Day 265: It’s Over

The Daily Word: Friday, September 22nd, 2017
Isaiah 39:1-41:16
Ephesians 1:1-23
Psalm 66:1-20
Proverbs 23:25-28
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Commentary from Pastor Michael White:  

“Speak comfort to Jerusalem, and cry out to her, that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned; for she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.” – Is 40:2

This was God’s message to His people: it’s over. Finished! Done. Even though they were disobedient, He forgave them. Even though they were undeserving, He pardoned them! Not only would they be spared; but in return for their disobedience, they would receive double.

This is the Gospel. You and I are far from perfect; but Jesus came and lived a perfect life in our place! When we believe He died for us on the Cross and was raised from the dead, everything changes. Our sins are forgiven. Our disobedience is pardoned. God not only withholds judgment, He extends mercy and grace! Just as Israel received double, so too shall we because of the Cross of Jesus Christ!

Prayer:

Father, thank You that my suffering is over! Thank You that restoration is finished. Thank You for restoring double – even though I don’t even deserve a single! You truly are a good, good God!

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© Michael D. White, 2017. All rights reserved.

Day 264: Don’t Give Up!

The Daily Word: Thursday, September 21st, 2017
Isaiah 37:1-38:22
Galatians 6:1-18
Psalm 65:1-13
Proverbs 23:24
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Commentary from Pastor Michael White:  

And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. – Gal 6:9

Don’t. Give. Up. Don’t lose heart! Don’t allow yourself to grow weary in doing good. Not everyone will appreciate your efforts; but you don’t do it for them! You do it for God. The difference between those who fail and those who succeed is the latter just don’t quit.

There is a season to sow, and a season to reap. Our job in between those two seasons is to never lose heart: to keep praying until we see the answer to our prayers. Sometimes God sends aid speedily; at other times, His answer takes time. In either case, our role is to humbly wait, and accept everything He supplies with praise and thanksgiving!

Prayer:

Father, help me not to lose heart! I know I will reap in due season, as long as I don’t grow weary and throw in the towel. I will wait in faith, knowing my promise is on the way.

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© Michael D. White, 2017. All rights reserved.

Day 263: All for Love

The Daily Word: Wednesday, September 20th, 2017
Isaiah 33:10-36:22
Galatians 5:13-26
Psalm 64:1-10
Proverbs 23:23
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Commentary from Pastor Michael White:  

For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. – Gal 5:13

The Gospel gives us liberty to love one another better. The Cross gives us freedom to love one another better. Spiritual gifts give us the power to love one another better. The Holy Spirit gives us the strength to love one another better. The Word gives us wisdom to love one another better.

Everything God gives us enables us to love one another better. Even if you are not naturally gifted at loving other people, you have a supernatural grace to love them from God Himself!

Prayer:

Father, help me to love other people better. Help me to love instead of hate. Help me to love instead of judge! I can do all things – especially love other people – through Christ who strengthens me.

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© Michael D. White, 2017. All rights reserved.

Day 262: Return and Rest!

The Daily Word: Tuesday, September 19th, 2017
Isaiah 30:12-33:9
Galatians 5:1-12
Psalm 63:1-11
Proverbs 23:22
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Commentary from Pastor Michael White:  

For thus says the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and confidence shall be your strength.” – Is 30:15

Do you feel lost? Do you need major direction in your life? The people of Israel were in that place. They were scratching their heads, trying to figure out why nothing God had promised was happening. They were spinning their wheels, wondering why nothing they tried was working.

The answer for you is the same as it was for them: return, and rest. Return to God. Don’t waste another minute running after a solution that’s not Him! And then rest. He is faithful, and He will deliver on all His promises. He does all the work, so you can have the rest!

Prayer:

Father, help me to find the quiet confidence that comes with resting in You! I will turn to You and You alone. I don’t want to turn to anyone else!

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© Michael D. White, 2017. All rights reserved.

Day 261: Putting On Christ

The Daily Word: Monday, September 18th, 2017
Isaiah 28:14-30:11
Galatians 3:23-4:31
Psalm 62:1-12
Proverbs 23:19-21
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Commentary from Pastor Michael White:  

For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. – Gal 3:27

If you have put on Christ, you are covered by His blood! You are surrounded by His goodness. God doesn’t look at you and see your sin; He looks at you and sees His Son. You may not be perfect; but the Son of God in whom you trust most certainly is! You are righteous by faith in Jesus Christ, and there is no spot or blemish in you!

The best part is, putting on Christ is easy. To “put on” is the Greek enduo (Strong’s #1746), which means to “sink into, [as in] sinking into a garment.” To put on Christ is not to squeeze into His righteousness, fearing you might not fit or a seam might burst! It is to effortlessly ease into the grace God so freely offers as a gift to all His sons and daughters. Jesus did the work, so we can have the rest!

Prayer:

Father, thank You that I am hidden in Christ. Thank You for making provision for all my blind spots, and all my faults and failures, to be covered by the blood of Jesus Christ!

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© Michael D. White, 2017. All rights reserved.

Day 260: MY God!

The Daily Word: Sunday, September 17th, 2017
Isaiah 25:1-28:13
Galatians 3:10-22
Psalm 61:1-8
Proverbs 23:17-18
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Commentary from Pastor Michael White:  

O Lord, You are my God. I will exalt You, I will praise Your name, for You have done wonderful things… – Is 25:1

Isaiah personalized his praise. He took ownership of his devotion. Isaiah found it wholly insufficient to simply say, “God is God.” Instead, he proclaimed, “O Lord, You are my God!”

