Sermons   David Wilkerson Today, Daily Devotions

CLEANSING THE TEMPLE

by Gary Wilkerson | May 25, 2015

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Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross would be sufficient for all time. His saving, forgiving, cleansing power and victory are available to every person in every era, from the most devout believer to the most hardened sinner.

Even as a young boy, I understood my need for Christ’s gift of salvation. I knew that when I accepted Jesus, His saving work on my behalf had been achieved once and for all. But not long after I accepted Him my anger erupted at one of my siblings, as happens so often among kids. Suddenly I was aware that I needed Jesus’ cleansing blood in my life all over again. I felt utterly lost, wondering whether my salvation was real.

Eventually I learned that I needed not only Christ’s salvation but His cleansing power in my life daily. Jesus demonstrated our need at the Last Supper when He took a towel and basin and began washing His disciples’ feet. Peter puzzled over this symbolic act, saying, “Lord, if You’re going to wash my feet, why not clean my head too?” (see John 13:9). Jesus answered, in essence, “Peter, you’re going to be saved by My blood. But you still live in a dirty world, and as you walk through it you’ll get dust on your feet. You’re going to need Me to wash your feet just as much as your heart.”

It’s true that Jesus has made us new creatures, having justified us once and for all. But as we walk through the mire of a dark and evil world, we can’t avoid picking up flecks of its anger, lust and hardness. Jesus says to us, just as He told Peter, “If your life is going to be pleasing to Me, I have to rid you of these things daily.”

To walk in His holiness, we must realize that Jesus wants to drive things out of our lives. In Matthew 21:12-13 when He ran the moneychangers out of the temple, He was ridding the church of a certain callousness that had overcome them. It wasn’t so much the exchange of money that upset Jesus; that practice had existed for years, as a convenience to faithful believers who traveled great distances to Jerusalem. What upset Jesus more was the focus on commerce, which had overtaken people’s passion for God. In their hearts, a house of prayer had been turned into a house of trade.
 

THE SONS OF SCEVA

by Claude Houde | May 23, 2015

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“A group of Jews was traveling from town to town casting out evil spirits. They tried to use the name of the Lord Jesus in their incantation, saying, ‘I command you in the name of Jesus, whom Paul preaches, to come out!’ Seven sons of Sceva, a leading priest, were doing this. But one time when they tried it, the evil spirit replied, ‘I know Jesus, and I know Paul, but who are you?’ Then the man with the evil spirit leaped on them, overpowered them, and attacked them with such violence that they fled from the house, naked and battered.

“The story of what happened spread quickly all through Ephesus, to Jews and Greeks alike. A solemn fear descended on the city, and the name of the Lord Jesus was greatly honored. Many who became believers confessed their sinful practices” (Acts 19:13-18, NLT).

What a story! We see in it, clear as day, a picture of thousands of churches, ministries and believers today. Notice a few characteristics of the sons of Sceva. They had a religious background, a second-generation tradition with a history of rituals and religiosity. They had standing and reputation in God’s house, for they were sons of the High Priest. They knew the Scriptures, and they had learned well the jargon of spiritual warfare.

But they were pathetic parakeets repeating the words, intonations, and prayer formulas while having no true communion and relationship with God. They had the lingo down pat, but there was no victory, no true supernatural authority. They knew how to keep up appearances, but had no power, no divine capacity to deliver; they were just a pale imitation with illumination. They wanted to cast out demons but they had not developed their relationship with God in the secret place. The result was dreadful and dangerous.

Are you thirsting for an anointing of freedom, authority and victory? Do you burn with the desire to walk by the faith which “gives life to what was dead”? Cry out with me, “Lord, increase my faith.” There is no limit to the delivering power, protection and strength that will be yours if you stand against the enemy with faith that says, “To men this is impossible; but to God all things are possible” (see Matthew 19:26).

 

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.
 

GOD’S PLANS FOR YOU

by David Wilkerson | May 22, 2015

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As the New Covenant was being made, the heavenly Father and His Son foresaw that many would neglect Christ. These people would grow lukewarm or cold, eventually falling away. So, the Father and the Son made an agreement: If any sheep got lost or went astray, Jesus would go after it and bring it back to the fold.

The truth is, dead humanity can be brought back to life by a fresh flow of healing waters. “These waters . . . go into the sea: which being brought forth into the sea, the waters shall be healed” (Ezekiel 47:8). When God’s healing waters begin to flow, green things start springing up all around—a blade of grass here, a small plant there. Soon an entire garden is thriving.

Dear saint, God still yearns over you and He still has plans for you. In fact, you can start your life over today. He promises to restore everything that has been eaten and wasted from your life, no matter how long it has been. “I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten” (Joel 2:25).

