Sermons   David Wilkerson Today, Daily Devotions

THE POWER OF THE HOLY GHOST

by David Wilkerson | February 8, 2013

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Those who were headed for the Upper Room loved Jesus dearly. They were compassionate, self-sacrificing, soul-loving. But they were not yet qualified to be His witnesses. It takes more than a love for Jesus and a compassion for souls to qualify you as His witness.

They had been taught in the school of Christ. They had healed the sick, cast out demons, and performed miracles. They had seen Jesus clothed in His eternal glory on the Mount.

They had been nearby when He sweat drops of blood as He prayed and then they had seen Him hanging on the cross. They had seen Him resurrected, viewed the empty tomb, eaten with Him, and talked with Him in His glorified body. They had even seen Him ascend into heaven! Yet they still were not ready to witness of Him.

Why couldn’t Peter go to those milling crowds in Jerusalem and immediately testify to His resurrection? Hadn’t he witnessed that event firsthand? It seems he could have preached, “Jesus is alive! He ascended into heaven! Repent!”

Peter makes a powerful statement to the chief priests: “And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Spirit, whom God hath given to them that obey him” (Acts 5:32).

Through the words of the Holy Spirit speaking through Peter, the priests “were cut to the heart, and took counsel to slay them” (Acts 5:33). The Holy Spirit also had spoken through Peter on the day of Pentecost, and all who heard “were pricked in their heart” (Acts 2:37).

Stephen, filled with the Holy Spirit, preached to the religious leaders: “Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Spirit: as your fathers did, so do ye. . . . When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth” (Acts 7:51, 54).

When you emerge from seeking God, full of the Holy Spirit, you will be able to stand with boldness before fellow workers, family, anyone, and your witness will provoke one of two reactions. They will either cry out, “What must I do to be saved?” or they will want to kill you! You will speak a word that cuts to the heart. The difference is found in the power of the Holy Spirit.
 

TAKE IT TO THE CROSS

by David Wilkerson | February 7, 2013

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Under the Old Covenant, absolute obedience was required. God's law made no allowances for even the slightest disobedience. Simply put, the soul that sinned died.

Those commandments were laid out clearly, describing the perfect obedience a holy God requires. Yet the law made no provision in the flesh for such obedience and man found himself utterly unable to keep the law’s demands. Paul called the law “. . . a yoke upon the neck . . . which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear” (Acts 15:10).

Yet, Paul also describes the law as a “schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith” (Galatians 3:24). The law exposes our hearts, teaching us we are weak-willed, helpless as babies, in need of a savior.

At this point, you may be wondering, “Why would God demand perfect obedience from us, and yet not provide us with power to comply?” The Bible makes it clear: God had to bring us to a place where we realized we had no power to escape our sin.

It took Israel four hundred years of affliction to learn they could not provide their own deliverance. They couldn’t rid themselves of their slave masters in their own strength. They had to have a deliverer—a God who would reach down and bring them out of their bondage.

And it took centuries—up to the time of Zechariah—for Israel to recognize their need for a redeemer. They finally became convinced they needed a savior who would “be unto [them] a wall of fire round about, and will be the glory in the midst of [them]” (Zechariah 2:5). God himself would be the fire around them and the glory within them!

Yet many Christians today still have not learned this lesson. They are living under the law, striving in their flesh, making promises to God, trying to get free from their sin. They wake up each day saying, “This is the day, Lord! I’m going to find the strength and willpower to break these chains. With just a little more effort, I’ll be free!”

No! It will never happen. It will only end in more guilt. The law is meant to drive us to the cross to acknowledge our helplessness, our need for a redeemer.

THE LOVINGKINDNESS OF THE LORD

by David Wilkerson | February 6, 2013

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“Every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed” (James 1:14). We all are enticed by our lusts, every one of us with no exceptions!

James then adds: “When lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin” (James 1:15). He is speaking here of the birth process. In each of our hearts is a womb of lusts and every sin we commit is born from that womb. Just as no two babies are alike, no two sins are alike. Each person produces his own kind of sin. Over the years, many Christians grow comfortable with their secret sin and, like Lot, they become blind to it and begin to take it lightly.

