Sermons   David Wilkerson Today, Daily Devotions

COVENANT KEEPERS

by Gary Wilkerson | September 29, 2014

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The glory of the New Covenant was evident on the Mount of Transfiguration, where Jesus had taken three of His disciples. “Jesus took with him Peter and James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light. And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him” (Matthew 17:1-3, ESV).

The glory was so immense that for a moment a glimpse of heaven broke through to the earthly realm. Suddenly, the disciples—Peter, James and John—saw Moses and Elijah talking with Christ. Peter was so amazed by this that he cried, “We need to build three tabernacles here.” Peter was seeing several covenants of God at once—in Jesus, in Moses and in the prophets.

But God the Father removed Moses (the law) and Elijah (the prophets) from Peter’s vision, saying, “My Son embodies all the law and the prophets, the whole of every covenant — all that humankind will ever need. You have one command now, Peter, and that is to focus on Christ. When you love as He loves, with my Spirit in you, you fulfill all the law of Moses and the prophets. The law isn’t the driving force of your life—Jesus is” (see Matthew 17:5).

What a moment of revelation for Peter—and for us today! Fulfilling God’s law is not the reason we read our Bibles or pray. We do it to know our loving Father. Likewise, in the Father’s eyes, all of humankind’s needs are fulfilled completely in Jesus. It is why, as God looks on us today, He does not see people breaking His covenant continually. Instead, He sees in us the marks of His Son and therefore looks on us as covenant keepers!

God does not see a list of failures next to a list of good works, with a huge chasm in between. He does not see our works at all. He sees only His Son in us. And as He does, He bestows on us all the benefits of His covenant with the Son. All forgiveness is ours. All peace is ours. All acceptance is ours. All grace abounds to us, regardless of whether we’re up or down, succeeding or failing. His grace to us never changes.
 

DANIEL PURPOSED IN HIS HEART

by Claude Houde | September 27, 2014

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Daniel “had purposed in his heart not to defile himself” (Daniel 1:8). This was courageous, and it speaks to you and me today. As a teenager Daniel was kidnapped and taken as a captive to a hostile and terrifying land. He was uprooted and torn away from his loved ones, which must have been a traumatic experience that left deep scars. Bewildered, scared and forsaken, he found himself a prisoner in the court of a decadent king. The immoral and cynical monarch renamed him “Belteshazzar,” which meant “Bel will reign over me; Bel, I will follow and honor.” Bel was an idol of that era, the object of demonic and disgusting worship and idolatry.

The king ordered Daniel to completely conform to the philosophy, mentality, and practices of the court and the country. He was thrown into a sewer of immorality, lust, cruelty and violence, but Daniel was a man of great faith. By His Spirit, God had engraved a mission, a vision and different values on Daniel’s heart. By faith he would always refuse the name Belteshazzar. Chapter after chapter, we see him resolute, supernaturally empowered to resist, allowing no one to change what he was called to be and the One for whom he stood. The name “Daniel” means “God will be my judge.”

Dear reader, this resolution is for you! If tragedy, injustice or life itself has tried to “brand a name” on you, you can and must resist by the power of God and by faith. You can reply to the enemy of your soul and destiny by simply saying that, “God is my judge, my source, my future, my hope and my power. He has not spoken His last words yet!”

Maybe your “name,” life history and reality can be described by words such as: abused, forgotten, loser, criminal, unfaithful, in bondage, a failure, divorced, suicidal, tragedy, deception or suffering. These tragic experiences and seasons in your life have made you the person you are today. I want to say to you, as I gently lift your chin and look you in the eyes, “God has a message for you today, wherever you are in the world. You can make a decision and come to God in faith with a resolution.”

I understand that we are often products of our past, but we don’t have to be prisoners of our past. By crying out to God in faith, releasing your life into His hands every day and receiving His Spirit who makes all things new and possible, you can put to death what has been your past, and stop tendencies and habits that you will no longer allow to limit or define you.

 

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.
 

ONE UNCOMPROMISING WORD

by David Wilkerson | September 26, 2014

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“They came to Thessalonica, where was a synagogue of the Jews: And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and . . . reasoned with them out of the scriptures, opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ” (Acts 17:1-3). Leaders of the synagogue at Thessalonica had probably conducted quiet meetings for years, undisturbed. They diligently taught Scripture and seemed very holy in outward appearance.

