Saturday, 30 April 2011

David Wilkerson Promoted to Glory

The article below is written by David Wilkerson's son Gary.I had the pleasure of meeting them both some years ago in Belfast.Most Christians, certainly all who are part of my generation would have heard of his famous book 'the Cross and the Switchblade'. He was an inspiring preacher though in some of his prophetic declarations he was probably wrong.He was fearless and never pulled his punches when preaching. Thanks also to David, many were inspired to preach the gospel, including Nicky Cruz his famous convert who went on to start his own ministry of evangelism.

David served the purposes of God in his generation, then he died” (Acts 13:36).

On Wednesday afternoon my father, David Wilkerson, passed away in a car accident. We grieve the loss of a beloved father, a faithful husband and a holy man of God. My mother, Gwen, his wife of 57 years, was in the car also, but we are told she will recover fully.

Dad’s 60-plus years of ministry have impacted the lives of those closest to him and extended to millions around the world. Today we feel a personal loss, but at the same time we rejoice knowing Dad lived life to the fullest, obeying God with devotion and loving Jesus radically.

He was known for his unlimited faith. He believed God could change the lives of gang members and transform the most desperate drug addicts. He believed that a dynamic church could be launched in the heart of Times Square, New York City. He believed he could be a man who loved his wife and children well. And he did.

Dad was not one for fanfare, acclaim or ceremony. He turned down invitations to meet with world leaders yet would give everything he owned to support a poor orphan or a widow in distress.

Like King David of old, Dad served God’s purposes in his generation. He preached with uncompromising passion and relentless grace. He wrote with amazing insight, clarity and conviction. He ran his race well and when his work was done, he was called home.

I don’t think my father would have retired well. I don’t think he was one to sit in a rocking chair and reminisce about times past. I believe that Jesus, knowing this, graciously called him home.

Dad’s last mission on earth was to be an advocate for the poorest of the poor—to provide relief and support for hungry children and widows and orphans. After founding Teen Challenge, World Challenge and Times Square Church, he sought to feed starving children in the most impoverished countries in the world. Today, Please Pass the Bread is saving the lives of thousands of children, through 56 outreaches in 8 countries.

Like King David of old, after having served God’s purpose, he died. I know if my father were able to encourage you with his words today, he would invite you to give your all to Jesus, to love God deeply and to give yourself away to the needs of others.

The works he began outlive him. We can all attest to his impacting us—not only in his preaching, writing and founding of world-changing ministries, but in his love, devotion, compassion and ability to stir our faith for greater works.

Friday, 22 April 2011

St Paul's Prayer for the Church

For this reason I kneel before the Father,
From whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name.
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being,
So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.
And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,
May have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people,
To grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,
And to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,
To him be glory in the church
And in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever!

Ephesians 3.14-21

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

The Prayer of Charles Wesley,

This relatively unknown hymn is really the prayer of an evangelist and through its words touches the deepest recesses of an evangelist's innermost spirit.It might also be viewed as a commentary or exposition of the words from that most famous of prayers: 'Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven' as regards humankind hearing and heeding the message of gospel grace.As with many of Wesley's hymns it is full of Biblical imagery, be it from Isaiah, the gospels or the apostle Paul.We could do much worse than make it our own.

Thou, Jesus, Thou my breast inspire,
And touch my lips with hallowed fire,
And loose a stammering infant's tongue;
Prepare the vessel of Thy grace,
Adorn me with the robes of praise,
And mercy shall be all my song.
Mercy for all who know not God,
Mercy for all in Jesu's blood,
Mercy, that earth and heaven transcends;
Love, that o'erwhelms the saints in light,
The length, and breadth, and depth, and height
O love divine which never ends!

A faithful witness of Thy grace,
Well may I fill the alloted space,
And answer all Thy great design;
Walk in the works by Thee prepared;
And find annexed the vast reward,
The crown of righteousness divine.
When I have lived to Thee alone,
Pronounce the welcome word: Well done!
And let me take my place above,
Enter into my Master's joy,
And all eternity employ
In praise, and ecstasy, and love.

Charles Wesley (1707-1788)

Sunday, 10 April 2011

For there stood by me this night the angel of God."—Acts 27:23.

TEMPEST and long darkness, coupled with imminent risk of shipwreck, had brought the crew of the vessel into a sad case; one man alone among them remained perfectly calm, and by his word the rest were reassured. Paul was the only man who had heart enough to say, "Sirs, be of good cheer." There were veteran Roman legionaries on board, and brave old mariners, and yet their poor Jewish prisoner had more spirit than they all. He had a secret Friend who kept his courage up. The Lord Jesus despatched a heavenly messenger to whisper words of consolation in the ear of His faithful servant, therefore he wore a shining countenance and spoke like a man at ease.

If we fear the Lord, we may look for timely interventions when our case is at its worst. Angels are not kept from us by storms, or hindered by darkness. Seraphs think it no humiliation to visit the poorest of the heavenly family. If angel's visits are few and far between at ordinary times, they shall be frequent in our nights of tempest and tossing. Friends may drop from us when we are under pressure, but our intercourse with the inhabitants of the angelic world shall be more abundant; and in the strength of love-words, brought to us from the throne by the way of Jacob's ladder, we shall be strong to do exploits.

Dear reader, is this an hour of distress with you? then ask for peculiar help. Jesus is the angel of the covenant, and if His presence be now earnestly sought, it will not be denied. What that presence brings in heart-cheer those remember who, like Paul, have had the angel of God standing by them in a night of storm, when anchors would no longer hold, and rocks were nigh.

"O angel of my God, be near,
Amid the darkness hush my fear;
Loud roars the wild tempestuous sea,
Thy presence, Lord, shall comfort me."

C.H. Spurgeon

Saturday, 2 April 2011

'He gave him no answer, not even to one word'. Matthew 27.14

He had never been slow of speech when he could bless the sons of men,
but he would not say a single word for himself.
“Never man spake like this man,”
and never man was silent like him.

Was this singular silence the index of his perfect self-sacrifice?
Did it show that he would not utter a word to stay the slaughter of his sacred person, which he had dedicated as an offering for us?
Had he so entirely surrendered himself that he would not interfere in his own behalf, even in the minutest degree, but be bound and slain an unstruggling, uncomplaining victim?

Was this silence a type of the defencelessness of sin?
Nothing can be said in palliation or excuse of human guilt; and, therefore, he who bore its whole weight stood speechless before his judge.
Is not patient silence the best reply to a gainsaying world? Calm endurance answers some questions infinitely more conclusively than the loftiest eloquence.

The best apologists for Christianity in the early days were its martyrs.
The anvil breaks a host of hammers by quietly bearing their blows.
Did not the silent Lamb of God furnish us with a grand example of wisdom?
Where every word was occasion for new blasphemy, it was the line of duty to afford no fuel for the flame of sin.

The ambiguous and the false, the unworthy and mean, will ere long overthrow and confute themselves, and therefore the true can afford to be quiet, and finds silence to be its wisdom.

Evidently our Lord, by his silence, furnished a remarkable fulfilment of prophecy.
A long defence of himself would have been contrary to Isaiah’s prediction: “He is led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.”

By his quiet he conclusively proved himself to be the true Lamb of God. As such we salute him this morning.

Be with us, Jesus, and in the silence of our heart, let us hear the voice of thy love.

C H Spurgeon