Day 80: Boundaries!!

CityLight Church’s One Year Bible Reading Plan
Monday, March 21st, 2016
Numbers 32:1-33:39
Luke 4:31-5:11
Psalm 64:1-10
Proverbs 11:22
For full text click here: http://bit.ly/OCBfZk

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:

Now when it was day, He departed and went into a deserted place. And the crowd sought Him and came to Him, and tried to keep Him from leaving them; but He said to them, “I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, because for this purpose I have been sent.” – Lk 4:42-43

Boundaries are important! Jesus just had an amazing healing meeting! But it was time to move on. There were more people to be healed, and more people to be delivered. The crowd sought Him and tried to keep pulling on His anointing. But Jesus would not be detained. Saying yes to God meant saying no to the crowd. He knew His primary purpose was to preach the Gospel, so He left and moved on!

Sometimes no is your best yes. Oftentimes saying yes to God means saying no to other people. What is your primary purpose in this life? What is the one thing God has specifically called you to do, that no one else can get done? Is saying yes to other people and/or demands in your life interfering with saying yes to God?

For more on this subject, see yesterday’s commentary on Numbers 30:2:  http://intelligentcharismatic.com/day-79-let-your-yes-be-yes/

Prayer:

Father, help me to have good boundaries! Help me to say yes to You – and to feel free to say no to anyone who tries to interfere with my calling. 

Archives

See commentary from this day in 2014: http://intelligentcharismatic.com/day-80-all-means-all/

See commentary from this day in 2015: http://intelligentcharismatic.com/day-80-authority-and-power/

© Michael D. White, 2016. All rights reserved.

Day 79: Let Your Yes Be Yes

CityLight Church’s One Year Bible Reading Plan
Sunday, March 20th, 2016
Numbers 30:1-31:54
Luke 4:1-30
Psalm 63:1-11
Proverbs 11:20-21
For full text click here: http://bit.ly/1iE64I0

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:

If a man makes a vow to the Lord, or swears an oath to bind himself by some agreement, he shall not break his word; he shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth. – Num 30:2

Let your yes be yes, and your no be no! The lesson for us today is that we should take our time before responding yes. We all have constant demands on our schedules, and we frequently feel stretched in twenty different directions at once. So instead of saying yes to a new commitment and having to back out, we should take our time!

God wants you to have healthy boundaries. Even Jesus had healthy boundaries. There were always more people to heal and set free; yet there were definite points in His ministry where He knew He had to move on (Matt 8:18). Sometimes obedience to God’s calling means saying no to other people, so you can say yes to God.

No can be your best yes. If a potential demand from another person will ever interfere with your mandate from God, that is something worth considering. Release yourself from the pressure to always say yes to other people in Jesus’ name!

But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one. – Matt 5:37

Prayer:

Father, help me to be true to my word. Help me to remember that I only have to commit to the things You tell me to say yes to! Keep me stress-free in Jesus’ name!

Archives

See commentary from this day in 2014: http://intelligentcharismatic.com/day-79-by-the-book/

See commentary from this day in 2015: http://intelligentcharismatic.com/day-79-responding-to-criticism/

© Michael D. White, 2016. All rights reserved.

Day 78: God’s Perfect Timing

CityLight Church’s One Year Bible Reading Plan
Saturday, March 19th, 2016
Numbers 28:16-29:40
Luke 3:23-38
Psalm 62:1-12
Proverbs 11:18-19
For full text click here: http://bit.ly/1p8u5qS

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:

Now Jesus Himself began His ministry at about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph… – Lk 3:23

Jesus’ earthly ministry didn’t start until he was thirty! Recall from Luke 2:41 that 18 years prior, when Jesus was 12 years old, “…all who heard Him [in the temple] were astonished at His understanding” (vv 41, 47). Yet it would be another eighteen years until Jesus was baptized and would start to perform miracles. He could have easily started traveling and preaching at a young age; yet Scripture says Jesus, “…went down with [His parents] and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them” (Lk 2:51). As a result, “Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men” (Lk 2:52).

What was Jesus waiting for?! Anything worth building takes time. There was maturation that needed to take place, and Jesus honored the process. He didn’t rebel against God, and try to fulfill His destiny before it was time.

