Sermons   David Wilkerson Today, Daily Devotions

MERCY IS CONTAGIOUS

by Nicky Cruz | October 18, 2014

    PDF     TXT   Print  Print

“When Jesus . . . saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd” (Mark 6:34, NIV).

In Oslo, Norway, our ministry teamed with a large Lutheran church. It was one of the few churches willing to help us. Their kids were deeply committed to the Lord but were caught completely off guard by our methods of evangelism. European Christians are quiet, humble people who usually keep their faith to themselves. The idea of preaching on a street corner in the middle of a neighborhood took them far from their comfort zones. At first they didn’t want to go with us, but within a few weeks we couldn’t stop them. They developed a fire in their guts for evangelism—a genuine soul obsession.

Many of them travelled by train for two or three hours each morning to help us, then travelled home again late in the evening. They couldn’t get enough. And they were so thirsty to learn more about our kids from New York. When we told them that many of our kids were former gang members and drug addicts, they had a hard time believing it. They were astonished by what Jesus had done in their lives—what He was still doing.

But what attracted them most was the genuine compassion our kids had for others. When someone was hurting, our kids would cry with them, hold them, pray with them. Every morning began with several hours of prayer and worship at the church building, and the Lutheran kids couldn’t get enough of it. The love our kids exuded for them and one another was beyond anything they had ever experienced. And they soon caught that enthusiasm. It spread like wildfire throughout the hearts of everyone working with us.

By the time our crusade ended, the kids from Norway couldn’t bear to see us leave. They had become so attached to our group, so in love with our kids, that they cried for hours at the airport before our plane left. Our kids made lifetime friends on that trip and made an indelible impact on the lives of those we left behind.

That’s the beauty and nature of compassion. It is one of the most endearing and contagious of all human emotions. It cannot be faked, and its impact cannot be explained, yet it is so real. And so very powerful!

 

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.
 

A FRESH WORD EVERY DAY

by David Wilkerson | October 17, 2014

    PDF     TXT   Print  Print

God is speaking a fresh word every day to all who will hear, but many cannot hear it because their hearts are growing hard. In Hebrews we read, “Today if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts” (Hebrews 3:7-8). God’s voice is a “today” voice. He wants us to hear an up-to-the-minute voice.

Jesus warned us about stony-ground hearers: “These are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness; and have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended” (Mark 4:16-17). This refers to the ones who love to hear, who receive all God says with gladness. But the Word does not sink in. God’s voice does not change them. They remain unbroken with their hearts turning to stone. Where are the stony hearts? In prison? On the streets? Sadly, the hardest of hearts can be found in God’s house among those who don’t even know they are getting hard!

Let me tell you how Christians develop hard hearts. They refuse to allow God’s voice to smash their stubborn will. They hear God’s voice in His Word, in preaching, and sometimes even in the still, small voice. Yet, they will not obey it! The Word cannot take root. And there is something even worse. Every day God is calling His people to the secret closet of prayer because He wants to speak. He wants to talk about obedience, about problems, about the future, and give guidance. “I spake unto you, rising up early and speaking, but ye heard not; and I called you, but ye answered not” (Jeremiah 7:13). Each time we refuse that call and go instead to our own interests and business, putting other things ahead of God—every time we miss a day of hearing—every day we refuse to listen—our hearts grow colder and colder. Every time we listen to another voice rather than waiting to hear His voice, we grow a little harder.

When we refuse to discipline ourselves to be alone with God to hear His voice, we become strangers to that voice. It is shameful to observe what is happening in so many churches today with many who can no longer recognize God's voice. The Lord sees them getting hard, but He cares and loves them still. So He turns His Holy Ghost light upon them, bringing a scorching, penetrating word—a voice of thunder—to awaken them up. But the Word offends them; the very Word God meant to deliver them offends them and they get angry and dry up! “When the sun comes up they are scorched and wither” (see Matthew 13:6).
 

IT’S TIME TO CLOSE THE DOOR

by David Wilkerson | October 16, 2014

    PDF     TXT   Print  Print

“But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly” (Matthew 6:6).

God’s voice is heard by those who meet with Him in secret prayer. God is very careful to whom He speaks. It is only to those who value His voice so much that they shut out the whole world to get alone and wait for Him.

