Sermons   David Wilkerson Today, Daily Devotions

THE LORD IS NEAR

by David Wilkerson | July 11, 2012

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God is more prepared to keep His promises to you than the devil is to ruin you. Indeed, no matter how near the enemy comes to you, the Lord is all the nearer.

"They draw nigh that follow after mischief; they are far from thy law. Thou art near . . ." (Psalm 119:150-151). David said, in other words, "God, if my enemies are drawing so near to destroy me, You are all the nearer in my time of need."

The Hebrew word for near in this verse connotes "defense." It means, "I am near you to defend you." God says He is especially near to defend the downcast and brokenhearted:

  • "For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones" (Isaiah 57:15).
  • "The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit" (Psalm 34:18).

Are you a child of God? Does the Lord Jesus live in you? God says He is near to you in your anguish. Here is His promise to you:

"I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.

"For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour. . . . Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life. Fear not: for I am with thee" (Isaiah 43:1-5).

David saw God as holding him ". . . by my right hand" (Psalm 73:23). He said, "God not only is near me, but He is walking with me, hand in hand, through this whole mess. Let all my enemies come after me. I've got my hand in the Father's!"

Moreover, David said God talked to him, giving him counsel and guidance: "Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel" (verse 24).
 

NO CONFIDENCE IN THE FLESH

by David Wilkerson | July 10, 2012

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Like Paul, I have no confidence in the flesh. Some of the godliest people I have known have failed God miserably. I think of the awful temptation and failure of David, a man after God's heart.

David was sorely tempted, fell into adultery, lied and then murdered an innocent man. I'm sure that when the prophet Nathan exposed him, Satan was convinced David was down for the count. He expected this man to throw up his hands and say, "What's the use? I have disgraced God! I have sinned against the light and committed the very sins I've preached against. God can never use me now. My heart is too black. I have been overpowered by sin."

How wrong Satan was. Listen to David's cries after he repented: "The Lord hath chastened me sore: but he hath not given me over unto death" (Psalm 118:18). David said, "I was tempted and tried but God would not turn me over to Satan's power."

Beloved, if the devil comes at you with powerful temptations, it is not always because your heart is wicked. He could be attacking you because you have turned to the Lord. He is bringing fiery trials of lust and temptation against you to try to destroy your faith.

"Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you" (1 Peter 4:12).

"There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it" (1 Corinthians 10:13).

There is nothing at all strange about what is happening to you. You may be discouraged because the enemy has come against you like a flood. The attack could be through temptation, lust, marriage problems, a financial crisis. You may be saying to yourself, "Here I am trying to serve the Lord, doing my best to love Him and be faithful to Him. But things just keep getting worse. Is there something wrong with me? Why can't I get out of this hole? Why do my problems keep piling up?"

I urge you to look to your right, to your left, in front of you, behind you. Everybody is going through something. Behind the smiles of your dear brothers and sisters in Christ are many tears. They are hurting with trials you know nothing about.

No, you are not alone in your suffering and your trial is not some strange, unusual circumstance. What you are going through is common to multitudes.
 

THE LUKEWARM HEART

by Gary Wilkerson | July 9, 2012

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What does a lukewarm heart look like?

A heart that is no longer on fire for God, or perhaps never has been on fire for God, has distinctive characteristics.

First, a lukewarm heart is a prayerless heart, one that has no desire to pray, no desire to come into the presence of God.

Second, a lukewarm heart is unawakened by anything in the Word. It finds parts of the Word interesting and sometimes emotionally moving but does not grasp the power of God’s Word to transform hearts.

Third, a lukewarm heart is disobedient to the Word. When the lukewarm heart begins to respond to the Word and the Holy Spirit breaks through and reveals a truth, this heart is like the man spoken of by James: “He is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror . . . and goes away and at once forgets what he was like” (James 1:23-24, ESV). The lukewarm heart is not a doer of the Word.

Fourth, a lukewarm heart has little or no passion for souls, and little or no desire to pray for or reach out to the lost.