We see a similar situation with Abraham. Abraham didn’t have Isaac until he was 100! He waited his whole life for a son; yet God took His time in supplying the answer to Abraham’s prayers. Abraham had his son in due time. He died, “…in a good old age, an old man and full of years” (Gen 25:8).

All will be fulfilled in God’s perfect timing. If you feel stuck – like you could be doing more – submit to the leaders in your life, and ask God to help you complete whatever maturation process needs to take place. As you wait and trust, He will do all the hard work!

Prayer:

Father, thank You for Your perfect timing! Help me to willfully submit to Your plan for my life. I know that the least you have planned for me is greater than the best I could ever plan for myself.

Archives

See commentary from this day in 2014: http://intelligentcharismatic.com/day-78-feasting-and-fasting/

See commentary from this day in 2015: http://intelligentcharismatic.com/day-78-perfect-family/

© Michael D. White, 2016. All rights reserved.

Day 77: Navigating Uncharted Territory

CityLight Church’s One Year Bible Reading Plan
Friday, March 18th, 2016
Numbers 26:52-28:15
Luke 3:1-22
Psalm 61:1-8
Proverbs 11:16-17
For full text click here: http://bit.ly/1dj20Ia

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:

So Moses brought their case before the Lord. And the Lord spoke to Moses… – Num 27:5-6

Moses found himself in uncharted territory. God had already dispensed His commandments, but Moses encountered a situation he and God had not already been over. The daughters of Zelophehad came and asked Moses a question he could not immediately answer based on everything God had already told him. So Moses brought their case to God. Because Moses immediately sought God, God gave him a very specific answer.

You will encounter situations in your life where you don’t know exactly what to do. God’s Word is absolute truth; but it will not spell out in black and white how to walk out every nuanced situation you encounter. That’s why His Holy Spirit is your Comforter and your Guide. Press in, and ask God for clarity. Pursue Him in prayer, and present your case before Him! He is faithful to respond.

We don’t always know best; but God always does. Take your thoughts, concerns and cares to Him, and watch what He does on your behalf!

Prayer:

Father, thank You for Your specificity. You care about the details, even when I’m overwhelmed by them. Whenever I’m not sure what to do, teach me to listen to Your voice!

Archives

See commentary from this day in 2014: http://intelligentcharismatic.com/day-77-what-you-do-do-well/

See commentary from this day in 2015: http://intelligentcharismatic.com/day-77-whom-are-you-serving/

© Michael D. White, 2016. All rights reserved.

Day 76: Listen More, Talk Less

CityLight Church’s One Year Bible Reading Plan
Thursday, March 17th, 2016
Numbers 26:1-51
Luke 2:36-52
Psalm 60:1-12
Proverbs 11:15
For full text click here: http://bit.ly/1oeWZHb

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:

Now so it was that after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard Him were astonished… – Lk 2:46-47

Listening is more powerful than speaking. Even Jesus, the Son of God, did not simply go into the temple and stand up to preach right away. He listened and asked questions; He “grew and became strong in spirit” (v 40). When we listen, we understand others. When we listen, we grow!

First, this principle applies to our relationships with other people (Men: this especially applies to you!). It is foolishness to enter into any conversation assuming you know everything.  It is wisdom to listen first before speaking, assuming there may be more at stake than you can immediately discern.

Second, this principle applies to our relationship with God. When was the last time you listened in prayer? How often do you simply leave open space for God to speak to you, with no agenda at all? Prayer should be so much more than reciting our laundry list of concerns and petitions to God. When we listen, we honor Him in a way that is impossible to employ while speaking. God cannot fill space if we don’t leave it open!

Listen first, and speak second. Be slow to judge, and quick to hear people out. Listen more, and talk less!

Prayer:

Father, help me to listen more. I want to listen to other people more, and I want to listen to You most! I know that when I make time to listen, You will be faithful to speak, in Jesus’ name! 

Archives

See commentary from this day in 2014: http://intelligentcharismatic.com/day-76-respect-your-elders/

See commentary from this day in 2015: http://intelligentcharismatic.com/day-76-serving-god/

© Michael D. White, 2016. All rights reserved.

