Day 344: Ordinary People => Extraordinary Things

The Daily Word: Monday, December 10th, 2018
Amos 1:1-3:15
Revelation 2:1-17
Psalm 129:1-8
Proverbs 29:19-20
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Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
The words of Amos, who was among the sheepbreeders of Tekoa, which he saw concerning Israel in the days of Uzziah king of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel, two years before the earthquake. – Amos 1:1

God uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things. Before he became a prophet, Amos was “among the sheepbreeders of Tekoa.” In other words, he was a regular guy! He was a shepherd from a small town southeast of Bethlehem; but God used Amos to deliver His word to His people.

Did you know that King David was a shepherd before God made him king (1 Sam 16:11)? Have you considered that Jesus, the Son of God, started out as a carpenter (Mk 6:3) from a family with humble beginnings? God uses the foolish things of the world to confound the wise (1 Cor 1:27)! He doesn’t need people with a perfect past or the perfect pedigree; He simply chooses people who stay humbly reliant on Him.

If God can use a shepherd from Tekoa, He can use you! Do not despise your background or your pedigree. You or a son (or daughter) of God! Don’t you ever forget it. Nobody has the right to say you are unqualified for what God has called you to do.

Prayer:

Father, I am blown away that You would choose to use me! I’m just an ordinary person; but I know You will do extraordinary things through me. Thank You for using me, in Jesus’ name!

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

Day 343: Crying Out

The Daily Word: Sunday, December 9th, 2018
Joel 1:1-3:21
Revelation 1:1-20
Psalm 128:1-6
Proverbs 29:18
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Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
Consecrate a fast, call a sacred assembly; gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land into the house of the Lord your God, and cry out to the Lord. – Joel 1:14

This is how we should respond to crisis: corporate prayer and fasting. When famine struck God’s people, they dropped everything to consecrate a fast, called a sacred assembly, and cried out to the Lord. All of Israel gathered together, from the elders (i.e. spiritual leadership), all the way to the inhabitants (i.e. laymen and women).

When calamity strikes, do we gather together for corporate prayer and fasting? Or do we post our condolences on Facebook and start a GoFundMe to make ourselves feel better? We’ve lost the discipline of crying out! We’ve lost focus on the importance of corporate prayer and fasting in response to crisis.

What would your life look like if you slowed down enough to cry out? What would the church look like if we made a practice of crying out? What would our nation look like if we insisted on crying out?

Prayer:

Father, help me to slow down and make time to cry out. When things don’t go my way, I need to pray and fast: not to change Your mind, Lord, but to change my heart! I want to posture myself to hear You, like never before, in Jesus’ name!

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

Day 342: What Keeps You Up at Night?

The Daily Word: Saturday, December 8th, 2018
Hosea 10:1-14:9
Jude 1:1-25
Psalm 127:1-5
Proverbs 29:15-17
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Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows; for so He gives His beloved sleep. – Ps 127:2

Losing sleep is not Biblical. Are you so worried you wake up well before your alarm clock: not on purpose to pray, but against your will because your mind starts racing with all your cares and concerns? There’s a problem there. Are you so preoccupied you sit up late: unable to drift off to sleep, because you can’t get everything you have to do off your mind? There’s a problem there.

God gives His beloved sleep! If you’re losing sleep over something – i.e. if you’re worrying too much – don’t accept it; fix it! Cast your cares upon the Lord, for He cares for you (1 Pet 5:7)! Slow down and talk to God. Tell Him what’s on your mind, and ask Him to take it away! Refuse to worry, because Jesus is with you; and when He is with you, you are safe and sound!

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” – Matt 11:28-30

Prayer:

Father, I am so grateful I get to take everything I am carrying, and deposit it at Your feet. I let go of all my worries, right now, in Jesus’ name. I will not lose sleep any more! Thank You for loving me, protecting me, and giving Your beloved sleep.

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

Day 341: Are You Ready for Rain?

The Daily Word: Friday, December 7th, 2018
Hosea 6:1-9:17
3 John 1:1-14
Psalm 126:1-6
Proverbs 29:12-14
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Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
Let us know, let us pursue the knowledge of the Lord. His going forth is established as the morning; He will come to us like the rain, like the latter and former rain to the earth. – Hosea 6:3

God’s presence comes “like the rain.” Have you ever been stuck in a downpour? Out of nowhere, you find yourself in the midst of a crazy storm, and it’s absolutely impossible to stay dry? Every part of you is suddenly soaked. You drip with evidence of what just happened everywhere you go, for the rest of the day!

Such is the presence of God. His timing is often outside of our awareness, and His movement is impossible to predict: but He comes. Oh, does He come! In the absolute driest of seasons, a sudden downpour can bring the refreshing resurrection you so desperately need.

Are you ready for rain?

Prayer:

Father, thank You for blessing me with Your presence. I am desperate for rain. Pour out on me, in Jesus’ name!

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

Day 340: The Right Weapon

The Daily Word: Thursday, December 6th, 2018
Hosea 4:1-5:15
2 John 1:1-13
Psalm 125:1-5
Proverbs 29:9-11
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Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
For the spirit of harlotry has caused them to stray, and they have played the harlot against their God. – Hosea 4:12

The problem wasn’t that God’s people were naturally inclined to harlotry; it was that a spirit of harlotry compelled them to pursue unnatural inclinations. God’s people were deliberately pushed into a physical act (harlotry) by a spiritual entity (a spirit).

