A Timely Word

Do not fear to speak boldly for Christ (Acts 26:19,20,24-29; Ezk 3:27). #WitnessForChrist https://www.bible.com/116/act.26.19-20,24-29.nlt https://www.bible.com/116/ezk.3.27.nlt

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Paul’s example and appeal is clear. When faced with an opportunity to share the gospel be respectful, tell the truth and share your personal story. These will be your best defense of the gospel. Explain that Jesus came to save those who would turned to him. He died and resurrected that men may have forgiveness of sin and eternal life.

The life, death and resurrection of Jesus are irrefutable facts in history. A personal testimony is an irrefutable fact in history. Simple truth and reason will bring men and women to a point of decision. The rest is up to them to accept or reject. Lord, lead this sentry to speak the message you give, when you give it. The rest is up to you.

(Ezk 3:27) But when I give you a message, I will loosen your tongue and let you speak. Then you will say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says!’ Those who choose to listen will listen, but those who refuse will refuse, for they are rebels.

“Cancel Culture” Practitioner Becomes Compassionate Christian Preacher/Pastor

Pray for the oppressors of society; their enlightenment to salvation (Acts 26:9-15) #TurnToGod #PrayForYourOppressor https://www.bible.com/116/act.26.9-15.nlt

Jesus confronts Saul (Paul) on
the road to Damascus

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

In Paul’s defense before Herod Agrippa, he admits to being a “cancel culture“ practitioner. Like the media, big tech, divisive politicians and oligarchs of our day, Paul lead out in silencing the Christians of his day.

BUT GOD – God arrested Paul, quite literally, in his tracks. He was on his way to Damascus to hunt down and punish those Christ followers. Those who did not tow the party line. Paul saw Jesus. He was changed. He became the compassionate Christian preacher/pastor for the ages.

God can turn any “cancel culture“ on its ear. He can save completely the worst of all oppressors in any society. Lord, it is incumbent upon me, and my honor, that I should pray for oppressors in my culture. I must pray for flashes of God’s light and glory to shine stunningly on their Damascus road to salvation. This is my sentinel duty.

Above “Cancel Culture”

Keep sharing the gospel even in a “Cancel Culture” (Acts 25:14-27). #AboveCancelCulture #LibertyFollowsGrace https://www.bible.com/116/act.25.14-15,17-18,23-27.nlt

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

“Cancel Culture“ is nothing new. Jesus was a victim of “Cancel Culture.” Weak politicians enable a culture that seeks to silence whatever does not fit their agenda or narrative. Two Governors, Felix and Festus, sought to appease the Jews of Palestine (a religious special interest group). They sought to “Cancel” the apostle Paul. Now King Agrippa would join in to silence, to cancel, the claims of Christianity. The goal was to shut down Paul’s revolutionary message of grace.

What does the Christian do when politicians and special interest groups seek to silence the gospel message? The Christian does what Paul did. He was relentless in sharing the message of Christ. No “Cancel Culture” will stamp out the gospel message of Jesus. “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty” (2Co 3:17). Lord, enable sentries in the watchtowers to always, in every way, rise above the “Cancel Culture” of the day.

Befriend Not Berate

Reflect the heart of God towards any enemy, overcoming evil with good (Rom 12:20,21). #LoveYourEnemy OvercomeEvilWithGood https://www.bible.com/116/rom.12.20-21.nlt

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Day 35 of 40 days of prayer for family and friends. Lord, may my family and friends show genuine Christlikeness towards even their enemies.

All of Romans Chapter 12 is full with richness in regard to being a “living sacrifice;” being that one who is willing to lay his/her life down for another. This is the one who will unselfishly develop the character of Christlikeness – being authentic and ready, even eager, to help another.

This is nowhere seen more clearly than when I am willing to genuinely look for ways to be a friend and not just get even or berate an enemy. To do that I must stop, listen and try to understand their deepest needs. Then, as I apply Christlike goodness, I may conquer the evil that is intended toward me.

