Day 174: Question?

The Daily Word: Saturday, June 23rd, 2018
2 Kings 4:18-5:27
Acts 15:1-35
Psalm 141:1-10
Proverbs 17:23
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Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
Therefore, when Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and dispute with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas and certain others of them should go up to Jerusalem, to the apostles and elders, about this question. – Acts 15:2

You will have questions. You will have doubts about your faith! You will have moments when you wonder how to apply what you believe to your life. The question is not, “Will those moments come?” It is, “What will you do when they arrive?”

Paul and Barnabas had help. They had apostles and elders to think through problems with them, and weigh in on major choices. They had people they could trust to point them in the right direction!

Do you have elders to whom you can go for help to decipher God’s will? Do you have people in your life who provide a safe emotional space to explore your questions and doubts? If not: Is it time to pray God would send some of those people into your life?

Prayer:

Father, send me wise counsel. Send me people who will help strengthen my faith. Send me men and women to whom I can turn whenever I have a question, in Jesus’ name!

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

Day 173: Speak Up!

The Daily Word: Friday, June 22nd, 2018
2 Kings 3:1-4:17
Acts 14:8-28
Psalm 140:1-13
Proverbs 17:22
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Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
And in Lystra a certain man without strength in his feet was sitting, a cripple from his mother’s womb, who had never walked. This man heard Paul speaking. Paul, observing him intently and seeing that he had faith to be healed, said with a loud voice, “Stand up straight on your feet!” And he leaped and walked. – Acts 14:8-10

Here was a man in Lystra who had been crippled from his mother’s womb. He needed a creative miracle in his feet! And he was about to get one. Paul saw, “…that he had faith to be healed” (9). Then, Paul commanded the man to stand, and the man was healed!

But take note: the miracle started when Paul spoke up. Paul never would have prayed if the man didn’t have faith to be healed. The man would have never had faith if he hadn’t heard the Gospel. He would have never heard the Gospel if he hadn’t heard Paul speaking! It all started because Paul spoke up!

Don’t you see? It all starts with you opening your mouth and telling someone about the goodness of God. Aren’t you tired of meeting other Christians by accident? Of finding out a co-worker is also Christian after years of working together? Of “working on” your friends and family for years before finding the perfect moment to share the Gospel?

It’s time for bold faith. Don’t apologize for the message God has given you. He is good, and Jesus is Lord; and the world needs to know! It all starts when you make a decision to speak up!

Prayer:

Father, help me to speak up! I want to pray with passion. I want to preach with boldness! I want to share the Gospel: everywhere I go, without reservation, in Jesus’ name!

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

Day 172: Learning from Others’ Mistakes

The Daily Word: Thursday, June 21st, 2018
2 Kings 1:1-2:25
Acts 13:42-14:7
Psalm 139:1-24
Proverbs 17:19-21
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Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
“Look, fire has come down from heaven and burned up the first two captains of fifties with their fifties. But let my life now be precious in your sight.” – 2 Kings 1:14

You can learn from your mistakes. But even better to learn from the mistakes of others!

The army captain who came to Elijah had witnessed two small armies be consumed by the fire of God. Instead of meeting the same fate, he made a decision: I will learn from their mistakes. Instead of proudly trying to arrest the prophet Elijah, he bowed the knee to God. He confessed his weakness to Elijah, and asked for mercy; and he and his men were saved!

You do not have to allow yourself to be consumed by the same fires that consume other men. Learn from their mistakes. Stay away from the traps into which they fell.  Honor God the way they should have honored Him. You will be better for it!

Prayer:

Father, help me to learn from the mistakes of others! I don’t want to fall into the same traps that sidetrack other people. I want to do better, and be stronger, in Jesus’ name!

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

Day 171: Forgiveness of Sins

The Daily Word: Wednesday, June 20th, 2018
1 Kings 22:1-53
Acts 13:16-41
Psalm 138:1-8
Proverbs 17:17-18
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Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through this Man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins… – Acts 13:38

Through Jesus you have forgiveness of sins. That means that no matter what you have done, through Jesus, God accepts you. He forgives you! And He receives you as His own.

Wouldn’t you like to wake up every morning with the confidence that comes with knowing God loves you? Wouldn’t you love to go to bed every night with assurance that God will never leave your side? Wouldn’t it be nice to know that no matter how crazy life gets, your loving Father in heaven is always just one prayer away?

Through Jesus you have forgiveness of sins. Are you ready to say yes?

As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. – Ps 103:12 

Prayer:

Father, I receive Jesus as Lord over my life. I am not perfect; but because I trust in Jesus, all my sins have been forgiven. Thank You for Your perfect love, in Jesus’ name!

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

Day 170: God’s Word Works

The Daily Word: Tuesday, June 19th, 2018
1 Kings 20:1-21:29
Acts 12:24-13:15
Psalm 137:1-9
Proverbs 17:16
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Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
But the word of God grew and multiplied. – Acts 12:24

The apostles were persecuted; but the word of God grew and multiplied. The early church faced immense obstacles; but the word of God grew and multiplied. The cultural foundations of the world were shifting; but the word of God grew and multiplied!

No matter what is going on around you, God will grow and multiply His word. The word has infinite potential. Our role is simply to water His word: to make sure that we are openly proclaiming the Gospel in a way that allows hearts to come to Jesus Christ. Our goal is to invite the Holy Spirit to soften hearts and minds so the word can penetrate deeply, take root, and grow!

God’s word works! Plant the seed, and He will do the rest.

