Day 186: In Advance

The Daily Word: Thursday, July 5th, 2018
1 Chronicles 1:1-2:17
Acts 23:11-35
Psalm 3:1-8
Proverbs 18:14-15
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Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
So when Paul’s sister’s son heard of their ambush, he went and entered the barracks and told Paul. – Acts 23:16

The enemy had plans to take Paul out! An entire group of men banded together and “bound themselves under an oath, saying that they would neither eat nor drink till they had killed Paul” (v 12). But God positioned someone to let Paul know in advance.

If you seek God, He will tell you the enemy’s plans: in advance. You won’t have to respond to crisis with panic; you can respond with patience and poise, because you already know what’s coming.

Don’t wait until the stuff hits the fan to seek God. Seek Him first, and He will tell you things to come.

Surely the Lord God does nothing, unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets. – Amos 3:7

Prayer:

Father, tell me the enemy’s plans so I can be prepared in advance. I want to know what my adversary is up to, so I can cancel his plans in prayer!

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

Day 185: Outside of God’s Protection

The Daily Word: Wednesday, July 4th, 2018
2 Kings 23:31-25:30
Acts 22:17-23:10
Psalm 2:1-12
Proverbs 18:13
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Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
In his days Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up, and Jehoiakim became his vassal for three years. Then he turned and rebelled against him. – 2 Kings 24:1

Jehoiakim had to pay tribute to Egypt (2 Kings 23:35). Then, he was beaten into submission by the king of Babylon! Why were Israel’s enemies so successful against God’s people?

Jehoiakim was operating outside of God’s protection. He didn’t heed God’s word, and didn’t do what God asked! When we are not in God’s word, we will be outside of His will. The safest place to be is in the center of God’s will; but when we stray outside of His will, we are unprotected! We are naked and vulnerable to attacks from the enemy.

Get in God’s word. Get in His will! He will protect you when you submit your life to Him, and your will to His.

Prayer:

Father, thank You for supernatural protection! From this day forward, I want to follow Your heart instead of my own desires. Keep me in the center of Your will, in Jesus’ name!

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

Day 184: At Any Cost

The Daily Word: Tuesday, July 3rd, 2018
2 Kings 22:3-23:30
Acts 21:37-22:16
Psalm 1:1-6
Proverbs 18:11-12
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Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
But Paul said, “I am a Jew from Tarsus, in Cilicia, a citizen of no mean city; and I implore you, permit me to speak to the people.” – Acts 21:39

Paul was beaten half to death. He had been taken captive. He might have been on his way to prison, or even death! But all he cared about was delivering the Gospel to the very people who had just tried to take his life!

Paul used every available opportunity as a chance to preach Jesus. Every trial, every tribulation, and every circumstance: it was all a tool to preach Jesus, all the time! Will you stop at nothing to make sure the world hears the Good News? Will you be like Paul, and preach the Gospel at any cost?

Prayer:

Father, fill me with strength and boldness to preach the Gospel at any cost. I want to be like Paul: using every opportunity to make Jesus famous!

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

Day 183: Take It to Prayer

The Daily Word: Monday, July 2nd, 2018
2 Kings 20:1-22:2
Acts 21:18-36
Psalm 150:1-6
Proverbs 18:9-10
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Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
In those days Hezekiah was sick and near death. And Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, went to him and said to him, “Thus says the Lord: ‘Set your house in order, for you shall die, and not live.’” Then he turned his face toward the wall, and prayed to the Lord… – 2 Kings 20:1-2

What is your response to bad news? Do you curse? Do you whine and complain? Do you think through every possible worst-case scenario and wonder what’s going to happen? Or do you trust God and pray?

Hezekiah got bad news: he was going to die. But Hezekiah prayed. He trusted that God knew what He was doing. He trusted that God would hear his prayer. And God honored Hezekiah’s response with an answer to prayer!

Bad news will come; but your response determines the impact it will have on your life. Trust God, and take it to prayer!

Prayer:

Father, make me a man (woman) of prayer! Whenever I face uncertainty, remind me to pray. I trust You, and I love You, in Jesus’ name!

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

Day 182: Stop to Pray

The Daily Word: Sunday, July 1st, 2018
2 Kings 18:13-19:37
Acts 21:1-17
Psalm 149:1-9
Proverbs 18:8
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Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
When we had come to the end of those days, we departed and went on our way; and they all accompanied us, with wives and children, till we were out of the city. And we knelt down on the shore and prayed. – Acts 21:5

The disciples had a long journey ahead of them. They had places to go, and people to see! But they refused to go anywhere – or do anything – without praying first.

My family and I operate the same way. When we wake up in the morning, we pray. Before anyone leaves the house, we pray! Before we make any decisions – no matter how small or how large – we pray. Why? Because prayer matters. When we pray, God’s will comes to pass!

I get it. Your schedule is tight. You have things to do! But please never fall for the lie that you cannot afford to pray. In fact, the opposite is true: you cannot afford not to pray! God has a great destiny for you; and the enemy will do everything he can to sabotage it! And the only thing that can assure the enemy’s plans will fail – and God’s plans will be fulfilled – is prayer.

Prayer:

Father, help me to make more time to pray. No matter where I am, I want to stop and pray. No matter what I am in the middle of, I want to stop and pray! I cannot afford to miss a moment of prayer, in Jesus’ name.

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

Day 181: Don’t Go Back!

The Daily Word: Saturday, June 30th, 2018
2 Kings 17:1-18:12
Acts 20:1-38
Psalm 148:1-14
Proverbs 18:6-7
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Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
For so it was that the children of Israel had sinned against the Lord their God, who had brought them up out of the land of Egypt, from under the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt; and they had feared other gods… – 2 Kings 17:7

God had freed His people from Egypt; but now Israel was going back to Egypt and asking for help! Assyria was attacking Samaria, and King Hoshea didn’t know what to do. So instead of seeking God, he sought man! Instead of going to God and asking for help, he went back to the king of Egypt!

