Tag Archives: #IntelligentCharismatic

Day 147: Quick to Judge

The Daily Word: Monday, May 27th, 2019
2 Samuel 12:1-31
John 16:1-33
Psalm 119:65-80
Proverbs 16:4-5
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Commentary from Pastor Michael White: 
So David’s anger was greatly aroused against the man, and he said to Nathan, “As the Lord lives, the man who has done this shall surely die!” – 2 Sam 12:5

Nathan recited David’s sins. David thought Nathan was talking about someone else, so his response was, “He deserves to die!” Nathan then told him the truth: David had just declared a death sentence over himself.

We are often quick to judge others, but slow to own up to our own mistakes. When someone else sins, we give them death! We take it as a serious indicator of a character flaw: a fatal error. But when we sin, we brush it off as a mistake that deserves forgiveness. Why do we give ourselves the benefit of the doubt, but rarely extend that same courtesy to others?

Judge others the same way you judge yourself. Give others the same forgiveness you so quickly offer yourself! God sees; and because of the Cross of Jesus Christ, He forgives. We should do the same for others in His name!

Prayer:

Father, make me slow to judge and slow to criticize. Help me to see others through the same filter as I see myself: deserving of grace and forgiveness. Thank You for forgiving me! Help me to forgive others, in Jesus’ name.

Archives
See commentary from this day in 2014.
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© Michael D. White, 2019. All rights reserved.

Day 146: Uncommon Kindness

The Daily Word: Sunday, May 26th, 2019
2 Samuel 9:1-11:27
John 15:1-27
Psalm 119:49-64
Proverbs 16:1-3
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Commentary from Pastor Michael White: 
So David said to him, “Do not fear, for I will surely show you kindness for Jonathan your father’s sake, and will restore to you all the land of Saul your grandfather; and you shall eat bread at my table continually.” – 2 Sam 9:7

Mephibosheth has nothing left. Jonathan, his father, was dead. David summoned him out of nowhere. For all he knew, David was calling him to kill. It was customary practice for a new king to kill all the descendants of a prior king; so nobody would have batted an eye if David killed Mephibosheth as a descendant of Saul.

But David didn’t call Mephibosheth into his presence to punish him; he called him to bless him! His message to Mephibosheth was clear: there is nothing but blessing for you in the presence of the king! Mephibosheth went home blessed because of the covenant that David had with Jonathan, his father.

You have a covenant with God through Jesus Christ. That means that whenever you come into God’s presence in prayer, there is nothing but blessing for you in the presence of the King! You will go home blessed because of the covenant that you have with God through Jesus Christ.

Thank God for His uncommon kindness. Come to God, and expect the best! He will bless you far more than you deserve because you have a covenant with Him.

Prayer:

Father, thank You for Your covenant kindness. You are an amazing God. I don’t deserve the kindness and the favor You show me! But You show it to me all the same. I am forever grateful, in Jesus’ name.

Archives
See commentary from this day in 2014.
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© Michael D. White, 2019. All rights reserved.

Day 145: Partnering with God

The Daily Word: Saturday, May 25th, 2019
2 Samuel 7:1-8:18
John 14:15-31
Psalm 119:33-48
Proverbs 15:33
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Commentary from Pastor Michael White:  

Now, O Lord God, the word which You have spoken concerning Your servant and concerning his house, establish it forever and do as You have said. – 2 Sam 7:25

David had just received the most amazing promise of his life! He offered to build God a temple; and God’s response was, “God will make you [David] a house” (v 11). In response to David’s intention to honor God, God promised to make David’s descendants a royal dynasty!

But David had a role to play in the promise being fulfilled. David had to agree with God. He partnered with God to see His promise come to pass. Death and life are in the power of the tongue (Prov 18:21). We can either cancel God’s promises through doubt and unbelief, or confirm them by spoken faith!

Has God told you what He is going to do? There is still action required! You have to affirm His word. You must promise to participate and value the life God wants to give you, and the process He wants to take you through.

God will do everything He has promised to do. Will you let Him?

Prayer:

Father, thank You for making amazing promises over my life. I say yes and amen to them, right now, in Jesus’ name. I pray I would never be a roadblock to Your promises unfolding over my life. I say yes to Your best, in Jesus’ name!

Archives
See commentary from this day in 2014.
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See commentary from this day in 2017.
See commentary from this day in 2018.

