All posts by MDW8484

Day 55: Getting Honest with God

The Daily Word: Saturday, February 24th, 2018
Leviticus 15:1-16:28
Mark 7:1-23
Psalm 40:11-17
Proverbs 10:13-14
For full text click here.
Join us on Facebook Live for the Daily Word Broadcast!

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:

For innumerable evils have surrounded me; my iniquities have overtaken me, so that I am not able to look up; they are more than the hairs of my head; therefore my heart fails me. – Ps 40:12

David’s life was far from perfect. He had some things to work on! He was expecting some answers to prayer that hadn’t come yet. But he refused to put on a fake smile and pretend everything was okay. David got honest with God. He cried out, and God heard his prayer.

Faith is not denial. It’s ok to admit you’re having a tough time! It’s ok to tell God what you’re really going through, because He knows anyway. Faith does not mean pretending everything is going well; it means trusting that even when things aren’t going well, God will work it out. If you’re struggling: tell Him. If you messed up, tell Him! In the end, He will work all things together for good.

Prayer:

Father, thank You for always listening. Help to be honest with You, no matter what, 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.

© Michael D. White, 2018. All rights reserved.

Day 54: Anxiety and Patience

The Daily Word: Friday, February 23rd, 2018
Leviticus 14:1-57
Mark 6:30-56
Psalm 40:1-10
Proverbs 10:11-12
For full text click here.
Join us on Facebook Live for the Daily Word Broadcast!

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:

I waited patiently for the Lord; and He inclined to me, and heard my cry. – Psalm 40:1

It is possible to wait patiently; and it is also possible to wait anxiously. When we wait anxiously, no results are guaranteed; but when we wait patiently, God hears!

Waiting patiently (Hebrew qavah, Strong’s #6960) means waiting with expectation and hope. God’s response to our faithful waiting is profound: He, the God of the universe, inclines His ear to us!! When we wait patiently, He inclines; and when He inclines, He hears.

God will do it. Trust Him! And once you trust Him, know there is no reason to be anxious. Wait patiently – with expectation and with hope – and He will answer your prayer.

Prayer:

Father, thank You for hearing me. Thank You for answering my every prayer! I trust You, and I know You are good, 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.

© Michael D. White, 2018. All rights reserved.

What Happens When You Fail?

The following is an adaptation of the sermon ‘What Happens When You Fail’ preached by Pastor Michael White on Sunday, 2/18/2018, at CityLight Church. To listen to the full podcast please click the play arrow above.

You Will Fail

All of us will fail. Failure is an inevitable, avoidable part of life; and unfortunately it is also a part of our walk with Jesus. God will ask us to do some things that can only be accomplished by His Holy Spirit in us; and if we step out and try and do them on our own, we will fail.

Like it or not: you will fail. So, what happens when you fail? How does God feel about failure?

Peter is often used as a punching bag in the church. Peter made a lot of open mistakes so that you and I could learn from his example. Peter was the disciple who stepped out to walk on the water, but then started sinking because he took his eyes off Jesus (Matt 14:30). Peter was the only disciple who made Jesus say, “Get behind me Satan” (Matt 16:23)!

Peter was also the disciple who had a massive, public failure for all the world to see, after promising he would never leave Jesus’ side. Peter made some big promises! But when Jesus was about to be crucified, Peter didn’t stand up and support Him; He denied Him:

Now Peter sat outside in the courtyard. And a servant girl came to him, saying, “You also were with Jesus of Galilee.” But he denied it before them all, saying, “I do not know what you are saying.” And when he had gone out to the gateway, another girl saw him and said to those who were there, “This fellow also was with Jesus of Nazareth.” But again he denied with an oath, “I do not know the Man!” And a little later those who stood by came up and said to Peter, “Surely you also are one of them, for your speech betrays you.” Then he began to curse and swear, saying, “I do not know the Man!” Immediately a rooster crowed. And Peter remembered the word of Jesus who had said to him, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” So he went out and wept bitterly. – Matt 26:69-75

It’s impossible to understand just how significant this denial was, without first knowing what Peter had promised Jesus. You see, Jesus had warned His disciples that all of them would deny Him. He had warned them that no matter how great their commitment to Him was, their faith would be shaken. At the time when they most wanted to stand, they would fall down and deny Him. But Peter had refused to believe that such failure was possible. He told Jesus that, even if it cost him his life, he would stay by His side until the very end:

