Sermons   David Wilkerson Today, Daily Devotions

NO TIME TO RELAX

by David Wilkerson | April 7, 2015

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Some of you reading this devotional have taken a vacation from “fighting the good fight.” You are weary of heart and have said to yourself, “I’ve got to ease up or crack up! I’m not going to love the Lord any less and I’ll stay faithful. But I must follow my heart and my heart is telling me to relax.”

Beloved, your timing could not be worse! Spiritual relaxation or letting up is the final spring in the devil’s trap. You are choosing midnight to go on vacation. “And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light” (Romans 13:11-12).

If the night were far spent and the day of the Lord near when this was written, then how much nearer must it be now! There can be no relaxing in this last-days warfare. “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: whom resist steadfast in the faith” (1 Peter 5:8-9). Satan will not relax; he will increase his efforts. We dare not sleep!

All through the New Testament, God is calling us to be awake, to be vigilant and aware, and to put on the whole armour. We are not to sleep as others, but we are to be looking for and hastening the day of the Lord.

Relax in this war, and you are dead. Relax, and you are going to be caught in the devil’s trap. That call to relax is right out of hell! It is the siren call of Satan himself. Be warned because it is high time to awaken!

“Keep me from the snares which they have laid for me, and the [traps] of the workers of iniquity” (Psalm 141:9).
 

THE MYSTERY REVEALED

by Gary Wilkerson | April 6, 2015

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“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). John’s main audience for his gospel was the Greek culture. That’s why he immediately identified Jesus as “the Word,” referring to the Greek term logos. Greeks had been examining this concept of logos for centuries, an idea that spoke of wisdom; knowledge; reason; the meaning of life; the philosophy of human existence.

Now John challenged them: “Do you really want to know the meaning of life, to understand all human purpose on this earth? The logos you search for is found in the literal Word of God—His Son, Jesus. Christ is the logos everyone hungers for! You seek knowledge, but logos— real, knowable wisdom and life—is fully expressed in Jesus.”

When I was about twelve I overheard a newspaper reporter interviewing a Teen Challenge resident. She asked him, “What’s different about this program? What does it offer that you wouldn’t find at a secular treatment center?” The young man answered, “We get the Holy Ghost in the morning, Jesus in the afternoon and the Father at night.” That response may sound canned today, but it didn’t forty years ago. I remember the young man’s excitement as he told the reporter, “Teen Challenge is all about God. Only He can set me free this way. Only He can give me purpose and hope and make me happy. Lady, this is real!”

That’s the very word John used to describe Jesus to the Greeks: real. “The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world” (John 1:9, ESV). From the Greek, John uses the word “alethinos,” meaning “real.” The Greeks thought “logos” was unknowable, but John told them, “God isn’t hiding Himself. He came to earth to live among us. The mystery of God has been revealed to you in Jesus!”

How exactly is this mystery revealed? Jesus chooses to make Himself known to the world through His people. When John says Christ comes to dwell in us, the verb He uses means “tabernacle.” Jesus “tabernacles” in us, just as God did in the Old Testament—His glory descending from heaven to dwell among His people. He chooses to make His home in us, making us—both individuals and congregations—the dwelling place of His glory.

This was a core truth for my father, David Wilkerson, who often said, “I don’t want a visitation from God. I want a habitation.” That truth came straight from John, who told the Greeks, “The logos is more than information, more than mental assent to an idea. It is God Himself coming to dwell within you!”
 

LORD, TEACH US TO PRAY

by Carter Conlon | April 4, 2015

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Have you ever felt that something is missing in your prayers—that somehow they are not as deep or as effective as they ought to be? After all, there is a great difference between prayer that is driven by human effort and prayer that is divine and truly lays hold of God. For example, consider the prayer of the famous Scottish reformer, John Knox, who stood on a mountaintop and cried, “God, give me Scotland or I die!” Before long, people began to come out into the streets under the conviction of God.

I want to pray that kind of prayer! I want something that goes beyond merely coming into God’s presence every day with a list: God, bless my home, bless my finances, bless my mother, bless my father, bless my children. I want to pray prayers that will move men toward God; prayers that will bring the Church of Jesus Christ back to life! I want the kind of prayer that God instructed Ezekiel to pray: “Call out to the breath of God to breathe upon these dry bones and raise the dead back to life” (Ezekiel 37:9). Those are the type of prayers I want to pray!

