Sermons   David Wilkerson Today, Daily Devotions

THE LIFE OF FAITH

by Gary Wilkerson | August 11, 2014

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Most of us would like the ability to do certain things in life that we can’t do. I’m talking about things that are not just hard but impossible.

Even the most devoted followers of Jesus cannot fix certain things but we do know the One who can. The wonderful thing about life in Christ is that we get to engage in amazing things we could not do on our own. In fact, Jesus calls us to participate with Him in accomplishing what we cannot do ourselves: seeing lost loved ones come to faith; seeing broken marriages restored and healed; seeing unsaved people in our community rescued from a hopeless eternity. Through our faith in Jesus, we get to see—and even take part in—such things as they are accomplished by His power, majesty and authority.

Hebrews 11 is the chapter known as the “Hall of Faith,” listing biblical figures who pleased God through great acts of faith. From Abraham to Sarah to David to Samuel to Gideon and a host of others, we see believers commended not for their talents or achievements but for trusting God to do what was beyond their abilities. Together they comprise “a huge cloud of witnesses to the life of faith” (Hebrews 12:1, NLT).

That italicized phrase tells us there is a life of faith to be lived. And to attain that life, we are urged to lay aside every weight that prevents us from trusting faith: “Let us strip off every weight” (12:1). What are these weights, these obstacles to faith? I know many Christians who are weighed down by unbelief. As they consider their circumstances they think, “My need will never be filled. I’ve prayed endlessly and asked others to pray for me, including church elders, but the answer never comes. Nothing I’ve tried works.”

The problem for many is that they look to their circumstances more than to the God who controls all circumstances. Their faith ends up stalled by a “weight that slows us down” (12:1). I can assure you, what God has promised can never be thwarted. Every word He sends forth will ultimately be accomplished. Satan knows this, and all he can do is try to slow down God’s purposes by convincing us to wallow in our difficulties. If your situation seems hopeless, the life of faith calls you to believe, “One day God will fulfill what I’m unable to envision now.”
 

WE CAN ACCOMPLISH THE UNTHINKABLE

by Jim Cymbala | August 9, 2014

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The work of God can be carried on only by the power of God. The church is a spiritual organism fighting spiritual battles and only spiritual power can make it function as God ordained.

The key is not money, organization, cleverness, or education. Are you and I seeing the results Peter saw? Are we bringing thousands of men and women to Christ the way he did? If not, we need to get back to his power source. No matter the society or culture, the city or town, God has never lacked the power to work through available people to glorify His name.

When we sincerely turn to God, we will find that His church always moves forward, not backward. We can never back up and accommodate ourselves to what the world wants or expects. Our stance must remain militant, aggressive, bold.

This is what characterized General William Booth and the early Salvation Army as they invaded the slums of London. It also characterized early missionary endeavors such as Hudson Taylor in China and the revivalists on the American frontier who spoke the truth in love—fearlessly.

In the familiar story of David and Goliath, there is a wonderful moment when the giant gets irked at the sight of his young opponent. “Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?” he roars (1 Samuel 17:43). Goliath is genuinely insulted. “Come here . . . and I’ll give your flesh to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field!” (17:44).

Does David flinch? Does he opt for a strategic retreat behind some tree or boulder, thinking maybe to buy a little time?

Absolutely not!

“As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him” (17:48).

That is the picture of what God wants for us today: running toward the fray!

David’s weaponry was ridiculous: a sling and five smooth stones. It didn’t matter. And God still uses foolish tools in the hands of weak people to build His kingdom. Backed by prayer and His power, we can accomplish the unthinkable.

 

 

Jim Cymbala began Brooklyn Tabernacle with less than twenty members in a small, rundown building in a difficult part of the city. A native of Brooklyn, he is a longtime friend of both David and Gary Wilkerson and a frequent speaker at the Expect Church Leadership Conferences sponsored by World Challenge throughout the world.
 

BORN IN A BLAZE OF GLORY

by David Wilkerson | August 8, 2014

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The New Testament church was born in a blaze of glory. The Holy Ghost came down upon it with fire, and the first Christians spoke with tongues and prophesied. They experienced smiting conviction, and multitudes were converted. The fear of God fell upon them and upon all who saw them. Jails could not hold them and storms could not drown them. There were signs, wonders, and miracles. Fearless evangelists went everywhere preaching the Word and when their possessions were seized, they continued to rejoice. When they were stoned, hanged, burned or crucified, they went out singing and praising God. It was a triumphant church, unafraid of Satan, irreverent toward idols, unmoved by plagues or persecution. It was a blood-washed church, living and dying in victory.

