Never Too Young

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Lord, give us children sensitive to the call of God on their lives (Jer 1:4,5; Psm 139:13-17). #NeverTooYoung #GodSpeaksToChildren

“I’m Listening Lord” (1Sa 3:10)

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Jeremiah was young (13–16 years of age). He grew up in the home of a priest; likely was enrolled in a school for scribes. Jeremiah certainly knew the history of God‘s call on young men in Israel (Samuel, David, Sampson). Jeremiah begins here in his journal by acknowledging the “Sovereign” voice of God (v6). One has to appreciate this young man’s foresight to journal.

Jeremiah writes, “I [God] knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb [Psm 139:13-17]. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you my prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah knew God’s voice and he knew his call at a very early age. Lord, may our children and their children recognize your call on their lives. Keep this sentry’s heart sensitive to children called to ministry.

Never Looked Back

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Come humbly before God, he will not ignore your prayer (Psm 66). #Don’tLookBack #RepentTurnToGod GodCannotIgnoreRepentance

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Psalm 66 is my story. I never get tired of telling it. I can shout joyful praises to God. He has done “awesome miracles” on my behalf (too many to count (vv1–4). He gave me a clear path through troubled waters. I rejoice in him (vv5–7).

My life is in his hands. He has kept my feet from stumbling. He tested me, purified me, captured me, given me a leader worth following – Jesus Christ (vv8–12). I am here paying my vows from times of trouble (13–15).

December 28, 1968, high up in a guard tower in Vietnam, I surrendered to the Lordship of Christ. “I cried out to God for help. I confessed my sin and he listened to me. He did not ignore my prayer [nor any prayer since].“ (16–20). I NEVER LOOKED BACK!

Words Of life

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

May you know Lord‘s presence and grace all your days (2Ti 4:22). #GraceBeWithYouAll #Paul’sLastWrittenWords #WordsOfLife

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

“May the Lord be with your spirit. May his grace be with you all.“ Those are the last known written words of the Apostle Paul.

Having prayed through Paul’s two letters to Timothy, I find myself leaning into these final words. I feel them in my soul. Because of Paul and Timothy generations of believers have followed Christ. Paul speaks words of life directly to me…”The Lord be with you, may his grace be with you.“

Closing The Book on those words this morning, other of Paul’s words come to mind. Ephesians 6:13, “be dressed and ready. Then having done all stand.“ I can do no less. Lord, what a debt of gratitude this aged sentry owes for the written record of the great Apostle Paul and his encouraging words to me; to future generations of believers.

Where my journey in Paul’s letters to Timothy began; see https://theprayersentry.com/2022/02/08/famous-last-words/

Deserter

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Be not drawn by the world away from faith in Christ (2Ti 4:9,10). #Deserter

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Among Paul’s closing words to Timothy, he mentions Demas. I had a pastor in the mid-1970s who preached a message on Demas. I’ve never forgotten it. He showed the progression of a man from follower of Jesus to failed deserter of the faith. All that is known of Demas is in three verses. But the message is clear.

In Philemon 1:24, Demas is called,“fellow laborer.“ In Colossians 4:14, he is listed last, with no ministry designation. Finally, here, he is listed as “deserter.” Lost to the things of the world. Somewhere along the way the gospel seed in him was overwhelmed by the world (Mat 13:22). Lord, it is my joy and my testimony, by grace, to have lived out many years in faithfulness to you.

Boots On The Ground

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Put faithful boots on the ground for the cause of Christ (2Ti 4:6,7i). #BootsOnTheGround #FightTheGoodFightRunTheRace

Service For Christ: Boots On The Ground

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Paul writes, “The time of my death is near.” Paul is not just closing his letter to Timothy. He is closing in on the end of his life. These words are literally some of the final written words of the great Apostle. Paul reflects on his life as a leader in the early church movement.

Paul sees his life as having been poured out as an offering for the cause of Christ and the gospel. Romans 12:1 comes to my mind. Paul has fought a good fight, and he has run the good race (boots on the ground), and he has remained faithful. This was his reasonable service of worship.

Lord, at the end of my duty watch, may I say with Paul, “I gave it all, put faithful boots on the ground for Christ and didn’t flinch.”

Clear-eyed Intentions

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Remain clear-eyed in your intentions for speaking truth and doing ministry (2Ti 4:3-5) #CleareyedIntentions #SpeakTruth #DoWhatGodCalledYouToDo

What Do You See?

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

The Apostle Paul continues with the idea of standing “ready“ with good teaching from God’s Word and telling others the “Good News“ of the Gospel. Times will deteriorate and people will no longer want to listen to good teaching. They will simply want to satisfy their own pleasures and seek out teachers who will tell them what they want to hear.