I think of many such examples within the body of Christ. We wink at the sin of seeking the praise of others or lusting for position. We wink at the sin of pride over our spiritual roots, our biblical knowledge, our consistent prayer life. We may see ourselves as humble, kind, teachable—but we are not.

God does not take any of our sins lightly. I learned this the hard way. Today, as I look back over nearly fifty years of ministry, I cringe at those times I was deceived by the sin of pride.

I remember being the featured speaker at a particular ministers’ conference. I thought, “The Lord has blessed me with such great revelation. I'm not impressed by any of the big-name people here. God set me apart from birth as an anointed preacher.”

Not long after that, I ended up under the Holy Ghost’s searchlight and it shone directly on my pride. If I had not clung to Paul’s exhortation to put the former things behind me, I would have fallen into despair. But God showed His mercy to me and I thank Him for His grace and long-suffering toward me, then and now.

Today, my heart-cry is, “Lord, I know I’m not the humble, unassuming minister I've always thought myself to be. I’ve been cocky, self-assured, driven. Now I realize any anointing I have is because of your lovingkindness!”
 

GUARDING YOUR AFFECTION FOR HIM

by David Wilkerson | February 5, 2013

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“Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent” (Revelation 2:5).

Jesus is saying: “Think back to what you were like when I first saved you. You rejoiced that I came to live in your heart! You couldn't wait for church on Sunday and you spent all your free time digging into My word, learning about My love for you. You never considered prayer to be a burden, because I meant everything to you. You loved Me more than life itself. But now you've fallen away from all that. I get so little of your time now, so little of your attention. You've grown cold toward Me. Something else has your heart!”

Look at the serious warning in this verse: “Repent . . . or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.” For many years theologians have tried to soften this warning, wanting it to mean something different. But it cannot be softened—it means exactly what it says.

Jesus is saying to us: “If you claim to have the fire of God, and yet I am no longer the delight of your heart, I will take away every bit of light you have! No matter what good works you do for Me, you will no longer be My witness. I simply won't recognize anything you do because you have lost your love for Me.”

Is your love for Jesus exclusive? Do you regularly take quality time to be with Him? Or have other things crept into your heart, taking up your thoughts and affections?

Jesus is asking you right now to repent and start over. He wants you to stop and realize, “Wait a minute. I see how this thing has crept into my life and it is robbing me of my exclusive love for Jesus. I can't let this go on any longer. Lord, forgive me! Light my candle anew.”

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

FAVOR MAKES FOR A DANGEROUS LIFE

by Gary Wilkerson | February 4, 2013

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The angel Gabriel spoke to Mary, the mother of Jesus, and said “‘Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!’ But she was greatly troubled at the saying” (Luke 1:28-29).

I believe Mary was troubled when the angel spoke to her because she was aware of her people’s history. She knew what had happened to the Israelites who found favor with God. The result was blessed, true, but it wasn’t always pleasant. Consider these examples:

Abel found God’s favor through his acceptable sacrifice to the Lord. But Abel’s brother, Cain, was jealous because he did not find the same favor—and Abel paid with his life.

Noah found favor with God. He lived righteously in an evil generation and was spared the destruction of the flood. Yet every comfort that Noah knew in the world was wiped out. The story of his building an amazing ark wasn’t some children’s story; it was a sad story of judgment on a global scale. Although Noah and his family survived, they lost everything they held dear.

Lot found favor with God and was able to escape judgment. God delivered him from Sodom, a city poised to face fiery destruction. But by escaping, Lot lost almost everything dear to him, including his wife.

Joseph found favor with God and was blessed with prophetic dreams. But the very gift that marked Joseph’s favor also angered those around him.

My point is that favor is dangerous—and Mary knew this. The Hebrew Scriptures made it clear in story after story: Favor can be accompanied by danger, hardship, pressure, persecution, pain, and tribulations. Sadly, much of the American church will not acknowledge this about God’s favor. Many pastors teach that favor means being prosperous, having a nice house or car, never being persecuted, living without difficulties, always being on top.

