When God Cleans House

Open your heart to the cleansing work of God’s Spirit (2Ch 29:15-17) #Revival #SpiritualAwakening #Repentance #SurrenderToGod https://www.bible.com/116/2ch.29.15-17.nlt

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

When God sends revival he moves the hearts of those he will use to begin to purify, clean out, their own hearts. He calls them to rid their hearts of anything standing between them and God. Like pride, self importance, jealousy, envy and lust; taking God (his blessings) for granted, selfishly consuming personal pleasures and insensitivity to the needs of others, et al.

When revival comes, God calls those who lead to make him the priority in lifestyle and in worship. God calls them to clear the temple of their own hearts of all that defiles and rivals him. He calls them to make ready the way for others to come. Lord, cleanse the heart of this sentry, that I may not be a hindrance to revival.

Is Revival, Awakening Happening?

Be prepared for God to release you in his service (2Ch 29:3–5,10-12). #Revival #SpiritualAwakening https:www.bible.com116/2ch.29.3-5,10-12.nlt

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

I may not know all the ways of God in the onset of revival or spiritual awakening, but I can see clues from God’s word. God used King Hezekiah in Judah to implement a fresh wind of revival. Through Hezekiah God released the Levites (his godly servants) to purify themselves and the temple. Then to perform the ministry they had previously been denied.

Today there seems to be a growing alertness in the people of God. There is a man in leadership who, though not perfect, is a friend toward God. Hostility towards him, the increase of darkness and violence in our society, may be a clue that God is moving in our midst.

Lord, intensify this sentry’s alertness and prayer for those who minister before you daily, who lead in the cleansing of our national sins.

Lord, “Make Good Trouble” In America

U.S. Representative John R. Lewis (1940-2020) was a civil rights activist who worked with Martin Luther King, Jr. He was of the habit of telling folks, “Make Good Trouble.” The purpose of making good trouble was to bring about positive change.  It is clear to me that God makes good trouble himself. The reason God makes good trouble is to bring about change in the human soul. I pray that God would “Make Good Trouble” in the soul of Americans today.

“Your righteousness, O God, is very high, You who have done great things; O God, who is like You? You, who have shown [us] great and severe troubles,shall revive [us] again, and bring [us] up again from the depths of the earth. You shall increase [our] greatness, and comfort [us] on every side.” – Psalm 71:19-21

LORD, WOULD YOU TROUBLE THE HEARTS OF AMERICANS

Lord, would you trouble the hearts of church members and pastors

Would you trouble the hearts of our leaders 

Would you trouble the heart of our President toward God 

Would you trouble the hearts of Congressmen and women

Would you trouble hearts of the Presidential Cabinet members

Would you trouble the hearts of our Supreme Court justices

LORD, WOULD YOU TROUBLE THE HEARTS OF AMERICANS

Lord, would you trouble the hearts of our Governor and Lieutenant Governor

Would you trouble the hearts of our state legislators and it’s courts

“O Lord, do not rebuke [us] in Your anger, Nor chasten [us] in Your hot displeasure. Have mercy on [us], O Lord, for [we are] weak; O Lord, heal [us], for our bones are troubled. [Our] soul also is greatly troubled; [How long], O Lord —[until you restore [us]?” – Psalm 6:1-3  

LORD, WOULD YOU TROUBLE THE HEARTS OF AMERICANS

Lord, would you trouble the hearts of our County Sheriff and deputy staff

Would you trouble the hearts of our County Commissioners

Would you trouble the hearts of our city’s Mayor and Council

Would you trouble the hearts of our School Board members and Superintendent

LORD, WOULD YOU TROUBLE THE HEARTS OF AMERICANS

Lord, would you trouble the hearts of my neighbors 

Would you trouble the hearts in MY HOME 

“They wandered in the wilderness in a desolate way; They found no city to dwell in. Hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them. Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, And He delivered them out of their distresses. Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men!For He satisfies the longing soul, and fills the hungry soul with goodness.” – Psalm 107:4-6,8-9 

LORD, WOULD YOU TROUBLE THE HEARTS OF AMERICANS

Lord, may my heart be troubled for the soul of America

May my heart also be troubled toward you

LORD, WOULD YOU TROUBLE THE HEARTS OF AMERICANS

Lord I pray this great country might find her way back to you again. 

