Sermons   David Wilkerson Today, Daily Devotions

THEY LIGHT UP THE SCREEN

by Claude Houde | November 22, 2014

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One of the greatest surprises of a new believer who begins to read and explore the Bible is to discover that the men and women of Scriptures are so incredibly human. There is no makeup, no tricks and no face-lifts in the Bible narrative. There are no Hollywood scripts, no “too good to be true,” larger-than-life flawless heroes.

One of the reasons the Bible is the all-time worldwide best seller year after year is the fact that the action and characters found in its pages are simply fascinating. The Bible is the most read book in the world because the sixty-six books that make up the Scriptures are, in fact, a mirror in which we all find a reflection of ourselves sooner or later. Although the men and women of the Old and New Testaments are very distant from us in time, space, contexts, customs and cultural reality, they are right there, so incredibly close to us in their human experience and humanity. Take a look and you will have to admit that these people literally “light up the screen.” Reading the Bible is the ultimate “reality TV” experience! Each page is riveting and propels us into the front rows of the theater of human lives in connection with the Divine.

We are staggered, appalled, “confronted” and moved by their adventures, battles, hopes, doubts, passions and faith, because they are painfully and implacably like our own (or at least like somebody we know when it comes too close for comfort, so close in fact that we turn the mirror away). These Bible life stories make us both laugh and cry. Our spirits are crushed by their failures, shattered at the mistakes they make and lifted with every exploit.

These men and women of the Word of God are made of flesh and bone. They dream, suffer, fall, cry and are disappointed and betrayed by their closest friends and the people they trusted the most. Sometimes they are afraid of what’s inside them. They can doubt horribly and shake their fists at heaven in anger, confusion and sheer pain. They cut and bleed. They turn their backs on God and doubt His very existence, and then run madly toward Him when tragedy strikes. So strong and yet so weak, they do not do what they know they should and often end up doing what they hate and know is wrong. They dream of beauty and nobility, of a better world, of justice and of “starting their life over.”

The Bible is a veritable jewelry box, filled with rough diamonds. Each book and each chapter reflects a facet of the human experience in search of the essential, the eternal and the meaningful. As you read the Bible, you can discover God and find yourself.

 

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.
 

REAPING IN JOY

by David Wilkerson | November 21, 2014

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“Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou has not [scattered seed]: And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine. His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant . . . Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. . . . And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness” Matthew 25:24-26, 28, 30). Who is this lazy, wicked servant and why was he cast into outer darkness?

First, he was a servant of God who was controlled by a secret sin. Jesus called him a wicked servant, which here denotes evil or something sinister. Although he is associated with a circle of servants who are busy, fruitful, and joyous, there is something hidden and unexposed in this man. He claims to know the Lord (“I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown”), but he has developed a perverted vision of the Lord because of unforsaken sin. He says, “Thou art an hard man,” which is another way of saying, “You expect too much from me; I can’t live up to Your demands for serving!”

It is sin in the heart that makes one say, “This is far too hard for me!” The yielded heart, on the other hand, becomes free, and obedience is no longer a burden. For the surrendered heart, it is all joy. “They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him” (Psalm 126:5-6).

A minister once heard some of our tapes and then told a friend, “No one can live like that! Everybody makes mistakes. You can’t live as pure as they preach!” He saw it as a hard message.

I wonder why.
 

ON THE FRONT LINES

by David Wilkerson | November 20, 2014

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Willing servants will not be afraid of “the lion out on the streets.” The lazy Christian says, “There is a lion outside and I’ll be slain in the street if I go out there.”

“The slothful man saith, There is a lion in the way; a lion is in the streets” (Proverbs 26:13).

Is there a lion out in the streets? Yes! A roaring lion seeking to devour. But Spirit-filled servants are not afraid of any lion. Before I came back to New York to pastor, the devil tried to put fear in my heart. I had seen what is coming and how wicked these streets will become. Satan said, “You’ll be slain in the streets!” But Jesus commanded, “Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind” (Luke 14:21).We are not afraid!

