|by David Wilkerson | May 24, 2013|
In the very first verse of Psalm 51 we read that David appeals to the tender, forgiving mercies of God: "Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions."
David knew what to do: "This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles" (Psalm 34:6). "The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles" (Psalm 34:17).
Dear saint, this is your victory over sin: the absolute confidence that no matter how grievously you have sinned or fallen, you serve a Lord who is ready to forgive, anxious to heal, and possesses more lovingkindness toward you than you could ever need.
The devil comes to you and says, "No! If you get off the hook too easily, you'll jump right back into sin." He will make you feel miserable, unworthy to lift your hands in praise to God, or even to pick up His Word.
But here is your weapon: Cry out as David did, with all of your heart. Go to God and say to Him, "Lord, You love me. I know You are ready to forgive me. I confess!"
At that very moment, you are clear with God. You don't have to pay for your sin. God loves you so much that He gave His Son, who has already paid for it. A merciful, loving advocate is yearning to help and deliver you: "My little children, these things I write unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous" (1 John 2:1).
My young granddaughter wanted to walk atop a low concrete wall. As I held her from behind, she tried to knock my hand away. I let go and eventually she fell (but without hurting herself). When she fell, I didn't desert her and say, "Look at what you did. You're not mine anymore!"
The Lord said to me, "David, you allow yourself such love for this child, but you won't allow Me to love you in the same way. You swell with pride over your children but you won't allow Me to do so on your behalf!"
The Bible says God takes pleasure in His children!
|by David Wilkerson | May 23, 2013|
I used to say, "Don't come forward to be saved just because you are afraid of hell. Just come in simple faith." But I was wrong. The apostle Paul said, "Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men"(2 Corinthians 5:11). There is a godly fear that leads to repentance.
It is true that hell was prepared for the devil and his angels. It is also true that Christians are saved by unmerited grace, and that faith in Christ is the believer's security.
With God’s help, I have once and for all dropped out of the fatal race of carnality and worldly-mindedness. I have quit the competition race! I no longer run in flesh-motivated, ego-tripping, man-pleasing races.
I want to do more than simply give up mental attachment to things, houses, cars, lands, possessions. I want the power and grace to curb my appetites, to lay aside all the junk, to sell what I don't need, to quit buying and building and acquiring unneeded things, and to get my eyes so focused on Christ and eternity, the things of this world will lose their hold on me, and materialism will no longer be my master.
Beloved, if this message does not sit well with you, if it angers or upsets you even in the slightest, perhaps you should do what I have been doing lately. Get shut in with God, day after day, and ask the Holy Spirit to turn God's holy searchlight on your soul. Get deadly honest with God. You will soon discover, as I have, how much time you have wasted, how many foolish lusts and wants have crippled you, and you will fall on your face before holy God and confess the coldness and emptiness in your heart.
If you do this with an honest heart, you will begin to thank God for pricking your conscience and stirring you to run a different race.
Saints of God, very soon our Lord is coming in clouds of glory to catch up His bride—a bride without spot or wrinkle. A bride purged of covetousness, pride and worldly ambition.
Shall we spend our final hours on earth putting money in bags with holes in them? No thanks! I'm just passing through. I want no more roots to hold me down. Thank God for the good things He has given me—my family, a nice house, modern transportation—but daily I now prepare my heart to walk away from it all to be embraced in the Savior's arms!
|by David Wilkerson | May 22, 2013|
The word race suggests competition and in Hebrews 12:1, God’s people are likened to runners in a long-distance race. Today, the race has been corrupted and the prize has become carnal.
If we could spend just a few minutes in heaven, we would never again compete in a carnal race. If only we could experience a short walk within the gates of that city of God; drink in the peace, the beauty, the heavenly splendors; listen to the grand choirs of angels singing the glories of the Lord; mingle with the patriarchs, the martyrs, the apostles, those who came out of great tribulation; visit with departed loved ones; feel the glow of God's holy light; and best of all, catch a glimpse of the face of the resurrected Lamb of God and feel the glory and warmth and sense of security shining forth from His presence!
Would we ever come back to this earth and take up the fatal race again? Never! You and I would live only for the Lord, rejecting the world and all its pleasures and carnal things. We would run His race!
