Sermons   David Wilkerson Today, Daily Devotions

THE MINISTRY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

by David Wilkerson | April 16, 2014

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Change is exclusively the work of the Holy Ghost. “How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious?” (2 Corinthians 3:8). We simply can’t change ourselves. Only the Spirit of God can conform us to the glorious image of Christ. We have all heard it said, “When a person turns to the Lord, God lifts the veil from his eyes.” That is solely the Spirit’s work.

We also read, “Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty” (verse 17). The word “liberty” here means “no longer a slave; exempt from liability; free, unchained.” This describes the freedom that comes with having our eyes opened. Suddenly, we see things in a new light. Only the Holy Spirit can break down our lifelong way of seeing things, turn us around, and set us on a true course.

In short, the turning Paul speaks of here means trusting fully in God’s Spirit. It also means turning away from all unbiblical counseling, all ideas and plans of your own, and calling on the Holy Ghost alone to lead and guide you.

Paul experienced this kind of turning. In Acts 9, when he was still known as Saul, he was on the wrong course, riding to Damascus to persecute the Christians there. Talk about having a veil over his eyes! Saul actually believed he was doing God a favor by arresting believers and throwing them in jail.

But the Lord intercepted this man and created a crisis in his life. When Jesus met Saul on the Damascus road, He struck him with a light that was so powerful it literally blinded him. Saul had to be led sightless to a house in Damascus, where he stayed until godly Ananias arrived. Ananias told him: “Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight” (Acts 9:17-18).

Saul surrendered his past, future, everything to the Holy Spirit—and the veil was immediately removed from his eyes.

 

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The Expect Pastors & Church Leadership Conference is just a few days away. Join fellow ministers for a time of refreshing at Times Square Church in New York City. April 23-24. Speakers are Gary Wilkerson, Carter Conlon, Jim Cymbala, Teresa Conlon, and William Carrol.

Register today at http://bit.ly/1qtMxh3
 

 

WE’RE CONTINUALLY BEING CHANGED

by David Wilkerson | April 15, 2014

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Like it or not, we all are in the process of changing in one way or another. In the spiritual realm, there is no such thing as mere existence; we are being changed, either for good or for bad. We are either becoming more like our Lord or more like the world—either growing in Christ or backsliding.

So, are you becoming more sweet-spirited, more like Jesus? Are you looking soberly in the mirror each day and praying, “Lord, I want to conform to Your image in every area of my life”?

Or has your bitterness taken root, turning into rebellion and hardness of heart? Have you learned to shield yourself from the convicting voice of God’s Spirit? Are you now spewing out things you once thought a Christian would never be capable of speaking? Are you hardening beyond change?

If this describes you, let me tell you plainly: You will never receive deliverance unless you change. Your life will only become more chaotic, and your situation will worsen. Stop building your case, pointing your finger, justifying yourself. God will not meet you until you wake up and admit, “Nothing is going to change for me unless I’m changed.”

Cry out to the Lord honestly in prayer: “Change me, O God. Dig deep in me—show me where I’ve failed and gone astray. Expose my pride, anger, stubbornness and sin. Help me to lay it all down.”

How many more experts, counselors, lonely nights and fruitless strivings must you endure before you wake up to the truth? If any healing or restoration is going to take place, you must take responsibility. Your miracle is dependent on your being changed.

“The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles. The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all” (Psalm 34:17-19).

 

LOOK WHAT GOD DID TODAY

by Gary Wilkerson | April 14, 2014

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The book of Hebrews mentions two types of testimonies. We all prefer the first kind, when saints conquered kingdoms, destroyed the enemy, slew giants. The second kind of testimony is altogether different: Christians were sawed in half, they starved, they froze, they hid in caves.

It is too easy for Christians today to live off the testimonies of others. How often do we catch ourselves saying, “Have you heard about the spiritual awakening in Africa?” “The church in America does a great work among the poor.” “Our church has opened its doors to reach drug addicts.” We should rejoice in the faithfulness of those making a difference in Christ’s name, of course, but Paul refused to live vicariously through another’s work: “Nor do we boast and claim credit for the work someone else has done. Instead, we hope that your faith will grow so that the boundaries of our work among you will be extended” (2 Corinthians 10:15, NLT).

