Day 21: Where Did He Get It?

The Daily Word: Thursday, January 21st, 2021
Genesis 42:18-43:34
Matthew 13:47-14:12
Psalm 18:16-36
Proverbs 4:7-10
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
“Is this not the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary? And His brothers James, Joses, Simon, and Judas? And His sisters, are they not all with us? Where then did this Man get all these things?” – Matt. 13:55-56

When Jesus returned to His hometown, the people didn’t understand. He had changed, but they didn’t know why. He was full of “wisdom and…mighty works” (v 54). Everywhere He spoke, people trembled under the power of God! Everywhere He went, miracles popped like popcorn. Jesus left His town normal…but He came back supernatural. So where did He get all those “things?”

He got them in the wilderness:

Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him. – Matt. 4:11

He got them in prayer early every morning:

Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed. – Mk. 1:35

He got it from being one with the Father:

“Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are.” – Jn. 17:11

Everything worth getting, you will get from God. So, what do you need today? Wisdom? Discernment? Favor? Faith? Go to the Source! God alone has what you need, and He will give it to you freely when you ask.

“He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” – Rom. 8:32

Prayer:

Father, I know that everything worth receiving comes from You. Help me to make seeking Your face an absolute priority in my life. Spending time with You is the most important thing I could ever do! I am so grateful, in Jesus’ name.

© Michael D. White, 2021. All rights reserved.

Day 20: Eternity at Stake

The Daily Word: Wednesday, January 20th, 2021
Genesis 41:17-42:17
Matthew 13:24-46
Psalm 18:1-15
Proverbs 4:1-6
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear! – Matt. 13:41-43

What a diametrically opposed set of outcomes. At the end of time, Jesus will send out His angels to separate the “wheat” from the “tares:” the good from the bad, the righteous from the wicked! The wicked will be cast “into the furnace of fire” for eternal torment. There will be “wailing and gnashing of teeth.” Imagine the depth of that pain for just a moment: being caught in never-ending torture as a result of your sin until the end of time. I don’t want to go there, do you?

But others will “shine forth as the sun.” They will rejoice “in the kingdom of their Father!” So what’s the difference? What separates the wicked from the righteous? Jesus:

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” – Jn. 14:6

Your eternal future depends on whether or not you know Jesus. You don’t know what could happen before tomorrow. You could live to see another day, or this world could collapse and we meet God face to face! Is it worth not being sure that you are Heaven-bound for even one more moment? Won’t you receive Jesus and be secure in your salvation today?

Prayer:

Father, I receive Your Son Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior over my life. I have made some mistakes! But I know that when I receive Jesus, I receive His perfect record. My sin is removed! And I am free to live for You, with all my heart, for all eternity, in Jesus’ name.

© Michael D. White, 2021. All rights reserved.

Day 19: Satisfied

The Daily Word: Tuesday, January 19th, 2021
Genesis 39:1-41:16
Matthew 12:46-13:23
Psalm 17:1-15
Proverbs 3:33-35
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
As for me, I will see Your face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied when I awake in Your likeness. – Ps. 17:15

David reflected on his heavenly reward in the Psalms. He would not be like the “men of the world who have their portion in this life” (v 14). He would not settle for treasure on earth, “…where moth and rust destroy and thieves break in and steal” (Matt. 6:19). David knew he would receive a reward in heaven for the way he constantly pursued God! He would not be satisfied until He saw God face to face, and awoke in His likeness.

Your life should be defined by a constant longing for heaven. You were made for eternity! And while there are things in this world that can bring your fulfillment and joy, there is only One who can satisfy your every longing. His name is Jesus. Without Him, there will always be a hole that only He can fill. But in Him and Him alone, you will be fully satisfied.

Prayer:

Jesus, I am living for You! I will not be satisfied until I see You face to face. Remind me to live for eternity today, and never for temporary gain, in Jesus’ name.

© Michael D. White, 2021. All rights reserved.

Day 18: Dream Killers

The Daily Word: Monday, January 18th, 2021
Genesis 37:1-38:30
Matthew 12:22-45
Psalm 16:1-11
Proverbs 3:27-32
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
Then they said to one another, “Look, this dreamer is coming! Come therefore, let us now kill him and cast him into some pit; and we shall say, ‘Some wild beast has devoured him.’ We shall see what will become of his dreams!” – Gen. 37:19-20

Joseph’s dreams were accurate! Everything God showed him would come to pass. But Joseph’s problem was that he shared his dreams with the wrong people. His brothers were so threatened by Joseph that they wanted to kill him; and they were so threatened by Joseph’s dreams that they wanted to kill them.

