Sermons   David Wilkerson Today, Daily Devotions


by David Wilkerson | July 9, 2013

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 "[The father] said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine. It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found" (Luke 15:31-32).

The younger son, the prodigal, was mired in a muck of loneliness brought on by sin. He was dead to his own will and in his wretchedness, he experienced something beyond his pain—he experienced his lostness!

As he thought of his father, he wanted to go back to him—to surrender himself completely. He knew he could never repay his father or please him by any good works. He also realized that he was wholly dependent on his father's grace and love for any kind of restoration to take place.

But the older son never had a sense of his lostness, of how hopeless it was to try to bridge the gulf between himself and his father, so he never faced his need to die to self.

Beloved, that chasm can never be bridged by works, promises or self-effort. Our acceptance in the love of the Father comes only through the blood of Jesus Christ. There is no other plea. The cross alone bridges the gulf.

You may protest everything I have written here. You may say, "Brother Wilkerson, you're telling sinners that if they'll just repent, everything will suddenly be okay—and God will wipe out their past and immediately bring them into His favor and blessing."

Yes, that is exactly what I am saying because that is just what Jesus is saying in this parable! Whenever a sinner turns to the Lord in utter repentance, brokenness and humility, he is immediately brought into the loving arms of his Shepherd.

Grace is freely bestowed on those who have died to feelings of self-worth and have acknowledged just how lost they are!


by Gary Wilkerson | July 8, 2013

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Paul and “some other prisoners” were being transported to Rome, but they encountered many difficulties in their travels. Because sailing was so dangerous, Paul wanted to remain in a place called Fair Havens but he was overruled. “And because the harbor was not suitable to spend the winter in, the majority decided to put out to sea from there, on the chance that somehow they could reach Phoenix . . . and spend the winter there” (Acts 27:12, ESV).

When we are going through a storm, we can lose sight of the fact that the ship we are on is a battleship. We are in a war with Satan, so we face a constant battle with the powers of darkness. That’s a good reason why we can’t afford to “spend the winter in Phoenix.”

We are doing war against an enemy who brings depression, attacks marriages, and is enslaving a new generation of teenagers to heroin, a growing problem in many cities. We have gone to war believing Christ’s glorious gospel will set captives free—that He is faithful to break the chains of those in bondage, liberate families mired in troubles, and reach the neediest with His generous love. To be in this battle, it is imperative that we keep our focus on the mission He has given us and hear His voice directing us. Our mission is always secondary; what is primary is “knowing in whom we have believed” (see 2 Timothy 1:12).

Does this speak to you? Has your ship taken precedence over Jesus in your heart? Have you become caught up in fleshly concerns, whether it’s making a good living or having a successful ministry? Neither is God’s high calling for you. Don’t misunderstand: He doesn’t want you to stop working hard or serving with devotion. Yet, could He be speaking to you right now about what is most important in your heart?

If you have been spending your winters in Phoenix, He is calling you back to your journey to Rome. Set aside everything that keeps you from being “on a mission for Jesus.”


by David Wilkerson | July 5, 2013

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Both the prodigal son and his brother were equally sinful. The younger son had not understood the purpose of grace, which is to grow into the maturity of holiness. But the older son had never known his father's heart. He had always sought to earn his father's love by obeying and doing. He could not accept that his dad had always loved him unconditionally, totally apart from his good works. The truth was, his father loved him simply because he was born of him.

"Therefore came his father out, and entreated him. And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends. But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf" (Luke 15:28-30).

The older son was saying to his father, "All these years I've worked so hard to please you, yet you've never shown me this kind of love. At least I have never felt it." This sums up the root problem of the protesting son. He thought he had earned, through good works, what his younger brother had received through grace.

Every legalist has a difficult time setting aside the works of his flesh. Why? Because our flesh wants to perform for God! We want to be able to say, "I've earned my peace in the Lord. I've fasted, prayed, done everything to get the victory. I've worked hard and now I've finally made it.”

If we are honest, we will see that our flesh always protests against dependence on the Lord. We don't want to rely on His mercy and grace or acknowledge that only He can give us the power, wisdom and authority to live as overcomers.

We must be careful not to make the protest of the older brother. It is a protest of human uprightness—and it is a stench in God's nostrils!


by David Wilkerson | July 4, 2013

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 "Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard music and dancing. And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant. And he said unto him, Thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe and sound. And he was angry, and would not go in" (Luke 15:25-28).

The older brother of the prodigal grew angrier by the moment. After all, he had served his father diligently for years, never transgressing any commandment. He was upright according to the law, and he had kept himself scrupulously clean.

Yet, peering through that window, this older son saw the greatest vision of grace ever given to humankind: The father was embracing a repentant, lost son. He didn't ask any questions or lecture; instead, he clothed him in a new garment and restored him to his former position of full favor and blessing. And then he brought him into the feast!

