An Emerging Wasteland

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

May America have shepherd leaders who honor God (Jer 2:10–13). #TurnBackToGod #GodOurOnlyHope

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Leaders in Judah had been as heedless in guiding the people of God as careless indifferent shepherds who send their sheep to graze on the young vines of a vineyard. The consequence is that the sheep unwittingly make the beautiful vines a wasteland.

So God’s people had laid waste to all of the blessings of God on them. They did not see the signs of the gathering armies on the hilltops, ready to wield God’s sword of judgment upon them. They have done “religious” works, done the work of planting, but they will harvest a crop of shame and devastation. Lord, give us shepherd leaders today who will honor God and pay heed to his word.

________

America today is squandering her blessings from God. We are becoming a vast wasteland. Illegal immigrants are overrunning us and depleting our resources. Inflation is devouring financial resources. Immorality and homosexuality is laying waste to our moral resources. Our children are being sacrificed on altars of humanistic/socialistic ideologies and compromising this, our most precious resource. Lord, may our leaders show signs of humble repentance and point America back towards you.

Dead Bird

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

May spiritual and national leaders in America lead a hasty return back to God (Jer 12:7-13). #ReturnToGod #Repent

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Having been instructed by God regarding the purpose of adversity (vv5,6), Jeremiah moves on with his final comments to Israel (Judah) regarding her violation of her Covenant with God. God is reluctantly abandoning his “dearest people” to her enemies. Why? Because she has “roared“ against him, treated him with contempt. She shakes her fist in God’s face and ignores every commitment made to him.

Judah, metaphorically, struts around like a strange colored bird of prey. She foolishly claims her dominion over her prey, while powerful other birds of prey and wild animals swoop in and violently thrash her. Then they consume Judah’s corpse. Oh Lord, how far Judah (and America today) has fallen from her love for you. Judah did not turn to God and she suffered. Pray America makes a hasty return to God.

_________________

America is not a people of Covenant with God, like Israel. But she is a people with deep roots in God’s Covenant people. She is a nation upon whom God‘s blessing has rested from her inception.

Will America be like a prideful “different colored bird” who struts over her dominion over her prey; who is completely unaware of the great and powerful other beasts and birds of prey who will pick her apart and consume her carcass?

Lord, open the eyes of America today. May she humble herself in repentance toward God. Forgive us Lord, for our self indulgence, our complacency and selfishness disdain for the things that honor God.

Timeless Benediction

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND

May you know and rest in the timeless assurance of God (Jud 1:24,25; Heb 4:3). #ToGodAscribeAllPowerAndMajesty

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Here is a benediction that the apostle Paul would be proud of (see Paul’s benediction Rom 16:25). “All glory to God“ who stands watch over the souls of his called out ones. He will deliver them “faultless“ into his very holy presence (Eph 5:27).

“All glory to God“ who alone has rescued us in Christ Jesus our Lord from an eternal hell. “All glory to God“ for his timeless greatness/splendor, his power and authority – that is “before all time, in this present time and beyond times and times to come.“ In these last days, awaiting Christ return, we may rest confidently in our God.

Lord, words fail this aged sentry to express my trust in your absolute power and majesty. But it is where my soul comes down to rest, even “the rest of God (Heb 4:3). What a blessed and timeless benediction!

One Immutable Truth

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Hold fast to the truth, that one “faith” entrusted to you (Jude 1:3). #OneFaith #DefendTheFaith

Truth; Chiseled In Stone

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Jude further explains “the faith“ I am to defend. It is that faith “entrusted once for all time to God’s people.“ This “faith“ is the one eternal truth given in the gospel – that Christ lived a sinless life and became the sinless sacrifice for all men. In his death he satisfied God’s righteous anger against sin. Christ died that our sin be forgiven. He was buried and raised from the dead to secure men’s eternal life (1Co 15:1-4).

There may be different denominations, but there is only one “faith.” That is the Gospel of Jesus Christ, given “once for all time“ [its chiseled in stone]. Those who claim some “new truth” are false teachers (liars) and lead men away from the truth. Lord, my confidence rests in the sole immutable truth of the Gospel.

