- Tue, 24 Jan 2017 09:00:00 +0000: TARNISHED MAJESTY - DAVID WILKERSON DEVOTIONS
When Moses came down from the mountain holding the Ten Commandments in his hands, he heard the people shouting and saw them dancing and carousing.
“Moses saw that the people were naked; (for Aaron had made them naked unto their shame among their enemies) . . .” (Exodus 32:25). The Hebrew word used here for naked is para, which means to “loosen up, expose, dismiss all restraint.” It also implies “a new beginning.”
The Israelites were saying, “Things are not happening as they should. We’re tired of this battle, tired of waiting on God. So now we’re going to enjoy ourselves. Out with the old! We want new freedom, a new start — and we want it now.”
Nakedness in the Bible also has to do with not having on one’s shield for battle. Every man who did not have his shield was considered naked. True, these Israelites were literally naked —stripped down and dancing before the golden calf — but they also had let down their guard.
Can you imagine their enemies, the Amalekites, looking down on this wild scene from the surrounding mountains? The Amalekites once trembled at the very sight of Israel. God had put a dread in their hearts toward His people, but now they saw Israel taking off their armor and stripping off their garments.
The Amalekites began to laugh and mock, “Look at them. They’re just like us! Their God has no power and they obviously do not trust Him. See? They’re throwing off all their stict ways. They want to lust and party and play just like the rest of us. Some holiness! Such hypocrisy.”
In that one act of nakedness, Israel belittled their God in the eyes of the ungodly. They made the Lord seem heartless, cruel, uncaring, helpless. They besmirched His honor, His majesty, His omnipotence. They were no longer an example to the world.
That is exactly what we do when we strip off our robes of faith and let go of our confidence in God. Without childlike trust in God, a Christian stands naked before the world — exposed to all doubts, fears and unbelief.
- Mon, 23 Jan 2017 09:00:00 +0000: HIS SPOTLIGHT by Gary Wilkerson - DAVID WILKERSON DEVOTIONS
If you feel God speaking to your heart about something He has prepared for you — perhaps a walk you’ve never known before or the fulfillment of a longstanding promise — I can tell you with authority, “Get ready to examine your heart.”
Perhaps you have experienced great blessings and you have faith that no matter how good things are, the best is yet to come. This is your faith talking — the kind of faith that says God’s vision is always bigger than our dreams. When God called us to begin the church I now pastor, we had no idea how He would use us. But not a week has gone without someone giving his or her life to Jesus. Whenever we distribute food to the poor, we are often asked, “Why are you doing this?” We answer, “It’s because of Jesus,” and many give their lives to Him.
This is all happening miraculously. People are finding Him and then quickly maturing into faithful disciples, growing in their knowledge of God. It is amazing to see! And I believe greater things are yet to come. I am convinced that God will reveal Himself even more powerfully — not just in salvations but also in outreach, in helping the poor, in impacting the city.
But here is the hard part: Often just when we are poised on the brink of God’s greatest work in our lives, He asks us to examine our hearts and reflect on what He wants to do in us. We become even more aware that our righteousness is as filthy rages, that we need His grace.
I want nothing in my life to hinder what He desires for me and I am sure you feel the same. Examine your heart today and let Him shine His spotlight of conviction on any area that is displeasing to Him. Repent and receive His grace and then rejoice as you see the wonders He will do in you and for you!
- Sat, 21 Jan 2017 18:32:00 +0000: MY MOST SIGNIFICANT MESSAGE - Nicky Cruz - DAVID WILKERSON DEVOTIONS
My first book, Run Baby Run, is the story of how God saved me from a life of hate and violence in the street gangs of New York. The book continues to sell well, ministering consistently to the most helpless and hurting in our society.
After Run Baby Run I wrote a number of other books attempting to expose the anger, violence, and hopelessness of life in the inner city. Each one offered concrete solutions to solving these problems, and the Lord has graciously blessed those efforts. We have been able to reach millions with our message of hope.
In the last several months, God has planted in my heart a new message of hope as well as a deep burden to share it. This message is about freedom and spiritual abundance; about living a life in complete communion with Jesus; about breaking through our earthly limitations and making a powerful impact on the world around us. It’s about you and me finally finding our place within God’s magnificent kingdom on earth. It’s about seeing people the way God sees them. And most of all, it’s about learning once and for all to embrace the supernatural strength of the Holy Spirit and allowing Him to release His wisdom and power within us. What a transformation we will experience as we discover and embrace God’s unmatchable, unmistakable power in our lives.
“I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).
The world today no longer accepts a belief system rooted in tradition and complacency — doing church as we’ve always done it. The next generation will either see the power of God working in their lives in real, tangible ways, or they will have no use for our message and no interest in following our Savior. They need to see a consistency between our life and our faith. If they don’t, they will reject us as well as our Lord.
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, 20 Jan 2017 09:00:00 +0000: UNSETTLED ISSUES - DAVID WILKERSON DEVOTIONS
The Bible addresses our efforts to please Him in our flesh: “For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God” (Romans 10:3). Trying to establish our own righteousness is actually our flesh at work!
