I received a letter from a brother in Christ who probably would claim he is a very upright man. Yet there was bitterness in his words to me:
"Brother Wilkerson, what has happened to you? You used to preach so powerfully against sin. But I believe you've gone soft on sin lately. Your recent message on Jubilee gives people a license to sin. You're offering comfort to compromisers, instead of convicting them!
I've been perplexed for some time about a problem that has persisted in the church for years - and it concerns me deeply. The problem is, why is it so hard for Christians to pray?
Scripture makes it clear that the answer to everything in our lives is prayer mixed with faith. The apostle Paul writes, "Be careful [anxious] for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God" (Philippians 4:6). Paul is telling us, "Seek the Lord about every area of your life. And thank him ahead of time for hearing you!"
The apostle Paul writes that when Jesus comes again, "...he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords" (1 Timothy 6:15). Paul is saying, in essence, "When Christ comes, he's going to show everybody who's Lord!"
God promised the prophet Zechariah that in the last days, he would be a protective wall of fire around his people: "For I, saith the Lord, will be unto her a wall of fire round about..." (Zechariah 2:5).
Likewise, Isaiah testifies: "For thou has been a...shadow form the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall" (Isaiah 25:4). "There shall be a tabernacle for a shadow in the daytime from the heat, and for a place of refuge, and for a covert from storm and from rain" (4:6).
Everyone knows what stew is. It's the meat-and-vegetable dish you put in a pot, simmer in a slow boil, and then eat. Yet Webster's Encyclopedic Dictionary offers another definition. It describes stew as "a state of being agitated, disturbed." This same definition also includes the phrase "stewing in one's own juices" - meaning, "to allow trouble and agitation to simmer; to continue in a disturbed state of mind."
We Americans tend to overlap these two meanings of the word "stew." Whenever we want to describe our troubled emotions, for instance, we use cooking terms. For example:
I believe there is nothing more dangerous to a Christian than to carry around a resentment against God. Yet I am shocked by the growing number of believers I meet who are peeved at the Lord. They may not admit as much - but deep inside, they hold some kind of grudge against him. Why? They believe he's not interested in their lives or problems! They're convinced he doesn't care - because he hasn't answered a particular prayer or acted on their behalf.
The Old Testament is full of types and shadows of New Testament truth. Whenever I have a difficult time trying to understand a truth from the New Testament, I turn back to its foreshadowing in the Old. In fact, I believe there isn't a single episode or story in the Old Testament that is not full of ripe truth for New Testament believers.
My preacher grandfather once told me, "David, if you're going to teach about character, you have to go to the Old Testament. That's where all the character teaching is." I believe he was right.
I'm an old-fashioned preacher who believes in honoring the sabbath. And one reason behind my conviction is that I was raised in a preacher's home, where the sabbath was honored religiously.
The sabbath began for us when we children were awakened early on Sunday morning for a full day in church. First came Sunday morning church, followed by lunch. And after lunch, we all had to take a nap, whether we wanted to or not. (Sometimes this seemed just awful. We had to lie down just when we felt full of life!)
You know the story of King David - how he committed adultery with Bathsheba and secretly arranged for her husband's death. Yet, after the prophet Nathan exposed David's sin, holding it up before his face, the broken king repented of his horrible misdeeds. And he later wrote four psalms expressing the distress and terror he had felt as a result of his sin.