Son we can have victory over them as well. Aren’t you thankful today that Jesus didn’t listen to His disciples, who told Him to stay away from Jerusalem? Thank God for the resurrection of Jesus Christ. We shall live and not die, if we have placed our hope and faith in Him.
That’s Our God,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Rise up Church!

2 Chronicles 20 : 14 - 17, Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jahaziel the son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, a Levite of the sons of Asaph, in the midst of the assembly. And he said, "Listen, all you of Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem, and you, King Jehoshaphat! Thus says the LORD to you: 'Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God's. Tomorrow go down against them. They will surely come up by the Ascent of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the brook before the Wilderness of Jeruel. You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the LORD, who is with you, O Judah and Jerusalem!' Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them, for the LORD is with you." NKJV
It's time for the church to array ourselves in the whole armor of God, and then get into our positions in Christ. We must be careful to seek the Lord about this battle that we are fighting, lest we run ahead of God and suffer loss. Since the battle belongs to the Lord, it is imperative that we go to God first, asking Him for instructions, timing, and wisdom. By seeking the Lord and obeying His commands of advancement, we are bringing ourselves into alignment with His authority. This will assure the victory for the kingdom of God and His saints. If it is God's battle, then don't we need to ask God how to win it? Absolutely! Consequently, we need to position ourselves (or get into agreement with) the mind of God about moving forward.
Why does the Lord repeatedly have to tell us, His people, to position ourselves? It is because we are easily distracted from our mission of fulfilling God's purpose because it takes TIME to see it accomplished. We often grow weary, discouraged, and become distracted while waiting on the timing of God. Therefore, the Holy Spirit has to call us back into position before He can advance us in His plan. After we get into our spiritual position in Christ, we must give the Lord our undivided attention; and then, we are commanded to "stand still."
When we bring our hearts into submission by choosing to obey the Father's heart, we will need to shut out all distractions and voices from the world. If we turn off the noise and chatter of the world for merely a week, it will amaze us at how much better we can discern and listen to the voice of God. When He tells us to be still, it means that we are allowing outside forces to have an influence in our lives, consequently, we must listen only to His instructions. We are living in very dangerous times; therefore, it is essential for our spiritual well-being that we hear the Lord clearly.
Once these two phases of our preparation (positioning and being still) are carried out, the Lord can show Himself strong on our behalf; and then allow us to secure the victory. We will see with our own eyes the unveiling of His plan to win this spiritual battle... for His glory. This is a clarion call to the children of God: Get into position and heed the voice of God as never before. As you do, you will begin to hear the Holy Spirit give you specific instructions that will equip you to engage in the battle. We must be careful to do ONLY what God has shown us for us to do, lest we invite warfare into our lives unnecessarily.
If we listen to God and carry out His instructions, then we have gained the victory in the biggest part of the spiritual battle because we are giving the Lord His rightful place in our lives, to oversee and to protect us in His battle. Even though God has called us into battle, we must not take it personally because that is a trap of Satan. We are to keep our hearts and eyes on Jesus, doing what we are told. Stay in step with the Holy Spirit, and He will keep you from the adversary's devices. It's time for the church to rise up and take its position. Like Jesus, we must be about our Father's business.
Being Led by the Lord,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Great Exchange