I think of how wonderful it must be to live in a quiet, secluded place, and many have that privilege. But there are growing numbers of Christians “taking to the hills” simply to hide out. The lion has chased them and they’re seeking a place of security. I have already been through that way of thinking. Gary North, a leading reconstructionist, wrote a book entitled Government by Emergency, in which he warns Christians to stockpile goods and guns, and then get ready to hide out and protect their possessions. The list he recommends includes liquor and tobacco to bribe (he calls it “barter”) law officials in a time of anarchy.

These are those who will cry out for the rocks and the mountains to hide them from His wrath (Revelation 6:16). “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it" (Matthew 16:25).

This Spirit-filled, last-days Church will not hide, but will be on the front lines, fighting a good fight and bringing in a harvest of souls.
 

THE LAST-DAYS HARVEST AWAITS!

by David Wilkerson | November 19, 2014

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There is something unique and special about the servants who will bring in the last great harvest. First of all, they will not be afraid to “plow in the cold.”

“The sluggard will not plow by reason of the cold; therefore shall he beg in harvest, and have nothing” (Proverbs 20:4).

Jesus said that the field is the world, meaning nations, peoples, races. When I came to New York in 1958, the church, society, and the government all said that drug addicts were incurable—especially heroin addicts. They said in effect, “It’s too cold to plow! They don't want God. They can’t be reached.” But God said to me, “Go plow! That’s a diamond mine and I’m going to have a great harvest there.” And so He has.

Along our southern borders they are wringing their hands as millions of illegals pour in. In New York and California illegal aliens are flooding in from all over the globe. God has raised up churches to reach them for Christ because these newly converted Christian workers have seen it as a chance to plow. God has brought the mission field to them. Now young ministers, who were once illegal aliens, are going back to their homelands as missionaries to evangelize.

Yes! Cold waves of apostasy are sweeping the earth. The Jews are cold, as well as the Muslims. So many seem hopeless and hard. But the Lord says, “Don’t be lazy—go plow!” No group of people, no individual, should be considered too cold, too hard, or too far gone! Go and sow! Plow and you will reap! In this day of His power the Spirit will convict all.

Before establishing Times Square Church, we were told that New York was too hard, too wicked—there was no hope—no one would come out on a Sunday night for church. There was too much cynicism, too much crime and people would not leave their homes to come to Times Square at night, any night. It was supposed to be too cold to plow. But this packed church proves how wrong they were.
 

GOD’S PEOPLE WILL BE WILLING

by David Wilkerson | November 18, 2014

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Psalm 110 is a direct prophecy about a last-days people who “shall be willing in the day of [God’s] power” (verse 3). Martin Luther called this psalm “a glorious prophecy concerning the Kingdom of Christ.” He added, “It ought to be dear to everyone in the church.”

God’s people will be “willing” in that day; they will be spontaneous volunteers. Here is how God does it: When He determines that His day of power has come, He raises up holy prophets, watchmen, and shepherds who blow the trumpet. God supernaturally moves upon a people to respond. They heed the call to repent, to rally, and to rise up in faith to challenge the enemy. They wake up, go out, and challenge the powers of darkness. God’s people begin to cry out and He sends prophets to awaken the church.

So it was when Sisera and his great iron chariots came up against Israel. God raised up Deborah because “the children of Israel cried unto the Lord” (Judges 4:3). It was the Spirit of the Lord that came upon them and as Deborah later sang, “The people willingly offered themselves” (Judges 5:2). When the Spirit of God truly comes upon a people you don’t have to push, plead, pull, or threaten. They become willing in the day of His power. I see this happening here in Times Square Church. The Word is cleansing and the Spirit of God is coming upon many. We now have an abundance of volunteers, willing to do anything for Jesus.

“Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness” (Psalm 110:3). This is a prophecy that God will have a people who do not see holiness as a burden too hard to carry. They will not see it as something difficult or legalistic—but beautiful! They will not cringe under a hard message but, rather, they will see it as God cutting and polishing a diamond so that additional rays of light will shine forth. It is a certain prophecy that in a day of wickedness, a day of immorality, He will raise up a holy host, walking with joy in all His commandments.
 

THE RESOURCES OF HEAVEN

by Gary Wilkerson | November 17, 2014

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When it comes to the resources of heaven, the prophet Zechariah speaks a powerful yet mysterious word: “On that day the LORD will defend the people of Jerusalem; the weakest among them will be as mighty as King David! And the royal descendants will be like God, like the angel of the LORD who goes before them!” (Zechariah 12:8, NLT).

