Day 49: Straight to Jesus

The Daily Word: Tuesday, February 18th, 2020
Leviticus 6:1-7:27
Mark 3:7-30
Psalm 37:1-11
Proverbs 10:3-4
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
“So the priest shall make atonement for him before the Lord, and he shall be forgiven for any one of these things that he may have done in which he trespasses.” – Lev. 6:7

Under the Old Covenant, the priest had to make atonement for the sinner. Imagine being alive back then. Whenever you did something wrong, you would have to go to the priest with a sacrifice. He would kill your animal and go to God on your behalf, and then and only then would you be forgiven!

But under the New Covenant, you get to go straight to Jesus. You don’t need a priest anymore! Yes, you should have someone you call “pastor” who gives you the word of God; but you no longer need someone to go to God for you. You get to go to Jesus for yourself! He is your High Priest! So when something in your life isn’t going right, go straight to Him.

Prayer:

Father, thank You for direct access to Your presence. Help me to go straight to You instead of going to others. I know that my deepest need is Your presence; and I know that You always satisfy, in Jesus’ name!

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

Day 48: Follow Me

The Daily Word: Monday, February 17th, 2020
Leviticus 4:1-5:19
Mark 2:13-3:6
Psalm 36:1-12
Proverbs 10:1-2
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
As He passed by, He saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, “Follow Me.” So he arose and followed Him. – Mk. 2:14

Levi (we know him as Matthew) didn’t give two weeks notice at his job. He didn’t run a spreadsheet to gauge the financial viability of following Jesus, or draft up a list of pro’s and con’s to judge whether or not it was a good decision. Jesus said, “Follow me.” So he left!

All the disciples left their livelihood to follow Jesus. They abandoned any sense of security they had ever known. They left their families, and their homes. The critics in their lives might have said they threw away their futures. But they got to be with Jesus! And it was all worth it.

Jesus’ words to Matthew are the same as His words to you: “Follow Me.” Whatever is keeping you from running after Jesus with reckless abandon: let it go. It is worth it! And He is worthy.

Prayer:

Jesus, I will leave everything to follow You. I am willing to sacrifice security. I am willing to give up normalcy! Wherever You call me, I will go, in Jesus’ name.

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

Day 47: At the Door

The Daily Word: Sunday, February 16th, 2020
Leviticus 1:1-3:17
Mark 1:29-2:12
Psalm 35:17-28
Proverbs 9:13-18
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
“If his offering is a burnt sacrifice of the herd, let him offer a male without blemish; he shall offer it of his own free will at the door of the tabernacle of meeting before the Lord.” – Lev. 1:3

When God’s people brought a sacrifice to Him under the Old Covenant sacrificial system, there were several requirements:

  1. The sacrifice should be “without blemish.” Give God your best! And live on the rest.
  2. The sacrifice should be “of his own free will.” An offering means nothing to God unless it comes with your heart. Are you offering God something because you feel like you have to (i.e. it feels forced)? Or because you know that you get to (i.e. it is the genuine desire of your heart)?
  3. The sacrifice should be “at the door.” God’s people made their offering at the door: before they met with God!

Whenever you go into prayer, bring something! We should never show up to meet God empty-handed. Under the Old Covenant, that meant bringing the best animal you had to offer of your own free will, and presenting it to God before you asked Him for anything. Under our New Covenant with God through Jesus Christ, that means giving Jesus something today that you have never offered Him before. Give Him your family! Give Him your career. Give Him your heart, your mind, your body, and your life! Give Him the benefit of the doubt, and trust Him like never before.

Are you ready to offer something to Jesus that You have never given Him before? Present it to Him “at the door;” and know that You will never be the same again.

Prayer:

Father, I want to lay my life at Your feet like never before. Help me to trust You like never before! Help me to worship You like never before. I am not coming into Your presence empty-handed! And I declare I will not leave empty-handed, in Jesus’ name.

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

Day 46: What Are You Wearing?

The Daily Word: Saturday, February 15th, 2020
Exodus 39:1-40:38
Mark 1:1-28
Psalm 35:1-16
Proverbs 9:11-12
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
Of the blue, purple, and scarlet thread they made garments of ministry, for ministering in the holy place, and made the holy garments for Aaron, as the Lord had commanded Moses. – Ex. 39:1

Under the Old Covenant, priests had “garments of ministry.” If you wanted to get into the “holy place” (i.e. close to God), you had better be wearing the right thing! It mattered how clean you were. It mattered what you looked like. The garments represented behavior. In other words, if you wanted to get close to God you had to have your stuff together!