2 Corinthians 5 : 21, For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. NKJV
You can’t fill something that is already full. Therefore, when we come to Christ desiring that He fill our hearts with His love, peace, goodness, and glory, we must first be willing to give up anything that has control of our hearts. In Matthew 6, Jesus tells us that we can’t serve two masters. He also instructs us to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.
There is an exchange that takes place when we answer the call of God to follow Him. We first have to forsake any fleshly desires that might hinder us from seeking more of God in our lives. What is so good about the great exchange is that we can give God our ashes, and He gives us His beauty in return. God will never ask us to give up anything that He doesn’t replace it with something of greater and eternal value.
Whenever Jesus came to Simon Peter and Andrew, his brother, He told them to follow Him, and He would make them fishers of men. This was their opportunity to accept an exchange. If they were willing to leave the temporal world as sinners and pursue Christ, He was going to give them eternal life. Jesus was also offering them a ministry that would have everlasting rewards. When the men heard the call of God, they both forsook their careers, families, and homes in order to fulfill Jesus’ command to follow Him.
Neither Simon Peter nor Andrew asked Jesus what was in it for them. I find this very interesting seeing that they were leaving behind the only way of life they had known. However, they were answering a greater call. True faith gives us the ability to say “good-bye” to our old lives without giving any thought to any questions that our flesh nature might ask of our hearts.
There was something about Jesus that caused twelve men to forsake all and follow Him. Apparently, being in Jesus’ presence filled the emptiness in the disciple's hearts. They had an assurance that everything was going to be taken care of; they didn’t have to fret. Could it be that their hearts were filled with the peace of God for the first time in their lives, and this peace overshadowed any doubts, worries or concerns? Yes!
We’ve looked at the faith and the hunger of the disciples; they were willing to forsake all because they possessed a deep desire for Jesus and longed for an eternal reward. Now, let’s look at another man who was rich: In Mark 10, there is a story of a prosperous man who came to Jesus asking what he must do to be saved. Jesus gave the man a few commandments to uphold, and the gentlemen responded that he had kept those particular commandments from his youth. After this, Jesus told him that he lacked one thing, love. Jesus instructed the rich man to take all his possessions, sell them, give the proceeds to the poor, and then take up his cross and follow Him. Jesus went on to inform the man that he would have treasure laid up in heaven as a result of his willingness to forsake this world’s pleasures. Unfortunately, the rich man walked away; he was unwilling to exchange temporary wealth for eternal blessings.
After the rich man walked away from Jesus, Peter explained to Jesus how “he” had forsaken all in order to answer the call and to follow the Lord. Nevertheless, I don’t see where Simon asked Jesus, “What are you going to give us, seeing that we didn’t walk away from your command to forsake all and to follow you?” Even so, Jesus answers Simon’s statement with a truth that is very revealing about the heart of God toward those who make the wise choice to leave everything behind. He said, "Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house, or brothers, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife or children, or lands, for My sake and the gospel's, who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time - houses, and brothers, and sisters, and mothers and children, and lands, with persecutions - and in the age to come, eternal life.
Just imagine, these men had forsaken their careers, families, and homes to answer the call without even considering what they would get in return. Now that’s faith! It was because of their extraordinary faith that Jesus could give them the revelation about their eternal reward and the hundred-fold restoration in this life. It’s sad that the rich man didn’t have the faith to follow Jesus until he could hear what the reward would be for those who made the choice to forsake all and follow Jesus. Only when we completely trust the Lord, and then take a step of faith to abandon this life for the life to come will we come to know the riches of God’s glory and the hidden wisdom of God.
It amazes me how the disciples were willing to walk away from everything that they loved in order to pursue God and His call on their lives without knowing the benefits of such an act of faith. It’s time for this type of passion to return to the body of Christ. We must not sell-out our spiritual and eternal inheritance for the temporal pleasures of this world. What will it profit us if we gain the entire world, but forfeit our souls? Nothing!
God is calling His people, you and me back to Himself. If we choose to draw close to God, He has promised to draw close to us. Are you ready to forsake this world’s pleasures, and after that answer a deeper call to know Jesus as never before? It’s time for your exchange.
It’s Time to Step Out,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Passionately Pursuing God