Zechariah was looking down through history to our day. Because of Christ’s work for us, even the weakest Christian will be as strong as David, Israel’s greatest king. And the strongest believer will “be like God,” meaning, like Christ. It all sounds outlandish. Yet in this prophecy, God gives us an image of the resources He has made available to His Church. The reserves of heaven’s bank are meant to come pouring out on us to His great glory, especially in our trials.

Much of the Church has yet to grasp this. When some Christians come to the teller’s window, they stand mute. The Holy Spirit asks them, “What can I do for you?” but they don’t know to ask for the wealth available to them. Instead, they answer, “Lord, just give me whatever You want to. I don’t have any ambition, but You are sovereign. You can do as You please.”

That may sound humble, even godly, but Scripture suggests this attitude actually frustrates the Holy Spirit. His response is, “What do you mean there’s nothing in your heart? Don’t you see the enemy at work ravaging the lives of people you love? Don’t you see loved ones in fear and bondage who would be set free if only they knew My delivering power? Look around. There are kingdoms to conquer, enemies to slay, demons to cast out!”

Paul tells us to “earnestly desire the spiritual gifts.” That means when we come to the teller’s window, our request ought to be, “Lord, I have the gift of faith. Could You also give me the gift of evangelism, so I might bring others to faith?” Or, “Lord, You’ve gifted me with prophecy. Please, give me a word today for my sister who’s enduring great pain with no hope.”

One of the greatest lessons my father, David Wilkerson, taught me was, “You can have as much of Jesus as you want.” My message in turn is to say to you: Go to the teller’s window and ask extravagantly!
 

JUST A SHEPHERD BOY

by Nicky Cruz | November 15, 2014

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David was just a young shepherd boy, tending his father’s sheep, when God picked him to become the king of Israel. God had rejected Saul as king because of his wickedness and instead sent his prophet Samuel to seek out David—a mere shepherd boy. “[David] was ruddy, with a fine appearance and handsome features. Then the Lord said, ‘Rise and anoint him; he is the one.’ So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came upon David in power” (1Samuel 16:12-13).

Try to imagine what David must have felt at the time. How could he possibly have imagined becoming king of Israel? Did he even comprehend what was going on? He was just a boy tending sheep, probably grooming himself to take over his father’s business someday. The job of shepherd was the lowliest job a person could have. As the youngest son of Jesse, David was sent to the fields each day to tend to the flocks; his brothers handled the “more important” jobs. Even his own father couldn’t see the greatness inside David’s heart.

But God changed all that! God saw David’s heart and stepped in to create a covenant for him—a grand and glorious future far better than David could have dreamed for himself.

At the time David was content just spending time in the fields alone with God. He would run through the grass and sing before the Lord, worshiping and praying and taking in the beautiful mountain air. Early in the morning he would find a spot on a tall rock and watch the majestic sunrise, breathing in the colors as they changed from moment to moment. Each morning he suckled on the northern wind, strengthening his bones by drinking in the freedom of the open space.

It was here in the fields that David first connected with God—that he learned to talk to Him as a friend. That’s why the psalms of David are so beautiful and inspiring. In the psalms he takes us back to the days when it was just him and God, dancing in the fields together, tending to the sheep, growing in love and friendship.

“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. . . . In the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun, which is like a bridegroom coming forth from his pavilion, like a champion rejoicing to run his course. It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is hidden from its heat” (Psalm 19:1-2, 4-6).

As a shepherd David loved God with a passion. And God took notice.

 

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.
 

CORRECTLY HEARING THE VOICE OF GOD

by David Wilkerson | November 14, 2014

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When the voice of God is not heard, men run and labor for Him without a mandate—they are on their own. I have been there: doing good things, taking on challenges, believing fully that I was standing up against the worker of iniquity. And I wound up thousands of dollars in debt, weary and disillusioned, crying for help at every turn. I had not been sent by God but I didn’t understand. I was broken, burdened, willing to give up so much; it was not born out of prayer—it was human compassion.