Then Paul, the troublemaker, came on the scene and in just three weeks of preaching the kingship of Jesus, he turned that whole area of Thessalonica upside down. He knew from experience that only a few devout ones would listen to Christ’s demanding word and that the majority would not give up their hard-shelled religious traditions. He also knew they would be filled with envy and hate toward anything that disturbed their way of doing things. Paul declared that the preaching of his gospel caused contention: “We were bold in our God to speak unto you the gospel of God with much contention [opposition]” (1 Thessalonians 2:2).

What caused this violent opposition? Paul and Silas were not loud or provocative nor were they robbing churches.

Later, in a letter to those in Thessalonica who went on with the Lord, Paul wrote, “For our exhortation was not of deceit, nor of uncleanness, nor in guile . . . not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts. For neither at any time used we flattering words, as ye know, nor a cloak of covetousness; God is witness. . . . But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children . . . we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because you were dear unto us” (1 Thessalonians 2:3-8). These religious people who for years had acted so demure and God-loving were now enraged. They became an angry mob, assaulting the house of Jason and troubling the people and rulers of the city (see Acts 17). The cause of all this contention was this one uncompromising word: “There is another king . . . Jesus” (Acts 17:7).
 

BOLD AS A LION!

by David Wilkerson | September 25, 2014

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I preach a great deal on prayer because I believe in the effectual, fervent prayer of the righteous. But praying alone will not shake a city!

Elijah was a man of powerful prayer, but it was more than his prayer that shook Ahab’s kingdom and enraged Jezebel. He actually called the false prophets to Mount Carmel and challenged them. Jezebel had slain God’s prophets and led Israel into apostasy and the horrible idolatry of Baal worship—and no one had challenged her! Even though seven thousand believers had not bowed, they were silent, unknown, and afraid. So along comes Elijah, whom Ahab called “the troubler of Israel!” (1 Kings 18:17). Elijah ended up at the Brook Kishon with a sword in his hand, slaying hundreds of Baal’s false prophets “in the name of Jehovah.”

Elijah was not a gentleman with the devil and his crowd. While “they leaped upon the altar . . . Elijah mocked them” (1 Kings 18:26-27). The church of late has cowered before the powers of darkness due to the lack of holiness, for the Scripture tells us, “The righteous are bold as a lion” (Proverbs 28:1). Some will say, “But Jesus was meek! He never opened His mouth or resisted when they took Him to be crucified.” But that was because the hour of darkness had come, the hour He was to be given into the hands of the enemy. He was not silent in the temple when He drove out the money-changers. He was not silent when He called religious leaders serpents—blind guides—whited sepulchers—a generation of vipers (see Matthew 23). He even told some boldly that Satan was their father!

Many churches today are full of silent, gentlemanly diplomats who do not want to make waves. Nobody wants trouble! So the devil’s kingdom goes unchallenged. We have more than enough smiling, mousy Christians! I heard the raging of a man who said to me, “Let’s you and me make a bet—any amount of money! You people in the church can’t stop anything. You’ll get a little publicity, but nothing ever changes. You can’t shut anything down. You’re powerless.” He was speaking of abortion and I could detect the mocking of Satan in his voice. It was a dare! It was as if to say to all Christians, “You’re all spiritual wimps. You won’t last—you’ll give up when the opposition comes. You’ll just run back inside your safe walls and hide.”

No! “The righteous are as bold as a lion.”
 

GOD WILL STAND BY YOU

by David Wilkerson | September 24, 2014

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“At midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God . . . and suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed” (Acts 16:25-26). The jailer, seeing what had happened, fell down before Paul and Silas, saying “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” (Acts 16:30).

Those city officials and religious leaders went to bed thinking, “We did it! That’s the last we’ll hear of those vagabond troublemakers. We really shut them up!” But what a commotion the next day! I can imagine soldiers knocking on the doors of the mayor, city council members, and the religious leaders, telling them, “Quick! Get down to city hall. We’ve got a big problem!” In a state of shock, the officials probably responded, “What? An earthquake? The prison doors opened and the prisoners’ chains all fell off and they didn’t even try to escape? The jailer joined their faith?”

The city leaders were really afraid because it was a crime to beat Roman citizens (Paul and Silas were both Romans). “What do you mean they won’t budge from our jail? They demand what? For us to come down and apologize and escort them out of jail?”

“And they came and [tried to appease] them, and brought them out, and [begged] them to depart out of the city” (Acts 16:39).

I love it! Here they were, not flaunting their spiritual authority, but merely acting as ambassadors of King Jesus. As they had witnessed Christ’s power being mocked, Paul and Silas now wanted that little prayer group to see how God manifests His power to those who stand up against the forces of hell. They went directly to the house of Lydia—and what a meeting that must have been! I would think Paul told that house group, “See, the devil can rage, the powers that be may threaten, but God has all the power! God will stand by you if you take a stand!”
 

