Day 202: Fear the King

The Daily Word: Wednesday, July 21st, 2021
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:
The fear of the Lord leads to life, and he who has it will abide in satisfaction; He will not be visited with evil. – Prov. 19:23

When you hear the word “fear,” what is your first impression? The Bible asks us to “fear” the Lord. But fearing God is not like being afraid of the dark. You don’t have to be afraid when He is present, and you don’t have to run away when He walks into the room. “Fear” of the Lord is the Hebrew yir’ah (Strong’s H3374), which means “respect, reverence, or piety.” To “fear” the Lord is to act in His presence the same way you would act in the presence of a king! How fitting for the King of kings and Lord of lords (Rev. 19:16)!

Such a simple response – fear in God’s presence – will have such a profound effecct. Fear of the Lord leads to life: abundant life on this earth, and eternal life with God in Heaven. Fear of the Lord will allow you to “abide in satisfaction” (v 23, above). You will never have a single day in which you are unsatisfied or unfulfilled because you are walking out God’s calling for your life. Fear of the Lord protects you from evil: you will never have to fear man or any devil, because you choose to fear the Lord instead!

Everyone fears something. The real choice is not, “Will I be afraid?” It is “Whom shall I fear?” And if you fear the Lord, you will never have to be afraid of anything or anyone else.

Prayer:

Lord, help me to fear You! Remind me to be reverential in Your presence. There is no one I would rather be around; and any time I am in Your presence, I will worship You as King, in Jesus’ name!!

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

Day 201: I Can’t Do It!

The Daily Word: Tuesday, July 20th, 2021
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:
“Now, O Lord God, let Your promise to David my father be established, for You have made me king over a people like the dust of the earth in multitude. Now give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people; for who can judge this great people of Yours?” – 2 Chron. 1:9-10

Solomon gathered all the leaders of Israel and went to worship God at Gibeon. He made an offering to God (v 6), and God appeared to him. “Ask! What shall I give you?” God said (v 7). Imagine being in Solomon’s shoes! (Sandals?) If God showed up and told you to ask for anything, what would your request be? Would you ask for a long life? To be the smartest, most impressive person in the world? Would you ask for a big house, a fast car, and nice clothes? But Solomon didn’t ask for any of those things. And we can learn two things in particular from his prayer:

1) He was selfless. Solomon asked for “wisdom and knowledge,” but not for himself! He wanted to be wise so he could lead the people of Israel well. There is work God wants to do in your prayer life that can only happen when you take your eyes off yourself and pray that God would use you to lead and impact others.

2) He was humble. Solomon was overwhelmed! And he admitted to God that he had no idea what he was doing as he tried to lead God’s people. Solomon confessed to God that he was “a little child…[who did] not know how to go out or come in” (1 Kings 3:7). And this is a key to leadership! Be humble with God so you can lead confidently before man. It would have been immature for Solomon to confess to the people that he didn’t know what he was doing! But it was wise for Solomon to confess to God that he needed help.

In response, God gave Solomon everything he asked for and more. Not only did God answer his prayer by giving him “wisdom and knowledge;” but He also gave him “wealth and honor,” such as no king has ever had before or since. When you admit to God that you need help, He will give you all you need and more.

Prayer:

Father, I admit I can’t do it. I can’t do anything You have called me to do without Your help. I ask that You fill me with wisdom and knowledge, along with every material resource I would ever need to walk out Your calling on my life. I want to serve You well, in Jesus’ name!

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

Day 200: In Due Time

The Daily Word: Monday, July 19th, 2021
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:
For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. – Rom. 5:6

Jesus died “in due time,” which can also be translated “at the right time.”[1] Crucifixion was one of the most gruesome, painful ways to die that has ever been invented by man. Yet Jesus chose to insert Himself into human history “at the right time” to die this gruesome death for us. Jesus could have come at any point in history! But He chose “the right time” to die in your place.

He chose to have a crown of thorns twisted around his head as Roman soldiers mocked him for being King, rupturing blood vessels and causing blood to stream down his face (John 19:2). He chose to be scourged: whipped with a cat of nine tails, the ends of which were threaded with shards of bone and metal designed to tear flesh off the bone. He chose to have his very skin and flesh torn off his back, leaving ribbons of muscle exposed and pulsating in the open air (Matt. 27:26). He chose to carry His cross on His mutilated back (John 19:17), splinters mercilessly stabbing into the exposed flesh of His shoulders and back. He chose to have his hands and his feet nailed to a cross, his hands spread out so wide that he would die a slow death – not from bleeding, but from asphyxiation as the weight of gravity caused his lungs to collapse. Jesus hung there, naked (Mk. 15:24) and bearing the weight of the sin and the shame of the world, so that you would always feel accepted and loved by God. He chose to die that gruesome death for you, in your place, so that you would never have to experience such an awful degree of suffering on your own.