Further, people will reject the truth in favor of myths (fables and superstitions) that excite them. So Paul says to the Christian, stay clear-eyed about the Gospel of Jesus and do not fear even suffering for the cause of the Gospel. Just keep doing the ministry to which God called you.

Lord, the eyes of this aging sentry grow dimmer with every passing year. But my focus on what you have called me to do has never been more clear.

Not Just Any Word

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Be ready and faithful to share God’s word (2Ti 4: 1,2). #NotJustAnyWord #AnyTimeAGoodTimeForGodsWord #InSeasonAndOutOfSeason

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Faithfulness to the holy Scriptures is a recurring theme in Paul’s letters to Timothy. God‘s Word is to be preached in any and all situations and ages. It is useful to correct what is wrong, drive back with his dissident and encourage the people of God. I must use every opportunity to share God’s Word.

Jesus will one day return and set up his eternal kingdom and judge the world. Preaching God‘s word faithfully will help to prepare people for this event on the world stage. Lord, give me the love, the boldness and the holy want to, to share God’s word.

WORD!

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Put your full trust in the reliability of God’s Word (2Ti 3:15-17). #WORD #TrustGodsWord #GodsWordEqualsGodsVoice

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

The Bible is an amazing book. It was written by 66 authors over hundreds of years. It’s reliability has been proven over and over again. It is the written record of God’s whole plan of redemption.

God speaks to us through his word. It is good for teaching and understanding truth. It shows us how to live right and do right. It shows us where we are wrong, corrects us. If you want to hear God speak audibly, read God’s word out loud. Reading God‘s word is an encounter with the living God. Lord, thank you for the reliability of your to man.

Vessel Of Honor

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

May you remain always pure and ready for God’s use (2Tim 2:2–22). #VesselOfHonor

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

In light of several men mentioned* by Paul as those who deserted him or left the truth of God‘s word, Timothy is exhorted to remain true to the gospel and be pure of heart. In this way he will always be a ready vessel of honor for any special use God might have for him.

Of course, God may redeem and use any person for his glory. But the goal of every Christian should be to stay pure and ready for the Master’s use, as did Onesiphorus in 2Ti 1:16-18. Lord, may it be this sentry’s goal and experience to remain pure and ready for your use.

* 1:15; 2:17 (1Ti 1:20); 4:10a

Plumb & Square

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Look to the Word of God as the measure of all truth (2Ti 2:19). #Truth #PlumbAndSquare

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

In 1&2 Timothy Paul repeatedly returns to the theme of being faithful to the true teachings of Scripture (eg: 1 Tim 1:3; 2:7; 4:1,6,7,11,16; 6:2–4,20; 2 Tim 1:13; 2:2,15,19,25; 3:10,14–17; 4:2). It cannot be said enough, how important it is that ministers and God’s people stay faithful to the truth of God‘s word.

We may not know every argument against God‘s Word, but we may know what God’s Word teaches. Then we can be found faithful and not sidetracked by foolish arguments. God‘s Word is set like the cornerstone of a building. It keeps the whole building plum and square. Lord, may I always be found faithful to the truth of your Word.

Perseverance Will Triumph

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Persevere in sharing the good news of eternal life in Christ (2Ti 2:3–10). #EndureToTheEnd #StayTheCourse #Persevere https://bible.com/bible/116/2ti.2.4-6.NLT

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

We are instructed here to endure like soldiers, athletes and farmers. What do they have in common? Discipline…Stamina. They are able to stay the course under all conditions; one to the victory, one to the prize, and one to the harvest. They envision the end goal and are not distracted by anything.

So we should set our eyes on the end goal of winning Christ and telling the world about the good news of eternal life. My philosophy for years has been to pray much, plan thoroughly, work hard, stay the course and leave the results to Christ. Lord, may I continue to endure all things for the cause of sharing the good news of Christ.

Pass It On

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Be an open channel through which the Gospel message may flow (2Ti 2:1,2). #PassItOn #FaithfulMessengerOfTruth

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

“Pass it on!” This is Timothy‘s mandate from Paul, who was faithful to pass on to others the truths of the Gospel. What Paul taught Timothy was grounded in truth and confirmed by “many reliable witnesses.“ It was Timothy‘s job to stand strong in the grace of the Lord Jesus. He would rely upon that grace to sustain him and to accomplish the same in others, who would then pass it on to others.

Today I stand in the same position of grace because someone passed it on to me; and now I pass it on to others. Lord, may I be a faithful messenger, an open channel, through which the Gospel message may continue to flow.

