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David Wilkerson Devotional
- Wed, 01 Oct 2014 08:00:00 +0000: SILENT WITNESSES? - DAVID WILKERSON DEVOTIONS
Paul stirred things up by preaching Jesus the King with resurrection power: “In the market daily with them that met with him . . . he preached unto them Jesus and the resurrection” (Acts 17:17-18). If there is any one place where Christians hide their light more than any other, it is in their workplace. Multitudes of Christians in this country sit in God’s house proclaiming their intense love for Jesus, yet when they go to their jobs, they are timid and ashamed of Christ!
Why is there such cowardly silence about Jesus by Christians who pray, devour the Word, and walk in holiness? It is because, unlike Paul, our hearts are not stirred as we see people given to idolatry all around us (see Acts 17:16). We dare not say, “But Paul was a preacher. He was called to this work!” We are all ambassadors of Jesus Christ and are commanded never to hide our light under a bushel.
These Athenians were exactly like the people you work with nowadays, spending “their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing” (Acts 17:21). So it is throughout this nation: the majority of those around you on the job are given over to idolatry, gossip, and superstitions of all kinds.
Paul was not put off by the immensity of the problem. He wasn’t overwhelmed by Satan’s hold on the city, because he knew he had a secret weapon against it: the gospel of resurrection power! Paul took his eyes off what the devil had done and focused on what Jesus could do in resurrection might! It did not matter that they called him a “babbler,” meaning a loafer, a preacher of nonsense.
Have you ever been called “a babbler”? Perhaps someone has said to you, “Stop infringing on my rights. Stop pushing your religion on me. Stop trying to make me believe like you do!” None of that kind of mockery could stop Paul because his heart was bleeding. He knew that if he did not take his stand for Christ, those around him would die in their sin.
It is not enough to just live right or to “set a good example.” For too long we have hidden behind the old cliche, “Actions speak louder than words.” We claim to be silent witnesses living His life but our testimony must include the spoken Word: “Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice” (Isaiah 52:8). “How shall they hear without a preacher?” (Romans 10:14).
- Tue, 30 Sep 2014 08:00:00 +0000: THEY TURNED THE WORLD UPSIDE DOWN - DAVID WILKERSON DEVOTIONS
“These who have turned the world upside down have come here too” (Acts 17:6, NKJV). Whose world is upside down? It is that religious circle where nobody takes the kingship of Christ seriously.
A minister’s wife here in New York City told me, “Times Square Church has upset just about every charismatic church in the city! You know that, don't you?” I did not know that. I don’t know if, in fact, it is true. But if it is, and if it is because of arrogance in this pulpit or from people going out bragging that this is the only church preaching real holiness, then we would be in great error. But on the other hand, if ministers and congregations are getting “turned upside down” because we preach the uncompromising kingship of Christ—if people are leaving some of those churches because their sin was not exposed and challenged—if people go from here, becoming more like Jesus, walking in His purity—then we are upsetting people for the right reasons!
I can assure you from the Word of God that nothing shakes up or angers dead, compromising churches and preachers more than someone moving in the fullness of Christ—someone who lives and preaches Paul’s demanding gospel of holiness. It’s a reproof! In every church you will find a few “devout” Christians, as Paul called them. But the day you say with Paul, “I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:8) is the day you are marked as a troublemaker!
“The brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night” (Acts 17:10). Once again it looked as if Satan had won the battle, with Paul and Silas having to sneak out of town in the dark of night. Just imagine the proud boastings of the people on the next Sabbath: “Some revival that was! We were here before they came and we’re here when they’re gone. People just don’t want that kind of preaching around here! Let’s go on with God with no more interruptions from these holiness agitators!” But Paul and Silas had so turned the converts’ eyes off themselves and onto Jesus that they could leave town and the body would still flourish there. Under persecution the church in Thessalonica became so strong in faith that they became a powerful witness to all of Asia. And they became the joy of Paul’s heart!
- Mon, 29 Sep 2014 08:00:00 +0000: COVENANT KEEPERS by Gary Wilkerson - DAVID WILKERSON DEVOTIONS
The glory of the New Covenant was evident on the Mount of Transfiguration, where Jesus had taken three of His disciples. “Jesus took with him Peter and James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light. And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him” (Matthew 17:1-3, ESV).
The glory was so immense that for a moment a glimpse of heaven broke through to the earthly realm. Suddenly, the disciples—Peter, James and John—saw Moses and Elijah talking with Christ. Peter was so amazed by this that he cried, “We need to build three tabernacles here.” Peter was seeing several covenants of God at once—in Jesus, in Moses and in the prophets.
