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.

Day 284: The Effects of Sin

The Daily Word: Monday, October 11th, 2021
Jeremiah 16:16-18:23
1 Thessalonians 4:1-5:3
Psalm 81:1-16
Proverbs 25:6-8
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
“The sin of Judah is written with a pen of iron; with the point of a diamond it is engraved on the tablet of their heart, and on the horns of your altars…” – Jer. 17:1 

“Sin” is the Hebrew chatta’ah,[1] which means to “miss the mark.” Sin simply means wandering from the way of God: incurring guilt that results from failing to live up to God’s command.

Jeremiah, as inspired by the Holy Spirit, explains why sin is so serious. Sin cannot be performed and then simply forgotten. Sin is “written with a pen of iron; with the point of a diamond it is engraved on the tablet of [one’s] heart.” Sin permanently damages your heart. There is no mincing words here: sin does serious and permanent damage, and it does so quickly.

When you have sex outside of marriage, you cause permanent change in your heart. When you live for money or any other idol instead of God, you inflict pain on your heart. Whenever you do anything outside of God’s will for your life, your heart is forever altered: the painful memory of going through something that is not God’s design for your life is etched onto the “tablet of [your] heart.”

But where sin corrupts, God restores! You have sinned.[2] You have missed the mark! And your heart is damaged. But watch what God does when you come to Him:

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. – Ezek. 36:26

Sin cuts into your heart! But God, by the power of His Holy Spirit, will give you a “new heart.” He will completely remove the old heart of stone that has been permanently engraved with a record of your wrongs, and replace it with a heart of flesh that can never be damaged again. Isn’t the Gospel beautiful? When you come to Jesus, He makes “all things new” (Rev. 21:5)!

Your heart needs healing. Come to Jesus! Not only will He repair what has been damaged; He will completely replace your broken heart with a new heart that can never be hurt again.

Prayer:

Father, thank You for healing my heart! I need You to do a mighty work in me. And I know that by the power of Your Holy Spirit, I can have a new heart. Take my cold heart of stone, and turn it into a heart of flesh so I can love You with all that I have and all that I am, in Jesus’ name!

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

[1] Strong’s H2403

[2] “…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…” – Rom. 3:23

Day 283: Relying on God

The Daily Word: Sunday, October 10th, 2021
Jeremiah 14:11-16:15
1 Thessalonians 2:9-3:13
Psalm 80:1-19
Proverbs 25:1-5
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
For you remember, brethren, our labor and toil; for laboring night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, we preached to you the gospel of God. – 1 Thess. 2:9

The Apostle Paul had a powerful message! But he refused to “be a burden” to any of the communities in which he preached. He was adamant about making sure he was not putting a financial strain on any the churches he visited by requiring them to pay for his expenses.

Paul believed in the generous giving! For evidence, look to 2 Corinthians 9. But he was also willing to pay his own way. He trusted that God would give him “all sufficiency in all things” so that he would always “have an abundance for every good work” (2 Cor. 9:8).

So, do you want to go on a missions trip? Forget the GoFund Me: “Labor and toil” as you believe God for the funds required. Do you want to be in full-time ministry? Refuse to place a burden on other people to make your dream a reality. Instead, rely on God. Partner with Him to work towards your common goal. If you trust in men for your provision they will fail! But God will never let you down.

Prayer:

Father, I trust You. Financially speaking, I am believing for some big things! But I refuse to be a burden to any man. Instead, I will come straight to You God! Every good and perfect gift comes from You, and You will supply my every need in Jesus’ name!

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

Day 282: When You Pray

The Daily Word: Saturday, October 9th, 2021
Jeremiah 12:1-14:10
1 Thessalonians 1:1-2:8
Psalm 79:1-13
Proverbs 24:30-34
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
O Lord, though our iniquities testify against us, do it for Your name’s sake; for our backslidings are many, we have sinned against You. – Jer. 14:7

You don’t deserve anything God has given you. How could you? Looking backwards, you have to admit that your life has been full of sin! Romans 3:23 says that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” James 2:10 says that whoever keeps the “whole law,” yet stumbles in “one point” is “guilty of all”! Looking backwards, you’re guilty! So knowing everything you’ve done, why would God ever answer your prayers?

