All posts by Mitch White

Mitch White is a retired ordained minister of 38 years, having served churches in Texas, Oklahoma and Florida and now residing in North Carolina. Areas of ministry oversight included worship, teaching, Christian education and administration. He's a graduate of the University of Central Florida in Orlando and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Ft. Worth, Texas, a father of two adult married children, an avid amateur photographer and lover of the outdoors and nature. He currently offers support to his octogenarian Mom as caretaker / caregiver which he considers his greatest ministry to date.

Choose You, This Day

Psalm 119:147-149 (NASB)

147 I rise before dawn and cry for help;
I wait for Your words.
148 My eyes anticipate the night watches,
That I may meditate on Your word.
149 Hear my voice according to Your lovingkindness;
Revive me, O Lord, according to Your ordinances.

There is a God-prescribed path to Life (living as He, Our Creator, has intended) and a sustaining of that Life-force in us.

Jesus Christ, the God-Man is God’s fulfillment of His Word in the flesh. He said of Himself: “I AM the Way, the Truth, the Life.  No one comes to the Life-giving Father but through Me.”

There are many paths but only One Way. There are many places offered as sources of truth, but only One that is trustworthy.

Psalm 119:160 (NASB)

160 The sum of Your word is truth,
And every one of Your righteous ordinances is everlasting.

Every cultural shift or “progressive” mentality away from HIS Word is a variance from His True North and Life. His prescription for humankind is forever. Any alteration based on “another” syllogistic logic, in order to be more stylish or in vogue…”in step with the times”, is dangerous; a move toward that which is false and death.

Deuteronomy 11:26-28 (NASB)
26 “See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse:
27 the blessing, if you listen to the commandments of the Lord your God, which I am commanding you today;
28 and the curse, if you do not listen to the commandments of the Lord your God, but turn aside from the way which I am commanding you today, by following other gods which you have not known.

He has presented us with a choice, every moment of every day. Who…what will we follow? The choice comes with a promise of blessing or curse, Life, or death;  certainty of physical AND most importantly spiritual death.

In 2018, I commend to you the Life Giver and His forever True Way. Go North, True North…

And be blessed,

Mitch

My Reminder…

Richard C. Halverson, though I never knew him, is a hero of mine. His work and words have impacted my life. As I remember him in this month of Thanksgiving, I thank God for him. I recently posted one of his devotionals from his bi-weekly devotional letter “Perspective”. I’d like to post another today. I only wish I could find the proper entity to get permission for using his work. My efforts at this have rendered nothing so far. Should you be aware of who I might contact, please inform me. I’d be indebted.

So good to remember that…

Jesus Christ transcends all religions! Judaism, Islam, Buddhism Hinduism…

He is greater than all these – including Christianity.

Religions are inventions of men. They may begin with a great leader in mind – Moses, Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha…

But human tradition soon reduces the original to a mere set of ethical standards and a dead letter of the law which no one can follow.

The original sin was not murder, adultery or any other action we call sin. The original sin was, and still is, the human choice to be one’s own god – to control one’s own life – to be in charge – to be religious!

Rising out of this choice evolves religion: man’s attempt to please god.

Jesus transcends religion because He is the incarnation of all that is true, good, loving, gentle, tender, thoughtful, caring, courteous and selfless.

Jesus does not want you to become a Christian. He wants you to become a new creation! There is a great difference between the two.

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, He is a new creation: Old things are passed away; behold, all things are new.” (2 Corinthians 5:7)

From “Perspective” by Richard C. Halverson – August 12, 1996

 

The Way

Psalm 84:5-12 New American Standard Bible

5 How blessed is the man whose strength is in You,
In whose heart are the highways to Zion! …They go from strength to strength,
Every one of them appears before God in Zion.
For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
…The Lord gives grace and glory;
No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.
12 O Lord of hosts,
How blessed is the man who trusts in You!

So…
Psalm 86:11
11 Teach me Your way, O Lord;
I will walk in Your truth;
Unite my heart to fear Your name.

