All posts by MDW8484

Day 111: Resurrection Power

The Daily Word: Sunday, April 21st, 2019
Joshua 22:21-23:16
Luke 20:27-47
Psalm 89:14-37
Proverbs 13:17-19
For full text click here.
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Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
But those who are counted worthy to attain that age, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage; nor can they die anymore, for they are equal to the angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection. – Lk 20:35-36

This is the power of the resurrection. Those who are, “…counted worthy to attain…the resurrection from the dead,” cannot die anymore. They are equal to the angels. They are sons of God, because they are sons of the resurrection!

Do you want to have confidence that, when you die, you will be resurrected into eternal life with Jesus in Heaven? All it takes is one simple prayer. If you, “…confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Rom 10:9)!

Are you ready to give your life to Jesus, and receive the promise of eternal life? Then pray this prayer out loud:

Father, I admit that I am not perfect. But I declare I don’t have to be. Jesus was perfect; and Jesus is perfect, for me. I receive the gift of salvation, and I believe in the finished work of the Cross, in Jesus’ name!

If you just prayed that prayer, you are saved. Find a local church, and get plugged in! Now your adventure in Christ begins.

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.

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

Day 110: Not A Word Failed

The Daily Word: Saturday, April 20th, 2019
Joshua 21:1-22:20
Luke 20:1-26
Psalm 89:1-13
Proverbs 13:15-16
For full text click here.
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Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
The Lord gave them rest all around, according to all that He had sworn to their fathers. And not a man of all their enemies stood against them; the Lord delivered all their enemies into their hand. Not a word failed of any good thing which the Lord had spoken to the house of Israel. All came to pass. – Josh 21:44-45

God does not change. God is not a man that He should lie (Num 23:19). When He promised something to Israel, he meant it. He is the same, “…yesterday, today, and forever” (Heb 13:8). If He kept His promises to His people thousands of years ago, He will keep His promises to you today.

God’s word does not change. “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God” (2 Tim 3:16). His word has the powerful effect of doing what God sent it for!

So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it. – Is 55:11

God does not change, and His word does not change. He will not fail, and His word will not fail! You can have confidence in God, because He is good; and you can have confidence in God’s word, because it is true. God will do everything He promised to do: in this life, and in the next. All will come to pass!

Prayer:

Father, give me supernatural confidence to trust You like never before. I know You are good! And I believe You will do everything You promised to do. Help me to trust You like never before, 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.

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

Day 109: It Will Be A Fight

The Daily Word: Friday, April 19th, 2019
Joshua 19:1-20:9
Luke 19:28-48
Psalm 88:1-18
Proverbs 13:12-14
For full text click here.
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Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
And the border of the children of Dan went beyond these, because the children of Dan went up to fight against Leshem and took it; and they struck it with the edge of the sword, took possession of it, and dwelt in it. They called Leshem, Dan, after the name of Dan their father. – Josh 19:47

God promised His people the land; but the people still had to go out and take it. God pointed His people to the land they would inherit; but His people still had to go out and fight for it!

Don’t wait for someone else to do the heavy lifting for you. No one is going to drop your destiny in your lap! God will give it to you; but there is partnership He requires from you. Take Him by the hand, and step towards your destiny. If you feel resistance, don’t run away! When God is with you, you have everything you need to overcome every obstacle along the way.

Prayer:

Father, I am ready for the fight. I know You have already given me victory; but I still have to step out and seize it! I trust 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.

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

Day 108: Friend of Sinners

The Daily Word: Thursday, April 18th, 2019
Joshua 16:1-18:28
Luke 19:1-27
Psalm 87:1-7
Proverbs 13:11
For full text click here.
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Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
But when they saw it, they all complained, saying, “He has gone to be a guest with a man who is a sinner.” – Lk 19:7

Jesus wanted to dine with the “chief tax collector” (v 2). He loved to spend time with sinners! When the religious leaders saw it, they complained. Why would Jesus spend time with a man knee-deep in sin, instead of religious people who had their act together?

Jesus is, “…a friend of tax collectors and sinners” (Matt 11:19). Have you messed up? God is not mad at you. He doesn’t hate you because you’ve made some mistakes. On the contrary, He wants to spend time with you. Why? Because the only thing that will restore you is His presence.

