Day 202: The Inside Matters

The Daily Word: Tuesday, July 21st, 2020
2 Chronicles 4:1-6:11
Romans 7:1-13
Psalm 17:1-15
Proverbs 19:22-23
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
Moreover he made a bronze altar: twenty cubits was its length, twenty cubits its width, and ten cubits its height. – 2 Chron. 4:1

2 Chronicles contains an extensive, exhaustive description of how the temple at Jerusalem was constructed. Between 2 Chronicles 3 and 2 Chronicles 4, Scripture dedicates thirty-seven verses to the description of the temple. Out of those thirty-seven verses, only six verses describe the outside of the temple, while thirty-one verses describe what was inside.

The inside matters! God dedicated over five times the number of verses to the description of the inside of the temple than He did to the outside. It doesn’t mean the outside was unimportant! Something had to keep out the wind and the rain. But it does mean that God expected the builders to pay far more attention to the intricacies of what was taking place indoors.

Your walk with Jesus is not all about your behavior: your outside! Yes, the outside matters. But Jesus wants your heart more than anything else. He wants your inside! He wants you to seek Him with your whole heart! Because when we seek Him with just our exterior – when we are content to just go through the motions with no real internal change – we aren’t really seeking Him at all.

Prayer:

Father, today I give You my whole heart. I don’t want to settle for an outside, surface-level relationship with You. I am inviting You in. Come and rearrange my heart! Come and fill me the way You promised You would. I am so grateful for Your presence that dwells in me, in Jesus’ name.

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

Day 201: An Excuse to Sin

The Daily Word: Monday, July 20th, 2020
2 Chronicles 1:1-3:17
Romans 6:1-23
Psalm 16:1-11
Proverbs 19:20-21
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? – Rom. 6:1-2

Romans 5 concludes with a profound statement: “But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more…” (Rom. 5:20). But as Romans 6 begins, the Apostle Paul clarifies some things. Notice Romans 5:20 is in the past tense: where sin “abounded,” grace “abounded” much more. Scripture is talking about your past: your life before you met Jesus. Sin abounded! But Jesus died, “…while we were still sinners” (Rom 5:8) to atone for our sin. Jesus rescued you from your mess so that you would finally be free to live for God.

I often hear Romans 5:20 misquoted. People say, “Where sin abounds [present tense] grace abounds much more.” But that is not Truth. It is meant to convey that even if you intentionally sin, God will wink at you and everything will be okay. So Paul here asks the pressing question that many of us have grappled with when receiving the Gospel: “Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?” If I know forgiveness is my portion, can’t I just go out and sin as much as I want, knowing that God will forgive me when I’m done?

Paul’s answer is emphatic. “Certainly not!” No!!! The fact that we have been forgiven should not embolden us to sin more; it should shake us to the very core to such an extent that any desire to sin is completely uprooted. When you receive God’s grace, you don’t have an excuse to sin; you finally have the strength and the power through God’s Holy Spirit to live a life of purity and faith.

Prayer:

Father, thank You for purging me of the desire to sin. I love You, and I love Your Word. I will live my life in obedience to You and Your Word, in Jesus’ name! If it’s in Your Word, I will do it. If it’s not in Your Word, I don’t want to hear it. Period, and amen.

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

Day 200: He Will Anoint You

The Daily Word: Sunday, July 19th, 2020
1 Chronicles 28:1-29:30
Romans 5:6-21
Psalm 15:1-5
Proverbs 19:18-19
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
So they ate and drank before the Lord with great gladness on that day. And they made Solomon the son of David king the second time, and anointed him before the Lord to be the leader, and Zadok to be priest. – 1 Chron. 29:22

First, God told Solomon what He wanted Solomon to do: he would build a temple at Jerusalem for God that was more majestic than any structure the world had ever seen! Then, God anointed Solomon to do it.

Whenever God asks you to do something, He is willing to anoint you to do it. To “anoint” is the Hebrew mashach (Strong’s H4886), which means to smear or rub with oil as consecration or separation for a task. God will put His hand upon you to do what He has called you to do. He will bless you with the wisdom and the power you need to get His work done! He will separate you from your old life, and dedicate you to a new life in service to Him.