You may think your life doesn’t measure up—that you don’t deserve a boast-worthy testimony—but that is not the issue. Everything can change with one simple prayer of faith. Just before I preached recently, a woman in church told me about something that had happened that week. After thirty-eight years of being addicted to marijuana, God had set her free! It happened through a simple visit from two lay ministers in our church. As they sat praying with her, she grew convicted over the pot in her apartment and immediately threw it out.

The woman’s deliverance is real and lasting. She has obtained a boast-worthy testimony of God’s power to deliver—and the two lay ministers have a testimony as well. God used them in a way they could not have orchestrated. All three can say, “Look at what God did in our midst today.”

With even the smallest beginning, faith starts to rise up in our hearts. We realize, “God did it last week and He can do it again this week.” I want to boast that our church has powerfully effective ministries that were launched just this way—because an individual was faithful to help one person. In every case, a believer’s prayerful act led to a counseling ministry, a mercy ministry, a discipleship ministry, and more. The same can be true for every believer. As we build a history of testimonies, our faith will grow to seek God for greater things.

 

A SOURCE OF STRENGTH

by Carter Conlon | April 12, 2014

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Think for a moment of all that opposes you today and stands in defiance of your inheritance in Christ. It may be the words that were spoken over your life when you were young: “You’re stupid! You’ll never amount to anything. I am leaving because you are not worth staying for.” No matter what was said, or the nature of the opposition that you are currently facing, just keep in mind that it is all simply trying to stop you at the border of this incredible life of Christ.

Joshua said to the people, “Do not be afraid of them, for they are bread for us” (see Numbers 14:9). In other words, the opposition will sustain us; it will nurture and feed us. Of course, this is contrary to the way the natural man thinks. We consider opposition to be an awful thing, larger than we are. It makes us feel like grasshoppers in its sight; it threatens and intimidates us. So how exactly does it feed us?

Remember when Jesus was ministering in Samaria and the disciples went to get food for Him? They returned to Jesus and encouraged Him to eat, but He replied, “I have meat to eat that ye know not of” (John 4:32). Jesus was essentially saying, “I have a source of strength that you are not aware of yet. You have not tasted it; you do not know what it is or how it can nurture you.” The disciples then turned to one another and asked, “Okay, who brought Him something to eat?” But Jesus explained, “My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work” (v. 34). In other words, “This is my meat; this is what feeds my life—facing all that stands in direct opposition to the will of God and conquering it in the power of God.”

Jesus continued, “Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? Behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest” (v. 35). I do not know how many times I have heard Christians say that the harvest is coming—a great day when many will come to Christ. But here Jesus was telling His disciples, “Listen, lift up your eyes, the harvest is already here, ready to be harvested!”

And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together” (v. 36). He who goes out to harvest will receive wages, and these wages are the provision and strength of God. They will be given to the one who says, “Lord, I give You the reins of my life. I am willing to do the work of God no matter what opposition I must face, for this is where my nourishment will be found.”

 

Carter Conlon joined the pastoral staff of Times Square Church in 1994 at the invitation of the founding pastor, David Wilkerson, and was appointed Senior Pastor in 2001. A strong, compassionate leader, he is a frequent speaker at the Expect Church Leadership Conferences conducted by World Challenge throughout the world.
 

THE VOICE OF THE VICTORIOUS CHRIST

by David Wilkerson | April 11, 2014

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When God said, “Once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven” (Hebrews 12:26), He was saying, in essence, “I shook the earth at Mount Sinai. But when I speak in these last days, My voice will shake both the natural and spiritual worlds. The status quo will tremble; nothing will remain as it is. Whatever is called religious—all that is of Christ or the Church—will be shaken by the voice of My Son speaking from heaven.”

God had warned Israel that all who refuse to listen to His prophet would be brought to account: “And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him” (Deuteronomy 18:19). He was saying, “I’m going to pursue every disobedience—and you’ll account for it all.”

Scripture reveals that those who ignored the words of God’s prophets fell into ruin. They became withered and bitter, dying without any joy or peace. “See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven” (Hebrews 12:25).

Beloved, neither will we escape God’s wrath—either as a nation or as individuals. And right now Jesus’ voice is shaking every nation, causing institutions, leaders and economies to tremble. He is saying to the wind and the elements, “Blow upon the earth.” He is saying to the clouds, “Withhold rain.” He is saying to the economies of the world, “All greed—be judged.”

God is also commanding, “Prisons, shake. Governments, shake. Financial systems, shake. Schools, shake. Military forces, shake. Courts and legislatures, shake. Everything on earth, shake until there is no foundation left but the Lord.”

