Day 226: The Art of Waiting

The Daily Word: Tuesday, August 14th, 2018
Nehemiah 7:73-9:21
1 Corinthians 9:1-18
Psalm 33:12-22
Proverbs 21:11-12
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Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
Our soul waits for the Lord; He is our help and our shield. – Ps 33:20

To “wait” is the Hebrew chakah (Strong’s H2442), which means to tarry or to long for. When we wait for God, we long for His intervention. We anticipate His deliverance with a confident hope and expectation that His goodness will come.

Waiting is part of the Christian life. Those who “wait on the Lord will renew their strength” (Is 40:31). “Blessed is he who waits” (Dan 12:12). Jesus told the disciples, “…not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father” (Acts 2:4). Good things come to those who wait!

When was the last time you prayed for patience? The more you get comfortable waiting, the more blessed you will become.

Prayer:

Father, help me to wait well in Jesus’ name! Bless me with supernatural patience, and help me to long for Your goodness, all of my days.

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

Day 225: Fearless!

The Daily Word: Monday, August 13th, 2018
Nehemiah 5:14-7:73
1 Corinthians 8:1-13
Psalm 33:1-11
Proverbs 21:8-10
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Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
…and he said, “Let us meet together in the house of God, within the temple, and let us close the doors of the temple, for they are coming to kill you; indeed, at night they will come to kill you.” And I said, “Should such a man as I flee? And who is there such as I who would go into the temple to save his life? I will not go in!” – Neh 6:10b-11

Nehemiah knew his enemies were trying to kill him. But Nehemiah would not run. He would not hide! He would not flee; because he knew God would protect him.

Take courage! You don’t have to hide from the enemy. God will protect you. You don’t have to back down from God’s work! He will strengthen you. Whatever you need – protection, provision, and supernatural favor – God will supply.

But my eyes are upon You, O God the Lord; in You I take refuge; do not leave my soul destitute. Keep me from the snares they have laid for me, and from the traps of the workers of iniquity. Let the wicked fall into their own nets, while I escape safely. – Ps 141:8-10

Prayer:

Father, thank You for divine protection! I know I don’t have to fear or flee from the enemy. He is already defeated, in Jesus’ name!

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

Day 224: Piece by Piece

The Daily Word: Sunday, August 12th, 2018
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:
Beyond the Horse Gate the priests made repairs, each in front of his own house. – Neh 3:28

Day by day, the people of Jerusalem repaired the wall. The work was back-breaking, and the wall was long. But no one man was responsible to repair the entire wall himself. Each man had to play his part. Each man had to repair the wall in front of his own house; and as everyone worked side by side, the wall came together.

You are not responsible to save the world. Jesus already did that! You are simply responsible to share the Good News with people who are close to you: those who are “in front of your own house.” God put you in your workplace – and in your family, and your city – on purpose, to reach people no one else can reach! And He has surrounded you with friends and family, to remind you never to labor alone.

When we all do our part and share with the people God puts around us, His work will come together piece by piece. Everyone must do his share, but the reward is well worth the labor.

Prayer:

Father, thank You for my specific assignment. Help me to do my part by building where You’ve called me to build. I thank You for my brothers and sisters on every side, doing their part. As we work together, it will all come together, in Jesus’ name!

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

Day 223: Send Me!

The Daily Word: Saturday, August 11th, 2018
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:
And I said to the king, “If it pleases the king, and if your servant has found favor in your sight, I ask that you send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers’ tombs, that I may rebuild it.” – Neh 2:5

Jerusalem was in ruins. When Nehemiah found out, he “sat down and wept, and mourned many days…fasting and praying before the God of heaven” (Neh 1:4). When Nehemiah heard about calamity, he dropped what he was doing and did something about it. He fasted and prayed! But he didn’t stop there.

Jerusalem needed to be rebuilt; so Nehemiah volunteered to go. What has God called you to do? What neighborhood, region, or people group, has He given you the grace to serve? When He needs to send someone to do His work, will you raise your hand and volunteer to go?

Many are called; but few ask to be sent. It’s time to step into your destiny. God will send you! But first you have to ask to go.

Prayer:

Father, send me! I know there is much work to do. Send me! Use me as a vessel of Your love. Send me into places where hurting people need a touch of Heaven the most! Send me, in Jesus; name.

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

Day 222: Do the Right Thing

The Daily Word: Friday, August 10th, 2018
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:
To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice. – Prov 21:3

Obedience activates the Kingdom of God. Obedience – doing what God has asked you to do – is the best way to invite His blessings into His life. Obedience is certainly not popular; but it is absolutely effective.

Faith is simple. Do the right thing: “do righteousness and justice.” Do simple things well! Yes, God responds to grand, sweeping gestures; but He also responds to simple, obedient faith. Just do the right thing! God will take care of the rest.

Prayer:

Father, thank You for honoring obedience. Thank You that righteousness and justice are more acceptable than sacrifice. I want simple, obedient faith, in Jesus’ name!