But under the New Covenant, you are “hidden with Christ in God” (Col. 3:3). When God looks at you, He doesn’t see your sin! He sees His Son. He doesn’t see your filthy past anymore because it’s been washed clean by the blood of Jesus! You have been separated from your sin, “As far as the east is from the west” (Ps. 103:12). And that means that your outside appearance – what you’re wearing, and what you look like – doesn’t matter anymore. All that matters is the posture of your heart!

Come talk to God. Jesus has already paid the price of admission into the “holy place” on your behalf. Your outsides don’t matter anymore; it is what’s inside – your love for Jesus – that truly counts.

Prayer:

Father, thank You for separating me from my sin. Thank You for covering my past with the blood of Jesus! I am righteous and pure because You say so, in Jesus’ name.

Archives
See commentary from this day in 2014.
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© Michael D. White, 2020. All rights reserved.

Day 45: Unshakeable Peace

The Daily Word: Friday, February 14th, 2020
Exodus 37:1-38:31
Matthew 28:1-20
Psalm 34:11-22
Proverbs 9:9-10
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
Depart from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. – Ps. 34:14

Do you want peace? You have to seek it. You have to pursue it. Peace doesn’t just happen. It doesn’t come naturally without any effort on your part. If you want it, you have to 1) make a plan and 2) do something about it!

Seeking is different from pursuing. To seek something is to look for it: to discern how to find it. Pursuing it means taking action once you realize how to get it. To seek is to have a vague, unspecified desire; but to pursue is to chase after something with precision! It is not enough just to have a plan! Once you find the path to peace, you have to go after it.

Jesus is the Prince of Peace. When you find Him, you find peace. When you pursue Him, you pursue peace! Pursue Him in His Word. Pursue Him in prayer! Avoid anything or anyone that pushes you away from Him, instead of drawing you closer. And as you do, you will find unshakeable peace like never before.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. – Phil 4:6-7

Prayer:

Father, I’m coming to You because I need peace. Now that I know that Jesus is the source, help me to pursue Him! I know that when I pursue Jesus, I find peace. Help me to remove all distractions and go after Him, in Jesus’ name!

Archives
See commentary from this day in 2014.
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© Michael D. White, 2020. All rights reserved.

Day 44: All the Way

The Daily Word: Thursday, February 13th, 2020
Exodus 35:10-36:38
Matthew 27:32-66
Psalm 34:1-10
Proverbs 9:7-8
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
And when they had come to a place called Golgotha, that is to say, Place of a Skull, they gave Him sour wine mingled with gall to drink. But when He had tasted it, He would not drink. – Matt. 27:33-34

As Jesus hung on the Cross and died for your sin, bystanders tried to numb the pain. They offered him “sour wine mingled with gall,” which was a concoction designed to take the sting out of death. But Jesus refused. He refused to dull the impact of the pain God had called Him to bear on the Cross. He refused to do anything but everything He was destined to do. Wine and gall would have deadened the pain Jesus felt on the Cross; but He chose to feel every ounce of pain. Why? So that you and I would never have to.

Jesus went all the way. In one infinite moment, He experienced an eternity of suffering for all mankind. He died with perfect holiness and purity in your place on the Cross. He refused to deaden the impact of the man’s sin. He refused to cheapen the price of obedience by making His death on the Cross any easier than it was meant to be.

Jesus went all the way. He refused to sell out and cheapen the calling of God on His life. And in response, are you willing to live your life completely and fully for Him?

Prayer:

Father, make me Your devoted servant. I am so grateful that Jesus took every ounce of pain I could ever be made to feel on the Cross. He did it because I never could. And in response, I insist on living a life of complete and total devotion to Him!

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

Day 43: Present Yourself to God

The Daily Word: Wednesday, February 12th, 2020
Exodus 34:1-35:9
Matthew 27:15-31
Psalm 33:12-22
Proverbs 9:1-6
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
So be ready in the morning, and come up in the morning to Mount Sinai, and present yourself to Me there on the top of the mountain. – Ex. 34:2

God had given Moses two tablets of stone with the Ten Commandments written on them. But Moses was so angry when he saw the children of Israel worshipping an idol that he, “…cast the tablets out of his hands and broke them” (Ex. 32:19). Moses needed God to re-write the Commandments. In other words, Moses needed God to speak again! So what did he do? He got ready in the morning, came up to Mount Sinai, and presented himself to God.