Jesus himself expressed at least three ways that we may overcome evil with good (Luk 6:28–36): 1) pray for your enemy, 2) love (by act of kindness) your enemy and 3) treat your enemy like you would like to be treated. Lord, you have show me how to conquer evil with good. Make of me that “living sacrifice,” willing to act in a Christlike manner towards even my enemy.

A Different Drumbeat

Find your delight and joy in the counsels of God’s Word (Psm 1:1,2). #DifferentDrumbeat #MarchToADifferentDrummer https://www.bible.com/116/psa.1.1-2.nlt

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Day 34 of 40 days of prayer for family and friends. Lord, I pray my family and friends would find their delight and joy in the counsels of your Word.

To be in the counsel of the ungodly, the godless, is to be in apposition with them. That is, to throw in with them, to join in wholeheartedly with their godless philosophies. That necessarily means being in opposition to the counsel and delight of God’s law, God’s word.

I come away from this Psalm asking myself, “To what drumbeat do I march?” Do I march 100% in line with the beat of this world’s drum, and enjoy it? Or do I step out 100% in sync with the Word of God? Lord, may I find my delight in you alone and in your Word. I choose to march to the drumbeat of your Word.

To The Fight

Never lose sight of the enemy, who is against you (1Pe 5:8–10). #BeAlert #BeWatchful https://www.bible.com/116/1pe.5.8-10.nlt

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Day 32 of 40 days of prayer for family and friends. Lord, I pray that my family and friends stay alert to the strategies of Satan to destroy them; that they remain firm in their faith.

It is important that believers carry out the standing orders of the duty sentry.

1) Stay alert – don’t be sleepy-eyed. The enemy is real and ready to take advantage of the sleeping sentry.

2) Be vigilant – expectant. Look out watchfully for the enemy to show up at any moment.

3) Resist the enemy – hold out, oppose and repel the enemy by,

4) being steadfast in the faith (immovable, secure).

5) Remember that you have many brothers and sisters throughout the world fighting the good fight and standing watch with you.

Know this, He [God] who has called you will be your strength against all odds and suffering. Father, let me never lose sight of who the enemy is or the battle that I am fighting.

From Where Comes Our Hope?

A young minister friend wrote to me this morning:

“I woke up super anxious for the state of our country. Fear of the future. Sad for the brokenness, the hate and sin. I was reminded of Proverbs 21:1:
[The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord; he turns it wherever he will. Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the heart. To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice] I believe it is true. I ask what my roll is. I have peace that it hasn’t changed, to tell people about Jesus, to make disciples. I think about MLK. He stood up against the sin of racism. There are many sins our country celebrates.

But we are to be set apart. It can be very confusing, but very simple at the same time. [I am] resting in knowing that the Gospel is the only solution for any this. [I am] selfishly celebrating that this is not the end, only a stopping place till I get to my eternal home one day.”

I wrote him back:

“Your words are taken as words of the Spirit. I find that God often speaks to me in such ways. Then he reminds me that such things are are given me by him that I may pray and not lose heart.

I take great comfort in knowing that God is at work in and through all the affairs of men.

Some like to say, “God is in control.” Truth is, the men of this age are in control. BUT GOD IS SOVEREIGN OVER ALL. No matter what man does, God uses it to accomplish his purposes. That’s what Jesus said to Pilate, as he claimed to have power to deliver Jesus’ life. [Jesus said, “You would have no authority over Me, unless it had been given you from above; for this reason he who delivered Me to you has the greater sin” (Jhn 19:11)].

I also pray that God would intervene in the affairs of men. I pray that God would sweep across this land like a great prairie fire, ablaze with revival and spiritual awakening.

Psalm 121:1-8
I lift up my eyes to the hills.

From where does my help come?

[The Answer]

My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot be moved;
he who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, he who keeps Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord is your keeper;
the Lord is your shade on your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day,
nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all evil;
he will keep your life.
The Lord will keep
your going out and your coming in
from this time forth and forevermore.”