When Jesus heard it, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” – Mk 2:17

Prayer:

Father, thank You for loving a sinner like me. I don’t always have my act together; but I always have You! You are my God, and I love spending time in Your presence, 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.

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

How to Get Promoted

      How-To-Get-Promoted-041419

The following is an adaptation of the sermon ‘How to Get Promoted’ preached by Pastor Michael White on Sunday, 4/14/2019, at CityLight Church. To listen to the full podcast please click the play arrow above.

order now A Quick Review

In Part One,[1] we discussed the reality that every believer is called to greatness. Moses (Exodus 3), Saul (1 Samuel 10), and David (1 Sam 16) all had their lives divinely interrupted by God, as He called them out of the mundane and into their destiny. Saying yes to God’s call would position them to fulfill their design: a function that would facilitate God’s plan and change the world.

In Part Two,[2] we examined the various forms of resistance that typically rise to the surface when we say yes to God’s call on our lives. When you say yes to greatness, unfortunately the enemy – Satan – typically paints a target on your back. Sometimes the enemy will defy you to your face (see David and Goliath; 1 Sam 17); but more often than not, he will work through other people to try and get you to give up your destiny and sacrifice your call to greatness.

In Part Three,[3] we looked at the reality that destiny takes time. David was a man who waited well; and as he waited for God to fulfill the call to greatness on his life, David “behaved himself wisely” (1 Sam 18:5, KJV). He protected the condition of his heart! When we wait well, we optimally position ourselves for alignment with God’s purposes and plans for our lives.

click here Biblical Promotion

In this chapter, I want to show you something I call the Biblical Pathway to Promotion. Every Biblical leader – the men and women whom God thrusts into their destiny – has something in common. They approach – and receive – promotion the same way.

You may have heard the old adage, “It’s not just what you do; it’s how you do it.” How you go about seeking promotion is just as important as receiving the promotion you seek. So, let’s talk about how to receive the promotion you crave in a manner that honors God.

buy now The World’s Way

What’s the best advice you’ve ever heard about getting promoted? Here are “11 things that will get you promoted,” from the financial education resources site, LearnVest,[4] taken from conversations with managers in multiple fields including marketing, tech, media, executive recruiting, and financial planning:

order now 1) Tell Me I’m Wrong. Bosses like to be around people who challenge their thinking in a healthy way. This isn’t about being annoying and disagreeing; it is about being willing to go against popular consensus, with the data to back up your thoughts.

click here 2) Bring the Bad News First. Don’t just tell your boss what’s wrong; tell her how you are going to fix it. This shows your manager you’re on top of your work responsibilities, and have the ability to creatively solve problems.

3) Be Drama-Free! Gossip Girl should not be your real life: especially not in the office! One boss in the survey said this: “Your job is to make your boss’s life easier, not plop your drama on his or her lap. Save that for your friends and family or your diary.”

4) Smile! “Your boss would like to harbor the fantasy that you actually like your job, since she is paying you, spending more time with you than her family, and helping you more than you realize,” one boss said. “You can at least smile and seem like you are enjoying things in return.”

When I first started preaching as a very young man, I tried to “look serious” at Sunday service by keeping a straight face. Since I was so young, I thought it would make people think I was older and more mature. Instead, I found out it just made me look angry. Don’t turn people away by scowling instead of smiling!

5) Take Notes. I love it when I see people with a pen and paper in church. I immediately want to have a conversation with them to find out what they’re all about, and how I can help them achieve their goals. It shows me they’re focused and serious about what they’re hearing.

Did you know that writing something down with pen and paper helps you to remember it better? Writing with pen and paper boosts memory and enhances your ability to understand concepts and facts.[5] Unfortunately, the same benefit doesn’t apply when we take notes with a cell phone or laptop.

6) Never Skip the Office Party. Sometimes deep bonding can only happen outside of work. People want to get personal! But not too personal 😉

7) Don’t Expect to be Rewarded. “Don’t walk around with the air that you deserve it, because that sense of entitlement is going to get you nowhere,” one boss advised. Are you completely your assignments because you want to honor God with your work? Or because you’re expecting to be rewarded?