Matthew 5 : 3 - 10, "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” NKJV
Deep in the heart of every person, there is a void that only God can fill. No one or no desire can satisfy this emptiness except the love and the presence of God. However, there’s only one way of filling the void, we must pursue the Lord with all our hearts. If we hunger after God and His righteousness, we shall be filled.
If we desire to be blessed and to live a full life, then it will require us to pursue Jesus with all that is within us. The psalmist wrote in psalms 42, “As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, the living God.” Therefore, in order to receive the blessings that Jesus pronounced over us in today’s scriptures, we will need to develop a passion for Him. When we become passionate for Jesus, He can fill our thirsty hearts with His love and goodness. Once our dry souls experience the refreshment that comes from being in the presence of God, we will become empowered to forsake all else in our quest for more of God.
Nevertheless, we can’t have a full, healthy relationship with God if we don’t first have a hunger to know and to live His Word. David wrote this about God’s Word. He said, “Your Word have I hidden in my heart that I might not sin against it.” David didn’t try to confront sin in his own power, but rather he submitted himself to God’s Word, and it gave him power over sin. In this same way, we must be willing to get in God’s Word, and allow it to get in our hearts by applying it to our everyday lives. When we “do” the Word, it will liberate us from the flesh nature. Consequently, we can seek after the Lord with reckless abandon.
In our pursuit to seek God, and to have the void in our heart filled to overflowing, we will have to guard our hearts against complacency and weariness. Therefore, we must be serious about our walk and our relationship with Jesus. James tells us in his epistle that we have to be doers of the Word, lest we deceive ourselves. In other words, it’s not enough just to say I want a deeper walk with God; we have to be willing to discipline ourselves to obey God’s Word, even when it costs us. Sacrifices will be required, but remember; God is a debtor to no one.
If you feel as though you’ve been living in a spiritually dry season, and you’re ready for it to end, then you’ll have to take a step of faith. Just as faith without works is dead, if you don’t follow your desire to become closer to God with actions, then you won’t experience a change; and you could grow weary in your pursuit and give up prematurely.
God has told us in Hebrews 11: 6 that those who come to Him must believe that He is, and He rewards those who diligently seek Him. Therefore, since we have the promise of being rewarded for our pursuit of God, we must keep the prize in the forefront of our minds, so that we can endure until the blessings begin to flow and flood our being.
I cannot emphasize enough how vitally important it is for us to live by the Word of God in order to be successful in our pursuit of God. As we apply the Word of God to our hearts through obedience to it, it will surgically remove the flesh from around our spiritual hearts. In fact, in John 8, Jesus told the Jews, who had believed on Him because of the truth that He had spoken, that if they continued in His Word, they would know the truth; and it would make them free. Only by knowing and keeping the Word will we be liberated from the bondage of the flesh nature and walk in our inheritance as the children of God.
If you’re ready to pursue God so that the void in your heart can be filled with His presence, then take a few minutes and read Ephesians 6. In this chapter, you will learn the importance of making yourself submitted and accountable to obeying God’s Word. When we submit to the Word, it will cause us to become strong in the Lord and walk in the power of His might. Did you catch that? Applying God’s Word to our lives to the point that it changes our speech, behavior, and character will cause us to walk in God’s power... not struggle in our weakness.
Passionately Pursuing God,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Monday, September 15, 2014

