- Wed, 24 Aug 2016 08:00:00 +0000: A PAINFUL REALITY - DAVID WILKERSON DEVOTIONS
Imagine Saul’s anguish when Christ confronted him near Damascus with a painful reality. The Lord told Saul, “I am Jesus. And you are persecuting Me” (see Acts 9:4-5). Saul had thought he was simply dealing with individuals, doing God’s work to root out Jewish heretics.
Saul was jolted with the truth: “Jesus has a spiritual body. He is the head and His body — His children here on earth — are connected to the head. It is one body, made up of believers who are flesh of His flesh. And anyone who comes against one of them is actually coming against Him.”
CAUSING JESUS PAIN
Every “Jesus person” whom Saul had persecuted and imprisoned — everything he had said and done against them — was felt personally by Christ Himself. Saul’s confrontation with this truth changed his life.
As Paul the apostle, he grew to understand how deeply God loved His Church. He came to see that, in the Lord’s eyes, the Church was a costly pearl. It was also a spotless Bride for His Son — one corporate, invisible body made up of blood-purchased children from every tribe and nation on earth.
A SERIOUS TRUTH
I am convinced we do not take this truth as seriously as we should. A full understanding would mean the end of all grudges in the Church . . . the end of all bitterness . . . the end of all prejudice, fleshly competition, pride, gossip and division.
“There should be no schism [division or discord] in the body; but the members should have the same care one for another” (1 Corinthians 12:25).
- Tue, 23 Aug 2016 08:00:00 +0000: THE POWER OF MERCY - DAVID WILKERSON DEVOTIONS
The mercy of God has amazing power to deliver. His mercy has broken the chains of all addictions, translating multitudes from the kingdom of Satan into the Kingdom of Christ.
There was a time, with millions throughout the world narcotized, that Satan thought he had prevailed. Indeed, word spread throughout the world that once the devil binds you, you are hopelessly bound forever.
But in every generation, God sends His Holy Spirit into the highways and byways.
- His mercy goes directly to the heart of Satan’s territory: into city slums, into crack houses, and onto rooftops where addicts lie in stupors.
- His mercy has shone upon the weakest, the most drug-crippled, and those cast aside by society as hopelessly lost.
NOT FOREVER HOPELESS
The first heroin addict to be saved and delivered through the Teen Challenge ministry was Sonny Arguinzoni. Sonny now serves as bishop of more than 600 churches worldwide made up of former addicts. Nicky Cruz, the famous former gangster and graduate of Teen Challenge, has preached the mercy gospel to millions around the world, with multitudes being set free and delivered.
NO LONGER ABANDONED
The whole world ought to arise and thank God for His saving deliverance, for restoring those once lost and abandoned by humanity.
At the very least, society should thank God for saving drunken dads and reuniting them with their wives and children.
“The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous [abounding] in mercy” (Psalm 103:8).
- Mon, 22 Aug 2016 08:00:00 +0000: THE PLANS OF THE LORD by Gary Wilkerson - DAVID WILKERSON DEVOTIONS
Often when God tells Christians that He has great plans for them, they respond, “Oh, I don’t know, Lord.” But when Satan comes to them and says, “I’m going to destroy you,” they think, “Yeah, that could be true.”
WHOM DO YOU BELIEVE?
We believe the lies of the enemy almost more than we believe the truths of God. But we must get to the place where we say, “No, God has a call on my life and a higher plan. I’m going to stand firm, steadfast, immovable—by the grace of God. By His power that works mightily in me, just as Paul says” (see Colossians 1:29).
You do not stand by might or power but by His Spirit—because His Spirit lives within you! You can be a Christian who possesses boldness and confidence, one who believes the truth about yourself and about others, but mostly about God and what He has planned for you.
THE EDGE OF A CLIFF
Today you may feel like you are being pushed right to the edge of a cliff, about to be thrown over. Your nerves are on edge and you feel like you are nearing rock bottom. And then there are other things: your marriage, your emotional life, pressures on your job, an addiction. You feel like crying, “God, is there any way out of this?”
Your bigger question is, “How do I get to the point of trust and belief where I need to be?”
The Word of God has the answer and here is a scripture for you to hold on to.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11, NLT).
- Sat, 20 Aug 2016 08:00:00 +0000: FROM HEAVEN TO THE VALLEY by Nicky Cruz - DAVID WILKERSON DEVOTIONS
Jesus chose to be a child of the valley. Before He came to earth He was living in greater glory than we could possibly imagine. The Son of the King of the universe. He sat at the right hand of God. He is God. And yet He chose to step down from His throne and enter the world of the valley. He chose to live among the hopeless and lost of creation. He humbled Himself, denied Himself, emptied Himself for our sake. And He went to the cross in shame to create a bridge between the valley and the mountaintop.
The valley is a cold and heartless place to live. It is defined by blindness, drought and hunger. You can feel the rejection, the hurt, the insecurity, the fear, the turmoil. You can smell the hopelessness and pain. You can sense the anguish and sorrow. And the valley has nothing to do with income or social status. It’s a state of the heart. It is anyplace apart from knowing and trusting God.