God says to us, “If you want to hear My voice, shut yourself up in the secret closet of prayer. Pray to Me in secret and I will reward you.” Busyness, lusts, covetousness, and the cares of life choke out the voice of God. Jesus gave us a warning against becoming too busy to stop and hear His voice. In the parable of the sower, “the word” is His voice: “These are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word, and the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful" (Mark 4:18-19).

I fear that some reading this right now have been choking the voice of God. Choke here means “to crowd” or to drown out His voice. God once spoke clearly to you and it was such a joy. You still love Him, but you have less and less time for Him. Your busyness now calls you—your riches, your cares, your problems, and all the other things consuming your time! The voice of God now grows dim. He is calling you, wooing you, warning you: “Keep this up, and you will totally drown out My voice in you!”

You can become so busy, so bogged down with problems and cares, that it would do you no good to hear His voice because you would not listen. Jesus said it would be unfruitful (verse 19).

“[But] these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred” (Mark 4:20).
 

DOES GOD STILL SPEAK?

by David Wilkerson | October 15, 2014

    PDF     TXT   Print  Print

Samuel heard God’s voice clearly, so clear that “the Lord . . . let none of his words fall to the ground” (1 Samuel 3:19). “For the Lord revealed himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the word of the Lord. And the word of Samuel came to all Israel” (1 Samuel 3:21-4:1). David heard God speak and he, in turn, spoke with God! God's voice was his joy and life. David said, “God hath spoken in his holiness; I will rejoice” (Psalm 60:6).

Many today do not believe that God still talks to men. They say He speaks only through His Word, that all He ever wants or needs to say is locked up in the canon of the Scriptures. Certainly God will never speak a word contrary to Scripture, but “God . . . hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son” (Hebrews 1:1-2). And His Son is still talking to His children! He said His sheep know His voice and that another’s voice they will not heed. We know God spoke to men in the Old Testament. But what of the New Testament? What of the last days?

God spoke to Saul (Paul) on the road to Damascus: “Suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: and he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?” (Acts 9:3-4). For the rest of his life, Paul testified, “I heard His voice.” Before King Agrippa he said, “I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue . . . Rise . . . for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose” (Acts 26:14 and 16).

Peter heard and obeyed the voice of God. In prayer, he heard God speak: “And I heard a voice saying unto me, Arise, Peter; slay and eat. But I said, Not so, Lord. . . . But the voice answered me again from heaven. . . . And this was done three times” (Acts 11:7-10).

Jesus calls the last Laodicean church to hear His voice and open up: “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me” (Revelation 3:20).

 

HIS VOICE

by David Wilkerson | October 14, 2014

    PDF     TXT   Print  Print

One of the greatest blessings a true believer has is hearing and knowing the voice of God. It is possible to hear God’s voice today as certainly and clearly as Abraham and Moses did—as clearly as did Samuel and David—and Paul, Peter, the apostles, and John on the Isle of Patmos! God has promised to make His voice clearly known for one last time during these end days. He has given us a promise and a warning about hearing His voice. God is going to bring together a holy, separated remnant into spiritual Zion and make His voice known to them. “But ye are come unto mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels” (Hebrews 12:22).

God has this message for all who have been called out: The voice of God that has shaken the earth in past generations will be heard in power again in one last shaking! “Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven” (Hebrews 12:26). Here is God’s warning to His holy, believing children. “See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven” (Hebrews 12:25).

Why is God gathering together a people out of the dead churches? Why is the Spirit crying, “Come out of Babylon, my people! Partake not in her sins”? It is because God must have a people (a Zion people) in these troubled last days who are not confused by false doctrine. These are sheep who do not follow false teachers, who know their Master’s voice. God speaks to them clearly and certainly, and they live by His voice! They are directed by His voice, comforted by His voice, guided in all things by His voice! The one great characteristic of a holy people is that they are not mistaken about God’s voice. They know it—they hear it—they are governed by it. It is sure, steadfast, and unmistakable!
 

JESUS IS GREATER

by Gary Wilkerson | October 13, 2014

    PDF     TXT   Print  Print

“Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power” (Hebrews 1:1-3, ESV).

