A Glimpse of God’s Pain

David Wilkerson (1931-2011)

“And the Lord said to Moses, ‘Go, get down! For your people whom you brought out of the land of Egypt have corrupted themselves. …They have made themselves a molded calf, and worshiped it and sacrificed to it. …I have seen this people, and indeed it is a stiff-necked people! Now therefore, let me alone, that my wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them’” (Exodus 32:7-10, NKJV).

“Then Moses pleaded with the Lord his God, and said: ‘Lord, why does your wrath burn hot against your people whom you have brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand? …Turn from your fierce wrath, and relent from this harm to your people…’ So the Lord relented from the harm which he said he would do to his people” (Exodus 32:11-14).

In reading this passage, many Christians mistakenly attribute more grace and mercy to Moses than to God. They think, “Moses is pleading for great mercy upon Israel, while God is ready to destroy them.” Nothing could be further from the truth. The only reason Moses could pray as he did was because he knew God’s heart of mercy.

God’s justice demanded that the people be consumed, but Moses knew it would pain God too much to destroy his children, so he lifted this plea to God, “I know that your justice is crying out and these stiff-necked people should be wiped out, but I know you would not be able to stand the pain if you did that. I know your heart, God, and I know you cannot destroy Israel because you love her.”

The Bible says God “repented,” which means he changed his mind about how he would judge Israel. He was not going to destroy them; instead, the people would waste away in the wilderness. Although the people would continue to pain his heart for thirty-eight more years with their unbelief, the Lord would still protect them, lead them, feed them and clothe them to their dying day.

This knowledge of God’s heart should move us, as it did Moses, to worship and serve the Lord even more passionately. 

Shall We Continue in Sin?

David Wilkerson (1931-2011)

When Paul first taught the truth of justification by faith, it shook the church. It was incredible news at that time. In fact, some theologians responded, “If I’m pardoned, if God is so merciful to forgive me freely by faith alone, then let me sin even more, so God can enjoy giving me more grace!” Those theologians did not understand the gospel.

Because of the cross, God considered everything about our old flesh done away with and gone. Paul asked, “Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?” (Romans 6:1, NKJV), and he continued quickly, “Certainly not!” I believe Paul was saying, “Why would any Christian, having been set free from such death, go back and resurrect the corpse? Why go back to a life of sin when God wants to take away all guilt and condemnation and give you security and peace? Now, because of the cross, you can serve the Lord with joy and gladness and obey him in a new obligation called love.”

“So,” you ask, “are we simply to take the righteousness of Jesus by faith?” Yes, absolutely. That is what the Christian walk is all about, resting by faith in what Jesus accomplished.

Our old man is dead, and the new man is in Jesus. When we put our faith in him, God fully accepts us. He considers us righteous, hidden in the bosom of his dear Son. Whenever you sin or fail, run quickly to your advocate. Confess your failures to him, and rest in his righteousness.

You may ask, “Don’t good works have any place in this doctrine?” Of course they do, but on this condition: Good works cannot save you, justify you or make you righteous and acceptable to God. The only thing that saves you is your faith in what Jesus did!

What did Jesus do? He saved, pardoned and accepted you with failures and all. God sees you now only in Jesus Christ, and that is why we must come to our Savior every time we fall. The blood that forgave and cleansed us the first time we came to Jesus is the same blood that continues to keep us until he returns.

Along with this security comes a higher obligation of doing all our works in his strength and power, rather than trying to do them on our own. “If by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live” (Romans 8:13).

Remember Our Life Source

Gary Wilkerson

Jesus told the church in Laodicea, “I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing…” (Revelation 3:15-17, ESV). That last line is probably the most tragic thing someone could say to God. 

I don’t think most modern believers in America would ever say out loud, “That’s me too. I need nothing from God.” We say it sometimes in our actions, though. We say it in our schedule, our time spent, our passions, our dreams. Our goals and the layout of our days say, “I don’t really need the Holy Spirit because I can do this myself. I don’t need time in prayer because I have the wisdom to move ahead in my own strength.”

