Whom Have You Blessed Lately?

David Wilkerson (1931-2011)

The surest evidence that the Lord’s hand of blessing is on you is that others are being blessed through you. God said to Abraham, “[In] blessing I will bless you … In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed” (Genesis 22:17-18). In other words, “The reason I am blessing you, Abraham, is that you can bless all the nations.”

Few of us are called to bless entire nations, of course, but each of us has a circle of family, friends and colleagues. How many in your circle are being blessed by what the Lord is doing in you? Is the glory of your relationship with Jesus overflowing to those around you? Are your friends and family being blessed by Christ in you? Whom have you blessed lately?

When you begin to bless others in the midst of your trials, you will know that God’s hand of blessing is on you. This is what happened with David. When his enemies showed him no mercy, he testified, “Let them curse, but You bless; when they arise, let them be ashamed, but let Your servant rejoice” (Psalm 109:28). David cried out to God for help and blessing as his enemies cursed him.

Jesus commands us, “Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you” (Matthew 5:44). If you can keep this word, you are surely blessed of the Lord.

Another sure sign that you are being blessed is that you are being drawn closer to the Lord. God never blessed anyone without drawing that person closer to himself. If you look around and find yourself lacking in certain gifts that you see in others, you can rest assured that as you draw near to him, he will bless you with many spiritual blessings. Come to him in faith. He delights in blessing you!

Jesus Has Won the Victory!

Gary Wilkerson

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? … But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:25 and 33).

Many of us are living almost in a fanciful world of make believe. We believe we have been set free. We have been washed and redeemed, made holy — pure, clean, washed — and are living righteous lives for God. At least that is what is somewhere in the shadowlands of our mind and understanding.

But in reality, you may have doubts that leave you wondering, “Have I really been set free?” You may have areas of struggle and because of this question in your mind, you pray daily, “Lord, set me free! Deliver me from bondage, from the power of sin, from these habitual patterns, addictions. Please set me free!” 

I am pleased to tell you that the way you see your life and the way the Father sees you is different. You are pleading, “Lord, change me!” while you have already been changed because you have met Jesus Christ and have been washed by the blood of the Lamb. When you were cleansed by his precious blood, you were made free and you are now a new creation. You do not need to come to the altar and beg and plead in despair and guilt.

When Jesus talks about “seeking first the kingdom of God and his righteousness,” he is assuring us that he has won the victory for us! There is no anxiety, no fear, no condemnation because he never changes. So when you come to the altar, come to worship and praise him for his love and grace because you are redeemed.

God Speaks to Those Who Listen

Jim Cymbala

When the prophet Samuel was a young boy, he thought he heard his teacher Eli calling his name in the middle of the night. It was actually the voice of the Lord, but Samuel did not yet know how to discern the Lord’s voice. After Samuel inquired of Eli three times, Eli instructed Samuel to answer, “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening” (1 Samuel 3:9). Later all of Israel flocked to Samuel to hear the word of the Lord that he received through fellowship with God.

It was through fellowship with God that Moses received the Ten Commandments and the building plans for the tabernacle. Later, through listening, David received instructions on how to build the temple that his son Solomon would construct. God speaks to those who listen.

In the New Testament era, a simple believer named Ananias received Christ’s instructions to go to the recently converted Saul of Tarsus and minister to him (see Acts 9:10-18). He wasn’t a prophet, but he heard from God a message not of new doctrine but of personal direction. Why wouldn’t the Holy Spirit still want to guide the Christian believer today?

As we spend time listening to God, we can be taught what to say and be given words for that day. Sometimes we will be given a general feeling or a section of Scripture that prepares our heart for the things that will soon confront us. At other times, God might give us a specific verse, a nugget of wisdom, or a word of encouragement that we can pass on to someone we meet during the day. But the listening ear and instructed tongue come only from times of fellowship with the Lord. And, remember, these instances of directive come while we are listening, not when we are talking.

Jim Cymbala began the Brooklyn Tabernacle with less than twenty members in a small, rundown building in a difficult part of the city. A native of Brooklyn, he is a longtime friend of both David and Gary Wilkerson.

The Conviction of God’s Grace

David Wilkerson (1931-2011)

Whenever the Spirit falls, two things are always in evidence: a spirit of grace and spirit of supplication. “And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication” (Zechariah 12:10).

The book of Titus tells us that grace is given to us as power over sin, to enable us to live sober, holy lives. “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:11-13).

A marvelous measure of this grace has been present in God’s people ever since Pentecost. The Holy Spirit has sent conviction of sin on all nations, teaching believers of every race and tongue how to forsake ungodliness. The result has been a people who live soberly and righteously and are longing for the coming of Jesus.

I believe Zechariah 12 is prophesying that in the very last hour, the Holy Spirit will fall mightily upon God’s people with a spirit of grace that turns them completely from all worldliness. It will produce in them a purity of heart. God’s people will wake up to true “grace preaching” — the kind that convicts people of every hidden thing in their lives. Ministers will preach a convicting, sin-exposing, repentance message beyond anything ever seen in history. All unrighteousness, ungodliness and foolishness will be exposed, and those in God’s house will feel a “pressure” to do what is right.

Ministers worldwide who have been lukewarm will be moved upon by the Holy Spirit. God will smite them with the conviction of his grace and he will tell them, “The world is coming apart and soon you will stand before me. Start speaking to the hearts of the people with the anointing of the Holy Spirit.”

Satan Cannot Have You!

David Wilkerson (1931-2011)

It was necessary for Jesus to take on human form so that he could go through everything we do on earth — rejection, pain, sorrow, temptation. Indeed, although he was God in flesh, he endured the whole human experience not as God, but as human, with all our frailties. This enables Jesus to pray for us with tremendous sympathy: “For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted” (Hebrews 2:18).

Consider a dear sister in a struggle. She is a lover of Jesus but she is discouraged, cast down, rejected. Standing in shame, she thinks, “I’ve been so hurt and nobody seems to understand me.” On the brink of giving up, she is in total despair.

On top of that, Satan stands beside her, accusing her, “Look at this one! She has virtually no faith. What kind of Christian is she?”

That is when Jesus steps in! He sees her pain and knows that her faith is weak, so he goes before the Father on her behalf and begins to intercede for her. He becomes her Advocate! “Father, I know what this dear one feels. I’ve been there — rejected; mocked; spat upon. In desperation, I cried out, ‘Why have You forsaken Me?’ I sympathize with this woman, Father, but I have washed away her sins and she still has a heart for me.”

This is where Jesus’ prayers for us come in: “Father, I would that she be given a new supply of grace from on high. May the Holy Spirit come upon her with a special renewing of encouragement. Give her peace and rest in the Holy Spirit. She is mine and Satan cannot have her!”

Suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, the woman feels encouraged because grace has been given to her through the prayers of our High Priest. He is touched by the feelings of our infirmities — and He acts in mercy.