It is not the devil who is shaking everything. The whole world is being shaken by the voice of the victorious Christ. The Man in glory has risen in power upon His throne and He is speaking a word to shake all things.
 

GOD IS SPEAKING CLEARLY

by David Wilkerson | April 10, 2014

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God is still speaking clearly to us today. His heavenly voice is sounding mightily throughout the earth and that voice is coming through a Man—Jesus—who is seated at the right hand of the Father. Consider these words from Hebrews:

“For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest, and the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard entreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more: (For they could not endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart: and so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:)

“But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.

“See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven: whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain” (Hebrews 12:18-27).

Do you get the picture from this passage? When God spoke the first time, the people answered, “Don’t speak to us from heaven anymore. Speak to us through a man.” And Moses prophesied, “Just as you’ve asked, God is going to raise up a prophet. He will be fully human—and He’ll speak God’s words to you.”

Jesus was that promised prophet. He was God incarnate, the Lord in human flesh. He had a ministry on earth as a man, and a multitude of witnesses saw Him ascend to heaven as a man. Now He has a mystical body, which is His Church. But Jesus is still a man made of flesh—still touched with the human feelings we all experience.

Today, in these last days, God is speaking once more from heaven and telling us that He is going to shake everything in sight.
 

SPEAK UNTO US SMOOTH THINGS

by David Wilkerson | April 9, 2014

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A man recently wrote the following to our ministry: “I don’t know who put me on your mailing list, but please remove my name immediately. I can’t stand your gloomy gospel and your hammering against sin. None of us is perfect, not even you. I’ve had it with your King James gospel of doom.”

Isaiah spoke of this kind of response: “This is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the Lord: which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits: Get you out of the way” (Isaiah 30:9-11).

The word “smooth” in this verse means “nice, flattery.” The people of Israel were saying, in short, “Don't tell us any more bad stuff. Describe how we’re going to prosper, how great things lie ahead of us. If not, then get out of our faces.”

No believer who hides sin in his heart ever wants to hear a holy, sin-exposing word. That person will always flee the Holy Spirit’s voice of truth. And he’ll turn to some preacher who is soft on sin, offering smooth talk and flattering prophecies.

So, you ask, what hard message did God’s voice deliver to His people on Mount Sinai? He said simply this: “I am the Lord thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. Thou shalt have none other gods before me. Thou shalt not make thee any graven image. . . . Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them” (Deuteronomy 5:6-9).

Here was the pure, unadulterated word of the Lord, coming directly from His mouth. It should have sent the people flying to their tents to smash their graven images. It should have stirred their hearts and brought them to their knees. But instead they cried, “No more thunder, fire, shaking. No more audible voice speaking to us. Give us a spokesman who is like us, and let him speak to us. Then we’ll hear and obey.”
 

WE NEED A SOFTER MESSAGE

by David Wilkerson | April 8, 2014

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“Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not” (Exodus 20:20).

“Ye shall walk in all the ways which the Lord your God hath commanded you, that ye may live, and that it may be well with you, and that ye may prolong your days in the land which ye shall possess” (Deuteronomy 5:33).

Moses said, in essence, “God isn’t mad at you. That’s not what this majestic experience is all about. No—He wants to empower you with His awesome fear. He is trying to build into you a powerful weapon and He’s doing it so that you can live victoriously all the days of your life.”

Then came some of the strangest logic in the Bible. These leaders said to Moses, “We have seen this day that God doth talk with man, and he liveth. Now therefore why should we die? For this great fire will consume us: if we hear the voice of the Lord our God any more, then we shall die. For who is there of all flesh, that hath heard the voice of the living God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as we have, and lived?” (Deuteronomy 5:24-26). They told Moses, “We know we can hear God speak out of the fire, and survive. Yet, if we have to sit under His direct, pure, holy voice, we will be consumed. Why should we die? Of all people in the world, we’re the ones who’ve heard God’s voice and lived.”

The Lord then gives us a clue about what was really happening: “O that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children forever” (verse 29).

They were giving God honor with their lips but their hearts were far from Him. To quote Isaiah, “This people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but [they] have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men” (Isaiah 29:13).

The Israelites were so devoted to their little golden images that nothing could keep them from idolatrous worship. They finally even ignored the audible voice of God, in all its holiness and majesty.

When Israel’s elders said, “We need a softer message, otherwise we’ll die,” how right they were. Anytime you sit under Holy Ghost preaching—hearing God’s anointed, convicting word—you’re surely going to die. That is, you will die to your sins.