The vision this older son saw was that a person can repent, no matter how low he sinks, if he simply gives up running his own life and comes back to the father. Yet the older brother protested it all and refused to go in to the feast. Why? He wanted no part in what he saw as an easy grace!

It is typical of the legalistic mindset to protest a generous outpouring of grace on a returning backslider. Many Christians, sitting next to some drug addict or alcoholic in church, think, "Thank God that I never sinned that way. He could fall again tomorrow."

Scripture says this kind of pride is more deadly than any addiction: "Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall" (1 Corinthians 10:12).

The truth is, when the prodigal saw his older brother frowning at him through the window, he probably thought, "Oh, my brother, if you only knew how I admire you! You never went out and sinned as I did. You have the better testimony. And all my life I'll have to live with the memory of bringing shame on our family's good name. I know I don't deserve any of this. In fact, you should be here in my place. How I wish I could have fellowship with you!"

That is the cry of a truly repentant and humbled heart!


by David Wilkerson | July 3, 2013

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Luke writes about the prodigal son, "When he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want. And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him" (Luke 15:14-16).

I have seen this kind of starvation among Christians. They once had a marvelous testimony of grace and mercy but because of sin, they became spiritual skeletons with no life whatsoever.

Luke writes: "When he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, and am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants" (verses 17-19).

The young prodigal had to admit, "I can't handle these blessings after all. I've sinned against God and my family and squandered everything that's been given to me!"

Repentance is more than just turning around and going back to God. It is a full surrender of self-government, a return to God with this confession: "Lord, I've made a mess of my life and now I come humbly to You, asking You to take over my life!" That's when God begins to do a very special work of restoration.

When the son returned, he was fully restored in his father's house—not as a servant, but as a son! He was willing to submit to his father and be under his governance. Moreover, he wanted intimacy with his father. He had lost all interest in the things of the world and was ready to do as his father commanded (see verses 20-23).

What a wonderful scene of total restoration!



by David Wilkerson | July 2, 2013

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At Times Square Church, we preach of God's mercy, compassion, and lovingkindness toward us, His justification and sanctification of us, and His acceptance of us in His son. All these doctrines center on God's grace toward us through Jesus Christ. But what happens to us when we try to heap up this rich inheritance?

Consider what happened to the prodigal son in Luke 15:11-32. Once he loaded himself down with his father's wealth, it began burning a hole in his pocket and he decided to turn to the world to satisfy the lust in his heart. He said to himself, "My blessing is going to last a long time!"

I am convinced many Christians cannot handle the blessings of grace. They glory in the message of God's unearned pardon, filling their minds with every Bible passage describing His mercy and compassion. They love to hear the story of the shepherd who goes after the lost sheep, because it brings them great comfort. Yet, once they stockpile all the rich, glorious truth about God's grace toward them, it begins to burn a hole in their purse of flesh. And it becomes to them a license to sin!

The prodigal misused his wealth in this way. He spent his father's riches partying, gambling, getting drunk, visiting prostitutes. Night after night he squandered his blessings, falling deeper and deeper into sin. Yet each morning he got up, shook off all conviction, went back to his stash and told himself, "There's still plenty here for me. I can handle it."

In the same way, today many Christians set off for some place of forbidden pleasure, looking to spend their riches on riotous living. Their lust carries them to the bed of a fornicator, to a fix of cocaine, to homosexuality, to pornography, to alcohol or drugs. Yet they continually comfort themselves in their sin, saying, "God's grace is more than sufficient for me. He will love me no matter what I do in my flesh. His mercies endure forever!"

No! God's grace was never intended to be perverted and squandered. In fact, it is meant to have just the opposite effect. Paul writes: "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). God's grace teaches us godliness, righteousness, and a holy fear of the Lord!


by Gary Wilkerson | July 1, 2013

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Paul did not blink when disaster came. Consider the scene: “Since they had been without food for a long time, Paul stood up among them and said, ‘Men, you should have listened to me and not have set sail from Crete and incurred this injury and loss. Yet now I urge you to take heart, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship. For this very night there stood before me an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I worship, and he said, “Do not be afraid, Paul; you must stand before Caesar. And behold, God has granted you all those who sail with you.” So take heart, men, for I have faith in God that it will be exactly as I have been told. But we must run aground on some island’” (Acts 27:21-26, ESV).

I don’t know about you, but I would have a hard time hearing this word. “My ship is about to crash? Whoa, Lord, what’s happening here?”

What would you do if you were told your ship was going to sink? How would you react if your calling was threatened by circumstances beyond your control? Many of us would have an identity crisis because our identity is wrapped up in our calling—whether that calling is our family or work or even ministry. Our ship can be our home, our new car, our kids’ success at sports, or a hundred or more other things. We should thank God for the ships in our life, but none of them has equal value to Christ and the people He has called us to serve. Our identity cannot be in anything other than Christ.

Paul knew this, and even as his ship splintered into pieces, He never took his eyes off his calling, which was Christ. Paul was calm throughout the storm because he was burdened for all on board, and he had God’s assurance that each would be spared. Someone’s precious ship was about to go down, but Paul encouraged them all, “We are to press on.”