If we could spend even a few minutes in hell, we would never be the same. Imagine what it would be like to be drawn into that black furnace of fire and everlasting darkness; to suddenly be cast into a demonic world of godlessness, cursing, hatred, lust, and corruption; to hear the groans of the eternally damned and witness their terror, their gnashing teeth; to rub shoulders with the workers of iniquity, the crucifiers of the Lord Jesus; to listen to the endless sounds of hopeless, useless prayers of the damned, shaking their fists at the God of justice, cursing the day they were born; to feel what being lost means, cut off from God and truth and love and peace and all comfort.
How could you return to earth from your short visit to hell and ever be the same again? Would you go back to neglecting God's Word, His house, His love? Would you go about your selfish pursuits of accumulating, hoarding gold and silver, and praying for even more? I hardly think so. No, you and I would live every hour as if it were our last.
Do you want to quit running and beating the air in vain? Set your face and heart to seek the Lord as never before!
|by David Wilkerson | May 21, 2013|
The prophet Samuel's command to King Saul was, "Go to Gilgal and wait . . . I will come and you will get directions" (see 1 Samuel 10:8). Saul’s only responsibility was to wait! God wanted to hear Saul say, "God keeps His word: never once has a word from Samuel's lips fallen to the ground. God said I should wait for directions and I will wait.”
But pride reasons, "God must not have meant it. Maybe I heard it wrong.” Instead of standing on God's word, we start trying to figure out things on our own. Lying in bed in the late hours we say, "Lord, here's how I see it can be done." It is wicked to do something very logical and reasonable when it is not God's clear word of direction. If you want to prove anything to God, prove you will patiently wait for Him to act.
"And Samuel said, What hast thou done? And Saul said, Because I saw that the people were scattered from me, and that thou camest not within the days appointed, and that the Philistines gathered themselves together at Michmash; therefore said I, the Philistines will come down now upon me to Gilgal, and I have not made supplication unto the Lord; I forced myself therefore, and offered a burnt offering. And Samuel said to Saul, Thou hast done foolishly . . . now thy kingdom shall not continue: the Lord hath sought him a man after his own heart, and the Lord hath commanded him to be captain over his people, because thou hast not kept that which the Lord commanded thee" (1 Samuel 13:11-14).
Saul waited seven days—but that wait was unholy. He was impatient, angry, fearful and pouting. We must wait with faith, believing that God cares for us and loves us, that He will be there on His time. This matter of waiting is so important that I must show you some Scriptures to prove it.
"And is shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us; this is the Lord, we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation" (Isaiah 25:9).
"For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him (Isaiah 64:4).
|by Gary Wilkerson | May 20, 2013|
Peter and John were walking to the Temple when they encountered a crippled beggar. Hearing the man’s pleas for alms, Peter responded, “I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!” (Acts 3:6, ESV).
The beggar was healed instantly! It was a miracle that had a resounding effect: “While he clung to Peter and John, all the people, utterly astounded, ran together to them in the portico called Solomon’s” (3:11). Here was yet another amazing scene of God’s glory manifesting.
The healed man “clung” to Peter and John. The image here is of someone hanging on for dear life, clutching unashamedly. It is as if this man was saying, “God’s presence is real! I have sat here for years, begging for help, but I never experienced anything like this. He has stirred my soul beyond anything I’ve ever known!”
God loves a heart that clings to Him and pursues Him crying, “Lord, Your glory is too great to let it pass by. I cling to the hope You give me—hope for healing, for transformation, for Your presence in my life and my world.”
“All the people” came to see what had happened (3:11). When God reveals His glory in power, the response will not be trifling. The greatness of His power demands the attention of everyone around.
Suppose this beggar’s miraculous healing had happened at the church where I pastor. We would not be able to buy enough chairs to accommodate the throngs that would come. I am not referring only to gawkers who love a spectacle. We are all hungry for the touch of God in our lives. Believers and nonbelievers alike are hurting today, wandering like sheep without a shepherd, hungering for what is real. So when God’s glory manifests, bringing newness of life, it draws the attention of all, not just a few.
“All the people [were] utterly astounded” (3:11). When the people saw that the beggar was healed, they marveled, “Nothing we know compares to this. Surely God is in this place!”