I pray that she would open up her heart again to you.

May she once again know the goodness and mercies of a loving God.

May she enjoy once again your protections, your resources and your wisdom.

Lord, would you turn her heart back to the God who brought her here.

I ask Lord Jesus that you would put down the rebellion of her soul toward the God of our fathers.

“Turn Yourself to [us], and have mercy on [us O Lord], for [we are] desolate and afflicted. The troubles of [our] hearts have enlarged; Bring [us]out of [our] distresses! Look on [our] affliction and [our] pain, and forgive all [our] sins.” – Psalm 25:16-18 

LORD, WOULD YOU TROUBLE THE HEARTS OF AMERICANS

MAY WE, ONE BY ONE, CRY OUT TOWARD YOU;

MAY WE KNOW YOUR DELIVERANCE;

MAY WE OFFER THANKS TO YOU;

SATISFY THE LONGING OF

OF OUR SOUL; AND

FILL US UP WITH

GOODNESS

Be The Light In Darkness

Allow God to use you to point people to the light of Christ (2Ch 29:3–5,10,11). #Revival #SpiritualAwakening https://www.bible.com/1588/2ch.29.3-5,10-11.amp

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Hezekiah, son of wicked king Ahaz, becomes the king of Judah. He was a man the polar opposite of his father. The first thing he did was to re-open the temple. He called a meeting of the priests and Levites. He tells them to purify themselves and clean the temple out of all impure things.

Out of the darkest of times revival was on the way. The priests and Levites begin again to minister before the Lord and to lead the people to worship God once again. Lord, would you give us a leader in our nation who will call us back to you. Lord, may I be used to bring light into dark places.

Seek God Out As Friend & Ally

Do not reject God; it will not go well for you (2Ch 28:16-25). #Contemptuous #NoHonor https://www.bible.com/1588/2ch.28.16-25.amp

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Following the losses to Israel and Syria (Aram), Judah’s king Ahaz still rejected God. The Lord continued to humble Judah because of Ahaz. The small land of Edom invaded Judah and took captives. The Philistines invaded in the south and took land belonging to Judah. Instead of calling on God for help, Ahaz still rejected God; held God in contempt. 

Ahaz tried to appease Assyria for help. He robbed the temple, the royal palace and the homes of his officials to buy off Assyria. But that did not work. He closed the temple and set up shrines to pagan gods. All of this led to his ruin. God’s anger was aroused at the abject wickedness of this king.

Lord, in the morning watches I shall seek you as friend and ally. I ask that my beloved country and its leaders seek you as friend and ally.

Obed! Right Man, Right Time, Right Message

A 2020 Call for men and women with the “Obed Factor”

Today angry mobs are in the streets, rioting over certain injustices committed. But they go to far. Destruction of their very own countrymen robs the moment and the movement of its important significance. We cannot be a nation of lawlessness. We also cannot be a nation without humane recourse. But mob rule, mob justice, will not govern by either. 

We read in 2 Chronicles 28 that the Lord was not pleased with Ahaz, king of the southern Israelite nation of Judah (vv1-4). Because of the heinous sins of Ahaz God used an alliance between Syria (Aram) and Israel to bring remedial judgment on Ahaz and Judah. Israel of course was the rival northern Israelite nation bordering Judah. The nation of Israel was more than happy to join in the fight against Judah. [The prophet Isaiah offered a way out for Ahaz, if he would but call upon God for deliverance. But Ahaz rejected Isaiah’s words of counsel – Isa 7:1-12]

The result was that Israel slaughtered 120,000 warriors of Judah, took 200,000 women and children captive, intending to make slaves of them and seized enormous amounts of plunder. But this victory went too far as they were indulging their own lust for superiority. So when they returned to the capital city of Samaria the prophet Obed met them. This is the only place we read of this particular prophet. Few would recognize his name. 

