Day 263: How to Avoid Sin

The Daily Word: Thursday, September 20th, 2018
Isaiah 33:10-36:22
Galatians 5:13-26
Psalm 64:1-10
Proverbs 23:23
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Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. – Gal 5:16

The typical Christian prescription for sin is: avoid it! Fight it at all costs! But trying to “fight” sin won’t work. Trying to “stay away from” bad habits will get old quickly. Instead, simply change your focus.

Don’t focus on sinning less; focus on loving Jesus more. “Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh!” You don’t embrace holiness by trying to push sin away; you embrace it by reaching out and grasping for God!

How do you avoid sin? Walk in the Spirit! How do you avoid darkness? Revel in the light! The key to Spirit-filled life is to walk with your gaze fixed on the Cross: at all times, no matter what!

Prayer:

Father, help me to change my focus. I don’t want to worry about sin anymore. Instead, I want to allow the Cross to consume all my energy and focus. Bless me with renewed focus, in Jesus’ name!

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

Day 262: The Word of God

The Daily Word: Wednesday, September 19th, 2018
Isaiah 30:12-33:9
Galatians 5:1-12
Psalm 63:1-11
Proverbs 23:22
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Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
Behold, the name of the Lord comes from afar, burning with His anger, and His burden is heavy; His lips are full of indignation, and His tongue like a devouring fire. – Isaiah 30:27

God’s word is powerful; but it can be painful. “His lips are full of indignation, and His tongue like a devouring fire!” God’s word is not always easy to receive and pleasant to digest; but we always need to hear what He has to say!

Sometimes, God will give you – through His word, and through His voice in times of prayer – a light, encouraging word. He will tell you you’re on the right track, and to keep moving forward! He will tell you you’re taking steps in the right direction, and making good decisions.

At other times, however, He will invite you to correct your course. His Holy Spirit will challenge you to live a holier life: not to earn God’s affection, but because you have been set free and you already have it! But whatever He says, we do well to receive.

Sometimes the word will hurt; but it is always exactly what you need to hear.

Prayer:

Father, thank You for the power in Your word. I submit to Your word, in Jesus’ name. I know Your word is exactly what I need to hear, and I want to follow You like never before!

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

Day 261: Anchor In the Storm

The Daily Word: Tuesday, September 18th, 2018
Isaiah 28:14-30:11
Galatians 3:23-4:31
Psalm 62:1-12
Proverbs 23:19-21
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Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
Therefore thus says the Lord God: “Behold, I lay in Zion a stone for a foundation, a tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation; whoever believes will not act hastily.” – Is 28:16

Whoever “believes “ will not act “hastily.” Faith grounds us. Faith keeps us from rushing into things. Faith keeps us from making silly mistakes and foolish decisions!

Without faith, we are like ships in a storm without an anchor. Life tosses us around, and we get separated from home. When the wind picks up and the waves get high, we lose sight of our purpose!

But faith grounds us. Faith is like an anchor that keeps us close to shore. No matter what happens in life, faith keeps us connected to God. No matter how bad the storms in life get, He is always there, waiting to guide us home!

Aren’t you happy you believe?

Prayer:

Father, thank You for faith! I know my faith keeps me grounded, and keeps me from making silly mistakes. I want to be grounded and connected to You, all of my life, in Jesus’ name!

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

Day 260: He Responds!

The Daily Word: Monday, September 17th, 2018
Isaiah 25:1-28:13
Galatians 3:10-22
Psalm 61:1-8
Proverbs 23:17-18
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Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
Hear my cry, O God; attend to my prayer. From the end of the earth I will cry to You, when my heart is overwhelmed; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. – Ps 61:1-2

God not only hears you cry; He also attends to your prayer. To hear is to listen; but to attend is to be present and respond. God is not a distant Creator who set the world in motion, only to withdraw and take His hand off your life. He is a present Father who listens, hears, and responds when you pray!

As much as you care about your destiny and calling, God cares even more. Aren’t you glad your Father in Heaven hears and responds to your prayers?

Prayer:

Father, thank You for hearing my prayer! Thank You for responding to my cry! Help me to remember that every day is an opportunity to be heard by You: my Father in Heaven. Help me to never take it for granted, in Jesus’ name.

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

Day 259: Damage Control

The Daily Word: Sunday, September 16th, 2018
Isaiah 22:1-24:23
Galatians 2:17-3:9
Psalm 60:1-12
Proverbs 23:15-16
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Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
You also saw the damage to the city of David, that it was great; and you gathered together the waters of the lower pool. You numbered the houses of Jerusalem, and the houses you broke down to fortify the wall. You also made a reservoir between the two wall for the water of the old pool. But you did not look to its Maker, nor did you have respect for Him who fashioned it long ago. – Is 22:9-11

Judah was under attack! They scrambled to mount a defense, and did everything they could to prevent an invasion. They surveyed the damage, and broke down houses to fortify the wall. They did everything they could to hold off the enemy!

But they forgot to look to their Maker. All God wanted was for His people to return to Him. But instead, they turned to Him last! They tried to figure out how to “fix it” by themselves, instead of asking God for help!

Don’t go to God last; go to Him first! It is far better to ask God to defend you, than to try and defend yourself. Trust in Him, and He will protect you.

Prayer:

Father, thank You for supernatural protection. I trust You to defend me, in Jesus’ name! Help me to go to You first, instead of waiting and going to You last!

