Sermons   David Wilkerson Today, Daily Devotions

RECEIVING THE BLESSING OF THE CROSS

by David Wilkerson | April 23, 2013

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God delights in using failures—men and women who think they can do almost nothing right. A woman wrote to me recently saying, "My marriage is failing. I seem to do everything wrong in raising my children. I feel like I'm not worth anything to anybody. I've not been a very good wife, mother or Christian. I've got to be the world's worst failure."

She is just the kind of person the Lord is looking for—people who know that if anything good happens through them, it must be because of God. All the hotshot Christians who go about bowling people over with their great abilities never impress God. God looked down on a scheming, base, weakling of a man called Jacob and said, "Fear not, thou worm Jacob . . . I will help thee . . . behold, I will make thee a new sharp threshing instrument having teeth . . . thou shalt rejoice in the Lord" (Isaiah 41:14–16).

Men often use God to achieve fortune, fame, honor and respect. Talent, personality and cleverness are used to advance God's kingdom, but He is not impressed. His strength is perfected in our weakness, our inability to obey His commandments in our own strength.

God calls us to a life of holiness and separation. He tells us we can be free from the bondage of sin. His Word comes to us with some impossible challenges: "Resist the devil. Walk in the Spirit. Come out from among them. Love your enemies. Leave behind all your fears. Put down your lustful desires. Let no sin have dominion over you."

When you think honestly about how little you can do on your own to fulfill these challenges, you realize how very weak you are. Your heart begins to cry, "Lord, how can we do such great, holy things?" That is when our Lord takes over! He comes with such a comforting message: "Lay down your weapons. Quit trying to be so self–sufficient and strong. I am your weapon and your strength. Let Me do what you never can do. I will give you My righteousness, My holiness, My rest, My strength. You cannot save yourself or please Me in any way other than by receiving the blessings of the cross by faith. Let Me be in charge of your growth in holiness."
 

THERE WAS NO SWORD IN THE HAND OF DAVID

by Gary Wilkerson | April 22, 2013

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“David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and struck the Philistine and killed him. There was no sword in the hand of David. . . . When the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they fled. And the men of Israel and Judah rose with a shout and pursued the Philistines as far as Gath and the gates of Ekron, so that the wounded Philistines fell on the way” (1 Samuel 17:50-52).

When David slew Goliath, the tide turned so dramatically that Israel put the stumbling Philistines to flight. Most important in this passage is one short phrase: “There was no sword in the hand of David.” God proved Himself faithful through David’s trust—and that filled every Israelite soldier with faith. All mockery and shame were gone, and the Israelites’ confidence returned—a confidence that their God would do battle for them.

The profound effect of seeing God’s power work on our behalf is that our confidence is renewed to enter the fray. The battle is Christ’s, who calls to us, “Come see My hand of victory. I have cut off the head of your accuser!” We are now empowered to follow, saying, “Lord, You haven’t abandoned me. You allowed all of this—every setback, even the taunts. And You did it in mercy so that I might believe You.”

Still, many of us wonder, “When will the Lord move on my behalf?” The answer to that is, Jesus has already moved! Your victory was secured 2,000 years ago on the cross. His triumph on the cross is the same victory that puts to flight every giant in our lives. Your marriage may be suffering, but Christ has defeated the powers of darkness arrayed against you and your spouse. Your finances may not be in order, but your Lord has prepared for you a future and a hope. Your children may not lead the godly life you envision for them, but Jesus has purchased their salvation. We may have battles on many fronts, but Christ has secured our victory.

Are you now able to see your foe defeated? Think of all the accusing voices you hear. You can answer them all: “This is the end for you, devil. Jesus’ victory has put you to flight. My victory is already sealed and won. Whenever He chooses, my Hero will demonstrate that victory, and the world will behold Him in all His glory. All will know that the battle is not with the sword and spear, but with the Lord.”

 

THIS IS THE VICTORY

by David Wilkerson | April 19, 2013

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“This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith” (1 John 5:4).