Listen to these words of Obed (vv9-11): 

“The Lord, the God of your ancestors, was angry with Judah and let you defeat them. But you have gone too far, killing them without mercy, and all heaven is disturbed. And now you are planning to make slaves of these people from Judah and Jerusalem. What about your own sins against the Lord your God? Listen to me and return these prisoners you have taken, for they are your own relatives. Watch out, because now the Lord’s fierce anger has been turned against you!” (NLT)

We have seen angry and arrogant mobs are in the streets of our cities rioting over certain injustices committed. They are right to protest injustice. In America we have the right to peacefully protest. But, like Israel, these mobs go too far. They kill, hurt and maim their own countrymen. They destroy, lute and burn the businesses of their own countrymen. They ignore the rule of law and put the lives of all their own countrymen in danger. We cannot be a nation of lawlessness. We also cannot be a nation without humane recourse. But mob rule, mob justice, will not govern by either. 

What is the “Obed Factor”?

#AgentOfCompassion

Who is this Obed? The name Obed means, “servant; worshipper.” Obed was a man of God, a servant and worshipper of God. “His prophecy [is merely] an argument [for] brotherly kindness and affection, and yet few men have ever rendered a nobler service to their fellow men than that recorded of him.”– The Biblical Illustrator. Obed goes alone with no one to stand with him. He faces the prospect of ridicule and mocking. There is no hint of fame for him but only to forgo the further harm and desecration of Judah, their Israelite brothers. 

He goes alone but in the background there are four other men of conscience. Perhaps there are many others, but they are afraid to speak (much like our day today). Yet, four men are named in Scripture who cut across the grain of the moment. They come forward to stand with Obed. I will name them here because Scripture does so (v12). Their fathers are also named. All this reminds me of the sacred trust I have for my sons and daughters and that speaking up for what is right, just and good is worthy of recognition. They are, “Azariah son of Jehohanan, Berekiah son of Meshillemoth, Jehizkiah son of Shallum, and Amasa son of Hadlai.”

The end result was that the prisoners were released. The four men mentioned were the ones who came forward to lead out in the distribution of clothes from the plunder to the naked prisoners. They gave the prisoners sandals to wear, food to eat and dressed their wounds. The prisoners were taken and returned to their own people in Judah. Lives and honor were saved that day.

The“Obed Factor” is the comportment of an individual or group of individuals who have a vital relationship with God and the presence of mind to speak clearly and take action for God when called upon by his Spirit. The Obed voice is that voice in our country and in our communities that speaks out in humanitarian mercy for God and the good of all.  #AgentOfCompassion

Where are the Obeds Among Us?

As I look over the landscape of 2020 I ask the question, “Where are the Obeds among us?” 

Who among us in 2020 has the Obed courage of his/her convictions? Who among us in 2020 can and will take some Obed action to curb the base instincts of man? Who among us in 2020 has the presence of mind to speak, not in hot-blooded condescension, but in a calm, clear Obed voice, speak nobly?

OBED: Kentucky Attorney General, Daniel Cameron, is an Obed in our midst. He shows courage in the hour of difficulty. He said this on September 23, 2020, 

“..If we simply act on emotion or outrage there is no justice. Mob justice is not justice. Justice sought by violence is not justice. It just becomes revenge. In our system, criminal justice isn’t a quest for revenge. It is a quest for truth, evidence and facts and the use of that truth as we fairly apply laws. Our reaction to the truth is what kind of society we want to be. Do we really want the truth or a truth it fits our narrative? Do we want the facts or accept our own version of events? We, as a community, must make this decision.” 