 

TRUSTING GOD TO DEMONSTRATE HIS POWER

by Gary Wilkerson | April 7, 2014

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David never said, “My dad asked me to be a shepherd, so I was a good one. I fought off lions and bears and never lost a sheep.” That would have been a good testimony—but it did not give glory to God. Actually, David’s boast was, “The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine” (1 Samuel 17:37, ESV).

As a butler in Babylon, Nehemiah risked his life as a wine taster for the king. But Nehemiah’s boast in God was: “I rebuilt a city to restore honor to God’s name.” With God’s name mocked in Jerusalem’s streets, Nehemiah felt a fire in his belly—and he set about rebuilding the walls.

Moses’ testimony was not, “I lived in Pharaoh’s palace and had great authority.” His boast was, “God spoke to me from a burning bush—and I confronted Pharaoh, saying, ‘Let my people go.’” His boast was heard at the Red Sea: “Egypt’s army has drowned in the sea!”

New Testament believers had the same boast. Stephen was a deacon who distributed food to widows—a good testimony in itself—but his boast-worthy testimony came when he preached to an unbelieving crowd. His anointed sermon so provoked the people that they took up stones to kill him. Stephen’s testimony was twofold: He was the first martyr of the Church, and his faithful sacrifice would later impact a Jewish zealot named Saul.

I have yet to meet a Christian who has not wondered, “Isn’t there something more to this life in Christ? When will we see God’s power made manifest in this generation?” Maybe you are facing something that requires God’s intervention. This is no time to say, “I’ll go to church more.” It’s time to say, “I trust God to demonstrate His power in my life. He is going to save my marriage, rescue my kids, impact my coworkers. He’ll give me a boast-worthy testimony.”

This message is not meant to be a guilt trip. It is meant to stir a passion in our hearts—a passion too often repressed by fear and doubt. Some have set aside their faith for so long they no longer believe they can have a boast-worthy testimony—but God’s Word says differently.

 

 

FAITH IS NOT ONLY TAUGHT, IT IS CAUGHT

by Claude Houde | April 5, 2014

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I want to challenge you by faith to receive a vision for yourself. Whether you are a teenager, a parent, a student, a housewife, or a young person launching a career, you can communicate your faith to someone. You can inspire somebody—a friend, a mom or dad, son, daughter, fellow believer—to love, pray, forgive, repent, serve and do something beautiful and noble! Please allow your spirit to hear that God is seeking a man or a woman whose heart will beat with the vision that without faith, it is impossible to produce a victorious people.

Faith is not only taught, it is caught! The truth and spiritual reality is that as a dad, my children can walk in the footsteps I will leave for them. Please allow me to illustrate this with a simple tale from my childhood growing up in the low-income housing projects in Montreal.

It was a cold winter night as a father walked to the local bar yet again. It was Friday night and he had just cashed in his paycheck. The money burned in his pocket, and as he did every single week, he was about to drink it away. In this insane and incomprehensible moment, everything else vanished. He was unable to think of the money he would need to feed his children, and pay the rent and heating bills. The promises he had made to his wife, over and over, disappeared each time, choked by the blinding habit and the all-encompassing thirst to forget that which both disgusted and enslaved him. This man hated himself, but the voices inside always won: “It's my business; I am not hurting anybody; it's my choice; it's only a few drinks.” Suddenly, he heard a rustling sound in the silence of the cold night—the sound of soft steps in the snow. He turned around and what he saw hit him like an iron fist in the gut, taking his breath away. His son was following him and making his best effort, giving it his all, trying to put his little feet, step by step, in the imprints his daddy had left in the snow. He was walking in his dad’s footsteps.

Dear reader, each one of us is leading somebody somewhere. Some boys and girls are learning to lie, blame others, cheat, criticize, be arrogant and always look for shortcuts. But our sons and daughters can also watch us and learn to love, pray, work, worship, serve, forgive and believe. They can learn from us to speak the truth, respect people, judge people on the content of their character rather than the color of their skin, and to be honest, respectful to their elders, and a friend of the poor.

 

 

Claude Houde, lead pastor of Eglise Nouvelle Vie (New Life Church) in Montreal, Canada, is a frequent speaker at the Expect Church Leadership Conferences conducted by World Challenge throughout the world. Under his leadership New Life Church has grown from a handful of people to more than 3500 in a part of Canada with few successful Protestant churches.
 

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