Runners & Standers

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Be a steady, reliable friend and encourager to fellow travelers (2Ti 1:15–18). #FaithfulFriends

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

What kind of friend or associate would you be to others? Will you tuck tail and run at the first sign of trouble, or will you go out of your way to stand and be a reliable encourager? In the cowboy culture they reference horses as “runners“ or “standers. Runners are skittish and unpredictable, bolt at trouble. Standers are reliable and steady at all times.

Onesiphorus was a “STANDER“ for Paul. He was a reliable and steady source of help and encouragement. He went out of his way to find Paul and help him…to stand with Paul. It did not go unappreciated. Father, make of this old war horse and sentry a reliable source of encouragement to others around me.

Being A Blessing

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Surrender the best of yourself to bless others (2Ti 1:3–5). #BeABlessing #LiveASurrenderedLife

You’re Not Alone

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Of whom could I say, “I thank God for you; night and day I pray for you; I want to see you again; I remember your tears as we parted – it will be my joy to see you again; I remember your genuine faith and heritage of faith, that continues strong in you“?

Better yet, could such sentiments be said of me? What kind of friend and encourager am I? What do I surrender of myself to others that is a blessing to them? Lord, what a beautiful challenge is mine to share; may I be a Timothy in the lives of others.

Famous Last Words

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

May you be arrested and inspired by God‘s word (2Ti 1:1,2). #FamousLastWords #WordsToLiveBy

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

“I (state your name), being of a sound mind, do hereby publish as my last will and testament…“ What follows next is crucial information to the heirs of said testator. Paul’s opening words in 2 Timothy begin his last testament letter to Timothy and to the Church. “I Paul, chosen by God, an apostle of Jesus Christ…am writing to my dear son, Timothy.“

Are you listening? Are you paying attention? Is your conscious mind piqued to hear? One of the most influential men in all of Christendom is about to reveal his final thoughts to his most beloved son in the faith, Timothy; consequently to the Church at large. Lord, I want to hear from your word the profound truth and inspiration for life.

“Doing The Most Good” *

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

May we be generous with what resources God gives us (1Ti 6:1-29) #GiveGenerously #DoTheMostGood

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Americans live in one of the wealthiest nations on earth. But wealth is not a reliable source of security. World markets rise and fall. Wealth can be lost. Paul tells us that trust in God is the only reliable source of security in life. God is the one who gives the power to make wealth (Deu 8:18).

Those with any resources at all (rich or poor) should use it to do good, to be rich in good works, quick and generous to help others in need. Doing this, they will store up a wealth of meaning in this life and the life to come. We are not saved by our generous giving. Our generous giving is evidence of our commitment to Christ. Lord, give this old sentry a generous heart to give out of all you have given.

* Slogan of the Salvation Army

Stand Faithful

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Live your life to honor and glorify God (1Ti 6:14–16). #StandFaithful #LivingProofOfGod

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

So the “man of God” (may I also include the woman of God) will go hard after God and be a fierce faith fighter (v11–14). As a result, none can find fault with him/her. Is such a man or woman perfect? No. But Christ will certainly vindicate his faithful and righteous ones (Isa 41:9-13; 1Pe 3:13-15).

Christ will return as the only almighty King and Lord of all. He who shall never die and lives in the bright light of glory, shall be and is, honored and powerful forever. The godly life will give evidence of the power of God. Lord, may I so live as to bring glory and honor to you.

Fierce Faith Fighters

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Be intense contenders for faith in Christ (1Ti 6:12-14). #GoHardAfterGod #GoForTheGold

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

To go hard after God is further reflected in “fighting“ [contenting earnestly – to wrestle] in the great work of faith. Sometimes our greatest enemy is within us (fatigue, disappointment or rejection). But, “Hold on tightly” to faith and eternal life to the end. It is to this faith and Kingdom life that you have been called and of which you have been made a contender, an effective witness.

The man or woman of God is here charged to obey these directives without wavering…to take action, to carry out the work of faith with every intention of winning. Train hard, discipline hard (your heart and mind) and go hard after the prize – a winning faith. Lord, this duty sentry could not be any more encouraged than by these words.

See this post also: https://theprayersentry.com/2021/12/28/the-fight-worth-winning/

Hard After God

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Run from evil and pursue godly living (1Ti 6:11). #GoHardAfterGod #PursueRighteousness

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

“You, Timothy, are a man of God.“ Paul defined that – the man of God will “run,“ not walk, away from what is evil, wicked and wrong. There will be no mistaking the position of the man or woman of God concerning things contrary to God‘s word.