Jesus Is My Victory

1 Samuel 15 : 17 - 23, So Samuel said, "When you were little in your own eyes, were you not head of the tribes of Israel? And did not the LORD anoint you king over Israel? Now the LORD sent you on a mission, and said, 'Go, and utterly destroy the sinners, the Amalekites, and fight against them until they are consumed.' Why then did you not obey the voice of the LORD? Why did you swoop down on the spoil, and do evil in the sight of the LORD?" And Saul said to Samuel, "But I have obeyed the voice of the LORD, and gone on the mission on which the LORD sent me, and brought back Agag king of Amalek; I have utterly destroyed the Amalekites. But the people took of the plunder, sheep and oxen, the best of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice to the LORD your God in Gilgal." So Samuel said: "Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. NKJV
Did you know that Christians can struggle with sin in their lives even after salvation? It’s true! We can wrestle with sin, bondages, and addictions when we don’t obey the truth or continue in the truth after accepting Jesus as our Lord. However, there is another reason why believers struggle with these problems; it is because they are still spiritually immature. Paul refers to those who are spiritually under-developed as carnally minded or babes in Christ. They continue on the milk of the Word instead feasting on the strong meat of it.
King Saul was given explicit instructions by the Lord to destroy the enemies of Israel. Nevertheless, in his pride, the king decided to only partially obey the Lord’s commands; he decided to keep the “good” spoils to offer as a sacrifice to the Lord. This is the same as you and me disobeying the Holy Spirit and trying to appease God by offering Him our “good works.” It doesn’t work because it is not of faith; and anything that isn’t of faith is sin. When King Saul self- justified doing what he felt “was right” in his heart instead of doing what God commanded him, he opened the door to sin. Consequently, Christians who disobey God by convincing themselves that they can do God’s will their way, also open the door for sin to sneak in and take up residence. Nonetheless, had King Saul completely obeyed God’s command, he would have been walking by faith and would have overcome any tendency to sin against the Lord.
You may be wondering, “How can I live by faith every moment throughout my day so that I don’t sin against the Lord?” The same way you came to faith in Christ, you heard the gospel of Christ; you believed it as truth, and became born again. Now that you’re saved, you can only walk by faith when you honor God’s Word and continually obey it. In other words, you apply the principles and the truth of God’s Word to your everyday life. When we continue to walk in the truth of God’s Word, we will know the truth, and it will make us free from bondage.
Hence, if you’re confessing that you are saved, yet you’re beating yourself up because of a particular bondage that is still in your life, let me share a word of wisdom with you: Jesus tells us, in our patience, we possess our souls. Just because you have a weakness, it doesn’t mean you’re not saved; it simply means you have to trust God, and after that wait on Him to deliver you. If you do this, then you’re not “putting up with” a sin or habit; instead, you’re waiting by faith for God to set you free from it.
Remember, the Word of God is filled with promises to those who believe in His name. If you continue obeying the truth, then in His time, God will set you free. Only when we apply the truth to our lives are we operating in faith, and as a result, inheriting the promises of God. Instead of making excuses for our sin, let us confess them to the Lord and allow His Word to empower us to overcome them. When we live by faith, we are empowered to defeat the Devil, sin, and our flesh nature; we will no longer fall prey to self-justification or condemnation. I may struggle, but I’m not defeated because I’m in Christ; and He is my victory over all my weaknesses.
Walking in Victory by Faith,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Friday, September 12, 2014

Not Again?

Joshua 14 : 7 - 11, I was forty years old when Moses the servant of the LORD sent me from Kadesh Barnea to spy out the land, and I brought back word to him as it was in my heart. Nevertheless my brethren who went up with me made the heart of the people melt, but I wholly followed the LORD my God. So Moses swore on that day, saying, 'Surely the land where your foot has trodden shall be your inheritance and your children's forever, because you have wholly followed the LORD my God.' And now, behold, the LORD has kept me alive, as He said, these forty-five years, ever since the LORD spoke this word to Moses while Israel wandered in the wilderness; and now, here I am this day, eighty-five years old. As yet I am as strong this day as on the day that Moses sent me; just as my strength was then, so now is my strength for war, both for going out and for coming in. NKJV
Joshua said, “But I wholly followed the Lord.” Nevertheless, even though Joshua followed the Lord with his whole heart, and even though he entered into the Promised Land, he wasn’t allowed to stay there because the children of Israel were not with him. He had to wander through the wilderness another forty years because the other spies brought an evil report to Moses and to the people about the inhabitants of the land.
The writer of Hebrews exhorts us to lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and he tells us to run the race that is set before us with endurance. Nevertheless, unbelief caused the children of Israel to believe an evil report and to ignore the promise of God to give them the land. Consequently, they wandered through the wilderness for forty years. However, not only did the children of Israel remain in the wilderness, but so did Joshua and Caleb.
It doesn’t seem right that these two men had faith and took God at His Word, yet they still had to wander in the wilderness with the unbelieving. Even so, God honored the faith of Joshua and Caleb by allowing them to lead the children of Israel into the Promised Land shortly after the death of Moses. God didn’t allow the unbelief of Israel to keep Him from honoring Joshua and Caleb’s faith and faithfulness.
Like Joshua and Caleb, you may be living your life for Christ and standing on God’s promises; however, you may have loved-ones that are not. Because of someone else’s unbelief, you’re waiting on God to fulfill His Word in your life. Nevertheless, for their sake, He is delaying the fulfillment of His promise to you; this may be the reason why the Lord had the scripture written in Joshua 14, and it may be the reason He told me to share it with you today. He wants you to hold on “in faith” like Joshua did; after everything has been set back in order, you will see the salvation of the Lord.
Have you been asking the Lord why He is requiring you to make another lap around the wilderness, but you’re not getting an answer from Him? It may be that God wants you to remain faithful and obedient until the flesh or unbelief in others dies. When the time is right, He can work through you to lead them (family or friends) into their new life in Christ (The Promised Land). Therefore, don’t grow weary in doing well, for in due season, you will reap if you don’t faint. Continually encourage yourself in the Lord by remembering His faithfulness to Joshua and Caleb, who had to wait an additional forty years. Let me leave you today with a passage from Hebrews 10:
Hebrews 10 : 35 - 39, Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise: "For yet a little while, and He who is coming will come and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith; but if anyone draws back, my soul has no pleasure in him." But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul. NKJV
The next time you have to take another lap around the wilderness, just tell yourself that you’re one lap closer to seeing the fulfillment of the promise in your life.
Walking by Faith,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Thursday, September 11, 2014