Jesus came “in due time,” so you could be with God for all time. He died so that, when you put your trust in Him, you can truly live! Aren’t you grateful today?

Prayer:

Jesus, thank You for dying in my place! Thank You for the Cross! I pray that I would be overwhelmed with absolute and incredible gratitude today as I think about everything You have done for me. I am so unworthy, but You are so amazing, and I love You with all my heart!

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

[1] Greek Kairos, Strong’s G2540

Day 199: Faith => Grace

The Daily Word: Sunday, July 18th, 2021
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:
Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all… – Rom. 4:16

Faith in God activates the grace of God. Grace is the Greek charis,[1] which is the “good will, loving-kindness, [and] favor” of God in your life. Grace is the power of the Holy Spirit working in and through you so that you keep your eyes on Jesus instead of getting sidetracked. Grace is you being stronger than you think you are to do what God has called you to do, despite feeling unprepared. Grace is unmerited favor: you receiving the reward for living a perfect & sinless life that only Jesus truly deserves, despite the fact that you are far from perfect and don’t deserve any of what God wants to give you!

You cannot earn the grace of God. It is not activated by your works! You can only receive it by faith. When you have faith in Jesus Christ, the promises of God are “sure” in your life. They are guaranteed: not because you are anywhere near perfect, but because you have chosen to draw near to the only One who is.

Prayer:

Father, thank You for Your divine grace in and over my life! I am so grateful that Your favor in my life does not depend on me or my perfection; it depends on You and Your perfect Son Jesus Christ. I trust in Jesus! And I receive Your grace and favor over my life in Jesus’ name.

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

[1] Strong’s G5485 http://bit.ly/1pjliVL

Day 198: You Are Blessed!

The Daily Word: Saturday, July 17th, 2021
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:
“Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; Blessed is the man to whom the Lord shall not impute sin.” – Rom. 4:7-8

You are blessed! You might not always feel like it; but think about this with me. Your lawless deeds are forgiven. Your sins are covered! The Lord will not impute sin to you any more. You are more blessed than you could ever imagine; and the more you focus on just how blessed you are, the more you will see more blessing manifest in your life!

Don’t waste time thinking about what God has yet to do. Use your time wisely by rejoicing for everything He has already done.

Prayer:

Father, thank You that because I have Jesus, I am blessed. There are things I am still believing You will do in my life! But even if all those things were left undone, You have done enough. I have Jesus, and I am blessed!

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

Day 197: Generational Thinking

The Daily Word: Friday, July 16th, 2021
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

Good leaders don’t think in terms of their lifetime; they think in terms of generations. King David’s life was coming to a close. He was not concerned about his own personal comfort level, or how much wealth he had amassed during his time as king. He was only concerned with the next generation. Solomon, his son, was “young and inexperienced”; and here was an “exceedingly magnificent” house for the Lord that had to be built (v 5)! So David made “abundant preparations before his death.”

Contrast this with King Hezekiah (as well as many other subsequent kings of Israel). The Lord pronounced judgment on Judah:

Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear the word of the Lord: ‘Behold, the days are coming when all that is in your house, and what your fathers have accumulated until this day, shall be carried to Babylon; nothing shall be left,’ says the Lord. ‘And they shall take away some of your sons who will descend from you, whom you will beget; and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.’ ” – 2 Kings 20:16-18

But Hezekiah didn’t care! Here was his response to the Lord: “The word of the LORD which you have spoken is good! …Will there not be peace and truth at least in my days?” (v 19). Hezekiah did not care how the word of the Lord affected future generations; he only cared if God’s word affected Hezekiah.

Your life is about so much more than you! Your life is about generations to come. Are you living your life in such a way that your children will be able to serve God better than you ever could? Are you setting up your inheritance in such a way that the next generation can afford to worship God in ways you never did?!

Think generationally. The future depends on it.

Prayer:

Father, help me to think generationally! I want to leave a better world for my children’s children. I will lay down my life if it means they will have fewer obstacles to worshipping You well!

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

Day 196: How Will You Be Judged?

The Daily Word: Thursday, July 15th, 2021
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:
For circumcision is indeed profitable if you keep the law; but if you are a breaker of the law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision. – Rom. 2:25

Circumcision was the Old Testament symbol of God’s covenant. God told Abraham to circumcise himself and “every male child” in his household (Gen. 17:10) as “a sign of the covenant” between God and Abraham (v 11). This was an outward sign of an inward change. The symbolic alteration of the most hidden part of a man served as proof that he had given God authority to change everything about him, both seen and unseen.

But under the New Covenant, circumcision no longer has the same effect. Listen to what the Apostle Paul is telling the church at Rome here: circumcision is only profitable if you keep the whole law. You have a choice: will you be judged by Old Testament law? Or will you be judged by the blood of Christ? If you choose to forsake Jesus and be judged by the law, you had better keep every letter of the law!