OBED: Minister, Rev. Franklin Graham, is an Obed in our midst. He shows courage in the hard times. He will lead a prayer vigil through the Washington D.C. National Mall, Saturday, September 26, 2020. The vigil and walk will start at 12:00 noon (EST). You can watch the prayer vigil on live stream, hosted by Mike Huckabee & Cissis Graham Lynch. 

LINK PROVIDED HERE:

BE ABOUT THE SENTINEL ORDERS:

I cannot attend prayer vigil in person but I intend to watch the live feed and spend time on Saturday, Sep 26, in fasting and prayer for our country, its leaders and its cities. Lord, may this sentry be an Obed voice, an Obed spirit, and have the heart of an Obed on behalf of my beloved country and the community in which I live.

The Obed Factor

Be a voice of mercy for God in your community (2Ch 28:9-15). #MobJusticeIsNoJustice #AgentOfCompassion https://www.bible.com/1588/2ch.28.9-15.amp

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Judah, for her sin, and for the godless, even heinous sin of her king, Ahaz, were suffering under the hand of God. Their severe judgment came in large measure at the hand of their own rival countrymen, Israel. But Israel’s victory went too far. She mercilessly slaughtered thousands and intended to make slaves out of thousands more taken captive.

BUT, a man of God, a prophet, Obed, mentioned only here in these few verses, stands alone in a crowded mob who are arrogantly celebrating a bloody victory. His cry is for Israel to consider her own sin. Might God now turn his anger on Isreael? His call is for the humanitarian treatment and return of thousands of prisoners of their own national heritage, to Judah.

Would Obed be shouted down, silenced, “canceled”? Or would he be recognized and his voice be heard? Four leaders in their community courageously stood with Obed’s noble course of action. Lives and honor were saved. O Lord, would that this sentry have the same courage to stand up and speak for what is right, just and fair.

No Time To Reject God

To ignore and reject God is to bring certain disaster (2Ch 28:5–8). #Broken #ReturnToGod https://www.bible.com/1588/2ch.28.5-8.amp

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

So ungodly King Ahaz (vv1-4) of Judah (Southern Kingdom) rejected Isaiah‘s counsel to ask God for a sign (Isa 7:1-13). He was faced with an impending battle with Israel (Northern Kingdom) and Aram, a pagan nation. Ahaz, instead of listening to the counsel of Isaiah and calling upon God, decided to align Judah with the godless nation of Assyria.

The result was devastating. 120,000 experienced warriors were slaughtered; 200,000 women and children were taken captive. Many more were exiled to a foreign country. All of this took place because Ahaz arrogantly refused to trust God in his crisis (Isa 7:12). Lord, may I (my country) always have the faith to trust you in every battle.

What of America? Ravaged by sickness and death in a pandemic; torn apart by godless behavior in the streets; beaten down by the economic reversals; made weary by hurricanes and wildfires. Will she turn back to God? What say you, America?

If the sentry sounds the alarm and good men do nothing, what will the end be?

Sentry Alert: Read, Pray, Act

A Post By Friend, Duncan Brannon 9/5/2020

Summary Point: Read the Scripture. Learn the platforms. Watch the policies. [Pray for wisdom]. Vote there. As Christ-followers we will never find ourselves on the wrong side of Scripture, which is where we will all be judged.

[Democrat v. Republican Platforms & Policies] As a Christian, I don’t vote for people or parties. I vote for platforms and policies most closely aligning with the teaching of Scripture.

The party platform tells me what a person believes in relation to the Scripture. The policy is the execution (or not) of that platform, telling me what that person ultimately believes in relation to the Scripture.

If a person says [he/she] supports a platform but doesn’t execute it in policy, I stop voting for that person. People lie. Parties lie. Platforms can lie. But policy always tells you the truth.

Read the Scripture. Learn the platforms. Watch the policies. [Pray for wisdom]. Vote there. As Christ-followers we will never find ourselves on the wrong side of Scripture, which is where we will all be judged.

