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)

Doubt Your Doubts

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

When in doubt, trust the truthfulness and character of God (Jer 4:10–12). #TrustingGod #SurrenderDoubtToGod

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

This is Jeremiah‘s response to the judgments God had planned for Judah. The response is strange and difficult to understand. Did God intentionally lie and mislead Judah? This is totally outside the character of God (Num 23:19; Tit 1:2; Heb 6:18). We are left to surmise that Jeremiah was likely complaining to God that he had allowed false prophets to promise peace.

God‘s true prophets have always promised judgment as a consequence of sin. But God is able to withstand the scrutiny and he assures Jeremiah that he has a right (vv11,12). Lord, your word is true, reliable and trustworthy. What I do not understand is always subject to finite reasoning. Lord, may I always trust your truthfulness and not my doubts.

Offending All Of Heaven

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Remain faithful to the Lord God of Heaven; return to him (Jer 2:1–13). #OffendingAllOfHeaven #Repent #TurnBackToGod #WalkWithGod

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

What is the big problem that Jeremiah is confronting? The people of God eagerly set out to love, honor and obey God. They saw every enemy before them fall. Through the years they grew complacent towards God. They corrupted their lives with worthless idols (other lesser gods) of Canaan. They rejected God.

The priests (ministers), of all people, no longer sought God. Teachers ignored God, rulers turned against God and the prophets began speaking on behalf of other heinous gods.* The heavens were shocked and horrified at this behavior. So, for flagrant willful abandonment of God and detestable worship of heinous lesser gods, God’s people will face certain judgment. Lord, may I (my nation) always remain faithful to you in my life; where I (we) fail may I (we) repent and turn to you.

* Could there be any more clear description of the days and times we live in? Can America continue down this path and not expect to see a reckoning of our behavior? God help us.

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.

Reluctant Prophet

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Have courage to follow God’s directions (Jer 1:4-10). #CourageToFollowGod #ListenToGod

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

I enter into my daily readings looking at the prophet Jeremiah. I am as reluctant to this reading as Jeremiah was to God‘s call on his life (v6). Jeremiah may have been in his early to mid teens when God called him. Jeremiah Chapter 1 would have been a lot for this teenager to absorb.

Perhaps Jeremiah’s response is similar to young Mary when an Angel of the Lord informed her that she would give birth to the Son of God (Luk 1:29-38). And, like Mary, Jeremiah was also told not to fear, that God would be with him. And, like Mary, he moves ahead in his special call from God. Lord, may this sentry always have the courage to listen to you and follow without hesitation.

Let God Fight For You

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Stand in awe of God‘s ability to fight your battles (Nah 2:3-10). #LetGodFightYourBattles

NO MATCH FOR GOD

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

The scene in Nineveh looks like something out of a movie: the enemy of God puts on a dazzling display of offensive weaponry. Then God strikes confusion within the ranks. One by one the enemy is eliminated by death, fear or surrender. The treasures of the enemy are pillaged, ransacked.

Finally, the heart to go on in the people leave them. The battle is over. God is all powerful over every enemy of the soul of man. He will fight for me. His tactics are sure and effective. This old battle worn sentry is in awe of God’s tactics against every enemy of the soul (Exo 14:14; Deu 3:22; 20:4; Jos 23:3; 2Ch 20:17). Lord, thank you for standing in my defense.

Persist Again

Persist in faithfulness, even in the presence of godlessness (2Ti 3:10–14). #AlwaysFaithful #PersistAgainAndAgain

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Godlessness shall continue “in the last days“ (3:1–9)…and so it does. But you, who have known by example men and women of faith like Paul, you have seen how the people of God endure all manner of ungodly mess and persecution. Anyone who knows, loves and follows God will themselves be persecuted. But The Lord will stand with you…rescue you.

Godlessness will exist until the Day of Christ. Jesus himself explained this phenomenon (note Mat 13:36-43). But you may trust those godly examples in your life who, like Paul, have been persistently faithful to live out God‘s word and have taught it to you. Lord, may I persist to be faithful even in the presence of godlessness.

God will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in him (Isa26:3)

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.

New Year’s Gift

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Give thanks to God for including all men in his great Redemption (1Ti 2:1,3-6). #WhosoeverWillMayCome

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

If one were the sovereign of a perfect kingdom and could choose one’s own kingdom people, who might that one choose? Would one choose only people like one’s self? One might be highly selective. But God is not like that. He includes everyone of us (even a wretch like me). He excludes no one in his call to come. In fact, he tells us to pray for “ALL“ men to understand this truth and enter into his kingdom (Romans 10:13 says, “Whosoever will may come”).

One may say, “Well, I don’t like God. He condemns my sin, says I will suffer consequences for my sin.“ Yes, but he is also our mediator and he has reconciled all humanity to him by Christ’s death on the cross. He suffered our consequences and purchased our freedom to choose him and his kingdom. All may come to him. We may exclude ourselves, but he excludes no one. This is the message, GOD’S GIFT to the world (Rom 6:23). Thank you Lord, for including me (not excluding me) in your kingdom.

