Day 264: Restore!

The Daily Word: Monday, September 21st, 2020
Isaiah 37:1-38:22
Galatians 6:1-18
Psalm 65:1-13
Proverbs 23:24
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. – Gal. 6:1

When someone makes a mistake, what do you do? Do you point a finger and use it as an opportunity to talk down to them? Or do you extend a hand and use it as an opportunity to lift them up?

God is a God of restoration: 

Return to the stronghold,
You prisoners of hope.
Even today I declare
That I will restore double to you. – Zech. 9:12

And if He restores, who are we to cast down? If He has been patient with us, who are we to be impatient with others?

You have people in your life who have made mistakes. They’ve offended you. They messed up and you paid the price! But today is a day of restoration. Pray for them. Restore them “in a spirit of gentleness.” Remind them who God created them to be; because just as you are a child of God, so too are they.

Prayer:

Father, I want to be a restorer! Help me to lift up instead of casting down. Help me to forgive instead of holding a grudge! Help me to be a beacon of hope and light in this dark world, in Jesus’ name.

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

Day 263: Inheriting the Kingdom

The Daily Word: Sunday, September 20th, 2020
Isaiah 33:10-36:22
Galatians 5:13-26
Psalm 64:1-10
Proverbs 23:23
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
…envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. – Gal. 5:21

As you read through verses 19 through 21, what is your honest reaction? Scripture lists a litany of categories of behavior that will keep you out of the kingdom of God. Some are extreme! Murders. Adultery. Sorcery. But others are less obvious. Jealousies. Selfish ambitions. Envy.

Can a single one among us say that we’ve never been jealous? That we’ve never envied? That we’ve never acted in our own best interest at the expense of someone else? So what in the world are we supposed to do if every single one of us is guilty of at least one red flag that will keep us out of God’s kingdom?

Receive Jesus. This is why you need Him. God’s kingdom requires perfection! But you are far from perfect. “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). But Jesus is perfect. He walked the earth and never sinned! Not even once. But instead of inheriting the kingdom reward He deserved for a perfect life, He chose the punishment you and I deserve for our sin. In one infinite moment on that cross, He bore an eternity of suffering and pain for you. For me. For us.

Only Jesus can make you clean. Only Jesus can make you whole! Only Jesus can separate you from your sin, “As far as the east is from the west” (Ps. 103:12). Receive Him this morning, and inherit the kingdom of God.

Prayer:

Father, thank You that when I trust in Jesus, I am free from sin. I am free from the punishment I deserve for my mistakes! Instead I receive the reward that I could never earn, yet Jesus died for me to have. Thank You for Your infinite love, in Jesus’ name!

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

Day 262: Slow It Down

The Daily Word: Saturday, September 19th, 2020
Isaiah 30:12-33:9
Galatians 5:1-12
Psalm 63:1-11
Proverbs 23:22
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
For thus says the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: “In returning and rest you shall be saved; In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.” But you would not… – Isa. 30:15

Salvation comes when we return and rest: when we put our eyes back on Jesus, stop trying to do it ourselves, and start asking Him for help! Strength comes when we adopt a posture of quiet confidence. We don’t have to be loud! We just have to trust God. And as we do, His strength will fill us from top to bottom, inside and outside.

Are you in a tight spot? Do you need someone to save you? Do you need strength like never before? The answer is not to speed up and try to work your way out of that place! The remedy is to slow down: to return and rest in quiet confidence that God will do everything He promised to do.

Make a determination today to spend some time with Jesus. Give Him five minutes, five hours or five seconds – whatever you have to spare! And He will meet you in that place of intimate faith.

Prayer:

Father, I am returning to You. I’m tired! Help me to rest. I’m sick of trying to help myself and make things happen; and I ask that You would help me, and do what You want to do in my life, in Jesus’ name!

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

Day 261: Fully Satisfied

The Daily Word: Friday, September 18th, 2020
Isaiah 28:14-30:11
Galatians 3:23-4:31
Psalm 62:1-12
Proverbs 23:19-21
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
It shall even be as when a hungry man dreams, and look–he eats; But he awakes, and his soul is still empty; Or as when a thirsty man dreams, and look–he drinks; But he awakes, and indeed he is faint, and his soul still craves: So the multitude of all the nations shall be, who fight against Mount Zion.” – Isa. 29:8

This is a picture of what it looks like to be separated from God. You dream of having your hunger satisfied; but when you wake up, you’re still hungry. You dream of having your thirst quenched! But when you wake up, you’re still thirsty. God is the only One who can satisfy your hunger and quench your thirst! He is the only one who can give your soul what you crave most: identity and purpose.