Then Jesus said to them, “All of you will be made to stumble because of Me this night, for it is written: ‘I will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ But after I have been raised, I will go before you to Galilee.” Peter answered and said to Him, “Even if all are made to stumble because of You, I will never be made to stumble.” Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you that this night, before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” Peter said to Him, “Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!” And so said all the disciples. – Matt 26:31-35

But when the rubber met the road, Peter caved. “You also were with Jesus of Galilee,” a servant girl said (v 69); but Peter “denied it before them all” (v 70). “This fellow also was with Jesus,” another girl said (v 71); but “again he denied with an oath” (v 72). “Surely you are one of them,” said some bystanders (v 73); but Peter “began to curse and swear, saying ‘I do not know the Man’” (v 74)! No matter how badly Peter wanted to fulfill his promise to God, he simply could not. No matter how hard he tried to support Jesus with His life, He was simply too weak!

But let’s not point a finger at Peter. You see, you and I are just like Peter. We make promises to God we can’t keep! We have experiences where we feel closer to God than ever, only to make vows we can’t fulfill when the emotional high fades.

How many times have you been in Peter’s shoes? God, I’m not going to sleep with her anymore, you promise; but then you do. God, this is my last beer! I’m going to quit drinking! But then you don’t. Today is the day! I’m waking up and going to church! But then you sleep in.

Have you ever failed? I know I have. Have you ever let people down? I know I have!

Before I was saved, while I was still in college, I took a trip to the beach for a week with all my high school friends. I was very blessed with a solid group of friends growing up; and I stay close with many of them to this day. But I know not everyone had that experience. One of my close friends had reached out to another guy from our high school who was going through a tough time: he didn’t have a solid group of friends, and we wanted him to come on the trip so we could show him some love.

We all talked about it in advance: let’s be supportive, and good to him on this trip. We were all on board, and promised to do our best. But two nights into the trip, I had a little too much to drink. The “new guy” said something that rubbed me the wrong way, so I lit into him. “Nobody even wants you here,” I said. “Why don’t you go home?” I asked.

All of my friends looked at me, jaws dropped, as if to silently yell at me, DIDN’T WE TALK ABOUT THIS? One of my friends ran from across the room to try and get me to shut up; but I tried to sidestep him. Instead of missing him, I hit him; and after we bumped shoulders, I crashed through a huge glass table in the middle of the living room. I had broken a table that could not be replaced; and I had also broken a heart that would take time to heal.

I woke up the next morning, embarrassed and ashamed. I tried to talk to the guy I had offended; but he didn’t want to hear me. I walked around to see where all my friends were; but they had gone to the beach without telling me. I was left in the house – alone – to think about how bad I had screwed everything up.

Have you ever failed? I know I have!

What Happens When We Fail

Let’s get back to Peter. Peter messed up. Jesus had warned him not to deny Him…

“Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.” – Matt 10:32-33

…but Peter just couldn’t help it! He had still fallen short. You would think that Jesus would have had some choice words for Peter after the Resurrection. Where were you? Why didn’t you stay by My side? But after the He was raised from the dead, Jesus showed up with anything but harsh words for His beloved disciple:

So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Feed My lambs.” He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Tend My sheep.” He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.” Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep.” – Jn 21:15-17

Do you see what happened there? Peter denied Jesus three times; and Jesus restored Peter three times: once for every denial! “I don’t know Him!” Peter said. “But do you love Me?” Jesus asked. “I am not a disciple!” Peter cried. “But do you love Me?” Jesus wanted to know. “I swear I am not with Him!” Peter swore. “But to you love Me?” was Jesus’ only question.

For every failure there was forgiveness. For every fall, there was restoration.

You and I are just like Peter. We will fail. No matter how hard we try, we will fall. But every time we fall, Jesus will be right there to restore us. All He needs to know is, Do you still love Me?

All the Disciples

Peter’s failure was public; but the rest of the disciples failed in private. Just because someone doesn’t see a fall doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. Matt 26:56 says, “…all the disciples forsook [Jesus] and fled.” If it happened to them, it will happen to you. How you fail – whether public or private – is of little importance; but how you respond really matters. Will you let Jesus restore you?

