Day 253: He Hits the Spot

The Daily Word: Friday, September 10th, 2021
Isaiah 6:1-7:25
2 Corinthians 11:16-33
Psalm 54:1-7
Proverbs 23:1-3
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
“Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a live coal which he had taken with the tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth with it, and said: ‘Behold, this has touched your lips; your iniquity is taken away, and your sin purged.’” – Isa. 6:6-7

Isaiah had a problem. He was unclean! He was inadequate to enter in to the presence of God. Isaiah’s confession read like this:

“Woe is me, for I am undone!
Because I am a man of unclean lips,
And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips;
For my eyes have seen the King,
The Lord of hosts.” – v 6

Isaiah had unclean lips! So God touched his mouth. Once the fire of God touched Isaiah’s lips, his iniquity was taken away and his sin was purged: completely removed!

But this passage is not just about lips. Wherever you are unclean, God will cleanse you! Whatever area in your life is marked by sin, whether hidden or exposed, God will come and remove your iniquity and purge your sin! Your part is to admit you need help! And His part is to do all the work.

Whatever you’re struggling with: give it up to God! He will come and cleanse in a moment, what you could never clean up in years.

Prayer:

Father, thank You for cleansing me. Thank You for making me whole! I give my life to You, fully and completely. Cleanse me where I need cleansing! Heal me where I need healing. Mark my life with the fire of God that cannot be contained, in Jesus’ name!

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

Day 252: Don’t Be Foolish!

The Daily Word: Thursday, September 9th, 2021
Isaiah 3:1-5:30
2 Corinthians 11:1-15
Psalm 53:1-6
Proverbs 22:28-29
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, and have done abominable iniquity; there is none who does good. – Ps. 53:1

If you say “There is no God,” you are a fool. Don’t get mad at me! I didn’t say it; Scripture did. Whoever refuses to admit that God is real is “corrupt” and has done “abominable iniquity.” According to Scripture, it is impossible to do good if you don’t believe in God, because everything you do will be focus on the temporal instead of the eternal, and on self-fulfillment instead of Kingdom-fulfillment.

You know there is a God. Look around you! The odds of everything on this earth coming into existence without the hand of God are infinitesimally small. Even the brilliant (and atheist) late physicist Stephen Hawking remarked, “It would be very difficult to explain why the universe should have begun in just this way except as the act of a God who intended to create beings like us.”[1] “In fact,” he says, “If one considers the possible constants and laws that could have emerged, the odds against a universe that has produced life like ours are immense.”[2]

There has to be a God. You know it and I know it! And now that you know it, you are “without excuse” (Rom. 1:20). When you meet Him, He will recall that you knew He existed. And if you knew He existed, did you live your life for Him?

God is real! Now go out and live like it.

Prayer:

Lord, thank You for opening my eyes to the reality that You are real and You are good! I want to live my life for You, now and forever. I refuse to be consumed with self! And I insist on being consumed by You: Your presence and Your purpose, in Jesus’ name.

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

[1] A Brief History of Time, Stephen Hawking

[2] http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/Nave-html/Faithpathh/hawking.html

Day 251: If/Then

The Daily Word: Wednesday, September 8th, 2021
Isaiah 1:1-2:22
2 Corinthians 10:1-18
Psalm 52:1-9
Proverbs 22:26-27
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
“’If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land; but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be devoured by the sword’; For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” – Isa. 1:19-20

Your salvation depends on Jesus. You are saved “by grace…through faith, … not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Eph. 2:8-9). But how much of God’s goodness you experience in this life – to a certain extent – depends on your decision to either listen to God or ignore Him!

Today’s Scripture passage is known as an if/then statement. “If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land” (v 19). If you listen to God, you will experience His blessing! But there is a but. “But if you refuse and rebel, you shall be devoured by the sword” (v 20). If you listen, you will be blessed! But if you don’t listen and do whatever you want to do, calamity will strike.

This is where we sometimes miss it as the church. We assume that whatever happens to us is God’s will! But read our verses again. It would have been absolutely immature and completely incorrect for Israel to ignore God’s instructions, and then wonder why they were “devoured by the sword.” God had already warned them! And whether or not they heeded His warning and listened to His voice was completely up to them.

And so it is with you. You have two paths before you. If you follow God’s word, it will lead to life! But if you ignore what He says, you will be overcome by certain death. Listen to God. Do what He says. Don’t just be a hearer of the word, be a doer also (Jas. 1:22). And as you walk out His perfect will for your life, you will find yourself more blessed than you’ve ever been before.

Prayer:

Father, I want to do Your will. I want to heed Your word! Help me never to be so focused on my will that I lose sight of what You want for me. I am here to do Your work and Your will, always and forever, in Jesus’ name!

