Sermons   David Wilkerson Today, Daily Devotions

FILLED WITH THE FULLNESS OF GOD

by David Wilkerson | September 1, 2015

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"I am sure that, when I come to you, I shall come in the fullness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ" (Romans 15:29). Paul wrote these words to the Christians in Rome. He was telling them, "I have no doubt that when I meet you, it will be in the fullest measure of Christ's blessing."

The apostle's words here imply something that every believer must know. That is, there are various degrees, or measures, of Christ's blessing. Some believers obtain a full measure of this blessing, which is the goal. We're all meant to come into a full measure of the Lord's blessing. Yet, other Christians enter into only a small measure of Christ's blessing.

In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul urges everyone to pursue the fullest measure of this blessing: "Unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. . . . Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. . . . To know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God" (Ephesians 4:7, 13, 3:19).

Note the word "fullness" in these passages. The Greek word Paul uses here means "to complete the task of filling up to the full." That is the task God has given us: to pursue the fullness of Christ's blessing in our lives.

Paul elaborates on this, writing, "There is . . . one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all" (Ephesians 4:4-6). In short, God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit abides in all His children. Jesus promised, "We will come and make our abode in you" (see John 14:23). Paul is making clear that we all have the same access to the Lord. Therefore, we all have an equal opportunity to obtain His ever-increasing blessing. Indeed, our lives should continually increase in what Paul calls "the blessing of Christ."

Consider the incredible measure of Christ's blessing in Paul's life. This man received revelations from Jesus personally. He writes that Christ revealed Himself in him. Of course, Paul knew he hadn't attained perfection. But he also knew, without a doubt, that there was nothing in his life hindering the flow of Christ's blessing.
 

SPECTATORS

by Gary Wilkerson | August 31, 2015

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As the family of God, we gather in churches to worship, sing, listen and give. But if we’re not careful, we can end up being spectators when it comes to living as Jesus would have us live. Often when we see people in sin, rather than helping them out of it, we harbor a secret hope they’ll be caught. And when they are, we feel justified, thinking, “I knew it. That person’s life always seemed a little off.”

Why do we do this? It could be because we feel guilty about our own sin. We all have something in our lives that others could throw a stone at. The truth is, those Pharisees who brought the woman caught in adultery to Jesus (see John 8:3-11) could have dragged anyone out of the crowd and stoned her. Nowadays, accusing people do that very thing through social media.

Jesus’ way is different. “Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, ‘Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?’ ‘No, Lord,’ she said. And Jesus said, ‘Neither do I. Go and sin no more’” (John 8:10-11, NLT).

As a preacher of the gospel, I love those three words: “Neither do I.” Jesus didn’t condemn her. And that was a radical thing for Him to do. It still is today, when He tells each of us who repent, “Neither do I condemn you.” Yet Jesus got even more radical when He told the religious leaders, “I have much to say about you and much to condemn, but I won’t” (John 8:26). Wow! That sounds like an insult, but in fact Jesus had a whole laundry list of things He could condemn them for. He has a similar list about our lives today. But instead of condemning, He says, “Neither do I condemn you.”

What an amazing moment. It revealed the powerful love behind God’s grace— that “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
 

A CRY WITHOUT A VOICE

by David Wilkerson | August 28, 2015

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Just before Jesus healed the deaf man in Mark 7, we read, "Looking up to heaven, he sighed" (Mark 7:34). The word for sigh here signifies an audible groan. Evidently, Jesus grimaced and a groan came out of His heart. Of course, the man couldn't hear it, because he was deaf—but what was this groan about?

I have read many commentaries about this scene. Yet none bears witness to what I believe God's Spirit is telling me. I'm convinced Jesus was looking into heaven and communing with the Father. He was quietly weeping in His soul over two things. First, He wept over something that only He could see in this man. And second, He wept over something He sees today, locked in the hearts of so many people, especially the young.

What did Jesus see, both then and now? What was He hearing, both in this deaf man's heart and in the hearts of multitudes today? He was hearing a cry without a voice. He was hearing a cry of the heart, bottled up, unable to be expressed. Now Christ Himself groaned with a cry that could not be uttered. He was giving voice to the cries of all who cannot cry out.

Think of the many nights this deaf man cried himself to sleep because nobody understood him. Not even his mother or father could comprehend what he spoke. How often he tried to explain how he felt, but all that came out were painful, awkward sounds. He must have thought, "If only I could speak, just once. If only my tongue were loosed for a minute, I could tell someone what's going on in my soul. I would scream, 'I'm no dummy. I'm not under a curse. And I'm not running from God. I'm just confused. I've got problems, but nobody can hear them.'"

Yet Jesus heard the thoughts of this frustrated man's heart. He understands every inward groan that cannot be uttered. The Bible says our Lord is touched with the feelings of our infirmities. And He felt the pain of this man's deafness and tongue-tied condition.
 

SIGN LANGUAGE

by David Wilkerson | August 27, 2015

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What's the first thing Jesus did when the deaf man was brought to him? "He took him aside from the multitude" (Mark 7:33). Christ knew immediately what this deaf man wanted. He longed for his own touch, his own experience. He couldn't settle for something "they" had found—it had to be real for him. He wanted Jesus to open his ears and set his tongue free. And it had to happen between the two of them.