Have you failed? Is there a sin that easily besets you? Do you feel like a weakened coward, unable to get the victory over secret sin? But with that weakness in you, is there also a consuming hunger for God? Do you yearn for Him, reach to Him? That hunger and thirst is the key to your victory. That makes you different from all others who have been guilty of failing God. That sets you apart. You must keep that hunger alive. Keep thirsting after righteousness. Never justify your weakness, never give in to it, and never accept it as a part of your life.

Faith is your victory. Abraham had weaknesses; he lied, almost turning his wife into an adulteress. But Abraham "believed God, and it was counted unto him as righteousness." God refused to hold his sin against him—because he believed!

Sure, you have failed. Maybe yesterday—or even today! But do you believe Jesus has the power to ultimately free you from sin's power? Do you believe the cross of Jesus means sin's bondage is broken? Do you accept the fact that He has promised to deliver you from the snare of Satan?

Let me tell you exactly where I believe the victory lies. Let your heart accept all the promises of victory in Jesus. Then let your faith tell your heart, "I may not be what I want to be yet but God is at work in me, and He has the power to loose sin's hold on me. It may be little by little, but the day will come when faith will conquer. I will not always be a slave. I am not the devil's puppet and I will not be his victim. I am a weak child of God, wanting the strength of Jesus. I am going to come forth as pure gold tried in the fire. God is for me! I commit it all to Him who is able to keep me from falling and present me faultless before the throne of God—with exceeding great joy."
 

HIS PRICELESS TREASURES

by David Wilkerson | April 18, 2013

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God has determined to accomplish His goals here on earth through men with weaknesses.

Isaiah, the great prayer warrior, was a man just like the rest of us. David, the man after God's own heart, was a murdering adulterer who had no moral right to any of God's blessings. Peter denied the very Lord God of heaven—cursing the One who loved him most. Abraham, the father of nations, lived a lie—using his wife as a pawn to save his own skin. Jacob was a conniver. Adam and Eve turned a perfect marriage arrangement into a nightmare. Solomon, the wisest man on earth, did some of the most stupid things ever recorded in history. Joseph taunted his brothers in almost boyish glee—until the games almost backfired on him. Jonah despised the mercy of God toward a repentant people and wanted to see an entire city burn to justify his prophecies against it. Lot offered his two virgin daughters to a mob of sex–crazed Sodomites.

The list goes on and on—men who loved God, men who were greatly used by God, almost driven to the ground by their weaknesses. Yet, God was always there saying, "I called you; I will be with you. I will accomplish My will—regardless!"

One of the most encouraging Scriptures in the Bible is 2 Corinthians 4:7: "But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us." Then Paul goes on to describe those earthen vessels—dying men, troubled on every side, perplexed, persecuted, cast down. And even though never forsaken or in despair, those men used by God are constantly groaning under the burden of their bodies, waiting anxiously to be clothed with new ones.

God mocks man's power. He laughs at our egotistical efforts at being good. He never uses the high and mighty but, instead, uses the weak things of this world to confound the wise.

"For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: but God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not . . . that no flesh should glory in his presence" (1 Corinthians 1:26–29).

God puts His priceless treasures in earthen vessels because He delights in doing the impossible with nothing.

IN THE MIDST OF THE STORM

by David Wilkerson | April 17, 2013

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“But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid” (Matthew 14:24-27).

The disciples were so swamped, so suddenly overwhelmed, the very thought that Jesus was nearby watching over them was absurd. One probably said, "This is the work of Satan. The devil is out to kill us because of all those miracles we've had a part in." Another said, "Where did we go wrong? Which one of us has sin in his life? God is mad at somebody on this boat!" Another could have asked, "Why us? We're doing what He said to do. We're obedient. Why this storm all of a sudden?”

