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Devotions

Dealing With Feelings of Disappointment With God

Gary WilkersonJune 22, 2020

“I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you” (John 6:26-27).

Jesus had just miraculously fed a crowd of thousands, amazing and thrilling the people. They were ready to eagerly follow this wonder-working Messiah — until he challenged them about what they were really after. Then their adulation turned to scorn, and they turned and left him by the droves.

A question that every Christian faces early on in his walk with the Lord is, “Who is in charge of my life, me or Jesus?” Do we allow God to have total direction of our lives or do we try to determine for ourselves what God wants of us?

The people in this scene were quick to follow Christ but they were just as quick to reject him. Jesus knew this would happen, that’s why on the heels of performing a great miracle for those multitudes, he confronted them: “I tell you the truth, you want to be with me because I fed you, not because you understood the miraculous signs” (see 6:26).

Is the same true of us today? What happens to our faith commitment if things don’t come to pass for us as we anticipated? Do we follow Jesus mainly because of who he is or because of his blessing? The Lord won’t bend to our lusts to give us everything we want, when we want it. His desire is to have a relationship with us — an ongoing, long-term relationship that bears lasting fruit. His blessings are signs of his faithfulness and compassion.

As the crowds began leaving, Christ turned to the twelve disciples and asked them, “Are you going to leave as well?” (see 6:67). This is a question for every hurting Christian today — everyone whose prayer hasn’t been answered the way they’ve wanted; in other words, everyone who is disappointed with God. In such times, we are all tempted to give up and turn away.

Praise God, our faith commitment isn’t based on what God gives us but on our relationship with him and who we know him to be: compassionate, merciful and faithful. And best of all, this relationship doesn’t hinge on our performance but on his faithfulness. Friend, hold on to your faith! Your heavenly Father is continually at work on your behalf.

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Because You Seek Jesus

Carter ConlonJune 20, 2020

“Praise the Lord! Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who delights greatly in His commandments. His descendants will be mighty on earth; the generation of the upright will be blessed” (Psalm 112:1-2).

Within these verses, the Lord assures us of the security of those who are godly. There is a reason to walk with God, a reason to read the Bible and pray. God says that He will bless your children, even if they are no longer under your roof. Start walking with God, going into the prayer closet and doing what the Scripture says, and you will soon realize that God is not limited as we are.

“Surely he will never be shaken; the righteous will be in everlasting remembrance. He will not be afraid of evil tidings; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord” (112:6-7). For those seeking the Lord, freedom from fear will be a heritage.

Those who are right with God will not be afraid of whatever comes on the news tomorrow or happens in the world around them. When Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James went to the tomb after Jesus was crucified, an earthquake had just occurred, and an angel of the Lord had rolled away the stone from the entrance to the tomb. When this happened, the Bible tells us the “guards shook with fear when they saw him, and they fell into a dead faint” (Matthew 28:4, NLT).

Notice what happened next! The two Marys heard the voice of the angel speaking to them, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus” (28:5). I believe the same will happen in our day as people shake in fear as they witness great calamities on the earth. Those who have chosen to follow God will be able to hear and believe as the Lord speaks to them: “Don’t fear because I know you seek Jesus.”

I believe every believer comes to a point of decision where he determines to go all the way with God, a decision that affects the rest of his life. If there is sin in your life, get rid of it quickly! Instead make the choice today to say, “I will not justify wrong in my life. By the grace of God, I am going to trust him for the power to finish this journey in victory.”

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.

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The Daily Need for Christ

David Wilkerson (1931-2011)June 19, 2020

All over this nation, Christians are praying for revival. Many expect the Holy Spirit to fall upon their community and convert multitudes as God sweeps sinners into their churches. They feel that because they have fasted and prayed, God will automatically send revival. But God responds, “No, I won’t play that game. You must take personal responsibility for your witness of me. You must be a shining manifestation of my Son and make me known to your family, friends, neighbors and coworkers.”

Simply put, revival begins when those around you see Jesus in you. How can we shine forth to become a manifestation of truth? How can our lives become such clear images of Jesus that we produce in others a conviction and hunger for God?

The key can be found in Ezekiel 44. As Ezekiel looks prophetically into the last days, he sees two kinds of priesthoods existing in the church. One is the righteous Zadok priesthood — Zadok, a godly minister who served Israel during David’s reign, remained faithful to David in both good times and bad, and lived an upright life that was an example to all the other priests. Then there is the Eli priesthood — Eli, an unfaithful priest who allowed corruption to enter God’s house. He was disobedient to God’s Word, soft on sin, lazy about holiness, and the ministry under him was corrupted by sensuality and love for the world.