Don’t share your dreams with people who want to kill them. Share your dreams with people who want to make them come alive! God has given you dreams on purpose. He wants to fill you with hope and vision for the future so you can pray for His will to come to pass! So don’t waste one moment sharing God’s vision with people who are too small minded to support it. Move on to those who will dream with you, in Jesus’ name.

Prayer:

Father, I pray You would surround me with people who will nourish and support my dreams! I have no time for dream killers. I am too busy pursuing You! And I will never stop dreaming with You, in Jesus’ name.

© Michael D. White, 2021. All rights reserved.

Day 17: No Compromise

The Daily Word: Sunday, January 17th, 2021
Genesis 35:1-36:43
Matthew 12:1-21
Psalm 15:1-5
Proverbs 3:21-26
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
Then God said to Jacob, “Arise, go up to Bethel and dwell there; and make an altar there to God, who appeared to you when you fled from the face of Esau your brother.” And Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, “Put away the foreign gods that are among you, purify yourselves, and change your garments.” – Gen. 35:1-2

Before Jacob could worship God, he had to put away his idols. Any time you choose to pursue God like never before, it also means leaving some things behind. You cannot enter His presence with idols! You cannot expect to encounter the Lord powerfully in worship if you refuse to repent and leave your old ways behind.

It’s time. Drop everything that is interfering with a reckless pursuit of Jesus. It’s time to put it all away! And God will honor you with His presence like never before.

Then God appeared to Jacob again, when he came from Padan Aram, and blessed him. – Gen. 35:9

Prayer:

Father, help me to live a life of no compromise! I know Your Holy Spirit will strengthen me to leave what needs to be left, and pursue what I need to pursue! I am so grateful for Your great love, in Jesus’ name.

© Michael D. White, 2021. All rights reserved.

Day 16: The Messenger

The Daily Word: Saturday, January 16th, 2021
Genesis 32:13-34:31
Matthew 11:7-30
Psalm 14:1-7
Proverbs 3:19-20
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
“For this is he of whom it is written: ‘Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, who will prepare Your way before You.’” – Matt. 11:10

John the Baptist was not Jesus. He was simply a messenger sent “before His face.” He was a spokesman who would “prepare Jesus’ way before Him.”

You are a messenger too! Jesus has sent you before His face, to prepare His way. He has sent you to have conversations with people who don’t know Him, so they can prepare their hearts for His arrival! He has sent you to “heal the sick, cleanse the leper, raise the dead, and cast out demons” (Matt 10:8) so people will know Jesus is real!

Jesus needs messengers to go before Him so He can arrive and the ground will already be prepared. You are a carrier of the greatest Message the world has ever known: the Gospel! Now it’s time to go out and proclaim it, in Jesus’ name.

Prayer:

Father, make me a bold messenger. I want to proclaim the Gospel everywhere I go. There is no room for shame or timidity, in Jesus’ name!

© Michael D. White, 2021. All rights reserved.

Day 15: Still Alive

The Daily Word: Friday, January 15th, 2021
Genesis 31:17-32:12
Matthew 10:24-11:6
Psalm 13:1-6
Proverbs 3:16-18
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
Then Jacob rose and set his sons and his wives on camels. And he carried away all his livestock and all his possessions which he had gained, his acquired livestock which he had gained in Padan Aram, to go to his father Isaac in the land of Canaan. – Gen. 31:17-18

Jacob’s father Isaac was still alive! He had been, “…old and his eyes were so dim that he could not see” (Gen. 27:1) when Jacob left. But all these years later – at least the 7 years that Jacob served for Leah plus the 7 that he served for Rachel – Isaac was still alive. How? Because the blessing of the Lord makes you strong.

You see it in Isaac, who was still alive to see his sons reconciled. You see it in Caleb, who at age eighty-five said, “I am as strong this day as on the day that Moses sent me [at age forty]” (Joshua 14:11). You see it in the way that all God’s people persist to victory instead of dying in defeat.

You are still alive. God is not done with you yet! His blessing is still upon you. And He will strengthen you until He is finished with you, in Jesus’ name.