Jesus knows better. He went on in verse 17. “For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked” (Revelation 3:17). Jesus wrote this letter to say, both then and now, “Please come back to me. You don’t realize how badly you need me.” 

There’s an old hymn that says, “I need Thee every hour most gracious Lord. No tender voice like Thine can peace afford. I need Thee, O I need Thee. Every hour I need Thee. O bless me now, my Savior, I come to Thee…”

God is our source of life and power in life. Jesus is our past, present and future. He’s our all in all. Nothing compares to him. 

When I sit down to read my Bible every morning, I pray, “Lord, keep speaking to me. Do not pass by me. In this time I have with you today, please meet with me. I need you. I need a fresh touch from heaven. I need to be refilled with the Holy Spirit’s power and grace.” Will you join me in praying that each day? We never need God any less, no matter how smoothly life is going. 

God’s Great and Mighty Peace

Carter Conlon

No one likes to get bad news. You could be going right along with your daily activities, and then in an instant, everything in your life could change. A phone call, a report, a vehicle accident, a pink slip, or something else that rocks your world could take place. It wouldn’t even have to be a calamitous event to change your life in a moment. 

Have you experienced that? You were cruising right along in life, then your husband came home from work and said he wanted a divorce, and your world came crashing down. Or you woke up as usual to get ready to go to work, but once there, you found out you no longer had a job. Or the doctor told you that you had cancer, and everything you had trusted in to give you security came crashing down around you. 

Can we have peace in our hearts when our world is turned upside down?

Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid” (John 14:27, ESV). The kind of peace that the world gives is conditional. The kind of peace that Jesus promises is based on the foundation of God himself, unchanging, loving, gracious, merciful and faithful. God’s peace is not dependent on our circumstances; in fact, it thrives in the midst of our trials and dark valleys. 

The peace that Jesus gives you and me is drawn from the very heart of God. He keeps his promises and assures us that we are his and no person, demon, fear or enemy can take us out of God’s hands. 

The peace of God in your life gives you the sense that you are not walking alone. God is walking with you. His peace tells you that you do not have to sustain yourself; God is sustaining you. You don’t have to get through the storm because Christ’s voice is calming the storm and making a way through impassable waters. 

When our lives change, we can witness the power of God like we have never seen before, if only we turn our eyes toward him.

Carter Conlon joined the pastoral staff of Times Square Church in 1994 and was appointed Senior Pastor in 2001. In May of 2020 he transitioned into a continuing role as General Overseer of Times Square Church, Inc.

Saved by Faith Alone

David Wilkerson (1931-2011)

When we first came to faith in Christ, we trusted that our sins were forgiven. We believed we were accepted, that we could lay down all guilt and fear and say, “I am saved by faith alone in what Jesus did for me at the cross.”

As we proceeded in our walk with Jesus, we committed fresh acts of disobedience. We were crushed by our sins and quickly lost our vision of the cross. We tried to work out our own righteousness, to win back God’s favor by trying harder, but life then became a nightmarish merry-go-round of sin and confession, sin and confession.

We sometimes act as if trying harder on our own can save us. We think if we could just reform this flesh of ours, God would be pleased. Soon we are constantly working on our old man, to shape him up for a victorious Christian walk.

Some Christians may say, “I paid a high price for the victory I’ve achieved. I went through a lot of pain and suffering. I fasted, prayed and successfully put down all my lusts and sinful desires. Is my struggle to obey worth nothing to God? Does he consider all my righteousness, all my hard work, as filthy rags?” Yes! It is all the flesh and none of it will stand before him. There is only one righteousness, and that is the righteousness of Jesus Christ.

“For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God” (Romans 10:3, NKJV).

The only way to get into God’s good grace is to admit the truth: “There is no good thing in my flesh, nothing in my good works to merit my salvation. I cannot become righteous through anything I do in my own strength. My righteousness is in Christ alone.” Paul says of the gift of righteousness, “Those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the one, Jesus Christ.” (Romans 5:17).