We must be like the sons of Zadok who come to God’s table to worship him: “They shall stand before me to offer to Me the fat and the blood” (Ezekiel 44:15). The fat Ezekiel mentions here represents the best part of an offering — and God wants the best part of our life.

The blood Ezekiel speaks of represents a life that is yielded to God in unreserved consecration. In essence, we minister to the Lord every time we rely on the power of Christ’s blood, in every situation and crisis. Applying Jesus’ blood isn’t just a one-time experience, it’s a daily need.  We call on the power of his blood every time we need healing, peace of mind, cleansing from sin, and he answers us.

Doing these things makes Jesus fully manifest in your life. May you be filled with Holy Ghost power, touching those around you and making known the love of Jesus. This is what will bring true revival.

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A Testimony like Enoch

David Wilkerson (1931-2011)June 18, 2020

“By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, ‘and was not found, because God had taken him’; for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God” (Hebrews 11:5). Enoch had intimate communion with his heavenly Father and his life is yet another testimony of what it means to truly walk in faith. His fellowship with God was so intimate that the Lord translated him to glory long before his life on earth might have ended.

Why did the Lord choose to translate Enoch? The opening words of this verse tell us very plainly that it was because of his faith. Moreover, the closing phrase tells us Enoch’s faith pleased God. That is something every Christian believer should aspire to. The Greek word for “pleased” used here means fully united, wholly agreeable, in total oneness. In short, Enoch had the closest possible communion with the Lord that any human being could enjoy. And this intimate fellowship with God was pleasing to the Father.

The Bible tells us Enoch began walking with the Lord after he begot his son, Methuselah, who lived be 969 years of age. You might remember Methuselah as being the oldest man recorded in the Bible (Genesis 5:27). Enoch was sixty-five at the time of his son’s birth and then he spent the next 300 years fellowshipping with God. Hebrews makes it clear that Enoch was so in touch with the Father, so close to him in hourly communication, that God chose to bring him home to himself. In essence, the Lord was saying to Enoch, “I can’t take you any further in the flesh. In order to increase my intimacy with, I must bring you home to my side.” So he whisked Enoch away to glory!

To our knowledge, Enoch never performed a miracle, never developed a profound theology, never did any great works worthy of mention in Scripture. However, we read this simple description of this faithful man’s life: “Enoch walked with God.”

Can you imagine having this said about you? Does your heart yearn for a closer walk with the Lord? Is there a growing dissatisfaction in you with the things of this world?

True faith is found in waiting on your Savior, ministering to him until you hear and know his heart.

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The Pursuit of God Above All Else

David Wilkerson (1931-2011)June 17, 2020

It is impossible to have a faith that pleases God without sharing a closeness to Jesus that comes from yearning after him. This kind of close personal bond can only come when we desire the Lord more than anything else in life.

The writer of Hebrews gives us several examples of faith-filled servants who walked closely with God. Let’s look together at Abel: “By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks” (Hebrews 11:4). Abel offered sacrifices to the Lord on a frequent basis and his sacrifices always required an altar.

Abel brought not only unspotted lambs for the sacrifice, but the fat of those lambs as well. “Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat” (Genesis 4:4).

The fat is important here because it caught fire quickly and was consumed, causing a sweet aroma to rise. “The priest shall burn them on the altar as food, an offering made by fire for a sweet aroma; all the fat is the Lord’s” (Leviticus 3:16). It is a type of prayer or fellowship that is acceptable to God, representing our ministry to the Lord in the secret place of prayer. The Lord himself states that such intimate worship rises to him like a sweet-smelling savor. “For we are to God the fragrance of Christ” (2 Corinthians 2:15).

Somewhere along the line, Abel made the choice to pursue a relationship with God, to have communion and fellowship with him as his parents had. His brother Cain also brought sacrifices but they were fruit, an offering that did not require an altar as there was no fat, nothing to be consumed. As a result, there was no sweet aroma to rise up to heaven. In other words, no personal exchange between Cain and the Lord was involved. That is why Abel’s offering was “more excellent than Cain’s.”

The faithful servant seeks God’s touch in his life. Like Abel, he won’t settle for anything less. This servant tells himself, “I’m determined to give the Lord all the time he wants from me in fellowship. I long to hear his still, small voice speak to me, so I’m going to stay in his presence.”

Beloved, may you determine to be this type of servant.

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