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

Day 144: Time to Reign

The Daily Word: Friday, May 24th, 2019
2 Samuel 4:1-6:23
John 13:31-14:14
Psalm 119:17-32
Proverbs 15:31-32
For full text click here.
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Commentary from Pastor Michael White: 
David was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years. – 2 Sam 5:4

The reigning is always longer than the waiting. David was between the ages of 12 and 16 when Samuel first anointed him as king over Israel (1 Sam 16:13). David patiently waited years to sit on the throne! But once he became king, he would reign for the rest of his life.

Maybe your destiny is taking some time. Maybe it doesn’t seem worth it to wait any more. But no matter how long you’ve been waiting, remember this: the reigning is always longer than the waiting. God will make it worth it in the end.

Prayer:

Father, I trust You. My destiny is taking more time than I thought it would to unfold; but I know it is coming, in Jesus’ name! You will do it; and I am forever grateful.

Archives
See commentary from this day in 2014.
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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 143: He Washed Their Feet

The Daily Word: Thursday, May 23rd, 2019
2 Samuel 2:12-3:39
John 13:1-30
Psalm 119:1-16
Proverbs 15:29-30
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Commentary from Pastor Michael White: 
After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded. – Jn 13:5

Jesus knew God had “given all things into His hands” (v 3). He had “come from God and was going to God” (v 3). He cast out demons with a word (Matt 8:16). He raised men from the dead with a simple command (Jn 11:43).

Jesus had all power and all authority! So what did He do with it? He served. He spent His final moments as a free Man on Earth washing His disciples’ feet. His disciples were about to betray and abandon Him, and He knew it! Yet He served them, up until His last breath. And He did it to set an example for you and me.

You have been given His authority (Lk 10:19). You can, “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, [and] cast out demons,” in Jesus’ name (Matt 10:8). But He didn’t give you His authority just to celebrate; He gave it to you to serve. What will you do with the authority Jesus has given you? Will you humbly use it to help others? Will you spend every moment up until your final breath on this earth washing the feet of people around you?

Prayer:

Father, help me to use my authority for good. I want to serve You! I want to save the lost. I know that can only happen when I get over my own agenda, and take up Yours instead. Help me to do it, 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.

Small Beginnings

The following is an adaptation of the sermon ‘Small Beginnings’ preached by Pastor Michael White on Sunday, 4/28/2019, at CityLight Church. To listen to the full podcast please click

      HERE
.

Don’t Despise Small Beginnings

Zerubabbel was a man with a monumental task ahead of him. Zerubabbel led a group of Jewish people – 42,360 according to historians – back to Jerusalem in the first year of Cyrus, King of Persia. The Hebrew people had been in Babylonian captivity for years, and were finally returning home. But someone had to lead this ragtag group of people.

Ultimately, Zerubabbel was tasked by God to rebuild the temple at Jerusalem.

Who is among you of all His people? May his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem which is in Judah, and build the house of the Lord God of Israel (He is God), which is in Jerusalem. – Ezra 1:3

King Solomon had built the temple in the 10th Century B.C. Nebuchadnezzar had razed the temple in 587 BC. Now, Zerubabbel had the pressure of rebuilding the temple to its former glory. And do you know how he planned to do it?

Then he said to me, “This is what the Lord says to Zerubbabel: It is not by force nor by strength, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. Nothing, not even a mighty mountain, will stand in Zerubbabel’s way; it will become a level plain before him! And when Zerubbabel sets the final stone of the Temple in place, the people will shout: ‘May God bless it! May God bless it!’” – Zech 4:6-7 (NLT)

God’s message to Zerubbabel (through the prophet Zechariah) was a strong one: as you’re building, don’t try and do it yourself. The temple wouldn’t be rebuilt by force, or by strength; but by God’s Spirit.

What has God asked you to build? What work has He asked you to do? You have to know that whatever monumental task He has given you is not going to be accomplished through your own self-effort. It will only come together if you ask His Holy Spirit to do the work!

Then another message came to me from the Lord: “Zerubbabel is the one who laid the foundation of this Temple, and he will complete it. Then you will know that the Lord of Heaven’s Armies has sent me. Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand.” – Zech 4:8-10 (NLT)

“Do not despise these small beginnings.” God knew, in advance, that Zerubabbel would encounter moments of extreme frustration because the plan of God was taking a long time to unfold. But God’s caution to His servant was not to despise the work – no matter how small the beginnings stages seem. God had started the work, and God would complete it; and when all was said and done, the Temple would be a testimony to God’s faithfulness for all the world to see!

