Sermons   David Wilkerson Today, Daily Devotions

YOU CAN HAVE AS MUCH OF JESUS AS YOU WANT

by Gary Wilkerson | December 10, 2012

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My father, David Wilkerson, taught me a lesson when I was a little boy and I believe it is the most important lesson I have ever learned. “Gary,” he said, “you can have as much of Jesus as you want.”

Every one of you reading this article can have as much of Jesus as you want! God does not just randomly say, “I’m picking you and not you.”

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied (filled)” (Matthew 5:6, ESV). This verse is speaking of the man or woman who says, “I want all that Jesus has to offer. I am going to be ravenous in my spiritual hunger to get everything He has to give.”

The Bible says that God is looking for men and women whose hearts are completely His that He might show Himself strong. “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him” (2 Chronicles 16:9, NKJV).

God does not want 10 percent or 75 percent of His church to be consecrated, to live a set-apart, sacred life. He wants 100 percent of His body, His believers, to be sold out wholeheartedly.

It is not God who is holding back the anointing of His Spirit, it is our lack of response to what He is pouring out. God has rent the heavens and come down and manifest His Holy Spirit in these last days. The man or woman who responds to what God is willing to give will rise up and say, “In this last hour I choose to be filled with God’s Spirit. I choose to live a consecrated life. I will not be dissuaded from this; I will not be held back. Nothing can keep me from the destiny that God has for me of being on fire for Him, totally filled with His Spirit.”
 

IS YOUR LOVE ALIVE?

by David Wilkerson | December 7, 2012

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If you can go about your daily life facing all sorts of interruptions and demands, and yet not spend ten minutes in God's presence, your love is dying.

Think about it: If you love someone exclusively above all others, you will make that person feel he is the most important being on earth. Everything else will pale in comparison to him.

Is this not how you first loved your spouse when you were courting? If she called while you were busy, you dropped everything just to talk to her. If anyone intruded on your time alone together, you resented it. Everything else took second place in your efforts to develop the love between you.

Many Christians today go for weeks, even months, without spending quality time with Jesus. How can they love Jesus with a whole heart when they neglect Him for days on end?

In Song of Solomon, the bride could not sleep because her beloved ". . . had withdrawn himself . . ." (Song of Solomon 5:6). This woman arose in the middle of the night, saying, "My soul failed . . . I sought him, but I could not find him; I called him, but he gave me no answer" (same verse). So she quickly ran into the streets, looking everywhere for her lover, crying out, "Have you seen my beloved?"

Why was this such a serious matter to her? Because, as she said, "This is my beloved, and this is my friend" (verse 16). "I am sick of love [faint with desire for him]" (verse 8). She could not be without her beloved.

How does Jesus feel when He spreads the table and anxiously awaits our company, yet we never show up? The Bible calls us His bride, His beloved, His one great love. It says we were created for fellowship with Him. So, what kind of rejection must He feel when we continually put others before Him?
 

WHAT HOLDS YOUR HEART?

by David Wilkerson | December 6, 2012

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What holds your heart right now? Does your soul yearn for Jesus, or for the things of this world?

A woman on our mailing list wrote this distressing note: "My husband was once on fire for God. For years he gave himself faithfully to the Lord's work but today he's all wrapped up in a new pursuit. He no longer has any time for the Lord. I worry for him, because he's grown so cold."

Jesus told a parable about this very kind of legitimate pursuit. A wealthy man sent his servant to invite all his friends to a great feast he was holding. But, Scripture says, the man's friends "all with one consent began to make excuse" (Luke 14:18).

One friend told the servant, "I just bought a piece of land, sight unseen, and I have to inspect it. Please tell your master I won't be able to come." The next friend told the servant, "I just bought a yoke of oxen and I haven't had time to test them. Tell your master I can't come, because I have to go into the field to plow with them." Yet another friend told the servant, "I just got married and I'm about to take my honeymoon. I don't have time to come to the feast."

