Day 294: Living for Eternity

The Daily Word: Thursday, October 21st, 2021
Jeremiah 37:1-38:28
1 Timothy 6:1-21
Psalm 89:38-52
Proverbs 25:28
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. – 1 Tim. 6:7

You brought nothing into this world! That is how God wanted it. He wanted to show you that He is all-sufficient. He is all you need! And you will leave this world the same way: empty-handed, yet – if you know Jesus – with a full heart.

Now think about your priorities for a moment. Are you putting the right things first? Are you working hard towards building up material wealth? Do your goals have to do with the physical realm: a title, a promotion, or a good career that will make other people envy you? Because if you prioritize those things first, you are living for the things you cannot carry with you out of this life. But if you live for Jesus…

Your relationship with Jesus is the only thing that matters for eternity. Nothing else matters in the end! When you leave this world, you will meet God face to face. One of two things will happen: either your name will be written in the Book of Life (Rev. 20:12) and you will join Jesus in Heaven, or your name will not be found and you will be “cast into the lake of fire” (Rev. 20:15). Isn’t it time you started living for eternity?

Living for tomorrow is better than living for today; but living for eternity is the only goal worth pursuing.

Prayer:

Father, help me to live for eternity! I have goals for my life; but I am reminded today that Jesus is the only One who matters. Nothing else can come with me when I leave this world except for my relationship with Jesus! So from this day forward, I will give Him all my time, all my attention, and all my devotion in Jesus’ name.

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

Day 293: Should I Help?

The Daily Word: Wednesday, October 20th, 2021
Jeremiah 35:1-36:32
1 Timothy 5:1-25
Psalm 89:14-37
Proverbs 25:25-27
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
Honor widows who are really widows. – 1 Tim. 5:3

I live in New York City. Every day I am approached on the street by multiple people asking for money. We know Scripture says, “He who has pity on the poor lends to the Lord, and He will pay back what he has given” (Prov. 19:17). When you give financial assistance to someone who needs it, you’re really giving straight to God. When you “give” to the poor you are really “lending” to God, and God Himself will pay back what you have given! It is always better to lean in the direction of giving, and trust that God will repay what you have paid out.

But you must also trust God to give you discernment as to who is really poor and who is not! Look at our verse above. Scripture tells us to give to widows! But only those who are “really widows.” In his letter to Timothy, Paul was cautioning against spending God’s money (did you know your money is really His?) on people who didn’t really need it. Timothy was cautioned to avoid giving to “widows” who “lived in pleasure” (v 6). There were women who claimed to need financial assistance who spent it on the wrong things! Timothy was cautioned to avoid giving to widows “under sixty years old” (v 9), along with those who did not have a track record of “good works” (v 10). The worst-case outcome was that Timothy would give funds to people who didn’t really need them, and they would “learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house…saying things which they ought not” (v 13). Timothy would be trying to help, but he would really leave them worse off and not better.

So next time you see someone who needs financial assistance, be willing to help! But ask God if He wants you to help first. Sometimes we think we’re helping when we’re actually preventing people from learning how to trust God and be industrious. Treat every encounter as a unique scenario, and watch how the Holy Spirit moves when you ask Him what to do!

Prayer:

Father, should I help? Every time I encounter someone who needs help, I pray You would speak to me about what I should do. If You tell me to give, I will give! If you tell me to refuse, I will refuse. I just want to do what You ask, Holy Spirit, in Jesus’ name.

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

Day 292: He Made It

The Daily Word: Tuesday, October 19th, 2021
Jeremiah 33:1-34:22
1 Timothy 4:1-16
Psalm 89:1-13
Proverbs 25:23-24
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
“Thus says the Lord who made it, the Lord who formed it to establish it (the Lord is His name)…” – Jer. 33:2

God forms His word to establish it. To “form” is the Hebrew word yatsar,[1] which means to create or fashion something planned: to build what has been pre-ordained. God has already declared His word! And once He declares it, He will form it – He will create the fulfillment of His word to prove that His word is faithful and true.

God’s word is never void (Isa. 55:11). If He has spoken it, it will happen! So, what has God said about your life? Has He been speaking to you about intimacy and more time in prayer? He will form it to establish it. Has He promised you peace in your home? Provision at your job? He will form it to establish it! Whatever He has spoken over you, He will form His word to prove He is faithful. We worship a God who not only speaks, but also confirms His word with action.

By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible. – Heb. 11:3

Prayer:

Father, thank You for Your faithfulness! Thank You that You are not willing to let Your word go unestablished. You will form it from nothing to prove that You are God! And thank You that if You have spoken it, I never have to fear that it won’t happen, in Jesus’ name.

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

[1] Strong’s H3335

Day 291: Memorizing Scripture

The Daily Word: Monday, October 18th, 2021
Jeremiah 31:27-32:44
1 Timothy 3:1-16
Psalm 88:1-18
Proverbs 25:20-22
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. – Jer. 31:33

God’s word works. His word is “living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword” (Heb. 4:12). His word will not “return to [Him] void, but it shall accomplish what [He pleases]” (Isa. 55:11). When God’s word is spoken, creation responds (see Genesis 1). But if you want to speak His word, you have to know His word.