The remedy, therefore, was not physical; it was spiritual. The answer was not to “try harder;” it was to organize a response through corporate prayer. But God’s people missed that; so they continued to fight and lose, when God would have given them victory!

Don’t fight a spiritual battle with physical weapons. We cannot ignore the fact that spiritual forces seek to corrupt our desires. Don’t let them! Stand strong in the Lord, and He will guide your heart.

Prayer:

Father, thank You for giving me all the tools I need to fight every spiritual battle. I love You, and I trust You, in Jesus’ name!

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

Day 339: Want to Live Forever?

The Daily Word: Wednesday, December 5th, 2018
Hosea 1:1-3:5
1 John 5:1-21
Psalm 124:1-8
Proverbs 29:5-8
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Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. – 1 Jn 5:11-12

Eternal life is not just a fantasy; it can be your reality. Don’t you want to live forever? God has given you eternal life! It is a gift: completely free!

So how do you get it? Eternal life is in His Son. If you have Jesus, you have eternal life! Apart from Him, you are lost to death; but in Him, you live forever.

So, what are you worried about this morning? What temporary problem kept you up last night? Now remember that none of that matters in the end; because you have eternal life! The problems of this world will one day fade away, and you will be with God, in Heaven, for all of time.

Prayer:

Father, thank You for eternal life! I have Jesus; and that means I have eternal life in Him. I release all my earthly problems to You, right now, in Jesus’ name; and I ask You to help me to take joy in the reality that I will live FOREVER!

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

Day 338: Do You Love God?

The Daily Word: Tuesday, December 4th, 2018
Daniel 11:36-12:13
1 John 4:1-21
Psalm 123:1-4
Proverbs 29:2-4
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Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? – 1 Jn 4:20

WARNING: This is not an easy read!!

Whoever says, “I love God,” and hates his brother…is a liar. Wow. Do you remember yesterday’s message (1 Jn 3:7)? Talk is cheap! It’s easy to say we love God! But it’s hard to show it! It’s not always easy to love our brother. But God’s reminder is to prove we love Him – a God we cannot see – by how we love the people we can!

God loves you: no matter what. You are a child of God (Gal 3:26); and because you are God’s child, He is pleased with you (Matt 3:17)! We should love the people around us: not because we have to, but because we get to! We love others: not to earn God’s affection, but to show God’s affection – which we already have! – to others!

Prayer:

Father, help me to love my brother. Help me to love the people around me! I know I show my love for You by how I love others. Help me to do it well: not to earn Your love, but because I already have it!

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

Day 337: Practicing Righteousness

The Daily Word: Monday, December 3rd, 2018
Daniel 11:2-35
1 John 3:7-24
Psalm 122:1-9
Proverbs 29:1
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Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. – 1 Jn 3:7

Do you want to know the character of someone around you? Don’t just listen to what they say; watch what they do. Do they lead by example? Do they practice what they preach? Do they make sure they’re present and available at critical moments?

Do you want to know what type of leader you are? Don’t just say the right thing; do the right thing. Don’t just rant and rave and criticize; make a positive impact and change the things you can! Motivate the people around you by becoming the type of person you’re asking them to be!

Whoever says one thing and does another is a deceiver; but whoever practices righteousness is righteous!

“Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are…the true test of a man’s character is what he does when no one is watching.” – John Wooden

Prayer:

Father, make me a person of integrity! I want to practice righteousness, in Jesus’ name. I don’t just want to talk the talk; I want to walk the walk!

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

Day 336: Because of Your Words

The Daily Word: Sunday, December 2nd, 2018
Daniel 9:1-11:1
1 John 2:18-3:6
Psalm 121:1-8
Proverbs 28:27-28
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Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
Then he said to me, “Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words.” – Dan 10:12

I have come because of your words. When you pray, things happen! God not only hears; He also responds. If Daniel had not prayed, the answer to his prayer would never have arrived.

Have you been praying? Then help is on the way! The answer might take longer than you expect; but know that God has heard you, and has issued a response!

Prayer:

Father, thank You for moving in response to my prayer. Give me patience to wait for the promise. Give me discernment to hold out for the real thing. Thank You that help is on the way, in Jesus’ name!

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

Day 335: The Test

The Daily Word: Saturday, December 1st, 2018
Daniel 8:1-27
1 John 2:1-17
Psalm 120:1-7
Proverbs 28:25-26
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Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked. – 1 John 2:6

Do you want to know if you abide in Jesus? Here is the simple test: do you walk like He walked? Does your life look like the Gospels?

We read this verse as a liability; but it is really a benefit! You don’t just have to walk like Jesus; you get to! You don’t just have to do the things He did; you get to! You get to pray the same prayers He prayed, and expect exactly the same results! Aren’t you so glad Jesus died to make you like Him?

Prayer:

Father, I know I abide in Jesus; so help me to walk like He walked! I want to walk like Him. I want to pray like Him. I want to heal like Him! I want to be like Him: in every way, in Jesus’ name.

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

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