Sermons   David Wilkerson Today, Daily Devotions

AMBASSADORS OF PRAYER

by Carter Conlon | August 1, 2015

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When we come to God in prayer, we must know who He is and what He is willing to do for us. We must know that He is our Father, our provider, our deliverer; that we are forgiven so that we can become ambassadors of forgiveness. We must have an assurance in our hearts that God is faithful to protect us from every weapon of evil that is formed against us.

“And he said unto them, Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves; For a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him?” (Luke 11:5-6).

Once we are completely at rest in who God is, fully trusting in His provision and keeping power, there is a shift that ought to take place in our prayers. Prayer should no longer be all about us but should also be focused on others. This is where the true power of prayer is found.

Please notice that verse five tells us that it was midnight. I am sure by now you are aware that we are living in the midnight hour. Everything as we know it is moving into a last and final rebellion against all the ways of a holy God. It was at midnight, as well, that Paul and Silas found themselves in an inner prison, yet they chose to pray and worship (see Acts 16:25). Suddenly, there was an earthquake that shook the prison’s foundations. All the prison doors were opened, and everyone’s bands were loosed. If only you and I can learn to pray like that in this dark hour!

We can be sure that Paul and Silas were not simply praying, “Forgive us for our sins and give us our daily bread.” No! I believe they were crying out, “God, it’s midnight, and there is a need here that is much greater than we can handle. Friends have been set before us, and these friends are in prison—shackled and hopeless. You have entrusted us with this inner prison, so now You must give us the strength to make a difference.”

How did God respond to their prayer? He put a song inside of them! As they began to worship God for answering the cry of their hearts, suddenly everything began to shake and miracles started to happen. Even the Philippian jailer and his entire household surrendered their lives to Jesus!

 

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 REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST

by David Wilkerson | July 31, 2015

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There are scores of well-trained ministers today, highly respected men of advanced learning. They've spent years in seminary, studying theology, philosophy and ethics. And they've been taught by gifted teachers, esteemed men who are experts in their fields.

But when many of these trained ministers stand in the pulpit to preach, they speak only empty words. They can tell you many interesting things about the life and ministry of Christ. But what they say leaves your spirit cold. Why? Because they have no revelation of Jesus, no personal experience with Him. Everything they know of Christ has been filtered through the minds of other men. Their insights are merely borrowed teachings.

In Ephesians 4 and especially verse 20, Paul was asking, "How did you learn Christ?" In other words, who taught you what you know of Jesus? Did it come from the many sermons you've heard or your Sunday school classes? If so, that's good. But is that the limit of what you know of Christ? It doesn't matter how powerfully your pastor may preach, or how anointed your teachers may be. You need more of Jesus than mere head knowledge.

Many believers are satisfied with what I call an initial, one-time revelation of Christ's saving power and grace. This is the only revelation of Jesus they've ever had. They testify, "Jesus is the Messiah, the Savior. He's the Lord, the Son of God." Every true believer experiences this wonderful, life-changing revelation. Yet that's only the first step. What lies ahead is a lifetime of deeper, more glorious revelations of Christ.

Paul knew this. He received an incredible revelation of Jesus on the road to Damascus. Paul was literally knocked off his horse, and a voice spoke to him from heaven. No person ever had a more personal revelation of Christ than this. Yet Paul knew this was only the beginning. From that moment on, he "determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified" (1 Corinthians 2:2).
 

AN EVER-INCREASING REVELATION OF JESUS

by David Wilkerson | July 30, 2015

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Consider Cornelius, the centurion. This man was not a preacher or a lay minister. In fact, being a Gentile, he wasn't even numbered among God's people. Yet, Scripture says this soldier was "a devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God always" (Acts 10:2).

Here was one busy man. Cornelius had 100 soldiers under his immediate command, yet he prayed every spare moment. And one day while in prayer, he heard the Lord speak to him. An angel appeared, calling Cornelius by name. The centurion recognized it as the voice of God and answered, "What is it, Lord?" (Acts 10:4).
The Lord spoke directly to Cornelius, telling him to find the apostle Peter. He gave him detailed instructions, including names, an address, even the words to say. Meanwhile, Peter was praying on a housetop when "there came a voice to him" (10:13). Again, the Holy Spirit gave detailed instructions: "Peter, you're about to hear some men at the door. Go with them, for I have sent them" (see Acts 10:19-20).