But God the Father removed Moses (the law) and Elijah (the prophets) from Peter’s vision, saying, “My Son embodies all the law and the prophets, the whole of every covenant — all that humankind will ever need. You have one command now, Peter, and that is to focus on Christ. When you love as He loves, with my Spirit in you, you fulfill all the law of Moses and the prophets. The law isn’t the driving force of your life—Jesus is” (see Matthew 17:5).
What a moment of revelation for Peter—and for us today! Fulfilling God’s law is not the reason we read our Bibles or pray. We do it to know our loving Father. Likewise, in the Father’s eyes, all of humankind’s needs are fulfilled completely in Jesus. It is why, as God looks on us today, He does not see people breaking His covenant continually. Instead, He sees in us the marks of His Son and therefore looks on us as covenant keepers! God does not see a list of failures next to a list of good works, with a huge chasm in between. He does not see our works at all. He sees only His Son in us. And as He does, He bestows on us all the benefits of His covenant with the Son. All forgiveness is ours. All peace is ours. All acceptance is ours. All grace abounds to us, regardless of whether we’re up or down, succeeding or failing. His grace to us never changes.
- Sat, 27 Sep 2014 08:00:00 +0000: DANIEL PURPOSED IN HIS HEART by Claude Houde - DAVID WILKERSON DEVOTIONS
Daniel “had purposed in his heart not to defile himself” (Daniel 1:8). This was courageous, and it speaks to you and me today. As a teenager Daniel was kidnapped and taken as a captive to a hostile and terrifying land. He was uprooted and torn away from his loved ones, which must have been a traumatic experience that left deep scars. Bewildered, scared and forsaken, he found himself a prisoner in the court of a decadent king. The immoral and cynical monarch renamed him “Belteshazzar,” which meant “Bel will reign over me; Bel, I will follow and honor.” Bel was an idol of that era, the object of demonic and disgusting worship and idolatry.
The king ordered Daniel to completely conform to the philosophy, mentality, and practices of the court and the country. He was thrown into a sewer of immorality, lust, cruelty and violence, but Daniel was a man of great faith. By His Spirit, God had engraved a mission, a vision and different values on Daniel’s heart. By faith he would always refuse the name Belteshazzar. Chapter after chapter, we see him resolute, supernaturally empowered to resist, allowing no one to change what he was called to be and the One for whom he stood. The name “Daniel” means “God will be my judge.”
Dear reader, this resolution is for you! If tragedy, injustice or life itself has tried to “brand a name” on you, you can and must resist by the power of God and by faith. You can reply to the enemy of your soul and destiny by simply saying that, “God is my judge, my source, my future, my hope and my power. He has not spoken His last words yet!”
Maybe your “name,” life history and reality can be described by words such as: abused, forgotten, loser, criminal, unfaithful, in bondage, a failure, divorced, suicidal, tragedy, deception or suffering. These tragic experiences and seasons in your life have made you the person you are today. I want to say to you, as I gently lift your chin and look you in the eyes, “God has a message for you today, wherever you are in the world. You can make a decision and come to God in faith with a resolution.”
I understand that we are often products of our past, but we don’t have to be prisoners of our past. By crying out to God in faith, releasing your life into His hands every day and receiving His Spirit who makes all things new and possible, you can put to death what has been your past, and stop tendencies and habits that you will no longer allow to limit or define you.
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.
- Fri, 26 Sep 2014 08:00:00 +0000: ONE UNCOMPROMISING WORD - DAVID WILKERSON DEVOTIONS
“They came to Thessalonica, where was a synagogue of the Jews: And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and . . . reasoned with them out of the scriptures, opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ” (Acts 17:1-3). Leaders of the synagogue at Thessalonica had probably conducted quiet meetings for years, undisturbed. They diligently taught Scripture and seemed very holy in outward appearance.
Then Paul, the troublemaker, came on the scene and in just three weeks of preaching the kingship of Jesus, he turned that whole area of Thessalonica upside down. He knew from experience that only a few devout ones would listen to Christ’s demanding word and that the majority would not give up their hard-shelled religious traditions. He also knew they would be filled with envy and hate toward anything that disturbed their way of doing things. Paul declared that the preaching of his gospel caused contention: “We were bold in our God to speak unto you the gospel of God with much contention [opposition]” (1 Thessalonians 2:2).