Thank God He always equips us to do His work! He never leaves us alone, and He never leaves us hanging. So, what has God called you to do? Do you know that whenever He asks you to do something, He is willing to anoint you to do it?

Prayer:

Father, thank You for Your anointing. You have separated me from my old life, and empowered me with Resurrection life to pursue Your divine calling. Thank You for it, and help me to never take it for granted, in Jesus’ name!

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

Day 199: Will You Seek Him?

The Daily Word: Saturday, July 18th, 2020
1 Chronicles 26:12-27:34
Romans 4:13-5:5
Psalm 14:1-7
Proverbs 19:17
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
The Lord looks down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there are any who understand, who seek God. – Ps. 14:2

God is not looking for people who are perfect. He is looking for men and women who seek Him. Perfection is impossible! No one is perfect but Jesus! But seeking God is something that you can absolutely handle.

No matter where you are and what you are facing: God sees you. He knows you! He is looking on you with love and affection. And all He wants to know is, are you willing to seek Him?

“And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” – Jer. 29:13

Prayer:

Father, I want to seek You! I pray that I would never fall for the lie that I have to be perfect to be loved by You. All I have to do is seek Your face! When I seek You, I will be found by You, in Jesus’ name!

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

Day 198: Work Work Work

The Daily Word: Friday, July 17th, 2020
1 Chronicles 24:1-26:11
Romans 4:1-12
Psalm 13:1-6
Proverbs 19:15-16
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness… – Rom. 4:5 

Here, Scripture tells us not to work. Righteousness doesn’t belong to the man who works for it; “…but to him who does not work but believes.”

But other portions of Scripture tell us to work!

Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; – Phil. 2:12

For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat. – 2 Thess. 3:10

So which is it? Are we supposed to work? Or are we supposed to believe?

The answer is yes to both. But the order in which working and believing happen is incredibly important. First, you must believe. You must believe that Jesus is Lord and you are righteous in Him. Nothing you do can make you holy, but the Jesus in whom you believe can make you holy!

Then and only then, you get to work. We work not for God’s approval, but from His approval. We must believe that we are loved whether we work or not! And once we have received God’s love, free from the belief that we have to work for it, then and only then can we go out and work with, “…clean hands and a pure heart” (Ps. 24:4). So receive God’s love through Jesus Christ, and then go out and get to work!

Prayer:

Father, thank You for loving me. You loved me before my work, so that I can love you as I work! Help me to receive Your love first, and work second, in Jesus’ name.

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

Day 197: When God Says No

The Daily Word: Thursday, July 16th, 2020
1 Chronicles 22:1-23:32
Romans 3:9-31
Psalm 12:1-8
Proverbs 19:13-14
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
Now David said, “Solomon my son is young and inexperienced, and the house to be built for the Lord must be exceedingly magnificent, famous and glorious throughout all countries. I will now make preparation for it.” So David made abundant preparations before his death. – 1 Chron. 22:5

David wanted to build God a temple! But God told David it was not part of his destiny (1 Chron. 17:4, 1 Chron. 28:3). So what was David’s response?

David didn’t whine and complain that God wouldn’t allow him to do what David wanted. Instead, he made preparations for someone else to do what God wanted them to do. David wouldn’t get to build the temple; but Solomon would! So David spent the rest of his days on earth helping Solomon prepare for his destiny.

Don’t get frustrated if God tells you “no!” Instead, help make preparations for someone with a “yes.” Send them! Support them. Build with them! Because in the end, your personal agenda is irrelevant. The only thing that matters is God’s Kingdom.

Prayer:

Father, I only want to do what You call me to do. When You say no, help me to listen! I will spend my days doing whatever You call me to do, whenever You call me to do it, in Jesus’ name.

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

Day 196: Stand Your Ground

The Daily Word: Wednesday, July 15th, 2020
1 Chronicles 19:1-21:30
Romans 2:25-3:8
Psalm 11:1-7
Proverbs 19:10-12
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David. In the Lord I put my trust; How can you say to my soul, “Flee as a bird to your mountain”? – Ps. 11:1

Trusting God means never running away. What are you facing right now in your life that makes you afraid? What are you confronting that makes you nervous? When David was in your shoes, He made a declaration: “In the Lord I put my trust.” How can you say you trust God when you’re running from the battle?