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

Day 250: It’s How You Sow

The Daily Word: Tuesday, September 7th, 2021
Song of Solomon 5:1-8:14
2 Corinthians 9:1-15
Psalm 51:1-19
Proverbs 22:24-25
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. – 2 Cor. 9:6

2 Corinthians 9 is a master class in generosity. Here’s the deal: it’s up to you how much of God’s abundance you experience. Listen to what the Holy Spirit declares through the Apostle Paul:

But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.  – 2 Cor. 9:6

God is abundant! He does “exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think” (Eph. 3:20)! But not every Christian experiences God’s abundance. Some believers know about God’s abundance in potential form, but have yet to experience it in practice.

Jesus performed miracles. Why? He had perfect faith. And Scripture says that we will do “greater works” than Jesus did Himself (Jn. 14:12). Yet not everyone experiences the fullness of God’s miracle-working power because we don’t always exercise faith!

In the same way, Scripture promises abundance. But not every Christian will walk it out, because not everyone exercises generosity. Put God to the test! You will reap in the same way that you sow. So scatter that seed! And expect God to pour bountifully into every single area of your life, in Jesus’ name!

Prayer:

Father, help me to sow abundantly! I pray that I would be supernaturally generous. Fill me with faith to know that I can never out-give You! And thank You for the seed to put in the ground, in Jesus’ name.

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

Day 249: The Ultimate Defense

The Daily Word: Monday, September 6th, 2021
Song of Solomon 1:1-4:16
2 Corinthians 8:16-24
Psalm 50:1-23
Proverbs 22:22-23
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
Do not rob the poor because he is poor, nor oppress the afflicted at the gate; for the Lord will plead their cause, and plunder the soul of those who plunder them. – Prov. 22:22-23

This is a recurring theme throughout Scripture: God will protect you. He will defend His people! He will retaliate against anyone who tries to attack the defenseless. Apart from the blood of Jesus, you were defenseless! But now that you are covered by His blood, and have His name, you have nothing to fear. God will defend you!

The Lord destroys those who attack His anointed:

Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are. – 1 Cor. 3:16-17

He forces the enemy to restore what he has stolen!

And the Lord restored Job’s losses when he prayed for his friends. Indeed the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before. – Job. 42:10

You are God’s child! And if anyone has it out for you, God will have it out for them:

“Vengeance is Mine, and recompense; their foot shall slip in due time; for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things to come hasten upon them.” – Deut. 32:35

You don’t have to fight anymore, because the battle isn’t even yours to fight! It belongs to Him:

“…for the battle is the Lord’s, and He will give you into our hands.” – 1 Sam. 17:47

God is your Defender! And that means you no longer have to fight to defend yourself.

Prayer:

Father, thank You for always being there for me. Thank You for defending me! I refuse the right to have to defend myself; and instead I rely on You more than ever before, in Jesus’ name!

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

Day 248: Sound Carries

The Daily Word: Sunday, September 5th, 2021
Ecclesiastes 10:1-12:14
2 Corinthians 8:1-15
Psalm 49:1-20
Proverbs 22:20-21
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
Do not curse the king, even in your thought; Do not curse the rich, even in your bedroom; For a bird of the air may carry your voice, and a bird in flight may tell the matter. – Eccl. 10:20

Your words are powerful. “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit” (Prov. 18:21). But what’s the harm in saying something about someone who’s not around? Today’s verse answer that question: “For a bird of the air may carry your voice, and a bird in flight may tell the matter.”

When you speak something out loud, it reverberates in the spirit realm. When you speak negativity out loud, the enemy hears you. Remember that Satan is the “prince of the power of the air” (Eph. 2:2). So when you curse someone, even if they can’t hear you, the enemy still can. And from that moment forward he has a foothold in your life (you have given him “place;” Eph. 4:27) because you spoke out of wickedness instead of honor. You will reap what you sow! So make sure you are sowing honor and blessing with the words you speak.

Watching your mouth is not just about whether or not other people hear you. It is also about making sure you do not speak wickedness into the air. If you do, the spirit realm will take over; and you will not be happy with the results.

And one of his servants said, “None, my lord, O king; but Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the words that you speak in your bedroom.” – 2 Kings 6:12

Prayer:

Father, help me to watch my mouth and bite my tongue! Hold my tongue from speaking anything but honor and wisdom over my leaders and other influential people in my life. Whether they can hear me or not, I will speak life and love, in Jesus’ name!

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

Day 247: Get Rebuked!

The Daily Word: Saturday, September 4th, 2021
Ecclesiastes 7:1-9:18
2 Corinthians 7:8-16
Psalm 48:1-14
Proverbs 22:17-19
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise than for a man to hear the song of fools. – Eccl. 7:5

Who likes getting rebuked? No one. It doesn’t feel good! It’s embarrassing. It’s annoying! But Scripture reminds us that it is good “to hear the rebuke of the wise.” It’s better to have wise people in your life who are willing to tell you when you’re wrong, than to surround yourself with “yes men” who sing your praises even when they shouldn’t!

