Day 273: Restoring True Riches

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Wednesday, September 30th, 2015
CityLight Church’s One Year Bible Reading Plan
Isaiah 60:1-62:5
Philippians 1:27-2:18
Psalm 72:1-20
Proverbs 24:11-12
For full text click here: http://bit.ly/1uyumL0

Commentary from Pastor Mike White:

“Instead of bronze I will bring gold, instead of iron I will bring silver, instead of wood, bronze, and instead of stones, iron.” – Is 60:17

God promises to restore whatever counterfeit we have accepted in place of true riches. Solomon made gold shields with the vast riches God gave to him. One generation later, his son Rehoboam lost those gold shields to Egyptian invaders.

Instead of admitting defeat and crying out to God for help, Rehoboam pretended everything was just fine. He replaced the gold shields with bronze shields: a counterfeit! He told all the guards at the palace to use the bronze shields in every ceremony, and pretend they were gold, for all the people to see.

We don’t have to show off a counterfeit as if it were the real thing. God will restore every authentic treasure we could ever lose. God promises to restore our innocence, our hope, and our destiny! All we have to do is cry out to Him and ask for help.

Prayer:

Father, give me the humility to ask for help. Help! I ask that You would restore everything the enemy has stolen from me, in Jesus’ name!

© Michael D. White, 2015. All rights reserved.

Day 272: Find Your Breakthrough

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Tuesday, September 29th, 2015
CityLight Church’s One Year Bible Reading Plan
Isaiah 57:15-59:21
Philippians 1:1-26
Psalm 71:1-24
Proverbs 24:9-10
For full text click here: http://bit.ly/1uXkUxr

Commentary from Pastor Mike White:

Then your light shall break forth like the morning, your healing shall spring forth speedily, and your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard. – Is 58:8

Our healing breaks forth us as we witness to other people. God criticized the Israelites for seeking to worship Him with prayer and fasting, while keeping their own hired servants from worship by forcing them to work. Share the gospel with the people around you! As you do, you invite them to experience the same freedom you have already found in Jesus Christ.

As you share the Gospel with other people, you will find freedom. As you pray for other people, you will find healing. God’s anointing has to pass through you to get to the people you pray for! Whenever we take our eyes off our own needs and focus on others, we will find all our needs met.

Prayer:

Father, help me to be a fearless witness. I know the freedom, the power, and the healing that come from a relationship with Jesus Christ. Help me to share that breakthrough by praying for others!

© Michael D. White, 2015. All rights reserved.

Day 271: Make Room!

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Monday, September 28th, 2015
CityLight Church’s One Year Bible Reading Plan
Isaiah 54:1-57:14
Ephesians 6:1-24
Psalm 70:1-5
Proverbs 24:8
For full text click here: http://bit.ly/10bHrNM

Commentary from Pastor Mike White:

“Do not fear, for you will not be ashamed…” – Is 54:4

God will never leave us hanging. Randy Clark likes to say that faith is spelled, R-I-S-K. If we really have faith in God’s promises, we must be willing to take risks for Him! We must put ourselves into situations where, if God fails to deliver on His promises, we would be massively embarrassed. And you know what? He never fails: not to save us from embarrassment, but so He can have all the glory!

Faith is active. True faith means rearranging our lives to prepare for the blessing and increase God’s word promises. When God told Abraham to prepare for descendants, He instructed him to do two things: 1) worship, and 2) make room! God’s promise was activated as Abraham prepared to receive it, by faith!

What has God promised You? Make room for His blessing and increase. Take a risk for His glory. As You make room, He will make provision!

Prayer:

Father, I know that You can only fill the areas of my heart that I give to You. So, right now, I give You my whole heart in Jesus’ name! Every part of me is Yours. Fill me with faith, and bless me with everything You have for me.

© Michael D. White, 2015. All rights reserved.