Prayer:

Father, thank You for keeping me alive and well! I am still alive and kicking. Your blessing is still upon me! Use me for Your glory, all the days of my life, in Jesus’ name.

© Michael D. White, 2021. All rights reserved.

Day 14: Do You Feel Peace?

The Daily Word: Thursday, January 14th, 2021
Genesis 30:1-31:16
Matthew 10:1-23
Psalm 12:1-8
Proverbs 3:13-15
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
Now whatever city or town you enter, inquire who in it is worthy, and stay there till you go out. And when you go into a household, greet it. If the household is worthy, let your peace come upon it. But if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. – Matt. 10:11-13

Jesus sent His disciples on a mission to the “house of Israel” (6). They went out to preach, and to “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, [and] cast out demons” (v 8). But where would they stay? Who would provide for their needs as they did the Lord’s work?

Jesus promised that He would send them to people who would help. And here is how they would know if they were in the right place:

If the household is worthy, let your peace come upon it. But if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. – Matt. 10:13

The disciples would deposit their peace. If they were in the right place, their peace would settle. They would feel comfortable and at rest. If they were in the wrong place, their peace would return to them. They would be restless, and it would be impossible for them to be at ease in that place!

This is called discernment. When you find yourself in a new situation – a new job interview, a new first date, or visiting a city to see if you should live there – God will use His perfect peace to guide you. If you’re supposed to stay, you will feel peace! If you’re supposed to keep moving, you will feel unrest. This is an amazing litmus test the Lord has given you which will apply to so many areas in your life. Use it! And know the will of the Lord.

“…and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” – Phil. 4:7

Prayer:

Father, thank You for Your perfect peace! I trust that Your peace will guide me in every situation. I trust that my peace will find rest or return to me based on whether You want me to stay or to go! Thank You for giving me discernment, in Jesus’ name.

© Michael D. White, 2021. All rights reserved.

Day 13: But Come

The Daily Word: Wednesday, January 13th, 2021
Genesis 28:1-29:35
Matthew 9:18-38
Psalm 11:1-7
Proverbs 3:11-12
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
While He spoke these things to them, behold, a ruler came and worshiped Him, saying, “My daughter has just died, but come and lay Your hand on her and she will live.” – Matt. 9:18

His daughter had just died. But He still wanted Jesus to come. Why? Because one touch from Jesus changes everything. The presence of Jesus brings dead things back to life!

Get familiar with the phrase, “But come.” Incorporate it into your prayer life. Lord, I just lost my job, but come and turn it around so I am happier than ever before and fully employed. Lord, I just ended a relationship, but come and introduce me to someone who loves You just as much as I do! Lord, my finances are a mess, but come and do exceedingly, abundantly, above all that I can ask, think or imagine!

It might look dead. But Jesus will come. And when He arrives, everything will come back to life.

Prayer:

Father, thank You for the “but come” moments in my life. I am going to use this in prayer! I have confidence that if You “but come,” nothing will ever be the same again!

© Michael D. White, 2021. All rights reserved.

Day 12: Honor Leads to Increase

The Daily Word: Tuesday, January 12th, 2021
Genesis 26:17-27:46
Matthew 9:1-17
Psalm 10:16-18
Proverbs 3:9-10
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
Honor the Lord with your possessions, and with the firstfruits of all your increase; so your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will overflow with new wine. – Prov. 3:9-10

Order matters. Scripture tells us to honor the Lord with our possessions, and the firsfruits of all our increase. If we do that, God will fill our barns with plenty, and our vats will overflow with new wine. Back then, grain and wine referred directly to the level of prosperity a given household was experiencing. For us today, this verse might read, “So your bank accounts will be filled with plenty, and your fridge will have plenty of [organic] food.”

We often get it backwards. We ask God to send the increase first, and promise we will honor Him later. Lord, if you just bless me with a million dollars, I will give you ten percent! If you just give me the job of my dreams, I’ll finally start volunteering at church! But it doesn’t work like that. God designed it His way on purpose! If you don’t honor Him when you have a little, you won’t honor Him with a lot. And why would He trust you with plenty if He can’t trust you with what you already have?

Honor God with your possessions. Give Him your first and your best! And He will fill you up with so much more that you don’t even miss what you gave away.

Prayer:

Father, I am going to honor You first. I know that as I do, Your Scriptural promise – Your guarantee that is as good as gold! – is You are going to bless me with more, in Jesus’ name.

© Michael D. White, 2021. All rights reserved.

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