This sentry takes great comfort in knowing that God is at work in and through all the affairs of men.

Forewarned! Forearmed?

Pray for the repentance of your nation (Isa 32:9–14). #Repent #TurnToGod #AmericanAwakening https://www.bible.com/116/isa.32.9-14.nlt

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

If the women of Judah are at ease, smugly resting in the security of their homes – thinking all is well, they should think again. Because of Judah’s rejection of God, complacent attitude and careless lifestyle she will suffer at the hands of Assyria. She should repent before God (vv11,12). But she won’t (vv1-8).

So the bounty of the countryside farms and the good life of the cities and towns will be suddenly decimated. The time was short. Assyria would conquer Judah (v10). Only a full-scale national repentance could reverse that. Sadly no one heeded Isaiah‘s warning.

Is America listening today? Her rejection of God, her sin, is no different than Judah’s. Lord, I pray that America might heed the warnings and turn fully to you in a national repentance. Send awakening Lord.

I am reminded of my Sentinel Orders to Stand Faithfully, Watch Vigilantly, Pray Earnestly, WARN CLEARLY.

But if the watchman sees the enemy coming and doesn’t sound the alarm to warn the people, he is responsible for their captivity. They will die in their sins, but I will hold the watchman responsible for their deaths (Ezk 33:6).

America’s National Disgrace

God will honor the cry of a humble heart that seeks mercy and grace (Isa 32:1-8). #Repent #ReturnToGod https://www.bible.com/116/isa.32.1,5.nlt

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

The nation of Judah was facing a crisis (Assyrian conquest). For her sin of rejecting God she stood at the threshold of destruction. The prophet Isaiah clearly identifies the character of men and women who disdain and reject God (vv5-7). America needs to wake up, for her bulwark reveals similar vulnerabilities.

This is America’s National Disgrace. It is clear to the discerning eye. From Isaiah 32:5-7: Those who are ungodly and foolish are seen as heroes. Dishonorable men are exalted and respected. Fierce zealots make plans to further their own ends. They practice ungodliness; ridicule and marginalize those who trust in God. They make plans for their own self interests but they deprive the disenfranchised of basic needs in life. Smooth talkers appear honest/earnest, but mix sense with non-sense, scheming to mislead. They lie to convict the powerless, even when their is just cause. Can we see any of this in America today?

BUT…

THERE IS HOPE AHEAD!

Isaiah speaks of a Redeemer who will come. Judah had suffered under unjust rulers and leaders, but “A righteous king is on the way. Honest princes will prevail under him.” Although Judah would be destroyed and taken into captivity, still there were many who act according to “generosity” (v8). They were hungry for a righteous ruler. That ruler, that “righteous king” would be Jesus Christ, who has already come and he will come again to rule.

WHAT WILL THE HOPE OF THIS RIGHTEOUS KING LOOK LIKE?

The coming Christ will provide, “Shelter from the wind and a refuge from the storm.” His rule will be “like streams of water in the desert or the shadow of a great rock in a parched land.” In Christ’s rule “everyone who has eyes will be able to see the truth and everyone who has ears will be able to hear it. Even the hotheads will be full of sense and understanding. Those who stammer will speak out plainly” (vv1-4).

Lord, it excites the heart of this aged sentry to know the assurance of my once come, and coming again, righteous king. Even so, come Lord Jesus!

Today would be as good a day as any to pray for a national repentance in America. That she would once again celebrate the Christ-child; the Savior of the world.

Lord, would you give the leaders of America a humble heart of repentance. I pray that they would no longer compare themselves to each other but see themselves in the light of a holy God.

Lord, would you begin the work of repentance and healing within the one square foot in which I stand this morning. Do a work of repentance and healing in my household. Do a work of repentance and healing in and among my neighbors, whom I know very well.

I pray for the leaders, the pastors and ministers in my city. I pray for those officials who carry out the will of the state in my county. I pray for the leaders of my state and the leaders of my nation.

