Day 185: Who Would Have Thought?

The Daily Word: Saturday, July 4th, 2020
2 Kings 23:31-25:30
Acts 22:17-23:10
Psalm 2:1-12
Proverbs 18:13
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
The bronze pillars that were in the house of the Lord, and the carts and the bronze Sea that were in the house of the Lord, the Chaldeans broke in pieces, and carried their bronze to Babylon. They also took away the pots, the shovels, the trimmers, the spoons, and all the bronze utensils with which the priests ministered. – 2 Kings 25:13-14

What a marvelous day it was when Solomon dedicated the temple at Jerusalem. The exterior was made of ornate  stone (1 Kings 6:7). The entire interior was overlaid with pure gold (1 Kings 6:22). The inside of the temple was filled with so many articles of bronze that the weight of them could not be counted (1 Kings 7:47)! When the building was finished, the manifest glory of God filled the temple with a cloud so thick that, “…the priests could not continue ministering…for the glory of the Lord filled the house” (1 Kings 8:11). No one could ever imagine that the presence of God would ever depart from His people!

But twenty generations later, Babylon overran Jerusalem. The Babylonian armies broke down the temple walls, ripped out and harvested the gold interior, and took away every piece of bronze they could find. Everything that God had built through Solomon was ruined. All because God’s people stopped following after Him.

God has done great things in our nation. He has done great things in your life! But all of it will be wasted if we turn from Him. There is no better day than today to make the decision to return to Jesus and follow Him with all your heart. Not only will He protect what He has established; He will also rebuild everything you thought you lost. He is faithful, and He is worthy of your praise!

Prayer:

Father, I am returning to You with my whole heart! I am so grateful for Your presence. I am so thankful for Your love! I don’t need to lose anything else in my life to realize how much I need You. I turn to You willingly, and I ask that You would restore everything the enemy has stolen, in Jesus’ name!

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© Michael D. White, 2020. All rights reserved.

Day 184: I Am A Citizen

The Daily Word: Friday, July 3rd, 2020
2 Kings 22:3-23:30
Acts 21:37-22:16
Psalm 1:1-6
Proverbs 18:11-12
For full text click here.

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 had just been beaten by a mob in Jerusalem. He was about to be led away and questioned by the commander of the Roman garrison stationed there. Paul didn’t know what would happen to him, but he made sure to do one thing before he was led away into the unknown: declare that he was a citizen of Rome.

Citizenship has its privileges. Since Paul was a Roman citizen, he could not be unlawfully imprisoned. Since Paul was a Roman citizen, he could not be convicted without a trial! Since Because Paul was a Roman citizen, there were strict limits as to what exactly his captors could do to him.

In the same way, you are a citizen of Heaven. The enemy has no right to keep you in bondage. You cannot be pronounced dirty when the blood of Jesus has made you clean! You cannot be declared unworthy of salvation because the Cross of Jesus Christ has made you a child of God. You are a citizen of Heaven; and that changes everything.

Prayer:

Father, thank You for my citizenship in Heaven. I declare that I am a citizen, and the enemy cannot take advantage of me any more! I know that my status is a free gift for me; but I also know it cost Jesus everything. I am grateful, and I will never take it for granted, in Jesus’ name.

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© Michael D. White, 2020. All rights reserved.

Day 183: How Will You Respond?

The Daily Word: Thursday, July 2nd, 2020
2 Kings 20:1-22:2
Acts 21:18-36
Psalm 150:1-6
Proverbs 18:9-10
For full text click here.

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.’ ” – 2 Kings 20:1

God told Hezekiah he was going to die. But He didn’t tell Hezekiah the bad news because it was an inevitable outcome! God told him because He wanted to see how Hezekiah would respond. Hezekiah prayed. He reminded the Lord of his “loyal heart” (v. 3). He wept bitterly. And the Lord relented.

God “relenting” is different from God changing His mind. God always wanted to heal Hezekiah! But before healing could happen, Hezekiah had to exhibit a response that aligned him with God’s plan. If Hezekiah had turned from the Lord because he didn’t think his circumstance was fair, or if he threw a pity party and complained that God was always picking on him, healing might not have been his portion. But because Hezekiah humbled himself, God healed him.

When you receive bad news, don’t take it as a death sentence. God wants to see how you respond. Will you throw up your hands and declare all hope is lost? Or will you humble yourself, turn to God like never before, and declare your faithfulness to Him no matter what?