Forever Assured

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Be assured of God’s complete work of grace in your life (Jude 1:1,2). #Grace #Mercy #Peace #Love #GospelAssurance

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Jude writes to Christians across the centuries. He writes to me. Jude, the brother of Jesus, writes to all who have believed the Gospel. His opening prayer for us (me) is that we stand firm in the Gospel call of God, our father, who secures us by his Son, by the Shepherd’s care of Jesus.

Jude prays that we would receive more mercy, peace and love. That is, the supply of mercy for our sin, peace for our anxieties and love for our conditional acceptance of others is full, abundant and never ending. Whatever our need for mercy, peace and love, it is in eternal supply. Lord, I have no fear of slipping from your grasp or falling short of the Gospel attributes of faith and action.

What Will Transform A Nation?

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Seek to experience and live out the transforming power of the Gospel (Jude 1:1). #TransformingPower #TheGospelTruth

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Jude is considered to be, along with James his brother, a half brother to Jesus. This is interesting in that at one point these brothers were both skeptics (Jhn 7:3–5), thought Jesus was mentally off (Mrk 3:21). Yet, we find them in the Upper Room with their mother, Mary (mother of Jesus) at Pentecost after the resurrection (Acts 1:14).

Jude humbly recognizes his true place in the life of Christ – “a servant.” He and his brother James went from skeptics to leaders in the early church. This is nothing short of the transforming power of the Gospel. Lord, my faith to continue to pray and witness rests in the power of the Gospel to transform people and nations.

When Time Runs Out

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Humbly repent of sin before it’s too late (Jer 8:14–17). #TurnNowToGod #Repent #whenTimeRunsOut

Time’s Up

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

When the people of Judah realize that their security as a nation has been breached, panic will ensue. This is the moment when reality sets in – the cavalry is not coming. We are all going to die here. God really is not going to rescue us.

But at that point it will be too late. Time will have run out. The Babylonians will strike with the swiftness and fatality of a deadly poisonous snake. The thundering hooves of enemy troops on horseback will strike so fast there will be no time for repentance. The dam of sin’s consequences will have burst.

The same may be said for of all who reject God’s warnings today; his call to salvation. Lord, I cannot imagine anything more terrifying than the consequences of blatant sin bearing down on my beloved nation. May she humbly repent now, before it’s too late.

Those Lyin’ Eyes

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Realize the real lies; discern the truth (Jer 8:8–13). #RealEyesRealizeRealLies #DiscernTheTruth #DontBeFooled

Think About It…

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

The people of Judah put their swagger on. “We have the Word of the Lord on our side.” But that Word was twisted and misused by lying priest, false prophets and tricky officials. They used God’s Word to suit their own greedy ends. They did this unashamedly.

The leaders were treating the mortal, terminal wounds of sin superficially. They assured the people that, “Ev’thing would be alright.” But it would not be alright. The nation would lose everything. These lying leaders would be cut down and whatever they did have, would be lost. Oh my Lord, what a duty the watchman or woman has to speak the truth and discern truth. Give us leaders who speak the truth.

On The Right Path?*

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Give heed to the spiritual laws of God that offer the best for life (Jer 8:4–7). #DoTheRightThing #RepentTowardsGod #PersueRighteousness

Mindless Birds Heed Migration Laws Of Nature; God’s People Ignore The Laws Of God

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Common sense should tell us when something is wrong in our being. But the people of God seem senseless. They live contrary to all that is right. They know they are wrong but refuse to turn back. They cling, like barnacles, to their lies and rationalizations of sin. They run in a herd, down the path of destruction.

Even mindless birds follow their natural instinct [laws of nature] to migrate. But God’s people, who have incredibly capable minds, given by God, do not follow the Laws of God. Those laws that govern goodness and righteousness. The message is to open our eyes and turn to God. Lord, may my beloved country, even this old sentry, heed your Laws and stay on the path of righteousness.