But then I said, “No more, Lord! Not a step more unless You command it. Not a move until Your voice is heard!” And whatever money was needed was there because God supports what He originates. It is joy with no burden, peace with no begging. The begging in ministries today is a result of men doing good things without being sent by God’s voice. Their own desires are being mistaken for God’s bidding.

Jesus would not make a move unless He heard from heaven. “I speak to the world those things which I have heard of him. . . . I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me” (John 8:26, 28). “The Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. . . . Whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak” (John 12:49-50).

Here are four safeguards for correctly hearing the voice of God:

  1. His voice always brings you to Jesus and exposes all sin and lust. John heard His voice and said, “When I saw him, I fell at his feet” (Revelation 1:17).
  2. His presence (or countenance) always accompanies His voice. You will be overwhelmed and overjoyed by the glory of His presence.
  3. His voice will give you scriptural assurance. The Holy Spirit will lead you to confirmation in His Word. Everything God speaks must line up with Scripture at every point.
  4. Whatever He speaks will stand before the judgment seat of Christ in its purity and selflessness.

THE SOUND OF HIS VOICE

by David Wilkerson | November 13, 2014

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God’s desire for His people is that their greatest joy be the sound of His voice.

“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). Our greatest joy should be, “I heard His voice! I stood alone, waiting, and I heard Him speak to me!” In the Song of Solomon, we can hear a last-days bridal love duet. The bridegroom beckons His betrothed to hide away secretly with Him: “O my dove, that art in the clefts of the rock, in the secret places of the stairs, let me see thy countenance, let me hear thy voice; for sweet is thy voice” (Song of Solomon 2:14). Then later in the Song, she responds, “It is the voice of my beloved that knocketh, saying, Open to me . . . my love, my dove” (5:2).

To those whose hearts have grown cold, who can no longer hear His voice, God has promised to give a new and tender heart if they repent and turn to Him in faith. A hard heart is not terminal—that is, if you want to change! It is not something God did to you; rather, you did it to yourself by shutting out God’s Word. Here is your promise: “And they shall come thither, and they shall take away all the detestable things thereof and all the abominations thereof from thence. And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh: that they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God” (Ezekiel 11:18-20).

And, “Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you; and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them” (Ezekiel 36:25-27).
 

HIS LOVING ARMS

by David Wilkerson | November 12, 2014

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“I am weary with my groaning; all the night make I my bed to swim; I water my couch with my tears” (Psalm 6:6).

This giant killer, this mighty warrior of whom they sang, “David hath killed his ten thousands,” this poet who wrote so much about trusting God and casting all care upon Him, this same man of God, cried out, “Have mercy upon me, O Lord; for I am weak: O Lord, heal me; for my bones are vexed” (Psalm 6:2). David had sinned grievously, confessing, “For mine iniquities are gone over mine head: as an heavy burden they are too heavy for me. My wounds stink and are corrupt because of my foolishness. I am troubled: I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long” (Psalm 38:4-6).

David is expressing exactly what some of you may be going through right now: a feeling of being overwhelmed by sin, like unexpected ocean waves sweeping over your soul. You can’t understand why you are swamped again. You cry, “God, it is too much for me! I can’t handle it anymore.” You are wounded and you know that you stink inwardly from sin. You know you have been foolish and stupid. You feel the spiritual corruption and are so sick in your mind that it affects your body. Your failure, your lack of victory, has actually made you go “mourning all the day” in depression and fear. You are troubled—bowed down—disturbed in your soul.

David had a sense that he was suffering from the sins he had committed. He was not saying that God was not just in chastising him, but he wanted to be corrected in love: “O Lord, rebuke me not in thine anger, neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure. Have mercy upon me, O Lord; for I am weak” (Psalm 6:1-2). The cry from David is this: “Lord, my own foolishness, my own besetting sin, has brought much of my suffering upon me! I know You have a right to correct and chastise me. But please remember that I am still Your child! Pour out Your wrath on those who don’t want You. I have sinned, but I still love You. Correct me in love. Be merciful.”

If you feel God’s arrows in your soul because of past and present sin, yet you have a repentant heart and want to turn from your sin, you can call for His chastening love. You will be corrected, but in great mercy and compassion, just as a caring father spanks his child because of love. You will not feel His wrath as do the heathen, but with His rod you will feel His loving, outstretched arms.
 

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