Prayer:

Father, help me to respond to Your word well. Whether it’s good news or bad news, I will rejoice! I will not be scared of what the world says, because I know what Your word says, in Jesus’ name!

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© Michael D. White, 2020. All rights reserved.

Day 182: Your Song

The Daily Word: Wednesday, July 1st, 2020
2 Kings 18:13-19:37
Acts 21:1-17
Psalm 149:1-9
Proverbs 18:8
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
Praise the Lord! Sing to the Lord a new song, and His praise in the assembly of saints. – Ps 149:1

What does it mean to sing to the Lord a “new song?” Can’t you just sing Him any song? Why does it have to be “new?”

You are unique. You are, “…fearfully and wonderfully made” (Ps. 139:14). Your vocal cords are unique. Your way of thinking is unique. Your creative expression is unique! Everything about you is new: it has never been done before. And that means you can praise God in a way that has never been sung before.

You are not a copy; so don’t sing a cover. If you don’t sing your “new song” to the Lord, the world will be missing a beautiful expression of worship that you were born to offer. Don’t deny God the praise He deserves! Don’t deny the people around you the zealous example that your praise will offer of a heart that is fully devoted to God. You were born to praise! Nobody can do it quite like you. So are you ready to sing Him a “new song?”

Prayer:

Father, thank You for making me unique. I want to give You everything: all the praise I can muster, and all the worship I have to offer. Thank You for filling my lungs with a new song, in Jesus’ name!

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© Michael D. White, 2020. All rights reserved.

Day 181: Don’t Travel Alone!

The Daily Word: Tuesday, June 30th, 2020
2 Kings 17:1-18:12
Acts 20:1-38
Psalm 148:1-14
Proverbs 18:6-7
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
And Sopater of Berea accompanied [Paul] to Asia–also Aristarchus and Secundus of the Thessalonians, and Gaius of Derbe, and Timothy, and Tychicus and Trophimus of Asia. – Acts 20:4

Paul not only traveled; he brought other people with him. Are you willing to take other people where God has allowed you to go? Whatever level of promotion you have received in your life: it’s from Him. James 1:17 says, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” But now that God has put you where you are, the question is, will you use the influence you have to help others?

Paul accomplished much. But he didn’t accomplish it alone. I pray you make it to the top of whatever industry, career or pursuit in which you are engaged! But I also pray you would never climb alone. Victory is best tasted in community.

Prayer:

Father, I don’t want to travel alone! Thank You for surrounding me with mentors and mentees. Thank You for surrounding me with colleagues and friends! Wherever You have called me to go, I’m going to bring others with me, in Jesus’ name.

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© Michael D. White, 2020. All rights reserved.

Day 180: Family First

The Daily Word: Monday, June 29th, 2020
2 Kings 15:1-16:20
Acts 19:13-41
Psalm 147:1-20
Proverbs 18:4-5
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
But [Ahaz] walked in the way of the kings of Israel; indeed he made his son pass through the fire, according to the abominations of the nations whom the Lord had cast out from before the children of Israel. – 2 Kings 16:3

King Ahaz of Judah, “…made his son pass through the fire.” He sacrificed his children to secure his reign. And in response, God called this an “abomination.”

Why is that important? You should never have to sacrifice your family to solidify your place in this world. You shouldn’t sacrifice them for work. You shouldn’t sacrifice them for ministry! Intimacy with your family members comes second only to your relationship with Jesus. Are you giving your family members the time and attention they need and deserve?

Prayer:

Lord, I don’t want to make my family suffer because I’m working so hard. Help me to give them the time and attention they need and deserve! Thank You for never asking me to sacrifice them, in Jesus’ name.

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© Michael D. White, 2020. All rights reserved.

Day 179: The Lord Listened

The Daily Word: Sunday, June 28th, 2020
2 Kings 13:1-14:29
Acts 18:23-19:12
Psalm 146:1-10
Proverbs 18:2-3
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
Jehoahaz pleaded with the Lord, and the Lord listened to him; for He saw the oppression of Israel, because the king of Syria oppressed them. – 2 Kings 13:4

Israel was wicked! They had forgotten about God. Yet when their king, “…pleaded with the Lord,…the Lord listened to him.” Jehoahaz was a sinner! But God never left him.