When Jesus came to visit His disciples after the Crucifixion and the Resurrection, you would think He might have had some harsh words for them. But just as He loved Peter on the heels of failure, He extended love to all His disciples:

Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” – Jn 20:19-23

Jesus’ first words to the disciples were not, where were you? Or how could you? They were, “Peace be with you” (v 19). Even after they had completely abandoned and forsaken Him, His desire for them had not changed: perfect peace. Not only did Jesus bless them, He restored them. He gave them His Holy Spirit (v 22). He made them ambassadors of His forgiveness (v 23). What a restoration!

Have you ever failed? Jesus will restore you in exactly the same way. His only question is, Do you still love Me? And as long as you do, He will take care of all the rest.

© Michael D. White, 2018. 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.

Day 53: God Knows Best

The Daily Word: Thursday, February 22nd, 2018
Leviticus 13:1-59
Mark 6:1-29
Psalm 39:1-13
Proverbs 10:10
For full text click here.
Join us on Facebook Live for the Daily Word Broadcast!

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:

Now He could do no mighty work there, except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them. – Mk 6:5

The people saw Jesus and were offended (v 3). “Is this not the carpenter, the son of Mary…?” (v 3). How could this Boy they had seen grow up claim to be the Son of God?

Their offense (v 4) canceled the miraculous. They missed out on miracles because they didn’t believe Jesus could be the One! The people were offended, so Jesus could do “no mighty work” in that place. The people expected God to come in a different package, so they missed out on everything He wanted to do!

God shows up as He pleases, in whatever form He wants. Don’t despise the shape He takes, or the way your miracle unfolds! God knows best. Do you believe Him?

Prayer:

Father, You are in control of my miracle. I don’t want to be in charge of my breakthrough! Make it look however You want, and make it happen whenever You want, 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.

© Michael D. White, 2018. All rights reserved.

Day 52: Bold Declaration

The Daily Word: Wednesday, February 21st, 2018
Leviticus 11:1-12:8
Mark 5:21-43
Psalm 38:1-22
Proverbs 10:8-9
For full text click here.
Join us on Facebook Live for the Daily Word Broadcast!

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:

When He came in, He said to them, “Why make this commotion and weep? The child is not dead, but sleeping.” – Mk 5:39

Genuine faith means declaring a reality that contradicts what you see. Jairus’ daughter was dead, and everyone knew it. There were people all over the house, weeping and wailing loudly (v 38), because the girl had died. Yet here was Jesus, declaring a new reality: “the child is not dead, but sleeping” (v 39)!

The people ridiculed Him (v 40). They thought He was crazy! But He didn’t care. He knew the truth, and He didn’t care what anyone else said.

God’s word is your reality. Forget what you see with your eyes, and declare what He says in His word.

Prayer:

Father, help me to see Heaven’s reality for my life! No matter what I see with my eyes, I will declare Your word with my mouth. If You’ve said it, it will be done; 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.

© Michael D. White, 2018. All rights reserved.

Day 51: God’s Fiery Wrath

The Daily Word: Tuesday, February 20th, 2018
Leviticus 9:7-10:20
Mark 4:26-5:20
Psalm 37:30-40
Proverbs 10:6-7
For full text click here.
Join us on Facebook Live for the Daily Word Broadcast!

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:

Then Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer and put fire in it, put incense on it, and offered profane fire before the Lord, which He had not commanded them. So fire went out from the Lord and devoured them, and they died before the Lord. – Lev 10:1

When Aaron’s sons offered an unholy offering to God, He “devoured them” with fire. Wow! Under the Old Covenant, there were no second chances. If you messed up, the wrath of God would be kindled and that was it for you! If you intentionally did something God didn’t ask you to do, you were toast!

Aren’t you glad we live under the New Covenant? Under our New Covenant with God, all His wrath has already been poured out on Jesus. That means there is no wrath left for you! We don’t have to tip toe around God, worrying that He might “devour us” when we make a mistake. Thank God He poured out His wrath on Jesus, so that we could be forgiven and redeemed.

Prayer:

Father, thank You for giving me a second chance whenever I need it. Thank You that Jesus already absorbed the wrath I should have to face. He did it for me, so that I can be free!

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.

© Michael D. White, 2018. All rights reserved.

Day 50: Get Alone with God

The Daily Word: Monday, February 19th, 2018
Leviticus 7:28-9:6
Mark 3:31-4:25
Psalm 37:12-29
Proverbs 10:5
For full text click here.
Join us on Facebook Live for the Daily Word Broadcast!

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:

But when He was alone, those around Him with the twelve asked Him about the parable. – Mk 4:10

Jesus spoke to the multitudes in parables; but He spoke to His disciples in plain language. The disciples had a relationship with Jesus; and because they knew Him, and He knew them, He revealed to them the secrets of God!