It is good for you to get rebuked! Do you have people in your life who are giving you constructive criticism? Do you take it constructively (and not bitterly!) when they do? Do you hear them out, and apply what they say? If you don’t, get some. Because your level of success will only match your ability to tolerate rebuke!

Prayer:

Father, I pray that You would put men and women in my life who aren’t afraid to issue constructive criticism! Surround me with God-fearing people who make me better. Help me to listen seriously to what they say, and apply it to my life, in Jesus’ name!

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

Day 246: Holy Friendships

The Daily Word: Friday, September 3rd, 2021
Ecclesiastes 4:1-6:12
2 Corinthians 6:14-7:7
Psalm 47:1-9
Proverbs 22:16
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? – 2 Cor. 6:14

We hear this verse employed all the time in church in relation to dating. Don’t be unequally yoked! Date someone who is a Christian. If you join yourself to a man or woman who doesn’t run after Jesus the way you do, you’ll simply run around in circles!

This is true? But what about friendships? The Apostle Paul is not talking specifically about dating in 2 Corinthians 6. The context is an exhortation to be holy in every area: not just your romantic relationships. So while the application of this verse to dating is absolutely correct, it is not complete. We must apply it to every area of our lives.

Are your friendships holy? An “unbeliever” is one who is “unbelieving [or] incredulous [and] without trust in God.”[1] Do the people you spend time with trust in God? Or do they mock and ridicule you for your faith? Sooner or later those relationships will cause you to question your own relationship with Jesus!

If you’re spending time with the wrong people – whether romantic or otherwise – it’s time to reconsider. Build relationship with people who are going to pull you closer to the Cross, instead of pushing you away! Cultivate holy friendships, and watch how the presence and the power of God flourish in your life.

Therefore “Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you.” – 2 Cor. 6:17

Prayer:

Father, I pray You would fill my life with people who love You with all their heart! Help me never to settle for anything less than holy, healthy friendships. Help me to prune what needs pruning, and water what needs watering, in Jesus’ name!

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

[1] Strong’s G571; apistos

Day 245: There Is Nothing New

The Daily Word: Thursday, September 2nd, 2021
Ecclesiastes 1:1-3:22
2 Corinthians 6:1-13
Psalm 46:1-11
Proverbs 22:15
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
That which has been is what will be, that which is done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun. – Eccl. 1:9

Your trial is unique. You are unlike anyone who has ever existed before! But at the same time, “there is nothing new under the sun.” You may not have seen it before; but God has! And if there is “nothing new,” then what worked then will work now.

God’s Word is all you need. Read His Word, and do what He says! Remember the instruction God gave to Joshua:

This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:8-9

If there is nothing new under the sun, the same approach that worked for Joshua will work for you! Your situation is unique; but the solution is the same as it has always been, and the same as it will always ever be!

Read God’s Word, and do what He says. God will make your way prosperous, and you will have good success.

Prayer:

Father, thank You for simple faith. I have Your Word! And in Your Word is everything I could ever need. Help me to trust You like never before, in Jesus’ name!

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

Day 244: Don’t You Get It?

The Daily Word: Wednesday, September 1st, 2021
Job 40:1-42:17
2 Corinthians 5:11-21
Psalm 45:1-17
Proverbs 22:14
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are well known to God, and I also trust are well known in your consciences. – 2 Cor. 5:11

Don’t you get it? Has it hit you yet? At the end of your life, you will stand face to face with God. God will “render to each one according to his work” (Ps. 62:12, Prov. 24:12). That should make you afraid. It should absolutely terrify you!

When you stand before God for the final judgment, you will not be compared to an axe murderer or Adolf Hitler. You will be compared to Jesus. Heaven is perfect and God is just; and if you are not perfect – if you have ever sinned even once – you are not getting in! You are either perfect, or you are not; no in-between, and no exceptions. There will be no sneaking by God.

Revelation 20 depicts the final judgment this way:

Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. …Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.” – vv 11-12, 14-15

Let verse 15 sink in. Read it again and again. If you are not “hidden with Christ” (Col. 3:3), your sin will be exposed. You will be “cast into the lake of fire.” You will suffer for all eternity. It will never end. And like it or not, it’s fair. Who are you to deny the God who created you and brought you to life? Who are you to deny Him your worship when the only reason you exist is because He put breath in your lungs?

This is why you need Jesus. You’re not perfect…so don’t even try pretending! But Jesus is perfect. He lived a perfect, sinless life, and died on the Cross in your place, so that when you believe in Him, you receive the reward that only He deserves. He took on your death so you could receive His life!

Say yes to Jesus today. You can have confidence that when you die, your name will be written in the Book of Life!  Confess to God that you are imperfect. And ask for Him to make you whole.

Prayer:

Father, I need Jesus! I am absolutely imperfect. But when I am hidden in Jesus, I have nothing to hide. I can stand before You, unashamed and loved by You! I receive Jesus as Lord over my life today. I need You, and I thank You for dying to set me free.

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

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