Day 17: Stretch Out Your Hand

The Daily Word: Wednesday, January 17th, 2018
Genesis 35:1-36:43
Matthew 12:1-21
Psalm 15:1-5
Proverbs 3:21-26
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Commentary from Pastor Michael White:

Then He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And he stretched it out, and it was restored as whole as the other. – Matt 12:13

Jesus came to the synagogue on the Sabbath, “…and behold, there was a man who had a withered hand” (v 10). No one else in the temple could see the withered hand, because the man was hiding it. You see, it was illegal for him to be in the temple with a deformity. Had he been discovered, the religious leaders would have told the man to leave!

But Jesus saw what the religious leaders could not: the opportunity to heal. Jesus didn’t want to point a finger; He wanted to heal a hand. Jesus didn’t shy away from the man’s imperfection; He confronted it. As the man actively exposed what he was trying his best to hide, he was healed.

Faith is active. When you expose what’s hidden – the very things you are trying to hide – God will come in and heal every broken part of you. Don’t be embarrassed. Don’t be afraid! When you give God your whole heart, He will make you whole.

Prayer:

Father, heal me! I invite Your Holy Spirit into every broken part of my heart, and every imperfect part of my body. I know that as I stretch out my hand, You will make me whole!

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© Michael D. White, 2018. All rights reserved.

Day 16: Rise Up Prophet!

The Daily Word: Tuesday, January 16th, 2018
Genesis 32:13-34:31
Matthew 11:7-30
Psalm 14:1-7
Proverbs 3:19-20
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Commentary from Pastor Michael White:

As they departed, Jesus began to say to the multitudes concerning John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? …But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I say to you, and more than a prophet.” – Matt 11:7, 9

John the Baptist was a prophet. In fact, Jesus said John the Baptist was “more than” a prophet! And here’s why that is important for you.

“For I say to you, among those born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.” – Lk 7:28

If you’re in the kingdom, you’re out of excuses. Rise up, prophet! You are a greater prophet than John the Baptist.

Prayer:

Father, thank You for whispering the secrets of Heaven into my ear. I receive this truth: that because I am filled with the Spirit of God, I am a greater prophet than even John the Baptist! It’s not proud; it’s promised, in Jesus’ name.

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© Michael D. White, 2018. All rights reserved.

Day 15: Horrible Bosses

The Daily Word: Monday, January 15th, 2018
Genesis 31:17-32:12
Matthew 10:24-11:6
Psalm 13:1-6
Proverbs 3:16-18
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Commentary from Pastor Michael White:

“Unless the God of my father, the God of Abraham and the Fear of Isaac, had been with me, surely now you would have sent me away empty-handed. God has seen my affliction and the labor of my hands, and rebuked you last night.” – Gen 31:42

Jacob had a horrible boss. Laban asked Jacob to work seven years for his daughter Rachel’s hand in marriage; and then on their wedding night, he gave him Leah instead! Then Laban asked Jacob to work another seven years for Rachel, and another six years for his flock. In the twenty years Jacob worked for Laban, his wages changed “ten times” (v 41). When Jacob finally quit, Laban chased him with a small army and demanded to know why he had left!

Jacob had a horrible boss; but God protected Jacob. God made sure he prospered. By the time Jacob left to return home, he had, “…oxen, donkeys, flocks, and male and female servants” (Gen 32:5). No matter how wicked your boss is, God will do the same for you!

Trust that God has you where He wants you. Trust that no matter what your boss thinks of you – or how bad (s)he has it out for you – God is in control. He will protect you and prosper you, just as He did Jacob!

Prayer:

Father, thank You for protecting me. Thank You for providing for me! Your will is all that matters. I trust that You are in control, in Jesus’ name!

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© Michael D. White, 2018. All rights reserved.

Day 14: What A Mess!

The Daily Word: Sunday, January 14th, 2018
Genesis 30:1-31:16
Matthew 10:1-23
Psalm 12:1-8
Proverbs 3:13-15
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Commentary from Pastor Michael White:

And Leah said, “God has endowed me with a good endowment; now my husband will dwell with me, because I have borne him six sons. “– Gen 30:20

What. A. Mess. Jacob had two wives. One wife, Leah, wanted to keep having children so Jacob would love her and live with her. The other wife, Rachel, being barren for years, told her husband to sleep with her maid so she could pretend the child was her son! Both wives thought having more and more children would earn their husband’s affection and prove to everyone else that God loved them most! Jacob had twelve sons with four different women (Rachel, Leah, Bilhah, and Zilpah). This was far from the perfect, drama-free family that any of us would dream about!