You Are Called to Greatness

You are called to greatness! Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 6:19). Your life is a testimony of God’s faithfulness! But greatness takes time. Zerubabbel had a choice as he started to build the temple: would he celebrate every victory as it happened, no matter how small? Or would he allow the enormity of the remaining work to cause him to despise what God had already accomplished?

You have the same choice. God has given you big plans. Maybe you have trouble celebrating what God has already done; and instead, you’re upset because so much is left to do. But this is how God often works! He will give you big plans, and then ask you to celebrate the small victories along the way. He will ask you to demonstrate a thankful heart by being a good steward over the small victories, before He leads you into the monumental ones!

Any major breakthrough typically involves a string of smaller, gradual victories. Any big deal usually starts with a small beginning! Are you able to thank God for the victories – no matter how small – as they come?

David’s Small Beginnings: The People God Gives Us

Do you remember the call on David’s life? Historians estimate that David was between 10 and 15 years old when he was anointed king over Israel:

Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel arose and went to Ramah. – 1 Sam 16:13

But it would be decades before David would actually reign:

David was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years. In Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months, and in Jerusalem he reigned thirty-three years over all Israel and Judah. – 2 Sam 5:4-5

So what did David do in the interim? Yes, he “behaved himself wisely” (1 Sam 18:5): he went wherever Saul sent him, and did whatever Saul told him to do. But he also refused to despise small beginnings.

Saul persecuted David for years. 1 Samuel 22 tells us just how bad things got for David. Here is a man who was supposed to be the next king! Yet eventually we find David, trapped in a cave:

David therefore departed from there and escaped to the cave of Adullam. So when his brothers and all his father’s house heard it, they went down there to him. And everyone who was in distress, everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was discontented gathered to him. So he became captain over them. And there were about four hundred men with him. – 1 Sam 22:1-2

There are two things to note here that signify just how small David’s humble beginning was. First, David was in a cave. Kings don’t belong in caves (see the Resurrection)! David doubtless had countless opportunities to harden his heart. God, I can’t wait any longer! he could have cried. My life isn’t supposed to be like this! he could have pleaded. But instead of despising his situation, David kept his heart pure, and his eyes on God.

Second, look at the quality of the soldiers God sent David. When God finally decided to give David an army, He didn’t send David the best of the best. God sent him, “…everyone who was in distress, everyone who was in debt, and everyone who has discontented” (v 2). God sent David the most bitter people in the kingdom (the Hebrew word for “discontented” means “bitter of soul”)![1] But David didn’t turn them away. He “became captain over them.” Here was David, trapped in a cave, with four hundred losers! But did you know God makes losers into winners?

David made an intentional decision to treasure the people God had sent him, instead of despising them. And look what God did as a result:

Then they told David, saying, “Look, the Philistines are fighting against Keilah, and they are robbing the threshing floors.” Therefore David inquired of the Lord, saying, “Shall I go and [a]attack these Philistines?” And the Lord said to David, “Go and attack the Philistines, and save Keilah.” But David’s men said to him, “Look, we are afraid here in Judah. How much more then if we go to Keilah against the armies of the Philistines?” – 1 Sam 23:1-3

David’s men had zero confidence. They were afraid in hiding; so how much more afraid would they be in battle (v 3)? But David didn’t care. He saw potential in the people God sent him. So he took God at His word, and the result was victory!

Then David inquired of the Lord once again. And the Lord answered him and said, “Arise, go down to Keilah. For I will deliver the Philistines into your hand.” And David and his men went to Keilah and fought with the Philistines, struck them with a mighty blow, and took away their livestock. So David saved the inhabitants of Keilah. – 1 Sam 23:4-5

It’s not your strength that matters; it’s the strength of God, who fights for you. It’s not the quality of your team that matters; but the Spirit who works in and through them! Management theory says you have to be around people who make you better and smarter; but Scripture says only one thing matters. Is God with you?

If David had despised the small beginning God was giving him, he would have missed out on the opportunity to build the army God wanted him to have. But instead, he chose to celebrate his small beginning; and God brought him victory in the end!

