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.

Snub God, Pay The Price

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Take seriously sin and drifting from God (Jer 16:1–9). #PainfulSnub #Repent #TurnNowToGod

Really God? Join The Party!

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

There are times when God will ask hard things of his messengers, sometimes extreme things. His purpose is to wake people up, to jolt them into reality. Therefore, Jeremiah was told he could not marry and have children in a culture where this was obligatory. He was not to mourn the dead – unthinkable among the Jews at that time. Nor was he allowed to participate in festivals, joyful events.

All of these things were to show the drastic nature of God‘s intentions to judge a wayward and sinful people. The destruction would be thorough and complete. It would (and did) happen in Jeremiah‘s lifetime (v9). Woe to those who think they can snub their nose at God. Lord, keep old sentry alert to the seriousness of sin and drifting from God.

Fearless Courage

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Be fearless and courageous for God‘s truth (Jer 15:19–21). #Fearless #Courageous #StandForTruth

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Jeremiah bears a gentle but straightforward rebuke from God. “Stop feeling sorry for yourself Jeremiah.“ God challenges Jeremiah to “man up,“ speak truth for God and trust him for the results. In doing this Jeremiah would influence many (more than he knew) and he would not be influenced by them.

Barnes’ Notes – “Flattering prophets will perish with those whom their soft speeches [have led astray]. But those faithfully speaking the truth of God will save them both.“ Lord, I am inspired to stand faithful in/for your truth, to fear no man’s actions against me.

A Broken Bleeding Heart*

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

May the persecuted messengers of God know his comfort (Jer 15:15–18). #TheBleedingHeart #SufferingPersecution #BrokenHeartedWatchman

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

The messengers of God, the bold intercessors for righteousness (those watchmen on the wall) may be seen as cold hearted harbingers of judgment. Not so.

Jeremiah, having understood that his intercessions would not change God‘s plan of judgment (vv10-11), he begins to lament. He sees his life as having been fully consecrated to God. But, he has been suffering insult and persecution as God’s messenger of judgment.

Jeremey’s delight had been to consume and be consumed by God‘s word. He reminds God how he has separated himself from the sins of the people, even railed against those sins. Yet, no one listened and still judgment was inevitable. Jeremiah laments, “How can I go on? When will my suffering end?”

Lord, it is clear, you hear the cries of the watchmen on the wall. Comfort our bleeding hearts* for our own beloved country and countrymen.

_________

* “The phrase bleeding heart is used to describe one who shows excessive sympathy for another’s misfortune. [Before it was used as a political barb], the term appears in literature describing sincere emotional outpouring, even taking on a literal association with the heart of Jesus Christ.” – Merriam-Webster Dictionary

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).

Hardened Hearts

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Do not put off repentance before God (Jer 13:24-27). #TutnNowToGod #Repent #DoNotHardenYourHeart

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

God now makes clear his intentions. If there was any doubt before, it is clear now. God will scatter the people of Judah. They will no longer have a homeland. Just as they have done detestable acts of idolatry, shamelessly done acts of prostitution (pagan orgies) in the open for all to see, so God will expose their naked lust for all to see.

It is decreed by God what is to be their lot…their end. Judgment will fall on them. Lord, my beloved nation is guilty of all of this and more. She flaunts her sin in your face. May she turn back to you before it is too late.

Defaulted Shepherd/Leaders

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Give us righteous leaders who seek God‘s leadership & govern wisely (Jer 13:20,21a) #NeededRighteousLeaders #ShepherdLeaders

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Jeremiah addresses the leaders of Judah as shepherds. He asks rhetorically – “Where are your beautiful flocks that God gave you?“ That is, where are your people who once loved and followed God? The implication is that these shepherds have ignored their flocks. Leaders, CIVIC and religious, are called into account. They ought to be embarrassed at the question. But they are not.

Judah’s leaders have ignored the people. They have spent more time pandering to allies, padding their own pockets and following other gods (who are no gods) than listening to Jehovah God and leading righteously. The Prophet says these godless allies will become their rulers. They will be the instruments God’s judgment.

There is blatant rejection of God in American politics and in certain segments of religious influence. They have led the people astray. These shepherd/leaders in America should be embarrassed. But they are not. America won’t like the alternative that will surely come. Lord, may my beloved nation have leaders who seek God‘s counsel & govern righteously.

