Sermons   David Wilkerson Today, Daily Devotions

MARY MAGDALENE

by David Wilkerson | February 21, 2012

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Mary Magdalene epitomizes the bride whose heart is wholly given to Christ. This woman's life was marked by her love and affection for Jesus.

As far as the world was concerned, Mary Magdalene was not a great theologian. When the disciples got together to discuss the deeper things of the cross, she was probably silent, since women of that day rarely spoke openly of spiritual matters in the presence of men. Yet she had something they did not have—she had a revelation!

"The first day of the week Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb" (John 20:1). Mary came to the tomb while the others still slept. When she found the stone rolled away and Jesus' body missing, she ran to find Peter and John.

When the disciples arrived at the tomb, they went in and saw the linen clothes neatly folded—but no body. They understood clearly that Jesus was not there. Then, the Bible says, the two disciples "...saw and believed" (verse 8). They remembered Jesus' words to them about His resurrection on the third day. Two verses later we read, "Then the disciples went away again to their own home" (verse 10). They were satisfied with the knowledge that Jesus was no longer there, so they went back to business as usual.

Isn't that just like the church today? Many Christians say, "I've seen the power of the gospel so, of course, I believe." They identify their present relationship with Jesus by mere head knowledge. Not so with Mary! Knowledge was not enough for her. She wanted Jesus Himself and she was not going to move: "But Mary stood outside by the tomb weeping" (verse 11).

Mary’s spirit was crying, "This world is intolerable without Him. I can't go home." She simply loved the Lord and she was determined to stand gazing into that tomb until her breaking heart found answers. Sure enough, Mary's heart of devotion brought her a visitation of the divine.

"And as she wept she stooped down and looked into the tomb. And she saw two angels in white sitting . . . where the body of Jesus had lain" (verses 11-12).

While the other disciples were back home, Mary was seeing things nobody else could see—because her heart was given to Jesus.
 

LOOK FOR HIS COMING

by David Wilkerson | February 20, 2012

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Jesus says in Matthew 24:44, “Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”

A characteristic of the bride of Christ is an expectancy of His soon return. Jesus’ bride is to live in continual, joyful expectation of His imminent return—because He may come at any moment.

Jesus warned, however, that in the last days evil ministers will infiltrate the church in an effort to put the bride to sleep. They will attempt to take away her heart of love for the Bridegroom by claiming, “My master is delaying his coming” (verse 48). This gospel is preached by those who do not want to pay the price of obeying Christ’s commands. They really do not want Jesus to come back because they have sinful habits and lead double lives; in fact, they have concocted a doctrine to justify their continuing in sin. What is the result of this false teaching? First, it ends in worldliness because those who believe it want to enjoy worldly success and prosperity.

Beloved, do not give in to this doctrine of delay! If you are a part of Jesus’ bride, you will be so lovesick for your Lord you will not be able to buy into it. Instead, you will cry out, “My Lord said I am to be ready at any moment for His return. I know He is near—I can sense it. My heart cries out within me, ‘Behold, the Bridegroom is coming!’”

The early church was wide awake, heeding Jesus’ words. Their lamps were trimmed and burning, and they had a good supply of oil. Peter summed up the spirit of the early church this way: “Looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God . . . nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth” (2 Peter 3:12-13). Likewise, Paul said: “[We are] eagerly waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 1:7).
 

DIRTY FEET!

by David Wilkerson | February 17, 2012

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“If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet” (John 13:14).

The disciples were twelve men beloved of God—precious in His eyes, full of love for His Son, pure of heart, in full communion with Jesus. Yet they had dirt on their feet!

Jesus, in essence, was saying to these men, “Your hearts and hands are clean, but your feet are not. They have become dirty in your daily walk with Me. You do not need your whole body to be washed—only your feet.” The dirt Jesus mentions here has nothing to do with natural dirt. It is about sin—our faults and failures, our giving in to temptations.

No matter how dusty and dirty the roads were in ancient Jerusalem, no age has ever been as filthy as ours. I wonder how many of you reading this message right now have some dirt clinging to you. Perhaps this past week you fell into a temptation or failed God in some way. It is not that you have turned your back on the Lord. On the contrary, you love the Savior more passionately than ever, but you fell and now you are grieving—because your feet are dirty.

Scripture tells us: “Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted” (Galatians 6:1). The Greek word for trespass here means “a fall, a sin.” We are to restore every Christian who falls into sin if there is a repentant heart.

Foot washing, in its deepest meaning, has to do with our attitude about the dirt we see on our brother or sister. So I ask you: What do you do when you are face to face with someone who has fallen into a sin or transgression?

We are to take up the towel of God’s mercy and go to that hurting one. In the special love of Jesus we are not to judge him, expose him, lecture or find fault. Instead we are to commit to being his friend. We are to help him come to salvation by sharing the correcting, healing, washing, comforting Word of God.

TAKING UP THE TOWEL

by David Wilkerson | February 16, 2012

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In a famous passage in John 13, Jesus took a towel and a basin and washed the feet of His disciples. He told them “If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you” (John 13:14-15).

Some devout Christians have taken this verse literally. They have made it their custom to have “foot washing” services. This is commendable, yet if it remains only a ritual, the true meaning of foot washing has been lost.

After Jesus washed the disciples’ feet, He put His garment back on, sat down and asked them, “Do you know what I have just done to you?” In other words, “Do you understand the spiritual significance of foot washing?”

I believe the Lord’s question is for us today as well. Do we understand the depths of what He did in washing the disciples’ feet? Indeed, something very powerful and profound was taking place; Christ was teaching His church one of its most important lessons.