Jesus came to the valley to bring hope, love and compassion, to bring sight to the blind, to show the way out. He came to bring new life to those who were dead. He went to the valley because that’s where the lost people lived. And yet, so often, those He sets free never take the time to look back. They never make an effort to journey back into the valley to help others find their way out. They never travel into the valley of hopelessness to bring hope.
“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10, NIV).
Nicky Cruz, internationally known evangelist and prolific author, turned to Jesus Christ from a life of violence and crime after meeting David Wilkerson in New York City in 1958. The story of his dramatic conversion was told first in The Cross and the Switchblade by David Wilkerson and then later in his own best-selling book Run, Baby, Run.
- Fri, 19 Aug 2016 08:00:00 +0000: A SPECIAL DAY - DAVID WILKERSON DEVOTIONS
I picture the zealous Pharisee Saul at the beginning of the special day when mercy shone on him. He had asked for an audience with the high priest:
“The young man who persecutes the Jesus crowd wants permission to take his crusade to Damascus. He vows to jail them all. He actually thinks he will be able to put out this ‘Jesus fire.’”Imagine the scene as Saul and his band of men rode out of Jerusalem toward their next mission. They were cheered on their way by the high priest and all the scribes and Pharisees. But then, just outside the township of Damascus, the radiant gleam of mercy fell on Saul (see Acts 9).
THIS IS JESUS!
How did mercy present itself to this lost, misguided man? It did not try to confound him. It did not accuse him. It did not try to destroy him. Instead, the fully paid, free mercy of the Lord laid Saul facedown on the ground. And a voice spoke to him, saying, “Saul, Saul, this is Jesus. Why are you persecuting Me?”
Christ’s message to this zealot was clear: “It is Me you are touching, Saul. With every Christian you have jailed, you have done it to Me.”
REVELATION AND REDEMPTION
Saul was overwhelmed by this revelation. Temporarily stricken blind, he was led to the home of a praying, Spirit-filled man in Damascus named Ananias. In a small room there, Saul called on the name of Jesus. Ananias boldly explained to him the high cost of the mercy he had received and told him, “Now, Saul, you are going to suffer for His name’s sake.”
With a stricken conscience, Saul surely thought back to the stoning of Stephen, the many believers he had thrown into jail, and the multitudes he had abused. But this man received mercy that day!
- Thu, 18 Aug 2016 08:00:00 +0000: JESUS DEMONSTRATED MERCY - DAVID WILKERSON DEVOTIONS
The first cost of mercy to Jesus was His heavenly position. Mercy moved Him to come to earth to take on human flesh and, ultimately, the mercy He offered to the world cost Him His life. Yet Jesus’ example of mercy is a model to all who would follow Him. He tells us, in essence, “Let My life show you the cost of mercy — total rejection by this world.”
The apostle Paul paid the same high cost of living out God’s mercy that Jesus paid on earth and that He warned us about:
“Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you” (John 15:20). Paul testified to this truth:
“[We] labor, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it: being defamed, we entreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring [scum] of all things unto this day” (1 Corinthians 4:12–13).
A DIFFICULT TRUTH
What are we to make of this rejection? Jesus answers us: “Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for behold, your reward is great in heaven” (Luke 6:23).
This is a difficult truth to swallow. How can we rejoice and be glad when we endure harsh persecution? Beloved, it is all part of the high cost of mercy. As it was with Paul, who was seen as filth, so it is for Christ’s Body, the Church. There is a price we all must pay when we preach Jesus and His mercy.
- Wed, 17 Aug 2016 08:00:00 +0000: THE COST OF MERCY - DAVID WILKERSON DEVOTIONS
Even in your sinful bondage, your heart’s cry reached Jesus and His tender mercy found you. He opened your eyes, changed you, and filled you with His Holy Spirit. Then He made you a vessel of honor to proclaim His gospel.
Make no mistake: it is a costly mercy you have received. We preach that God’s mercy is free, that it is unmerited, and that the price for it was paid in full by Christ’s shed blood. And, indeed, all this is true. God is fully satisfied by the price Jesus paid to bring us His mercy, give us the inheritance of heaven, and assure us that we have eternal life.
Yet there is a price on the human side — our side — of God’s mercy. What is the cost to us? It is the high cost of becoming a true witness to the power of the mercy we have received. The fact is, offering the same mercy that has been given to us will cost us dearly here on earth. It is a cost we can expect to pay in our everyday life.
You see, Jesus commands us, “Be merciful, as your Father also is merciful” (see Luke 5:36). And, as Christ showed by example, to be merciful as the Father is merciful is very costly. The more Christ is exalted in our lives, the more we will experience the following from the world:
Jesus paid the price of mercy in His flesh and you and I can expect to pay a price, as well.
- Total rejection
- Unacceptance of our words
- Ridicule and rejection of God’s mercy