Because you are not coming in your name; you are coming in the name of Jesus! When you pray, you are not asking God for anything because you deserve it. You are asking “for His name’s sake”! Yes, you have sinned! But Jesus came and lived a sinless life and then died in your place, so that when you go to God in prayer, you could do it with Jesus’ authority and not your own!

When you pray, don’t ask because you think God wants to do it for you. Ask because you know God wants to do it for Jesus. Because when you give your life to Jesus, you are “hidden with Christ in God” (Col. 3:3). When God looks at you, He doesn’t see your sin! He sees his Son. And you get to ask with the same confidence that Jesus has in the presence of His Father.

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, when I pray, I am not coming to You in my own name! I am coming to You in the name of Jesus. Thank You that because I come to You in His name – and not my own – my prayers are accepted. I am welcome in Your presence any time, day or night! Thank You that I come in Your name, and never my own, in the name of Jesus!

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

Day 281: Divine Justice

The Daily Word: Friday, October 8th, 2021
Jeremiah 10:1-11:23
Colossians 3:18-4:18
Psalm 78:56-72
Proverbs 24:28-29
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
But he who does wrong will be repaid for what he has done, and there is no partiality. – Col. 3:25

Make no mistake about it: there are wicked men and women in the world. But here is the comfort we draw from Scripture: “he who does wrong will be repaid for what he has done.” There is no “partiality,” meaning God will not exempt one person while holding another accountable. There are no exceptions! All of us will stand in front of God on Judgment Day and answer for all the things we said and did, and all the things we left undone.

And this should give you comfort and peace. This world is unfair! There are wicked people who seem to succeed, and righteous people who seem to fail. And that should frustrate you. But God will right every wrong. When you get to heaven, “there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” (Rev. 21:4). He will make sure divine justice is executed. In the end, every scale will be balanced, and every action will receive a divine response.

So, Christian, do not worry about whether you will see a reward for your service to God in this lifetime. Do not worry when other people who don’t follow Jesus seem to have everything working in their favor! Do not worry when wicked people success and righteous people seem to fail. Because what you receive on earth does not matter; it is only what you receive in heaven that matters in the end.

Prayer:

Father, help me to focus on eternity! Help me to live for heaven and not for this earth. Help me to trust that every wrong will be righted, and that righteousness will be rewarded. This world does not always make sense, but Your divine justice does, in Jesus’ name!

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

Day 280: Stay Connected

The Daily Word: Thursday, October 7th, 2021
Jeremiah 8:8-9:26
Colossians 3:1-17
Psalm 78:32-55
Proverbs 24:27
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
“I will surely consume them,” says the Lord. “No grapes shall be on the vine, nor figs on the fig tree, and the leaf shall fade; and the things I have given them shall pass away from them.” – Jer. 8:13

God’s people were rebellious. In the passage above, God was critiquing His people because they had forgotten about His word. Because they were no longer connected to His word, everything was withering around them. There were no grapes on the vine and no figs on the tree (a lack of fruit). The leaves had all faded (symbolic of death due to disconnection from the Source), and everything God had given them was passing away! When you are separated from God’s word, not only will no new blessings come, but the blessings you already have will “pass away.” Nothing around you will retain life.

But when you are with God, not only will new blessings come, but the blessings you have will be strengthened and made permanent! God promised His people that, if they were obedient, He would take them to “a land flowing with milk and honey” (Deut. 11:9). It was “a land of hills and valleys, which drinks water from the rain of heaven, a land for which the Lord your God cares” (Deut. 11:11-12). Don’t you see? When you are connected to God by His word, everything you do will prosper (Ps. 1:3, Josh. 1:8). He will cause you to flourish and grow. And you will not have to build or maintain a single solitary thing in your own strength! God will build it, and He will steward and maintain it on your behalf.

Stay connected to God! When you are connected to His word, you are connected to His life.

 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” – Jn. 15:5

Prayer:

Father, help me to stay connected to You. I want to get to know You better than ever through Your word! Show me what it means to be joined to You like never before, in Jesus’ name.