The opening chapter of Hebrews repeats a truth every Christian knows but few actually grasp: “Jesus is greater.” The writer is so focused on this theme that he does not take time to offer a greeting. And he gives his readers no instructions, as we see in some epistles; instead, he has one thing on his mind: “Jesus is greater!” He is enamored, thrilled and overcome with Christ.

“Jesus is greater than what?” you may ask. In Hebrews 1 we find the answer: He’s greater than all the prophets, priests, kings and angels. You name it, and He’s greater than that. This isn’t news to us who know Christ as our living Savior; yes, He was present at the creation, and He is ruling eternally as King. Yes, He is greater than all that we can imagine.

Yet many Christians stumble over a simple truth when it comes to knowing that “Jesus is greater.” The problem is this: Jesus is greater than the works of the law—but we live as if our works mean more than Christ’s saving grace. We claim we’re saved by His grace, but whenever we fail, we fall back on works in order to be restored. This is an Old Covenant mentality, one that leads to slavery—yet few of us realize we fall into it.

Reading further in Hebrews, we see the “greater covenant” that God made with us in mind: “Christ has obtained a ministry that is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant he mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises. . . . ‘Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will establish a new covenant’” (Hebrews 8:6, 8).
 

GESÙ È PIÙ GRANDE

by David Wilkerson | October 13, 2014

    PDF     TXT   Print  Print

“Dio, dopo aver anticamente parlato molte volte e in svariati modi ai padri per mezzo dei profeti, in questi ultimi giorni ha parlato a noi per mezzo di suo Figlio, che egli ha costituito erede di tutte le cose, per mezzo del quale ha anche fatto l'universo. Egli, che è lo splendore della sua gloria e l'impronta della sua essenza e che sostiene tutte le cose con la parola della sua potenza” (Ebrei 1:1-3).

Il capitolo iniziale di Ebrei ripete una verità che ogni cristiano conosce ma che in pochi poi afferrano: “Gesù è più grande”. Lo scrittore è così concentrato su questo tema che non spende tempo per i saluti. E non offre alcun’istruzione ai suoi lettori, come vediamo in altre epistole; piuttosto, ha una sola cosa in mente: “Gesù è più grande!” Egli è innamorato, emozionato e sopraffatto da Cristo.

“Gesù è più grande di cosa?” ti chiederai. In Ebrei 1 troviamo la risposta: Egli è più grande di tutti i profeti, i sacerdoti, i re e gli angeli. Fai un nome, e Lui è più grande di esso. Questa non è una novità per noi che conosciamo Cristo come nostro Salvatore vivente; sì, Egli era presente alla creazione ed Egli regna eternamente come Re. Sì, Egli è più grande di tutto quello che possiamo immaginare.

Tuttavia, molti cristiani inciampano su una semplice verità quando vengono a sapere che “Gesù è più grande”. Il problema è questo: Gesù è più grande delle opere della legge – ma noi viviamo come se le nostre opere fossero più importanti della grazia salvifica di Cristo. Dichiariamo di essere salvati per grazia, ma ogni volta che veniamo meno, ricadiamo nelle opere per essere ristorati. Questa è la mentalità dell’Antico Patto, una mentalità che porta alla schiavitù – eppure pochi di noi si rendono conto di caderci.

Leggendo oltre in Ebrei, vediamo il “patto più grande” che Dio ha stipulato con noi: “Ma ora Cristo ha ottenuto un ministero tanto più eccellente in quanto egli è mediatore di un patto migliore, fondato su migliori promesse…Ecco, vengono i giorni che io concluderò con la casa d'Israele e con la casa di Giuda un nuovo patto” (Ebrei 8:6, 8).

Gesù è più grande!
 

SPEAKING THE WORD WITH BOLDNESS

by Jim Cymbala | October 11, 2014

    PDF     TXT   Print  Print

What kind of things matter in a book-of-Acts church? The apostles’ prayer gives us one of the clear benchmarks: “Enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness” (Acts 4:29).

There is no such thing as “taught boldness.” Boldness can be imparted only by the Holy Spirit; you cannot get it through a seminar. Second Timothy 1:7 says, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and of self-discipline.”

New Testament preachers were boldly confrontational, trusting that the Holy Spirit would produce the conviction necessary for conversion. They were not afraid.

