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Devotions

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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God-Given Plans Against Satan’s Tactics

David Wilkerson (1931-2011)June 16, 2020

Paul wrote two letters to the Corinthians that contained powerful teachings. He taught about the resurrection, the coming of the Lord, the judgment seat of Christ, death to sin, righteousness by faith, and heaven and hell. Faithfully, Paul warned these people, wooed them, pleaded with them. Without question, no other body of believers had been so lovingly pastored, so well taught, and so edified by the gospel of grace.

Moreover, the Corinthians were blessed beyond Paul’s teaching. They had experienced powerful workings of the Holy Spirit in their midst and been endowed with many spiritual gifts. This was a vibrant, prophetic, on-fire church! Yet, incredibly, a number of these same blessed believers were living in immorality. Paul had accused many of them of being “unclean” (2 Corinthians 12:21) and he wrote, “This will be the third time I am coming to you … I have told you before … that if I come again I will not spare … Therefore I write these things being absent, lest being present I should use sharpness, according to the authority which the Lord has given me for edification and not for destruction” (13:1-2, 10).

Paul was not mincing words. He was essentially saying, “Twice now I’ve warned you of the sin in your congregation. You have sat under godly, convicting preaching and partaken of God’s gift of grace. Yet some of you have twisted that grace by deliberately continuing to live in uncleanness.”

Every Sunday, professing Christians gather to worship, hear God’s Word and enjoy fellowship. Yet many of these same people lead sin-filled lives. Jude warns, “Certain men have crept in unnoticed … ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ” (verse 4). In other words, people will attempt to distort and pervert all reverence for the things of God.

Jude gives three defenses against Satan’s seductions in Jude 20-21:

  1. Build up your faith by diligently studying God’s Word.

  2. Pray in the Holy Spirit.

  3. Don’t be anxious but, instead, look for our Lord’s coming.

Each of us has within us the ability to pray, to read God's Word, and to look for Jesus' soon return. If we do these things, Jude declares, we'll reap the benefits of this prayer: "Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy" (Jude 24).

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