8) Hold Up Your End. Be a team player! As one boss lamented, “It’s awful when you claim to be a team player, but complain when you are given responsibilities to help.”

9) Ask How You Can Help. Don’t wait around for your boss to give you work! Be proactive. Take initiative! Make yourself irreplaceable by working harder at solving practical problems than the people around you.

10) Have A Solution. Don’t make your problem your boss’s problem. If you tell your boss something’s broken, bring a solution on how you plan to fix it.

11) Know Your Job – and Do It. Prioritize your responsibilities in such a way that the most critical things get done first. What is your boss ultimately paying you to do? Do that first; and save everything else for later.

Self-Promotion

There is an entire industry built around how to get a promotion. According to the dominant thought of today’s business leaders, your promotion hinges on what you do to get there. The world’s way says that self-promotion is essential: if you want to get promoted, you have to make it happen on your own! March into your boss’s corner office and ask for that raise!

In January 2018, the Harvard Business Review ran an article titled, “How to Ask for a Promotion.” Jospeh Weintraub, the founder and faculty director of the Coaching for Leadership and Teamwork Program (CLTP) at Babson College, said, “…to advance in your career, you’ll need to learn to advocate for yourself. You can’t assume that the organization will take care of you just because you do a good job. There is a degree of self-promotion that’s needed.” Put simply, he says, “If don’t you ask, you don’t get.”[6]

This same theme – you have to promote yourself – is evident in most of the literature you read about success in the workplace. We’ve been taught since a young age that, if we want to get ahead, we have to advocate for ourselves. We’ve learned by experience that the squeaky wheel gets the grease: so if you want to get what you feel you “deserve,” you had better speak up!

The Bible Way

But the Biblical Path to Promotion does not involve promoting self. The world says, if you want to get promoted, you have to advocate for yourself (self-promotion!). But God says, if you want to get promoted, you have to lay down your desire for promotion at His feet.  

So He told a parable to those who were invited, when He noted how they chose the best places, saying to them: “When you are invited by anyone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in the best place, lest one more honorable than you be invited by him; and he who invited you and him come and say to you, ‘Give place to this man,’ and then you begin with shame to take the lowest place. But when you are invited, go and sit down in the lowest place, so that when he who invited you comes he may say to you, ‘Friend, go up higher.’ Then you will have glory in the presence of those who sit at the table with you. For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” – Lk 14:7-11 

Do you see it? How the way of Jesus stands in such contrast to the suggestion of the world’s greatest leadership coaches? Business culture says, “Get up and advocate for yourself!” But Kingdom culture says, “Serve others, and let God advocate for you.”

If you insist on taking the “best place” (v 8), God will eventually humble you. Self-promotion might work for a time; but eventually the house of cards is going to come crashing down. If you build it, you have to maintain it! But if you will take the “lowest place” (v 10), God will exalt you. You won’t have to exalt yourself! If you let God build it for you, He will do all the work to maintain it.

I love God’s response when we humble ourselves and willingly take the lowest place: “Friend, go up higher” (v 10). First, we see that humility leads to intimacy. If you come proudly before God and insist that you should be up higher than you currently are, He won’t call you friend! But if you will humble yourself and concede that His plans for you are better than your plans for yourself, He will call you friend. Second, we see that humility leads to promotion. Do you want to go higher? Get lower! Do you want to be exalted? Humble yourself, so God doesn’t have to do it for you! 

Jesus’ Thoughts on Self-Promotion

James and John were devoted disciples. They had powerful ministries; so much so that they were known as the “Sons of Thunder” (Mk 3:17). If Jesus had a Dream Team, James and John would have been on it!

But even James and John had to fight a desire for promotion. They had to fight the temptation of self-promotion!

At one point in their walk with Jesus, James and John tried to promote themselves:

Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to Him, saying, “Teacher, we want You to do for us whatever we ask.” And He said to them, “What do you want Me to do for you?” They said to Him, “Grant us that we may sit, one on Your right hand and the other on Your left, in Your glory.” – Mk 10:35-37

It wasn’t enough for Jesus to be glorified. James and John wanted to be glorified with Him! It’s easy to give James and John a hard time for their request; but how often do you and I act the same way? How often do we pursue God’s glory, only to ask for a little glory for ourselves on the side? How often do we approach God with the attitude, “I want You to do for me whatever I ask,” instead of going to Him with the humble admission, “I want to do for You whatever You ask!:

But Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you ask. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?” They said to Him, “We are able.”