Where do you feel like you’re stuck? What are you in the middle of, that you feel like you can’t do for one more day? Who are the people on your team, who you just can’t put up with for one more moment? Don’t despise your small beginning! God will use it for victory in the end!

Joshua’s Small Beginning: The Places God Puts Us

Joshua knew what it was like to have a small beginning. For years, he faithfully served Moses. Most passages refer to Joshua as Moses’ “servant.” But here is a passage that gives Joshua a different title:

After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, it came to pass that the Lord spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant… – Joshua 1:1

Talk about an opportunity for offense! Joshua was not just a “servant;” he was an “assistant.” This is not a glorious term! I mean, when you close your eyes and dream with God about whom He wants you to become, do you cry out to God, Lord make me an assistant? Of course not! The word “assistant” typically describes the least desirable role. But Joshua owned it. And look at the result:

After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, it came to pass that the Lord spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, saying: “Moses My servant is dead. Now therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them—the children of Israel. Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you, as I said to Moses. From the wilderness and this Lebanon as far as the great river, the River Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and to the Great Sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your territory. No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you.” – Josh 1:1-5

Joshua had faithfully served Moses for many years. When Moses met with God “…face to face, as a man speaks to his friend” (Ex 33:11a), do you know where Joshua was?

And [Moses] would return to the camp, but his servant Joshua the son of Nun, a young man, did not depart from the tabernacle. – Ex 33:11b

Joshua was in the presence of God with Moses! Whenever God met with Moses, He met with Joshua. What Joshua could have despised as slavery, God meant to be a training ground.

Did you know you inherit the anointing of the people you serve? God talked to Moses; and because Joshua served Moses, God would now talk to Joshua. God promised Moses that every place his foot tread upon would be given into his hand (Deut 11:24); and because Joshua served Moses, God would now extend the same promise to Joshua. No man was able to stand before Moses; and because Joshua served Moses, no man would be able to stand before Joshua! As God was with Moses, so would He be with Joshua!

Joshua undoubtedly had a choice every single morning, Would he continue to serve Moses with a good attitude? Or would he get bitter because he thought he was called to something better. He was, in fact, called to something more; but that “more” would come on the other side of his service.

Joshua made a daily decision to embrace his humble beginnings, instead of despising them. You see, if Joshua had been unwilling to be an assistant, he never would have been promoted to leader. If you want to lead, you have to start with an assist. If you want to be an influencer, you first have to be a follower!

Being Thankful

So, how do we avoid despising small beginnings? The answer is not to try to avoid despising them. The answer to sin is never to try not to sin; it is to invite the power of the Gospel into every area of your life, and trust that the light will force out all darkness!

The antidote to contempt – or despising something – is gratefulness. Here is where transformation is going to happen in your life: instead of despising your current situation, are you willing to thank God for it? Can you pray bold prayers, like, Lord, I know destiny takes time. Thank You for everything You have given me. I’m not going to despise the team You have put around me. I’m not going to hate the role You have given me! Help me to never despise what You are doing, in Jesus’ name!

Here is the key:

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

When you make a decision to approach God with thanksgiving, His perfect peace will wash over you.

The peace of God “surpasses” all understanding. That doesn’t just mean that you are going to have so much peace, you won’t be able to understand it. That means you have a choice: you can either choose the peace of God, or you can try to understand. But Scripture is telling you what to choose in advance! The peace of God “surpasses” – or is better than ­– all understanding! So when you finally sacrifice your need to understand everything, and instead simply say yes to God and submit to His plan, you will receive a perfect peace that is better than any amount of understanding could ever be!

Don’t despise small beginnings. It might seem small to you; but to God, there is nothing greater.

© 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] Hebrew nephesh; Strong’s H5315

Day 142: If It Dies…

The Daily Word: Wednesday, May 22nd, 2019
2 Samuel 1:1-2:11
John 12:20-50
Psalm 118:19-29
Proverbs 15:27-28
For full text click here.
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Commentary from Pastor Michael White: 
But Jesus answered them, saying, “The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified. Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain.” – Jn 12:23-24

The path to fruitfulness is death to self. Jesus knew that unless He died, the world could not be saved. If He didn’t choose the Cross, He would have spent eternity without us. So He chose death. He chose to sow His life as a seed, so the world could become His harvest. He chose to give up His life, so we could spend eternity with Him in Heaven!