Day 270: Work In Progress

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Sunday, September 27th, 2015
CityLight Church’s One Year Bible Reading Plan
Isaiah 51:1-53:12
Ephesians 5:1-33
Psalm 69:19-36
Proverbs 24:7
For full text click here: http://bit.ly/1CxoQto

Commentary from Pastor Mike White:

Walk as children of light…finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. – Eph 5:8-10

Salvation doesn’t make you perfect. Unfortunately, you’re not going to know how to flawlessly execute God’s will from the moment you get saved. Anything worth doing takes time; living your life for God is no exception! We have to walk as best we know how, and find out what is acceptable to the Lord as we go.

Let’s put every false notion of immediate perfection aside. We are all works in progress. We shouldn’t condemn others for not being perfect; just as important, we shouldn’t condemn ourselves!

God will finish in us the good work He has started. In the meantime, there is infinite grace to cover our faults as we walk the road to perfection in Jesus Christ.

Prayer:

Father, I admit that I am not perfect. I know You afford me infinite grace as I work through my problems and my fears. Surround me with people who remind me that there is infinite forgiveness at the foot of the Cross. Help me to remember that I won’t be perfect, no matter how hard I try. Jesus was perfect, so I don’t have to be!

© Michael D. White, 2015. All rights reserved.

Day 269: Anger Issues

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Saturday, September 26th, 2015
CityLight Church’s One Year Bible Reading Plan
Isaiah 48:12-50:11
Ephesians 4:17-32
Psalm 69:1-18
Proverbs 24:5-6
For full text click here: http://bit.ly/1qAuHFy

Commentary from Pastor Mike White:

“Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil. – Eph 4:26-27

The Bible does not say we should never get angry. Scripture simply specifies that we should never convert our anger into sin. We should ask God’s Holy Spirit to help us deal with our anger in productive ways, instead of allowing it to turn into harmful words and/or actions.

God hates sin (Ps 5:4). Scripture exhorts us to hate sin because it separates us from God. Sin should make us angry! Worldly conditions that run contrary to God’s will should make us upset! We should have a healthy zeal for the Lord that Spurs us to action when required!

We must hate the sin, but love the sinner. We must passionately pray against Satan’s plans in prayer, but lovingly support every effort on the part of our brothers and sisters to be restored. Other people can never be the object of our anger; if they are, Satan wins.

Prayer:

Father, help me to love the sinner, but hate the sin. I want to be zealous for Your word, and Your will! Help me to never agree with anything that runs contrary to Your purposes for my life.

 

© Michael D. White, 2015. All rights reserved.

Day 268: Full-Time Ministry

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Friday, September 25th, 2015
CityLight Church’s One Year Bible Reading Plan
Isaiah 45:11-48:11
Ephesians 4:1-16
Psalm 68:19-35
Proverbs 24:3-4
For full text click here: http://bit.ly/1peySHA

Commentary from Pastor Mike White:

And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry… – Eph 4:11-12a

You are in full-time ministry. Yes, you! Just because you don’t get a paycheck from your local church does not mean that you are not God’s full-time employee, crafted to preach the Gospel whenever possible!

Paul outlines the five-fold ministry to the Church at Ephesus. Then he specifies the purpose of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers: to equip the saints for ministry! I am a pastor, and I am here to equip you. I am here to give you whatever you need, and serve you in any way I can, so that you can go out every day and minister effectively. The local church exists to equip the saints for the work of ministry.

There is no time to waste. We can’t leave ministry to someone else, and convince ourselves that we’re too busy to preach the Kingdom of God! You are called. God will provide all the resources you need according to His riches in glory!

Prayer:

Father, thank You for equipping me! I know You will open up the windows of heaven and give me everything I need to effectively minister to others. Thank You for Your provision!

© Michael D. White, 2015. All rights reserved.

 

The Anointing

The following is an adaptation of the sermon ‘The Anointing’ preached by Pastor Mike White on Sunday, 9/20/2015, at CityLight Church. To listen to the full podcast please click here: http://bit.ly/1PzhCLf

The Anointing

The anointing is absolutely crucial to your ministry. It is both necessary and sufficient for God-inspired change to take place. It also makes the difference between whether your service to God feels like slavery or sonship.