Peter followed the men to Cornelius' house for a truly divine appointment. What happened there shook the entire Jewish-Pentecostal church. The Lord opened the gospel to Gentiles. Yet, the hardest thing for the Jewish believers to accept was that God had spoken to a common, untrained Gentile. They could not understand how Cornelius had heard God's voice so clearly, and spoken with such power. It challenged every believer there.

Paul also received a revelation of Jesus directly from heaven. He testified that the things he was shown about Christ weren't taught by any man. Rather, while on his knees in prayer, he had heard the voice of Jesus Himself. "I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ" (Galatians 1:11-12). "It pleased God . . . to reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood" (1:15-16).

Now, there were great teachers in Paul's day, leaders mighty in God's Word, such as Apollos and Gamaliel. And there were the apostles, who had walked and talked with Jesus. But Paul knew a secondhand revelation of Christ wouldn't be good enough. He had to have an ever-increasing revelation of Jesus—from the Lord Himself.
 

ALONE IN THE DESERT

by David Wilkerson | July 29, 2015

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Tragically, many ministers today preach lifeless sermons. Their messages neither convict of sin nor answer the deep cries of the heart. This is absolutely criminal. Empty philosophies spouted in a time of great hunger will only cause greater sorrow in hearers.

John the Baptist taught, "He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom's voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled" (John 3:29). The literal Greek meaning translates, "The friend of the bridegroom, who abides and continues with him." John the Baptist was telling his disciples, "I've heard the bridegroom's voice and it has become my greatest joy. Its sound fulfills my soul. How was I able to hear His voice? By standing near Him, listening to Him speak His heart."

You may wonder: How did John learn the sound of Jesus' voice? As far as we know, the two had only one face-to-face encounter, at Christ's baptism. And that was a very brief exchange, consisting of only a few words.

John learned to hear the Lord's voice just as Jesus did: alone in the desert. This man had isolated himself in the wilderness from a very early age. He would not allow himself any pleasures of this world, including tasty foods, a soft bed or even comfortable clothes. He had no teachers, no mentors, no books. During those years alone, John fellowshipped with the Lord. And all that time, he was being taught by the Spirit to hear God's still, small voice. Yes, Christ spoke to John even before He came in the flesh.

John learned everything he knew by being in continual communion with the Lord. That's how he received the message of repentance, recognized the coming of the Lamb, perceived his own need to decrease while the Messiah increased. John learned all these things from the Lord. And the sound of God's voice was his joy.

If we give ourselves to this kind of daily communion, the Lord will be faithful to direct our lives, even down to detailed instructions.
 

JESUS’ FEEDING TIME

by David Wilkerson | July 28, 2015

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I have been asking the Lord if it's possible today, in this time of grace, to live as He did. Can we be totally dependent on the voice of the Father in glory? Is it possible to hear His direction for our lives day by day, moment by moment? Is there such a walk laid out for us, so we also can say, "I speak only what I hear from the Lord, and do only what I see Him doing"?

I know the joy that comes from being shut in alone with Christ. It comes from worshiping Him, ministering to Him, waiting upon Him to reveal His heart. I call this Jesus' feeding time. I sit in His presence, listening for His still, small voice. And He speaks to me, teaching me, ministering to me by His Holy Spirit, showing me things I could never learn from a book or another person. His truth comes to life in my spirit. And my heart leaps within me!

Of course, I haven't arrived. This kind of occasional experience still hasn't become a way of life for me. So, I've been asking the Lord, "Is the wholly-dependent life possible? Or is it just wishful thinking? Am I dreaming of something that's impossible to fulfill?"

I believe most of us live way beneath the privileges we have as children of God. For example, I read of Elijah standing before the Lord and hearing His voice. I read of Jeremiah standing in God's presence, hearing His counsel. He cries, "Who hath stood in the counsel of the Lord, and hath perceived and heard his word? Who hath marked his word, and heard it?" (Jeremiah 23:18). I read a similar cry from Isaiah: "Thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left" (Isaiah 30:21).