Distracted?

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Stay focused on the truth of God’s word and a life devoted to him (1Ti 1:3-7). #Distractions #ChasingRabbits

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

The Apostle Paul writes this personal letter to a young man, his protégé, Timothy, pastor of the church in Ephesus (vv1,2). Foremost on Paul’s mind (speaking fatherly advice to anyone with authority) is that Timothy not be distracted by those who promote trivial controversies. These are folks who would rather chase rabbits than do something constructive.

Instead, the task is to lead God’s people (family, associates, etc), by teaching and example, to be filled with love. That can only happen if they are led to have a pure heart (humble and compassionate), a clear conscience (be right with God and man) and to live a genuine faith (undiluted trust in the truthfulness of God for life and practice).

Lord, prevent the sentry on duty from being distracted from the truth of the gospel and living a life devoted to you.

Stand Faithful

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

When faith is challenged, remain faithful, put hope in God (Isa 66:5–14). #FindHopeInGod #FindComfortInGod

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Those who are faithful to God will be severely persecuted. History has proven that to be true. Here, they are persecuted by their own brothers of Judaism. This is likely a reference to the church, “born in a day“ (v8).

Jewish brothers persecuted those believing in Christ. They assume they “honor God“ by such persecution. But, by this, they will be put to shame (v5). To those persecuted God says, “I gave birth to you. I will comfort you and care for you and bless you“ (v8,9,13,14). God will always stand with his people; he stands with his church today. Lord, all my hope and comfort is in you (Rom 15:13; 2Co 1:3).

It’s Not “Karma”

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Put your faith in Jehovah God who is sovereign over all destiny (Isa 65 12–16). #NoKarmaHere #ChooseTheGodOfAllDestiny

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

God’s people had forsaken God for another path, looking for some out of reach “destiny“ (v11) – the perfect high, the perfect relationship, the perfect job, the perfect education and the like. They put their faith in things that never satisfy. But God is the source of all true destiny (v12). He alone delivers on true meaning in life.

Serving God is to eat of the food of genuine life, to quench our thirst for real meaning; it means to express a spirit of joy and singing, to be a blessing to others and to desire living in truth and living for God. Otherwise our destiny, according to God, will be fraught with meaninglessness, grief and despair. Choosing God as the Lord of all destiny is the clear choice. I reject any idea of “karma” as a path to meaning in life. I choose Jehovah God as sovereign Lord of my destiny.

Seek God Sooner Than Later

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Humbly, earnestly, seek God quickly for his help (Isa 65:1–5). #SeekGodEarly #NoTimeLikeNowToSeekGod

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Isaiah 65:1 answers the questions asked in the last verse of Chapter 64. “Lord, will you continue ignoring us? Will you keep on being silent and punishing us?“ The answer – God says, “I was [and always am] ready to respond…was [and am] ready to be found, B U T no one asked me for help nor went looking for me.“

So many Scriptures tell us that if we seek God, call out to him, he WILL be found (e.g.: Isa 55:6; Psm 34:4-6; Pro 8:17; 2Ch 15:2b; Jer 29:12-14). In Isa 65:3-5 God says, “All day I stand ready, arms wide open to those who will seek me. But…“ The problem? Man is too rebellious, arrogant, selfish and self-righteous (see also Jas 3:1-3). Lord, may it not be said of me that I was too arrogant and rebellious to stop and earnestly seek you for help.

“When Pigs Fly”

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Depend upon God’s everlasting love and faithfulness to save and to keep (Isa 54:9,10) #ForeverFaithful https://bible.com/bible/116/isa.54.9-10.NLT

When God Forsakes His People

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

It is true that Jehovah God briefly turned his back on Israel because of her unfaithfulness (vv7,8). But this brief moment is in contrast to his promise of everlasting love and mercy (vv9,10).

This is the solemn promise of God: he would never again turn his back on his people. They would see the grander of great mountains dissolve before their eyes (see pigs fly) before God would ever again turn on his people.

As it has been for Israel, so it is for his church. Persecution, calamity and troubles may come. But God’s fierce love and devotion for his people will never be, shall never be, derailed nor gone missing. Lord, you have never forsaken this elder sentry; been forever faithful to me.

Trust The Truth

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Have an unassailable trust in the veracity of God’s Word (Isa 53:1-12; 2Ti 3:16). #TrustGodsWord https://bible.com/bible/116/isa.53.5-10.NLT https://bible.com/bible/116/2ti.3.16.NLT

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Reading Isaiah 53 reminds me of one of the great irrefutable evidences of the veracity of God’s word: the fulfillment of prophecy. We see in the life of Christ and his suffering on the cross for the sins of mankind the fulfillment of Isaiah 53.

Jesus fulfilled over 300 prophecies. There are still some yet to be fulfilled… That is, those related to Christ’s return. Fulfilled prophecy is just one evidence of the inspiration and trustworthiness of Scripture. Lord, This aged sentry has fully trusted in your word for many years. Your Word has never failed me.