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

Day 279: Without Jesus…

The Daily Word: Wednesday, October 6th, 2021
Jeremiah 6:16-8:7
Colossians 2:8-23
Psalm 78:1-31
Proverbs 24:26
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power. – Col. 2:8-10

If it doesn’t have Jesus, I don’t want to hear it! People search for fulfillment through many different avenues: philosophy, self-help, and support groups to name a few. People search for meaning in every corner of every city! But Scripture cautions that any system of thought that does not revolve around Jesus is “empty deceit.” It is fraud! Any way of thinking that revolves around the “tradition of men” – and not the power of God – will never lead to fulfillment.

Study philosophy. Strive for excellence! But recognize that, without Jesus, nothing you can ever learn or gain will bring fulfillment. You are complete in Him and only Him; and that means that without Him something will always be missing.

Prayer:

Father, I want to make Jesus Christ, Your Son, the center of my life. Help me to always and only focus on Him! If it doesn’t have Jesus, I don’t want to hear it, in Jesus’ name!

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

Day 278: Resurrection Life!

The Daily Word: Tuesday, October 5th, 2021
Jeremiah 4:19-6:15
Colossians 1:18-2:7
Psalm 77:1-20
Proverbs 24:23-25
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence. – Col. 1:18

Jesus is the “firstborn from the dead.” Do you know who’s next? You are. Here is what Jesus told His disciples about life after death:

 “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” – Jn. 14:1-2

Jesus returned to heaven – His Father’s house – to “prepare a place for you.” Jesus is the only Man in human history to be raised from the dead permanently. Then, He was raised into Heaven to be seated at the right hand of the Father! Our God is not dead; He is alive! And He did it for you: so that you, when you believe in Him, never have to fear death again.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. – Jn. 3:16

When you say yes to Jesus, you don’t just inherit a better life here on earth! You receive everlasting life. Jesus went first so that you could follow! Jesus conquered death so that you could know that because He was raised from the dead, you will be raised in His name.

Prayer:

Jesus, thank You for coming as the firstborn. Thank You for taking captivity captive! You saved me while I was still a sinner. I am grateful, because You love me far more than I deserve, in Jesus’ name.

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

Day 277: Don’t Forget God!

The Daily Word: Monday, October 4th, 2021
Jeremiah 2:31-4:18
Colossians 1:1-17
Psalm 76:1-12
Proverbs 24:21-22
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
Can a virgin forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire? Yet My people have forgotten Me days without number. – Jer. 2:32

This was God’s chief complaint about His people: they had forgotten about Him. Would you go outside without putting clothes on? Of course not! That would be impossible to forget. Yet how many days do your leave your house without first talking to God?

Make your prayer life automatic: not in the sense that what you pray is ritualized and mindless, but in the same way that brushing your teeth is automatic! You don’t go the whole week without brushing your teeth and then brush them for 5 hours on Sunday, do you? Then why do you forsake-and-binge that way with God?

God doesn’t want to be Someone you can leave the house without. Seek Him early. Seek Him often! Make Him the Only One who matters, and watch how your life changes in response.

Prayer:

Father, help me to never forget You. Everyone else in my life can wait. Nothing else is as important as You! Help me to never forget my priorities: You come first, and You alone are worthy of all my love and affection, in Jesus’ name.

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

Day 276: The Peace of God

The Daily Word: Sunday, October 3rd, 2021
Jeremiah 1:1-2:39
Philippians 4:1-23
Psalm 75:1-10
Proverbs 24:17-20
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. – Phil. 4:6-7

The peace of God surpasses all understanding. To “surpass” is the Greek huperecho,[1] which means “to be superior in rank.” The fact that the peace of God “surpasses all understanding” does not just mean that God’s peace is so good that you won’t be able to comprehend it. Scripture is saying that the peace of God is better than understanding. It is superior in rank!

You will face many situations in your life that you simply cannot understand. But God’s peace is better than understanding. So which will you choose: your own understanding, or His peace? Will you struggle and strive to understand what God, the Maker of heaven and earth, is asking you to do with your own human logic? Or will you simply trust Him and receive His perfect peace?

You have a choice: understanding, or peace. Will you choose God’s peace?

Prayer:

Father, help me to choose Your peace! My constant temptation is to try and understand everything. I want to know what You are calling me to do and why You are calling me to do it! But help me to resist that urge. I sacrifice my need to understand! Help me to trust that You know what You are doing at all times in Jesus’ name.

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

[1] Strong’s G5242

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