Day 278: Jesus. Comes. First.

The Daily Word: Saturday, October 5th, 2019
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 should have the preeminence “in all things.” Worshipping Jesus should always take priority. That has implications for our personal lives. Our schedules and agendas should revolve around Jesus, as opposed to just squeezing Him in!

That also means something for our church services. Jesus should be at the center of our corporate worship: far more than any pastor’s plan, or any congregation’s agenda! Is Jesus magnified in your church? Is He magnified in your life?

Take a moment today to refocus. Make everything you do a reflection of this reality: Jesus comes first. Because compared to Him, nothing else matters.

Prayer:

Father, remind me to put Jesus first! He is Lord of my life. He is in charge of my schedule! He decides what I do, where I go, and whom I become. Jesus is Lord, and I am His humble servant, in Jesus’ name.

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© Michael D. White, 2019. All rights reserved.

Day 277: Turn to God

The Daily Word: Friday, October 4th, 2019
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:
“They say, ‘If a man divorces his wife, and she goes from him And becomes another man’s, may he return to her again?’ Would not that land be greatly polluted? But you have played the harlot with many lovers; Yet return to Me,” says the Lord. – Jer 3:1

Israel had participated in sin after sin after sin! They had completely forgotten about God, and turned their backs to Him. Yet God’s cry to His people had not changed: “Return to Me.”

There is no such thing as too far gone for God. His heart is always the same: He wants you to return to Him! There is nothing you can do to separate yourself from His love. There is no day like today to turn back to your Father in Heaven, who loves you more than you can ever imagine!

“Return, O backsliding children,” says the Lord; “for I am married to you. I will take you, one from a city and two from a family, and I will bring you to Zion.” – Jer 3:14

Prayer:

Father, I have made some mistakes. I haven’t always followed You! But today I am returning to You. I thank You that whenever I turn to You, You are there: no matter what, in Jesus’ name!

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© Michael D. White, 2019. All rights reserved.

Day 276: No More Excuses!

The Daily Word: Thursday, October 3rd, 2019
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:
Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.” Then said I: “Ah, Lord God! Behold, I cannot speak, for I am a youth.” But the Lord said to me: “Do not say, ‘I am a youth,’ for you shall go to all to whom I send you, and whatever I command you, you shall speak.” – Jer 1:4-7

When God calls us to do great things, we often make excuses. “I’m not ready,” we say. “How can I make any money doing that?” we wonder. “Shouldn’t I go to seminary first?” we argue.

But what you need most is God’s call. If you have that, what’s stopping you? Instead of thinking of all the reasons it won’t work, what if you reminded yourself that you serve the God of the universe who makes “all things work together for good” (Rom 8:28)?

Stop making excuses! If God says it’s going to happen, it’s as good as done.

Prayer:

Father, I trust You! I will follow you wherever You tell me to go. I’m so grateful I get to follow You with all my heart, in Jesus’ name.

Archives
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© Michael D. White, 2019. All rights reserved.

Day 275: God Knows

The Daily Word: Wednesday, October 2nd, 2019
Isaiah 66:1-24
Philippians 3:4-21
Psalm 74:1-23
Proverbs 24:15-16
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
“For I know their works and their thoughts. It shall be that I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come and see My glory.” – Is 66:18

God not only knows what you do; He knows what you think! And if He already knows what you’re thinking – your doubts, insecurities, and fears – why not go to Him and ask for help? Too often, we are afraid to go to God in prayer. We fear that if He really knew what we were thinking, He would have no desire to talk to us. But that is not true!

God loves you. He created you to talk to you. He will not be surprised if you tell Him how you really feel. Go to Him in prayer! For only He can truly comfort you the way you need to be comforted.

Prayer:

Father, I rebuke the lie that You don’t want to talk to me in Jesus’ name! I know You are not ashamed of me. You love me! And all You want is intimate communion with me as your child. Thank You for a perpetual open door to Your heart, in Jesus’ name.

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© Michael D. White, 2019. All rights reserved.

Day 274: Focus!

The Daily Word: Tuesday, October 1st, 2019
Isaiah 62:6-65:25
Philippians 2:19-3:3
Psalm 73:1-28
Proverbs 24:13-14
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled; my steps had nearly slipped. For I was envious of the boastful, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. – Ps 73:2-3

Have you ever tried to drive your car while looking out the window to the left or right, instead of through the windshield straight ahead? I don’t recommend it. You will drift in the direction your eyes are looking. You will lose sight of your objective, and you will crash!

This is what happened to Asaph. Instead of focusing on all the good God had done in his life, he focused on what other people had that he wished he could have. He was envious of their prosperity, instead of grateful for the blessings God had poured out on his own life. And as soon as he took his eyes off what God was doing in his own life, he almost stumbled. He almost slipped!

When we look at what other people are doing with envy, we stumble. But when we keep our eyes on what Jesus is doing with love, our steps will be ordered! You don’t need what somebody else has! You only need what God has created you to inherit.

Prayer:

Father, help me to focus on You. You have given me an amazing destiny: a future and a hope! Help me to focus on what I have, instead of what I’m missing. Help me to be thankful for my own life, instead of wishing I had something that belongs to someone else!

Archives
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© Michael D. White, 2019. All rights reserved.