Don’t waste one more day seeking after things that never really satisfy. God created you to love Him! Without Him, something will always be missing. But in Him, you will be fully satisfied.

Prayer:

Father, I refuse to live without You anymore! I am giving my life to You. Satisfy my hunger in Jesus’ name! Quench my thirst in Jesus’ name! Thank You for fulfilling every single one of my deepest needs, in Jesus’ name.

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

Day 260: God Is Your Strength

The Daily Word: Thursday, September 17th, 2020
Isaiah 25:1-28:13
Galatians 3:10-22
Psalm 61:1-8
Proverbs 23:17-18
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
For You have been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shade from the heat; for the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall. – Isa. 25:4

God doesn’t just give strength; He is strength. He is “a strength” to the poor. He is “a strength” to the needy! He is “a refuge” from the storm. He is “a shade” from whatever heat the enemy tries to apply on your life. God doesn’t just tell us where to run when we need help! He offers His open arms as the only place in which we can find true solace and rest.

“Strength” is the Hebrew ma’owz (Strong’s H4581), which means “a place or means of safety and protection.” Notice that God doesn’t always remove you from your sticky situation; but He will protect you from destruction as you pass through it. Whatever you are going through: this is not the end! Giving your life to Jesus and entering into covenant with God (unfortunately) doesn’t mean that all your problems will disappear; but it does mean that whenever you need help, you can go to Him. He will be your strength. He will be your refuge! He will be your shade. He will protect you so that, as you pass through the “valley of the shadow of death” (Ps. 23:4), you will pass through in victory!

Prayer:

Father, thank You for being my strength. Thank You for being my refuge! Thank You for being my shade. I am so grateful that whenever I need help and protection, I can run to You, in Jesus’ name.

Archives
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See commentary from this day in 2018.
See commentary from this day in 2019.

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

Day 259: That I Might Live

The Daily Word: Wednesday, September 16th, 2020
Isaiah 22:1-24:23
Galatians 2:17-3:9
Psalm 60:1-12
Proverbs 23:15-16
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
For I through the law died to the law that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. – Gal. 2:19-20

When you gave your life to Jesus, you died. You were “united together in the likeness of His death” so that you will be united “in the likeness of His resurrection” (Rom. 6:5)! You died to self so that you can live for God. You died to self-effort and the pressure of performance so that you can fully yield to God and He can work through you!

And since you’re dead, it is no longer you who live, but Christ who lives in you. What a relief! You no longer live by effort, but now you live by faith. God asks you to “heal the sick” (Matt. 10:8); but Jesus offers to do it through you. God asks you to “preach the gospel” (Mk. 16:15); but the Holy Spirit promises to do it through you! God put you on this planet to change the world for His glory! But whenever He asks you to do anything, He provides the means and the power to get it done.

You are dead. And Christ is alive in you! So the pressure’s off. You are dead to fear. You are dead to patterns of self-sabotage and doubt! You are dead to the need to try and earn God’s love and affection. And you are alive to Christ’s resurrection power living in you.

Prayer:

Father, the old me is dead and gone. Thank You for choosing to come and die in my place on the Cross so that I could be fully alive to live in You! I renounce my need to try and work for Your love and affection, and I receive Your resurrection power living in me.

Archives
See commentary from this day in 2014.
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See commentary from this day in 2016.
See commentary from this day in 2017.
See commentary from this day in 2018.
See commentary from this day in 2019.

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

Day 258: By Revelation

The Daily Word: Tuesday, September 15th, 2020
Isaiah 19:1-21:17
Galatians 2:1-16
Psalm 59:1-17
Proverbs 23:13-14
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
And I went up by revelation… – Gal. 2:1

Paul was one of the most successful missionaries the world has ever seen! Everywhere he went, people received Jesus, got delivered and were healed. Do you want to know Paul’s secret? He traveled by revelation! Paul didn’t travel to places out of convenience. He didn’t go where he thought he might have fun! He didn’t visit where it would be wise or cost-effective for him to travel. He went exactly where God told him to go.

Maybe you have some big decisions to make in your life. You can run endless lists of trade-offs and pro’s and con’s, but all that matters is this: what is God telling you to do? If you’re considering a move, where is God telling you to go? If you’re evaluating a relationship: is this the person with whom God wants you to be? You don’t have to figure it out on your own! God will reveal it to you, and then you get to say yes and go.

Keep it simple. What is God saying? He will speak to you and you will know what to do by revelation, just as Paul did! And as God reveals what’s next, it will be your joy to walk out His plans and purposes for your life.

Prayer:

Father, thank You for speaking to me by revelation! Tell me where to go. Tell me what to do! Tell me to whom I am supposed to speak. I trust that You speak to me by revelation, and I thank You for the privilege of hearing from You in Jesus’ name!