Mary knew better and it showed in her response to the angel: “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38). That is the response I want to have! No matter how dangerous God’s favor is, I do not want to trade it for an easy, comfortable life. I do not want to be off the hook for trouble if it means missing His favor.

 

HALLOW THE SABBATH

by David Wilkerson | February 1, 2013

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When God's Word speaks of rest, it includes physical rest. But the Lord's holy rest begins in the soul: "There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God" (Hebrews 4:9). What is this rest? It is the laying of all our sin-burdens on Christ!

Jesus Himself says, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28). He is saying, "By faith, you must enter into the Father's sabbath rest. You must refuse to carry your burdens to and from your home any longer, and instead lay them all on Me. I am the Lord of the sabbath and I am the only one who can bear your burdens."

I ask you: Why do so many Christians refuse Jesus' offer? I believe that if Jeremiah were living today, he would be dumbfounded by all the Christians who continue to carry their own burdens of sin and battles with temptation. He probably would cry out: "Why are you bearing all these burdens on such a glorious sabbath? Didn't Jesus say to you as I said to Israel, 'Bring no burden into your house'? Why do you continue to carry such a load around? Don’t carry a burden on the sabbath, for it is a holy day unto the Lord!"

The point here is that sabbath means we are to cease from our own works—our striving in human strength—to merit God's salvation: "Neither carry forth a burden out of your houses on the sabbath day, neither do ye any work, but hallow ye the sabbath day, as I commanded your fathers" (Jeremiah 17:22).

Here is the secret to how we are to hallow the sabbath: We are to give all our burdens over to Jesus, and trust His Holy Spirit to give us strength for life. That's right! We honor the sabbath by laying down all self-effort in trying to make our way through sin and temptation.

We are to observe this command not just on Sunday but every day!

 

BRING NO BURDEN THROUGH THE GATES

by David Wilkerson | January 31, 2013

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"And it shall come to pass, if ye diligently hearken unto me, saith the Lord, to bring in no burden through the gates of this city on the sabbath day, but hallow the sabbath day, to do no work therein; then shall there enter into the gates of this city kings and princes sitting upon the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, they, and their princes, the men of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem: and this city shall remain forever" (Jeremiah 17:24-25). I believe this entire passage is prophetic of Christ and His church!

We know that Christ is the seed of David. And we know He sits as King on David's throne. But who are the kings and princes Jeremiah describes here, the inhabitants of Jerusalem riding on horses and in chariots?

We are those people and we have been given an incredible promise: By taking all our burdens to the burden bearer, we will live in peace forever, free of all bondage. Indeed, Jesus’ command to lay our burdens on Him is not an option. We are to do it as a matter of trust in Him.

"If ye will not hearken unto me to hallow the sabbath day, and not to bear a burden, even entering in at the gates of Jerusalem on the sabbath day; then will I kindle a fire in the gates thereof, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem, and it shall not be quenched" (verse 27).

The prophet is saying, "If you will not obey God's command to stop carrying your burdens, you'll end up being consumed by them." Tragically, this describes many believers today. Some can hardly sleep at night because they never stop thinking about their problems. They turn things over and over in their minds, wondering, "Where did I go wrong? How can I make things right?"

When they wake up, their minds go straight to their burdens—in the shower, while getting dressed, then at the breakfast table. By the time they walk out the front door, they're so burdened down they can't even smile.

Such Christians never know even an hour of rest in Jesus—rest that He freely gives!
 

SIGNATURE JUDGMENT

by David Wilkerson | January 30, 2013

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I believe God has provided us with a very specific promise for the hard times that are coming. It was given to Abraham and his seed as an oath.

“The oath which he sware to our father Abraham, that he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life” (Luke 1:73-75).

God has sworn to deliver us from every enemy, every fearful thing, so we can serve Him all the days of our lives without fear. Beloved, hunger is an enemy. Nakedness and poverty are enemies.

This oath from God must be the foundation of our trust in every crisis, calamity and fearful time. Memorize it! Let it be your holy argument at the throne of grace!