Fifth, a lukewarm heart only comes to church when it’s convenient. Even though the Word speaks very clearly that we are not to neglect gathering together, the lukewarm heart just doesn’t feel that it is significant (see Hebrews 10:25).

Sixth, the lukewarm heart has grown emotionally dull, it is unmoved. The lukewarm heart will read this message and hear this truth, yet will not care. It becomes emotionally dull to the things of the Spirit, to the Word, to prayer and to the lost.

But there is good news for the lukewarm — Jesus is calling you out of your lukewarm state! He is saying, “Yes, I am knocking on the door of your house. I want to come in and have dinner with you and I want to see the fire of God once again brought into your heart and life.”

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me” (Revelation 3:20, ESV).

EXPECT Church Leadership Conference 2012 Philadelphia, PA July 12, 2012

by David Wilkerson | July 8, 2012

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ARE YOU READY? The Expect Conference, Concert, & Prayer Gathering are just days away! We appreciate the continued support, prayers, and encouragement as we get closer to July 12th.

·  Event Location: PA Convention Center: BROAD STREET ENTRANCE in the Terrace Ballrooms I-III. NOTE: We are in the West Concourse (not the East Concourse from last year). The best entrance is on Broad Street; if you enter on Arch & 12th, it is a long walk. Follow the signs and greeters to the other side of the venue.

·  Registration begins at 8:00 am. Please leave enough time for traffic, parking, etc.

·  Conference will now begin at 9:00 am. (previously 9:30am) Tony Evans, Gary Wilkerson, and Jim Cymbala will be speaking.

·  The FREE concert begins at 7:00pm with the Brooklyn Tabernacle Singers. We are no longer requiring registration for this evening concert. Load up the buses and mini-vans for this wonderful opportunity to worship the Lord with other believers.
Here are 3 ways YOU can help:
 
1 –Pray! Pray for protection, wisdom, all the details, and for God’s will to be done in Philadelphia, in our Churches and homes.  Pray for those who are organizing the event that the Lord will guide them and give them wisdom.  Pray for the Pastors who are putting together their sessions.  Prayer does not prepare us for the great work, prayer is the great work.
 
2 –Volunteer! We still need people to help! If you are available to help with ushering, registration, greeting, etc. please contact Acts413ministries@gmail.com. Put in the subject line “Event Volunteer”. Be sure to include your NAME, CELL NUMBER, and TIMES of availability for the 12th. We are asking those available for the morning to arrive no later than 7:30.
 
3 –Spread the Word! Bring your family, friends, neighbors, church…EVERYONE! Invite them to see the amazing things God is doing for His people in Philadelphia and around the world.
A downloadable version of our Event video can be viewed and downloaded from Google docs at the following url: http://vimeo.com/m/44943811
 
We look forward to gathering with you for a wonderful time of encouragement, teaching, fellowship, and worship in His presence. 

EXPECT Church Leadership Conference 2012 Philadelphia, PA July 12, 2012

by World Challenge Staff | July 7, 2012

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EXPECT Church Leadership Conference 2012 Philadelphia, PA July 12, 2012

Speakers:
Gary Wilkerson
Lead Pastor & PresidentThe Springs Church, World Challenge, Inc

Jim Cymbala
Senior PastorBrooklyn Tabernacle

Dr. Tony Evans
Senior Pastor, AuthorOak Cliff Bible Fellowship

Concert with Brooklyn Tabernacle Singers

Venue:
Pennsylvania Convention Center
One Convention Center Place
1101 Arch Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Contact:
Jim Maxim
Acts413 Ministries
950 West Valley Road
Wayne, PA 19087
(610) 721-1010

All over the world, pastors and church leaders labor day in and day out to bring His love to those in need. As a minister, you have no doubt experienced the joy of His hand guiding you. But like many, you may also have experienced the difficulty, the loneliness, the dryness, even the despair which can occasionally come to all of us who serve. The ministry you are about to be introduced to was established just for you, to strengthen you, to bring a fresh anointing of God’s love and divine healing into your ministry, into your family, into your church.