If God has called you to something, it doesn’t matter what storms may arise. He says, “It is not over. When everything seems out of control, I am in control. Do not give up!”


by David Wilkerson | June 28, 2013

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Zechariah 12:10 refers to the promised latter rain that will precede the final harvest. The Lord is waiting patiently until His last rain is outpoured because it will produce the final harvest!

In the early part of this century, a Pentecostal movement began in Canada called the "Latter Rain Movement." It lasted perhaps forty or fifty years. Today, only a few "Latter Rain" churches remain. Yet those who were involved in that movement were convinced they were experiencing the Spirit's great, final outpouring. Many said, "This is it!" But the movement dissipated. And other such movements have come and gone also. Why? Because they were not focused on the harvest!

Many so-called Holy Ghost movements vanished quickly because they were man-centered—focusing on gifts, blessings, self-improvement, happiness. Dancing, laughing, roaring, or any other manifestation attributed to the Holy Ghost is all flesh unless it produces a broken heart for the lost and unsaved. If it is truly of the Spirit, it will result in a hunger and inclination to reach a lost and dying world!

Jesus tied the harvest to lost souls when He said, "Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest" (Matthew 9:38).

Any true outpouring of the Holy Spirit will focus on this prayer of Jesus. And the few revivals documented as genuine all were blessed with great harvests of souls. There is no true revival without a great ingathering of lost souls!

Consider what happened as a result of Joel 2:28. At Pentecost, 3,000 people were saved in one day and souls were added daily afterward. These believers then were thrust out into all the world to witness Christ to the lost.

"Until the spirit be poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness be a fruitful field, and the fruitful field be counted for a forest" (Isaiah 32:15). Isaiah is saying here, "When the Holy Ghost comes, He produces fruit for the harvest. Lost souls are won in abundance!"



by David Wilkerson | June 27, 2013

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"And it shall come to pass, if ye shall hearken diligently unto my commandments which I command you this day, to love the Lord your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul, that I will give you the rain of your land in his due season, the first rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather in thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil" (Deuteronomy 11:13-14).

The planting and harvest seasons in Israel were just the opposite of ours. The first rains, which softened the ground, fell from October to the end of December, just before planting season. The last rains fell from March through April, just prior to harvest, and those rains ripened the harvest.

It is important to note that these two outpourings always had to do with the harvest: "That thou mayest gather in . . ." (verse 14). And, beloved, if you want to judge any move of the Holy Spirit to discern if it is of God or of flesh, then use this criterion: The Spirit's work is always focused on the harvest of souls!

No matter what kind of manifestations you see in a so-called revival, it is not a true move of God unless it is focused on the harvest. The Holy Ghost rains always fall to produce an ingathering of souls.

God poured out His Spirit in the former rain at Pentecost to prepare and soften the ground for the gospel seed to be sown. Spirit-filled sowers were sent out from the Upper Room that day into all the world—to Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the uttermost parts of the earth to make disciples of Jesus Christ.

The church has now seen almost 2,000 years of sowing and growing—and it is harvest time! All who have died in Christ up to now represent the firstfruits, or the early harvest. But Zechariah prophesies a final harvest and that is the reason Jesus has not yet come (see Zechariah 12:10). The Lord has been waiting patiently for His final, mighty harvest of the earth!

"Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain" (James 5:7).


by David Wilkerson | June 26, 2013

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"The Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever" (2 Timothy 4:18).

The word preserve here means "to guard, protect, keep, make safe, hedge about." God is saying, "I'm going to guard you, protect you, keep you, make you safe, hedge you about so the devil cannot touch you. I Myself will deliver you into My heavenly kingdom."

Do you see what a liar the devil is? He says he is going to get you but all the while, God has promised to keep you!

Not long ago, I had an incredible experience. I had risen early to pray and was sitting in my living room with my Bible. Suddenly Satan began to intrude into my mind. He screamed vile, threatening curses at me: "You are going to be destroyed! You've spent a lifetime serving God for nothing and now I'm going to get you and cast you down in your final years."

I saw before me all the evangelists Satan had brought down in recent years. The devil shouted, "I got all of them and they loved Jesus just as you do. Why do you think you're so special? You're no good, nothing but a liar and a cheat, and I'm going to shut you and your ministry down for good!"

It was the most devastating attack I have ever felt in my life. I was overwhelmed—the attack literally took my breath away! But then the Spirit of the Lord came upon me and I stood up in a holy anger, bound Satan and cast him out of my presence.

"Devil, you're a liar and the father of all lies!" I rebuked him with God's Word—and God's Word delivered me from all fear!

Beloved, God wants to do the same for you. Will you let Him? Listen again to God's Word to you: "He preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked" (Psalm 97:10). The Lord will guard you, protect you, keep you, put a hedge all about you—until the day Jesus returns!

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