So Jesus said to them, “You will indeed drink the cup that I drink, and with the baptism I am baptized with you will be baptized; but to sit on My right hand and on My left is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it is prepared.” – Mk 10:38-40 

James and John didn’t know what they were asking for; so Jesus made clear that they were not asking for the right thing. They would indeed “drink the cup” that Jesus drank. James would be the first apostle to be martyred; and according to church tradition, John was boiled alive in oil for his faith in Jesus Christ, but would miraculously survive to later be imprisoned on the island of Patmos. Jesus laid down His life to suffer and die for the church; and James and John would follow in His footsteps. Be careful what you wish for!

Do you know how the rest of the disciples responded? “They began to be greatly displeased with James and John” (v 41). They were upset, because James and John were promoting themselves instead of the Gospel! The truth is, they also might have been upset because they hadn’t thought to have the self-promotion conversation with Jesus first! But Jesus quickly intervened, as He always does, to remind everyone what mattered most:

But Jesus called them to Himself and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” – Mk 10:42-45

“It shall not be so among you.” You don’t have to fall into the trap of self-promotion that the rest of the world is subject to! You get to be above the jockeying for position and recognition that everyone around you can’t ignore. Do you wan to be promoted? Become a servant. Do you want to be first? Put yourself last. Thus is the counter-intuitive nature of God’s kingdom!

The disciples had some trouble embracing this message. Before long, they were at it again:

Now there was also a dispute among [the disciples], as to which of them should be considered the greatest. And [Jesus] said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those who exercise authority over them are called ‘benefactors.’ But not so among you; on the contrary, he who is greatest among you, let him be as the younger, and he who governs as he who serves. For who is greater, he who sits at the table, or he who serves? Is it not he who sits at the table? Yet I am among you as the One who serves. – Lk 22:24-27

Jesus’ constant message was the opposite of what we hear in contemporary culture today. Do you want to be “great?” Serve. Do you want to “govern?” Promote the people around you, instead of promoting yourself. The disciples wanted to know who was greatest, and Jesus reminded them: it was HIM. And even He was the “One who serves.”

Every great leader you see in Scripture had one thing in common: a willingness to serve. Jesus provided what is perhaps the most adequate summation of His teaching on this subject to a group of religious leaders in Luke 14:

So [Jesus] told a parable to those who were invited, when He noted how they chose the best places, saying to them: “When you are invited by anyone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in the best place, lest one more honorable than you be invited by him; and he who invited you and him come and say to you, ‘Give place to this man,’ and then you begin with shame to take the lowest place. But when you are invited, go and sit down in the lowest place, so that when he who invited you comes he may say to you, ‘Friend, go up higher.’ Then you will have glory in the presence of those who sit at the table with you. For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” – Lk 14:7-11 

The way to promotion is humility. The way to greatness is to serve! The Biblical path to promotion does not entail convincing your superiors that you deserve it; it involves serving whomever God calls you to serve, for as long as He calls you to serve them!

Let’s not forget that the promotion you experience in this life is not the most important goal. What better promotion is there than to be seated in Christ, at the right hand of God “in heavenly places,” (Eph 1:20) for all eternity?!

Come Up Higher

At the time of this writing, I’ve been in full-time ministry for six years. Full-time ministry is not easy; but being a pastor has been the most rewarding calling I never asked for. That’s the truth: I never really wanted to be a pastor. I just had a desire to serve; and the more I served the church, the more the Lord promoted me.

When I first came to our church more than ten years ago, I had just moved to New York City. I wanted to meet other guys my age and form a good group of friends. So, I signed up to be an usher. I quickly met some of the men who are still – to this day – some of my closest friends.

Soon after I became an usher, I joined the worship team. I played jazz saxophone all through college and I could improvise well, so I told the Worship Director. He asked me to audition for the worship team, and I made the cut. Before I knew it, I had a church community that felt like family: all because I had made the simple decision to serve.