I have good news for you today! God promised that He would put His law (His word!) in your mind and write it on your heart. You are filled with the “Holy Spirit of promise” (Eph. 1:13). And the Holy Spirit knows God’s word better than any human being ever has. God Himself will write His word on your heart and in your mind; and all you have to do is give Him the tablet of your heart and invite Him to start inscribing.

So, are you struggling to memorize Scripture? Trust God! Part of our New Covenant promise with God through Jesus Christ is a special grace to memorize Scripture. God built you to internalize His word, the same way He built you to respond to His word. So as you ask Him for help, He will honor His word.

Play time is over. The future will be written by Christians who actually know and live out God’s word! It is not enough to paraphrase verses; you must be able to recite God’s word whenever you encounter resistance. God wants to get His word in you! It’s time to open the door to your heart and let His word in.

Prayer:

Father, I want to be an expert in Scripture! I want to memorize every verse of Your word. I will make it my life’s mission to have Your word written on my heart, and I thank You for Your special grace to get it done, in Jesus’ name!

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

Day 290: His People / Your God

The Daily Word: Sunday, October 17th, 2021
Jeremiah 30:1-31:26
1 Timothy 2:1-15
Psalm 87:1-7
Proverbs 25:18-19
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
“You shall be My people, and I will be your God.” – Jer. 30:22

God’s people had been disobedient. They had forgotten about Him! They didn’t worship Him any more. But here was God’s promise to them, no matter how badly things deteriorated:

“You shall be My people, and I will be your God.”

This is the pinnacle of God’s promise to you: You shall be His people, and He will be your God.

God’s decision to love you is immutable. You cannot change it. God is the same yesterday, today and forevermore (Heb. 13:8)!  You can reject His love; but that does not mean He will ever stop loving you. No matter who you are, where you’re from, where you’ve been, or what you’ve done, God’s promise still stands. He loves you more than you can ever imagine, and that will never change!

Until you understand just how much God loves you, your life will always feel incomplete. But when you finally understand His immeasurable, irrefutable love, everything you do will have significance and purpose.

“Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.” – Deut. 31:6

Prayer:

Father, thank You for always loving me. You never stopped loving me! Even in the depths of my sin, You loved me still. I receive Your love today. I want to be Your child! And I receive You as my God, in Jesus’ name.

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

Day 289: You Are Always Welcome

The Daily Word: Saturday, October 16th, 2021
Jeremiah 28:1-29:32
1 Timothy 1:1-20
Psalm 86:1-17
Proverbs 25:17
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
Seldom set foot in your neighbor’s house, lest he become weary of you and hate you. – Prov. 25:17

People have limited patience. That is why the writer of Proverbs cautions us not to become a burden instead of a blessing. Scripture uses a common example to illustrate this point. If you go into your neighbor’s house, don’t overstay your welcome! Go seldom, not often; because placing too much of a demand on other people will quickly become abrasive.

This is great advice for interacting with other people, but it does not apply to the way you relate to God! Do you know why? Because God is not your neighbor; He is your Father! And that means there is no such thing as overstaying your welcome in His presence. There is no such thing as asking Him for too much. There is no such thing as God ever becoming weary of you and hating you! He loves you more than you could ever imagine! And you are allowed in His presence as much as you want, for the rest of your life.

Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. – Heb. 4:16

Prayer:

Father, thank You that You never get sick of me! Thank You that You never grow weary: not of my presence, and never of my requests. I am always welcome in Your presence, because not only are You my King, You are my Father!

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

Day 288: Double Down

The Daily Word: Friday, October 15th, 2021
Jeremiah 26:1-27:22
2 Thessalonians 3:1-18
Psalm 85:1-13
Proverbs 25:16
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
Now therefore, amend your ways and your doings, and obey the voice of the Lord your God; then the Lord will relent concerning the doom that He has pronounced against you. As for me, here I am, in your hand; do with me as seems good and proper to you. – Jer. 26:13-14

Jeremiah was going to get himself killed! God had given him a tough word to share with the people of Judah.  God’s people needed to repent, or else they would be destroyed! And Jeremiah was the one God chose to deliver the message. “Speak to the cities of Judah…all the words that I command you to speak to them. Do not diminish a word,” God said (v 2). But the people didn’t like the message. They “seized” Jeremiah and told him, “You will surely die!” (v 8).

But when Jeremiah was in the most dangerous situation he had ever faced, on the brink of death, did he back down? Far from it. In fact, he pressed in all the more. As the people gathered to decide whether or not to kill him, he doubled down. He took advantage of his captive audience and told them to “obey the voice of the Lord” (v 13, above) again. Jeremiah didn’t care if he was killed! He only cared if God’s people heard God’s word.

