Godly Exceptionalism

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Live a godly life made exceptional by the grace of God (Jer 16:10). #GodlyExceptionalism #NoExceptionToTheRule

Exceptionalism Depends On God’s Grace

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Jeremiah was to exhibit extraordinary behavior to act out and explain God’s displeasure with Judah, his people (vv1-9). The people denied God. Yet, in verse 10, they ask indignantly, “Why is God unhappy with us? What have we done – how have we sinned against him?“ They were religious in their outward actions but far from God in their hearts.

Far from being the exceptional people God intended them to be, they thought they were the exception to the rule. They believed God was obligated to protect and provide for them. Exceptionalism does not make one an exception to the rule – in this case devotion to God. Lord may I live my life as a child of God, made exceptional in repentance by the grace of God.

I believe in “American Exceptionalism.” But America is not an exception to the rule, free to live in defiance of God and his Word. Her “Exceptionalism” is a God-given attribute. She needs to turn from her sin and act like it. May repentance be the rule of the day.

Against The Tide

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Stand fearlessly for the truths of God (Jer 15:10,11). #AgsinstTheTide #FearlesslyDevotedToTruth

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Having heard God‘s response to the prayers of God‘s people (which was, God would not listen), Jeremiah dives headlong into a lament of his own with God. “I should have died at birth. It is such sorrow, depressing, to be hated by everyone, everywhere. I have done nothing to deserve the ire of everyone, yet they all curse me.“

Sometimes the man or woman of God must stand alone against the tide of unrighteousness. It is not an enviable position. But, stand you must, if you are to honor God. It is not you the people curse. It is (heaven forbid) God and his truth. God will see you through. In the end they will seek you to plead their case (v11).

Majestic Might

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

May my beloved nation see, acknowledge and know the manifest power and glory of Jehovah God (Psm 68:28-35). #God’sMajestyAndPower #ShowUsGod’sGlory

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Oh, you holy ones of God, summon the might and power of God to our world. Pray for God’s majesty to be revealed to the nations. Pray for those enemies of God and his holy ones to be brought low and bow in recognition of the magnificent one who rides (dwells) in the most high and honored heavens; whose voice thunders (resonates) from above.

Sing To He Who Rides The Highest Heavens

This is the God (Jehovah) whose light and glory shines down on his holy ones. He strengthens those who call upon him in the day of trouble. Lord, as the Psalmist so prays for his countrymen, so this sentry prays for his beloved nation and countrymen.

Who God Is

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Give us hearts to serve the destitute, discouraged and disenfranchised (Psm 68:5,6). #GodIsFatherToTheFatherless #GodIsDefenderOfTheDestitute #GodIsComfortToTheLonely #GodIsJoyToThePrisoner

This Is Who God Is

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Reading Psalm 68:5-6, I think of the ministry God has called me to (spanning some 53 years). I have served in the church as well as Christian and civic organizations. Many of those years (some 36 years; about 70%), were spent serving the last, the least, the lost and the lonely – especially jail/prison inmates, their wives and children.

Serving alongside many dear Christian friends, I have seen firsthand God’s fatherly touch in the lives of the fatherless, the lonely, the widowed, abandoned wives and mothers, the prisoner. This is who God is (v5). Lord, thank you for the joy I have observed on so many faces as I have been witness to your multiplied deliverance in so many lives.

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.

How long?

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Do not grow weary in the fight against evil (Jer 12:1–4). #StandFast #DoNotGrowWeary

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

“How long Lord?“ Having survived a plot to kill him by evil men unhappy with his message, Jeremiah inquires of the Lord. He asks, “Why do the wicked prosper? Why are they happy? How long will we mourn for our destruction?“ It’s an age old question (Job 21:7-21; Hab 1:2–4).

Faithful prayer sentries may come to their posts weary, even, at times, discouraged by unrestrained evil. The question often haunts their watch. “How long, O Lord, will evil prevail? When will you end the destruction?“ Father God, do not let my finite thoughts wander into places beyond my knowledge and comprehension, lest I be consumed by defeat.

Reversing Failure & Privation

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

May our eyes be opened to sin’s devastation; reverse direction (Jer 10:19–22). #Repentance #GodlySorrow #Awakening

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

The judgment that is about to fall on Judah is inevitable. It will be severe, the grief will be great. The security of one’s home will be destroyed beyond repair. Children will be lost – a generation will be left adrift and unredeemed.

Shepherds (leaders) had lost all sense of direction and no longer sought after God‘s wisdom. Their failures were devastating and all influence with the people was lost. The people will be divided, scattered, left to wander defenseless. The enemy from without will roll down and destroy the nation.

This is what happens to a nation who no longer seeks after God. The privations of my beloved country paint a bleak picture for her future. Lord, may the people of America be awakened to her demise and return to the God of her heritage. May the church be renewed, filled with the Spirit and pointing the way to a loving 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!

A Gibraltar Faith

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Stand fast in your faith; encourage the faithful (Jud 1:17–21). #StandFastInFaith #EncourageTheFaithful

“The Rock”

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

So, what are the sentry’s standing orders in these “last days,“ in the face of those who make a mockery of biblical values and live a hedonistic lifestyle, who create division and who do not live by the Spirit of God? Jude answers: Be strengthened in the faith (have a “Gibraltar“ sized faith).

Build one another up who do follow God faithfully. Be prayerful for each other (and those who deny the faith). Look forward to the merciful coming of Christ and eternal life. Thus you will stay safe in the saving, keeping grip of God‘s love. Lord, make of this old sentry a Gibraltar of faith to my friends and family. May I work tirelessly to encourage the faithful in my orbit of influence.