One day while I was ushering, I met my wife. She was on the First Impressions team: greeting new guests as they walked into service. I wasn’t trying to meet anyone; and neither was she! But the Lord saw that both of us were serving, so He honored that and put us together. When my wife and I got married several years later, our Lead Pastor made us Care Pastors (our church’s term for lay pastors). We never asked to be ordained and given a title; but because we were so focused on serving, God’s response was, “Friend, go up higher” (Lk 14:10).

Several years after that, I got laid off from my job in finance. I had six months of severance to think about next steps. In that time, our Lead Pastor came to me and asked if I would be interested in coming on full-time staff as the Executive Pastor. I would manage the church’s staff, finances, and administration during the week; and on the weekends, I would preach and pastor at our Manhattan location.

Again, I cannot stress this enough: I never asked to be a pastor. Quite frankly, I never even knew I wanted to be a pastor. But God knew my design – what He had created me to do – and as I demonstrated a willingness to serve, He promoted me to where He wanted me to be.

You don’t have to promote yourself to fulfill your destiny. Serve God, and He will promote you.

© Michael D. White, 2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Michael D. White with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

[1] https://www.citylightnyc.com/podcast/Called-To-Greatness-031019.mp3

[2] https://www.citylightnyc.com/podcast/Called-To-Greatness-Part-2-032419.mp3

[3] https://www.citylightnyc.com/podcast/Called-To-Greatness-Part-3-033119.mp3

[4] https://www.themuse.com/advice/bosses-tell-us-11-things-that-will-get-you-promoted

[5] https://www.medicaldaily.com/why-using-pen-and-paper-not-laptops-boosts-memory-writing-notes-helps-recall-concepts-ability-268770

[6] https://hbr.org/2018/01/how-to-ask-for-a-promotion

Day 107: Your Lot In Life

The Daily Word: Wednesday, April 17th, 2019
Joshua 15:1-63
Luke 18:18-43
Psalm 86:1-17
Proverbs 13:9-10
For full text click here.
WATCH the video broadcast of this message on Instagram!

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
So this was the lot of the tribe of the children of Judah according to their families… – Josh 15:1

You have a “lot” in life. Your “lot” refers the designated land God has set aside for you: the territory He wants you to possess.

Your “lot” is not a bad thing. Typically we compare our “lot” to others. We get frustrated because our “lot” is not the same as our neighbor’s. But Scripture cautions against the sin of comparison (Ex 20:7). When we compare ourselves to others, we focus on what we don’t have; and in those moments, it becomes impossible to be grateful for what we do have.

Your “lot” is a good thing! God gave you a “lot” in life that corresponds to your design. If you try to live in some else’s “lot,” you won’t find fulfillment. You will constantly be aching to fulfill your God-given design; and that can only happen when you find the “lot” He created you to have. He created you to rule your “lot;” not to flounder in someone else’s!

Embrace your “lot.” Your “lot” is not a fence designed to contain you; it is the true north that pulls you into your God-given design. There is nothing more satisfying than becoming the man or woman God created you to be, and occupying the territory He designed you to have.

Prayer:

Father, help me to be thankful for my “lot.” I refuse to compare what You have given me, to what others have. I will be grateful for my “lot:” every day, 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.

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

Day 106: Don’t Lose Heart

The Daily Word: Tuesday, April 16th, 2019
Joshua 13:1-14:15
Luke 18:1-17
Psalm 85:1-13
Proverbs 13:7-8
For full text click here.
WATCH the video broadcast of this message on Instagram!

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart… – Lk 18:1

Prayer is important. But Jesus didn’t just tell His disciples to pray. He told them to pray, “…and not lose heart.”

Is your heart in your prayers? When you pray, do you really believe your prayers make a difference? Are you adding your faith to your prayers? Are you moved with compassion for the people for whom you pray?

God is moving. Don’t lose heart! Whether it takes ten seconds, or ten generations, for the answer to your pray to arrive: trust God, and don’t lose heart.

Prayer:

Father, I don’t want to pray half-baked prayers. I want my heart to be in them 100%! Help me to pray and not lose heart, 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.