My GPS has changed my life! I’ve put all my maps aside for the most part. “She” always knows where I am and how to get me where I want to go…most of the time. I call her Jennifer.

It has taken much of the stress of travelling away. Having my own personal navigator aboard, assuring me of my next turn and happily re-calculating when I get off course, is a lifesaver.  It has removed the concern of ever being lost. Amazing…how does she do that?  My techie friends tell me it’s not that complicated.  Though I don’t get it, I do trust my way to her.  Though I don’t understand, I believe her commands and go where she directs, confident I’ll ultimately get home.

The application to these verses is obvious. The psalmist tells us that having God’s Way in our heart will always get us “Home”, to HIM and Zion, His dwelling place. It is there that every “good thing” we need for life is found. Everything required for my sufficiency, adequacy and security is there in great supply. He is very happy to deluge us there with His best.

No wonder, the psalmist would ask he Lord to teach him the way to walk and to revere HIM enough to stay on that road to His presence…the ultimate Destination.

Actually, there are only two ways in Life, God’s way or another one. There are many voices calling to divert us from His prescribed path. His word, The Bible, has been God’s GPS for me in this life for some time and is always spot on. My problem is, I too often take “side trips” and get lost in the complexities and troubles waywardness brings.

Psalm 139:23
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me and know my anxious thoughts;
24 And see if there be any hurtful way in me,
And lead me in the everlasting way.

Knowing his vulnerability and predisposition to waywardness, the psalmist asks his Heavenly Father to search his heart for the entrenched habits and thinking that would upstage God’s way, and requests personal guidance in His eternal, life-giving, sustaining path.  Just think, having your own personal, resident Spiritual navigator with you, always directing and ultimately, to Himself.  It’s true! He wants to plug into your life and take you where you should go.  It brings the confidence He intends us to have in the difficult days we live.

The psalmist’s prayer has become mine every new day.  Wayward as I have been and still can be, I’ve put aside all other “maps” and trust His unfailing direction for everything. For me, that is making all the difference.

My prayer for you is to find His way and stay there. You will never regret it. Make your way “Home” to Him and know the best and most He’s gives.  For me, I’ve made up my mind.  I’m

Heading Home,

Mitch

He Must Increase…

John 3:30 (NASB) He must increase, but I must decrease.

Reading this verse in its context, John the Baptist, nearing the end of his ministry, tells his disciples that Jesus Christ is the Bridegroom, but he, John, is just His friend. He is one who partnered with God in “preparing the way” for the Coming One, Jesus. Then he says, “He must increase, but I must decrease”.  John 3:25-30 

Great as John was in the Kingdom of God, he understood that Jesus was and always would be first.   His work was to join God in preparing the way for Him.  As Jesus’ ministry emerged, John’s “joy was made full”.  His work had been accomplished.  Joy always comes to those of us who not only know our God-given purpose, but see it being achieved.

If this was true for John, how much more for me. I am the friend of Jesus, though flawed and insignificant, yet redeemed.  I’m privileged to partner with Him in His forever endeavors.  His purposes and way should be made clearer over time through me and in my small sphere of influence.

Much more, He must increase and I decrease…Every moment, more of Him and less of me…Him always greater than (>), and me less than (<).  For me, it is best said, ALL of Him and NONE of me.  I’m simply a modest container through which He is free to pour His Saving Life…the container ultimately disregarded due to the far greater significance …value of Who / What is pouring from it.

Rightly related to God and functioning in His Life via the Holy Spirit, I become increasingly invisible and He ever more radiant. As I cooperate and let Him do His all-encompassing work, He is Glorified. I will know the fullness of joy that comes as He does His work and gets His Glory in me.  This is His intended purpose / destiny for all humanity.  As this spiritual crescendo is seen, our Heavenly Father is pleased; He takes great pleasure in us.

The Westminster Catechism states, “The chief end and duty of mankind, is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.”

Is there anything else to strive for? Is there any greater endeavor? Can there be a more significant achievement and work as we live or die? All of scripture speaks a resounding “No”.  And if He is pleased in my every moment, then that is true success indeed…the Godward life.