Day 75: Come As You Are

CityLight Church’s One Year Bible Reading Plan
Wednesday, March 16th, 2016
Numbers 24:1-25:18
Luke 2:1-35
Psalm 59:1-17
Proverbs 11:14
For full text click here: http://bit.ly/1d5yxqt

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:

And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. – Lk 2:9

God will meet you wherever you are. When Jesus was born, God didn’t reserve the Good News for only those in full-time ministry. He didn’t keep the Messiah a secret just for royalty. He sent His angel to the field to announce the Messiah to shepherds: regular people, with regular jobs.

This verse says something important about the level of preparation required before we qualify for an encounter with God. No preparation is needed! Don’t worry about getting yourself “cleaned up” or “good enough” for God. The shepherds weren’t just sleeping in the fields; they were living in the fields (v 8). They probably hadn’t bathed in days. They were unshaven, unkempt, and nowhere near what we would consider our Sunday best. Yet God still showed up and spoke with them, face to face.

God wants to encounter you right where you are, just as you are. Get ready, and expect Him! He will meet you – wherever you are, and whatever condition you’re in – and you will be transformed by the Gospel of grace.

Prayer:

Father, thank You for speaking to me – a commoner – just as strongly as you spoke to prophets, priests and kings! I know that because I’m filled with Your Holy Spirit, I can always hear Your voice.

Archives

See commentary from this day in 2014: http://intelligentcharismatic.com/day-75-in-a-manger/

See commentary from this day in 2015: http://intelligentcharismatic.com/day-75-dont-go-it-alone/

© Michael D. White, 2016. All rights reserved.

Day 74: Open My Eyes Lord!

CityLight Church’s One Year Bible Reading Plan
Tuesday, March 15th, 2016
Numbers 22:21-23:30
Luke 1:57-80
Psalm 58:1-11
Proverbs 11:12-13
For full text click here: http://bit.ly/1iLMcFo

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:

Then the Lord opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the Angel of the Lord standing in the way with His drawn sword in His hand; and he bowed his head and fell flat on his face. – Num 22:31

Balaam was frustrated! He knew he needed to get somewhere, but his driver was resisting. Balaam kicked, hit, and gouged his donkey because she would not move. Little did he know, the Angel of God was standing right in front of him, blocking his path. When the Lord opened his eyes, he finally saw exactly what was going on.

“Lord, open my eyes,” is such a powerful prayer. If Balaam had insisted on moving forward, he would have been killed. Sometimes we can only see the spiritual obstacles in front of us if we allow God to open our eyes. That means refraining from pushing our own agenda, and humbly accepting His.

We see a similar prayer from Elisha in 2 Kings 6. Elisha was surrounded by enemies, but he was calm. His servant, however, was panicked. He couldn’t understand how Elisha was so composed, because he couldn’t see what Elisha could see. Elisha prayed, “Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see” (2 Kings 6:17). The boy saw that he had no need to be afraid, because Heaven’s armies were gathered to fight on his behalf.

Are you tired and frustrated? Lord, open my eyes. Show me what’s hindering me from getting where I need to go. Are you up against an obstacle that seems too big to overcome? Lord, open my eyes. Show me how Heaven is positioned to intervene on my behalf. Don’t assume you have all the information you need. Ask God to open your eyes so you can see what He sees!

Prayer:

Father, there is so much going on around me that I can’t see. I want to see what You see, Lord. Open my eyes, in Jesus’ name!

Archives

See commentary from this day in 2014: http://intelligentcharismatic.com/day-74-cursing-and-blessing/

See commentary from this day in 2015: http://intelligentcharismatic.com/day-74-irrevocable/

© Michael D. White, 2016. All rights reserved.

Day 73: In the Shadow of His Wings

CityLight Church’s One Year Bible Reading Plan
Monday, March 14th, 2016
Numbers 21:1-22:20
Luke 1:26-56
Psalm 57:1-11
Proverbs 11:9-11
For full text click here: http://bit.ly/1gt9U28

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:

Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me! For my soul trusts in You; and in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge, until these calamities have passed by. – Ps 57:1

Refuge is “a condition of being safe or sheltered from pursuit, danger, or trouble.”[1]  God promises us that whenever we are surrounded by danger, we can come to Him. There will be times when He calls us stand up and fight. However, in the instances where He calls us to put our weapons away and take refuge, we can ride out every storm in His presence, knowing He will keep us safe from harm.