This speaks to our life in prayer. We need to hear God’s word over us – His promises for our lives – every day! We need time, just like Moses did, to “present ourselves” before God: to enter into His presence, and simply allow Him to speak over us. Go to God first thing in the morning and let His word wash over you. You will leave His presence completely changed!

If you want God to speak, you have to “present yourself” in His presence. You have to go to Him in prayer! Stop waiting for God to come down the mountain to you. You go up the mountain to Him.

Prayer:

Father, I need to hear Your voice. And I know the place I will hear You best is in prayer. Help me to be ready every morning to go to You in prayer: to hear Your word, and be refreshed by Your purpose and Your word!

Archives
See commentary from this day in 2014.
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© Michael D. White, 2020. All rights reserved.

Day 42: Where Does Idolatry Come From?

The Daily Word: Tuesday, February 11th, 2020
Exodus 32:1-33:23
Matthew 26:69-27:14
Psalm 33:1-11
Proverbs 8:33-36
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
Now when the people saw that Moses delayed coming down from the mountain, the people gathered together to Aaron, and said to him, “Come, make us gods that shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.” – Ex. 32:1

Impatience leads to idolatry. Moses went up into the mountain of God to meet with Him face to face. God communicated specific instruction to Moses in painstaking detail for the benefit of all God’s people! But the response from the Israelites was not, “Take as long as you need to hear accurately and completely, Moses!” It was, “What’s taking you so long?”

When we feel like God isn’t speaking fast enough, we chase after other gods. When we feel like He’s not blessing us soon enough, we take matters into our own hands! Impatience leads to idolatry; but patience leads to immense blessing.

Are you willing to give God permission to take His time? It will be worth it in the end.

Prayer:

Lord, take Your time. I lay my life at Your feet! And I will stay here as long as it takes for me to become the person Jesus died for me to be.

Archives
See commentary from this day in 2014.
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© Michael D. White, 2020. All rights reserved.

Day 41: The Right Stuff

The Daily Word: Monday, February 10th, 2020
Exodus 30:11-31:18
Matthew 26:47-68
Psalm 32:1-11
Proverbs 8:27-32
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
And you shall make from these a holy anointing oil, an ointment compounded according to the art of the perfumer. It shall be a holy anointing oil. – Ex. 30:25

If God’s people wanted to be anointed, they had to make the oil! They had to put the right ingredients together to mark the person being anointed as “most holy” (v 29): consecrated and separate before God.

Do you want to be more anointed? You’d better have the right stuff! Arrange your life around holiness and purity. Fill your life with prayer and with the Word! And watch as the presence of God descends upon you like never before.

Prayer:

Father, thank You for anointing me. I pray You would give me all the right ingredients to experience a life of purity and power. Help me to value those ingredients and use them wisely, in Jesus’ name! 

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

Day 40: Staying Hidden

The Daily Word: Sunday, February 9th, 2020
Exodus 29:1-30:10
Matthew 26:14-46
Psalm 31:19-24
Proverbs 8:14-26
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
You shall hide them in the secret place of Your presence from the plots of man; You shall keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues. – Ps. 31:20

There is protection in God’s presence. When we enter into the “secrete place” – which I would define as a place of consistent and intimate prayer with God – He will “hide” us from the “plots of man.”

Aren’t you so glad God protects you? Aren’t you so thankful He keeps you safe? Isn’t it so refreshing to know that as hard as the enemy tries, he cannot even touch you when you are in the presence of God?

The best part about the presence of God is you never have to leave! You can be in His presence at work. You can be in His presence at home. You can be in His presence while you are on a date, or exercising at the gym. And when you stay in His presence, He will keep you safe and sound.

Prayer:

Father, thank You for Your divine protection! I am so grateful that You keep me safe in Your presence. Keep me hidden in the secret place, in Jesus’ name!

Archives
See commentary from this day in 2014.
See commentary from this day in 2015.
See commentary from this day in 2016.
See commentary from this day in 2017.
See commentary from this day in 2018.
See commentary from this day in 2019.

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

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