We see in the Scriptures that Jesus’ own disciples had a similar yearning. One day as Jesus was praying, their hearts were stirred. “And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples” (Luke 11:1).

Keep in mind that the disciples were no strangers to prayer. They had seen Jesus pray and miraculously multiply loaves and fishes. Some were even with Jesus as He prayed on a mountaintop and they saw His countenance completely transfigured. Without a doubt, the disciples themselves also prayed as they personally walked with Jesus. However, this time they saw Jesus go into a certain place to pray, and it caused them to conclude that there was still something they had to understand about prayer. I can picture the disciples getting together and nudging each other, “You ask Him!” “No, you ask Him!” There was something in Jesus’ prayer that made it evident that prayer was much deeper than they had experienced up to that point.

“Lord, teach us to pray!” one of His disciples finally implored Him. So Jesus began to teach them, saying “When ye pray, say, Our Father which are in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth. Give us day by day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil” (Luke 11:2-4).

 

 

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.
 

A SYMBOL OF GOD'S CARE FOR HIS CHILDREN

by David Wilkerson | April 3, 2015

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Hair! Every hair on our heads is counted by our Father in heaven. Between 100,000 and 150,000 hairs blanket the human head. God made hair on our heads for insulation during summer and winter, not just for appearance. Our eyebrows keep sweat out of our eyes, and eyelashes protect our eyelids when dust or tiny insects get too near. Tiny hairs in the ears and nostrils filter incoming air of particles.

If we could know what an awesome creation a hair is, how full of life, we would never doubt that God numbers what He has created.

It’s no wonder David said, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made . . . that my soul knoweth right well” (Psalm 139:14).

In Matthew 10:28-33, Jesus was teaching the disciples not to fear. He had created every sparrow, formed every human body and numbered every hair. “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth . . . All things were created by him, and for him: and he is before all things, and by him all things consist” (Colossians 1:16-17). But the disciples still did not understand. Oh, how Jesus must have longed to take them into such intricacies of how He made the wings and bones of the sparrows and how He designed the hair. No mere carpenter could figure it all out for it was so fearful and amazing!

He could have said, “Peter, what if I told you that you have 127,550 hairs on your head? Now, since you know I have numbered every hair on your head, won’t you trust Me with every detail of your life? Won’t you believe that I know every step you take?”

“Not one sparrow falls to the ground without the knowledge of your Father in heaven” (see Matthew 10:29). Knowing this, will you now be “careful for nothing”? Will you now trust Him to take care of all your needs? Will you now give no thought to what you shall eat or drink? Will you now believe that your heavenly Father knows what you need and will gladly supply it? Will you now trust Him to house you, feed you, clothe you?
 

HIS EYE IS ON THE SPARROW

by David Wilkerson | April 2, 2015

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While walking up a country road in New Jersey, I had a good talk with my Lord. “Lord, I can't live with fear and worry of all kinds. I want to face whatever the future holds with rest, joy and simple trust!”

The Holy Spirit quickened to me: “One of the keys to freedom from all fear and worry is found in the word sparrows. Remember that I told you, ‘One of them [sparrows] shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered’” (Matthew 10: 29-30). It sounds so elementary, so very simple—but what Jesus tells us here is very profound.

In the Old Testament, King David could boast, “[He] delivered me from all my fears” (Psalm 34:4). How did David find such freedom from fear? By obtaining a vision of the greatness of “Him who made heaven and earth.” When David had his eyes on the Creator of all things, he discovered how big God is!

I want to be like David—an example of a shepherd who has learned how to be free of fear and worry, able to lead a people into that same freedom.

I did a study on sparrows and began to get a revelation of David’s immense Creator God who was interested in every tiny detail of His creation!

Sparrows! Like all birds, sparrows are wonderfully made. Their thin, small bones are strong and specially equipped for flying. Modern science still cannot copy the intricate wing system that allows them to migrate two and three thousand miles. Each sparrow has from 1,300 to 2,600 feathers. How intricate and detailed they are! Our Creator God designed them perfectly. He designed every bone, every feather—and He counted every one of them.