Let me ask: Do you want more from your life in God? Do you want His glory to come into your home, your marriage, your children’s lives, and transform things so that all are astounded? Guess what—that is what God wants! He wants you to be astounded by His glory and transformed by it. And He wants the world around you to be amazed as His glorious power brings new life to situations where defeat has been the rule.
|by David Wilkerson | May 17, 2013|
A lovely, 19-year-old nurse stopped me after a crusade service. Tearfully, she sobbed out a pitiful confession: "Mr. Wilkerson, I'm a lesbian. I feel so dirty and unclean. The church where I used to attend asked me to never return. The minister said he couldn't take a chance of my seducing others in his congregation. I feel like suicide is my only way out. I live in total fear and condemnation. Must I kill myself to find peace?"
She kept backing away from me as if she felt too unclean to be in my presence. I asked her if she still loved Jesus. "Oh, yes," she replied. "Every waking hour, my heart cries out to Him. I love Christ with everything in me but I'm bound by this terrible habit."
How beautiful it was to see her face light up when I told her how much God loved her, even in her struggles. I told her, "Don't ever give yourself over to your sin. God draws a line right where you are. Any momentum toward Him is accounted as righteousness. Any move back across that line, away from Him, is sin. If we draw near to Him, He draws near to us. Keep your spiritual momentum! Keep loving Jesus even though you still do not have total victory. Accept His daily forgiveness. Live one day at a time! Be convinced Jesus loves sinners so He must love you, too!"
She smiled a smile of relief and said, "Mr. Wilkerson, you are the first minister who ever offered me a ray of hope. Deep in my heart I know He still loves me and I know He will give me deliverance from this bondage. But I have been so condemned by everybody. Thanks for your message of hope and love."
Reader of this message, are you living under condemnation? Have you sinned against the Lord? Have you grieved the Holy Spirit in your life? Are you waging a losing battle with an overpowering temptation?
All you need to do is search God's Word and you will discover a God of mercy, love and endless compassion. David said, "If thou, Lord, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared" (Psalm 130:3-4).
|by David Wilkerson | May 16, 2013|
We are to preach about the Lord's lovingkindness to all mankind. David said: "I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation; I have not concealed thy lovingkindness and thy truth from the great congregation" (Psalm 40:10).
David not only appropriated this wonderful message for himself, he knew it was sorely needed by the whole congregation and by a hurting world. David was grateful to God for such great love, because he was surrounded by his own failings: "Mine iniquities have taken hold upon me" (Psalm 40:12). It does not matter how badly people have sinned, God still loves. That is why He sent His Son. And that is what we should be preaching to the world!
Can you say with David, "I have not concealed thy lovingkindness from the great congregation"?
Perhaps one of the most quoted and sung verses in all of God's Word is this: "Thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee" (Psalm 63:3). You may ask, "What do you mean, His lovingkindness is better than life?" Life is short! It fades like the grass, which is here one season and gone the next. Yet His lovingkindness will endure forever. A billion years from now, Jesus will be as tender and loving to us as He is now. Others can take your life from you but they cannot take away His lovingkindness.
The greatest proclamation of His lovingkindness is joyful praise. Stop and think for a moment: God is not mad at you anymore. If you're ready to forsake your sins, you can be forgiven and restored this very moment.
The Word says nothing can come between our Lord and us: no sin, no guilt, no condemning thoughts. You can say, "My life is a blessing to the Lord, and I can rejoice and praise Him. I am clean, free, forgiven, justified, sanctified, redeemed!"
If you really understood how tender He is toward you—how patient, how caring, how ready to forgive and bless—you would not be able to contain yourself. You would shout and praise Him until you had no voice left!
Beloved, Jesus is coming—and we are ready to go. You have a loving, tender Father who cares about you. He has bottled every tear you have ever shed. He has seen your every need and known your every thought—and He loves you!
|by David Wilkerson | May 15, 2013|
The children of Israel were in a hopeless predicament!
The Red Sea was before them; the mountains were to the left and right; and Pharaoh and his iron chariots were closing in from the rear. God's people seemed helplessly trapped—like sitting ducks just waiting to be cut down. Yet, believe it or not, God purposely had led them into this precarious spot!
It was panic time in the camp of Israel. Men shook with fear, and women and children wept as they huddled around grandparents and other kin. Suddenly Moses was mobbed by irate family leaders who cried, "Surely this is the end! Weren't there enough graves in Egypt to bury us there? You had to drag us out here to die? We told you in Egypt to let us alone. It was better to be slaves there than to die in this miserable wilderness!" (see Exodus 14:10-12).