What caused this violent opposition? Paul and Silas were not loud or provocative nor were they robbing churches.
Later, in a letter to those in Thessalonica who went on with the Lord, Paul wrote, “For our exhortation was not of deceit, nor of uncleanness, nor in guile . . . not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts. For neither at any time used we flattering words, as ye know, nor a cloak of covetousness; God is witness. . . . But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children . . . we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because you were dear unto us” (1 Thessalonians 2:3-8). These religious people who for years had acted so demure and God-loving were now enraged. They became an angry mob, assaulting the house of Jason and troubling the people and rulers of the city (see Acts 17). The cause of all this contention was this one uncompromising word: “There is another king . . . Jesus” (Acts 17:7).
- Thu, 25 Sep 2014 08:00:00 +0000: BOLD AS A LION! - DAVID WILKERSON DEVOTIONS
I preach a great deal on prayer because I believe in the effectual, fervent prayer of the righteous. But praying alone will not shake a city!
Elijah was a man of powerful prayer, but it was more than his prayer that shook Ahab’s kingdom and enraged Jezebel. He actually called the false prophets to Mount Carmel and challenged them. Jezebel had slain God’s prophets and led Israel into apostasy and the horrible idolatry of Baal worship—and no one had challenged her! Even though seven thousand believers had not bowed, they were silent, unknown, and afraid. So along comes Elijah, whom Ahab called “the troubler of Israel!” (1 Kings 18:17). Elijah ended up at the Brook Kishon with a sword in his hand, slaying hundreds of Baal’s false prophets “in the name of Jehovah.”
Elijah was not a gentleman with the devil and his crowd. While “they leaped upon the altar . . . Elijah mocked them” (1 Kings 18:26-27). The church of late has cowered before the powers of darkness due to the lack of holiness, for the Scripture tells us, “The righteous are bold as a lion” (Proverbs 28:1). Some will say, “But Jesus was meek! He never opened His mouth or resisted when they took Him to be crucified.” But that was because the hour of darkness had come, the hour He was to be given into the hands of the enemy. He was not silent in the temple when He drove out the money-changers. He was not silent when He called religious leaders serpents—blind guides—whited sepulchers—a generation of vipers (see Matthew 23). He even told some boldly that Satan was their father!
Many churches today are full of silent, gentlemanly diplomats who do not want to make waves. Nobody wants trouble! So the devil’s kingdom goes unchallenged. We have more than enough smiling, mousy Christians! I heard the raging of a man who said to me, “Let’s you and me make a bet—any amount of money! You people in the church can’t stop anything. You’ll get a little publicity, but nothing ever changes. You can’t shut anything down. You’re powerless.” He was speaking of abortion and I could detect the mocking of Satan in his voice. It was a dare! It was as if to say to all Christians, “You’re all spiritual wimps. You won’t last—you’ll give up when the opposition comes. You’ll just run back inside your safe walls and hide.”
No! “The righteous are as bold as a lion.”
- Wed, 24 Sep 2014 08:00:00 +0000: GOD WILL STAND BY YOU - DAVID WILKERSON DEVOTIONS
“At midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God . . . and suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison was shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed” (Acts 16:25-26). The jailer, seeing what had happened, fell down before Paul and Silas, saying “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” (Acts 16:30).
Those city officials and religious leaders went to bed thinking, “We did it! That’s the last we’ll hear of those vagabond troublemakers. We really shut them up!” But what a commotion the next day! I can imagine soldiers knocking on the doors of the mayor, city council members, and the religious leaders, telling them, “Quick! Get down to city hall. We’ve got a big problem!” In a state of shock, the officials probably responded, “What? An earthquake? The prison doors opened and the prisoners’ chains all fell off and they didn’t even try to escape? The jailer joined their faith?”
The city leaders were really afraid because it was a crime to beat Roman citizens (Paul and Silas were both Romans). “What do you mean they won’t budge from our jail? They demand what? For us to come down and apologize and escort them out of jail?”
“And they came and [tried to appease] them, and brought them out, and [(begged] them to depart out of the city” (Acts 16:39).
I love it! Here they were, not flaunting their spiritual authority, but merely acting as ambassadors of King Jesus. As they had witnessed Christ’s power being mocked, Paul and Silas now wanted that little prayer group to see how God manifests His power to those who stand up against the forces of hell. They went directly to the house of Lydia—and what a meeting that must have been! I would think Paul told that house group, “See, the devil can rage, the powers that be may threaten, but God has all the power! God will stand by you if you take a stand!”