Please join us as we stand in awe at the healing work of God taking place in our very midst.

 

WHY DID GOD DELIVER YOU IN THE PAST?

by David Wilkerson | July 6, 2012

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David wrote: "In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears. . . . He sent from above, he took me, he drew me out of many waters. He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them which hated me: for they were too strong for me. They prevented [came upon] me in the day of my calamity: but the Lord was my stay. He brought me forth also into a large place; he delivered me, because he delighted in me" (Psalm 18:6, 16-19).

Dear saint, rest assured that if you are being afflicted, it is because God delights in you. "Whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth" (Hebrews 12:6). Your afflictions are a sign of His love.

You must also remember that whatever you're going through will pass. Recently, I read a passage in one of my journals that I had written while going through a great trial. Three months' worth of entries all ended with the same phrase: "Oh, God, when will this nightmare end?" Then, finally, these words appeared across a page in huge letters: "IT'S OVER—HE HAS DELIVERED!"

I can honestly say I have learned more in my afflictions than I ever did in good times. Prosperity doesn't teach us—afflictions do. The humanitarian Albert Schweitzer said, "Happiness is good health and a bad memory." No, happiness is remembering all the ways God has brought us through.

I ask you again: How are you reacting to your afflictions? Are you wasting them, becoming a doubter and complainer? Or are you building up your faith, knowing that your God delivers?

There is only one way to endure your present troubles: Remember that your heavenly Father delights in you. He has a plan at work, a great investment in you. "He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ" (Philippians 1:6). Your Father is preparing you to be a veteran of spiritual warfare, an example of faith and trust to this generation.

REMEMBER WHAT GOD HAS DONE

by David Wilkerson | July 5, 2012

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We have a tendency to forget every good thing God has done for us. When we face new challenges we often do not remember our deliverance from old ones.

When David stood before Goliath, he rehearsed his past victories in order to build up his faith. He recounted, "And David said unto Saul, Thy servant kept his father's sheep, and there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock: And I went out after him, and smote him, and delivered it out of his mouth: and when he arose against me, I caught him by his beard, and smote him, and slew him. Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God” (1 Samuel 17:34-36).

Moses reminded Israel of all their past deliverances and then he warned them: "Take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons' sons" (Deuteronomy 4:9).

The Bible says of Israel: "They kept not the covenant of God . . . and forgot his works, and his wonders that he had shewed them" (Psalm 78:10-11). Like the Israelites, we have the same tendency whenever we face a new trial or affliction. We say, "Oh, God, this time it's too much for me to face." But God answers, "Simply look back and remember Me!"

If need be, keep a journal to remind yourself of God's great deliverances in your life. Jot down a few notes at night before going to bed. Do whatever it takes to remind yourself of all the things He has done for you, all the heartaches you have been through and the deliverance He brought. Then, when your next affliction arises, open your notebook and say to the devil, "You're not going to deceive me this time. My God brought me out before, and He will do it again."

DON’T WASTE YOUR AFFLICTIONS

by David Wilkerson | July 4, 2012

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The book of Numbers contains a sad example of wasted afflictions. The five daughters of a man called Zelophehad came to Moses asking for a share in the possession of the Promised Land. They told Moses, "Our father died in the wilderness, and he was not in the company of them that gathered themselves together against the Lord in the company of Korah; but he died in his own sin, and had no sons" (Numbers 27:3). These women were saying, "When all the others rose up against you with Korah, our father wasn't one of them. He wasn't in rebellion. He died in his own sin."

This last phrase struck me as I read it: "He died in his own sin." This meant that although their father had seen incredible miracles—deliverance out of Egypt, water flowing from a rock, manna coming from heaven—he died in unbelief with the rest of his generation. Of that generation, only faithful Joshua and Caleb survived the wilderness.

Obviously, these five daughters were born in the wilderness and they grew up in a family full of anger toward God. All of Israel's testings and trials produced only hardened unbelief in their father and these young women grew up hearing murmuring, complaining and bitterness. At breakfast, lunch and supper, there was constant bellyaching, with never a word of faith or trust in God. Now these women had to tell Moses, "Our father left us with nothing—no hope, no possessions, no testimony. He spent those forty years whining and in bitterness, because life was hard. He died in sin, his life a total waste."