* There is a path before each person that seems right,
but it ends in death. (Pro 14.12)

Bare-bones Judgment

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Do not minimize or underestimate the consequences of sin (Jer 8:1–3). #WagesOfSinIsDeath #NoTurningBack #ThoroughJudgment

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

How thorough God’s judgment of Judah will be. Even the dead will be irreligiously and irreverently exhumed. Their bare bones will be spread like manure on the ground before the gods whom they loved, served and worshiped (sun, moon, stars). These gods (who are no gods) are powerless to protect and save them.

All who survive this humiliation will live another, wishing death over life in captivity. When that Day of Judgment comes there will be no turning back. This, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies has decreed. Lord, how can I think any less of my sin before you? What makes my beloved country think she can escape if she ignores God’s call to salvation (Heb 2:1-3)?

Tragedy Of The Human Soul

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

May God turn our hearts toward a meaningful relationship with him (Jer 7:17-24). #PutFaithInGodAlone #Repent #TurnBackToGod

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

When God’s people left Egypt, God put in place a system of sacrifices and feasts. These were symbols and reminders to the people of God‘s love, affection and commitment to them. But the people separated the symbol from the meaning. Soon they went about in heartless ritual, and worship. Having lost sight of the richness of the symbols of worship, they made their offerings and sacrifices to other gods as well.

Of course, this did not hurt God. It hurt the people because they no longer sought or followed after the one true God who loved, protected and guided them. The tragedy of not following God is the devastation it brings to the human soul. Thus, we see today in our own culture, the depraved acts of violence and sin, the tragic ends of the soul separated from God. Lord, keep this duty sentry focused on a meaningful relationship with you.

Learn From History

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Learn from the past God’s faithfulness to do what he says he will do (Jer 7:11–15). #BelieveGod #PutFaithInGodAlone

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Jeremiah‘s message to rebellious Judah was to look to the past for clues in the present. God had destroyed the first site of the Tabernacle of God in Shiloh, because of the rebellion and idolatry of his people. Surely he will not spare the temple in Jerusalem.

The people of Judah should have learned from history and given heed to God’s word. They were warned. Now God was about to do in Jerusalem what he did in Shiloh. This aged sentry may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer. But I am sharp enough to believe God and take him at his word.

America today is in an abyss of sin. She will pay a heavy price for ignoring God; for flaunting her sin. But if she will turn to God he will be merciful. PRAY FOR AWAKENING!

Terror & Crime Watch

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Listen to God and fear not to speak truth and grace into culture (Jer 6:22-26). #repent #TurnNowToGod #TimeIsRunningOut

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

America should learn the lesson of Judah. Part of God‘s judgment on his rebellious people was invasion, terrorism, cruel and merciless violence. People were afraid to travel across town or across the nation. Where is the security? Lawlessness and plunder rule the day. Like a woman giving birth – the pain is intense but no one comes to her aid (note 4:31).

America today stands in these crosshairs of judgment. Will she mourn and weep bitterly for the good times lost? Or will she weep bitter tears of repentance for sin against God? Lord may we have the courage to stand for you, to convey your message of truth and grace. Lord, give my beloved country a spirit of repentance.

Time’s Up

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Listen to God; walk in his way (Jer 6:17-21). #RepentanceForSin #TheOnlySavingPrayer #ListenToGod

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

The time has run out for Judah (as it did for Israel; the same for Nineveh and Assyria). The watchmen have sounded the alarm. But Judah said, “Naw, not interested.“ They would not take the ancient path of righteousness (v16).

Every nation should take heed to the disaster about to take place on God’s people. It is of their own making – they rejected the word of God and would not listen to him.

God says, “Don’t bother to pray your prayers of hypocritical worship” (“fragrance from incense” is a symbol of prayer – Rev 5:8). Judgment is on the way. Time has run out. The only prayer that will save Judah (or any other nation) is a prayer of sincere repentance towards God.

The Path To Peace

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Walk in the way of the godly who have gone before you (Jer 6:16). #TheAncientPath #WalkInTheGodlyWay

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

God is not a capricious God. He is not a god who plays guessing games – you guess wrong, you lose. God is a good and understanding God. He makes clear what he expects. He is clear about what path to take.

There are two paths in life. Look carefully at both. One is the path of the ancients, the godly and righteous path. Choose this path, no matter what the other path offers. The well worn path of the godly will always take your soul to a place of rest and peace. This is the path about which Jesus spoke in Matthew 7:13,14. Lord, lead me always in the way everlasting.