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

Day 221: Identity Changes Everything

The Daily Word: Thursday, August 9th, 2018
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:
And I said to them, “You are holy to the Lord; the articles are holy also; and the silver and the gold are a freewill offering to the Lord God of your fathers.” – Ezra 8:28

How can you encourage someone to do the right thing?

Ezra was taking a leap of faith. He had a huge sum of money to send to Jerusalem for building the temple. He was trusting the priests and the Levites to bring the whole donation to Jerusalem on his behalf. Ezra wanted to encourage the priests and the Levites to do the “right thing:” to steward the funds well so nothing went missing!

But Ezra encouraged them instead of warning them. He didn’t say, “You had better not screw up!” Instead, he said, “You are holy.” He reminded them of their identity. He demonstrated and communicated complete trust in them, instead of implying or verbalizing any concerns.

The best way the change behavior is to instill identity. Remind people who they are, and change their perception of whom God calls them to be! Reinforce the reality that they are created in the image of God, and they will rise to the occasion! When people are reminded who they are, they will embrace a new standard of holiness.

Prayer:

Father, help me to encourage the people around me instead of scolding them. Thank You for our Biblical identity: we are sons and daughters created in the image of God. You trust me even though I don’t deserve it; so help me to extend the same courtesy to others, in Jesus’ name!

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

Day 220: Power!!

The Daily Word: Wednesday, August 8th, 2018
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:
But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord wills, and I will know, not the word of those who are puffed up, but the power. For the kingdom of God is not in word but in power. – 1 Cor 4:19-20

Paul didn’t want to be known for words; he wanted to be known for power. Power is the Greek dunamis (Strong’s G1411), which means “strength, power or ability to perform miracles.” Paul wouldn’t settle for simply knowing about God; he insisted on demonstrating His power. Paul wouldn’t settle for talking about miracles; he wanted to see them everywhere he went!

You were born to walk in power. God is powerful; and you are made in His image (Gen 1:27)! You don’t have to settle for merely intellectual faith, where you know what God is capable of, but never see it in your life. Ask God for life-changing miracles, and He will put His power on display!

Prayer:

Father, I want to see Your miracle-working power in my life. Let me see miracles everywhere I go, wherever the Gospel is preached, in Jesus’ name!

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

Day 219: Following God

The Daily Word: Tuesday, August 7th, 2018
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:
Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, as the Lord gave to each one? – 1 Cor 3:5

We should never follow men; we should follow God! Paul is nothing! Apollos is nothing! But God is everything.

We live in a day and age where many people follow a strong leader instead of a strong God. These things should not be so! The task of every minister is to encourage people to put their eyes on Jesus. As a pastor, my job is to put myself out of a job: to teach people they can have a life-changing relationship with Jesus through an encounter with God’s Holy Spirit, with or without me!

Congregants: Don’t get so lost following a minister that you lose sight of God.

Pastors: The congregants in your church are not your people! They are God’s! He has given them to you, and it is your joy to encourage them to believe in Him.

Prayer:

Father, I want to follow You and You alone. I don’t want to follow a man, because no man can save me! I want to follow Jesus, because in Him I am saved.

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

Day 218: Feeling Discouraged?

The Daily Word: Monday, August 6th, 2018
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:
Then the people of the land tried to discourage the people of Judah. They troubled them in building, – Ezra 4:4

The more God’s people made progress, the more the enemy tried to discourage them. At first, the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin didn’t trouble them as they rebuilt God’s temple; but as soon as the builders started making real progress, their enemies tried to frustrate them!

The more progress you make, the more the enemy will try to discourage you. If the enemy causes you trouble, take it as a compliment: it means you are doing good work! Don’t get frustrated because obstacles arise; be encouraged, because you are on the right track. Just keep building, and everything will fall into place!

Prayer:

Father, thank You for progress! Slowly but surely, I know I am doing the work You have called me to do. Bless me, protect me, and shield me from discouragement, in Jesus’ name!

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

Day 217: What They Think

The Daily Word: Sunday, August 5th, 2018
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:
For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. – 1 Cor 1:18

Do your friends think you’re foolish for believing in Jesus? Does your family give you a hard time because you go to church? Do your co-workers question your decisions because you love the Lord your God with all your heart?

Who cares what they think!! Scripture prepares us for the reality that people who don’t know Jesus will think we are foolish for following Him. But what they think doesn’t make the Gospel any less true. What they think doesn’t make the Cross any less powerful. What they think doesn’t make Jesus anyone less than King of kings and Lord of lords!

From this day forward: live your life free from the opinions of others. God loves you; and that is all that matters.

Prayer:

Father, thank You for Your power! Thank You that the Gospel means I am Heaven-bound. Your grace means I am free from sin! When I chose to believe in Jesus, everything changed; and I thank You for it, in Jesus’ name.

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

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