What a horrible thing to have to say of one's parents. Yet I must warn all parents reading this: Your children are watching you as you're under affliction and your reactions and behavior will influence them for life. So, how are you behaving? Are you wasting your affliction, not only for yourself but for the generations that follow? I hope your heirs are being established in Christ as they hear you say, "I don't like this affliction but blessed be the name of the Lord."

I know many Christians who become more bitter and grumpy with every new affliction. The very afflictions meant to train and sweeten them, trials designed by God to reveal His faithfulness, instead turn them into habitual complainers, sourpusses, and meanies. I wonder, "Where is their faith, their trust in the Lord? What must their children think?"

Beloved, don't waste your afflictions. Let them produce in you the sweet aroma of trust and faith in your Lord.

IN JAIL FOR JESUS!

by David Wilkerson | July 3, 2012

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“But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel” (Philippians 1:12). When Paul wrote this, he was an older man with years of experience. In the midst of one of the worst trials of his life, he was speaking to his friends from his heart.

In the time you have been walking with Jesus, you surely have known pain, trials, afflictions. So, how have you behaved? What has been the outcome, the result of your experiences? Have your afflictions all been in vain? Or have you learned of God's love and faithfulness in the midst of them?

Let's say you are a dedicated believer who has laid down his life for Jesus. You have a burden for a dying world, you weep for the lost, and you have a clear command to win souls. So you tell all your friends you are going to a certain city to testify of God's grace.
Yet after you arrive, your friends back home receive word that you are not being used of God at all. Nothing has gone as planned; in fact, your ministry is dead. You have nothing to show for your efforts and rather than stirring up the city for Christ, you have landed in jail.

How would you react if all you had to show for your dedication, labors and sacrifice was utter failure?

Some Christians would pout. They would doubt God's word to them and question the Spirit's leading. Yet other Christians would respond as Paul did—rejoicing that they had been counted worthy to suffer for Christ's sake. Paul did not try to figure out his afflictions. He responded with joy, faith and hope because he knew he was in training as God's witness. He wrote to his friends from jail: “My situation is the topic of conversation in Caesar's palace. In fact, everyone in Rome is talking about what's happening to me. I'm in jail for Jesus!” He must have been quite a sight in that prison cell—a scrawny Jew encouraging everyone around him, “Rejoice in your afflictions. God is faithful!”

Paul did not waste any of his afflictions, because he knew that each of them had a divine purpose. Likewise, the Lord is watching us to see how we behave during our trials.

CALLING THE CHURCH TO ACTION

by Gary Wilkerson | July 2, 2012

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The Holy Spirit is calling the church to action and we have to know what type of faith to employ or what action to take. If you start flailing away with a sword, stirring things up on your own and saying, “I’m going to take care of this mess,” you are going to hurt others and yourself.

Perhaps you think you should just pray over an issue but God says, “No, this is the time for you to stand up and take action.” Or, on the other hand, God may say, “Just trust Me right now. Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord.”

People ask me all the time how they can attain discernment or how they can know what to do in a situation. They want to have the type of faith that gets action.

Well, there is not a ten-week series on what to do in every situation in your life and you can’t call a counselor every day and say, “I have to make a decision and I want to know what to do.” You have to know Jesus and you will gain discernment only as you spend time in His presence.

If I were to tell you today to go out and run a marathon, if you’re like me you would go about a mile and then drop. But if you begin to train—one mile then two miles and then three, eventually you will be able to run that kind of race.

Likewise, we must train for righteousness. You may be feeling very stretched but begin to let yourself be trained by hearing the Word of God. If you obey in the small things, He will give you more and more wisdom and strength and before long you will know when it’s time to say, “God, you are in control. This is out of my hands.”

Or you will know when it’s time to pray.

Or you will know that it’s time to stand up and do what He has called you to do.
 

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