Day 343: The Joy Connection

The Daily Word: Monday, December 9th, 2019
Joel 1:1-3:21
Revelation 1:1-20
Psalm 128:1-6
Proverbs 29:18
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
The vine has dried up, and the fig tree has withered; the pomegranate tree, the palm tree also, and the apple tree— All the trees of the field are withered; surely joy has withered away from the sons of men. – Joel 1:12

God’s people were disconnected. They weren’t talking with God! They weren’t walking with God. And as a result, everything was dry. Their crops were drying up. Their flocks and herds had nothing left to eat! But their material possessions weren’t the only thing to take a hit! When God’s people were disconnected, their joy “withered away.” When we are disconnected from God, not only will our blessings dry up; our joy will dry up too!

Are you struggling to feel joy? Do things that used to excite you fail to excite you anymore? Get reconnected to God! You don’t have a joy problem; you have a connection problem! Pursue God again in prayer. As you seek His face, He will fill you up with joy.

Prayer:

Father, I want to reconnect with You. Fill me with joy, and fill me with life! I know that when I am connected to You, I have everything I could ever need, in Jesus’ name!

© Michael D. White, 2019. All rights reserved.

Day 342: I Exalt Thee

The Daily Word: Sunday, December 8th, 2019
Hosea 10:1-14:9
Jude 1:1-25
Psalm 127:1-5
Proverbs 29:15-17
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
My people are bent on backsliding from Me. though they call to the Most High, none at all exalt Him. – Hosea 11:7

Did you know that there are different forms of prayer? Hosea highlights two. Calling on God is different than exalting Him. The people of Israel were calling to the Most High, but none were exalting Him!

Calling to God means asking Him for something. But exalting Him means giving Him everything: all the life and all the praise you have to give! It is true that “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Rom 10:13). But there is so much more. There is an even higher calling to embrace. Don’t just call on God; exalt Him!

Prayer:

God, I exalt You. I give You my life. I give You all the praise I have to give! I give You my time, my effort, and my resources. You are so worthy God, in Jesus’ name!

© Michael D. White, 2019. All rights reserved.

Day 341: He Has Done Great Things!

The Daily Word: Saturday, December 7th, 2019
Hosea 6:1-9:17
3 John 1:1-14
Psalm 126:1-6
Proverbs 29:12-14
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing. Then they said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.” The Lord has done great things for us, and we are glad. – Ps 126:2-3

God has done great things for you! And that means you should be glad. As the Psalmist reflected on everything God had done for Israel, he had a choice. Would he dwell on the things that could be going better? Or would he be glad and praise God for everything that was going well?

You have that choice in this moment. I know your life isn’t perfect. But God has done great things for you! Are you willing to rejoice and be “filled with laughter?” Will you make the decision to be glad today, instead of allowing the negative things in your life to overshadow the positive?

Choose joy. Be glad! God has done great things for you.

Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God. – Ps 43:5

Prayer:

Father, I choose joy. Help me to be glad! I want to laugh and sing today. There will always be room for improvement; but for now I want to celebrate that You have done great things for me!

© Michael D. White, 2019. All rights reserved.

Day 340: The More They Increased

The Daily Word: Friday, December 6th, 2019
Hosea 4:1-5:15
2 John 1:1-13
Psalm 125:1-5
Proverbs 29:9-11
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
“The more they increased, the more they sinned against Me; I will change their glory into shame.” – Hosea 4:7

The more you “increase”, the easier it is to forget God. This is our natural tendency. When things are going poorly – when we’re broke, sick, and unhappy – we run to God. But when things are going well, we forget about Him! We pat ourselves on the back for success instead of thanking God. We compromise the lifestyle of prayer and humble reliance on God that positioned us for blessing in the first place!

Break the pattern. On the good days, run to Him. On the bad days, run to Him! Make the decision that with every passing day, you will rely on God more, and never less. God will increase you! But as He does, let your prayer be that you would always rely on Him more than ever before.