How I need more of Him and less of me. How I need Him to get at the things inside that I cannot get to…to remove the distractions, infatuations and hindrances to which I am predisposed…all that compromises His Life and Light.  This is living as He intended, Life indeed, pure and simple…the ultimate fulfillment and satisfaction.  May it be true today and increasingly so in me.  And, this is my prayer for you.

Aspiring,

Mitch

He Is Near

“We give thanks to You, O God, we give thanks,
For Your name is near….” Psalm 75:1

Such great encouragement and hope to know this!

The psalmist, speaking to God, says:

But as for me, the nearness of God is my good; I have made the Lord God my refuge, That I may tell of all Your works. Psalm 73:28

How blessed is the one whom You choose and bring near to You To dwell in Your courts. We will be satisfied with the goodness of Your house, Your holy temple. Psalm 65:4

He is as “near as the mention of His name”.

The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth. Psalm 119:18

Seek the Lord while He may be found; Call upon Him while He is near. Isaiah 55:6

He invites us to call on the only Name that can truly save, satisfy, help, deliver, provide, give wisdom and comfort.

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. James 4:8

…He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him (Jesus Christ), since He always lives to make intercession for them. Hebrews 7:25

Don’t miss this kind, Sovereign invitation. Again, seek the Lord while He may be found; Call upon Him while He is near. He is near, NOW, for you, in every concern, fear, disappointment or loss. He is true and will not disappoint.

Be blessed!

Mitch

First Things First

Matthew 6:33 (NASB)
33 But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

The scriptures tell us to seek His Kingdom first. So, what is this “kingdom” we should seek? I believe kingdoms are about kings and their domain. That being so, seeking His Kingdom is seeking Him as King and we being His domain…giving Him His rightful place of rule and reign in us, over us and around us. And, the word “seek” is most accurately rendered “seek and keep on seeking continuously”.

Verse 33 is in the “imperative mood”, meaning it is a command, an imperative…not an elective or just an option.

The word “first” necessarily implies several things about seeking His Kingdom:

Priority – It is first in importance
Purpose – Implies the first and most important reason why we exist
Profession – Implies my first and primary task, work, objective
Passion – Implies my first and primary motive in all we do

So what is the outcome of this endeavor?

Matthew 6:25-32
25 “For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? 27 And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? 28 And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, 29 yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! 31 Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ 32 For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

The outcome is amazing! If we make HIM our greatest priority, purpose, passion, possession and profession, THEN HE will make us His priority and add everything else we need to be sustained and flourish.

Jesus was once asked what the foremost commandment was.  His reply, “Love the LORD your God with all your heart soul, mind and strength”.  I feel this is a great complimentary  verse to the focal passage of this brief note.  I think this says it all very simply.  What we love and cherish the most in this life will always determine our priorities, guide us in our purpose, work, choices and be the  foundation for our value systems.

May it be that we seek Him and His rule and reign over us…seek to love Him with everything in us, and out of that, every other concern, need and desire will be abundantly met out of His unlimited, loving supply.

Give Him Praise!

Mitch

 

The Bible!

Through the years, there are those who have impacted my life greatly. One of those is Richard C. Halverson, former Chaplain of the United States Senate. His writings speak powerfully to many issues. I share today this devotional taken from his bi-weekly devotional letters, May 20, 1996, published by Concern Ministries, Inc.  I might add, I have attempted to get permission to use this devotional and have been unable to find a contact to do so.  If you can help, please let me know.

“Through the centuries, the Bible has meant more to humanity than any other book.

On his deathbed, Sir Walter Scott, the great English Author, requested that his son bring him ‘the book’. ‘Which book?’ asked his son. “There is only one book” Scott replied, “The Bible”.

The late Yale professor, William Lyon Phelps, said if he had to choose between the Bible and a university education, he would choose a knowledge of the Bible.

Concerning the Bible, Patrick Henry said, ‘There is a book worth all other books.’

     Horace Greely commented, ‘The principles of the bible are the groundwork of human freedom.’ And Rufus Choat said, ‘No lawyer can afford to be ignorant of the Bible.’

