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Monday, March 21, 2016

Between His Passion and Pentecost

Acts 1 : 1 - 3, The former account I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, until the day in which He was taken up, after He through the Holy Spirit had given commandments to the apostles whom He had chosen, to whom He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God. NKJV

Have you ever wondered what happened in Jerusalem the week after Christ’s passion? Can you imagine being in Jerusalem on the day of His crucifixion and witnessing the death of Christ and later the next week running into Him alive? They all knew it was Him because He had the wounds to prove it. Here you are a Jew, having witnessed one of the most horrific acts of violence against a man who was guiltless, and you see Him alive! What kind of impact would that have on you? He didn’t return from heaven for just a cameo appearance. He remained with the apostles for forty days and performed many infallible proofs to those who would believe, so that their faith might be solidified.

If you read Matthew’s account of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection, you will learn that after He arose, many who were asleep in their graves arose after Him. I haven’t heard that preached much in my circles concerning Jesus’ Resurrection. To put it frankly, Jesus’ resurrection wasn’t something that was done in the corner and out of sight. It turned that city upside down. How do you explain people coming back to life after being dead for no telling how long?

Remember, the Chief priests and the Pharisees went before Pilate and asked him to place guards at the tomb of Jesus. They didn’t want the disciples of Jesus to stage a breakout and claim that He had risen. I’m being a little facetious, but who’s going to believe these disciples? They, themselves, didn’t even believe Mary when she told them that Jesus had sent her to let them know He was alive. That wasn’t the point, here’s the point. Who’s going to believe the story of a resurrection, if there is no person with the name Jesus, having His wounds, who is alive? On the other hand, how do you dismiss a story of Jesus’ resurrection, when He is standing in front of you performing miracles once again?

They could have left the tomb wide open, but it would not have brought Jesus back to life. Jesus dispelled the lies of the chief priests, the Pharisees, Pilate, Herod and everyone else that had plotted against Him. Now you have even more evidence to prove your case as a believer. May these truths that the Lord has brought out today lift your faith, and may you become even bolder in your profession of faith and declare the goodness of your God. He wasn’t ashamed to call us His brothers and sisters, and we’re not ashamed to call Him our risen Lord.

Remember, for forty days Jesus walked on this earth with His disciples and at least one hundred and nine other people (120 in upper room). For the length of time that He was in the wilderness fasting and then being tempted by the Devil, the Father allowed Him to prove beyond any doubt to the Jews that He was the Christ. He was indeed the Lamb of God, who has taken away the sin of the world. Now, go tell someone about Jesus!

He is Risen,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Friday, March 18, 2016

It's all About the Truth

Matthew 11 : 16 - 19, "But to what shall I liken this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to their companions, and saying: 'We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we mourned to you, and you did not lament.' For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, 'He has a demon.' The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, 'Look, a glutton and a winebibber, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!' But wisdom is justified by her children." NKJV

I have discovered that some of the best teachings immerge from the hardest trials in life. Please take a moment to read chapter eleven so that you can get the full context of what Jesus was teaching and to whom He was directing His comments.

In the above scripture, Jesus is openly rebuking the cities that He had performed the majority of miracles in because the people refused to repent. Instead of repenting of their sins, the people who had witnessed and received miracles at the hands of Jesus turned on Him. When they should have been honoring Jesus as their Messiah, they tried to defame Him as a winebibber, a glutton, and a Friend of tax-collectors and sinners.

Jesus tells those who were present that day that John came to them neither eating nor drinking, and they accused him of being demon possessed. Jesus came eating and drinking, and they accused Him of many things as well. When I read these verses, the Holy Spirit spoke to me very clearly about the mindset or spirit that Jesus was confronting.

Even though the people had witnessed first-hand the mighty miracles of Jesus, they refused to submit to Him as their Savior and Lord. As a result of their rebellious ways, they tried to turn people against John and Jesus because they didn’t agree with the teachings of either of them.

As a pastor, I, too, have faced this type of persecution; people will try to kill your witness by attacking you on a “carnal level,” to create a diversion from the truths that are being taught. If you have experienced this type of persecution, then you know that it is futile to try and please someone who isn’t going to submit to the truth that you have spoken. It didn’t matter what John or Jesus did or didn’t do in their personal lives, they were never going to please those who had rejected the truth. Guess what? None of us will be able to please God and man. Therefore, at some point, we all have to make a conscious decision concerning whom we are going to please, God or man.

When the Holy Spirit revealed these truths that I’m sharing with you today, I better understood why Jesus began to rebuke the cities where He had performed His mighty works. He rebuked them because they had rejected the truth; and He let them know just how hard it would be for them on the Day of Judgment.

This shows us that God can heal anything but offense. The spirit of offense is very prevalent in the “church world” today. Offense isn’t a sickness or disease; it is a spiritual condition of the heart that must be brought before the Lord through repentance. Once a believer seeks forgiveness for becoming offended because of the truth, then they can be restored and reconciled with God through Christ.

We Can Only Serve One Master, 
Pastor Asa Dockery