WE NEED MORE TROUBLEMAKERS!

by David Wilkerson | September 23, 2014

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I pray that every member of the Body of Christ will become a troublemaker! We need an army of troublemakers so full of the Holy Ghost that they will agitate New York City and every other city around the world; stir up their wicked institutions; challenge the established dead churches; trouble the leaders, the mayors, the city councils, the community leadership! In other words, we need Holy Ghost troublemakers moving in the Spirit, proclaiming the kingship of Christ so effectively that whole cities are stirred.

Paul and Silas were two of the world's biggest troublemakers! The Bible speaks of “men that have [risked] their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 15:26). Paul, Barnabas, Silas, and Timothy were such men, walking in the power of the Spirit. As seen in Acts 16, when the Holy Ghost forbade them to speak the Word in Asia, they obeyed. When they tried to go to Bithynia and the Spirit would not permit them, they went instead to Troas, under the Spirit's direction.

Paul then had a vision of a man calling them to Macedonia, so they set out immediately to Philippi, the chief city of Macedonia. When they arrived, a young woman who was a fortune teller followed them about, crying, “These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation” (Acts 16:17). After enduring it for many days, Paul “turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour” (Acts 16:18). Suddenly the whole city was in an uproar. This fortune teller apparently had been a big tourist attraction, but now she was healed and praising the Lord!

Paul had upset the status quo. He had challenged the devil who had been having his way for years. The slave owners of the delivered woman then dragged Paul and Silas into the marketplace to stand trial before the city magistrates. The charge was, “These men . . . do exceedingly trouble our city” (Acts 16:20).

We need more troublemakers like this today!

 

JESUS TOOK OUR PLACE

by Gary Wilkerson | September 22, 2014

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When Jesus “took our place,” it involved more than just going to the cross.

Yes, He took our place by standing condemned for our sins, but He also took our place in another respect—as one who walked perfectly in covenant with God. Jesus lived as a man who was sinless, spotless, a keeper of every holy command. And fulfilling the law with perfect obedience, He made the covenant complete. That is incredible news!

Yet here is even greater news: Jesus has not kept the benefits of the covenant to Himself, but shares them with us all. When He stands before the Father, He says, “I’ve brought My friends with Me to share in the blessings of Your covenant. As they stand before You, they stand in Me. So all My righteousness is theirs. Their forgiveness is activated through our covenant, Father.”

Thank God He did not choose us to keep covenant with Him! Yet the Man who has kept the covenant perfectly asks us to join Him in His covenant relationship with the Father. And when we say yes, we walk in Christ’s own Spirit. This is what Ezekiel prophesied when he said, “And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. . . . And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.” (Ezekiel 36:26-27, ESV).

Some Christians are overwhelmed at the thought of keeping God’s commands. They think, “I’ve got to read my Bible more, pray more, evangelize more.” If you think that way, you’re not living under the New Covenant—you’re living under the Mosaic Law. It is utter misery because you can never fully keep the law; when you break one part of it, you break all.

When you came to Christ, it is hoped that the revelation of God’s New Covenant set off a light of understanding in you. You didn’t have to be commanded to seek God’s face, to share the good news of Christ with your neighbor, to know freedom in the One who accomplished all for you. His nature began to transform your nature—and you did these things with a heart of joy!

 

A HEART OF PURPOSE

by Nicky Cruz | September 20, 2014

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When God redeems His people, He does so much more than save us; He restores us. Whatever Satan has stolen, God gives back. Whatever time we’ve lost to sin, He reclaims through love. The wounds inflicted upon us by the world are healed by His wonderful grace.

This is the Jesus we worship—the Savior who died so that we can live!

This is the message we bring to a world still bound by sin.

This is the only testimony worth telling—the only thing that really matters!

How can we not shout it from the rooftops? How can we ever slip into moments of apathy after all that God has done for us? How can we not live with uninhabited passion and zeal, knowing what we know, understanding what we understand about Satan and his lies, after experiencing the unconditional forgiveness that Jesus brings?

How can any man keep silent?

Since the day Jesus came into my heart, my obsession in life has been to save lost souls! At that moment, Jesus burned into my heart a soul obsession—a blazing passion for those in need of a Savior. It is a fire that has never waned, never tired, never relented. It is the blood that runs through my veins—that drives me forward, day after day, month after month, year after glorious year. My heart bursts with the message of God’s love and faithfulness, and all I want to do is share that truth with others!