Most sparrows build their nests in the ground and during Christ’s time they were trapped with trip nets into which they fell while preparing their nests. In Jerusalem Jesus saw sparrows being sold on a skewer, two for a penny. They had all been trapped with trip nets because Jews could not eat those that died by themselves.

Of these birds Jesus said, “Not one of them was trapped without My Father's knowledge.” He knew where each one of them was until its little lungs took its last breath. He fed them. He knew every sparrow—even those on the skewers.
 

THE SNARE IS BROKEN

by David Wilkerson | April 1, 2015

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Paul introduced the possibility of falling into a satanic setup in his letters to Timothy. He understood the dangers of a satanic trap or snare: “Lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil” (1 Timothy 3:7). But he also gave a recovery from that satanic trap: “That they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will” (2 Timothy 2:26).

The Greek word for “snare” used in both of these Scriptures means a setup, the preparation of a noose for the neck. It refers to a well-conceived trap. “The proud have hid a snare for me . . . they have set [traps] for me” (Psalm 140:5). It is clear that Satan is building a gallows.

Years ago The New York Times had a front-page picture of a fallen evangelist in handcuffs. He was weeping! Incoherent! Chained! Satan had set a trap, a well-conceived, well-planned snare for this brother.

I don’t care who you are, how holy and pure you are, how long you’ve walked with God, or how old or young you are. I don’t care how much you insist you couldn’t do anything like that—beware! The devil is out to trap you, too. “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy” (John 10:10).

Do you know that all of us have the capacity to fall just as low, just as far into horrible sin with all its deception, cover-ups, lies and uncontrollable lusts?

When I saw the fallen evangelist’s picture I did not ask, “How could he do such foolish things with his eyes wide open?” Instead, I wept, saying inwardly, “Lord, that could have been me! We all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.”

Looking back I can see where the devil laid numerous well-planned and intricate traps for me because he wanted to destroy me. I can say with David, “Our soul is escaped as a bird out of the snare of the fowlers: the snare is broken, and we are escaped” (Psalm 124:7).
 

KEEPING THE FAITH

by David Wilkerson | March 31, 2015

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The Lord desires a people who will keep faith even if they suffer the loss of all things.

“But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions . . . and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance” (Hebrews 10:32, 34).

This is speaking of God’s people who had been greatly afflicted “after they were illuminated.” They had seen the light! Their goods were lost, but faith made them joyful because their eyes were on a more “enduring substance.”

If you lost all your earthly possessions, would you cast away your confidence?

Paul kept the faith in good times and bad times. In his final days he could boast, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7). He could say, “Satan sent messengers to fight me in Jerusalem, Damascus, Asia, Ephesus, Antioch, and Corinth. But I kept the faith! Five times the Jews beat me with thirty-nine stripes. I’ve been cast into prison so many times, beaten with rods three times, stoned, robbed, even by my own countrymen—but I kept the faith!

“I’ve been so weary at times, full of pain, hungry, thirsty, cold and naked, loaded down with cares of all kinds, yet I kept the faith. I’ve been troubled, perplexed, distressed, persecuted, but never cast down, never destroyed, never shaken in my faith.”

These words will sustain us in the days ahead: “He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord” (Psalm 112:7).

“The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul. The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore” (Psalm 121:7-8).

“For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock” (Psalm 27:5).

“Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me” (Psalm 50:15).
 

KNOWING THE REAL JESUS

by Gary Wilkerson | March 30, 2015

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I believe it has never been more important for the Church and the world to know the real Jesus than it is right now. By “the real Jesus” I mean the only source able to satisfy every human need and longing; every desire to be loved, known and accepted; every hope to have a life of value, worth and purpose.

These things aren’t found in the world. Our culture is fully focused on American Idol-type fame, telling us we’ll be satisfied by money or good looks or popularity. As lovers of God we know that our deepest desires can be satisfied only by Christ.

And yet knowing this, we in the Church often try to reduce Jesus to our own image. Many of us want a Jesus who suits us—a right-wing Republican Jesus or a liberal-leaning Democratic Jesus. There is a black Jesus, a brown Jesus, a white Jesus (whom I call the Holiday Inn Jesus—the one with blow-dried, blond hair who seems to float through the air).