‘Hold fast to the Bible,’ urged Ulysses S. Grant, ‘for it is the anchor of our liberties.’ Then he added, ‘To the influence of this book we are indebted for all the progress made in true civilization – and to this we must look as our guide in the future.’

In the words of Woodrow Wilson, ‘When you have read the Bible, you will know it is the Word of God because you will have found it to be the key to your own heart, your own happiness, and your duty.’

What an amazing phenomenon – the Bible!

It is virtually a library in itself – written by over forty different writers, from different cultures, over thousands of years, in various languages, addressing many subjects, and yet a unified whole.

To contemplate the Bible’s influence in exalting people and nations to consider its supernatural composition – not to mention the fulfillment of its numerous prophesies – is only to arrive at the conclusion which the Bible claims for itself, that:

    ‘All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for…instruction in righteousness: That the man or woman of God may be perfect…unto all good works.’ (2 Timothy 3:16)”

May this great book become endeared to you, and increasingly so, as it has these.

Be Blessed,

Mitch

HE Satisfies!

Psalm 145:15-16 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
15 The eyes of all look to You,
And You give them their food in due time.
16 You open Your hand
And satisfy the desire of every living thing.

Psalm 38:9 (NASB)
9 Lord, all my desire is before You;
And my sighing is not hidden from You.

Psalm 103:5 (NASB)
5  …Who satisfies your years with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle.

All of God’s creation is administrated and sustained by HIM. Nothing is lost, expires, occurs or fails apart from HIS loving, sovereign knowledge, oversight and permission.

Especially for mankind, the apex of HIS creation, all desires, needs, deficiencies and concerns, no matter how small, are seen by HIM (El Roi). HE not only sees all but HE is The Provider (Jehovah Jireh)for all, The Shepherd (Jehovah Rohi) and God Almighty (El Shaddai, the All Sufficient One). So, not only does HE see and know our needs, HE is uniquely qualified to meet and satisfy those needs, has promised to do so, and that without diminishing HIS supply at all!

There are many others who feebly make this claim. They are all counterfeits! They may “convincingly” make their argument. We may take their bait. But, as all things false, though they may satisfy for a brief time, they soon give way to a greater hunger than before, and we realize we were fooled.

Only God himself knows how many times I’ve been deceived, gone after “another” source, and soon find myself disappointed, more desperately in need, plus facing consequences of my error.  HE clearly declares HIMSELF The SOURCE for all. Why would we go elsewhere? “How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation”, provider, keeper?

For every legitimate (God-given) need, drive or desire, there is a legitimate supply. HIS Word to us is: 2 Corinthians 9:8-9 (NASB)

8 …God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all-sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed;
9 as it is written,
“He scattered abroad, he gave to the poor,
His righteousness endures forever.”

Hear all these inclusives: all grace, always, all-sufficiency, abundance, every good deed! God is not limited! My problem has been my propensity to run to another rather than to HIM. There lies the limitation if any, the guy I see in my mirror.

May it ever be, from this day on, that I always run to HIM early, always honor HIM by relentlessly trusting His Word and HIS endless supply.  Oh that I would forever make HIM my first choice and never again my last chance. May I always remember that “HE blesses us, that all the ends of the earth may fear (revere and trust) HIM”, alone. (Psalm 67)

These are true words, for HE has declared them.  This is my prayer for you who reads.  Run to HIM…make HIM first, and get ready for HIS promised abundance.

HIS blessings on you and yours,

Mitch

Don’t Be Afraid

Psalm 37:1-11 (NASB)
Security of Those Who Trust in the Lord

1Do not fret because of evildoers, Be not envious toward wrongdoers.  2For they will wither quickly like the grass and fade like the green herb. 3Trust in the Lord and do good; Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.  4Delight yourself in the Lord; And He will give you the desires of your heart. 5Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, and He will do it.  6He will bring forth your righteousness as the light and your judgment as the noonday. 7Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes.  8Cease from anger and forsake wrath; Do not fret; it leads only to evildoing. 9For evildoers will be cut off, But those who wait for the Lord, they will inherit the land.  10Yet a little while and the wicked man will be no more; And you will look carefully for his place and he will not be there.  11But the humble will inherit the land and will delight themselves in abundant prosperity.”