Archives
See commentary from this day in 2014.
See commentary from this day in 2015.
See commentary from this day in 2016.
See commentary from this day in 2017.
See commentary from this day in 2018.
See commentary from this day in 2019.

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

Day 257: Apply Your Heart

The Daily Word: Monday, September 14th, 2020
Isaiah 15:1-18:7
Galatians 1:1-24
Psalm 58:1-11
Proverbs 23:12
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
Apply your heart to instruction, and your ears to words of knowledge. – Prov. 23:12

God doesn’t just want your attention! He wants your heart. It is one thing to listen with your ears. It is another thing altogether to “apply your heart” to the instruction you receive. To “apply” means “to bring in” (Strong’s H935; Hebrew bow). When you go into prayer, do you bring your heart? When God speaks to you, do you “apply your heart” to what He’s saying? When you read your Bible, do you simply read to comprehend? Or do you apply your heart to the Word of God and let Him transform you from the inside out?

The Bible is the best instruction you have. God’s Word will teach you what you need to know in every season of your life! God’s voice can accomplish in moments what you could never accomplish in years. But you can’t just know it with your head; you have to receive it in your heart.

Prayer:

Lord, I pray that You would fill me with a passion for Your word. I’ve dedicated time to You; but now I want to apply my heart! All that I have is Yours: every thought, every emotion and every moment. Take me and mold me into Your likeness, in Jesus’ name.

Archives
See commentary from this day in 2014.
See commentary from this day in 2015.
See commentary from this day in 2016.
See commentary from this day in 2017.
See commentary from this day in 2018.
See commentary from this day in 2019.

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

Day 256: Not Angry Anymore

The Daily Word: Sunday, September 13th, 2020
Isaiah 12:1-14:32
2 Corinthians 13:1-14
Psalm 57:1-11
Proverbs 23:9-11
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
And in that day you will say: “O Lord, I will praise You; though You were angry with me, Your anger is turned away, and You comfort me. Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; ‘For Yah, the Lord, is my strength and song; He also has become my salvation.’ ” Therefore with joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. – Isa. 12:1-3

It’s true. God was angry with you. He created you for holiness. But you chose sin instead. He created you with purpose! But you followed after your own selfish ambition instead.

But God is not angry anymore. God poured out His wrath on Jesus at the Cross!

For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. – 2 Cor. 5:21

Jesus took on the punishment you deserve – the angry wrath that you deserve! – so that you could have the reward that only Jesus deserves: a perfect relationship with God in which there are no more secrets.

God is not your enemy anymore. He is your salvation. He is your strength and your song! Because of the Cross of Jesus Christ, He has become your salvation. And now you get to draw from the wells of salvation with joy.

Prayer:

Father, thank You for the Cross! Thank You that the Cross is a finished work; and because Jesus took all the fiery wrath that was meant for me, I am free to worship You. I am so grateful, in Jesus’ name!

Archives
See commentary from this day in 2014.
See commentary from this day in 2015.
See commentary from this day in 2016.
See commentary from this day in 2017.
See commentary from this day in 2018.
See commentary from this day in 2019.

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

Day 255: Humble Brag

The Daily Word: Saturday, September 12th, 2020
Isaiah 10:1-11:16
2 Corinthians 12:11-21
Psalm 56:1-13
Proverbs 23:6-8
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
I have become a fool in boasting; you have compelled me. For I ought to have been commended by you; for in nothing was I behind the most eminent apostles, though I am nothing. – 2 Cor. 12:11

Paul should have been “commended.” He should have been honored by the members of the church at Corinth! But instead, he was disrespected. So he reminded the Corinthians who he was. They threw him off his game! He boasted of the “signs and wonders and mighty deeds” (v. 12) God had accomplished in him. But the more he boasted, the more he “became a fool.”

When you speak highly of yourself, not only do you look foolish; you actually become more foolish. Why? Because your thoughts follow your words. As you boast in yourself, you start to think more highly of yourself. You start to look to yourself instead of God. You start to think you have the answers instead of trusting Him for the answers. What could be more foolish than that?

The remedy is not to self-deprecate; it is to boast in God. You don’t have to belittle yourself! But you should brag on God. Because if boasting in yourself makes you a fool, boasting in God makes you wise.

Prayer:

Father, I will boast in You and You alone. You are God! And I am far from it. Help me to look to You and never to myself. Help me to boast in You and never in myself, in Jesus’ name!

Archives
See commentary from this day in 2014.
See commentary from this day in 2015.
See commentary from this day in 2016.
See commentary from this day in 2017.
See commentary from this day in 2018.
See commentary from this day in 2019.

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

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