Bible Commentary

A collection of Michael White’s One Year Bible Commentaries.

Day 8: Seriously, Stop Worrying…

 

Genesis 18:16-19:38
Matthew 6:25-7:14
Psalm 8:1-9
Proverbs 2:6-15
For full text click here: http://bit.ly/1ifjNDU

Commentary from Pastor Mike White:

“Do not worry about your life…” (Matt 6:25). Easier said than done, right? The more we focus on NOT doing something, the more we think about it. So how do we avoid worry? By thinking about something else, of course. More specifically, Jesus tells us that when we seek His Kingdom first, He will take care of all our material needs (Matt 6:33). As New Testament Christians, with the right to boldly come to the throne of grace (Heb 4:16), we should be pursuing God all the time. We should be including Him in all our major decisions. When it comes to our lives, we have the right to ask God what’s coming. God is not trying to hide His Will for your life. He wants you to seek Him so that you will find it. Abraham made time to fellowship with God, and God did not hide what He was about to do (Gen 18:17). Amos 3:7 says that God does nothing without first revealing His plans to His prophets. So, how do you avoid worry? Ask God what He has in store for you. Pursue Him in prayer. You will be amazed at His answer.

Prayer:

“Father, I ask that you speak to me about my life. What do you want me to do? Where do you want me to go? How can I honor You in everything I do? Help me to have full confidence in the revelation that when I seek You, I will find You. Help me to find peace and avoid worry by giving You all my attention.”

© Michael D. White, 2014. All rights reserved.

Day 7: Heart of Gold

Genesis 16:1-18:15
Matthew 6:1-24
Psalm 7:1-17
Proverbs 2:1-5
For full text click here: http://bit.ly/1ic293C

Pastor Commentary:

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matt 6:21) There is no mincing words or beating around the bush when it comes to this point: where you put your money demonstrates where you’ve put your heart. Are you sowing into your local church? Are you sowing into the people around you by generously blessing them? Proverbs 19:17 says that when we have pity on the poor, we are actually lending not to another human being, but to the Lord Himself. When God knows He can get money through us, He will get it to us. The Bible never says that money itself is evil, but rather that the love of money is evil (1 Tim 6:10). In fact, God wants us to spend so much time focusing on the things of Heaven that we don’t even have time to lust after money! We must be willing to give freely of everything we have to our God – because He has already freely given His Most Valuable Possession to us. Are you investing in the Kingdom of God? Would your bank account statement prove it?

Prayer:

“Father, help me to honor You with my finances, and help me to trust fully in Your Provision. You are Jehovah Jireh, the Lord Who Provides! There is no need too great for You! Sow into me so that I can sow into Your church in Jesus’ Mighty Name!”

© Michael D. White, 2014. All rights reserved.

Day 6: The Blood Covenant

Genesis 13:5-15:21
Matthew 5:27-48
Psalm 6:1-10
Proverbs 1:29-33
For full text click here: http://bit.ly/1f76xU3

Pastor Commentary:

In the time of Abraham, the most binding form of covenant that could be made between two men was a blood covenant. Both parties to the covenant would cut sacrificial animals in half, and then take turns passing (walking) between the pieces to demonstrate their commitment to the agreement. Essentially, a blood covenant meant that each man was entitled to all that the other man possessed. In this case, God was demonstrating to Abraham that when He said ‘your descendants shall be as numerous as the stars in the sky’ (Gen 15:5; paraphrase), He meant it. God promised Abraham access to every blessing He had spoken over him.

Breaking a blood covenant was punishable by death. What makes Genesis 15 so powerful is that God walked through the halves twice: once for Himself, and once for Abraham (Gen 15:17). He did not make Abraham pass through them himself. In other words, God was saying that He would not only agree to give Abraham everything He had promised him; in addition, God agreed to take Abraham’s punishment if (inevitably, when) Abraham couldn’t hold up his end of the bargain.

This is the Gospel message, perfectly illustrated through Old Testament custom. God knew Abraham wouldn’t be able to earn his righteousness, so He agreed to take on the punishment Abraham deserved. Jesus Christ bore that punishment on the Cross. God’s Son came and established a Blood Covenant with us: not only promising that we have a right to be blessed as heirs to the promise of Abraham, but also acknowledging that none of God’s wrath is left for us to bear when we rely on Jesus Christ for salvation.

Prayer:

“God, help me to see the depth of the Promise You made to me. Although I was sinful, You made me sinless. Although I was dirty, You made me clean. Although I was condemned, You saved me! Thank you for Your Covenant Promise, Jesus Christ.”

Day 5: The Power of Unity

CityLight Church’s One Year Bible Reading Plan
Genesis 11:1-13:4
Matthew 5:1-26
Psalm 5:1-12
Proverbs 1:24-28
For full text click here: http://bit.ly/19VpNPN

Pastor Commentary:

Human beings are made in God’s image (Gen 1:27), and we are capable of incredible things when we act in unison. Gen 11:1 says that at the time of the Tower of Babel, we all had ‘one language and one speech.’ ‘Speech’ is the Hebrew word ‘Dabar’ (Strong’s #1697); in other passages this is translated to mean the spoken word of God (Gen 15:1) or God’s plan (Gen 18:14). The entire earth – all mankind – spoke the same language and listened to the Word of God. The effect of that unity was so powerful that God had to intervene…but why? Why did God intervene at the Tower of Babel? At the time of the story, mankind was working in perfect harmony: speaking the same language and working together on a common plan. Why ruin it?