(Also note Isaiah 30:20,21)

Feel The Love

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Rely upon God to restore a love relationship with him (Jer 6:10–15). #RestoredRelationship #RepentTowardsGod #FeelTheLove

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

People do not wish to follow God‘s way. “Too hard, no fun,“ they might say. Preachers and prophets are dissuaded from speaking the truth about sin and judgment. “Not a popular message,“ they say. All are marching shamelessly together in the opposite direction of God’s way. They have no fear of the living God.

[IT IS NO DIFFERENT TODAY THAN IN THE DAYS OF JEREMIAH – SHAMELESS REBELLION]

The cup of God‘s judgment was full against his people. In the end, no one was, nor will be, exempt from the fury of God. it was true then. It is true now.

God hates the life-wrecking ravages of sin. God loves his creation. Whom God loves he will discipline (Pro 3:11,12). This aged sentry has known, felt the Father’s love. I look to the Father to correct me and restore my relationship with him.

A Reckoning or Awakening

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

May reckoning for sin be mercifully postponed in favor of a great awakening (Jer 5:26-31). #DayOfReckoning #Repentance #SpiritualAwakening #TurnNowToGod

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

God gives a full-throated condemnation of the powerful, the prophets, the priests and the people of Judah. The powerful abuse their wealth and power, taking advantage of the weak in society; they deny justice to the poor. The prophets speak lies and mislead the people about their sin. The priests don’t minister, they rule with an iron fist. Worst of all, the people were all just fine with the status quo. This hits close to home.

The end is coming. Judgment is at the gate for Judah [for any nation who perpetrates such a culture of flagrant sin and rejection of God]. Lord, it is plain to see that our world is headed for a reckoning unless, in God’s mercy, a spiritual awakening comes first.

It has been over 100 years since the last Great Awakening. “I would have despaired, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for and confidently expect the Lord; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for and confidently expect the Lord.” (Psm 27:13,14). LORD, IN YOUR METCY, SEND DOWN REVIVAL AND AWAKENING…beginning in the one square foot of land upon which I stand.

Self-imposed Blindness

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Stop, look and listen to the call of God; surrender to him (Jer 5:20-25). #StopLookAndListen #SurrenderYourHeartToGod

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

I had a wise elder mentor who used to say, “None so blind as those who won’t to see; none so deaf so those won’t hear.“ This was Judah and Israel. The seas and the seasons obey the limits of their reach set by God. But God‘s people had breached the limits of their covenant with God.

God’s people refused to see God‘s goodness or listen to God‘s voice. So they are deprived of the blessings of God and are robbed of what good things they had. This is the result of stubborn hearts that reject and abandon God. Lord, may I always have a heart that is surrendered to you. Open the eyes and ears of my beloved nation to the call of God.

Can’t Happen Here

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Return to a path of faithfulness to God (Jer 5:13–19). #TurnNowToGod #Repent

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

When the people continue in their sin and reject those who warn them of judgment [“Can’t happen here”] they provoke God to act, to bring correction. The message and warnings from God will intensify and burn with conviction past the point of no return. Judgment is inevitable for Judah (for any nation who continues to reject God).

Babylon would fall upon Judah, destroy her culture, her children, her economy, her mighty cities and exile her, save a remnant of those faithful few. Some will still question – “Why did God do this?“ The preacher must answer, “Because you rejected God to serve other gods [who are no gods].“

It is troubling to see the godless ideologies of our day destroying our culture, our children, our economy and our military. Lord, my beloved nation has gone down the same path of rejection toward you as Judah. May our churches know revival; may there be a spiritual awakening in the land.

When God Cannot Forgive

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Turn humbly to God, confess sin and know his forgiveness (Jer 5:7-14). #Repent #GodWantsToForgive #TurnToGod #UnrepentanceDeniesForgivenes

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

God asks, “Why should I forgive, pardon, you?“ Certainly God desires to forgive, but he will not. God asks? “Should I not punish this nation for her sin?“ Certainly God does not wish to punish any nation. So why wouldn’t he forgive? Why would he proceed to punish Judah?