What is the last-hour church going to be like? How will the church go out in its final hour? As a fat, prosperous, self-seeking church or will it be just a handful of true believers holding on, watching death and apostasy eat away at it like a cancer? Will coldness leave it weak, mocked, and powerless? Will the church go out of this age full of hypocrisy, with unclean hands and impure hearts offering strange fire with great praise, worship and prayer meetings?

To be sure, there is going to be a great falling away or apostasy. There will be spiritual harlotry on all sides. And because sin abounds, the love of many will grow cold. Deceivers will come, teaching doctrines of demons. People will have itching ears and will flock to hear soft preaching. Deceptions will get so bad that even the elect will be tested severely.

But the church of Jesus Christ is not going out with a whimper or a limp. It is going out victorious, with joy unspeakable, riding a river of peace. It is going out in freedom from all bondage, with its foot on Satan's neck. And every member of this true church will live and die without fear. The tempter's power will be broken. Christians will be holy and will tear down idols. They will be just as strong in the Lord as the first Christians.

“In the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh” (Acts 2:17).

 

HE TAUGHT ME A LESSON

by David Wilkerson | August 7, 2014

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I thought I had a good idea for ministry but I didn’t consult the Lord before moving ahead on it. As a result, I incurred a debt of $5,000 with no way to pay it back. (In today’s economy, that amount would equal close to $25,000.)

In desperation, I started claiming all the Bible passages that say, “God shall supply all your needs.” Then one day, while in prayer, I heard a beautiful voice tell me, “David, go down to Chester Street tomorrow at noon and walk on the left side of the street. A man will come toward you with an envelope containing $5,000. This man is my angel, and he’s going to place that envelope in your hand.”

I thought, “Thank You, Lord; You truly are faithful." And the next day at noon, I walked down to Chester Street and waited. Now this was a town of 1,200 people, and no one ever walked the streets during the day, because everybody was at work. So for a long time, I didn't see a single soul. I paced up and down for almost an hour, wondering, “Lord, where is he?”

Finally, I went home in despair. I prayed, “Lord, how could I have been so deceived? What am I going to do now? Please, Father, forgive me for not trusting You. I put this whole matter into Your hands."

A few days later, a man in our church called me: “I heard about your need, and I know someone who might be able to help. He’s a Christian banker who lives in another town. Why don’t you give him a call?”

I contacted the banker, and he did something for me that was unheard of in those days. He gave me an unsecured loan for $5,000 and told me, “You can pay it back at $50 a month.”

God fixed my situation. And through it all He taught me this lesson: “David, I could have sent an angel to give you that money. But I wanted you to learn something, because I love you. If I hadn’t taught you this, you’d still be making foolish decisions—and you’d be $100,000 in debt.”

I learned that even though I am to trust the Lord to do the impossible, I cannot expect an angel to suddenly show up and deliver me from my irresponsible choices.
 

WITH JUST A SINGLE WORD

by David Wilkerson | August 6, 2014

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God can restore whatever has seemed dead in our lives with just a single word. Are you having financial problems, unable to pay your bills? So it was with the Lord’s disciples—and He fixed their situation supernaturally.

When tax time came around, Christ and His disciples had no money to pay the needed amount. So how did the Lord fix the situation? He sent Peter out to catch a fish. Jesus told him he would find a coin in the mouth of the first fish he caught, and that coin would cover their tax bill.

I can only imagine what Peter must have thought. “Tax money in a fish’s mouth? This I’ve got to see. I’ve been a fisherman all my life and I’ve seen a lot of things inside fish—worms, hooks, seaweed. But I’ve never seen a coin inside of one.” Yet, when Peter reeled in the first flopping fish, he opened its mouth to find a gleaming coin. The amount was enough to pay their taxes, just as Jesus had said (see Matthew 17:27).

Why did the Spirit move upon the gospel writers to record this story? And why did Jesus choose to fix their situation through a miracle? Why didn’t He just take up an offering, or send the disciples out to work for a day to bring in wages for the tax?

I believe Jesus moved supernaturally here because He wanted to prove to His children that He will do the impossible for us. He can fix any financial problem, any family crisis, any overwhelming need.

He wanted us to know He is the same God who fed Elijah with bread delivered by a raven; who kept a widow’s barrel of meal from dwindling during a drought and saved that same widow from her creditors by filling huge pots of cooking oil from a little pint jar of oil; who fed a crowd of 5,000—and later another crowd of 4,000—with a few fishes and loaves of bread. He knows that at certain times in our lives only a miracle will do. And He wants to assure us He can do the impossible for us, in any situation.
 