Trying to please God in our human power robs us of our joy and peace with Him. Any victories will be short-lived and we will fall into temptation again. The enemy will keep harassing us and a conversation with him might go something like this:
Satan whispers, “What about the sin you indulged in just yesterday? You are guilty!”
“No,” you answer, “I’ve already asked forgiveness for that. It’s all under the blood and I’ve asked God to make me hate that sin to keep me from doing it again.”
“But you are still tempted.”
“True, but Jesus made a way of escape for me. His Word says I will be able to bear the temptation and He will deliver me” (see 1 Corinthians 10:13).
Satan persists, “There are still unsettled issues in your life.”
When the accuser brings up “unsettled issues” — some war that still rages within you — you can answer with this passage of Scripture: “And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreprovable in his sight” (Colossians 1:21-22).
Even when we fail Him, God loves us; He seeks us out and reconciles us to Himself. He loves us even when we struggle and through Christ He makes us to be at peace with Him.
- Thu, 19 Jan 2017 09:00:00 +0000: USELESS STRIVING - DAVID WILKERSON DEVOTIONS
We can all say, “I am redeemed by the blood of my Savior, but I have not yet fully attained.” We sing and shout praises to our God and yet many of us still continue to strive to please Him.
You may win an occasional victory and feel so good about it. You tell yourself, “I did it. I knew if I put my mind and heart to the matter, I would get the victory.” Your tendency is to feel proud about what you’ve done and then go around judging others who aren’t victorious.
When I was younger, if I needed victory over something, I would convince myself, “I’m going to do this if it kills me.” And it seemed like it almost would kill me! A month or two might go by and I would think, “Those covetous thoughts are gone now. I’m free!” But it always proved to be a partial victory and discouragement would set in.
“Oh, God,” I would cry, “I’ve begged You to deliver me but You haven’t. These feelings are still in me.” And then I would blame God.
What was happening? I was so busy striving in the flesh to be righteous that I lost my understanding of true righteousness — the only righteousness acceptable to the Father — that of His Son, Jesus. When we stand before the Father, He accepts us only through Christ, through His righteousness and victory.
You may wonder, “What must I do?” First, refuse to listen to the devil’s lies. Second, stand on your spiritual feet and start declaring, “By faith in the blood of Jesus, I receive the righteousness of Christ.” Then rejoice!
“In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1:14). Redemption simply means “set free” and we have been set free by Jesus’ precious blood. We can stand against every accusation and say, “Satan, you’ve accused me for the last time. My Bible says I am redeemed because I believe in what Jesus did for me at the cross.”
- Wed, 18 Jan 2017 09:00:00 +0000: YOU CANNOT QUALIFY YOURSELF - DAVID WILKERSON DEVOTIONS
When Satan tries to convince you that you are unworthy to walk with the Lord and serve Him, you know it is not true. However, you may have a hard time being fully assured that He has made you clean and fit to stand before Him and faithfully serve Him. But the Word of God says that He has!
“That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: in whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1:10-14, KJV).
The Greek rendering of Colossians 1:10-14 is: “The Father has made us fit, worthy, qualified in character, good enough to be partakers in the inheritance of the saints of light.”
What Jesus did on the cross qualified you for eternal inheritance, and if God has qualified you for eternal life, then He has made you fit in character, as well. You could take a leave from ministry or service for a time, trying to make yourself fit for Him, but you could never do so. God will not accept anyone’s righteousness — except that of His own Son, Jesus Christ.
You will never be able to obtain the righteousness of Christ by working for it, so just believe and trust God for it. It comes to you by faith. You see, not only are you saved by faith but you are also sanctified by faith, justified by faith, healed by faith, kept by faith.
All this happens by believing in what Jesus has done for you.
- Tue, 17 Jan 2017 19:01:00 +0000: “YOU’RE UNWORTHY” — THE DEVIL’S LIE - DAVID WILKERSON DEVOTIONS
Who tells you that you are unworthy, no good, useless, unusable to God? Who keeps reminding you that you’re weak, helpless, a total failure? And who tells you that you’ll never measure up to God’s standard?
Who tells worship team members they’re not worthy to sing praises in God’s house or musicians they’re not worthy to play instruments of worship? Who tells ushers, elders, Sunday school teachers, volunteers, people in the pew that they are unworthy?
That’s no mystery. We all know where this voice comes from — the devil himself. He wants to keep you convinced that God is angry with you.
The devil, the accuser of the brethren, reminds you of your every sin and failure. He tells you, “God can’t use you until you get this figured out and make yourself worthy.” Do not fall for this lie from the pit of hell.
Many people reading this message have been convinced by the devil that they are unworthy ever to be used of God. Does this describe you? Perhaps you feel unworthy even to be called a child of the Lord. You look at your life and see inconsistency and failure.
Let me confess something to you: I have never once felt worthy of my high calling as a preacher. Throughout my years of service to the Lord, I have been barraged by accusations that I am unworthy to speak for God, to preach, to teach others, to be a leader.
So, the truth is, I am not worthy to write this message and you are not worthy to raise your hands in praise to God. You see, nobody is worthy — not in our human strength and power! But Jesus told us, “I have made you worthy.”
“For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous” (Romans 5:19).