A Life Well Lived

John 12 : 24 - 26, Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor. NKJV
A life that is well lived is a life that lives to bring glory to the Lord. Salvation isn’t just about being saved from sin; it is the beginning of a brand-new life in Christ. Through Jesus, we are empowered to live the life that God intended us to live before sin entered into creation.
Paul tells us in Ephesians 2 : 10, “We are the workmanship of God, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” As Christians, who are made alive in Christ, we must understand and accept the life that God has ordained for us to live; therefore, we must be willing to lay aside our own plans. It’s not that God doesn’t want us to enjoy our lives; He just doesn’t want our “self” nature to distract us so that we have no time for God.
In today’s scripture, Jesus tells us that if we love our lives, we will lose them. In other words, if we allow the cares and the pleasures of this world to consume our hearts and our time, then we will miss the life that God has ordained for us to live in Christ. The enemy of our soul (Satan) wants you and me to believe that pleasure equals life. However, there is NO LIFE apart from abiding in Christ and keeping His Word. To prove my previous statement further, let’s look at how Paul addresses the issue.
Galatians 2 : 19 - 21, For I through the law died to the law that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain." NKJV
Paul held a different perspective about salvation than many believers and church leaders of our day. He viewed salvation as being raised from the dead... so that we can live for Christ. Consequently, when we see ourselves as one who has been raised from the dead for the sole purpose of serving Christ and living our new life through Him, it changes everything about us. It’s no longer about us; it is about Christ being in us and working through us to fulfill God’s will throughout the earth.
Finally, Jesus knew the reason God sent Him to earth. He came to suffer and die so that the world through Him might be saved. We should have the same kind of clarity about our calling on the earth as Jesus did when He was here. If we keep an eternal perspective, we will be saved from becoming entangled in the trappings of this world. We are not here to please self, but to die to self; we are to sow our temporal lives on the earth in preparation for our eternal lives and rewards to come.
Except a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it will abide alone. Consequently, we must die and be resurrected in Christ. When this happens, we can rest assured that we will carry out God’s plans and purposes for our lives as believers. We live solely to bring glory and honor to the Lord through the new life that we’ve been given in Christ.
Walking In Newness of Life,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Get It Through The Word