From my house to the White House, Lord, may we have a humble heart of repentance. May you once again receive the honor and majesty due you in America.

Lord, this is a prayer from the heart of the sentry standing watch today. I join the sentinel call to prayer.

Standing the Morning Watch on my block

“HOLIDAYS GOD”

ALTAR TO THE UNKNOWN GOD

(Acts 17:22-24,27-29,32-34) https://www.biblegateway.com/passage?search=Acts%2017:22-24,27-29,32-34&version=NLT

What does this world have in common with the ancient Athenian culture at Christmas?

I read in Acts 17 that the Athenians were worshipping an “unknown god.” They of course didn’t want to accidentally leave out some god whom they did not know and thus offend the divine. This is political correctness at its best (maybe worst) in ancient Athens.

“So Paul, standing before the council, addressed them as follows: “Men of Athens, I notice that you are very religious in every way, for as I was walking along I saw your many shrines. And one of your altars had this inscription on it: ‘To an Unknown God.’”

Satan, the god of this world, has led our contemporary culture down the same path of political correctness. Soon, there will not be much left of the historic meaning of Christmas. We are left with simply a hollow “winter holiday,” devoid of the Christ, devoid of its true meaning.

This is our challenge: As fewer and fewer people understand the true meaning of Christmas, we who know this God, like Paul, must declare Jesus, “whom they do not know” (Acts 17:23).

The world worships at the altar of the “holidays god,” whom they do not know. So, we must proclaim Jesus to them who do not know HIM and we must do so with joy at the opportunity. We say with Paul,

“This God, whom you worship without knowing, is the one I’m telling you about. He is the God who made the world and everything in it. Since he is Lord of heaven and earth, he doesn’t live in man-made temples, His purpose was for the nations to seek after God and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him—though he is not far from any one of us. For in him we live and move and exist. As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’ And since this is true, we shouldn’t think of God as an idol designed by craftsmen from gold or silver or stone.”

Christmas is a time to share the greatest message on earth; the message of the one true God. “Behold the virgin shall be with child, and shall bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel, meaning, God with us” (Matthew 1:23). He is, “The son of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).

He is God who can be known

He has a name

His name Is Immanuel

The God who is with us

Scripture says that some laughed and derided Paul. But others said, “We want to hear more…[and] some joined [Paul] and became believers.”

He is God who can be known

He has a name

His name Is Immanuel

The God who is with us

Day By Day Renewal

Your daily surrender to God achieves daily renewal (Isa 30:22-26). #Surrender #Renewal #Repentance https://www.bible.com/116/isa.30.22-26.nlt

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Even in the midst of suffering God is not far from his sinful rebellious child. He stands by to teach us, to instruct us by his voice. When once we have surrendered to him it will be clear the way in which we are to go (vv19-21).

The way which we choose will reject all other gods. We will be happy to destroy the idols in our lives and put Jehovah God at the center. In response God will heal his people and cure them from the wounds he gave them. If this sentry is to know daily renewal then certainly he must daily surrender afresh to God.

If my beloved country is to know renewal and spiritual awakening then she must turn in repentance to the God of her fathers.

“Fresh Joy”

Trust fully the hope you have in God (Isa 29:17-24). #TrustGod #FreshJoy https://www.bible.com/116/isa.29.19.nlt

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

God‘s deliverance of Jerusalem from the Assyrian king Sennacherib (701 B.C.) was a foretaste of what will come in the distant future. According to the prophet God will, “in that day,“ reign as king over the earth. It will come! The deaf will hear, the blind will see (metaphors of deliverance). Has been and will be fulfilled in Jesus.

The humble, not the proud, the poor not the affluent, will be filled with “fresh joy“ [ever increasing joy]. The scoffers, the arrogant, the evil hearted and perverters of justice will be destroyed. God’s people will remain and thrive and grow. Lord, your promises fill the weary sentry with fresh joy. Your mercies are new every morning.