In Psalm 121 David has provided us with one of the most powerful Holy Ghost arguments ever given to man. The entire psalm tells us that all our help comes from the Lord alone. Psalm 124 is yet another holy argument, your specific promise to enable you to build special trust.

Right now America is under a "signature judgment" of God. Signature judgments bear a special mark of God in that they mirror the sins committed against Him. As these judgments take place before our very eyes, our only answer is to have Jesus as our shield. Run today to meet Him in the secret closet of prayer. Let your roots go down deep into Him and know that He will keep you in all circumstances.

Take hold of the following special promises in readiness for any and all calamities we may face:

"Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness. . . . He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord. His heart shall be established, he shall not be afraid" (Psalm 112:4, 7-8).

"And he shall judge the world in righteousness. . . . The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek thee" (Psalm 9:8-10).
 

OUR FATHER’S PROVISION

by David Wilkerson | January 29, 2013

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In my lifetime I have never talked to as many frightened people as I have in the past three months. America is downright scared!

Builders, Wall Street professionals, retailers, executives, lawyers, small business owners are all saying the same thing: “It's worse than most people know. And it's going to get worse!” We are racing toward very hard times.

No one likes to hear these kinds of reports; in fact, they can be very depressing. But the Puritans had a saying: "Our affections bribe our discernments." We all love America and our way of life, but unless we face the truth that hard times in this nation are upon us, we will never have the trust and confidence we are going to need.

Rest assured, none of this is taking Jesus by surprise. He saw it all coming. He who has numbered every hair on a person’s head and counted every fallen sparrow knew beforehand what His followers would face in the last days.

He knew where every dollar in the federal budget would go—and that your rent and taxes would escalate. He knew about every job layoff His children would face, about all your bills, even the number of children you have. There is not one thing our blessed Savior did not know when He told us very specifically in Matthew 6:25-33: "Don't give these things a second thought. Your heavenly Father knows all about your personal needs and He will take care of you!"

You wonder how a Christian in need can give no thought to his physical condition and I say that we cannot shrink from Jesus' promise to us. His very words are eternal: "I say unto you. . . ." In fact, you can take those very words to the throne room of God and say to Jesus, “These are the red letter words: ‘I say unto you, give no thought to your needs!’”

No matter how many banks close or how long the unemployment lines grow, our Lord will be feeding the fowl of the air, dressing the lilies of the fields, and supplying the daily needs of an ocean full of fish! “Your heavenly Father feedeth them” (Matthew 6:26). Not one creature will suffer without our Lord knowing it.

Hard times will never stop our Father’s provision: “Are ye not much better than they? . . . Shall He not much more clothe you?” (Matthew 6:26, 30).
 

FAVOR FOR A LIFETIME

by Gary Wilkerson | January 28, 2013

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Does God give favor, bless abundantly and lavish His grace on hungry, waiting hearts? The answer is yes—and we find this illustrated in the first chapter of Luke.

An angel appeared to Mary to announce the amazing events about to take place in her life: “The angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, ‘Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!’ But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be” (Luke 1:26-29, ESV, emphasis mine).

Bible scholars say Mary was very young, probably a teenager. Imagine how strange this encounter had to be for her. Here was a simple girl from an obscure village and family, and an angel stood before her: “The angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus’” (Luke 1:30-31, ESV, emphasis mine).

Mary seemed uncertain about what she was hearing, which is easy to understand. Living in a male-dominated culture, she had little influence and probably few expectations for her life. She would have all the privileges of being a good wife and mother but nothing beyond.

A lot of us are like Mary. We would like to see our circumstances transformed. We want to see our sick relative healed. We long for our troubled child to find purpose in Christ or our tense marriage to be restored to its former joy. Like Mary, we think, “Lord, my life doesn’t reflect Your favor at all. I need You to bring Your light into it.” How would we feel if we heard a voice from heaven telling us, “You have God’s favor”?

Be encouraged! God is actually looking to favor you—especially if you will cry out with Mary: “Lord, I want to see You glorified in my life!”
 

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