Are you tired? Burned out? Even if you are succeeding at what God has called you to do, are you experiencing joy in your calling? If not, you probably need an increase in the level of the anointing on your life.

To anoint means to “smear or rub with oil, typically as part of a religious ceremony.”[1] We see Scriptural precedent for the anointing as David is anointed King over Israel. The prophet Samuel had passed over all of Jesse’s sons, looking for the future king. But David was out in the field, watching over the flocks:

And Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all the young men here?” Then he said, “There remains yet the youngest, and there he is, keeping the sheep.” And Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and bring him. For we will not sit down till he comes here.” So he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, with bright eyes, and good-looking. And the Lord said, “Arise, anoint him; for this is the one!” Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel arose and went to Ramah. – 1 Sam 16:11-13

As soon as the anointing was administered, David encountered God’s Holy Spirit in a brand new way. From that moment forward, he was not only called and sanctified (set apart) to be king.; he was capable of communicating with God’s Holy Spirit in the manner required for kingship.

We see the fruit of the anointing as David rules over Israel. We see the fruit of the anointing as David communicates with God. We see the fruit of the anointing as David cries out in worship, and his heart’s cries in the Psalms. David was touched by God’s Holy Spirit, and from that moment forward, he would never be the same.

For New Testament Christians, being anointed doesn’t mean we have to go out and ask someone to cover us in oil. The oil is symbolic of God’s Holy Spirit: His manifest presence all over us. For us, the anointing isn’t just something we use, or something we do; it is something we should all love to experience!

The anointing is the manifest presence of God’s Holy Spirit – the presence of God on us to do something. Maybe you’ve felt the anointing all over you as you pray. Perhaps you’ve gotten goosebumps during intimate times of worship when you can just feel God’s presence with every fiber of your being. That is the anointing!

As Christians, we are supposed to experience the anointing all the time. The more steeped you are in the anointing, the more you will see signs, miracles and wonders when you pray. The more covered you are in the anointing of God’s Holy Spirit, the more joy you’ll feel in your calling.

Jesus ministered in the anointing; and if He did it, so should we.

…God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. – Acts 10:38

Jesus ministered with the Holy Spirit and with power because He ministered in the anointing. The fruit of the anointing was good works, healing, and deliverance!

When I started in full-time ministry, our Lead Pastor gave me some very valuable advice: protect the anointing at all costs. We all have unexpected responsibilities that take over our schedules from time to time. We all encounter well-meaning people who just grate on us emotionally. The way we stay close to God’s heart, no matter what comes up, is by staying in the anointing!

When you pray, do you feel God? Can you actually feel His Holy Spirit on your body? Do the hairs on your arms and legs stand on end because of how tangible His presence in on a daily basis? Living in the anointing should not just be some unattainable goal; it should be our constant reality!

What Does the Anointing Do?

The anointing process has its origins in the way a shepherd would care for his sheep. Insects would constantly try to burrow into the ears of a sheep. If they succeeded, it would kill the animal. To prevent the attack, the shepherd would smear oil on the head of the sheep so insects couldn’t reach the ears. If the insect tried to climb to high on the sheep’s head, it would slip down off the sheep – unable to reach the point of entry it needed.

This has direct application for your spiritual life! The primary way Satan will try and knock you off-track from your destiny is by getting into your ears. He will try and burrow into your thought life so he can infect you with lies. If you partner with his lies, it can mean spiritual death. But the anointing keeps you safe! If you stay covered from head to toe in God’s anointing – the oil of gladness, every point of entry the enemy could ever hope to use is completely removed!