When I speak of “the real Jesus,” I mean the One who satisfies every human hunger and thirst. He cannot be reduced to some limited conception because the Bible says Christ can be known only in His fullness. It takes the whole counsel of God—the full biblical picture—for us to receive, know and faithfully serve Jesus. “From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace” (John 1:16, ESV). In short, we are able to walk in Christ’s grace only as we know Him fully. Anything else is a diminished walk of faith.

John also says, “He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him” (1:11). This speaks of Christ’s rejection by the Jews, but how much of our Lord do we ignore today? Do we emphasize some of His teachings over others because some are uncomfortable? To what degree have we not accepted Jesus in His fullness?
 

THE KING OF SODOM

by Claude Houde | March 28, 2015

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In the book of Genesis, we see Abraham, our model of faith, grow, flourish and increase in his fulfillment of what God had prepared for him. Through his life and example, the Bible proposes a life of growth and progress to every believer where he or she who wants to can walk “from faith to faith and strength to strength.” In the 14th chapter of Genesis, Abraham reveals to us one of the most important and yet widely unrecognized secrets of the walk of faith. It will take “increase our faith” deep into our everyday lives and will be of eternal consequence (see Genesis 14:17-24).

This passage shows Abraham returning from the battlefields with a victory. As he came back, Abraham met two kings: the king of Sodom and the king of Salem. The king of Sodom came from the place of fire, of flames. The name “Sodom” means “a scorched place.” Please read his words carefully, for the enemy of our souls still speaks the very same today, in your life and mine. “The king of the place of fire, the scorched place, says, ‘Take the goods, I want the souls.’” Did you get it? Do you hear these words? They make me shudder. There is a modern-day, selfish and egotistical church, ravenously materialistic and hideously self-centered. Her only goal and preoccupation is her wealth and the only message she tolerates is one of blessing, prosperity and material fulfillment. She has been blinded by the eternal nature of this diabolical temptation inspired by hell itself.

Dear reader, have we been influenced by this gospel, obsessed with its own blessing? Have we surrendered the “souls” to our eternal enemy? Jesus teaches that there is a thief that comes to steal, to kill and to destroy. Faith that will refuse and resist in the secret place says “no” to the damning offer from the king of Sodom to live for the “goods,” for this faith is passionate about what is eternal. This faith lives for “the souls.” Faith that resists in the secret place is made possible by the daily renewing of His Spirit burning His divine character in us—pressing us, mobilizing us, renewing in us a passion to serve, to pray, to love, to give, and to simply and daily do whatever is in our power to fulfill that which is our eternal call: to win souls. We resist and refuse to “keep the goods” and lose the souls.

 

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.
 

THE LOVE OF THE FATHER

by David Wilkerson | March 27, 2015

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The New Testament has much to say about chastisement [educational correction]: “And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: for whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?” (Hebrews 12:5-7).

Jesus Himself declared, “As many as I love, I rebuke [correct] and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent” (Revelation 3:19).

Paul wrote, "We are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world” (1 Corinthians 11:32).

The Old Testament, too, speaks of chastisement: “My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord; neither be weary of his correction: for whom the Lord loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth” (Proverbs 3:11-12).

What you are going through as a child of God is no accident or isolated calamity. Every test, every fiery trial is under His careful scrutiny and there is a purpose to it all. It is “for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness” (Hebrews 12:10).

Chastening can seem grievous, as though some strange thing is happening to us. It is not joyous, but after it passes it produces the “peaceable fruit of righteousness.” However, only those who want to learn and are willing to be trained by it will bear fruit.

Satan will speak to you as he did to Job, “The righteous do not suffer! If God heard you, if He saved you, if He loved you, if His promises are true, you should be rescued immediately. Your suffering should not be so prolonged. Where is your God? Is this what your faith gets you?”

Beloved, don’t cast away your faith! Satan is a liar! You are suffering because God loves you, because He cares! You asked the Lord to make you more like Himself and only He knows what that takes. He knows what is about to destroy you and He knows just when to make a way of escape. He won’t act until it is His time.

Don’t faint! God has everything under control, including that pain, that lingering sickness. You might not go all the way if He lifted it right now! Like Paul, you have a thorn that keeps pride away.
 

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