2020 Republican Platform [Resolved to maintain 2016 Platform]
https://prod-cdn-static.gop.com/media/documents/RESOLUTION_REGARDING_THE_REPUBLICAN_PARTY_PLATFORM.pdf?_ga=2.109560193.504857691.1598219603-2087748323.1598219603

2020 Democrat Platform
https://www.demconvention.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/2020-07-31-Democratic-Party-Platform-For-Distribution.pdf

Personal Cathedral of Praise

Come, seek that place of personal praise to the Lord for all he has done (Rom 16:25-27) #AllPraiseBeToGod https://www.bible.com/97/rom.16.25-27.msg

Cowboy Cathedral (c)
Bruce R Greene

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Reading Paul’s final words in the Romans epistle causes me to pause and reflect on my many weeks of journaling through this letter. H.C.G. Moule* suggests that these final words were written by Paul’s own hand as he sat quietly before the manuscripts. Imagine Paul sitting in silence, as all of his associates, friends, have for the moment, left him alone.

Perhaps Paul retraces the themes of this letter once more. Inspired again, he takes pen in hand. Then, with dim eyes and intensity in his soul, he inscribes a most wonderful closing hymn of praise to God. We leave Paul here, in his personal cathedral of praise to the Lord. I too, sit quietly in worship before this same Lord.

*Epistle To The Romans, “The Expositor’s Bible”

Faith Unhindered

Be enriched, fortified and undiluted in your faith (Rom 16:17-20). #UndilutedFaith

https://www.bible.com/116/rom.16.17-20.nlt

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Like many a good parent or mentor, Paul makes one more plea to Christians in Rome, (and to me by extension). I should be alert to false teachers who cause division in the church. Such people serve only themselves and not God. They are deceivers.

Paul challenges believers to be wise and use good judgment, not to be weakened or diluted in their faith. He challenges me to be pure and unstained by ungodly thinking. And I should know this…Satan and his hoards will be crushed soon enough by the God of peace. I will know the grace and unmerited favor of God forevermore.

As a dutiful sentry I can be assured of the deftness of my commanding officer, Jesus.

A “Galaxy of Saints”

Reflect on those great lights God has used to influence you (Rom 16:1-16). #ChristianInfluence https://www.bible.com/116/rom.16.7.nlt

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Paul closes his letter to the Romans with a long list of folks whom he deeply respected, loved and appreciated. Romans 16:7 is representative. There are too many to list here, but they have been called a “galaxy of saints” (Griffith Thomas). Paul mentions attributes of each.

My take away causes me to reflect on the “galaxy of saints” who have been instrumental in my life. Pastors, mentors, fellow laborers in prison ministry, close friends in Christ, parents and my dear wife. What an array, indeed a galaxy, of saints for whom I give thanks to the Lord. They are treasures more precious than gold.

In the quiet of the night watches a thoughtful sentry might reflect on those great lights who have influenced his/her life.

Simper Gumby*

Prayerfully plan, but trust God in the journey (Rom 15:32). #JourneyOfALifetime https://www.bible.com/116/rom.15.32.nlt

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Some of Paul’s closing words to the Christians in Rome are, “I am eager to visit you, to enjoy your fellowship“ (v23,24). But first he must go to Jerusalem. Paul’s final prayer request is that he be “rescued from unbelieving Jews” there. Then, “BY THE WILL OF GOD,” he would go to Rome with a “JOYFUL” heart to rest and enjoy time with them. 

Paul expects one thing. But God works according to his own will and purposes. In Jerusalem, resentful Pharisees incite a riot against Paul (Acts 21:27,30). This leads to his arrest and appeal to Cesar. Ultimately Paul’s trip to Rome became reality, but as a prisoner in chains. Paul’s response? “I am [JOYFULLY] willing even to die for the sake of Christ” (Acts 21:13). Lord, keep me joyfully flexible along the path of the journey. 

This sentry’s prayer may be limited by perspective, but it’s unlimited by God’s eternal scope.