Someone once asked me, “What is the greatest miracle you’ve ever seen?” I didn’t even have to stop and think before answering, “When God reaches into a heart of sin and replaces it with love—that is God’s greatest miracle.” I see it happen every day, and each time it is as real and powerful to me as the day I experienced it myself.

 

Nicky Cruz, internationally known evangelist and prolific author, turned to Jesus Christ from a life of violence and crime after meeting David Wilkerson in New York City in 1958. The story of his dramatic conversion was told first in The Cross and the Switchblade by David Wilkerson and then later in his own best-selling book Run, Baby, Run.
 

THE JUDGMENTS OF THE LORD ARE TRUE

by David Wilkerson | September 19, 2014

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David's love for the Lord never grew cold because he had respect for every word. “The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever: the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward” (Psalm 19:9-11). “By them thy servant is warned.” Who is going to warn all those deluded sheep whose shepherds do not tell them the truth? They call this doomsday preaching negative, false prophecy but David and the prophets called it all sweet honey!

The sweetest, most merciful thing God is doing today for His people is to once again send fearless prophets and watchmen to awaken the church and instill the fear of God. How sweet the sound: “Flee the wrath of God.” Honey! “Without holiness no man shall see God.” Honey! “Except ye repent, ye shall die in your sins.” Honey! “The earth and also the works therein shall be burned up!” Honey! I trust you can say with Jeremiah, “Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart” (Jeremiah 15:16).

Jesus warned, “But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved” (Matthew 24:13). This speaks of those whose love never decays, but rather grows and perseveres through all trials. Timothy ties it to our attitudes toward sound doctrine: “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine . . . and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables” (2 Timothy 4:3-4). A great resistance to pure, uncorrupt doctrine is coming in these very last days. Sound doctrine conforms hearers to godliness but many will not put up with it—they won’t endure it. There will be a widespread rejection of holiness preaching and prophetic warnings (see 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12).

Thousands of Christians will be so cold at midnight that not even the falling judgments will move them back to God. Jeremiah mourned for his people: “Thou hast stricken them, but they have not grieved; thou hast consumed them, but they have refused to receive correction” (Jeremiah 5:3). We have this warning from Peter: “Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your steadfastness. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:17-18). Do not be led away by sin or false doctrines or by anger at the Word!
 

HONEY FROM HEAVEN

by David Wilkerson | September 18, 2014

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We must learn to accept every word from Him as honey from heaven. You can measure any believer’s love for his Lord by how much he respects every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. A preacher once said, “I can’t serve a God of wrath! I will preach nothing but encouragement—no reproof. God is love! Enough of all those lamentations and woes!” This man knows nothing of God’s honey.

The Lord instructed Ezekiel: “Son of man, stand upon thy feet, and I will speak unto thee. . . . I send thee to the children of Israel, to a rebellious nation that hath rebelled against me: they and their fathers have transgressed against me, even unto this very day. For they are impudent children and stiffhearted. . . . But thou, son of man, hear what I say unto thee; Be not thou rebellious like that rebellious house: open thy mouth, and eat that I give thee. And when I looked, behold, an hand was sent unto me; and, lo, a roll of a book was therein; and he spread it before me; and it was written within and without: and there was written therein lamentations, and mourning, and woe” (Ezekiel 2:1, 3-4, 8-10).

God’s woes were honey to the prophets. “Be not thou rebellious.” How could Ezekiel be rebellious? By not preaching the truth about judgment that God had given him. “An hand was sent unto me.” This was the hand of God! God’s hand held out a scroll, inscribed on both sides with “lamentations, and mourning, and woe”—all written by the finger of God. What was Ezekiel to do with these very hard words of God? He was told to eat them! To satisfy his belly with them! “Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, eat that thou findest; eat this roll, and go speak unto the house of Israel. So I opened my mouth, and he caused me to eat that roll. And he said unto me, Son of man, cause thy belly to eat, and fill thy bowels with this roll that I give thee. Then did I eat it; and it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness” (Ezekiel 3:1-3).

This was food from heaven, manna dipped in honey! “Fill thy bowels with this roll that I give thee.” Bowels represent the heart and “eat it” means to take it to heart, heed it! “Then did I eat it; and it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness.”

Jeremiah said that all the prophets of old warned of judgment and woe. “The prophets that have been before me and before thee of old prophesied both against many countries, and against great kingdoms, of war, and of evil, and of pestilence” (Jeremiah 28:8). All the prophets lived by every word out of God’s mouth—the sad word, as well as the glad word. They took it all in as honey!
 

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