God’s Greatest Delight

Surrender and God will fight your battles (Isa 29:5–8). #GodWins #GodWillFightForYou https://www.bible.com/116/isa.29.5-6,8.nlt

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

When once the wayward, rebellious, child of God surrenders, his/her whimpers of repentance are heard from on high (v4). Then, like the father greeting the prodigal home from the far country of sin, God is first on the scene to help. This is the message of the prophets.

The enemies, the attackers, God had used to discipline his child will be crushed. Their course of pain and suffering will come to a sudden end. They will be driven away by heaven’s armies. They will “vanish like a vision in the night.“ It is God‘s greatest delight to vanquish the enemy of the child of God. Thank you Lord, for hearing in the night this sentry’s prayer of surrender so many years ago.

FOR AMERICA: Lord, I pray that my beloved nation may surrender her heart fully to you. May she know the fires of revival & spiritual awakening from sea to shining sea. May the power of heaven’s armies be used to deliver her from the enemies that would seek to destroy her.

Harbinger In The American City

Are your ears open to the cries of the city (Isa 24:4-6)? #GodForTheCity https://www.bible.com/116/isa.24.4-6.nlt

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

What keeps you awake at night? Securing your family, your home, your wealth? Your life? In God’s judgment none of these things will be safe.

The crisis of our day is but a harbinger of what is to come. The Scriptures read like a current news story: “There is no new wine – [where are the voices for God’s word?]. Joy is silenced. THE CITY WRITHES IN CHAOS; every HOME IS LOCKED to keep out intruders. MOBS GATHER in the streets, crying out for wine. Joy has turned to gloom. Gladness has been banished from the land. THE CITY IS LEFT IN RUINS, it’s gates battered down” (24:7-12). Sometimes I read Scripture and cannot believe my own eyes. Today we are seeing a picture of what God’s judgment will look like.

This old sentry has stood his watch many a day and night, near 75 times around the sun. From my watchtower I have not seen such chaos inside my own walls, in my own streets and political landscape as seen today. This sentry cries out in the Morning Watches, “Lord, enlarge my heart for the city. Much of my days are past, but my heart breaks for my city. I will do whatever I can.”

“Praise be to the LORD, for he showed his wonderful love to me when I was in a besieged city. In my alarm I said, “I am cut off from your sight!” Yet you heard my cry for mercy when I called to you for help. . . Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the LORD.” (Psm 31:21–22,24)

“And work for the peace and prosperity of the city where I sent you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, for its welfare will determine your welfare.” (Jer‬ ‭29:7‬)

For the serious reader: Phenomenal article on the heart of God for the heart of the city, written by Cory Seibel, Assistant Professor of Pastoral Ministries at Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary and Worship Pastor at Bethany Mennonite Brethren Church in Fresno, California. https://directionjournal.org/39/1/heart-of-god-in-heart-of-city-missional.html

To Speak or Not To Speak

Boldly speak up for Christ to those who know him not (Isa 24:1-3). #BoldWitness #Fearless https://www.bible.com/116/isa.24.1-3.nlt

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

How desperate will be those who know not the Lord at judgment – “Priests and people, servants and masters, maids and mistresses, buyers and sellers, lenders and borrowers, bankers and debtors. No one will be spared.” The Lord takes no pleasure in judgment. Yet it will come.

What to do? Can I go through my life knowing I have the answer for any man who wants a reason for the hope within me (1Pe 3:15)? On my watch, if I speak and no one listens, it’s on them. But if I do not speak at all, their lives are on me. Father, may I always be bold to speak fearlessly, clearly, for you.

Behind The Curtain, GOD

Put your faith in a sovereign God who works his will through the affairs of men (Isa 18:3;21:8,9). #ComeLordJesus #JesusWillReign https://www.bible.com/116/isa.18.3.nlt https://www.bible.com/116/isa.21.8-9.nlt

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Praying through the ancient prophecies of Isaiah regarding all the godless nations surrounding Israel and Judah. Not an easy read. I was considering the fact that EVERY PROPHECY over every nation has been FULFILLED (Isa 14-23).

