“Ghosted”*

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

May we heed every call to repentance; live faithfully for God (Jer 9:10–16). #TheHighCostOfAbandoningGod #Ghosted #TurnNowToGod #Repentance

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

God set in motion a plan for his people (using the pagan nation, Babylon) to bring severe judgment and discipline upon them (Jeremiah weeps bitterly). The land of Judah will be made a desolate wilderness and Jerusalem a heap of ruins. No one will go there or travel there. It will be a ghost town.

“Why?“ God asks. He answers – because his people had abandoned him, broke their promises to him. They went their own stubborn way and worshiped Baal gods (who are no gods). God would scatter them to places they never heard of. It is a tragic and frightening thing for any people (nation) to turn their backs on God.

Lord, may every prayer sentry (their beloved nation) take seriously any daily call to repentance and live faithfully for you.

* Ghosted (an Urban definition): – a term used to describe when a person closely known to another, stops taking their calls and answering their texts. These actions are usually preceded by many a broken promise to “hang out,” be friendly or romantically attached or “catch up” on the part of the “Ghoster.” Such was God to Judah after their many broken promises to follow him.

Lying Lips

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

May our lips know only the truth; may we be discerning of truth (Jer 9:3-9). #TellTheTruth #WhereAreTheTruthTellers

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

In the larger scheme of things, it seems like “lying” would be way down on the list of things that offend God. But lying is an abomination to God (Pro 12:22). Judah, God’s people, were slanderous, stood against the truth, were untrustworthy, defrauding, scheming and conniving against friends and family. They were good at lying, stacking lie upon lie and refused to acknowledge God. God asks, “How can I not bring judgment on this behavior?”

People often have a problem with telling the truth (not just politicians). We lie because it is in our nature to lie. Lying is the way we deflect blame and responsibility for our own sin and wrong doing. We lie to give ourselves the advantage. Our lies will often mean someone else is intentionally harmed. Lies deny others the benefit of knowing the truth. How will God not judge any nation that breeds a culture of lying? Lord, may my lips know only truth.

“Everybody, Lies A Little”

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

May we always speak the truth in life (Jer 9:3) #BeATruthTeller

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

So what is the big deal with lying? According to blues musician, B.B. King, “Everybody, Lies A Little.“ The people of Judah were a lying people. They took a stand against the truth. The people of our modern culture, think some lying is okay. Lying is common. It comes natural. [Ever notice how a child needs no instruction on the art of lying?] Yet, it is listed with the “really bad” things, like immorality, stealing, murder and dishonoring God.

Lying is a sin against God (v 9; also, Pro 12:22). it is the opposite of the truth. It goes against all for which God stands. Lying is, according to the NIV translation of the Bible, the native language of the Devil (Jhn 8:44). A French national speaks French. The Devil is from Hell, where the native language is Lying. That is the Devil’s “go to” language. He doesn’t have to think about it. That is just his language. He lies. As humans born into sin, our native language is lying. Only a true relationship with God can change our sin nature and make us truth tellers.

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)

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.

Lucky Us

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Deliver us as a nation from the sin of presumption (Jer 7:8–11). #LuckyCharm #IlligitimateWorship #TurnNowToGod

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

The danger of religious familiarity is that it leads to the sin of presumption – impertinent boldness, taking liberties with God’s goodness. God’s grace does not give me liberty to live like hell all week. Then on the day of worship, bow my head and pray (Rom 6:1,2). This is illegitimate worship.

God’s people had come to treat the very Temple in which they worshipped like a good luck charm, a religious talisman. They claimed to follow God but their hearts were far from him. God says, “Do you really think that is acceptable to me? I see your stinking depravity and it is unacceptable. That is why judgment is on its way.” Lord, how dare I ever presume upon your goodness & grace.

Worthless Silver

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

May we respond in repentance to the refining fires of God’s judgment (Jer 6:27–30i). #RefinersFire #ProvingSpiritualWorth

Discarded Worthless Silver

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Like an assayer judges the value of precious metal, so Jeremiah makes an assessment of the spiritual worth of God’s people. The determination is that the refiner’s fire has proved God’s people are unrepentant and of the worst value.

God’s people are hard like iron. Unusable. The fires of previous judgments have not brought about any purification. Therefore, they are “rejected silver“ and cast aside by the God. Oh, that America, me or my family might not become “rejected silver.“ Lord thank you for the fires of refining in my life (Pro 25:4,5). May those fires prove the value of this old sentry’s walk with you.

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

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.

A Time For Personal Brokenness

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Lord, break my heart for the things that matter to you (Jer 4:19-21). #PersonalBrokenness #Broken

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

I imagine Jeremiah convulsing in great sobs over the coming plight of Judah. His heart is breaking snd his body manifests the movements and gestures of one who is staggering and reeling. He is overwhelmed at the emotional jolt of Judah’s destruction. Through sobs of emotional and spiritual pain he weeps before God, “How long will the destruction last?“

When I understand the lamentation of Jeremiah for the people of God and the destructive consequences of sin, it causes me to question my own compassion for the people of my nation, my community. It causes me to wonder just how deeply the sins of our society, of my own life, burden me.

How troubled am I really for things beyond my small span of personal concerns? I wonder, what must God be thinking about my own responses to the causes and consequences of sin around me; even my own sin. So I ask, “Lord, would you sufficiently break my heart for the things that matter to you. May I make a difference for my world by earnest prayer, a compassionate witness and a life well-lived for you.”

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.

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.

Bad Habits, Hidden Sin

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Remain open to the plow of God’s Word (Jer 3:3,4). #PlowUpTheFallowGround #SurrenderYourPrideAndStrength

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Jeremiah is sending a clear message of warning to Judah and it’s capital city, Jerusalem. Bad habits and hidden sin has hardened their hearts. Their hearts have become like unplowed ground: hard, crusty and dry. No new seed is able to penetrate it. Jeremiah says, “Plow up the hard ground of your heart. Change your heart before God before it is too late.“

The people of Judah must, just as I must, rid themselves of bad habits and hidden sin. They must break up the crusty hard ground of their hearts in surrender of pride and strength to God. Then God can so new seed of joy and faithfulness. Lord, this old sentry is seeking you to break up any hard hearted way of mine. Renew my spirit.

Walk The Talk

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION TO…

…Come in SINCERE repentance toward God; turn fully back to him (Jer 3:6–10). #SincereRepentance #WalkTheTalk #Revival

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Josiah, king of the southern kingdom of Judah was a good and gracious King. He was instrumental in leading Judah in a revival (2Ch 34). Unfortunately it was limited in its scope. The nation was bent on following the example of her sister Israel. So she flagrantly put other gods (who are no gods), gods of her own making, ahead of Jehovah God.

Judah should have learned from Israel‘s total collapse that she should repent and turn sincerely back to God. But she never fully did. Her revival was short-lived and mostly a pretense, a show. She abandoned the One who had saved her, assuring her fate (2Ki 23:25-27). Lord, may I (my beloved nation) learn from the examples of history. May I (my beloved nation) come to you in sincere repentance for sin. May my (our) behavior match the repentance.