For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all. – James 2:10

If you come up short on even one of the 613 Levitical commandments, you might as well have failed them all.

But you have another choice. You can be judged by the blood of Jesus Christ!! Aren’t you so happy God has given you another option through His Son? Jesus came and lived a sinless life in your place. He fulfilled every “jot” and “tittle” (representing the tiniest of details; Matt. 5:18) of the law! And He did it for you: so that when you put your faith in Him, you will receive the reward that only He deserves.

Make no mistake about it. At the end of your life, you will meet God face to face. You will be judged![1] You will owe Him an explanation for every word spoken, and every action taken throughout your entire life.[2] So, what will you choose? Will you be judged by God according to your own righteousness and held accountable for all your thoughts, decisions, and actions? Or will you be “hidden with Christ in God” (Col. 3:3): covered by the blood of Jesus, and free to enter into heaven for all eternity?

Prayer:

Father, thank You for Your blood! I am so grateful for Your infinite and eternal sacrifice on the Cross. Thank You that when I trust in You, I have become your righteousness (2 Cor. 5:21). Thank You that because I trust in You, I don’t have to trust in myself! I am grateful, and I love You, in Jesus’ name.

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

[1] Revelation 20:11-15

[2] Matthew 12:36

Day 195: More to Offer God

The Daily Word: Wednesday, July 14th, 2021
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:
Now it came to pass, when David was dwelling in his house, that David said to Nathan the prophet, “See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of the covenant of the Lord is under tent curtains.” – 1 Chron. 17:1

Something was missing. David had houses and land. He had military victory: “rest from his all his enemies all around” (2 Sam. 7:1)! He had everything a man could ever want. He had spent his entire life serving God! Yet something was still missing.

David’s life work would be to prepare for the temple at Jerusalem. Solomon would build it! But David would receive the design and gather materials so that Solomon’s job was easy. This was David’s purpose! And no amount of material wealth or earthly peace could fulfill him because he had yet to exercise his divine design.

Do not rest until you find out what you were put on this earth to do. There is a reason you are on this earth! There is always more to offer God. Unless you do what God created you to do, you will never find fulfillment! But once you walk out His calling for His life, you will have perfect peace.

Prayer:

Father, thank You for Your divine design for my life! I pray You would cover me with a peace that surpasses all understanding as I walk out Your will for me. Please do not let me rest until You have accomplished Your divine purpose in and through me, in Jesus’ name.

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

Day 194: Building for God

The Daily Word: Tuesday, July 13th, 2021
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:
David built houses for himself in the City of David; and he prepared a place for the ark of God, and pitched a tent for it. – 1 Chron. 15:1

David built himself houses; but for the ark of God he “pitched a tent.” David built himself a permanent residence! But the ark of God, which hosted the very presence of the Lord, was placed in a temporary structure. This was not right. Eventually David realized that something was wrong:

Now it came to pass when the king was dwelling in his house, and the Lord had given him rest from all his enemies all around, that the king said to Nathan the prophet, “See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells inside tent curtains.” – 2 Sam. 7:1-2

God filled him with a desire to build a temple! But David would not be able to build the temple. God would not let him because he was a “man of war” (1 Chron. 28:3). His son Solomon would be the one to finish the job.

So here is the question: had David prioritized building God’s house first, would God have given him the honor of building the temple? And here is the lesson: Don’t be so busy building a life for yourself that you forget to make room for the presence of God! What you build for yourself will fade; but what you build for God will last forever.

Prayer:

Father, I pray that all my time, energy and focus would go into building Your kingdom. I am so grateful for everything You have done for me! And to honor You for Your goodness, I will live my life for You: now and forevermore.

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

Day 193: He Came With Power

The Daily Word: Monday, July 12th, 2021
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:
For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift, so that you may be established… – Rom. 1:11

In his letter to the church at Rome, Paul disclosed his reason for visiting. He wasn’t coming just to preach! He was coming to “impart…some spiritual gift.” Paul was not coming with words only; he was coming with power.

This echoes Paul’s comments to the church at Corinth:

And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. – 1 Cor. 2:4-5

Paul was a great orator! But he was even better at showcasing the power of God and allowing the Holy Spirit to move. And that was important! Because the end result was entire communities of people having faith: not in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

You are anointed. You can move in power just like Paul did, because the same Holy Spirit who anointed Paul has anointed you! Don’t settle for words alone. Pursue God’s power! Believe that when you show up somewhere to meet with someone, you will come bearing spiritual gifts.

Prayer:

Father, I want to see Your power! I pray that I would never be content to settle for a merely intellectual faith. I want to experience Your miracle-working power just like the Apostle Paul! I trust You to move through me like never before, in Jesus’ name.

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

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