The man or woman of God will “pursue“ righteousness and godly living. He/she is not just running from something, but running to something. What is that? A life of faith, love, perseverance and gentleness. Lord, give this old sentry what it takes to keep going hard for God.

Living Hygienically

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Live your life by the healthy teachings of Scriptures (1Ti 6:2b,3). #CleansedByGodsWord https://bible.com/bible/116/1ti.6.3.NLT

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Paul begins closing his letter to Timothy, “Teach these things…encourage all to obey them.“ “These things” are found in Chapters 1:1–6:2: Understanding sound doctrine and modeling the Christian life, qualifications of church leaders and their responsibilities to lead and faithful ministry to and caring for the church family.

These are the wholesome/healthy (Gk word for hygiene), teachings of Christ. They are the pathway to godly living. I (and all men) am encouraged to obey and live by these words. Lord, your word gives me refreshing and cleansing words to live by each day.

Honor Spiritual Leaders

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Respect and encourage church and spiritual leaders in our nation. #HasteMakesWaste #RespectMinistryLeaders

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Paul addresses three things that will lay waste to ministry leadership: Hastily conceived plans to remunerate qualified and faithful leaders according to their work, hastily contrived accusations against church leaders and the hastily conducted ordination of leaders unprepared to lead.

Every leader deserves to be treated fairly in every situation listed here. How important are these things? Paul calls it a “solemn command before God, Jesus and the highest angels.“ That’s serious! Lord may I always be a support and encouragement to church leaders.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Express dignified behavior towards others around you (1Ti 5:1,2). #DignfiedBehavior #RespectForOthers https://bible.com/bible/116/1ti.5.1-2.NLT

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Paul makes an important point here about pastors relating to the men and women around him. It is however, good counsel to anyone, especially to leaders.

1) Be respectful of older men, just as you would your own father. Listen to their counsel. Let your conversation, even when disagreeing, be polite.

2) Talk to younger men like a brother – not condescending, firm but by friendly persuasion; like a mentor.

3) Give older women the same respect you would your own mother. Be gracious and kind.

4) Treat younger women with all decorum just as you would your own sister. Be respectful in all purity.

Lord, may all my dealings with those around me be dignified and polite, honoring them and God as well.

Don’t Squander Your Gift

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Embrace and use vigorously the spiritual gifts given you (1Ti 4:4–16). #YourGiftASacredTrust

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Timothy‘s gift was very likely a teaching gift. To which Paul says, “Don’t neglect it.”Develop it, understand its use and purpose. “Throw yourself into it.“ Work at it with vigor. Back it up with your life, how you live. Know this, applying God‘s word to others begins by applying it to yourself first. Now that is sound advice to every pastor and minister.

It is also sound advice to every man and woman who calls him/herself Christian. Whatever spiritual gift may be mine, it’s a sacred trust. I must not neglect it, but use it vigorously. I must back it up with my life. If I do this, it will enrich my life and the lives of others towards Salvation. Father, may I honor you and encourage others by the use of sentinel gifts bestowed on me.

The Elder And The Younger

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

May you know the power of elder influence (1Ti 4:4–16). #Influence #PassingTheTorchOfLeadership https://bible.com/bible/116/1ti.4.14-16.NLT

INFLUENCE

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

At least two things seem apparent about Timothy. 1) he may have lacked confidence as a young pastor/leader (4:12,13), and 2) teaching may have been that special gift bestowed on him (1:18; 4:14). So the laying on of hands and words of encouragement, spoken over him by elder leaders, would have served to give Timothy a sense of assurance and confidence.

Every capable young pastor/leader should be afforded the opportunity to stand on the shoulders of and be undergirded by, elder leadership around him. It is a sacred trust and duty of elder ministers to pass the torch of ministry. Lord, may this elder sentry always be a gracious encouragement to younger ministers and cheer them on.

Say Whaaat?

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Be alert to false and deceptive teaching (1Ti 4:1-5). #NotAllThatGlittersIsGold #TestTheSpirits #WolvesInSheepsClothing

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Paul instructs Timothy to be alert to “teachers“ who stray away from the truth and follow deceptive spirits. They say one thing but do another and are not convicted of it. They make rules and disdain what is good, expressing their self-righteousness.

Believers should be reminded that everything God created is good. Believers are to evaluate all things being taught according to the word of God and prayer (see also 1Jn 4:1-3). Reject what is wrong according to God’s word. Embrace what is good as from God with thanksgiving. Lord, keep this duty sentry alert to any teaching that is contrary to your word and sound the alarm.