Day 273: Do It for Him

The Daily Word: Monday, September 30th, 2019
Isaiah 60:1-62:5
Philippians 1:27-2:18
Psalm 72:1-20
Proverbs 24:11-12
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. – Phil 2:3

If you’re doing it for yourself, you’re doing it for the wrong reason. Scripture says that we should do “nothing…through selfish ambition or conceit.” Selfish ambition puts your own needs ahead of others. Conceit is vain pride in your own abilities. Instead of focusing on self, we should focus on others, treating them “better than” we treat ourselves. Instead of focusing on our own agendas, we should throw our own agendas out in favor of what God wants to do!

The world says if you don’t look out for yourself, you’ll fail! But the Gospel works the opposite way. The Kingdom of God is inverted! If you look out only for yourself, you will be torn down; but if you look out for others instead of yourself, God will build you up.

Prayer:

Father, help me to shed all selfish ambition and vain conceit right now in Jesus’ name. I don’t need it, and I don’t want it! I want to live my life for You!

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© Michael D. White, 2019. All rights reserved.

Day 272: Are You Ready?

The Daily Word: Sunday, September 29th, 2019
Isaiah 57:15-59:21
Philippians 1:1-26
Psalm 71:1-24
Proverbs 24:9-10
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell. For I am hard pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better. Nevertheless to remain in the flesh is more needful for you. – Phil 1:21-24

Paul had zero fear of death. He was not scared of eternity. He not only welcomed it; he “desired” it. Paul wanted to die and be with Jesus! But he knew he still had work on earth left to do.

What a powerful and confident state, to be willing at a moment’s notice to “depart:” to lay down your life and be with Jesus Christ! And this is where Jesus desires each and every one of us to be.

You still have work to do! But if Jesus asks you to give your very life for the Gospel – to “depart” and be with Him – are you ready?

Prayer:

Father, make me ready. I “desire” to be with You! But I know I still have work here left to do. When You call, I will be ready; but for now, I will pour out my life as an offering, in Jesus’ name.

Archives
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© Michael D. White, 2019. All rights reserved.

Day 271: It Might Seem…

The Daily Word: Saturday, September 28th, 2019
Isaiah 54:1-57:14
Ephesians 6:1-24
Psalm 70:1-5
Proverbs 24:8
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
“For a mere moment I have forsaken you, but with great mercies I will gather you. With a little wrath I hid My face from you for a moment; but with everlasting kindness I will have mercy on you,” says the Lord, your Redeemer. – Is 54:7-8

It might seem like God has forgotten you. But you will not remember feeling forgotten “for a mere moment” (v 7) when God is with you for all eternity.

It might seem like God is far from you! But you will not remember God hiding His face “for a moment” when you are looking at Him face to face for the rest of time.

There are moments when it may feel like God has forgotten you. There are moments when it feels like You haven’t seen or heard from Him in a while! But these are just moments. And what God offers you for eternity far outweighs what He asks you to endure for a moment.

It might seem like your breakthrough will never come! But God is faithful; and He never fails.\

Prayer:

Father, help me to trust You in the moments. I know Your plans for me are far better than anything I could ever plan for myself. I love You – and I thank You – in Jesus’ name.

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© Michael D. White, 2019. All rights reserved.

Day 270: You Are Light

The Daily Word: Friday, September 27th, 2019
Isaiah 51:1-53:12
Ephesians 5:1-33
Psalm 69:19-36
Proverbs 24:7
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light. – Eph 5:8

You don’t just have light. You are light! It is one thing to carry something. But it is another thing altogether to become something. This is what the Gospel does. It transforms us. It makes us altogether new!

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. – 2 Cor 5:17

Christianity is not about what you have; it is about who you are. You are a child of God (Gal 4:6). You are the righteousness of Christ (2 Cor 5:21). You are light in the Lord. That means that anywhere you go, darkness flees: not just because of what you carry, but because of who Jesus has caused you to become!

What you carry can be stolen or left behind; but who you are can never be taken away.

Prayer:

Father, thank You for making me new. Thank You that I am a new creation! I am a child of God. I am light in the Lord! Help me to walk in the light, worthy of the calling to which You have called me, in Jesus’ name.

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© Michael D. White, 2019. All rights reserved.

Day 269: The Palms of His Hands

The Daily Word: Thursday, September 26th, 2019
Isaiah 48:12-50:11
Ephesians 4:17-32
Psalm 69:1-18
Proverbs 24:5-6
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; Your walls are continually before Me. – Is 49:16

When I was little, I used to write reminders on the palms of my hands. I knew that if I wrote something there, it would be impossible to forget. When I went to eat, I would see it. When I went to wash my hands, I would see it. When I went to give someone a handshake, I would see it! And did you know that Scripture says you are written on the palms of God’s hands in exactly the same way?

God has not forgotten you! He will not because He cannot! You are written on the palms of His hands. You are constantly before Him. You are always on His mind!

I’m guessing your life is not perfect. But God sees you. He has never taken His eyes off you; not even for one second. And isn’t that all you need to know?

Prayer:

Father, send help. Thank You for seeing me. Thank You for never taking Your           eyes off me! I am so grateful, in Jesus’ name.

Archives
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© Michael D. White, 2019. All rights reserved.

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