The anointing protects you from external attacks. It also delivers you from whatever spiritual oppression is going on inside of you right now. Isaiah prophesied the effect the anointing – the manifest presence of God’s Holy Spirit – would have on all believers:

It shall come to pass in that day that his burden will be taken away from your shoulder, and his yoke from your neck, and the yoke will be destroyed because of the anointing oil. – Is 10:27

God offers to remove every burden from our shoulders at the moment of salvation; all we have to do to experience complete freedom is submit our lives to him, and ask for Him to rescue us in prayer.

But the enemy will always circle back around and try to put you back under duress. He will always try to re-establish the burden from which God has just delivered you.

“When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. Then he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order. Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first. – Matt 12:43-45

Once we experience deliverance, if we fail to prize God’s presence the way we should, we can find ourselves oppressed. But staying in the anointing is the way we sustain complete and total victory.

The anointing doesn’t just break the yoke; it destroys it! That means that if you stay in the anointing, none of the enemy’s plans can ever be used against you again!

The Mantle and The Anointing

Many believers fail to understand the difference between a mantle and the anointing. The mantle is the call on your life: something God has given you to carry. The mantle is the productive, Kingdom burden (as opposed to unproductive, demonic burden) you are asked to bear so the borders of heaven can be expanded on earth. Jesus spoke of Kingdom mantles when he talked of “taking up the cross daily” (Lk 9:23).

We see the mantle come into full view as Elijah’s life on earth comes to an end, and his assistant picks up his mantle:

And so it was, when they had crossed over, that Elijah said to Elisha, “Ask! What may I do for you, before I am taken away from you?” Elisha said, “Please let a double portion of your spirit be upon me.” So he said, “You have asked a hard thing. Nevertheless, if you see me when I am taken from you, it shall be so for you; but if not, it shall not be so.” Then it happened, as they continued on and talked, that suddenly a chariot of fire appeared with horses of fire, and separated the two of them; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. And Elisha saw it, and he cried out, “My father, my father, the chariot of Israel and its horsemen!” So he saw him no more. And he took hold of his own clothes and tore them into two pieces. He also took up the mantle of Elijah that had fallen from him, and went back and stood by the bank of the Jordan. Then he took the mantle of Elijah that had fallen from him, and struck the water, and said, “Where is the Lord God of Elijah?” And when he also had struck the water, it was divided this way and that; and Elisha crossed over. – 2 Kings 2:9-14

Spiritually speaking, a mantle can be very heavy. On several occasions in my life, I’ve woken up in the middle of the night and felt a spiritual mantle shifting onto me.

Our Lead Pastor spent this past summer in Montenegro, on a missionary assignment. The Sunday he left, I woke up in the middle of the night, and felt a spiritual heaviness all over me. I knew it wasn’t demonic; but it still didn’t feel good at all. In fact, I felt like I was going to throw up.

I was feeling the spiritual mantle to lead our church while our Lead Pastor was overseas. As soon as I started praying, the anointing kicked in, and all discomfort lifted. I was overcome by joy, and became excited as I felt the burden to pastor our church settle over me.

The mantle can be heavy, but the anointing makes it light. The mantle is the call on your life, and the anointing is the manifest presence of God’s Holy Spirit that makes that call joyful! The anointing lightens every heavy burden – no matter how big or how small! The anointing reminds you that God is always in control, and His Holy Spirit is living in and through you to accomplish all God’s desires!

The mistake we often make as Christians is accepting the mantle – the call on our lives – but refusing the anointing. We say yes to God once and for all, but don’t refresh our dedication to Him on a daily basis. We have a great sense of everything He has called us to do, but we forget that He is the Provider of every resource we could ever need to get the job done!

When we lose the anointing, we lose our joy. But when we revel in the anointing, we will experience joy unspeakable!

Paul reminded the members of the early church that they were all anointed:

For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us. Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee. – 2 Cor 1:20-22

This morning, I think God wants to issue the same reminder to each and every single one of us.

You are called by God to do amazing things! You are also anointed with His Holy Spirit to perform them! The same Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, gives life to your body, and purpose to your actions (Rom 8:11)!