Luke 4 : 1 - 4, Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, being tempted for forty days by the devil. And in those days He ate nothing, and afterward, when they had ended, He was hungry. And the devil said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread." But Jesus answered him, saying, "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.'" NKJV
Jesus came to earth so that the hearts of all mankind could be changed from being carnally minded into ones that are being led by the Spirit. He became our example so that we could learn how to live by faith and not by sight. The scripture today gives us an excellent example; it shows us how to put God’s will before our personal desires so that we’re not bound by unbelief. You will notice that Jesus didn’t place His confidence in His own ability to turn the stones into bread. His faith was in God’s Word.
Jesus knew His heavenly Father would provide for all of His needs; however, He also knew how to access the provision for these essentials... through the Word of God. It is important that you and I understand what it means to stand on God’s Word when we take our needs before the Lord. We must approach the throne the right way in order to receive our petitions. Jesus didn’t focus His attention on His need, but rather on the Word of God. Consequently, when He focused on the Word of God, the Word gave Him power over the temptations of the Devil. In other words, Jesus didn’t fall prey to the “voice of unbelief.” He guarded His heart through God’s Word and the assurance of God’s faithfulness while seeking His provision. The Word of God is the only power on earth that we can utilize that will silence the voice of unbelief.
Unbelief will cause us to focus only on our needs when we come before the Lord. For example, “God, please take care of my needs today. Amen.” However, faith will cause us to place our confidence in God’s Word to supply all our needs. This trust will produce the correct results to our request. “God, your Word says that you will supply all of my need according to your riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Thank you for hearing my prayer. Amen.”
In the first example, there is no faith offered to God that will release His power to work in our lives or on our behalf. However, in the second example, we see that faith in activated through the Word that will release the Father to supply all of our needs according to the Word that we are standing on. In chapter 11 of Hebrews, the writer tells us that without faith, it is impossible to please God. Therefore, the focus of our hearts must not be on our need; it must be centered on the Seed of God’s Word. God’s Word is alive, and it can produce anything that we might need, as long as we activate it through our faith.
Standing on God’s Word,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Before It’s Too Late

2 Peter 3 : 8 - 9, But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. NKJV
God told Hosea that His people are destroyed because of a lack of knowledge. When believers don’t know God’s ways or His Word, it leaves them susceptible to Satan’s devices. In other words, Satan can use spiritual ignorance against us because it gives him an upper hand in the battle. Therefore, we are commanded by Jesus to know His Word and keep it so that we won’t sin against it.
Are you a Christian, yet you still have unrepentant sin in your heart? Or, you might have a loved-one or friend who is living in sin and doesn’t see or feel the need to repent for their actions. In every instance, sin has consequences; we know this because Paul tells us in Romans 3, “The wages of sin is death.” James also warns us that when sin is conceived, it brings forth death. Even so, you may not see death immediately as a result of unrepentant sin in your heart, but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen.
When God warned Adam about the tree of knowledge, He told him that in the day that he partook of it, he would surely die. We know from reading Genesis 3 that Adam didn’t die right away. In fact, he lived 930 years. Doesn’t it seem as though God might have missed it just a little? Adam saw many days come and go, but never experienced the word that the Lord had spoken to him about sin?
As you have read in today’s scripture, many, not knowing the ways of God mistake His patience as slackness. When God came and asked Adam if he had eaten of the forbidden fruit, it wasn’t because God didn’t already know; God knows before you or I commit a sin what we’re going to do. Therefore, He has placed warnings in His Word to try to prevent us from opening our lives to sin, regret, and death. God was offering Adam an opportunity to confess his sin, but Adam didn’t.
When it comes to unrepentant sin that goes seemingly unchecked and without consequences, America is living on borrowed time. Millions of babies have been aborted in the name of convenience; and immorality such as fornication, adultery, and homosexuality has become the norm in our modern times... even though God’s Word warns of the repercussions of such sins. Nevertheless, because nothing has happened to this nation, like it did in Sodom and Gomorrah, we continue on as if sin has become acceptable in God’s eyes now. God has been longsuffering toward our sin so that we have the time to come to our senses and repent before it’s too late. However, our society has mistaken His patience as slackness or compliance. There’s a false sense of security that nothing “bad” will happen because we have been committing these sins for decades and life continues on.
Even so, Paul warns us in his letter to the Thessalonica, “When the world says peace and safety, sudden destruction shall come upon them, and they shall not escape." Let us repent as individuals and as a nation before sudden destruction comes upon us. Let us not mistake God’s patience as Him going along with our sins or winking at them. In Adam’s case, it appeared as though God had missed it. Nevertheless, let me remind you what Peter said in today’s scripture. In the context, he was addressing a day with the Lord as being one-thousand years; God is longsuffering, not willing that any should perish, but that all would come to repentance. How long did we say Adam lived? He lived 930 years! How long is a day with the Lord? It is 1,000 years! Consequently, we see that Adam fell short of living one day. In plain speech, he died in the day that he had eaten of the fruit of sin, just like God foretold. Do we really want to keep tempting the Lord God with our unrepentant sin? Absolutely not!
Please consider forwarding this message to your family and friends so that we can join together and pray for God to grant this great nation repentance and spiritual restoration. “Lord, turn our hearts away from lust and sin and grant us the convicting power of the Holy Spirit so that we will be drawn once again into your presence and protection. In Jesus’ name, we pray and agree. Amen!”
Sounding a Wakeup Call,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Monday, September 8, 2014