You can still be His habitation, still learn His secrets and receive His revelations. Here is your way back: Acknowledge that you have neglected Him. Admit you’ve been too busy, with time for everything but Him. Confess you have not listened when He has called you. “Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light” (Ephesians 5:14).

Cry out to Him now: “Oh, God, heal me. Awaken my soul. Shake me out of this slumber. I want to change. I know you have to do the work in me, Lord. I long for Your fresh touch.”

Jeremiah shows us God’s heart toward a people who neglected and forgot Him: “Return, thou backsliding Israel . . . and I will not cause mine anger to fall upon you; for I am merciful, saith the Lord . . . Only acknowledge thine iniquity . . . turn, O backsliding children, saith the Lord; for I am married unto you . . . and I will heal your backslidings” (Jeremiah 3:12-14, 22).

God is saying to you, “My child, for a while I was angry with you. I gave you over to your emptiness and loneliness. But now I’m going to restore to you everything the devil has destroyed.”
 

RIVER OF LIFE

by David Wilkerson | May 21, 2015

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God’s Word warns: “How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation” (Hebrews 2:3). There is a great price to pay for ignoring Christ.

Ezekiel 47 speaks of a river of life that flows from God’s throne. This river is made up of holy, healing waters and as it flows through the desert, it brings life to everything it touches. It expands ever wider and deeper, until there is enough water to swim in.

“These waters . . . go down into the desert, and go into the sea: which being brought forth into the sea, the waters shall be healed. And it shall come to pass, that everything that liveth, which moveth, whithersoever the rivers shall come, shall live” (Ezekiel 47:8-9).

This river of life represents the preached gospel and it has been flowing since Calvary. Today, millions who hear and receive God’s Word are being healed and the truth of Christ is awakening them to their neglect, sloth and apathy. Now their eyes are wide open, and they delight in Jesus. They seek Him daily, love His Word, share intimacy with Him.

So, what has happened to you? Are you swimming in God’s healing waters? Or do you allow this river to flow right past you? Note what happens to the desert areas where these waters don’t flow: “But the miry places thereof and the marshes thereof shall not be healed; they shall be given to salt” (47:11).

Maybe you are guilty of ignoring Jesus. You have been prayerless, disobedient, neglectful of His Word and now your neglect has become a way of life. In truth, you have aborted all the anticipation Jesus once had for you.

What does it mean to be “given to salt,” as Ezekiel states? It means total barrenness . . . fruitlessness, emptiness, dryness, loneliness. Think of the Dead Sea in Israel. It is a body of water totally given over to salt. No fish can survive in it and no plant can grow in it or around it. It is completely barren.

Have you become this kind of miry place—an isolated, dried-up marsh? Is your life barren of fruit for God? Is your daily existence empty, dry, lonely? All around you, others are bearing fruit and growing in Christ. They have been healed by God’s holy waters but you don’t possess any of the resources they have. You have become a Christian in name only.

It’s never too late to start over! Let the Lord make this the first day of a new beginning for you.
 

A DELIGHT TO HIS HEART

by David Wilkerson | May 20, 2015

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Jesus rejoiced over us before the world was made. He anticipated coming to dwell in us and making us His habitation. And He rejoiced that we would cling to Him, forsaking all others. We would seek Him daily and spend quality time with Him. He would share His secrets with us, and we would unburden our hearts to Him. We would delight in His ways, searching His Word for revelations of His righteousness, and we would tremble at the revelations His Word gave us.

The Bible states clearly that Jesus expected us to be His habitation. So, are you fulfilling His expectation? He anticipated spending a lifetime with you so is your intimacy with Him increasing? Or, do you neglect Him for days on end?

Your Bridegroom had in mind to draw you close to Himself. He wanted to open His heart to you, to have sweet fellowship with you daily. He longed to show you many things, things no one else had seen. He desired to mold your life, to bring forth the fruit of the Spirit in you. And He wanted to take away your weaknesses, your fears, your feelings of inadequacy.

In turn, you were to be a delight to His heart—by your tears, your intimacy, your clinging devotion. Your words to Him were to be those of a bride: “I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste” (Song of Solomon 2:3). “Let me see thy countenance, let me hear thy voice” (2:14).

The very thought of this relationship with you caused Christ to rejoice long before the world was created. Yet, now that the time has come to enjoy that relationship, you neglect and ignore the Lord. You have time to watch television, shop, surf the Internet, garden—but you have no time for Jesus. I ask you, Do you believe He will inhabit the heart of a bride who is bored with Him? Why would He continue to dwell in someone who has no time to be with Him, talk to Him, listen to Him?