Why wouldn't God speak in our generation, when there's so much fear and uncertainty? The world is in turmoil, searching for answers. Why would the Lord be silent now, when we need to hear His voice more than ever?
 

STAYING IN CHRIST

by Gary Wilkerson | July 27, 2015

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Was the Father true to His terms of the Covenant? Did He lead and guide Jesus as promised? Did His Spirit hover over His Son, giving Him encouragement and consolation? Did He bring Him through all His trials and usher Him home to glory victorious? Yes, absolutely! And the Father has pledged an eternal oath to do the same for us.

Jesus said, “I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil” (John 17:15). “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world” (verse 16). Christ was saying, in essence, “Father, sanctify them through Your truth. Make them holy and pure and keep them from the wicked one. Be with them through all their temptations. Let the promises You gave Me be theirs, as well.”

By keeping the word of His Covenant in love, the Father’s glory was displayed to the world: “The glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one. I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me” (verses:22-23).

The next time you struggle with a besetting sin, you may hear an accusing voice: “You’ve gone too far and sinned too often. God has turned you over to a reprobate mind. You’re unclean, unholy, no good, a disgrace to the gospel. You’ve driven the Holy Spirit from your life completely.” When this happens, remind God, the devil and yourself: “I am one in covenant with the Father and Son. Jesus co-signed the covenant with His own blood, and the Father promised to keep me through all my trials. He’ll hold my hand no matter what comes and will never remove His love from me. He’ll lead me to victory!”

By revealing His covenant to us, God wants to remove any doubts we have about His ability to keep us. It’s as if He is saying, “I’m going to treat you as though you have no faith at all. I’ll make such a strong oath to you, you’ll have no choice but to believe in Me.” We are to stay in Christ—abide in Him, trust Him, depend on Him. If we do this, we will surely see His glory!

 

STANDING AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD

by Claude Houde | July 25, 2015

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The book of Acts describes Stephen as a man “full of peace, joy, wisdom, grace and the power of the Holy Spirit” (see Acts 6:5, 8). One day, as Stephen was sharing his faith in Christ to a group of people in a public square, tragedy struck. Religious fanatics, in a cowardly movement, picked up stones to literally stone Stephen to death.

Stephen was stoned for having “built an altar” before God, for having served suffering widows, and for publicly sharing his faith in Christ. The Bible allows us to catch in this moment a brief and ever so intense glimpse into eternity. As this crowd of religious fanatics rushed madly toward him, stones in hand, Stephen pronounced these words of peace and forgiveness as he knelt before his murderers, but even more, before his God: “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit and do not charge this crime upon them. Forgive them, oh God” (see Acts 7:59-60).

Where does this peace, this magnificent grace come from? It was as if the stones that were tearing Stephen apart were, in fact, only striking the envelope of his body as his spirit was already transported to another Kingdom. Stephen saw something glorious.

The veil opened for an instant, allowing us to see in. “Stephen, filled with the Holy Spirit, fixed his eyes toward heaven and said: ‘Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man [Jesus], standing at the right hand of God!’” (Acts 7:56). This is the only place where Christ is found standing in heaven but there are many references to the resurrected Christ sitting at the right hand of God the Father (Ephesians 1:20).

Some might say, “So what?” It is, however, extremely significant. The seated position represents the fullness of authority and the finality of Christ’s victory over sin, death and all of His enemies. The victory is eternal, the sacrifice perfect, and the resurrection absolute, total and complete. It announces the finished triumph of Christ against all of humanity’s foes. He is seated because all of our enemies are under His feet!

 

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.
 

A FRESH WORD FROM GOD

by David Wilkerson | July 24, 2015

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Scripture tells us that on occasion “as many as touched him were made whole" (see Mark 6:56). Yet, at other times, He didn't heal because of people's unbelief. How did Jesus know when to heal and when not to? He had to hear the still, small voice of His Father giving Him a word of direction. And He gloried in hearing His Father's voice.