  • Always Flexible (Pro 16:9)

Prayer, Inspired By Love

Open your heart to prayer inspired by the Holy Spirit (Rom 15:30,32). #Prayer #Intercession
https://www.bible.com/116/rom.15.30,32.nlt

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

In these verses Paul reveals the primary motivating factor in our prayers for others. Prayer is motivated by our love towards others, GIVEN by the Holy Spirit (also Gal 5:22). The Spirit himself is motivated to glorify Jesus (Jhn 16:14).

Sometimes this love is a reconciling love, praying for those hard to love (Mat 5:44); sometimes a tough love for those who have drifted away (Gal 6:1); sometimes a pastoral love for those seeking to walk in faith (Jhn 17:9); sometimes a redemptive love for those lost in sin (Jhn 17:20). Ultimately, sentry prayers are inspired in love by the Holy Spirit and glorify Jesus. Paul says, God’s will be done.

Pray Hard

Make fervent, earnest, prayer for others your goal (Rom 15:30-31). #PrayHard https://www.bible.com/116/rom.15.30-33.nlt

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

With the trip to Jerusalem foremost in his mind, Paul requests earnest prayer. He is headed back into the teeth of Pharisee country, his former Jewish party. To unbelieving Jewish countrymen He was not Paul the apostle, but Paul the apostate. He was also concerned that some Jewish believers might be offended by prejudices at the offering sent by Gentile believers to them.

Believers today may feel cornered by spiritual forces of darkness. These can only be defeated in prayer. So Paul asks friends, Believers, to “join in the struggle by praying.“ Praying for others is to take part in their battles of life and also ministry. “Prayer is not preparation for the battle, it is the battle” – (Ravenhill/Chambers).

Lord, may my sentry prayer be fervent and earnest taking every opportunity to consistently and eagerly contend for the welfare of others; that they might stand mature and complete in the will of God (Col 4:12).

“Git ‘R’ Done”

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Courageously face hardship/opposition to carry out ministry (Rom 15:25,31). #CourageousForJesus. https://www.bible.com/116/rom.15.25,31.nlt

Riots in Ephesus (Acts 19:23-41) had forced Paul (est 55-60 yrs old) to leave that city. He went to Macedonia. A plot on Paul’s life forced him to leave there. But before he left he took a benevolence offering for the poor believers in Jerusalem. He stopped in Corinth (Greece) temporarily. While there he wrote the Romans epistle.

Paul’s plan was to go on to Jerusalem (offering in hand). Then he would go to Spain to preach the gospel, stopping in Rome to meet these Christians. But first he must face opposition in Jerusalem by Jewish Christians who feel he is too influenced by Gentiles.

This Sentry’s prayer: Lord, may I be willing to face any hardship/opposition for the sake of the Gospel. Even if Christians misunderstand or wrongly attack my motives.

The One Thing

Fulfill the call of God in your life (Rom 15:16-23). #WriteYourEpitaph https://www.bible.com/116/rom.15.16-20,23.nlt

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Paul’s greatest ambition was to preach the Good News of Christ to those who had not yet heard the message. He was enthusiastic about his mission and he credits God for the results. He was faithful to the message and to living an exemplary life…But it is God who gives the increase.

Paul had accomplished all God had called him to do this far. Next on God‘s agenda was to actually visit the church in Rome. It is important to know our one ambition for Christ. (In 3-5 words, what would they write on my tombstone? That’s the mission.) Lord, I pray that I may fulfill my one ambition in life, to “influence men for Christ (2Ti 4:5). May I do so to your honor and glory.

WHO IS ANGRY, “MOTHER EARTH” OR THE SOVEREIGN OF THE UNIVERSE?

This is not a topic about which I was ready to speak. I have thought about it for several months now. It likely won’t be received with much enthusiasm. I take no pleasure in bringing the topic up. But Speaker of the House of Representatives, Congress Woman from San Francisco, Nancy Pelosi, has put the topic on the table.