And in the darkest hour, "Jesus went unto them." How difficult it must have been for Jesus to wait on the edge of the storm, loving them so much, feeling every pain they felt, wanting so much to keep them from getting hurt, yearning after them as a father for his children in trouble. Yet, He knew they could never fully know or trust Him until the full fury of the storm was upon them. He would reveal Himself only when they had reached the limit of their faith. The boat would not have gone down, but their fear would have drowned them more quickly than the waves beating on the ship. The fear of drowning was from despair—not water!

"And when the disciples saw Him . . . they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit [ghost]" (Matthew 14:26).

They did not recognize Jesus in that storm. They saw a ghost—an apparition. The thought of Jesus being so near, so much a part of what they were going through, did not even enter their minds.

The danger we all face is not being able to see Jesus in our troubles. Instead, we see ghosts. In that very peak moment of fear, when the night is the blackest, the storm is the angriest, the winds are the loudest, and the hopelessness so overwhelming, Jesus always draws near to us to reveal Himself as the Lord of the flood—the Savior in storms.

"The Lord sitteth upon the flood; yea, the Lord sitteth King for ever" (Psalm 29:10).

WE CAN HEAR HIS VOICE TODAY

by David Wilkerson | April 16, 2013

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Millions have been converted because one man heard His voice. Saul "fell to the earth, and heard a voice" (Acts 9:4). And when he became Paul, he continued to hear the voice of the Lord. He knew his Shepherd's voice.

Peter allowed the Savior's voice to come to him. "Peter went up upon the housetop to pray . . . and there came a voice to him (Acts 10:9, 13). The entire Gentile race was welcomed into the kingdom, along with the house of Cornelius, because a man obeyed His voice. We, too, must allow His voice to come to us. "Today if ye will hear His voice . . ." (Psalm 95:7). What God could do with Christians who learn to hear from heaven!

Instead of waiting for God’s voice to come to us, we run to counselors and psychologists, read books and listen to tapes, hoping to hear from Him. We want a leader to follow, a plan for the future, a clear word of direction. But few know how to go to the Lord and hear His voice.

God wants to shake the earth once more. The whole universe is ready for Holy Ghost convulsions! "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: 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 12:25-26).

He has promised, "Once again My voice will be heard. Those who hear will shake the earth. Heaven and earth will be moved. By the hearing of My voice, whatsoever is loosed on earth shall be loosed in heaven."

To the last church, the Laodicean church, the Lord cries, "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).

That is the last call of Christ to the church. "Open up. Let Me into your secret closet. Talk with Me and let Me talk with you. Let's commune. That's how I will keep you from the hour of temptation that is coming on all the world."
 

“CHRISTUS VICTOR”

by Gary Wilkerson | April 15, 2013

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“Christus Victor” is the Latin phrase the early church fathers used to describe Jesus and His atonement. Roughly translated, it means, “Our victory is not in ourselves, but in Christ.” If we defeat an enemy when the odds are fifty-fifty, we are tempted to think, “I won the battle.” But when our enemy is nine feet tall; when we have rebuked him but he comes back stronger; when we have exhausted all our resources; when we have thrown up our hands and said, “I can’t do this,” then God says, “I have you right where I want you.”

Usually Old Testament stories are taught to children not as spiritual truths but as moral instruction. For example, the lesson of Jonah is usually presented as, “Don’t disobey God or you’ll get into deep trouble.”

Most of us were taught the story of David and Goliath in Sunday school and the lesson is, “Be brave and courageous.” The trouble with this interpretation of David’s story is that we are teaching our children to do something they are unable to do. There was not a single Israelite soldier who could have survived a hand-to-hand fight with Goliath. That battle was beyond even the bravest man.

Likewise, when we are in a spiritual battle, bravery and boldness are not sufficient. David knew he was no match for Goliath. In fact, he wasn’t even a soldier yet; he was too young. The only thing David was armed with when he showed up at the battlefront was bread and cheese for his brothers. Yet the difference with David was that he knew the battle was not his but God’s. When he heard Goliath’s taunts, he testified:

“This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down and cut off your head . . . that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that all this assembly may know that the Lord saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hand” (1 Samuel 17:46-47).