PRAYING FOR YOU WHO ARE

READING THIS BLOG TODAY

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.

The Lord Victorious

“Lion of Judah” The Lord our God

Yesterday I was speaking on the phone with a dear friend from California. He was telling me about several mutual friends who were and are facing life threatening and debilitating illnesses. We spoke of our compassion for them; what long time friends they have been. But my friend who is normally pretty positive seemed troubled in his soul.

Our conversation then slipped into a brief discussion of the direction of our beloved nation. Of course, how one feels about America today depends entirely on one’s perspective and persuasion. The problem however, is not perspective. It is that there is so much animosity and vitriol between neighbors. We do not trust one another. So, whoever is in the minority becomes TERRIFIED of what will happen to us as a nation if the “other side,” the antagonists if you will, have the power.

ALWAYS,

one or the other of us is

TERRIFIED!

The whole conversation haunted me all day yesterday and into the night. This morning I awoke with a lingering pain in my heart over our conversation. Over dear friends who are facing dyer Illnesses. Over my friend and his deep compassion for other troubled souls. Over our beloved nation that is so divided.

“Lord, I need a little healing balm this morning, a little comfort.”

This is what God said to me:

The common enemy in all our devastation, whether it is sicknesses or political ideology, is the ruler of this world. It is Satan himself. He is the enemy of the body. He is the enmity between men. He is the perpetrator of sickness and the source of all our division, fears and terror.

This verse came to me. “My enemies [Satan is the real enemy] trample on me all day long, for many attack me proudly [sickness may attack me without mercy]. [BUT] When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I SHALL NOT BE AFRAID. What can flesh do to me?” – Psalm‬ ‭56:2-4‬ ‭

The Lord spoke to me further…

…“So have no fear of them, for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. What I tell you in the dark, say in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops.”

“And do not fear those who [or that which] kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered.”

“Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.” – Matthew‬ ‭10:26-33‬ ‭

So, this morning I am taking my stand against every weapon of Satan that might be fashioned against me, my friend, our other mutual hurting friends and my “neighbor” who may think differently than I.

I am declaring that the enemy of every man, woman and child is Satan. I will pray for the sick and bereaved. I will pray for my neighbor – no matter what the ideology, race or gender. I can declare that Satan is a liar and a deceiver of all men. He may even deceive the very elect of God. But let it be known today by the word of God that the enemy is exposed for who he is. May one prayer set thousands of Satan’s emissaries in this world to flight. May many prayers of the Saints set hundreds of thousands to flight.

The Lord declares it.

May we believe it.

May we declare it ourselves.

THE LORD OR GOD IS VICTORIOUS !!!

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.

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)

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.

Reason To Hope

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Turn fully, faithfully and finally to our merciful God (Jer 3:11–15). #ReasonToHope.

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

As a loving father, God beckons his wayward child, Judah, to return to him. Why? Because God is merciful – he will not stay angry forever. All he asks is that Judah (or anyone living in rebellion against him) surrender their heart, admit their defiance of all that is holy, confess it to God and return home to our loving father.

In return God promises shepherds with hearts after his own who will guide us with knowledge and understanding. Lord, you give me a reason to hope for the future of our nation, of our world. May we fully, faithfully and finally turn to you.

Got Steel?

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Be fortified against the opposition of sin and evil (Jer 1:18-19). #ManOfSteel #GotSteel #FightForTruthAndJustice

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

The message Jeremih had for the people – kings, politicians, priests, ministers, the people of God was one of judgment for sin. Jeremiah would be scorned and rejected. But his detractors would fail. God would make of Jeremiah a fortified city, a man of steel, to speak against sin.

Anyone called of God is obligated to teach and explain the whole counsel of God. It is not always a glorious task. Rather it can be and is an inglorious one. Many will not listen. In fact they may fight against you. But God’s promise to the man or woman of God is that he will steel you against the opposition of the world against truth. Lord, this posted sentry is relying upon you to fortify him in the trenches of ministry and prayer.

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!

Shield & Defense

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Trust God as the ultimate victor in life‘s battles (Psm 21:8–13). #TheBattleIsTheLords #MyShieldAndDefense

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

The plans of the wicked may seem to gain ground temporarily. The wicked may win this battle or that. But the Lord is the ultimate victor in the war. The song says, “Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere? We should never be discouraged. Take it to the Lord in prayer…In his arms he’ll take and shield you. You will find a solace there.“*

The Lord will consume the enemy. The enemy will flee at the mere sight of God’s presence. “We celebrate God‘s mighty victories.“ Lord, you are the sentry’s mighty shield and defense against the wicked forces in this world

* What A Friend We Have In Jesus, Joseph M. Scriven, 1855; the tune was composed by Charles Crozat Converse, 1868

The Road I’ve Traveled

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Give thanks to God for your victories in life (Psm 21:1–7). #RoadLessTraveled #GiveThanksToGod #GodAloneIsMyVictory

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

I have known wonderful victories in the Lord. God has blessed me beyond measure. He has blessed me with godly parents and sister, a charitable and generous wife. He has embellished my path with children and grandchildren who seek after God.

I have enjoyed the blessings of living in a free country. I have known success and joy in places I have worked and ministered. God has anointed me with beautiful and long lasting friendships. All I have is from God and I thank him. Oh Lord, how I rejoice over your strength to me and victories.