I wonder if even Moses had a moment of trepidation about their circumstances. Yet when this man of God wept, the Lord seems to have chided him: "Wherefore criest thou unto me?" (Exodus 14:15).
No one in Israel could have known what a great deliverance God was about to bring! Suddenly the winds parted the sea, and the people walked through the parted waves on dry ground. When Pharaoh and his powerful army tried to follow, the waters began to rage again, closing in and drowning them all!
What a sight it must have been! The people of God looked back from the other side and saw their mighty enemy destroyed like tin soldiers. Then a song went up in the camp as, once again, they realized God had delivered them from impossible circumstances! Scripture records their reaction—and the song they sang:
"Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the Lord, and spake, saying, I will sing unto the Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea. The Lord is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father's God, and I will exalt him" (Exodus 15:1-2).
|by David Wilkerson | May 14, 2013|
Dr. Edward Payson, known as "Praying Payson," was a pastor in Portland, Maine, nearly 200 years ago. In 1806, just a few years after the Declaration of Independence, America was devastated by a severe depression. It was a dark period and Dr. Payson vividly recorded the tragedy in his area. He wrote:
"Business has stagnated, many are failing. Hundreds . . . have been thrown out of employment, and they are destitute. I tremble for my poor country. I fear our sins have helped call down judgment upon us. Some of our wonderful young converts have lost their all, and had their homes stripped away; but it does my heart good to see them cheerful and quiet under it all. Others, who have no God, have lost their reason, they worry incessantly, and are apparently dying of a broken heart."
Dr. Payson and his congregation suffered the spoiling of all their goods. Dr. Payson himself lived on pennies during those hard times. On December 28, 1807, in a letter to his mother, he wrote:
"Conditions worsen. A large number of the wealthy merchants live in poverty now. Businesses are failing daily. The poorhouse is already full, and hundreds are yet to be provided for. Many who have been brought up in affluence are now dependent on others for daily food.
"Perhaps, Mother, you will grieve for me and say, ‘Poor Edward!’ But you never had more reason to rejoice on my behalf, and cry, ‘Rich Edward!’ than now. Blessed be God, my faith does not stand on such tottering foundations as to be shaken by these commotions. God keeps me quiet, resigned, and even happy in all these troubles. I do not mean I don't feel pain—I do. All my worldly hopes are destroyed. In these circumstances it is impossible not to feel pain. I thought I knew before that this world is treacherous, and its enjoyments but for a moment; but these hard times have taught me to wean myself from creature things and pursue the things of God. It is my prayer, that if God has any worldly blessings in store for me, He would be pleased to give me His grace instead."
Edward Payson had quit trying to run the race of life on his own (see Hebrews 12:1). He could take joyfully the stripping away of all he possessed, because he was in this world but not of it.
”My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me” (2 Corinthians 12:9).
|by Gary Wilkerson | May 13, 2013|
God wants to do mighty things through us. He wants to express His love to the world through us. So if we are clinging to one thing that gets in the way of His accomplishing that—some willfulness, some refusal to trust Him for everything—He points it out to us.
Sometimes God wants us to add something to our lives before He brings His best. This may involve something we have not done, so He wants us to ask, “Have I been slow to respond to something God has asked me to do?”
We find an example of this in Acts, when the disciples added a new member to replace Judas. While in the Upper Room, they drew lots and chose Matthias. It seemed like such a small thing. These same men had seen Jesus work wonders, open blind eyes, cast out demons, even raise a man from the dead. They had seen God’s kingdom advanced on earth as never before in history. And when Christ ascended to heaven, He gave them this incredible word: “You will do even greater works, once I send you My Spirit. He will empower you. Greater things are yet to come!” (see Acts 1:1-8).
Indeed, these same disciples would go beyond Israel and the Middle East, into Europe and India and Africa, preaching the good news of Christ to the nations, all within their generation. What made it so important to add another disciple? They did it for one simple reason: Peter sensed it was something God wanted them to do.
“In those days Peter stood up among the brothers . . . and said, ‘Brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand by the mouth of David concerning Judas . . . For he was numbered among us and was allotted his share in this ministry’” (Acts 1:15-17). Peter was referring to Psalm 109:8: “May another take his place of leadership.”
There is a great lesson here for Christ’s church today. That is, never overlook a nagging issue of the heart, no matter how small. God puts His finger on these matters for a reason: to reveal our heart’s response to Him. Greater things are yet to come!