The problem was they were working on the wrong plan. They were trying to get to Heaven on their own by building up a man-made tower: a fortress of security to prevent being scattered abroad. Yet God cautions us that only He should be our strong tower (Ps 61:3, Prov 18:10). Jesus tells us that the meek shall inherit the earth (Matt 5:5), and that those who exalt themselves will be humbled (Matt 23:12). If we want to reach Heaven, we must acknowledge that only Jesus Christ can take us there. We can never earn entry on our own (Mark 8:37).

Prayer:

“Father, help me to hear Your Word. Instruct me according to Your Purpose. Help me not to cling to other people just like me for fear of setting out to do what You have called to do. I want You to be My Rock and My Fortress, because You are My Redeemer.”

 

© Michael D. White, 2014. All rights reserved.

Day 4: The Rainbow

Genesis 8:1-10:32
Matthew 4:12-25
Psalm 4:1-8
Proverbs 1:20-23
For full text click here: http://bit.ly/19GpU4a

Pastor Commentary:

The entire Old Testament points to the gospel message, and the story of Noah and the great flood is no exception. After the waters subsided, God made a promise to His children: “I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth.” (Gen 9:13, KJV) From a scientific standpoint, the ‘bow’ obviously refers to the rainbow, which occurs when light is refracted through rain or other water droplets in the sky. From a spiritual standpoint, however, the meaning is infinitely richer. The ‘bow’ (Hebrew Qesheth) is a war bow: a bow for hunting or battle. After the flood, God promised that He would forever lay up His bow in the clouds, and spare every human being who turned to His Son Jesus Christ from the wrath we deserve. The bow points skyward, toward heaven, instead of down at earth. Jesus Christ was the recipient of the wrath of God, and forever saved us from the punishment we deserve.

Prayer:

“Father, help me to see the gospel message in every line of Your Word. I ask that Your Holy Spirit would illuminate exactly how each and every text in the Bible points to Your Son Jesus Christ. I am so grateful that He took on the punishment I deserve so that I can be clothed in the righteousness only He deserves.”

© Michael D. White, 2014. All rights reserved.

Day 3: Speak the Word

Genesis 5:1-7:24
Matthew 3:7-4:11
Psalm 3:1-8
Proverbs 1:10-19
For full text click here: http://bit.ly/1hkkEpb

Pastor Commentary:

In Matt 4:1-10, Satan tempts Jesus. It is so important to note that when Jesus responds to Satan’s taunts, He uses Scripture – nothing more, nothing less. If even Jesus Christ, the Son of God, knew He had to stick to Scripture when responding to temptation, how much more so do we! The Word of God preserves us in every situation; it is ‘living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword” (Heb 4:12). Whenever we find ourselves in a tight spot, our best option is to speak the Word of God – out loud – over that situation. In order to speak it, we have to know it; and in order to know it, we have to listen.

Prayer:

“Father, help me to know Your Word! Give me a passion for Your Word: an unquenchable thirst and a never-ending desire to hear Your Will for every situation in my life. When I am tempted, or even just discouraged, bring Your Word to my remembrance so I can speak it out loud!”

© Michael D. White, 2014. All rights reserved.

Day 2: Fear of The Lord

Genesis 3:1-4:26
Matthew 2:13-3:6
Psalm 2:1-12
Proverbs 1:7-9
For full text click here: http://bit.ly/1dpbhAZ

Pastor Commentary:

The ‘fear of God’ is the recurrent theme that runs through today’s text. In Prov 1:7, ‘fear’ of God is translated as ‘respect, reverence, or piety’ (Strong’s #03374). We are created to respect and revere God because of His awesome power and His divine nature. After all, this is the God of the Universe who has taken such a great interest in restoring a relationship with us that He sent His Only Son to hang and die on the Cross for our sins!

What we want to emphasize today is that Biblical ‘fear’ is different than being afraid. God is not just a ruthless disciplinarian who will not rest until we are pulverized. He does not enjoy punishing us, and He does not wish bad things upon us. God is GOOD! Before eating from the tree of the knowledge of Good and evil, Adam was accustomed to walking with God in the garden in the cool of the day (Gen 3:8). It was not until Satan damaged their relationship that Adam and Eve were afraid of God’s Presence.

God desires INTIMACY with us; He desires intimacy with you. Intimacy was His original intent, and it should be our New Testament reality as recipients of God’s grace and mercy as demonstrated on the Cross.

Prayer:

“Father, help me to fear your properly. I know I am designed to respect You, and to stand in awe of Your Power and Glory. But help me to never be afraid of You. You want a relationship with me! You desire intimacy with me just as much as my soul cries out for intimacy with You!”

Day 1: God’s Word Works

Genesis 1:1-2:25
Matthew 1:1-2:12
Psalm 1:1-6
Proverbs 1:1-6
For full text click here: http://bit.ly/Kic7VS

Pastor Commentary:

What a beautiful way to start a Book (and the year 2014)! The earth was ‘without form and void’ (v 2), and God speaks creation into being. Does anyone out there feel like your life is sometimes without form and void? Like things are a little messy? God promises that when His Holy Spirit is present to effect change, all it takes is speaking the Word of God into a situation to change everything. God is bigger than the universe and even existence itself, which means He is DEFINITELY bigger than your problems. Let’s learn to delight in His Word this year as a church. Let’s meditate on it day and night as a family (Ps 1:2). Let’s speak God’s Word over our circumstances – and our lives – and watch God reorder them in His favor.

Prayer

“Father, help me to know Your Word. Help me to delight in Your promises! Remind me to speak Your Word out over every situation in my life, knowing that You are the God who created the universe. You can change anything because You created everything!”