Prayer:

Father, thank You for Your word! Help me to trust in Your word like never before. I want to build my life around Your word, knowing that You are faithful and Your word is true, in Jesus’ name.

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

Day 169: Prayer WORKS!

The Daily Word: Monday, June 18th, 2018
1 Kings 19:1-21
Acts 12:1-23
Psalm 136:1-26
Proverbs 17:14-15
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Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
Peter was therefore kept in prison, but constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church. – Acts 12:5

Peter was in prison. James had just been killed for his faith (v 2), and Peter was next in line. But then something happened: the church started to pray. When people prayed, everything changed!

Now behold, an angel of the Lord stood by him, and a light shone in the prison; and he struck Peter on the side and raised him up, saying, “Arise quickly!” And his chains fell off his hands. – Acts 12:7

Prayer opens prisons. Prayer changes hearts! Prayer can save a city, a nation, and this world. Are you ready to pray?

Prayer:

Father, I want to PRAY! I know there is power in my prayers. Remind me to offer constant prayer for the things that move Your heart, in Jesus’ name.

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

Day 168: If God Doesn’t Show Up…

The Daily Word: Sunday, June 17th, 2018
1 Kings 18:1-46
Acts 11:1-30
Psalm 135:1-21
Proverbs 17:12-13
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Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
“Then you call on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the Lord; and the God who answers by fire, He is God.” So all the people answered and said, “It is well spoken.” – 1 Kings 18:24 

Elijah issued a direct challenge to Ahab, who was king over Israel. Ahab was following after idols instead of God, so Elijah told him to gather together all the prophets of Baal for a showdown. They would call on Baal, and Elijah would call on God. Whoever showed up – Baal or God – was the real God.

If Elijah lost, he was dead. But Elijah knew something you and I should know: God does not lose. Elijah set himself up so that if God didn’t show up, not only would he look like an absolute fool; he would also be killed! Are you willing to trust God in the same way? Are you willing to set up your life in such a way that you take God at His word, and put your own life on the line to demonstrate that what He says is true?

John Wimber said, “Faith is spelled R-I-S-K.” If you want to walk by faith, you have to be willing to get bold for God. You have to be willing to get foolish for God (see David dancing, 2 Sam 6)! You cannot serve God and other people’s opinions at once. You cannot fear God and man at the same time! Are you ready to let go of your insecurities and fears, and follow Him with your life?

Prayer:

Father, I want to follow You with boldness and with joy! I live to serve You, in Jesus’ name.

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

Day 167: All Figured Out

The Daily Word: Saturday, June 16th, 2018
1 Kings 15:25-17:24
Acts 10:24-48
Psalm 134:1-3
Proverbs 17:9-11
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Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
Then he cried out to the Lord and said, “O Lord my God, have You also brought tragedy on the widow with whom I lodge, by killing her son?” – 1 Kings 17:20

This was Elijah: a prophet of God! He was a man known for his ability to hear from God, and decipher what God was up to. But did you know there were things even Elijah didn’t understand?

I believe we should always seek to know what God is doing; but we must also embrace the reality that sometimes we won’t have a clue! And do you know what? That’s ok. Elijah didn’t have it all figured out! And neither will you.

It’s ok not to know. It’s ok to question! It’s ok to wonder why. But even through the doubts and the fear, trust God. Elijah didn’t know why it had happened; but he did know God would make it right.

Prayer:

Father, I trust You! I don’t always know why You do what You do; but I always trust that You know what You are doing. Help me to put my faith in You like never before, in Jesus’ name!

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

Day 166: Doing Simple Things Well

The Daily Word: Friday, June 15th, 2018
1 Kings 14:1-15:24
Acts 10:1-23
Psalm 133:1-3
Proverbs 17:7-8
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Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of what was called the Italian Regiment, a devout man and one who feared God with all his household, who gave alms generously to the people, and prayed to God always. – Acts 10:1-2

Cornelius 1) feared God, 2) gave generously, and 3) prayed always. These are all simple things! But Cornelius did them well. And do you know what? Heaven took notice:

So [the angel] said to him, “Your prayers and your alms have come up for a memorial before God.” – Acts 10:4

Do you want to jumpstart a lifestyle of encounters with God? Of adventures following God’s Holy Spirit? Do the simple things well. Fear God. Give generously. Pray always! And watch how God starts to move through your life!

Prayer:

Father, thank You for simple faith. I love You. I trust You. I will serve You with my life, in Jesus’ name.

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

Day 165: A Second Chance

The Daily Word: Thursday, June 14th, 2018
1 Kings 12:20-13:34
Acts 9:26-43
Psalm 132:1-18
Proverbs 17:6
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Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
And when Saul had come to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples; but they were all afraid of him, and did not believe that he was a disciple. But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. – Acts 9:26-27a

Barnabas took a big risk! If Saul wasn’t telling the truth, Barnabas was putting the lives of the apostles in danger. None of the other disciples believed Paul was a changed man. They all thought he wanted to be part of their church so he could trick them! But Barnabas gave Saul a second chance; and from that moment forward, Saul was launched into ministry.

Everyone deserves a second chance. Is there anyone in your life – or even your church – who needs a second chance? Will you give it to them, even if it means putting your own name on the line? Give them a second chance; because their destiny may depend on it.

Prayer:

Father, I know that anyone can change: no matter who they are, where they’ve been, or what they’ve done. Help me to believe the best in people. If there’s anyone in my life You want me to vouch for – to give them a second chance when no one else will – please let me know!

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

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