WE MUST NEVER GIVE UP

by David Wilkerson | August 5, 2014

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All over the world today, multitudes of Christian parents agonize because their children are under the devil’s power. In our church, I see the sorrow of mothers who visit their sons in prison. They know the pain of sitting on one side of the thick glass window, gazing at a boy who once was tender in spirit. Somehow he got hooked on drugs and then attempted a robbery to support his habit. And now he’s in prison, becoming even more hardened. She has prayed for him for years, but now she’s losing hope. She doesn’t think he will ever change.

I also see heartbroken fathers who never dreamed their daughters would turn to drugs. They saw their little girl fall in with the wrong crowd at school and get hooked. Soon she was so rebellious her dad had to ask her to leave the house because of her influence on her siblings. So now she’s on the streets, selling her body to support her habit. And her father lies in bed at night crying a river of tears. He’s convinced he has lost her forever.

I know one father who drove to the slums to try to find his drug-addicted son. He had to ask around until finally a pusher told him the boy was in a crack den. When the man walked into the place, he saw a mere shell of the son he had known. The boy’s body was skeletal from drug use. When the father pleaded with him to come home, the young man wouldn’t even look at him. He just said, “Get out. This is my life now.”

That broken father walked out onto the street in tears. He had lost all hope, agonizing, “That’s my son in there. He’s dying, and he won’t let me help him.”

The devil has told these parents their children are hopeless, that their problems can never be fixed. He has convinced them of a powerful lie—that God is unable to help them.

Maybe you think your unsaved husband is hopeless, that he’ll never come to Jesus. Or, perhaps you have given up hope for your wife, who leaves you at night to go out partying. But no person is ever too far gone for God to fix. I know many Christian spouses who testify today, “I prayed for my spouse for years. Then one day, after I’d given up hope, God broke through. He saved and delivered my loved one.”

We must never give up on anyone. “With God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26).

 

GIVE IT AWAY!

by Gary Wilkerson | August 4, 2014

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“Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully” (2 Corinthians 9:6, ESV).

God wants you to obey Him even when things are not going your way. If your marriage is hurting, begin to minister to others in need. When your children are in difficult situations, start serving in the children’s ministry. When your finances are almost at rock bottom and you don’t see any resources coming your way, give whenever the Holy Spirit touches your heart and prompts you to give.

God wants you to obey Him, my friends. When you obey Him, you will see the windows of heaven open to you. God will not withhold His hand from you, because He longs to pour out His blessing on you, to show you His favor.

This is a “blessing” message. I want to see you blessed and I encourage you to receive the fullness of God’s blessing whether you have much or whether you say, “I have so little.” God honors that.

Maybe you have only a little bit of time to serve others in the kingdom of God because your job is so demanding or you must travel a lot. You may have little time to give to your church but take that little bit that you have and begin to pour it out on others and you will find that God will multiply that. Your time and effort will be multiplied, and you will find yourself with more time to do other things plus more time to be with God.

When you find yourself giving away the smallest of things, of being generous like Jesus is generous, the Holy Spirit will use the simplest, almost foolish things of this world and return a blessing to you.

“Give, and it shall be given unto you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap” (Luke 6:38, ESV).

 

SEEK FIRST THE KINGDOM

by Carter Conlon | August 2, 2014

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I dread to think what our nation will look like ten to fifteen years from today if there is not a spiritual awakening among God’s people. That is why we must awaken to the fact that we are not called to a picnic—we are called to a war for the souls of men. We are not powerless; we have the One who created the universe by the Word of His mouth living inside of us! Every son and daughter of God has access to His resources and power in full.

Yet sadly, we have lived far beneath our position in Christ in this generation. The Church of Jesus Christ must awaken out of her slumber. We must get out of our mindset that it is all about my needs, my house, my fulfillment. No! Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you.

The Bible tells us that Hannah, the mother of Samuel, gave birth to three more sons and two daughters after Samuel was born. She sought first the kingdom of God, and He gave her what would bring her into that place of completeness she had always longed for. On the day Hannah left Samuel in the temple, she prayed an incredible prayer:

“My heart rejoiceth in the Lord, mine horn is exalted in the Lord: my mouth is enlarged over mine enemies; because I rejoice in thy salvation. There is none holy as the Lord: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God” (1Samuel 2:1-2).