God is a sovereign, who providentially works his will through all the affairs of men. I have every reason to believe that the prophecies of the future (Isa 24-27, New Testament, et al.) will be fulfilled, just as they were in those ancient of days. My sentinel faith rests in an eternal Commander who seeks the ultimate good and will destroy all evil.

The Christian & Social Media

What is the role of the Christian on social media and in this world generally?

Prompted by recent censorship of certain media posts by FaceBook and Twitter I righteously wrote these words on Face Book: “Really through with the FB/Twitter big tech arrogance. Been a user for a long time, but I’m canceling my accounts and open to looking for alternatives.”

Not long after my little tirade the Lord had his own prompt to make in my soul. It changed my outlook as a Christian on the social media giants. It changed the way I look at the platforms they afford Christians to make a positive impact, even if they choose to silence our voice. So I compiled these few prompts from history that have fed my faith values.

Jesus said Christians “are not of this world but in it.” (Jhn 17:16-18)

John The Apostle said Christians are to be “in the world but not of it.” (1Jn 2:15-17)

Ricky Skaggs said Christians should be “of the church but not in it.” (Bass Hall; CIRCA 1975)

Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945) said, “The Christian cannot simply take for granted the privilege of living among other Christians. Jesus Christ lived in the midst of his enemies. On the cross he was alone, surrounded by criminals and the jeering crowds. He had come for the express purpose of bringing peace to the enemies of God. So Christians, too, belong not in the seclusion of a cloistered life but in the midst of enemies. There they find their mission, their work.” (Bonhoeffer was a German pastor who died in a Nazi Germany concentration camp for his faith in Christ; he paid the High Cost of Discipleship)

Martin Luther (1483-1546) spoke these words. “To rule is to be in the midst of your enemies. And whoever will not suffer this does not want to be part of the rule of Christ; such a person wants to be among friends and sit among the roses and lilies, not with the bad people but the religious people. Oh, you blasphemers and betrayers of Christ! If Christ had done what you are doing who would ever have been saved?” (Luther was a German monk who forever changed the face of Christianity; he defied the Holy Catholic Church by challenging the dogma of the day with his 95 Theses, stating that salvation is by faith alone and not works)

I have yet to pay the price that any of these men in history have paid. I’m glad they stood faithful in the culture of their day, to speak their mind for the living God. In the end I had to seek the Lord’s forgiveness for my own self-righteousness. Imperfect as I am, it is humbly my goal, by God’s Spirit, to continue to influence men for Christ any where, any time, any place, in any way and on whatever platform God gives me.

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

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?

Cry In America’s 2020 Culture Wars

The cry in the midst of an American cultural war, when tearing down historical monuments is vogue, has been to preserve our history? 

Herein lies OUR HISTORY. In 1937, JP McBeth wrote these words in his commentary on Romans (8:22):

“Creation is faulty from the ruins of man. Man has defiled whatever he has touched. Man’s sin put thorns on the roses. 

HISTORY is but the sin of the nations and the record of the ruins of man. HISTORY is little more than a war record. 

CRUMBLING CITIES ARE THE MONUMENTS OF MAN’S HANDS. Wherever man has labored there are seen the heaps of ruins in his memory. There is nothing so pure on earth but that it has been polluted by man’s corruption. 

Soon after [man] saw the morning light of creation, midnight darkness terrified the fallen souls. And those who [should have] graced the beautiful garden [of Eden] became homeless, murdered and murderer, and vagabond in the earth; and sorrow and sin began to multiply exceedingly.” This is our HISTORY AS MAN

McBeth explains our hope for the future (8:24):

“BUT LET NONE DESPAIR, for hope is in the very nature of our salvation – we were saved in hope. We were not saved upon the grounds of what we could see but in faith [in Christ] as we trusted the word of God. We are saved in hope, the saved are sustained by hope and they are living for hope.”

Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. – Jesus 

(John 15:13,14)

[Compiler’s emphasis noted in CAPS]