Just because something is familiar doesn’t mean it is best for you. God delivered His people from Egypt on purpose. If they had come to Him for help, He would have gladly delivered them! Yet they compounded their problems by asking their former captors for deliverance.

Don’t go back. You don’t need the bottle to manage your stress. You don’t need that unhealthy relationship to keep you from feeling alone. God delivered you from those things on purpose: so you would come to Him, instead of going back to them! You are free; so stay free, in Jesus’ name!

Prayer:

Father, thank You for delivering me. You have brought me through some incredible obstacles, and caused me to conquer in the face of incredible odds. Help me never to turn back to the same old vices for help. I want to turn to You instead!

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

Day 180: Praise Is Beautiful

The Daily Word: Friday, June 29th, 2018
2 Kings 15:1-16:20
Acts 19:13-41
Psalm 147:1-20
Proverbs 18:4-5
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Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
Praise the Lord! For it is good to sing praises to our God; for it is pleasant, and praise is beautiful. – Ps 147:1

Your praise is beautiful to God. Your voice may not be perfect; but your praise is! No matter where you are at in your life, your praise is beautiful. No matter what you’re struggling with, your praise is beautiful!

So are you ready to change your day? Lift up your voice. Start out your day by signing praises to God. Sing them in the shower. Sing them on the train! Sing them in your office. Praise Him with your whole heart, and watch how your day changes for the better.

Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. – Heb 13:15

Prayer:

Father, thank You for filling me with praise! I love You; and I love to praise You! Remind me to praise, every second of my day, in Jesus’ name.

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

Day 179: All In

The Daily Word: Thursday, June 28th, 2018
2 Kings 13:1-14:29
Acts 18:23-19:12
Psalm 146:1-10
Proverbs 18:2-3
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Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
And this continued for two years, so that all who dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks. – Acts 19:10

Wherever Paul went, he preached the Gospel. When Paul came to Ephesus, he “spoke boldly for three months” in the synagogue (v 8). Some received the message and accepted Jesus; but others did not. Either way, Paul made sure of one thing: everyone got the message.

This was Paul’s testimony: that “all who dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus.” What will your testimony be? Will all who are in your family hear the Gospel? Will all who are in your office or workplace hear the Gospel? Will all who are in your neighborhood or apartment building hear the Gospel?

You are a powerful messenger, everywhere you go. Preach the Gospel with boldness, in Jesus’ name!

Prayer:

Father, I want my testimony to be like Paul’s. I want to be a bold witness, in Jesus’ name! Give me the strength and the courage to make sure everyone hears the Gospel, everywhere I go.

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

Day 178: Got Your Back

The Daily Word: Wednesday, June 27th, 2018
2 Kings 10:32-12:21
Acts 18:1-22
Psalm 145:1-21
Proverbs 18:1
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Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
But Jehosheba, the daughter of King Joram, sister of Ahaziah, took Joash the son of Ahaziah, and stole him away from among the king’s sons who were being murdered; and they hid him and his nurse in the bedroom, from Athaliah, so that he was not killed. – 2 Kings 11:2

Joash had an amazing destiny; but the enemy tried to squash it. Joash was just a boy; but he was born to be king! So when Athaliah came to kill him, his aunt (Jehosheba) stole him away. Joash was not old enough to protect himself, so someone older (i.e. more mature) protected him.

You were once young in your faith. When you weren’t mature enough to stand up and defend yourself, someone more seasoned stood in the gap and contended for you. You wouldn’t be here – in love with Jesus – if it wasn’t for them! That means two things:

1) Be Grateful. Your are here because of God’s grace, not because of your performance.

2) Pay It Forward. You know at least one person – maybe several – who need your prayers. When the enemy comes for them, they will need your protection! Back them up in prayer.

Prayer:

Father, thank You for the people You sent to protect me. I needed them, even if I didn’t know it. Help me to turn around and do the same for someone else, in Jesus’ name!

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

Day 177: Friends and Acquaintances

The Daily Word: Tuesday, June 26th, 2018
2 Kings 9:14-10:31
Acts 17:1-34
Psalm 144:1-15
Proverbs 17:27-28
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Commentary from Pastor Michael White:  

So Jehu killed all who remained of the house of Ahab in Jezreel, and all his great men and his close acquaintances and his priests, until he left him none remaining. – 2 Kings 10:11

Even Ahab’s “close acquaintances” were killed for Ahab’s wickedness! This would seem to suggest that we should avoid people who are far from God: that if we hang out with wicked people, we are in danger! Yet Jesus was the “friend of sinners” (Matt 11:19). He constantly spent time with men and women who were wicked!  If we are going to fulfill His mandate to preach the Gospel to all the world, we have to become “close acquaintances” with the wicked if we want to see them saved. So where do we draw the line? How close is too close?

Here is the difference. Jesus spent time with sinners who didn’t know the goodness of God; yet Ahab’s circle was full of people who did know God’s Word, yet deliberately chose to ignore it. If someone knows God’s goodness – the Gospel – but deliberately chooses evil instead of good – death instead of life, time and time again – we have to be careful!

Be careful whom you call friend. We must be friends with sinners if we ever want to see them saved; but our own walk can be compromised if we associate with wicked people too closely. Let the Holy Spirit lead you every step of the way!

Prayer:

Father, help me to choose my relationships wisely. I want to be a friend of sinners; but I know I must avoid the wicked who will never turn to You. Help me to make the right choices, in Jesus’ name!

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

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