“The Lord maketh poor, and maketh rich: he bringeth low, and lifteth up. He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory; for the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s, and he hath set the world upon them. He will keep the feet of his saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness; for by strength shall no man prevail. The adversaries of the Lord shall be broken to pieces; out of heaven shall he thunder upon them: the Lord shall judge the ends of the earth; and he shall give strength unto his king, and exalt the horn of his anointed” (2:7-10).

In other words, the people of God will be given life again. There will be strength, there will be provision, there will be victory. We may not fully understand how, but we know that when holy desperation drives us to the place where we truly purpose to give back to God what He gives to us, an answer to the cry in this generation will come out of it!

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.
 

DANGEROUSLY NEAR DEATH

by David Wilkerson | August 1, 2014

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The fifth chapter of Mark tells the story of Jairus, the desperate synagogue ruler who asked Jesus to heal his daughter. The twelve-year-old girl was dangerously near death, and Jairus pleaded with Christ to come to his house and lay hands on her.

Jesus agreed to go with him but first He stopped along the way to minister to a woman with a blood disease. (This was the woman who was healed when she touched the hem of His garment.) Yet while Jesus tarried, a messenger came with tragic news: Jairus’ daughter had already died. He told the synagogue ruler, “Thy daughter is dead: why troublest thou the Master any further?” (Mark 5:35).

Jairus’ heart was gripped with grief. He thought, “If only we had gotten there on time. Now it’s too late. My daughter is gone.” But Jesus assured him, “Be not afraid, only believe” (5:36).

As they approached Jairus’ home, they heard sounds of wailing and mourning. It was Jairus' family and neighbors, grieving over the girl. Picture the contrast in this scene: Here was God in flesh, creator of the universe, able to perform any work imaginable—yet they were weeping in His presence. In short, they were testifying, “God can only help as long as there is some sign of hope left. But once all life is gone, there is no need to call on Him anymore. Even He cannot restore that kind of situation.”

How many Christians today no longer call upon the Lord because they think their problem is hopeless? Multitudes trust God only to the point that something in their life dies. I’m not referring to the death of a person; I’m talking about the death of a marriage, a relationship, a dream, your hope for an unsaved loved one—anything in your life you think is impossible to fix, change or restore.

Jesus rebuked such unbelief. He said to the weeping crowd at Jairus’ home, “Why make ye this ado, and weep? The damsel is not dead, but sleepeth” (5:39). He was stating, “This situation is not what you see or think. You think all hope is gone but I say there will be restoration.” He then went to the little girl's room, and speaking a mere word, He brought the child to life. “Straightway the damsel arose, and walked” (5:42).

Nothing is too “dead” or too far gone for Him to restore to life. He is saying, “Put your trust in Me to fix your problem. It is never too late for Me to work.”
 

THERE IS NO PROBLEM HE CANNOT FIX

by David Wilkerson | July 31, 2014

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In Mark 9, a distraught father brought his demon-possessed son to Jesus’ disciples seeking deliverance. This boy was not simply troubled or rebellious, he was full of evil spirits, and they controlled his every action. This poor boy was considered absolutely hopeless. He was both deaf and speechless, so he spewed out only guttural sounds. His father had to hold onto him continually, because the demons constantly tried to cast him into the nearest river, lake or open fire. It was a full-time job just keeping this child from killing himself and it must have broken his father’s heart.

Now, as the father stood before the disciples, Satan began manifesting in the boy. He foamed at the mouth and rolled on the ground, contorting and gyrating wildly. Scripture tells us the disciples prayed over him—perhaps for a long time—but nothing happened. Soon the doubting scribes crowded around, asking, “Why is the boy not healed? Is this case too hard for your Lord? Is the devil more powerful in this kind of situation?”

But then Jesus came on the scene! The father said, “I brought my son to your disciples, but they couldn’t heal him. He’s a hopeless case.” Jesus responded simply, “If thou canst believe, all things are possible” (Mark 9:23). Christ was telling everyone present, “Do you believe I can handle all situations except those under the devil’s control? I tell you, there is no problem, no impossible circumstance that I cannot fix.”

Then, with just one word, Jesus made the impossible a reality: “He rebuked the foul spirit, saying unto him, Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him” (9:25). At that point, the boy fell to the ground as if dead. But, Scripture says, “Jesus took him by the hand, and lifted him up; and he arose” (9:27).

Can you imagine the joy in this scene? That clean, freed boy must have run to his father and embraced him and the father's heart leapt with joy! God had fixed it all.

So, why did the Holy Spirit move Mark to include this story in his gospel? I believe it was so every parent from that moment forward would know God can be trusted to do the impossible with their children. The Lord was saying, “I can restore anything and anyone. If you’ll just believe, all things will be possible to you through Me.”
 

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