The answer to these questions is, because of Judah‘s open and blatant sin and her arrogant, unrepentant attitude towards God. Because of this there WILL be no forgiveness and punishment WILL follow. God cannot forgive where there is no repentance. Lord, may this old sentry never again be found with an arrogant unrepentant attitude towards you.

May my beloved country turn humbly to you, confess her sin and know forgiveness.

Red Line

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Seek God with an open and genuine heart (Jer 5:1–6). #WalkHumblyBeforeGod #SeekGodWithYourWholeHeart #Repent #RedLine

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

In all of Jerusalem, there could not be found even one honest person. For one honest person God would spare Jerusalem. But there was not one.

Time and time again God had tried to correct this rebellious people, but to no avail. Even the leaders assigned to the people in truth had failed – every single one.

There would be no escaping the judgment of God. The sin and corruption of these people had grown, their indifference crossed the red line. There was nothing left for God but to bring judgment upon them. Lord, may I, my beloved nation, genuinely and honestly seek you.

Feigned Paramours

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Run in contrition, into the truly loving arms of God (Jer 4:28–31). #Repent #TurnNowToGod #RemainFaithfulToGod

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

The heavens mourn over the destruction of Jerusalem. But the people of Jerusalem press into extreme actions to engage her “paramours.“ She goes to great lengths to impress her other lovers (who are no lovers), those illicit relationships that caused her destruction in the first place. She is terrified of these former lovers who now, and probably always did, despise her.

This woman (Jerusalem) is a thing of beauty on the outside, but she is corrupt and rotten on the inside. She is depicted here as gasping for breath and screaming in pain at her plight. There could be no more decrepit image than one who is caught in the arms of another, yet continues to carry on in his/her adultery. Lord, may we run quickly in repentance of sin into the truly loving arms of God

Of Prime Importance

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Understand the primacy of repentance toward God (Jer 4:23–28). #RepentanceTowardGod #TurnNowToGod

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Jeremiah describes the scene when God destroys Judah. His language and vision is expressive of the undoing of creation itself (Genesis Chap 1). The earth is empty and formless. The light that broke through the darkness is gone. Mountains and hills are toppled. No people, no birds…No life. Fertile fields are a barren wilderness. Everything is in ruins, crushed in God’s fierce anger.

Yet, God is merciful. He assures the people that he will not destroy them completely. He has promised to keep his people and his promises will hold true – but there shall be great morning on earth and in heaven for the devastation caused by sin. God has spoken it. He will and he did do it. Lord, right here I realize that any unrepentant people or nations will suffer the dire consequences of neglecting God’s salvation (Heb 2:1-3).

A Loosing Strategy

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

May we not continue to tempt God by perpetual sin and indifference (Jer 4:21, 22). #RepentTowardsGod #TurnNowToGod #DoNotTemptTheLordGod #LoosingStrategy

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Jeremiah’s weeping cry to God is, “How long must I see the destruction of war on the people of God?“ God does not say. But he reiterates Judah’s foolishness in not listening to God. They are wise toward doing wrong and but have no idea about how to do right; opposite of Pro 1:1–4.

God was fixed on his judgment of sin (rebellion against God’s way). God would even tell Jeremiah (7:16) to stop praying for Judah. GULP! Nowhere else does God issues such a directive. Oh Lord, I pray that my beloved nation would not continue to test your long suffering; a loosing strategy. May she turn quickly to you in repentance.

Our Fate, Our Choice

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Repent; turn to God and know his saving grace (Jer 4:11–18). #Repent #TurnNowToGod

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

The temporal, remedial, judgment of God is coming upon Judah and Jerusalem. Like a destroying desert wind – dry and hot – her enemies from the north will roar through Judah. Like billowing storm clouds rushing down upon its mark, so the chariots of the enemy will rush in on Judah.

Judah’s fate is however, in her hands. She can repent of her evil ways and be saved or she can continue in her rebellion against God and suffer the penalty of her sins. How shall the people of America (any nation) continue in sin and not suffer the consequences? Lord, turn the heart of my beloved nation back to you. May she know your saving grace.