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Devotions

God’s Glory Within Each of Us

Gary WilkersonSeptember 30, 2019

The word “glory” can be used in several ways. For instance, we talk about the glory coming down in a church; the weightiness of the Spirit in our midst, like a thick cloud. It is deep and magnificent. Also, one day, we will all be going to glory — heaven. Hallelujah! And you have glory within you! Even while you were being formed in your mother’s womb, God’s glory was breathed into your being.

Joseph was a man who recognized the glory of God within him. He told his brothers, “So you shall tell my father of all my glory in Egypt, and of all that you have seen” (Genesis 45:13). Joseph’s prominence alone did not bring him glory; he recognized that he was fulfilling God’s purpose. He lived a life of integrity and faithfulness as God elevated him to power.  

As a teenager, Joseph had a dream that his brothers were going to one day bow before him. This seemed highly unlikely when, out of jealousy, they ruthlessly threw him into a pit and left him to die. He was rescued, but became a slave before eventually being promoted to a position of leadership within the house he served. However, he was stripped of his position and thrown into prison for a season before finally being promoted to second in command by Pharaoh (see Genesis 41:42-44).

When Moses blessed the children of Israel before his death, he said of Joseph: “Blessed of the Lord is his land … Let the blessing come ‘on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him who was separate from his brothers’” (Deuteronomy 33:13, 16). This blessing was not just a prayer of Moses; it was the heart of God.

Likewise, you have the glory of God resident in you. “You have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us” (2 Corinthians 4:7, ESV). How wonderful to know that you do not have to wait until you get to heaven to experience God’s glory.

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Who Will Save Us?

Carter ConlonSeptember 28, 2019

“For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:16).

The Lord calls us to the throne of grace, not when we have it all together, but when we find ourselves in a time of need. He is not calling us in this hour because we are strong but because he knows that we need him, and he desires for us to finish the work he has commissioned us to do in this generation.

A recent magazine article talking about the calamities currently facing the world had the following headline: WHO WILL SAVE US?  People in our society are beginning to realize that we are in a storm of unprecedented proportions, and a cry for help is rising.

When you start talking about returning to prayer and the work of God, you may face arguments from the enemy. Perhaps even the frailty of your own heart will come against you to discourage you: “Your time has passed. God called you once before but you walked away and now it is too late.” Don’t listen to those voices!

You and I must be awake to the hour in which we are living — and alive to the power of God. If we choose to let God manifest his glory through us, our lives can count for much good in the days that remain. Indeed, the days ahead will be dark, but remember that our destiny is to be a city set on a hill that cannot be hidden. There is no safer place to be than in the hands of God.

God is good and his mercy endures forever. No matter where you are today, no matter how helpless and hopeless you feel, call out to God. When we call out to the Lord, our lives and testimonies are restored, and as a result, many others will find the mercy of God in Jesus Christ.

Carter Conlon joined the pastoral staff of Times Square Church in 1994 at the invitation of the founding pastor, David Wilkerson, and was appointed Senior Pastor in 2001.

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Held by Christ’s Prayer

David Wilkerson (1931-2011)September 27, 2019

“The Lord said, ‘Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail’” (Luke 22:31-32).

Jesus had foreseen the sifting that was coming to Peter and he would not stop it because the process was necessary. But Jesus quickly added, “I have prayed for you.” “I have prayed for you” not “I will pray for you.” He had probably already spent hours with the Father talking about Peter — how he loved him, how needed he was in God’s kingdom, how he valued him as a friend. When Jesus said he was praying for him, he was speaking not only to Peter, but to all the disciples — and to us today.

Jesus knew all too well the fierceness of the powers of evil and how Satan sifts the Lord’s followers. None of us can understand the great conflict raging right now in the spirit realm against saints who have fixed their hearts firmly on going all the way with Christ.

In your Christian walk, there comes a moment you cross the line into a life of obedience and dependence on Jesus, determined in your heart never to go back. When this happens, you become a threat to the kingdom of darkness and, thus, a target of principalities and powers. The testimony of every believer who turns to the Lord with all his heart, hungering after holiness and a deeper walk with Jesus, includes the sudden breaking forth of intense trials!

“Jesus … lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said … ‘I pray for them … Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me … I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one’” (John 17:9, 11, 15).

If you are sold out for God — reading his Word, spending time with him, loving lost souls —  no matter what you’re going through or what lies ahead of you, Jesus is praying for you. What a wonderful comfort this is to every child of God.

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What Does Loving Jesus Look Like?

David Wilkerson (1931-2011)September 26, 2019

“My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth” (1 John 3:18).

Ask any Christian, “Do you love Jesus?” and he will answer, “Absolutely — yes!” But words alone will not stand in the holy light of God’s Word. Jesus said two distinct things will reveal your love for him and if these are not shown in your life, your love for Jesus is in word alone instead of “in deed and in truth.” Those two evidences are: (1) obedience to Jesus’ every command and (2) a manifestation of his presence in your life.

“He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me … and I will love him and manifest Myself to him” (John 14:21). “Manifest” means to “shine or break forth.” In other words, to become an instrument or channel that radiates Christ’s presence.

So often we hear, “Oh, Lord, send your presence among us. Fall upon us and move by your Holy Spirit.” But God’s presence does not suddenly fall and surprise or overwhelm the congregation. He does not “come down” like an invisible smoke that God sprays into the atmosphere, somewhat like the Old Testament cloud of glory that so filled the temple that the priests could not stand to minister (see 2 Chronicles 5:14).

Our bodies are the temple of God, and if his glory comes, it must appear in our hearts and fill our bodies. Christ does not inhabit buildings or a certain atmosphere; in fact, the very heavens cannot contain him! Rather, he manifests through our obedient, sanctified bodies — his temples: “For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: ‘I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be My people’” (2 Corinthians 6:16).

If you have forsaken all sin and desire to know him, you carry Christ’s glory and presence with you. His life flows through you at all times!

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Guarding Your Heart’s Door

David Wilkerson (1931-2011)September 25, 2019

“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. But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:5-6).

One of the great tragedies of this generation — and one of God’ greatest griefs — is that so few Christians are truly happy. They put on a good front of singing, clapping, smiling, but lurking just beneath the surface is misery, loneliness and sadness. Yet, is this what Christ died for? Paul warns of Christians who need to “come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will” (2 Timothy 2:26). This verse describes many Christians perfectly. Satan moves in and out of their lives at his own will and they have no power or authority to stop him at their heart’s door. He flaunts his hold over them: “You have no power of Christ in you to stop me. You will do as I say.”

Perhaps you’re one of those caught in the devil’s snare, but you can recognize the trap and seek to be released. If you have been serving the Lord for more than a few months, you should be growing daily in the grace and knowledge of Jesus. Your spiritual victories should be sweet, and you should be assured of his constant presence. By now, Satan should be running from you!

 “Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son” (Colossians 1:13, KJV). Firmly set your heart on walking with God. In doing so, you will be assured that the Lord will deliver you from the devil’s dominion.  

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