Here is a solemn warning: Jesus will not abide in those who neglect and ignore Him. You may object, “But I love my Lord. I haven’t given Him the cold shoulder.” The fact is, if you have neglected prayer and His Word for weeks at a time—if you have no private, intimate relationship with Him—then you have made your statement. You have declared, “My actions prove I don’t have a passionate love for Jesus. My family, career and personal desires come first.”
 

LONGING TO HEAR GOD’S WORD

by David Wilkerson | May 19, 2015

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The psalmist David waited daily to receive word from God and he delighted in the word he received. He testified, “I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word” (Psalm 199:16). “Thy testimonies also are my delight and my counsellors” (119:24). “I will delight myself in thy commandments, which I have loved” (119:47). “Thy law is my delight” (119:77). The literal Hebrew meaning of this last verse is, “I enjoy your Word.”

Proverbs 8:34 says, “Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors.” What is the gate referred to here?

The psalmist gives us the answer: “Open to me the gates of righteousness: I will go into them, and I will praise the Lord” (Psalms 118:19). I believe these “gates of righteousness” are also the “strait gate” Jesus speaks of (see Luke 13:24). They refer to anyone who turns daily to God’s Word to learn His righteousness.

Such a believer is determined to walk upright before the Lord. He gets excited at every revelation that points him on the path to a holy walk. He tells himself, “I want truth in my inner man. I know I won’t get it just by listening to sermon tapes or reading books. I have to wait patiently on the Lord so that He will open His gates to me.”

Faithfully, God’s Holy Spirit comes out to meet this believer every morning. And He invites him inside, whispering, “Welcome, friend. Let Me show you something new today about God’s righteousness.”

What does it mean to “wait at the posts of my doors”? This refers to every believer who trembles at God’s Word. The phrase comes from Isaiah 6, when the prophet waited at the doorposts of the temple, longing to hear from God.

As Isaiah stood there, he heard the seraphims singing, “Holy, holy, holy,” the skies ringing with their praises. Then suddenly, a mighty voice boomed forth from heaven, a voice so loud and clear that it shook everything: “The posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke” (Isaiah 6:4). Isaiah is an example of someone who “waits at the posts of my doors.” This believer longs to hear God’s Word.
 

THE BEGINNING OF HIS MINISTRY

by Gary Wilkerson | May 18, 2015

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In John 2, Jesus enters the temple for an act that will signal the beginning of His public ministry. (His earlier miracle at Cana, turning water into wine, was not a public declaration.) What takes place next is quite dramatic:

“The Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple he found those who were selling oxen and sheep and pigeons, and the money-changers sitting there. And making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen. And he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. And he told those who sold the pigeons, ‘Take these things away; do not make my Father’s house a house of trade.’ His disciples remembered that it was written, ‘Zeal for your house will consume me’” (John 2:13-17).

What Jesus did here was more than radical. If you wanted to announce your ministry, would you go into a megachurch and start turning over tables and driving people away? Jesus was up to more than just showing His authority. He was demonstrating that He was about to turn things upside down in every way.

This all happened during the Passover season. At the first Passover, Jewish families had to slay a lamb as a ritual sacrifice, draining the blood and applying it on the doorframe of their house. The idea was that when the angel of death arrived and saw the blood marking the door, he would pass over that home. It was a symbolic ritual that reenacted God’s saving deliverance of Israel from Egypt, when He set His people free from all bondage and slavery.

Now Jesus came on the scene as the Lamb of God whose sacrifice would provide our deliverance from the curse of sin. John the Baptist was aware of this, having already declared of Him, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). In less than three years’ time, the world would behold Christ’s finished work as the sin of all humankind was laid upon Him.
 

 

A MAN AFTER GOD’S HEART

by Nicky Cruz | May 16, 2015

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Even as a boy David knew the power and protection of God. Grown men cowered at the sight of Goliath, the giant, but not David. He took on the giant with nothing but a slingshot in his hand and brought him down. He faced lions with his bare hands and bears with nothing but a spear. God took a small, insignificant country boy, a shepherd, and turned him into a mighty warrior-king!

No ruler had the kind of love and respect that David enjoyed. The people adored him, his servants obeyed him without question, his wives fulfilled his every need and desire. What man has ever lived in such blessing, such favor, such grace and approval from the Creator?

Yet all of that paled in comparison to his relationship with God. He loved God with a passion and worshiped Him with abandon. Even in the midst of his many duties, David spent hour after hour writing songs and poems to God, singing to Him from his heart, courting the Creator of the universe as one lover courts another. All the gold and silver and riches in the world meant nothing to David compared to his relationship with God. That was the secret to his power. That was what made David such an awesome ruler and king.