Spiritual victory is never our own—it comes from our Deliverer. In this story David is a picture of our Deliverer, Christ. He cuts through all our anguish and despair with an authority no demon can stand up to. Goliath had no chance that day, for one reason: The battle was the Lord’s.
 

BEARING FRUIT

by David Wilkerson | April 12, 2013

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There is a portion of Scripture that convicts me deeply. Jesus said, "I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away; and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. . . If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them and cast them into the fire, and they are burned" (John 15:2, 6).

I have read and re-read these powerful words of Christ, and I cannot escape their convicting power. The Holy Spirit has impressed upon me the importance of understanding these words, "My Father is the husbandman . . . every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away."

This matter of Christians bearing fruit is not optional with God. He watches over His vine and all the engrafted branches with great jealousy and concern, patiently waiting for the branches to bring forth fruit. He stands beside it with pruning knife in hand, lovingly watching for the slightest evidence of corruption, blight or disease which could hinder growth. God expects fruit from every branch. Without fruit, it is impossible to honor and glorify Him or be a true disciple of Christ. Jesus said: "Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples" (John 15:8).

Bearing fruit has everything to do with pleasing God—fulfilling our mission in Christ— and with having our prayers and petitions answered. Jesus said, "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain; that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you" (verse 16).

Actually, bearing fruit concerns what we are becoming, rather than simply what we are doing. I am bearing fruit when there is nothing hindering the flow of the life of Christ into me. That is what Jesus meant when He said, "Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you" (John 15:3). He is saying, "Because you believed My word—trembling over it, letting it reveal every hidden secret, bringing to light every dark thing, allowing the Word of God to purge you—the hindrances are all gone!”
 

THE LORDSHIP OF CHRIST

by David Wilkerson | April 11, 2013

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Those who submit to Christ's lordship have an increase of strength and knowledge of Him. They literally gain a new mental and physical strength. They do not faint along the way because Jesus pours His own strength into them as they go.

"For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness" (Colossians 1:9-11).

God will keep those who submit to His lordship blameless to the day of Christ's coming. If we submit to Jesus—doing as He commands, not leaning on our own understanding—we will never lack anything. He will supply everything we need to please Him. The Lord Himself will hold and keep us blameless to the very end!

"That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge; even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you: so that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ: who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord" (1Corinthians 1:5-9).

We are to entrust our lives into Jesus' care. It then becomes His responsibility to hold and keep us: "The Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil" (2 Thessalonians 3:3). He says, "If you keep Me enthroned on your heart, I'll keep you blameless until My coming. I'll keep you from falling!" "Commit the keeping of [your] souls to him in well-doing, as unto a faithful Creator" (1 Peter 4:19).
 

JESUS IS KING OF MY LIFE

by David Wilkerson | April 10, 2013

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Perhaps you are saying, "I want Jesus to be king of my life. I want to do everything He commands me!" Let me show you two of the wonderful blessings that come to all who enthrone Jesus as king of their lives.

First, Scripture says if you will submit yourself to Jesus, waiting to receive His counsel and direction, you will partake of His holiness. "We have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness" (Hebrews 12:9-10).

Paul commands us to come to Jesus, asking Him to give us dominion over all our sins and fears: "Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace" (Romans 6:13-14).

God is saying, "If you want to know abundant life—true, full life—then submit yourself to Me and I will give you life without fear, guilt or condemnation!"
Second, those who submit to Christ's lordship will walk in peace—without fear or anxiety. "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. . . . Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us, to give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace" (Luke 1:74-75, 78-79).

What a wonderful promise! If we will yield our lives to Him, He will shine His light into our darkness and guide us into peace and rest. You can tell when a person has enthroned Christ in his heart. Such a life produces a peace that passes all understanding and you can see that peace in the person's face and demeanor.
 

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