Listen to Peter on the Day of Pentecost: “You, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross” (Acts 2:23). This was the last thing the crowd wanted to hear. If David Letterman had a Top Ten list of things not to say to a Jewish audience, number one would be “Guess what—with your own hands you just killed the Messiah, the one Israel has been expecting for centuries.”

But Peter’s boldness did not drive the people away. Instead, it stabbed their consciences. By the end of the day a huge group had repented of their sin and been converted.

In the next chapter, Peter was just as straightforward with the crowd that gathered after the healing of the cripple: “You disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a murderer be released to you. You killed the author of life. . . . Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord” (Acts 3:14-15, 19).

When Paul preached in Ephesus some years later, his confrontation with pagan idolatry was so direct that a riot broke out. “They were furious and began shouting: ‘Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!’ Soon the whole city was in an uproar” (Acts 19:28-29). This doesn’t sound very market-sensitive or user-friendly to me.

A strong church was established nonetheless. The apostles realized that without a bold, aggressive attitude in proclaiming God’s Word, they would not build the church that Jesus intended. Any church in any city of the world must come to the same conclusion.

 

 

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.
 

A LIFE OF REPENTANCE AND SEPARATION

by David Wilkerson | October 10, 2014

    PDF     TXT   Print  Print

Without a life of repentance and separation from the world there can be no true revival. “And the seed of Israel separated themselves from all strangers, and stood and confessed their sins, and the iniquities of their fathers” (Nehemiah 9:2). Wherever there is biblical restoration, there will be an ever-growing awareness of the Lord’s call to separate from all that is worldly and sensuous.

Over the years I have observed that it is the separated, Christ-consumed, holy-living Christian who has most effect on the secular world. The ungodly expect Christians to be separate and clean, totally “other.” On the crime-infested streets of New York, with demonic spirits raging on all sides, only a pure, separated, Christ-filled Christian can put the enemy to chase. Compromisers are frightened off and their own sins condemn them.

God is raising up a remnant of believers who want revival but only as it conforms believers to the image of Jesus Christ. And when it comes in its fullness, the majority of Christians will either not recognize it or, if they do, they will reject it. The separated remnant will hear the trumpet sounding and will know what God is saying.

God owns everything we have. We keep saying, “Lord, I give this back to You!” But we have never really owned anything. “For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills. . . . The wild beasts of the field are mine. . . . For the world is mine, and the fulness thereof” (Psalm 50:10-12). The Lord is saying to us, “Go up on the roof and examine your heart!” Are you a just steward of His property? In light of eternity, in light of the frailty of life, how much do you spend on yourself, in comparison to His work?

The great effect of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit is the laying down of everything on God’s altar, as we get our eyes off the things we possess. At Pentecost it was said, “And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and one soul: neither said any of them that aught of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common” (Acts 4:32).
 

THE SPIRIT OF JOY AND CELEBRATION

by David Wilkerson | October 9, 2014

    PDF     TXT   Print  Print

“Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength. So the Levites stilled all the people, saying, Hold your peace, for the day is holy; neither be ye grieved. And all the people went their way to eat, and to drink, and to send portions, and to make great mirth, because they had understood the words which that were declared unto them” (Nehemiah 8:10-11).

Wherever the love of God's Word has been restored and repentance has resulted, there will always come forth a mighty wave of joy and celebration. But there is a kind of phony joy and false celebration in the land today: It is the celebration of self and idolatry—the dancing around the golden calf! We need great discernment to know the difference between the true joy of repentance and the false rejoicing of idolaters.

Moses and Joshua came down from the mount to a great shout in the camp: “It is not the voice of them that shout for mastery (in triumph) . . . but the noise of them that sing do I hear” (Exodus 32:18). They were shouting, singing, and dancing and Moses knew all along it was of the flesh. He knew they were a stiff-necked, rebellious people, full of lust, fornication, nudity, and sensuality. It was the shout of idolatry!

Can you tell the difference? If there is no preaching of the Law to convict of sin —no weeping or faces on the ground—if there is no love of God’s reproving Word—no repentance—then there is no spiritual shout, no godly song! Be careful! You may get caught up in the song of idolatry.

Why was there such great happiness, such a festive spirit of joy in this revival recorded in Nehemiah? “Because they had understood the words that were declared unto them” (Nehemiah 8:12). In other words, they discerned and took it to heart; they obeyed!
 

  Back to Top