You don’t have to be perfect to be heard by God. Are you in the middle of a mess? Cry out to God from there. Are you stuck in an unhealthy cycle of harmful behavior and sin? Cry out to God from there! Ask Him to rescue you right where you are. When you call, He will answer, in Jesus’ name.

The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth. – Ps. 145:18

Prayer:

God, I need You! I am in the middle of a mess. I’m asking You to rescue me, even though I don’t deserve it. I know You will, because You are good, in Jesus’ name!

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© Michael D. White, 2020. All rights reserved.

Day 178: Your New Ministry

The Daily Word: Saturday, June 27th, 2020
2 Kings 10:32-12:21
Acts 18:1-22
Psalm 145:1-21
Proverbs 18:1
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
So, because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them and worked; for by occupation they were tentmakers. And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and persuaded both Jews and Greeks. – Acts 18:3-4

What’s stopping you from telling people about Jesus? Are you busy at work? Do you have too much to do? Paul wrote 13 out of 27 books in the New Testament. He was constantly traveling for ministry! Yet he still worked vocationally. Paul was a tentmaker! He worked all week, and then “reasoned in the synagogue” on the weekends.

Paul didn’t let his day job stop him from being used by God. He didn’t list his financial needs as an excuse when God asked him to travel to a new place and preach the Gospel! Paul went wherever the Holy Spirit told him to go, and trusted that God would provide! And He did: every step of the way.

Prayer:

Father, I am going to preach the Gospel. I am going to tell the world about Jesus! And as I do, I trust that You will support me and meet my needs, everywhere I go, in Jesus’ name!

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© Michael D. White, 2020. All rights reserved.

Day 177: He Is the Christ

The Daily Word: Friday, June 26th, 2020
2 Kings 9:14-10:31
Acts 17:1-34
Psalm 144:1-15
Proverbs 17:27-28
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
Then Paul, as his custom was, went in to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and demonstrating that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus whom I preach to you is the Christ.” – Acts 17:2-3

Paul was preaching to a group of people who knew the Scriptures, so he “reasoned with them” from the Scriptures. This was a group of people who knew God! But they didn’t know Jesus. So Paul showed them why they needed Jesus. He explained to them that God is holy and just, and His Law requires perfection! And that is a problem for us because none of us is perfect. Jesus came and died on the Cross so their sin could be removed. They were far from perfect according to the Law; but the blood of Jesus was available to perfect them by grace!

Do you have the confidence in your command of the Scriptures to use the word of God to lead someone to Jesus? If not, don’t panic. God will put His law in your mind, and write it on your heart (Jer. 31:33)! If you would simply make a commitment to share the Gospel with people in your life, God would give you the spiritual resources you need to get it done.

Share Jesus. Let other people know that, without Him, there is no way to spend eternity with a holy God if you are anything but spotless! But in Him, we move from suffering to salvation. We are woefully incapable of fulfilling God’s standard of holiness. But Jesus fulfilled the Law (Matt. 5:17) so that, when you trust in Him, you are “made perfect” (Heb. 10:14) in the eyes of God.

Prayer:

Father, I want to take my faith seriously. I want to share the Gospel with people who have never received Jesus! Give me the resources I need to do it, in Jesus’ name.

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© Michael D. White, 2020. All rights reserved.

Day 176: He Warned Her

The Daily Word: Thursday, June 25th, 2020
2 Kings 8:1-9:13
Acts 16:16-40
Psalm 143:1-12
Proverbs 17:26
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
Then Elisha spoke to the woman whose son he had restored to life, saying, “Arise and go, you and your household, and stay wherever you can; for the Lord has called for a famine, and furthermore, it will come upon the land for seven years.” – 2 Kings 8:1

A famine was coming. Some would be caught off guard! But not the Shunammite woman. She was close to Elisha the prophet, who represents the word of God. Because she was close to the word, she knew what was coming in advance!

God will warn you in advance when you stay close to Him! He will turn surprises into sure things. He will tell you what is coming before it happens. Why? So you can show and tell everyone how special you are? No! He tells you so you can prepare.

Wisdom is heeding the warning of God and preparing accordingly. Foolishness is hearing the warning of God but doing nothing with it. When God speaks, are you acting on His word?

Prayer:

Father, I am going to act on Your word! I pray that You would speak to me; and as You do, give me the strength and fortitude to respond with preparation and purpose, in Jesus’ name!

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© Michael D. White, 2020. All rights reserved.

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