If you've served God over the years, let me ask you: Isn't it true you can look back to a time when you had a supernatural encounter with Jesus? He touched you, and you knew it. You didn't get the experience from someone else; it wasn't instilled in you because you heard someone preach it; you experienced Christ for yourself. That's why you're confident in what you have with Him.

Jesus knew the deaf man needed this kind of encounter so He spoke to the man in his own language: sign language. "[He] put his fingers into his ears, and he spit, and touched his tongue" (7:33).

Can you imagine what went through this deaf man's mind? He must have thought, “He's not questioning me or accusing me. He knows exactly what I've been going through. He knows I haven't rejected Him. He knows I want to hear His voice and speak directly to Him. He knows my heart wants to praise Him. But I can't do any of these things unless I receive His miraculous touch. He must know I want this."

Our Savior shows the same kind of compassion to our unsaved loved ones. He won't make a spectacle of anyone. Think of how patient and caring he was with Saul of Tarsus. This well-known man was destined to have a miraculous encounter with Jesus. Christ could have come to him at any time; in fact, He could have struck Saul down while Stephen was being stoned in front of the multitudes. He could have made an example of Saul's conversion. But he didn't (see Acts 9:1-19).
 

HIS ONLY HOPE

by David Wilkerson | August 26, 2015

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The deaf, tongue-tied man’s only hope for healing was to get to Jesus (Mark 7:31-35). He had to have a personal encounter with Him.

Let me note that this man was not like those Paul describes: "Having itching ears . . . they shall turn away their ears from the truth" (2 Timothy 4:3-4). Nor did this man have "the spirit of slumber . . . and ears that they should not hear" (Romans 11:8). He was not like those described in Acts 28:27: "Their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears." Nor was he like those present at Stephen's stoning, people who "stopped their ears" (Acts 7:57).

The fact is, this man wanted to hear. He wanted desperately to be healed. Yet, we read, "They bring unto him one that was deaf" (Mark 7:32, italics mine). This man didn't get to Jesus on his own, he had to be brought to Him. Clearly he must have known who Jesus was and that He had power to heal.

Moreover, this man knew how to communicate, either through sign language or writing, and he could get around on his own. Yet he never made the effort to come to Jesus himself—"they" had to bring him.

Who were "they" in this verse? I can only speculate that they were the man's family or loving friends, people who cared enough to bring him to Jesus. I believe this scene says so much about the situation with our young people today. They won't go to Jesus on their own. They have to be brought to Him by their parents, their friends, their church family. Like the deaf man's parents, we also must bring our children and loved ones to Christ. How? Through daily, believing prayer.

There's only one cure, one hope, for our children and loved ones to hear truth and that is a personal encounter with Jesus Himself. "And they beseech him to put his hand upon him" (Mark 7:32). The Greek word for beseech here means to implore, to pray. These parents begged Christ, "Please, Lord, touch our son. Put Your hand on him."
 

LESSONS FOR US

by David Wilkerson | August 25, 2015

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In Mark 7, we find Jesus performing a great miracle. The whole dramatic scene takes place in just five verses:

"Departing from the coasts of Tyre and Sidon, he came unto the sea of Galilee, through the midst of the coasts of Decapolis. And they bring unto him one that was deaf, and had an impediment in his speech; and they beseech him to put his hand upon him. And he took him aside from the multitude, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spit, and touched his tongue; and looking up to heaven, he sighed, and saith unto him, Ephphatha, that is, Be opened. And straightway his ears were opened, and the string of his tongue was loosed, and he spoke plain" (Mark 7:31-35).

Picture the scene. As Jesus arrived on the shores of Decapolis, he encountered a man who was both deaf and tongue-tied. The man could talk, but his speech was unintelligible. Christ took the man aside, away from the crowd, and as He stood before the man, He placed His fingers in his ears. Then Jesus spat, and touched his tongue, speaking two words: "Be opened!" And instantly, the man could hear and speak clearly.

Just prior to this scene, Jesus had also delivered a woman's demon-possessed daughter. By merely speaking a word, He cast the evil spirit out of the girl. Why are these two miracles recorded in Scripture? Are they included as just two more scenes from the Lord's life on earth?

The vast majority of Christians believe such stories are preserved in Scripture because they reveal much to us. They are intended to show God's power over Satan and sickness. They're meant as proof of Christ's deity, to establish that He was God in flesh. And they're meant to encourage our faith, to show us that our God can work miracles.

I believe these stories were recorded for all these reasons, and much more. Jesus tells us every word He spoke came from the Father. He said and did nothing on His own, but by His Father's leading. Moreover, every event of Christ's life holds a lesson for us (see 1 Corinthians 10:11).
 

THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD

by Gary Wilkerson | August 24, 2015

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It was the Passover season and Jesus was teaching in the temple. A large crowd gathered to hear Him due to His reputation for speaking profound words of love and performing powerful works of God. Yet no sooner had this crowd of commoners gathered than the religious leaders showed up.