Prayer:

Father, I know You are the source of every blessing I could ever receive. I pray I would rely on You more and more with every passing day. I love You, and I bless You, in Jesus’ name!

© Michael D. White, 2019. All rights reserved.

Day 339: That’s A Big “If”

The Daily Word: Thursday, December 5th, 2019
Hosea 1:1-3:5
1 John 5:1-21
Psalm 124:1-8
Proverbs 29:5-8
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
“If it had not been the Lord who was on our side, when men rose up against us, then they would have swallowed us alive…” – Ps 124:2-3a

What would you life look like if God hadn’t been on your side? If God hadn’t been on Israel’s side, they never would have escaped from Egypt. They never would have made it through the Red Sea! They would have been “swallowed…alive” (v 3), and would have never received a Savior – Jesus – to rescue them from their sin. And the Psalmist’s response to this realization was appropriately praise: “Blessed be the Lord…” (v 6)!

If God had not been on your side, you wouldn’t be alive! You would have never been formed in your mother’s womb (Jer 1:5). You wouldn’t have breath in your lungs! Death would have swallowed you up before you even had the chance to live.

But God is on your side. He loves you, and He is for you! In fact, He loves you so much that He sent Jesus to die for you, so that when you believe in Him, you can have eternal life! And our appropriate response, just as David’s was, should be praise.

Prayer:

Father, I bless you! I am so thankful You gave me life. You brought me into this world; and one day, You will bring me into Heaven for all eternity! I am so grateful, in Jesus’ name.

© Michael D. White, 2019. All rights reserved.

Day 338: Looking to Jesus

The Daily Word: Wednesday, December 4th, 2019
Daniel 11:36-12:13
1 John 4:1-21
Psalm 123:1-4
Proverbs 29:2-4
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their masters, as the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress, So our eyes look to the Lord our God, until He has mercy on us. – Ps 123:2

No matter what we’re going through, God tells us to look to Jesus. Don’t focus on your problem! Focus on Jesus. He is the Answer. He is the Solution! He is Light in the midst of darkness. He is life: even when you are surrounded by death!

But how you look to Jesus is also important. Verse 2 tells us we should look to Jesus, “…as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their masters, as the eyes of a maid to…the hands of her mistress.” How do servants look to masters? How do maids look to the hands of a mistress?

First, we are to look to Jesus with intent to obey. Asking Jesus what to do does no good if we are unwilling to do what He asks. There’s nothing worse than someone asking for directions, only to turn around and ignore them! Jesus is our Friend! But He is also our Master. And intimacy with Him should never compromise our respect and reverence for Him.

Second, we are to look to Jesus with expectation to receive. Jesus will provide our every need! There is nothing we could ever need that He does not have in abundance. He is the Giver of life: both here and now on this Earth, and in Heaven for all eternity!

Whatever you need, and wherever you are: look to Jesus. He alone is the Answer: all that you could ever need and more.

Prayer:

Father, thank You for the all-sufficiency of Jesus Christ! He is all that I need. I could never ask for a greater Love. I am so grateful, in Jesus’ name.

© Michael D. White, 2019. All rights reserved.

Day 337: Do You Know God?

The Daily Word: Tuesday, December 3rd, 2019
Daniel 11:2-35
1 John 3:7-24
Psalm 122:1-9
Proverbs 29:1
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
Those who do wickedly against the covenant he shall corrupt with flattery; but the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits. – Dan 11:32

Daniel saw a vision of the end times. There would be destruction and exploitation. Kingdom would fight against kingdom, and world leaders would completely ignore God. The world would be a dangerous place! But God’s people would be protected.

Here is what matters for you and me: “…the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits.” Even at the end of time, all that matters will be this: do you know God? If you don’t know Him, you will be weak; but if you know Him – even in the face of the greatest atrocities the world has ever seen – you will be strong! You will finish your mission here on earth, and accomplish everything God has called you to do.