Revelation comes from relationship! If you don’t know Jesus, His words will seem like mysteries; but when you know Him face to face, everything He says will give you life!

Prayer:

Father, I need time alone with You! Help me to make space, and get the time I need with you: no matter the cost, 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.

© Michael D. White, 2018. All rights reserved.

Day 49: The Old and the New

The Daily Word: Sunday, February 18th, 2018
Leviticus 6:1-7:27
Mark 3:7-30
Psalm 37:1-11
Proverbs 10:3-4
For full text click here.
Join us on Facebook Live for the Daily Word Broadcast!

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:

“So the priest shall make atonement for him before the Lord, and he shall be forgiven for any one of these things that he may have done in which he trespasses.” – Lev 6:7

Under the Old Covenant, the priest had to make atonement for God’s people. Under the New Covenant, Jesus has already made atonement; all we have to do is accept His sacrifice.

Under the Old Covenant, God spoke to Moses, and Moses communicated the message to the people. Under the New Covenant, God speaks to every believer directly: through His word, and by His Spirit.

Under the Old Covenant, the sinful desires of our flesh inevitably overwhelmed our ability to follow God’s law. Under the New Covenant, when we believe in Jesus, we become “a new creation” (2 Cor 5:21). God writes His law on our hearts (Jer 31:33); and that means we don’t have to follow His law to earn His love, but we get to follow His law because we know we already have His love!

Aren’t you glad you live under the New Covenant?

But now [Jesus] has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises. – Heb 8:6

Prayer:

Father, thank You for Your New Covenant, sealed by the blood of Jesus Christ! I am so eternally grateful for everything Jesus died for me to have, and I receive it all with great joy!

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.

© Michael D. White, 2018. All rights reserved.

Day 48: You Need A Savior!

The Daily Word: Saturday, February 17th, 2018
Leviticus 4:1-5:19
Mark 2:13-3:6
Psalm 36:1-12
Proverbs 10:1-2
For full text click here.
Join us on Facebook Live for the Daily Word Broadcast!

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:

And it shall be, when he is guilty in any of these matters, that he shall confess that he has sinned in that thing… – Lev 5:5

The first step to restoration is confession. You’re not perfect; and that’s okay. God has already made provision for your imperfection in the Person of Jesus Christ. When you trust in Jesus, all your sins are forgiven! But your first step is to admit that you need a Savior.

There is no such thing as being “mostly perfect.” You are either perfect, or you’re not. There is no in-between. We cannot think that when we stand before God at the end of our lives, it will be enough to say, “I tried hard and lived a good life.” If you’ve made even one mistake, you might as well have made them all:

For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all. – Jas 2:10

So, are you perfect? Of course not; and that is why you need a Savior. Confess – admit to God – that you are not perfect. Trust that Jesus died for your sins on the Cross! Receive God’s perfect forgiveness, and know that God has separated you from your sin, “…as far as the east is from the west” (Ps 103:12).

Prayer:

Father, I admit that I am far from perfect; but I know that confession leads to restoration. Restore me, 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.

© Michael D. White, 2018. All rights reserved.

Day 47: A Move of God

The Daily Word: Friday, February 16th, 2018
Leviticus 1:1-3:17
Mark 1:29-2:12
Psalm 35:17-28
Proverbs 9:13-18
For full text click here.
Join us on Facebook Live for the Daily Word Broadcast!

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:

At evening, when the sun had set, they brought to Him all who were sick and those who were demon-possessed. And the whole city was gathered together at the door. – Mk 1:32-33

When Jesus healed, whole cities came out to see it. And when they “gathered together at the door” to see what Jesus could do, here is what they saw:

Then He healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and He did not allow the demons to speak, because they knew Him. – Mk 1:34

Will you help us pray for a genuine move of God in New York City? One in which healing, signs, and wonders are not based on hype, but on truth? It will not be manufactured; it will be manifested. It will not be invented; it will be imparted. When a move of God is real, whole cities will stop and take notice that Jesus is Lord.

Our city needs a move of God, now more than ever; and our prayers will carve a path for everything God is ready and willing to do. Will you join us?

Prayer:

Father, I want to see a move of God in New York City! Pour out Your Spirit on all flesh. I want to see miracles, signs and wonders, 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.

© Michael D. White, 2018. All rights reserved.