But this was the very family God used to build His people: the nation of Israel. God doesn’t need perfect to make a promise. Is your family life a mess? Is there drama at every turn? The same was true for Jacob; but look how God used him:

And He said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel; for you have struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed.” – Gen 32:28

God built His Kingdom right on top of Jacob’s mess. No matter what your past looks like, God will use you for great things in exactly the same way!

Prayer:

Father, thank You for redeeming my past. Thank You that perfection is not a requirement to be used for Your glory! I trust You to take my mess, and make it glorious, in Jesus’ name!

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© Michael D. White, 2018. All rights reserved.

Day 13: Make Time

The Daily Word: Saturday, January 13th, 2018
Genesis 28:1-29:35
Matthew 9:18-38
Psalm 11:1-7
Proverbs 3:11-12
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Commentary from Pastor Michael White:

And suddenly, a woman who had a flow of blood for twelve years came from behind and touched the hem of His garment. – Matt 9:20

Jesus had an appointment to keep! He was on the way to a ruler’s house to raise his daughter form the dead. But suddenly a woman came and touched the hem of His garment.

Jesus didn’t spin around and angrily ask who touched Him. He didn’t rebuke the woman for disrupting His busy schedule! He made time because she needed Him. He turned around, “…and when He saw her He said, ‘Be of good cheer, daughter; your faith has made you well.’ And the woman was made well from that hour” (Matt 9:22). Because He made time, the woman was healed. Because He made time, the world witnessed a miracle.

Are you making time for God’s work? When ministry interrupts your schedule, are you angry or grateful? When the Holy Spirit drops into your day unannounced, are you annoyed or overjoyed? Let’s learn to treasure divine interruptions! When we make time, God will make His presence known.

Prayer:

Father, make me flexible! Give me the time to stop and pursue Your word and Your will. I’m busy! But I never want to be too busy to stop and minister to the people You put in my path, in Jesus’ name.

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© Michael D. White, 2018. All rights reserved.

Day 12: Unanswered Prayers

The Daily Word: Friday, January 12th, 2018
Genesis 26:17-27:46
Matthew 9:1-17
Psalm 10:16-18
Proverbs 3:9-10
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Commentary from Pastor Michael White:

Lord, You have heard the desire of the humble; You will prepare their heart; You will cause Your ear to hear… – Ps 10:17

How many times have you asked one of the following: Why aren’t my prayers being answered? Is God even listening? When is He going to help me out?! What can you do when you’re in that place?

First, make sure your prayer agrees with God’s Word. When we pray according to God’s will, He hears us; and when He hears us, we have the petitions we have asked (1 Jn 5:15)! Answered prayer happens when the will of God is known.

Second, bind anything standing in the way. Satan’s job is to block the answer to your prayers. We see this play out in Daniel 10 (see vv 12-13). God heard Daniel’s prayers from the moment he prayed! But the enemy needed to be dealt with before the answer could arrive. Bind the work of the enemy in Jesus’ name!

Third, prepare your heart. This is where today’s verse comes in. Sometimes God hears your desire, but there is a heart change that needs to take place before you’re ready to receive the answer to your prayers. If God answered your prayer today, would you be ready for the response? I remember praying for a wife long before I was ever ready to be married. I remember praying for prosperity when I was a terrible financial steward! If God had given me what I wanted when I asked, it would have been a disaster! Trust God; and know that His timing is perfect.

Prayer:

Father, You have heard my desire! Prepare my heart. Make me ready to receive the answer to my prayers, in Jesus’ name!

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© Michael D. White, 2018. All rights reserved.

Day 11: Don’t Delay!

The Daily Word: Thursday, January 11th, 2018
Genesis 24:52-26:16
Matthew 8:18-34
Psalm 10:1-15
Proverbs 3:7-8
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Commentary from Pastor Michael White:

And he said to them, “Do not hinder me, since the Lord has prospered my way; send me away so that I may go to my master.” – Gen 24:56

Abraham’s servant had accomplished his mission. He had found a wife for Abraham’s son, Isaac. Now it was time to return home! Rebekah’s brother and mother wanted her to stay; but the servant insisted it was time to go.