Here is what Nancy Pelosi said about the recent hurricanes and out of control fire disasters in California, Washington and Oregon. Mother earth is angryShe’s telling us the hurricanes in the Gulf Coast, the fires in the west (whatever it is) that climate crisis is real and has an impact.”

But could it be that it is the Sovereign God of the Bible that is the one who is angry? And it would not be about a “climate crisis.” Consider also the worldwide COVID pandemic, economic upheaval, rioting, violence and unchecked crime in the streets of our major cities? All these kinds of disasters have intensified dramatically. Might God be trying to tell to us something?

HOW GOD MIGHT VIEW OUR WORLD

America has long since left her spiritual roots. She has drifted far from her godly heritage. BUT REALLY, has she drifted that far? Well, let me ask, how should God view abortion on demand in America, or rampant and open homosexuality? How should God view no mention of Him in the classrooms of America, or prayer? How should God understand the political correctness that no longer tolerates a Christian witness in the market place? What might God be thinking of corrupt leadership in government and corporate America? What might God’s heart be regarding the failed family unit in our world? Is God trying to tell us something?

We are living in perilous times and subject to perilous men. Hear the words of the apostle Paul in Second Timothy 3:3-9:

1) You should know this, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. 2) For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. 3) They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. 4) They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. 5) They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!

6) They are the kind who work their way into people’s homes and win the confidence of vulnerable women who are burdened with the guilt of sin and controlled by various desires. 7) They are forever following new teachings, but they are never able to understand the truth. 8) These teachers oppose the truth just as [those who] opposed Moses. They have depraved minds and a counterfeit faith. 9) But they won’t get away with this for long. Someday everyone will recognize what fools they have been. (NLT)

What must the sentry on the watch do? It is not my role to condemn or judge. It is my task to just simply sound an alarm; ask the question. What the apostle Paul says in Second Timothy sounds perilously like our world today.

QUESTIONS TO CONTEMPLATE

Here is a question for us to contemplate: If God was angry at America, what might it look like? If God were to remove his hand of blessing from America, what might that look like? Might it look a lot like the disasters we are witnessing today? I’m just asking.

We may also ask, where is the voice of the church in the midst of these disasters? Where are the calls for prayer to an almighty God to intervene? Where are the ministers and Christians in the cities, calling for peace and putting their lives in God’s service to work for peace and bring people together around the Gospel of Christ? 

I UNDERSTAND THAT THERE ARE INTERCESSORS WORLDWIDE working overtime in prayer. They are offering up mighty intercessions for America and other nations around the world. I have myself participated in many of these calls to prayer. What I am saying is this. Where are the days when pastors, prominent leaders, government officials and even news castors were standing up and calling for prayers that God might intervene? Their voices are nowhere to be heard. What does that mean for America?

WHAT IS GOD TELLING ME?

The single greatest need of America is revival and spiritual awakening. America and many of America’s churches have drifted far away from God. Many Americans openly oppose the name of Jesus. While there is still time, the church and America must repent and return to a humble and godly reverence [respect] for a sovereign and compassionate God.

What is God saying to me? 2 Timothy 4:1-5 tells me more. It’s not to late to turn back to the God of the Bible.

1) I solemnly urge you in the presence of God and Christ Jesus, who will someday judge the living and the dead when he comes to set up his Kingdom: 2) Preach the word of God. Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching.

3) For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. 4) They will reject the truth and chase after myths.

5) But you should keep a clear mind in every situation. Don’t be afraid of suffering for the Lord. Work at telling others the Good News, and fully carry out the ministry God has given you.

WE ARE LIVING IN THE LAST DAYS.

THIS IS MY MANDATE, MY MARCHING ORDERS:

Be watchful [and pray].

Be ready to endure any affliction

Keep telling the Good News of Jesus

Carry out the ministry call of God

WHAT SAY YOU?