When God gives you a tough word to preach, will you back down? Or will you press in all the more? We should never back down from the word God asks us to share, even if it means our death. At the end of your life, only one thing will matter: did you do what God asked you to do, and say what He told you to say?

Prayer:

Lord, help me to be like Jeremiah! I want to be completely obedient, in Jesus’ name. I will go where You tell me to go, and preach what You tell me to preach! Help me to never back down, and always to preach Your word with boldness and with faith.

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

Day 287: The Problem with the Prophets

The Daily Word: Thursday, October 14th, 2021
Jeremiah 23:21-25:38
2 Thessalonians 2:1-17
Psalm 84:1-12
Proverbs 25:15
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
“I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran. I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied. But if they had stood in My counsel, and had caused My people to hear My words, then they would have turned them from their evil way and from the evil of their doings.” – Jer. 23:21-22

The problem wasn’t that God’s prophets weren’t anointed and chosen to be prophets. The call on their lives was never in doubt. The problem was that they didn’t “stand in [God’s] counsel.” They weren’t willing to deliver the word God had given them to deliver! And as a result, there was a huge missed opportunity. People whom God had already made plans and provision to save were trapped in their sin, and would suffer for eternity as a result.

You are anointed. God wants to use you! But will you stand firm in His counsel and cause His people to hear His words? If you do, they will turn “from their evil way and from the evil of their doings” (v 22). But if you don’t have the courage to say what God has given you to say, people who should be saved will miss their chance!

God will prepare their hearts. God will create opportunities! But will you deliver the message?

Prayer:

Lord, make me BOLD to declare Your word! There are people in my life who need to hear Your Word. Give me the boldness and the confidence to boldly declare everything You have given me to speak, in Jesus’ name!

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

Day 286: Do You Want to Host Jesus?

The Daily Word: Wednesday, October 13th, 2021
Jeremiah 22:1-23:20
2 Thessalonians 1:1-12
Psalm 83:1-18
Proverbs 25:11-14
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
Thus says the Lord: “Execute judgment and righteousness, and deliver the plundered out of the hand of the oppressor. Do no wrong and do no violence to the stranger, the fatherless, or the widow, nor shed innocent blood in this place. For if you indeed do this thing, then shall enter the gates of this house, riding on horses and in chariots, accompanied by servants and people, kings who sit on the throne of David.” – Jer. 22:3-4

Do you want to host the presence of the King? Do simple things well. Execute judgment and righteousness. Deliver the plundered from the oppressor! Do no wrong and do no violence to people who need help and are forsaken by the world: the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow. Do not shed innocent blood. If you do all these things, “kings who sit on the throne of David” will enter your house!

Jesus is the King who sits on the throne of David! And the way you invite Him into your life – the way you experience His presence – is by honoring people and restoring their dignity. If you treat other people unfairly, your house will “become a desolation” (v 5); but if you treat them according to God’s command, He will visit you!

Do you want an encounter with Jesus? You don’t have to beg Him to come. Simply treat other people the way He would treat them, and watch His presence come flooding into your life.

Prayer:

Jesus, help me to do simple things well. As I respect other people, treat them well, and love them like You would love them, Jesus will enter the gates of my house! He will visit me, and I will encounter Him. I can’t wait to experience more of Your presence, Lord, in Jesus’ name!

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

Day 285: State of Readiness

The Daily Word: Tuesday, October 12th, 2021
Jeremiah 19:1-21:14
1 Thessalonians 5:4-28
Psalm 82:1-8
Proverbs 25:9-10
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. – 1 Thess. 5:4

Jesus is coming back. “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air” (1 Thess. 4:16-17). Jesus died in your place, and He was raised from the dead by God’s Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:11)! He ascended to Heaven to be seated at the right hand of the Father in heavenly places (Eph. 2:6, Acts 2:33). But He is coming back for you soon.

So when is He coming? Nobody knows: not even Jesus! Jesus told His disciples, “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only” (Matt. 24:36). The precise moment He chooses does not matter to you. The only thing that matters is this: when He comes, will you be ready?

This is why it’s important to get right with God before it’s too late. If you aren’t “hidden with Christ in God” (Col. 3:3), when He arrives, it will be too late for you! For all eternity! That is why Scripture encourages us to walk in the light: to “watch and be sober” (1 Thess. 5:6). We should live our lives in a perpetual state of readiness so that whenever Jesus arrives, we will be ready.

My wife is 40 weeks pregnant with our 4th child right now. She literally might give birth at any moment. I don’t know when the baby is coming down to the exact day or hour! I don’t need to. But I do know this: we are ready. Our home is ready. Our bags are packed and ready to go to the hospital. They know we are coming! And we know what to expect because we have done this before.

Jesus is coming. Are you ready?

And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. – Jn. 14:3

Prayer:

Father, thank You for making me ready to meet Jesus face to face! I am covered by His blood. I am saved because of His Cross! And although I don’t know the day or hour when He is coming back, I do know this: I am ready!

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

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