As New Testament Christians, we are no longer held to an impossible standard, and asked to comply using our own strength. Christ in us is the One who accomplishes the work in and through us. Without Him, we can do nothing; but with Him we can accomplish whatever He pleases!

The difference between heaven and hell on earth is whether or not you allow God to do the hard work for you. Allowing yourself to experience and enjoy the anointing – the manifest presence of God’s Holy Spirit – is what will make you a joyful servant of the Lord!

If you try and carry your mantle without the anointing, you will buckle under the weight. But if you allow God’s manifest presence – the manifest presence of the Holy Spirit – to propel you, life will be full of joy!

- by Pastor Mike White

© Michael D. White, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Michael D. White with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


[1] https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=anoint%20definition

Day 267: A New Thing

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Thursday, September 24th, 2015
CityLight Church’s One Year Bible Reading Plan
Isaiah 43:14-45:10
Ephesians 3:1-21
Psalm 68:1-18
Proverbs 24:1-2
For full text click here: http://bit.ly/1yq73FK

Commentary from Pastor Mike White:

“Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing…” – Is 43:18-19a

There are no formulas with God. You cannot force Him to act. No set prayer routine guarantees increase, and doing what you’ve seen someone else do does not guarantee results.

What is God asking you to do? What is He whispering to you in quiet times of prayer? You are unique: a new creation. That means that He will do a new thing in you. He will ask you to do something that has never been done before.

God honors obedience. Ask Him to show you what He has for you, and then step out in faith. He is always willing to do something new when we agree to follow Him!

Prayer:

Father, thank You for your ingenuity and creativity! I realize my path, and my prayer, will not look like anyone else’s. Thank You for doing a new thing in me!

© Michael D. White, 2015. All rights reserved.

Day 266: Permanent Love

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Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015
CityLight Church’s One Year Bible Reading Plan
Isaiah 41:17-43:13
Ephesians 2:1-22
Psalm 67:1-7
Proverbs 23:29-35
For full text click here: http://bit.ly/1pc0QUp

Commentary from Pastor Mike White:

The poor and needy seek water, but there is none, their tongues fail for thirst. I, the Lord, will hear them; I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them. – Is 41:17

No matter how forgotten you feel, God has not forgotten about you! No matter who turns away and refuses to listen, God still hears you! No matter who turns their back on you, the God of the universe will never leave or forsake you!

When you gave your life to Jesus Christ, you entered into covenant relationship with God. That means that no matter what you do, He will never leave nor forsake you. The covenant between God and His people is eternally binding. As long as you never turn your back on Him, He will never turn His back on you!

He gave you His word that His love is permanent; and He holds His word above His name!

Prayer:

Father, thank You for Your permanent love. I am not worthy to receive it, but You pour it out on me all the same. I love You, Lord!

© Michael D. White, 2015. All rights reserved.

Day 265: Our Guarantee

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Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015
CityLight Church’s One Year Bible Reading Plan
Isaiah 39:1-41:16
Ephesians 1:1-23
Psalm 66:1-20
Proverbs 23:25-28
For full text click here: http://bit.ly/1rspepD

Commentary from Pastor Mike White:

…in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory. – Eph 1:13-14

The Holy Spirit is deposited in us as a guarantee. The Holy Spirit is our guarantee that we are heaven-bound. The Holy Spirit is also our guarantee that heaven is in us, here and now, and all we have to do is release it! Heaven on earth starts now!

Have you ever won a raffle? You paid money, and you got a ticket. When your number was called, you brought your ticket – your guarantee – and had no problem redeeming what was rightfully yours. You had already paid for it, and won it fair and square; so you took home the prize.

You are the prize. God will come to collect you in the same way. You are His possession. He paid the highest price, and sent His Son Jesus Christ to die, so that He could take you home. You are His, and He is coming back for you!

Prayer:

Father, thank You for Your promise. Thank You for Your guarantee that I am heaven-bound! Thank You for the saving knowledge of grace through faith in Your Son Jesus Christ.

© Michael D. White, 2015. All rights reserved.

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