Stay put. Stand your ground! Plant roots where God has called you to thrive. Refuse to budge, no matter how difficult things get! Running is for the faint of heart; but those who trust in the Lord cannot be moved.

Prayer:

Father, help me to stand my ground. I trust You! And I know that entails an outright refusal to run away. You are with me, so I will stay, in Jesus’ name.

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

Day 195: The Other Kind of Ministry

The Daily Word: Tuesday, July 14th, 2020
1 Chronicles 16:37-18:17
Romans 2:1-24
Psalm 10:16-18
Proverbs 19:8-9
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
So he left Asaph and his brothers there before the ark of the covenant of the Lord to minister before the ark regularly, as every day’s work required… – 1 Chron. 16:37

When I say the word “ministry,” what comes to mind? A devoted pastor running around doing on-call visits and praying for people? A charismatic preacher boldly proclaiming the Word of God from the pulpit? Someone who works full-time at a church?

There are two forms of ministry. The first is outward-facing ministry. That is the form of ministry described above. Outward-facing ministry means ministering to other people!

But did you know there is another form of ministry that is infinitely more important, yet so often neglected? The second form of ministry is inward-facing. You are not ministering to others, you are ministering directly to Jesus in the presence of God. King David assigned an entire group of priests just to minister directly to God and to spend all day in His presence! Yes, it is important to minster to others; but it is so much more important to minister to Jesus Himself!

Spend some time today, “…ministering before the ark.” Put everyone else on the back burner and spend some time with Jesus. Bring His Word back to Him in prayer (Isa. 55:11). Lay your life at His feet as a living sacrifice (Rom. 12:1)! Your ministry to other people still needs to get done; but first it’s time to minister directly to Jesus.

Prayer:

Father, I want to minister directly to Jesus! Make me proficient in this second form of ministry. Teach me to minister in Your presence for hours on end! I want to spend time with You like never before, in Jesus’ name.

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

Day 194: You Know God Exists

The Daily Word: Monday, July 13th, 2020
1 Chronicles 15:1-16:36
Romans 1:18-32
Psalm 10:1-15
Proverbs 19:6-7
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse…. – Rom. 1:20

You know God exists. Have you ever seen a sunset? That is His canvas. Have you ever held a newborn? That is His thumbprint. Have you ever fallen madly in love with someone and experienced the rush of that person loving you back in a healthy, God-honoring way? That is His handiwork.

You know God exists. The evidence of His beauty is everywhere around you! The entire world shouts of His glory. Everything within you recognizes there is more to life than just living and dying. So why are you living like this world is all there is? Shouldn’t your priorities and goals reflect the reality that you are living for eternity and not just today?

You were created for a higher calling. Your life was meant to be tragically beautiful yet eternally significant! You were designed for a purpose. Are you ready to say yes to Jesus, and find out what it is?

Prayer:

Father, I know You exist! And I am ready to live for You. I ask that You would take me from the person I am today, and make me into the (wo)man You designed me to be, in Jesus’ name!

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

Day 193: Forgotten God

The Daily Word: Sunday, July 12th, 2020
1 Chronicles 12:19-14:17
Romans 1:1-17
Psalm 9:13-20
Proverbs 19:4-5
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God. – Ps. 9:17

Does the United States feel like “hell” right now? It is because we have forgotten God. We don’t care what His Word says anymore! We don’t spend any time seeking His face, or listening to what He has to say.

But if we would just return to Him, He would take our hell and make it Heaven. He would give us leaders at every level of government – church, city, state, and national – who follow after His heart, and lead with integrity and honor:

“Return, O backsliding children,” says the Lord; “for I am married to you. I will take you, one from a city and two from a family, and I will bring you to Zion. And I will give you shepherds according to My heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding.” – Jer. 3:13-15

It’s time to remember God. It’s time to give Him first place in your life! It’s time to put everything else on hold, and seek Him with all your heart, in Jesus’ name.

Prayer:

Lord, I repent for not seeking You. I’m sorry for all the times I’ve been too busy to care what You have to say! Help me to make time to listen to Your voice in prayer, and to read Your Word. I am living for You and You alone from this moment forward, in Jesus’ name!

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

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