A Charge To Keep

May our lives be an encouragement and example to others (Rom 14:1,12,13; 15:1,7,16) #AChargeToKeep

https://www.bible.com/116/rom.14.1,12-13.nlt

https://www.bible.com/116/rom.15.1,7,16.nlt

My eternal charge, next to the spread of the gospel and to watch and pray is to build up, edify, all those in my path. I cannot effectively spread the Good News or, with good conscience, watch and pray, if I am at the same time tearing others down or causing them to stumble.

As I grow in Christ I am responsible to encourage others by my witness, prayers and Christlike example. This is my charge to keep – influence men for Christ. Lord, may this, my charge, be so for you.

Keep The Main Thing, Main

Avoid jumping to conclusions; don’t sit in judgment of others (Rom 14:6-10). #KeepTheMainThingTheMainThing https://www.bible.com/116/rom.14.6-10.nlt

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Wherever people gather there will be differing opinions; the potential for debate. All of Romans 14–15:13 challenges two such topics: eating meat sacrificed to idols and what days are to be considered as “holy.“ [Today such debates may occur around instruments or no instruments in church, style of worship, hymns vs choruses, et al]. This entire section needs to be understood in the context of Romans 12 and 13.

What should govern every debate? A culture of Christlikeness, genuine love for others, respect for authority, giving God room to work in people’s lives, etc. Rule #1 – Do no harm (13:10). Rule #2 – Consider your own accountability to God (14:12). Rule #3 – Keep the main thing [preaching the gospel] the main thing (15:20). Lord, prevent me from judging others.

A COVID Prayer, Parakeets and Parents

A COVID Story

(Posted by a friend on Face Book – Sep 4, 2020)

We had an incredible thing happen last Friday and we’ve been laughing about it all week. 

[Our daughter] has been asking for a parakeet for about a month.* We told her no way. She has not ceased in praying for one every night. She asked [her grandparents]. They gave a hard “No” as well.  [Our daughter] explained to us a “certainty” she feels in her heart when she prays. I said – “That’s the Lord- but it doesn’t mean a bird is coming.” I’m always thankful for conversations like this because I love listening to her faith. I still assured her- “We won’t buy you one.” She continued to pray anyway. 

Last Friday I had a rough day [COVID & school closures strike again]. I had a very discouraging conversation with a friend. [Her daughter], who has been blessed with some of the best teachers in the world was still crying about online learning. So many struggling that mean the world to me. I couldn’t stop crying. Just a heavyhearted day.

I went by the “Cookie Genius” for the porch pick up and they were sold out of cookies so I jokingly sent a text that said – I’m having the kind of day – I might run my suburban through your front door. I knew [the owner of] the “Cookie Genius” would smile at my ridiculousness. 

She actually laughed and then went the extra mile. Later that afternoon [my “cookie genius” friend] brought over a box of her “mistake” cookies. Such a sweet gesture that was so dear to me. I cried telling her about my day and how I’d just gotten off the phone with another friend who’d prayed [for me that] the Lord would surprise me with His goodness.* We then walked to her car. 

As we’re standing there talking – she says “Hello beautiful bird about to land on your shoulder.” It actually landed on her car. I then stuck out my finger and it stepped on my finger like we’d known each other forever. It was a parakeet.* Truly unbelievable. [My friend] said, “What in the world?” I said, “I don’t know but [my daughter] has been praying for one of these.” [We both] laughed so hard and marveled at a parakeet coming out of the sky on a 114 degree day. 

[Later we] walked in [to my house, gave my daughter the parakeet and told her the story. She] received the bird with tears and thankfulness. [My husband] said we could buy [the bird] a cage if [our daughter would] pray nightly for [my husband to have] a full head of hair. 

Can a heavy heart be lifted by a parakeet? It’s the craziest thing, but I can now answer, “Yes”. Turns out God’s eye is on the sparrow and the parakeet and on me,* a mom struggling to figure out how to honor Him in this life we’ve been given. 

Meet “Cookie”…a gift of joy and grace to us as long as she stays in our home. Our God is a God of the unexpected…And I’m asking that in this season of crazy – He’d surprise you as well.


* Compiler’s emphasis