You don’t have to waste time fearing what is happening in the world around you. Spend your days knowing God, and everything will be worthwhile.

Prayer:

Father, I want to know You like never before! I pray You would open up my schedule for hours of intimate prayer. I want to see You and know You, in Jesus’ name.

© Michael D. White, 2019. All rights reserved.

Day 336: Getting Serious About Prayer

The Daily Word: Monday, December 2nd, 2019
Daniel 9:1-11:1
1 John 2:18-3:6
Psalm 121:1-8
Proverbs 28:27-28
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
Then I set my face toward the Lord God to make request by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes. – Dan 9:3

Daniel wanted God to know he was serious about prayer. So he “set his face” toward the Lord God. He stopped everything and turned 100% of his attention and focus to God. Then he made his request, “…by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth and ashes.”

It’s time to get serious about prayer. I’m not saying you have to cover your head with ashes every time you pray! But Daniel was intentional about his time in prayer. He set aside time to intentionally pursue God’s heart; and he cut out anything that would get in the way.

God loves you! He wants to hear from you. Jesus made a way for you to enter into God’s presence through prayer. Are you receiving everything Jesus died for you to have?

Prayer:

Father, make me intentional in prayer. I want to seek You like never before! I want to spend hours in Your presence, dedicating time to seek Your face. Help me to block out all distractions and fix my eyes on You, in Jesus’ name.

© Michael D. White, 2019. All rights reserved.

Day 335: Propitiation

The Daily Word: Sunday, December 1st, 2019
Daniel 8:1-27
1 John 2:1-17
Psalm 120:1-7
Proverbs 28:25-26
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world. – 1 John 2:2

Propitiation means to “appease a god, spirit, or person.”[1] Scripture says that Jesus Christ Himself is the propitiation for our sins. His death appeased the wrath of God. God cannot allow sin to go unpunished because He is perfectly holy; yet each and every single one of us is sinful! So Jesus lived a perfect sinless life, and died in our place as the propitiation for our sins. And because God poured out all His wrath on Jesus at the Cross, that means there is no wrath left for you!

The best part is that Jesus was the propitiation not only for you and me, “…but also for the whole world.” Salvation is available to every single person in the world who calls on Jesus! But if you want to be saved – to avoid the wrath of God – you have to believe that Jesus served as your substitute! You have to receive Jesus: because “He Himself is the propitiation for our sins!”

Without Jesus, there is no propitiation: no appeasing the wrath of God. But with Jesus, you can have perfect confidence that God’s wrath has been appeased, and there is no more wrath left for you!

For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” – Rom 10:13

Prayer:

Father, thank You for making abundant provision on the Cross. In one single act, Jesus served as the propitiation for the sin of the whole world! I receive Him; and I want to spend the rest of my life inviting everyone around me to receive Him too!

© Michael D. White, 2019. All rights reserved.


[1] From Oxford’s free English dictionary: lexico.com.

Day 334: Judgment Day

The Daily Word: Saturday, November 30th, 2019
Daniel 7:1-28
1 John 1:1-10
Psalm 119:153-176
Proverbs 28:23-24
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
A fiery stream issued and came forth from before Him. A thousand thousands ministered to Him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him. The court was seated, and the books were opened. – Dan 7:10

There will be a judgment day. The Book of Life (Rev 20:15) will be opened, and your name will either be in it, or it will not. Digest that. If you are hidden with Christ (Col. 3), you will be welcomed into Heaven; but if you are not, you will not!

Why take the chance of not knowing exactly where you stand with God? Tomorrow is not guaranteed. You don’t want to meet God without first knowing Jesus! Invite Him into your heart today, and receive eternal life.

Prayer:

Father, I say yes to Jesus Christ. I welcome Him into my heart. I thank You that Heaven is now open to me because I know Jesus! And I receive the eternal life that He promised, in Jesus’ name. My name is now written in the Book of Life, and I am Heaven-bound.

© Michael D. White, 2019. All rights reserved.

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