This man had invited all his friends to enjoy an intimate time of fellowship with him. He had made all the arrangements for their comfort and convenience. The table had been set and everything had been prepared, but no one came. Everyone was simply too busy or preoccupied.

Each person had a good, legitimate reason for not coming. After all, they were not avoiding their friend so that they could go partying or bar-hopping. On the contrary, the Bible commends everything these people were doing: Buying and selling can provide security for one's family, and testing a major purchase is a sound business practice. Finally, marriage is a blessing that the Scriptures encourage.

Yet, how did this wealthy man react? Scripture says, "The lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. For I say unto you, that none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper" (verses 23-24).

Jesus makes a very clear point in this parable: Each of these good, legitimate things becomes sinful when it takes priority over the Lord.
 

JESUS AND THE EPHESIAN CHURCH

by David Wilkerson | December 5, 2012

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In John’s amazing vision as recorded in the first three chapters of Revelation, he sees Jesus walking in the midst of the seven New Testament churches of Asia. Christ's eyes are aflame, and He is wearing priestly clothes. It is clear that He has come to judge these churches in righteousness.

Peter writes, "Judgment must begin at the house of God" (1 Peter 4:17). And now, as Jesus appears among the seven churches, He begins to judge them according to both the good and bad He beholds. These judgments appear in Revelation 2 and 3, both red letter chapters, meaning every word comes directly from Jesus' lips.

Now, these seven churches were actual congregations in real localities: Ephesus, Smyrna, Laodicea, and so on. Yet John hears God's voice speaking not only to these particular churches, but to the church universal — indeed, to every believer who looks for Jesus' soon return.

Jesus begins His judgments by listing the many good things about the churches that bless Him, and He compliments each church on these things. But He also sees several things that grieve Him deeply and He issues a warning to each church.

His first message is to the Christians at Ephesus, a church founded on the godly teaching of the apostle Paul. Jesus' judgment of the Ephesians is, "Thou hast left thy first love" (Revelation 2:4).

When Jesus uses the words first love here, He is not speaking of the immature love we experience when we are first saved. Rather, He is talking about exclusive love: "I once occupied first place in your heart but now you have lost the exclusivity of your love for Me. You have allowed other things to take My place."

It is significant that of all the sins Jesus points out in these seven churches — adultery, covetousness, lukewarmness, false teachings, Jezebels in authority, dead worship, spiritual blindness — the first sin He names is the one that grieves Him most: a loss of affection for Him. Our God is a jealous lover and He will not allow anything to come before our love for Him.

BACK TO YOUR FIRST LOVE

by David Wilkerson | December 4, 2012

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“Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love” (Revelation 2:4).

I believe this warning to the Ephesian church is intended for every Christian living in these last days. Simply put, the Lord is telling us, "It's not enough for you to be a caring, giving, diligent servant who grieves over sin and preaches truth. It's not enough for you to uphold moral standards, endure suffering for My sake, or even be burned at the stake for your faith. This is all part of taking up My cross.

"You can do all these things in My name, but if your affection for Me does not increase in the process of doing them, if I am not becoming more and more the one great delight of your heart, then you have left your first love. If your affection for Me is no longer a matter of great concern to you, then I have something against you."

Consider David's words: "Whom have I in heaven but thee? And there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee" (Psalm 73:25). These are strong words, yet David is not saying, "I don't have human love." Rather, he is saying, "There is no one I love exclusively in my heart as I love my Lord. I desire Him above all others."

David also writes, "O God . . . my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is" (63:1). "As the hart [deer] panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God" (42:1-2).

David says, "I thirst deeply for the Lord, the way a deer thirsts after it has been chased. A deer will go past the point of exhaustion to find the water it seeks."

Likewise, Jesus is telling the Ephesian Christians, "You no longer seek Me as the deer seeks. I am no longer the chief object of your desire. You may be willing to do things for Me, but I'm not at the center of your heart anymore!"

Go back to your first love today. Ask Jesus for grace and strength to begin again to guard your affection for Him!
 