Don’t let anyone hinder you from the work God has given you. There is a time to rest, and a time to move. God has given you great things to do! So don’t delay, in Jesus’ name!

Prayer:

Father, thank You for filling me with missional purpose. Keep me on the right path! I declare that nothing – and no one – can hinder me from my way, in Jesus’ name.

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© Michael D. White, 2018. All rights reserved.

Day 10: Worship => Healing

The Daily Word: Wednesday, January 10th, 2018
Genesis 23:1-24:51
Matthew 8:1-17
Psalm 9:13-20
Proverbs 3:1-6
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Commentary from Pastor Michael White:

And behold, a leper came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.” Then Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” Immediately his leprosy was cleansed. – Matt 8:2-3

Worship activates God’s willingness. God’s will is always to heal. He is Jehovah Rapha, the God Who Heals (Ex 15:26). Healing is not just something He does; it’s who He is! God is always willing; but His willingness is not always activated. Many followed Jesus; but only some were healed. Why? What separated the leper from the crowd?

Worship. The man with leprosy worshiped, and it activated God’s willingness! The leper came and worshiped, and Jesus was willing. Immediately his leprosy was cleansed.

Do you need healing? Make a decision to worship. Tell Jesus what He means to you! Love Him with your whole heart. Don’t just worship the healing; worship the God Who Heals. Then, watch as your brokenness is healed.

Prayer:

Father, thank You for healing! Help me to worship, no matter what. I know my worship activates Your willingness!

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© Michael D. White, 2018. All rights reserved.

Day 9: Did Abraham Lie?

The Daily Word: Tuesday, January 9th, 2018
Genesis 20:1-22:24
Matthew 7:15-29
Psalm 9:1-12
Proverbs 2:16-22
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Commentary from Pastor Michael White:

Now Abraham said of Sarah his wife, “She is my sister.” And Abimelech king of Gerar sent and took Sarah. – Gen 20:2

Let’s be honest: Abraham wasn’t telling the whole truth. When he came to Gerar, he told his wife to tell everyone she was his sister. He completely hid the fact that she was his wife, and here was his rationale: “Because I thought, surely the fear of God is not in this place; and they will kill me on account of my wife” (v 11).

Why would the Bible endorse a man who wasn’t being honest? And Abraham didn’t just do this once; he did it twice (see Gen 12)! Why would God call this repeat offender the “father” of our faith (Rom 4:11)?

To show us that nobody is perfect. We all make mistakes. Abraham lied; but that doesn’t mean God likes lying. It simply means God loved Abraham in spite of his lying problem. If God used a man like him, surely He can use a work in progress like you!

Moses was a murderer; but God asked him to lead the Exodus. Peter denied Jesus; but God used him to build the church! Paul was a Christian killer; yet God used him to write half of the New Testament. You’ve made some mistakes; but what great things will God do through you?

Prayer:

Father, thank You that perfection is not a requirement for redemption. All that I have is yours: my past, my present, and my future. Take it and redeem it, in Jesus’ name!

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© Michael D. White, 2018. All rights reserved.

Day 8: Press In

The Daily Word: Monday, January 8th, 2018
Genesis 18:16-19:38
Matthew 6:25-7:14
Psalm 8:1-9
Proverbs 2:6-15
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Commentary from Pastor Michael White:

Then the men rose from there and looked toward Sodom, and Abraham went with them to send them on the way. And the Lord said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am doing…?” – Gen 8:16-17

God didn’t want to hide anything from Abraham. God wants to share secrets with His sons and daughters; He doesn’t want to keep secrets from them. But Abraham had to pursue God to find out what He was doing!

Abraham knew something was coming; but he didn’t just sit and watch God leave. He got up and watched where God was going. He insisted on knowing what God was going to do next. And because Abraham pursued, God told him everything.

God doesn’t want to keep secrets from you; He wants to keep them for you. Press in! Insist on knowing what He is doing, and He will show you what He is up to on the earth.

Prayer:

Father, make me hungry to know what You are doing on the earth! I never want to settle for complacency. Help me to earnestly seek You, and desire to know Your will, in Jesus’ name!

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© Michael D. White, 2018. All rights reserved.

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