David knew without any reservation that he could no nothing without God. He knew that God provided the strength in his bones, the blood in his veins, the wisdom in his mind, and the courage in his heart.

“It is God who arms me with strength,” wrote David, “and makes my way perfect. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he enables me to stand on the heights. He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze. You give me your shield of victory; you stoop down to make me great. You broaden the path beneath me, so that my ankles do not turn. I pursued my enemies and crushed them; I did not turn back till they were destroyed. I crushed them completely, and they could not rise; they fell beneath my feet. You armed me with strength for battle; you made my adversaries bow at my feet” (2 Samuel 22:33-40, NIV).

 

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.
 

MAINTAINING THE SPIRIT OF REJOICING

by David Wilkerson | May 15, 2015

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God had heard the Israelites’ cry, and He had shown mercy to them, turning their mourning into mirth and allowing them to shout and rejoice. And now He called them to gather for yet another meeting.

If Israel’s joy was to be maintained—if it was not to be lost once again—God had to dig a little deeper. Certain areas of people’s lives still weren’t conformed to His Word. Yet the Lord had allowed everyone to rejoice for a season, because He wanted them to know they were secure. Now, during this state of acceptance and joy, He asked them all to commit to a greater separation from the world.

God said to these joyful souls, “I am well pleased with you. You have revered My Word, repenting of your sin, rejoicing in My mercy, and promising to obey Me. Now, it’s time for you to act on My love. I want you to separate yourselves wholly and break away completely from the worldly influences that have crept into your hearts and homes.”

You see, while the Israelites were in captivity, they had become cozy with the heathen, slowly adopting their language and ways. Israelite men had married heathen wives, and Israelite women had purchased heathen husbands with dowries. The Israelites had also allowed unsanctified things to become a part of the worship in God’s house.

Beloved, we can’t go on to fullness in Christ if we don’t increasingly separate ourselves from this world. If we’re not becoming more heavenly minded and less like the unsaved people surrounding us, we’ll slowly lose all the joy of our repentance.

Israel didn’t want to lose their great spirit of rejoicing so they assembled again to obey God on this matter: “The seed of Israel separated themselves from all strangers, and stood and confessed their sins” (Nehemiah 9:2).

“They . . . entered into a curse, and into an oath, to walk in God’s law. . . that [they] would not give [their] daughters unto the people of the land, nor take their daughters for [their] sons” (10:29-30).

How do we maintain the joy of the Lord? We do it the same way we obtained His joy in the beginning. First, we love, honor and hunger for God’s Word. Second, we continually walk in repentance. And, third, we separate ourselves from worldly influences.
 

A WAVE OF BROKENNESS

by David Wilkerson | May 14, 2015

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A half-day of preaching by Ezra wasn’t enough for the hungry Israelites. They wanted even more of God’s Word, so they formed groups, with seventeen elders besides Ezra leading them in Bible studies the rest of the day. “[They] caused the people to understand the law . . . so they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading” (Nehemiah 8:7-8).

As these people grasped God’s law, they began to mourn over their sin. “All the people wept, when they heard the words of the law” (8:9). Picture the scene: Fifty thousand people lay scattered on the ground, mourning their sin in unison. Like a hammer, God’s Word had broken their pride. And now their weeping echoed over the hills for miles.

Is this what revival is all about? Is it a word so piercing that people are driven to their knees, weeping and repenting before God?

I have experienced such holy gatherings myself. When I was a child, our family attended “camp meetings” at the Living Waters Campground in Pennsylvania. Jesus’ Second Coming was preached with such power and authority that everyone was convinced He would return within the hour. A holy fear fell, and people were driven to their faces. Some cried as if they were hanging over hell by a thread—wailing, broken, sorrowing over sin.

Often, God’s Word was preached all day and into the night. Early the next morning, people could still be found lying prostrate in the prayer room, grieving over their sin. Some even had to be carried out.

It was on such a night that the Lord called me to preach, at the age of eight. I was in the Spirit for hours, broken and weeping, God’s Word coming alive in my heart. Christ’s return burned within me as an imminent reality and I will never forget that wonderful experience.

God’s testimony is never that His people are lying on their faces, crying rivers of tears. No, the testimony He wants to bring forth in His people is joy—genuine, lasting joy. “The joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10). This joy—which results from biblical preaching and true repentance—brings true strength to God’s people and draws sinners into His house.

Most Christians never associate joy with repentance. But repentance is actually the mother of all joy in Jesus. Without it, there can be no joy. Yet, any believer who walks in repentance will be flooded with the joy of the Lord.
 

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