The same is true of our calling. We know all the things Scripture requires of us: we are to love one another; pray without ceasing; go into the world and make disciples; study to show ourselves approved; walk in righteousness; and minister to the poor, sick, needy and imprisoned. Yet, we are also to do certain other things that aren't mentioned in Scripture. We face certain needs in our daily walk, whether through crises or other situations. In such moments, we need our Father's voice to guide us, speaking to us things not outlined in His commandments. Simply put, we need to hear the same voice of the Father that Jesus heard while on earth.

We know Christ had this kind of exchange with His Father. He told His disciples, "All things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you" (John 15:15). He also told the religious leaders, "[I have] told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham" (John 8:40). What did Jesus mean by this last phrase? He was telling Israel's teachers, "I've given you truth directly from God's heart. Abraham couldn't do that."

Christ was saying, "You live in a dead theology. You study the past, honoring your father Abraham, learning rules and regulations for your life. But what I am speaking to you isn't from some remote history. I've just been with the Father and He gave me what I'm preaching to you. He showed me what you needed to hear."

John the Baptist testified against these same religious leaders: "What he hath seen and heard, that he testifieth; and no man receiveth his testimony" (John 3:32). Today, Jesus is speaking to us the same message: "You're satisfied to listen to sermons taken from some reference book. But the Word I want to give you is fresh."
 

IN HIS FATHER’S PRESENCE

by David Wilkerson | July 23, 2015

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It was in the hours alone with the Father that Christ heard His voice speak. Indeed, Jesus received every encouraging word, every prophetic warning, while in prayer. He petitioned the Father, worshiped Him, and submitted to His will. And after every miracle, every teaching, every face-off with a Pharisee, Jesus hurried back to fellowship with His Father.

We see this kind of devotion in Matthew 14. Jesus had just received news of the death of John the Baptist. "When Jesus heard of it, he departed thence by ship into a desert place apart" (Matthew 14:13). (I wonder if he went to the same desert where John had spent years in meditation and preparation for ministry.)

Jesus was there alone, praying and grieving deeply over John's death. John had been a beloved friend, as well as a respected prophet of God. Now, in fellowship with the Father, Jesus asked for and received grace. And there in the desert, Jesus received direction for the very next day.

Immediately after leaving that place, Christ began to perform miracles: "Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick" (Matthew 14:14). That same day, Jesus fed a crowd of five thousand from five loaves and two fishes. Try to imagine what a busy, full, heavy day it was for Him. Later that day, He sent the crowds away.

So, what did Jesus do at that point? You would think He might seek rest or a quiet meal. Perhaps He would gather a few of His close disciples and recount the events of the day. Or, maybe He desired to go to Bethany, to be rejuvenated by the hospitality of the family of Mary and Martha.

Jesus did none of these things, however. Scripture says, "He went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone" (Mattthew14:23). Once again, Jesus rushed back to the Father. He knew the only place to recuperate was in His Father's presence.
 

STRAIGHT FROM THE FATHER’S HEART

by David Wilkerson | July 22, 2015

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Jesus, in His earthly ministry, had to rely on a daily inner working of the Father's voice. He had to be dependent on the Father at all times in order to hear His voice directing Him. Otherwise, Christ simply could not have done the things He did. He had to hear His Father's voice hour by hour, miracle by miracle, one day at a time.

How was Jesus able to hear the still, small voice of His Father? The Bible shows us it happened through prayer. Again and again, Jesus went to a solitary place to pray. He learned to hear the Father's voice while on His knees and the Father was faithful to show Him everything to do and say.

“And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed” (Mark 1:35).

“Great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed by him of their infirmities. And he withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed” (Luke 5:15-16).

Picture Jesus facing a major decision, such as choosing His disciples. How did the Lord choose the twelve from the vast multitudes who followed Him? It had to be a momentous decision. After all, these disciples would form the pillars of His New Testament Church. Did His Father give Him the twelve names while He was still in glory? If so, why did Jesus spend an entire night in prayer before naming the twelve?

Luke tells us, "He went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God" (Luke 6:12). The next morning, Jesus called out the twelve. How did He know them? The Father had revealed them to Him the night before.

On that same night, the Father gave His Son the beatitudes, those sayings from the Sermon on the Mount: "Blessed are the poor in spirit. . . . Blessed are they that mourn. . . . Blessed are the meek" (see Matthew 5:1-5). Jesus had received it all straight from the Father's heart.
 

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