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Devotions

Responding to God’s Judgement

David Wilkerson (1931-2011)June 24, 2020

“A lion has roared! Who will not fear? The Lord God has spoken! Who can but prophesy?” (Amos 3:8).

Of all the Old Testament prophets, Amos speaks most clearly to our times. The prophecy he delivers zeroes in on our generation as if it were ripped from today’s headlines. Indeed, Amos’ message is a dual prophecy, meant not only for God’s people in his day but also for the church right now, in our time.

Amos described God as a roaring lion, ready to strike Israel with judgment. The Lord was using Amos to awaken Israel with the message that God was about to send judgment on his people because of their overwhelming evil and corruption.

The Lord never judges a people without first raising up prophetic voices to warn them. “Surely the Lord God does nothing unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets” (3:7). As Amos saw the cloud of judgment gathering, he was compelled to speak: “If the trumpet is blown in a city, will not the people be afraid?” (3:6). Amos’ message here is chilling: “God has sounded a trumpet of warning to his people but no one is alarmed.”

Sadly, too many Christians have become biblically illiterate, open to great deception, and our nation has become pleasure-mad. But God still has a holy, separated remnant, those who aren’t caught up in worldly pursuits; they’re brokenhearted before the Lord and have a holy reverence of him.

Think about the events unfolding in our nation at this moment. Few want to hear a message having to do with judgment even though our nation is filled with fear. People are even saying, “I can’t handle any more.” But the Lord speaks when he will and his Spirit provides us strength to hear his Word, as delivered by his anointed servants. Our Lord will faithfully empower his people to endure whatever may come.

So, what are believers to do? Heed Amos’ warning and follow his message: Seek the Lord with all your heart; allow yourself to be judged by his Word; and confess and forsake your sin. Then God will bless you with discernment and you can walk in total assurance of his presence and safety.   

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God’s Remedy for a World in Crisis

David Wilkerson (1931-2011)June 23, 2020

Our Lord always has a remedy for a world in chaos, a remedy he has used for generations to wake up his church, and it is simply this: God raises up chosen men and women!

In times such as these, our Lord uses individuals to respond to a world in crisis. He touches his servants in a supernatural way, transforming them and then calling them to a life of total submission to his will. “Blessed is the man You choose, and cause to approach You, that he may dwell in Your courts” (Psalm 65:4). In short, God’s Spirit woos this servant into intimate communion with him. There, the servant is given God’s mind and he receives a divine call. His soul is filled with an urgency and he begins to walk with spiritual authority.

When God chooses someone to be set apart for a special, redeeming work, he gives that servant a call — and how the servant responds determines the power and intensity of God’s touch in his life. This is the call to “come up” and it summons us out of the activities of life and into an unshackled pursuit of God’s presence. Consider Moses. When he became Israel’s leader, he was suddenly an extremely busy man. God’s people numbered in the millions and Moses’ life became hectic as he judged and ministered to the people from morning till night.

Watching all this, Moses’ father-in-law Jethro intervened and warned Moses that he would wear himself out if he didn’t make some changes. “You’re the pastor, Moses, and you need to shut yourself in with God. Assign others the jobs of arbitrating and counseling. Then get alone with God, seek his presence, get his mind, and receive his word. This should be your priority” (see Exodus 18:19-22).

Moses heeded this wise counsel; he appointed others to act as judges and counselors and he determined to accept God’s call to “come up.” Scripture says, “Moses went up to God” (19:3). “The Lord came down upon Mount Sinai, on the top of the mountain. And the Lord called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up” (19:20).

Moses prized the presence of God in his life, as have many Christians who have experienced this call, this divine urge to commune with the Lord. The Lord is asking you to “come up,” to meet him on the mount and let him fill you anew with his presence.

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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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