“As he was speaking, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery” (John 8:3, NLT). These leaders saw Jesus as a threat to their authority. He represented a new phenomenon whose teachings exposed their rigid, self-justifying practices. Now “they were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him” (8:6). They asked Him whether the woman should be stoned according to the Law.

The scene unfolds dramatically: “Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, ‘All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!’ Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust. When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, ‘Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?’ ‘No, Lord,’ she said. And Jesus said, ‘Neither do I. Go and sin no more’” (8:6-11).

What a powerful moment. Not only had Jesus defused a highly charged situation but He had literally saved a person’s life. Everyone on the scene was transformed by what happened—not just the accused, but also the accusers and even the audience.

Jesus used the moment to deliver one of His most famous teachings: “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life” (8:12). God’s light in that moment transformed everything.
 

WHERE ARE WE GOING?

by Claude Houde | August 22, 2015

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It was by faith that Abraham obeyed the call of God and walked toward a country he was to receive as a promise and inheritance. He left and walked by faith, not knowing where he was going (see Genesis 12:1).

Can you imagine the conversation that must have gone on between Abraham and his lovely wife, Sarah, as this wild adventure began? Abraham was successful, prosperous, and well established in his community. He and Sarah had worked hard, and they were enjoying the fruit of their efforts. After all, it was well-deserved, right?

As Sarah looked at her husband one evening, she noticed that he seemed pensive and somewhat emotional. He hadn’t said a word since he came home.

“What’s the matter, honey? You know you can tell me anything,” Sarah whispered.

Abraham blurted out, “I have been in prayer for many months about this and I have this deep conviction, this impression that I can’t get out of my mind that we must leave, get out of my father’s house, leave everything we know. And I feel that as we do this and obey God, we will be blessed.”

If you are married, you can imagine the scene and almost hear the conversation that followed! “What do you mean, we are leaving? We are happy here! It’s safe! I like it here! You know, as I do, the horrors that are taking place in the heathen towns around us!”

Abraham answered the best he could, “God is leading us, Sarah. I know it. I have built an altar to Him and I am serious. We have to go!”

As Abraham kept repeating, “We have to go, we are to go,” all of a sudden Sarah asked, “Where are we going?” Silence. Then he answered sheepishly, “Well, that is the exciting part! God has not told me where yet!”

The father of faith walked, not knowing where he was going!

 

Claude Houde, lead pastor of Eglise Nouvelle Vie (New Life Church) in Montreal, Canada, is a frequent speaker at the Expect Church Leadership Conferences conducted by World Challenge throughout the world. Under his leadership New Life Church has grown from a handful of people to more than 3500 in a part of Canada with few successful Protestant churches.
 

NO LIMITS

by David Wilkerson | August 21, 2015

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My dear friend, God’s forgiveness has no limit. Jesus told His disciples, “If [thy brother] trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him” (Luke 17:4)

Can you believe such a thing? Seven times a day this person willfully sins before my very eyes, then says “I’m sorry.” And I am to forgive him—over and over? Yes— and how much more will our heavenly Father forgive His children who come in repentance to Him. Don’t try to reason it out! Don’t ask how or why He forgives so freely. Simply accept it!

Jesus did not say, “Forgive your brother once or twice, then tell him that if he ever does it again he will be cut off. Tell him he is an habitual sinner.” No! Jesus called for unlimited, no-strings-attached forgiveness!

It is God’s nature to forgive. David said, “For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee” (Psalm 86:5). God is waiting right now to flood your being with the joy of forgiveness. You need to open up all the doors and windows of your soul and allow His Spirit to flood you with forgiveness.

John, speaking as a Christian, wrote, “He is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:2).

According to John, the goal of every Christian is to “sin not.” That means that the Christian is not bent toward sin, but instead, leans toward God. But what happens when that God-leaning child sins?

“If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. . . . If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 2:1 and 1:9).

Lay down your guilt, my friend. You don’t need to carry that load another minute. Open up the doors and windows of your heart and let God’s love in. He forgives you—over and over again! He will give you the power to see your struggle through to victory. If you ask—if you repent—you are forgiven, so accept it—now!

 

HIS PERFECT PLAN

by David Wilkerson | August 20, 2015

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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 being used by God were constantly 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, He 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).

Does that ever describe me! Weak thing, foolish thing, despised thing, not very noble, not very smart. Yet in His perfect plan—the greatest mystery on earth—God calls us in our weakness. He puts His priceless treasure in these earthen vessels of ours because He delights in doing the impossible with nothing.

I saw Israel Narvaez, Mau Mau gang leader, kneel and receive Christ as Lord. It was not just an emotional, surface experience—he really meant it. But Israel went back to the gang and ended up in prison, an accessory to murder. Did God quit on him? Not for one moment! Today Israel is a minister of the gospel, having accepted the love and forgiveness of a longsuffering Savior.

Have you failed? Is there a sin that so 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 hunger for God? Do you yearn for Him—love Him—reach to Him? That hunger and thirst is the key to your victory. That sets you apart from all the others who have been guilty of failing God. 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.
 

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