The Hebrew word for “calamities” is havvah (Strong’s #1942). Havvah can mean impending destruction or doom, as we’ve used it above. However, it can also mean a bad (i.e. unfavorable) desire. This gives us insight as to how to take refuge from sinful desires. Whenever we are faced by lusts of the flesh, God instructs us to take refuge in His presence! When we fix our gaze on the Cross, every other desire fades into the background.

To be under God’s wings means to allow God to gather you to His body: in a position where you are sheltered by His strong right hand (i.e. His miracle-working power), and in close physical and emotional proximity to other strong believers. Whatever you are going through, don’t face it alone. Take refuge at the foot of the Cross – surrounded by brothers and sisters – and let God accomplish “all things” (v 2) for you.

Prayer:

Father, thank You for Your never-ending love, and ever-reaching care. I know that whenever I’m experiencing a calamity – or suffering from a crippling desire – I can come to you. When I rest in Your presence, I will find the strength I need to make it through.

Archives

See commentary from this day in 2014: http://intelligentcharismatic.com/day-73-sing-it/

See commentary from this day in 2015: http://intelligentcharismatic.com/day-73-let-it-be-to-me/

© Michael D. White, 2016. All rights reserved.


[1] Google dictionary: https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=refuge%20definition

Day 72: The Bible Is True

CityLight Church’s One Year Bible Reading Plan
Sunday, March 13th, 2016
Numbers 19:1-20:29
Luke 1:1-25
Psalm 56:1-13
Proverbs 11:8
For full text click here: http://bit.ly/1gmeD9x

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:

…that you may know the certainty of those things in which you were instructed. – Luke 1:4

Luke was not recording an analogy. He was not recording a metaphor. He was not penning fiction! He was recording non-fiction: verifiable evidence of everything Jesus had done as confirmed by multiple witnesses.

Luke was a reporter. As a physician by trade, Luke knew what it meant to gather credible evidence. He knew the importance of proving beyond the shadow of a doubt that everything the apostles claimed to have seen had actually taken place.

The Book of Luke, along with the rest of New Testament Scripture, was never meant to be interpreted as allegory. We should never relegate Scripture to the fiction aisle in the halls of our beliefs. What Jesus said, He did; and what He did, He asks you to do in His name.

Will you take Him at His word?

Prayer:

Father, help me to have absolute confidence that Scripture is true! I know Jesus is who He says He is; and I know I am who He says I am. Help me to believe it with all my heart, in Jesus’ name.

Archives

See commentary from this day in 2014: http://intelligentcharismatic.com/day-72-speak-to-the-rock/

See commentary from this day in 2015: http://intelligentcharismatic.com/day-72-faith-and-fear/

© Michael D. White, 2016. All rights reserved.

Day 71: Get Honest with God

CityLight Church’s One Year Bible Reading Plan
Saturday, March 12th, 2016
Numbers 16:41-18:32
Mark 16:1-20
Psalm 55:1-23
Proverbs 11:7
For full text click here: http://bit.ly/1gkdgbq

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:

Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved. – Ps 55:22

God wants your burdens. He wants you to come to Him with everything in life: the good, the bad and the ugly. Are you ready for an honest relationship with God – one where you tell Him how you’re really feeling, and don’t hold anything back?

Psalm 55 is emotional. David admits how much he is hurting (v 4). He admits he is afraid (v 5). He even openly admits that, if he could, he would gladly “fly away” from his situation and escape the people in his life who are causing trouble (vv 6-8).

God doesn’t rebuke David for hurting. He doesn’t condemn David for being afraid. He has no problem with a king admitting that he would love nothing more than to flee from this difficult place in his life! David didn’t have to put up a front for God, and pretend everything was okay. And guess what? Neither do you.

Cast your burden on the Lord. Talk to God, and admit how you’re really feeling! Lift up your voice and cry out to Him; and confess that only He can get you through the situation you’re in. The more casting you do, the more sustaining God can do. The moment you get honest with God, He will fill you with strength!

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. – 1 Pet 5:6-7

Prayer:

Father, I need to cast my cares and my burdens on You! I can’t take it anymore; but I know You can. I am weak; but You are strong. Thank You for bearing all my burdens, in Jesus’ name!

Archives

See commentary from this day in 2014: http://intelligentcharismatic.com/day-71-the-great-commission/

See commentary from this day in 2015: http://intelligentcharismatic.com/day-71-obstacle-removal/

© Michael D. White, 2016. All rights reserved.

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