Where do you want to see more fruit (i.e. the tangible manifestation of the goodness of God) in your life? Where are you sick and tired of feeling “alone” (v 24)? In your career? In your family? In your finances? The path to fruitfulness is death. Die daily to “selfish ambition and conceit” (Phil 2:3). Lay down your life – your own plans – in favor of God’s! As you die to self and embrace God’s will for your life, you will start to see the fruit of abundant life.

Prayer:

Father, I want to be more fruitful! I recognize selfishness is never the way to fruitfulness. Help me to lay down my life so that others might be free, 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 141: He Needs You There!

The Daily Word: Tuesday, May 21st, 2019
1 Samuel 29:1-31:13
John 11:55-12:19
Psalm 118:1-18
Proverbs 15:24-26
For full text click here.
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Commentary from Pastor Michael White: 
So David and his men came to the city, and there it was, burned with fire; and their wives, their sons, and their daughters had been taken captive. – 1 Sam 30:3

David and his men had wanted to fight for the Philistines. Achish had been kind to David and had sheltered him from Saul, and David wanted to return honor for honor. Yet when the time for battle came, Achish wouldn’t let David fight. Instead, he sent David home. David didn’t understand! “But what have I done?” David asked Achish (1 Sam 29:8). “And to this day what have you found in your servant as long as I have been with you, that I may not go and fight against the enemies of my lord the king?”

But God needed David in Ziklag. The enemy was attacking David’s city, and had taken “their wives, their sons, and their daughters” captive. What David interpreted as a snub, was really God putting him in the right place, at the right time, to defend Ziklag! What David saw as a rejection from Achish, was really God calling him to victory and restoration in a different place!

Trust God. You might feel rejected or excluded; but God is making sure you are in the right place, at the right time. He will bring you to victory: either where you are, or in another place He needs you to be!

Prayer:

Father, thank You for Your will. Thank You for protecting me. I pray I would never interpret Your protection as a rejection. Thank You for making sure I am always in the right place, at the right time!

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 140: Covenant Kindness

The Daily Word: Monday, May 20th, 2019
1 Samuel 26:1-28:25
John 11:1-54
Psalm 117:1-2
Proverbs 15:22-23
For full text click here.
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Commentary from Pastor Michael White: 
Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles! Laud Him, all you peoples! For His merciful kindness is great toward us, and the truth of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord! – Ps 117:1-2

God’s kindness is different than man’s. The kindness another man (or woman) shows you is imperfect: it is well-intentioned, but often based on convenience rather than sacrifice. God’s kindness, however is perfect! It is based on sacrifice, and never convenience. God’s kindness is based on definitive, sacrificial love!

The Hebrew word for “merciful kindness” in Psalm 117 (above) is checed (Strong’s H2617). Checed is covenant kindness: “unfailing love, loyal love, devotion, kindness, often based on a prior relationship, especially a covenant relationship.”[1] God’s kindness towards you doesn’t depend on what you do or don’t do; it depends on the covenant you’ve established with Him! As long as your covenant with God is established, His kindness over your life is active.

If you are in covenant with God through Jesus Christ, there is merciful kindness waiting for you at the foot of the Cross! God is good to you: not because you deserve it, but because He loves you more than you could ever imagine.

Prayer:

Father, thank You for checed: covenant kindness. I don’t deserve Your mercy; but You’ve given it to me all the same. I am so grateful, 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.


[1] *Kohlenberger/Mounce Concise Hebrew-Aramaic Dictionary of the Old Testament, eds. J. R. Kohlenberger and W. D. Mounce (electronic version 2.4, Accordance Bible program), see entry (chesed).

Day 139: Permanent Status

The Daily Word: Sunday, May 19th, 2019
1 Samuel 24:1-25:44
John 10:22-42
Psalm 116:1-19
Proverbs 15:20-21
For full text click here.
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Commentary from Pastor Michael White: 
And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. – Jn 10:28

No one can “snatch you” out of Jesus’ hand! As long as you “believe” (v 26), you are safe and secure. You are a child of God! You are Heaven-bound!

Don’t allow the enemy to scare you. He can never take your out of God’s plans and purposes for your life. As long as you believe in Jesus, Satan can never snatch you out of God’s hand!

The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. – Jn 10:10

Prayer:

Father, thank You for my permanent status. I am a child of God. I am off limits from the enemy! Thank You for protecting 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.
See commentary from this day in 2018.

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