God is Lord; but you have to invite Him to be Lord over your life. Do you just worship Him as God? Or do you praise and proclaim that He is your God: Lord over your life, with authority over everything you think, say, and do? When you make Him your God, He will start moving powerfully in your life.

Prayer:

Father, lead me into heartfelt devotion and worship like never before. I want to worship You with my whole heart. You are my God, and my life belongs to You!

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© Michael D. White, 2017. All rights reserved.

Day 259: Go to God!

The Daily Word: Saturday, September 16th, 2017
Isaiah 22:1-24:23
Galatians 2:17-3:9
Psalm 60:1-12
Proverbs 23:15-16
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Commentary from Pastor Michael White:  

Give us help from trouble, for the help of man is useless. Through God we will do valiantly, for it is He who shall tread down our enemies. – Is 60:11-12

Deliverance comes from God alone. What is the most difficult thing you are going through right now in your life? Where are you in trouble? If you go straight to God and ask for help, He will “tread down [your] enemies” (v 12). But if you go to man instead of God, any help you find will be “useless” (v 11).

Go to God first. Help from man means nothing; but help from God means victory is guaranteed!

Prayer:

Father, thank You that no matter how bad things get, I can come to You. Make me bold in my approach: seeking You for wisdom and guidance no matter what! I know that when I seek You, You will defeat my enemies and cause me to prosper, in Jesus’ name!

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© Michael D. White, 2017. All rights reserved.

Day 258: Idols Fall & Enemies Melt

The Daily Word: Friday, September 15th, 2017
Isaiah 19:1-21:17
Galatians 2:1-16
Psalm 59:1-17
Proverbs 23:13-14
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Commentary from Pastor Michael White:  

Behold, the Lord rides on a swift cloud, and will come into Egypt; the idols of Egypt will totter at His presence, and the heart of Egypt will melt in its midst. – Is 19:1

Two things happen in God’s presence: idols fall and enemies melt.

Idols are things that distract you from God. Do you want to expose the idols in your life? Introduce God’s presence, and watch them fall away.

Enemies are people who drive you from God. Do you want to conquer the enemies in your life? Introduce God’s presence, and watch their hearts melt!

The mountains melt like wax at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the Lord of the whole earth. – Ps 97:5

What you really need is more of God’s presence. Put everything else on the back burner, and watch your cares melt away.

Prayer:

Father, thank You for Your presence! I want to live life in Your presence so that every idol falls. I want to live life in Your presence so that the heart of all my enemies melt!

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© Michael D. White, 2017. All rights reserved.

Day 257: The Simple Gospel

The Daily Word: Thursday, September 14th, 2017
Isaiah 15:1-18:7
Galatians 1:1-24
Psalm 58:1-11
Proverbs 23:12
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Commentary from Pastor Michael White:  

I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. – Gal 1:6-7

The gospel of Jesus Christ is simple! Jesus died for your sins. You and I are far from perfect; but Jesus lived a perfect life on our behalf. He did it so that when you and I believe in Him, we are saved!

There are those who seek to pervert the gospel by mixing law and grace. Under the law, man had to be perfect to receive God’s love; but under grace, Jesus was perfect for us! The law says we have to earn God’s affection by trying hard; but grace says Jesus already earned God’s love for us 2,000 years ago on the Cross!

Don’t allow any spiritual authority in your life to mix law and grace. Jesus did all the work to get you saved; and that means you don’t have to! You are saved when you believe in Jesus, no matter how imperfect you feel; and as long as you believe in Him, your salvation is secure!

Prayer:

Father, thank You for the simple gospel. Help me never to mix the law and grace. I know Jesus secured my salvation, and all I have to do to receive it is believe in Him! Help me to keep the gospel simple – never adding to it, and taking nothing away – in Jesus’ name.

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© Michael D. White, 2017. All rights reserved.

Day 256: Test Your Faith

The Daily Word: Wednesday, September 13th, 2017
Isaiah 12:1-14:32
2 Corinthians 13:1-14
Psalm 57:1-11
Proverbs 23:9-11
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Commentary from Pastor Michael White:  

Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?–unless indeed you are disqualified. – 2 Cor 13:5

How do you know if your faith is genuine? Test yourself. To “test” is the Greek word dokimazo, which means to “recognize as genuine after thorough examination” (Strong’s #1381). Testing yourself means thoroughly examining your faith by putting yourself in situations where faith is required!

I’ve heard it said that faith is spelled R-I-S-K. Faith means stepping out and doing things that would be impossible without Jesus. Faith means praying for healing that doctors say can’t happen. Faith means believing to purchase a home, even if the cost of living in your city seems prohibitive. Faith means believing that God wants to bless you with an amazing husband and a beautiful family, even if it seems like the last thing that can happen! Faith means doing things that would make your unsaved friends say you’re crazy. If it’s easy, no faith is required; but if it’s impossible, you need real faith!

Take risk based on God’s word. Step out in faith. Test yourself. Watch how God will meet you at your level of faith and do the impossible in your life!

Prayer:

Father, increase my faith! Give me the courage to test myself: to take radical steps of faith that demonstrate genuine belief in Your word, in Jesus’ name.

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© Michael D. White, 2017. All rights reserved.

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