BARNABAS, SON OF ENCOURAGEMENT

by Gary Wilkerson | December 3, 2012

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I have a lot of respect for Barnabas, a gentle, loving man whose name meant encouragement. Barnabas had been traveling with Paul evangelizing and planting churches, but a conflict arose. We read in Acts 15:36-41 that Paul and Barnabas stopped working together over a young man named John Mark.

Paul felt that John Mark had hurt their ministry by unexpectedly departing and leaving them short-handed. Barnabas wanted to be kind to John Mark and give him another chance, but Paul said no.

Barnabas was a man of a different spirit. When the whole world was willing to reject somebody who seemed like a failure, he did not react in that way. Barnabas stood up to Paul and said, “I’m not going to reject that young man.” That is boldness — that’s a different spirit!

When Saul was pouring out accusations against the church, imprisoning Christ’s followers and putting them to death, who went to him? And when Saul had an experience from heaven (Acts 9), who went to him? It was Barnabas, the Son of Encouragement. Barnabas had the boldness in his heart and the different spirit inside him to say, “I don’t care if this is a false rumor, it is worth the risk to see if Saul really got saved.”

Barnabas is an example of a man of a different spirit. This spirit has nothing to do with whether you are a Type A personality. You can be a quiet person, mellow and calm, and still have what Barnabas had. And most of  all, you can have what Jesus had.

It does not matter if you are young or old, male or female, for God is no respecter of persons. The Holy Spirit is longing to fall upon you. You may be reading this today and inside you are saying, “What are you talking about, having a different spirit? My spirit is a spirit of alcohol or drugs; my spirit is a spirit of desperation. I’m lost!”

You know what? God has His eyes on you. God has ordained that you read this because He is calling on you to rise up and be a person of a different spirit. Not the spirit of this world, not the spirit of sin, not the spirit of alcoholism or drugs, but the spirit of God. The spirit of Christ, the Son of God, can transform your life and make you into a person of a different spirit.
 

BEING IN CHRIST

by David Wilkerson | November 30, 2012

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Christians today live in a time of great light. The Holy Spirit has revealed to us the meaning of Jesus' powerful work on the cross and the incredible blessings of His sacrifice. Yet there was a time known as the Dark Ages when Christ's wonderful work was obscured from the world.

Most sermons during the Dark Ages focused on damnation and God's wrath. The popes and priests preached a gospel of works and the people performed a variety of deeds to try to find peace with God. They traveled for miles to bow to shrines, knelt in worship before stone icons, repeated long prayers, fondled prayer beads. Yet all these things only increased their bondage and brought deeper darkness to their souls.

People then knew nothing of the benefits and blessings available through Christ's victory at Calvary. Even today, with all the teaching available on the subject, the majority of Christians still do not understand many important aspects of Christ's work for us, that is, what it means to be "in Christ."

As a shepherd of the Lord's flock, I occasionally preach on hell, damnation and God's wrath. But more and more I have become convinced that the only way I can lead God's people to victorious living is to preach the blessings and benefits of "being in Christ."

The fact is, being in Christ is the only foundation upon which true holiness and righteousness can be built. Without this foundation, we will rely on our flesh to try to produce a form of holiness in ourselves. But true holiness is obtained only through knowing the riches of God in Christ Jesus.

"For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world" (Titus 2:11-12). Only God's grace can teach us the kind of theology that leads to holiness—and no works can ever produce that.

KNOWING THE JOYFUL SOUND

by David Wilkerson | November 29, 2012

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The reason so many Christians today live in fear and confusion is because they do not understand the joyful sound of Jubilee. Yes, they know Jesus died and rose again and His blood has power to save. But they have not yet understood the joyful sound of all that He has provided that they might live in freedom.

"Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound" (Psalm 89:15). The joyful sound we hear today is the trumpet of God proclaiming our deliverance, through the blood of Jesus Christ.