Get Back Up!

Proverbs 24 : 16, For a righteous man may fall seven times and rise again, but the wicked shall fall by calamity. NKJV
At some point, all of us have tried to quit a habit or a sin because we felt the convicting power of the Holy Spirit. Even so, it’s easy for us to become discouraged when we try to either quit something or begin something new, and we fail at it. However, instead of throwing up our hands and deciding to live with the issue or bondage, we should remind ourselves that this isn’t our battle. In today’s scripture, we see that the righteous may fall; nevertheless, they will rise again... but that isn’t true for the wicked. What is the difference between the two? Jesus is.
The wicked person doesn’t have the power of Christ in his or her life because sin has separated them. The unsaved don't have the grace of God to cover them when they fall because they have rejected His love. Since they don’t have Christ dwelling in their hearts, they fail; and they don’t recover because they have no power over sin.
However, this isn’t so for the person that has been redeemed. Christ in us makes all the difference; we know that, in Christ, we are forgiven and accepted in God’s sight. Therefore, if we should stumble and fall, we understand that God won’t abandon us; even so, through our brokenness, He will empower us to get back up once again.
We are made righteous in God’s sight through our faith in the work of Christ. Jesus came to earth and died both for our sin debt and to set us free from the bondage of sin. It is without any works of our own; it is simply us placing trust in what Jesus has done for us that God has forever pardoned every believer in Christ. Nonetheless, once we are born again, it is our responsibility to accept God’s forgiveness of our past sins and to receive His love into our hearts. You couldn’t pay for your sins, neither can you stop sinning apart from God’s help.
When we struggle with accepting God’s forgiveness and unconditional love, we will also struggle with old habits, mindsets, and sinful behaviors. Therefore, we must learn how to delight in the Lord, even though we may still struggle with the truth that He has completely accepted us and loves us. As we learn to delight ourselves in the Lord, He will begin to grant us the desires of our heart. God has always loved us, and we know this because of what Paul wrote in Romans 5 : 8. While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Now, we need to learn how to love God. Paul teaches us a very important principle in Ephesians 5. He wrote, “He who loves his wife also loves himself.” When a man doesn’t love himself, he will have difficulties loving his wife. Paul goes on to teach us that the relationship between a husband and wife is a representation of Christ’s love for His bride, the church. Therefore, I submit to you on the authority of God’s Word that we must learn to delight ourselves in God and love Him before we can have total and complete victory over our own flesh nature. We have to give ourselves completely to Christ in the same way that a wife gives herself to her husband, and the two become one.
It’s certain that you and I can’t quit sinning apart from Christ, but if we will “work” on becoming one with Christ, instead of trying to quit on our own or in our own strength, then His power can begin to fill our hearts and set us free. Therefore, let’s focus on becoming one with Christ. We must allow Him to take care of the things that we have no power over. Let the transformation begin.
Being Made New in Christ,
Pastor Asa Dockery