Day 224: Stay Ready!

The Daily Word: Saturday, August 12th, 2017
Nehemiah 3:15-5:13
1 Corinthians 7:25-40
Psalm 32:1-11
Proverbs 21:5-7
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Commentary from Pastor Michael White:  

Those who built on the wall, and those who carried burdens, loaded themselves so that with one hand they worked at construction, and with the other held a weapon. Every one of the builders had his sword girded at his side as he built. And the one who sounded the trumpet was beside me. – Neh 4:17-18

The people of Jerusalem were doing God’s work. They were rebuilding the walls of the city, just as He had instructed them to do! But that didn’t mean their enemies would just lay down and let them build.

Resistance is a sign that you are making progress. The enemies of Jerusalem didn’t want the wall rebuilt; so God’s people had to stay ready. They built with one hand, and held a spear in the other! They moved forward in the work, but also kept their defenses up to ward off any attack.

As you move forward in your destiny and build what God has called you to build, don’t forget to protect what He has already given you in prayer. Keep advancing, but always stay ready to protect the ground you are standing on.

Prayer:

Father, help me to advance and maintain at the same time! Thank You that moving forward doesn’t mean I have to give up the ground You have already given me. Remind me to protect my present in prayer, while moving forward into the amazing future You have for me!

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

Day 223: Activating God’s Goodness

The Daily Word: Friday, August 11th, 2017
Nehemiah 1:1-3:14
1 Corinthians 7:1-24
Psalm 31:19-24
Proverbs 21:4
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Commentary from Pastor Michael White:  

Oh, how great is Your goodness, which You have laid up for those who fear You, which You have prepared for those who trust in You in the presence of the sons of men! – Ps 31:19

We don’t have to beg God for goodness. When we fear Him, He stores up goodness on our account. When we trust in Him, He prepares good things on our behalf to bless us when it’s time!

You don’t have to chase after the goodness of God. When you make a decision to worship God with everything you think, say and do, He will send goodness chasing after you.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. – Ps 23:6

Prayer:

Father, thank You for sending goodness and mercy to follow me! Thank You for storing up your goodness for me; and for preparing good things for me because You love me. Help me to trust You no matter what, in Jesus’ name.

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

Day 222: It’s My Body!

The Daily Word: Thursday, August 10th, 2017
Ezra 10:1-44
1 Corinthians 6:1-20
Psalm 31:9-18
Proverbs 21:3
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Commentary from Pastor Michael White:  

Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? – 1 Cor 6:19

Your body is yours, right? You can do whatever you want with it, right? If you want to go out and drink a little too much with your friends, it’s your body isn’t it? If you want to experiment with casual sex and sleep around, it’s your body isn’t it?

Not according to Scripture. With one statement, the Holy Spirit forever puts to death the notion that we get to do whatever we want with our bodies. In fact, the Apostle Paul explains that our bodies are not really “ours” at all! Our bodies don’t belong to us; they belong to God. Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, whom you have from God, and you are not your own! You belong to HIM!

Your body is so much more than a physical shell to be used and abused; it is the temple of the Holy Spirit of God Himself. You don’t have to bow to the same temptations as the rest of the world. You get to say no to sin, and yes to the Son! Because God lives in you, you’re alive in Him!

Prayer:

Father, thank You for my body. I know my body is an instrument of praise, designed to honor You. Help me to feel Your presence. Help me to long for Your embrace. I want to honor You with everything I do, in Jesus’ name!

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

Day 221: Money Where Your Mouth Is!

The Daily Word: Wednesday, August 9th, 2017
Ezra 8:21-9:15
1 Corinthians 5:1-13
Psalm 31:1-8
Proverbs 21:1-2
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Commentary from Pastor Michael White:  

“For I was ashamed to request of the king an escort of soldiers and horsemen to help us against the enemy on the road, because we had spoken to the king, saying, ‘The hand of our God is upon all those for good who seek Him, but His power and His wrath are against all those who forsake Him.’” – Ezra 8:22

Ezra believed that God protected His people from all their enemies. He boasted to the king of Babylon about God’s faithfulness. Then, he backed up his belief with behavior.

Ezra really believed God would protect him. So instead of asking the king of Babylon for protection on his trip back to Jerusalem, he practiced what he preached. He refused to ask for earthly protection, because he knew protection is something only God can provide. He refused to seek help from an earthly king, and instead asked for help from the King of kings! God heard his request, and Ezra arrived safe and sound.

Does your daily life line up with your theology? Are you living your life like you really believe the things the Bible says are true? Do you believe in God’s protection? Prove it. Do you believe in heavenly provision? Prove it. Do you believe in His healing? Prove it! Stand on the word of God, and watch what He does on your behalf.

Prayer:

Father, I want to live my life like I really believe your word! Make me bold to stand on the promises of God. I won’t accept compromise, and I won’t settle for a cheap imitation! I want to believe everything You say, in Jesus’ name.

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

Day 220: The Mysteries of God

The Daily Word: Tuesday, August 8th, 2017
Ezra 7:1-8:20
1 Corinthians 4:1-21
Psalm 30:1-12
Proverbs 20:28-30
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Commentary from Pastor Michael White:  

Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful. – 1 Cor 4:1-2

If you believe in Jesus, you are a steward of the mysteries of God. That has two implications. First, you know things not everyone knows. Jesus told His disciples, “…it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven” (Matt 13:11). You know the meaning of life: to know Jesus. You understand the reason you were created –intimate communion with God – and what you were put here on this earth to do! Second, your privilege as a steward is that you get to share what you know with people who don’t know! You get to speak with people to whom the Gospel is a mystery, and explain the love of God to them – in terms they can understand!