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

Day 258: Public View || Private Eye

The Daily Word: Saturday, September 15th, 2018
Isaiah 19:1-21:17
Galatians 2:1-16
Psalm 59:1-17
Proverbs 23:13-14
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Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
Now when Peter had come to Antioch, I withstood him to his face, because he was to be blamed; for before certain men came from James, he would eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing those who were of the circumcision. – Gal 2:11-12

The Apostle Paul “withstood” Peter “to his face.” Peter was “to be blamed” because he acted one way when respected religious leaders were present, and another way when they were not around.

Are you the same person in public as you are in private? Would you behave the same way at home as you would at a dinner party? If you wouldn’t do something in front of your spiritual mentor(s), don’t do it at all! Jesus died to set you free; and the mark of true freedom is never having to hide from anyone.

Prayer:

Father, help me to be whom You call me to be at all times. I don’t want to hide anymore! Make me the same person in private, as I am in public, in Jesus’ name!

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

Day 257: Straight from the Source

The Daily Word: Friday, September 14th, 2018
Isaiah 15:1-18:7
Galatians 1:1-24
Psalm 58:1-11
Proverbs 23:12
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Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ. – Gal 1:12

The Apostle Paul knew Jesus. Yes, he intellectually knew about Him with his head; but he also relationally knew Him with his heart. He had something invaluable that no man or woman can fake: a relationship with Jesus Christ. And every ounce of revelation the Apostle Paul ever had came straight from the Source.

Paul didn’t get the revelation of Gospel truth from a course. He didn’t learn about Jesus in a teaching series! He got his revelation from the Source. He met Jesus, face to face; and he continued to seek Him every single day.

Do you need to hear from God? Sermons are great! Bible commentaries are good! But nothing compares to going straight to Jesus. Seek Him in prayer. As much as you want to know Him, He wants to know you more.  

Prayer:

Father, help me to make time with You. I know You are speaking, and I want to make time to hear. I know You are teaching, and I want to make time to learn! Thank You for revelation, in Jesus’ name.

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

Day 256: Is God Angry With You?

The Daily Word: Thursday, September 13th, 2018
Isaiah 12:1-14:32
2 Corinthians 13:1-14
Psalm 57:1-11
Proverbs 23:9-11
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Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
And in that day you will say: “O Lord, I will praise You; though You were angry with me, Your anger is turned away, and You comfort me.” – Is 12:1

God was angry with you. You were knee-deep in sin! He was calling you, but you didn’t listen. You did your own thing instead of following His word! You were far from perfect when He called you to perfection.

But the Cross of Jesus Christ changed all that. God isn’t angry with you anymore! His anger is turned away. Now, instead of being angry, He comforts you. He delights in you! He is pleased with you!

God is not mad at you anymore! Jesus took all God’s anger and wrath on the Cross; and that means there is none left for you. When you believe in Jesus, the only thing left for you is eternal, infinite love.

Prayer:

Father, I know You are not angry with me anymore! I am far from perfect; but Your Son Jesus Christ was perfect for me. Thank You for His sacrifice, in Jesus’ name!

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

Day 255: Intimacy => Power

The Daily Word: Wednesday, September 12th, 2018
Isaiah 10:1-11:16
2 Corinthians 12:11-21
Psalm 56:1-13
Proverbs 23:6-8
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Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
Truly the signs of an apostle were accomplished among you with all perseverance, in signs and wonders and mighty deeds. – 2 Cor 12:12

Paul didn’t just talk the talk; he walked the walk. He didn’t just talk about signs, wonders, and mighty deeds; God did miraculous things through him as he ministered! The mark of an apostle is not a title or training; it is miracles! Can you do the “stuff?” When you pray, does heaven come down?

If not, don’t panic. Intimacy leads to power. Time spent in God’s presence will facilitate the miraculous in your life! The more time you spend in His presence, the more power you will see when you pray. In His presence is fullness of joy (Ps 16:11). In His presence is purpose. In His presence is Resurrection life!

Prayer:

Father, I want to be a lover of Your presence. I don’t want to settle for knowing what’s possible; I want to see the impossible! Help me to witness the miraculous in my midst, in Jesus’ name!

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

Day 254: Get Zealous!

The Daily Word: Tuesday, September 11th, 2018
Isaiah 8:1-9:21
2 Corinthians 12:1-10
Psalm 55:1-23
Proverbs 23:4-5
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Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this. – Is 9:7

What a promise! God was telling His people that a Messiah was coming, who would establish justice all over the world! His Kingdom would last forever, and there would be peace until the end of time! And how was it going to happen? The zeal of the Lord of hosts would perform it.

Zeal works. Passion performs! Being zealous gets things done! God’s passion would accomplish everything He had promised!

What are you passionate about? The more passion you have, the better your performance will be! Are you passionate for the things of God? Your effectiveness for the Kingdom depends on it!

Not passionate? Don’t panic. Ask God to make you zealous for the things that make Him zealous! Ask Him to move your heart for the things that move His! Passion is a gift; and once you have it, you will wake up every morning more motivated than ever!

Prayer:

Father, make me zealous! Make me passionate for the things You care about. I don’t want to waste my time and energy on anything that doesn’t move You. Move me, and motivate me to seek Your Kingdom, in Jesus’ name!

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

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