Jesus was not instituting an ordinance to be carried on throughout the church ages, such as communion or water baptism. If so, He would have instituted it at the beginning of the disciples’ training. He would have submitted to a foot washing Himself, as He had done with water baptism. I believe Jesus was giving us an example of the kind of physical manifestation He desires most, that of “taking up the towel.”

I believe that if we understand what Jesus did in washing His disciples’ feet, we will understand the concepts of service and submission. You see, serving one another in love and submitting to one another in godly fear mean much more than taking orders or being accountable to a higher authority. Rather, these glorious truths are unlocked only in the context of “taking up the towel.”
 

PRECIOUS JEWELS

by David Wilkerson | February 15, 2012

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Listen to this prophesy from Isaiah:

“O you afflicted one,
Tossed with tempest, and not comforted,
Behold, I will lay your stones with colorful gems,
And lay your foundations with sapphires.
I will make your pinnacles of rubies,
Your gates of crystal,
And all your walls of precious stones.
All your children shall be taught by the Lord,
And great shall be the peace of your children.
In righteousness you shall be established;
You shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear;
And from terror, for it shall not come near you”
(Isaiah 54:11-14).

What an amazing prophecy! The “colorful gems” mentioned in verse 11 are jewels. If you know much about jewels, you know that a diamond was once a piece of coal that has been worked on for years by the elements. God’s Word is telling us: “Your afflictions are meant to change you into something beautiful—something precious to Me!”

The “pinnacles [windows] of rubies [agates]” mentioned here are a type of quartz, made transparent by fire. The “windows” aspect has to do with eyes or vision. God is saying that trusting Him through your afflictions will give you clear vision and discernment. It will allow you to see into the unseen with crystal clarity.

Many scholars believe the phrase “gates of crystal” reads more accurately as “gates of pearl.” Pearls are formed from a grain of sand in the belly of an oyster. The grain is injected with fluid, then grated and irritated until it becomes a pearl.

Think of all the grating, irritating friction in your life. What is God doing? He is making a pearl! Every pearl is a memento of suffering, pain, friction.

I believe Isaiah is talking about the beauty of Jesus Christ in this passage. In other words, affliction, when allowed to accomplish its work, brings about a people who shine forth the beauty of Christ’s character. It makes us more and more like Jesus.
 

YOUR DELIVERANCE IS AT HAND

by David Wilkerson | February 14, 2012

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God had given Moses and Israel ironclad promises of deliverance, so Moses went to the people with the good news. He performed signs for them and Scripture says they believed: “Then Moses and Aaron went and gathered together all the elders of the children of Israel. And Aaron spoke all the words which the Lord had spoken to Moses. Then he did signs in the sight of the people. So the people believed; and when they heard that the Lord had visited the children of Israel and that He had looked on their affliction, then they bowed their heads and worshiped” (Exodus 4:29-31).

It was a time of hope and rejoicing. Everyone cried, “Hallelujah! We are finally free! God has heard our cry and our bondage is over. Praise to Him!”

Yet, what happened next? Things only got worse. Israel’s bondage became absolutely unbearable. They were given no straw for making bricks and they endured heavy beatings from their taskmasters. Pharaoh raged at Israel’s leaders, “Get out of my sight. Back to work!”

Moses could not believe this terrible turn of events. He cried out, “God, why are You treating Your people this way? You haven’t delivered us at all; in fact, things are worse than ever. You haven’t kept Your Word and nothing You promised is happening.”

You must understand, the devil knew Israel’s deliverance was right at the door, so do you think he was going to sit by and not make one last attempt to wear out God’s people? The worsening of Israel’s condition wasn’t God’s doing. Rather, it was Satan rushing about madly—hurrying his work before the hour of deliverance came. Likewise, whenever the devil sees you driven to your knees, he knows your deliverance is at hand and he is not going to sit by in those final moments before victory comes! Instead, he will intensify your temptations. He will enflame people against you and send lying spirits to falsely accuse you. He will lie to you that God has taken His Holy Spirit from you, that you are paying for past sins. He will try to flood you with all kinds of guilt and condemnation.

If you are praying, but things are only getting worse, start rejoicing because your deliverance is at hand!
 

GOD HEARS OUR CRY

by David Wilkerson | February 13, 2012

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Afflictions teach us to bend our knees, to cry out to the Lord in all our problems and troubles.

"I know, O Lord, that Your judgments are right, and that in faithfulness You have afflicted me" (Psalm 119:75). David is saying, "Lord, I know why You afflicted me. You saw that when all was going well, I went astray, becoming careless, so you allowed trouble to come upon me. You knew it would drive me to my knees and bring me back to brokenness. My affliction was evidence of Your faithfulness to me!"

I know many people who have had to battle awful bondages in their lives—drugs, alcohol, cigarettes—and temptation rages every day. Yet I say to all such people: God cares. He knows the misery you go through and He alone has the power to deliver you.

The Lord does not constantly hover over you, saying, "You're miserable because of what you did. You failed Me and now you're paying the price." No! You do not serve such a God, you serve a loving Father who feels your grief the moment you first feel it. No matter how you got into your affliction, God hurts with you and He wants to deliver you.

You may think God is not helping you at all, but the very moment He heard your cry, He went into action. Let me prove it to you:

"So God heard their groaning, and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God acknowledged them" (Exodus 2:24-25). The word acknowledged here means, "He began to act." God heard their cry and began taking action on their behalf.

"The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles." (Psalm 34:17). Whenever you fall on your knees, God immediately goes to work on your behalf.

Expect Church Leadership Conference, Bakersfield, CA

by David Wilkerson | February 12, 2012

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Expect Church Leadership Conference, Bakersfield, CA

by David Wilkerson | February 11, 2012

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