Faith can be mysterious; but God’s love for us doesn’t have to be. Tell the world how much He loves them, so they can know Jesus too!

Prayer:

Father, thank You for trusting me to steward the mysteries of God. Help me to be faithful with the simple truths of the Gospel by making them not-so-mysterious to people who need to understand Your love!

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

Day 219: Christ-Centered Faith

The Daily Word: Monday, August 7th, 2017
Ezra 4:24-6:22
1 Corinthians 3:5-23
Psalm 29:1-11
Proverbs 20:26-27
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Commentary from Pastor Michael White:  

I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase. – 1 Cor 3:6-7

We should never focus our faith on a minister or a ministry; we should only focus our faith on Jesus Christ! Paul was reminding the early church that their loyalty should not be to a pastor or minister, but to Jesus Himself. Pastors are instruments: God uses them to plant seed and water what has been planted. At the end of the day, however, it is God – not any man – who deserved the glory for His work on this earth!

Stay focused on Jesus. It is He – and no man – who deserves your affection.

Prayer:

Father, fix my eyes on the Cross. I pray that no matter what happens, my faith in You would not be moved!

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

Day 218: Silence Is Deadly

The Daily Word: Sunday, August 6th, 2017
Ezra 3:1-4:23
1 Corinthians 2:6-3:4
Psalm 28:1-9
Proverbs 20:24-25
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Commentary from Pastor Michael White:  

To You I will cry, O Lord my Rock: Do not be silent to me, Lest, if You are silent to me, I become like those who go down to the pit. – Psalm 28:1

Distance from God’s voice (e.g. silence) leads to death (“to the pit”); so then proximity to God’s voice (e.g. communication) leads to life! David knew that if God was silent to him, he didn’t stand a chance. God is always speaking; but it is us – not Him – who frequently get too busy to stop and take time to listen!

David loved talking to God because He knew God would talk back! Prayer is not a one-way dictation; it is a two-way conversation. When we pray, we must not only express our needs, but also make time to listen to what God needs us to hear.

Do you have a word from Heaven for your most pressing need? Do you have confidence from God to faithfully face your biggest fear? You can get through anything as long as you have a word from God!

Prayer:

Father, thank You for always being near to me. Thank You for Your voice: Your wisdom and Your counsel. Thank You for Your comfort: constant reassurance in my time of need. I know You are speaking. Remind me to take time to listen!

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

Day 217: The Power of God

The Daily Word: Saturday, August 5th, 2017
Ezra 1:1-2:70
1 Corinthians 1:18-2:5
Psalm 27:7-14
Proverbs 20:22-23
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Commentary from Pastor Michael White:  

And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. – 1 Cor 2:4-5

Paul didn’t preach like other men. He didn’t preach with persuasion or intellectual wisdom; he preached with the Holy Spirit and with power. When Paul preached, miracles happened. Lame men walked (Acts 14:10). Evil spirits came out (Acts 16:18). Diseases left (Acts 19:11-12) and dead men came back to life (Acts 20:10-12)!

Paul learned from Jesus’ example:

And they were astonished at His teaching, for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. – Mk 1:22

And so should we! Would you rather be known for your clever words? Or for the power and authority God puts on display through you, everywhere you go?

Prayer:

Father, I don’t need to be clever; but I do desire to see signs, miracles, and wonders everywhere I go! Help me to speak with the Holy Spirit and with power, in Jesus’ name!

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

Day 216: God’s Great Grace!

The Daily Word: Friday, August 4th, 2017
2 Chronicles 35:1-36:23
1 Corinthians 1:1-17
Psalm 27:1-6
Proverbs 20:20-21
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Commentary from Pastor Michael White:  

I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given to you by Christ Jesus, that you were enriched in everything by Him… – 1 Cor 1:4-5

Thank God for grace! Grace is unmerited favor. That means God gives us good things we don’t deserve! We have an eternal future in Heaven with Him! Here on earth, we have a Scriptural right to a life free from sickness and disease! That means there are benefits to salvation that we should always contend for, and never forget:

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: who forgives all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from destruction, who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. – Ps 103:2-5

Grace means God blesses us with good things we don’t deserve. Mercy means He holds back bad things we do deserve! And both are ours in the name of Jesus.

Prayer:

Father, thank You for grace! Thank You for Your supernatural favor, in Jesus’ name. Your grace is an eternal gift, and I thank You for it in Jesus’ name!

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

Day 215: Humble-Hearted Prayer

The Daily Word: Thursday, August 3rd, 2017
2 Chronicles 33:14-34:33
Romans 16:10-27
Psalm 26:1-12
Proverbs 20:19
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Commentary from Pastor Michael White:  

Also his prayer and how God received his entreaty, and all his sin and trespass, and the sites where he built high places and set up wooden images and carved images, before he was humbled, indeed they are written among the sayings of Hozai. – 2 Chron 33:19

Manasseh was an evil king! He was far from perfect. For a long time, he “would not listen” to God (2 Chron 33:10). But Manasseh humbled his heart, and God heard his prayer. Despite Manasseh’s checkered past, God restored him completely!

No matter who you are, where you’ve been, or what you’ve done: God is a Restorer. If He heard and answered Manasseh’s prayer, He will hear and answer yours! Humble your heart, and watch what God is willing to do.

Prayer:

Father, thank You that even though I am far from perfect, You still hear my prayers! Thank You that even though I don’t deserve restoration, You restore me all the same. You are GOOD, and I thank You for it in Jesus’ name!

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

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