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

Day 105: Trusting God’s Word

The Daily Word: Monday, April 15th, 2019
Joshua 11:1-12:24
Luke 17:11-37
Psalm 84:1-12
Proverbs 13:5-6
For full text click here.
WATCH the video broadcast of this message on Instagram!

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
But the Lord said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid because of them, for tomorrow about this time I will deliver all of them slain before Israel. You shall hamstring their horses and burn their chariots with fire.” – Josh 11:6

The Canaanites, the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, and the Hivites were all gathered for battle against Israel. Their armies contained, “…as many people as the sand that is on the seashore in multitude, with very many horses and chariots” (v 4). If Israel was going to panic, this would have been a good time!

But God spoke: “Do not be afraid…, for tomorrow about this time I will deliver all of them slain before Israel” (v 6). The enemy was innumerable; yet God’s victory was inevitable.

What battle are you facing? Are you up against an army at work? An impossible battle at home? An insurmountable obstacle with your health? Trust God. If He says you don’t have to fear, that means it’s time for faith!

Prayer:

Father, thank You for fighting my battles! Remove all fear from me, and fill me with faith, in Jesus’ name. I am so grateful for the way You always fight my battles!

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.

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

Day 104: Appearances Can Be Deceiving

The Daily Word: Sunday, April 14th, 2019
Joshua 9:3-10:43
Luke 16:19-17:10
Psalm 83:1-18
Proverbs 13:4
For full text click here.
WATCH the video broadcast of this message on Instagram!

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
But when the inhabitants of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done to Jericho and Ai, they worked craftily, and went and pretended to be ambassadors. And they took old sacks on their donkeys, old wineskins torn and mended, old and patched sandals on their feet, and old garments on themselves; and all the bread of their provision was dry and moldy. And they went to Joshua, to the camp at Gilgal, and said to him and to the men of Israel, “We have come from a far country; now therefore, make a covenant with us.” – Josh 9:3-6

Appearances can be deceiving. Israel’s enemies disguised themselves. They, “…pretended to be ambassadors” (v 4), and tricked Joshua and his leaders into agreeing not to harm them.  Joshua agreed because he trusted his eyes more than his heart.

Don’t trust someone you don’t know just because (s)he looks trustworthy. Don’t assume you know how to handle a situation unless you’ve gotten a word from God! Ask God, “Is this someone You want me to have in my life?” Jesus has sent us out, “…as sheep [among] wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves” (Matt 10:16). Don’t be surprised if the enemy sends you adversaries disguised as allies!

Trust God. Your eyes will play tricks on you. Your emotions will lie to you! But the voice of God will never lead you astray.

Prayer:

Father, thank You for supernatural discernment. Teach me how to love, and tell me whom to trust. You are an amazing God; and You teach me so well! Thank 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.

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

Day 103: Inside, Not Outside

The Daily Word: Saturday, April 13th, 2019
Joshua 7:16-9:2
Luke 16:1-18
Psalm 82:1-8
Proverbs 13:2-3
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Commentary from Pastor Michael White: 
“Get up, sanctify the people, and say, ‘Sanctify yourselves for tomorrow, because thus says the Lord God of Israel: “There is an accursed thing in your midst, O Israel; you cannot stand before your enemies until you take away the accursed thing from among you.”’” – Josh 7:13

Israel had just won an amazing victory at Jericho. God’s people, “…shouted with a great shout,” the wall around the city fell down flat, and “they took the city” (Josh 6:20). But when they tried to conquer Ai – a much smaller city – they were snubbed. Why would God give them victory in one city, but not the other?

There was sin – “an accursed thing” – in Israel’s midst. God reminded them: “…you cannot stand before your enemies until you take away the accursed thing from you.” Israel didn’t need a new strategy. They didn’t need a new plan! They needed to deal with their hearts.

Self-examination is a key to walking in victory. It’s about what’s inside; not what’s outside! If you are going to be victorious in front of your enemies, there are certain things that just have to come out!

Prayer:

Father, I invite You to deal with my heart. If there is anything in me that needs to change so I can walk out a life of victory and purpose, change it! If there’s anything that needs to come out, take it out. You have permission to make me thoroughly victorious, 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.

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