Here are the other blessings of the joyful sound of Jubilee:

1. "Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O Lord, in the light of thy countenance" (Psalm 89:15). The Hebrew meaning here suggests, "They shall walk in cheerfulness, secure in God's promises, at ease in His presence." Simply put, we no longer have to walk in darkness or confusion, because we will behold the light of His face.

2. "In thy name shall they rejoice all the day: and in thy righteousness shall they be exalted" (verse 16). We know our own righteousness is as filthy rags and so we are to take courage by rejoicing in His righteousness — which is ours by faith alone.

3. "For thou art the glory of their strength: and in thy favour our horn shall be exalted" (verse 17). We know that Christ alone is the source of all our strength and we do not have to live under the devil's thumb anymore. All we have to do is look upon Satan's back, where we will see the heel print of our Savior. Jesus has crushed our enemy!

4. "For the Lord is our defense; and the Holy One of Israel is our king" (verse 18). We are utterly helpless in our flesh and so we totally trust in the victory of Jesus' cross. He defends us against every enemy.
 

 

CHRIST ASCENDED TO MAKE INTERCESSION

by David Wilkerson | November 28, 2012

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Just as the high priest ascended the stairs to the holy place on the day of atonement, our High Priest ascended into the heavenly tabernacle, " . . . a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands" (Hebrews 9:11). Jesus ascended not merely to enjoy the glory He deserves but to do a work on our behalf.

The writer of Hebrews reminds us that Jesus' work in heaven is all for us: "He ever liveth to make intercession for [us]" (7:25). Christ does it all for us! What exactly does it mean that "He lives to make intercession for us"? I believe Jesus intercedes for us in three ways:

First, some of us imagine Jesus standing before the Father, pleading with Him to show us mercy when we fail. But that is not the case. Christ's intercession for us has to do with Satan's accusations against us. You see, the devil comes to God's throne to accuse us of every failure and transgression. He cries, "I want justice. And if You are a just God, You will damn and destroy this person. He deserves it."

But then, Jesus steps in. He does not have to persuade the Father of anything. Rather, He simply declares the victory of His cross. Then He turns to Satan and says, "Didn't you hear the trumpet sound? You have no claim over this child of Mine. Keep your hands off My property!"

Second, Christ's intercession for us means He makes certain that we obtain and enjoy all the benefits provided by Jubilee. Just as the Levites enforced the law that provided every man with his just blessings, Jesus today enforces the privileges of Jubilee for us. He makes sure we know we are legally free.

Third, Jesus intercedes in our own hearts, reconciling us with the Father. He continually answers our doubts and fears, and reminds us that we are forgiven. We can trust in God's faithfulness to provide us with all the power and strength we need.
 

A ROD OF IRON

by David Wilkerson | November 27, 2012

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The apostle Paul writes of Christ's ascension into heaven: "And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it" (Colossians 2:15). That's right! Staggering behind our Lord's triumphant procession was the prince of darkness himself, bound in chains. And behind the defeated devil — underneath the wheels of the heavenly hosts — were all the powers of darkness, bound and vanquished. They were being put to an open shame before all those who had died in faith before the cross.

“And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father” (Revelation 2:27). Jesus entered the gates carrying in His hand a scepter of righteousness, His "rod of iron" with which He rules all nations. Then, after His triumphant entrance, He took His rightful place on the throne in full possession of all power, authority and dominion.

What a glorious picture! Satan is not in control. Communism is not in control. Atheism is not in control. No, the enemies of Christ exist only by His permission. And right now they only continue to fill up their cups of iniquity. Jesus is in control of all things and one day, when He is ready, He will "break them with a rod of iron; [He] shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel" (Psalm 2:9).

Beloved, our understanding of Christ's victory over Satan and the dominion of sin cannot be a vague, confused theology. We must know and understand that Satan is totally defeated. He cannot hold us prisoner, and Christ has freed us by His blood from every bondage. Now He sits on His throne with all power and authority, offering us peace, joy and freedom.
 

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