The scriptures speak to fear probably more than any other thing. He knows we are prone to fear more than any other emotion. He also knows that our arch-enemy Satan, is a fear monger, the father of terror. Though Jehovah God has assured our security,  peace and rest, Satan speaks to the contrary, hoping to discredit God, His Words, and propagate what is false.”

Listen again to His promise in Psalm 37:

“Do not fret…Be not envious…Trust in the Lord…Delight yourself in Him…Commit your way to… and trust in Him and He will do it…Rest in the Lord and wait for Him…. Cease from anger and forsake wrath; do not fret, it leads only to evildoing. …For those who wait for Him…will delight themselves in abundant prosperity.”

Such encouragement and such warning! Succumbing to fear will take us places we do not want to go. These words seem to suggest that fear is the soil from which anger and wrath emerge…the opposite of faith.

I’m such a slow learner in these things. How I’ve failed and dishonored my God by listening to another, when I know the truth of His sovereign care…believing what my five physical senses tell me rather than His forever promises.  Still, after many years, if not careful, I can find myself off course, having believed a lie, having forgotten Jehovah’s certain words of security, hope and provision. Psalm 37:23-26:

“The steps of a man are established by the Lord,
And He delights in his way.  When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong, because the Lord is the One who holds his hand.  I have been young and now I am old, Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken Or his descendants begging bread.  All day long he is gracious and lends, and his descendants are a blessing.”

Thanks to the Holy Spirit dwelling in and around His followers, who can quickly remind, correct and get us back to truth, faith and security again.  How kind and patient He is…understanding, forgiving and continuing to move us forward, Godward…relentlessly after Him and His way…His best.

Let these words from Him take you and keep you in the place of rest with all your concerns. He loves and sees you.  He’s always caring and working for your benefit and for His glory.  Give Him Praise!!

Amazed,

Mitch

Today Is The Day!

“For I hope (wait for and trust) in You, O Lord;
You will answer, O Lord my God.” Psalm 38:15

In Psalm 38, King David cries out to the LORD acknowledging his sin and seeking relief from the suffering it brought. He knows (vs 9) that his LORD is aware of all his concerns, confesses his inability to do anything about them, then makes the declaration of verse 15.

As with David, much, if not all our troubles can be traced back to our sin / sins. Though, we must remember the words of Jesus Christ in John 16:33: “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” If we live in this world, we will have trouble and not necessarily because of anything we have done, and we can overcome in it because He has, and we are in Him.

That said, our failures, disappointments, reversals, and more, may be traced back to the person we see in the mirror each morning. Someone once said: “I am what I am because of the choices I have made”. David, as should we, took full responsibility for his situation, and if we are to move forward from where we are today, it must begin at this place of confession. In Psalm 32:3-6, David says he suffered until he acknowledged and confessed his sin. Only then did forgiveness, relief from guilt, and reconciliation with God come.

We all need  to be reconciled to this indispensable, Life-giving relationship; agreeing with Him about our condition, finding the abundant forgiveness He offers through Jesus Christ’s completed work, then, following His detailed instructions on how to get on and stay on His path (Psalm 32:8-11).   This fulfills our reason for existing, gains His favor, successes and life-sustaining supply. This gets Him the glory and honor He deserves and He mercies us with joy, rest and the inner peace He has guaranteed.

Seek Him NOW while He can be found (Psalm 32:6).  Today is the day!  Know the benefits His way assures (Psalm 32:10, 11).  His unfailing love is here, now, and promises consistent ongoing personal improvement and future amazing outcomes to all who believe in Him.

May this be yours in abundance, Today!

For more help in knowing God personally:  https://www.cru.org/how-to-know-god/would-you-like-to-know-god-personally.html

Carpe Diem!

Mitch