Do Not Delay to Repent

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Repent of a self-centered, self-righteous, know-it-all, attitude (Jer 13:15–17). #DoNotDelayRepentance #TurnNowToGod #Repent

Weep for the rejecting souls in darkness

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Following two parables of sin and judgment (vv 1-14), Jeremiah warned the people of Judah once again. (Oh, how the Lord is long-suffering)

“Listen to the warnings of God. Give him honor before it is too late. The day is coming when you will find yourself groping in the darkness of your own soul. You will look for light, but there will be no light.”

Then, Jeremiah says, “I will weep great tears for you because your pride feeds your refusal to listen to God. Your exile (judgment) is on the way.” Lord, I humbly bow before you in repentance for my own self-centered, self-righteous and frequently know-it-all attitude.

Would that our beloved nation, America, turn now from her pride and rejection of God to the light, while there is still time.

Don’t Get “Smashed”

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Humble yourself, seek God‘s counsel, listen to him and follow (Jer 13:12–14) #Don’tGetSmashed #Revival #SpiritualAwakening

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Following Jeremiah’s living parable of the loincloth, illustrating how Judah had become so disgusting to God (v10), God explains the purpose of his choosing Israel. God chose Israel to be a people of praise, renown and glory unto him.

But the nation became proud, arrogant and stubbornly unwilling to follow after God. Therefore, God would fill their wine jugs with wine (signifying “drunkenness;“ that is judgment). Then God says he will “smash“ the jugs to smithereens. Every person from least to great will be mercilessly destroyed for their sin of rebellion.

May this Old Testament lesson be an example to me (1Co 10:6-12), that my arrogance and foolish pride doesn’t prevent me from listening to God and becoming all that God wants me to be. Oh Lord, may I humbly seek your counsel. May I listen and follow, that your purposes might be fulfilled in my life (that is, the glory of the Lord Jesus and the spread of the Gospel).

Lord, may my beloved nation humble herself, seek God’s counsel and become once again a beacon of light for the Gospel.

Message To God’s People

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Pursue a pure heart for God (Jer 13:1–11). #MessageToGod’sPeople #PursueAPureHeartForGod

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

The Lord directed Jeremiah to act out a parable to the stubborn people of Israel/Judah. God said, “Buy a linen cloth and wear it. Don’t wash it.“ A linen cloth was worn next to the body like underwear. It was a sign of Israel’s once intimate closeness to God.

Then God told Jeremiah to go bury the cloth in a hole near the Euphrates. Sometime later he was told to retrieve it. Exposure to the elements had rotted the cloth. it was now good for nothing. This signified how thoroughly useless and disgusting God’s people had become to him.

Lord, how often this old sentry’s wandering heart is stained by worldly pursuits. May my greatest desire be to pursue a pure heart for you.

An Emerging Wasteland

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

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

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

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

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

________

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

Dead Bird

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

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

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

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

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

_________________

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

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

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

“Practice The Presence Of God”

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Learn to “practice the presence of God“ (Jer 12:1,3) #PracticeThePresenceOfGod #PrayerAtItsBest

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

One of the things that sets Jeremiah apart is his ongoing relationship with God. From the beginning of his call (1: 4-14ff) and probably way before that, Jeremiah was on regular speaking terms with God. So these two verses represent his daily open and continuing conversation with God.

This is prayer at its best. This is what Brother Lawrence* called, “practicing the presence of God.“ Brother Lawrence and Jeremiah challenge the intercessor, the prayer sentry, to retreat into that place in his/her heart where the love of God makes even the most menial task of your day a worship experience. Lord, may I daily, moment by moment, stay in constant touch with you no matter what I am doing.

* Brother Lawerence was a 17th Century French Carmelite monk who wrote in his memoirs what became the Christian classic read on prayer: The Practice Of The Presence Of God (a “must read” for every intercessor)

Got Questions?

Don’t hesitate to sincerely inquire of God (Jer 12: 1–4). #GotQuestions-AskGod #SeekTruth

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Although Jeremiah brings his complaint to God, he never doubts the veracity of God‘s ability or intent to bring men to justice. This is not the first time Jeremiah has brought his case to God (v1). He is a man who comes faithfully and boldly before God in prayer.

Jeremiah, like we, is trying to square God’s slow rolling justice with the ongoing freedom and prosperity of evil men. If God would just take out the worst offenders (and he could do that) then maybe things would get better. Maybe. I have had thoughts like that. Yet, my ways are not God‘s ways. I may sincerely question God. But I never doubt him. Lord, you welcome the sincerely inquiring sentry.

Reckless Conspiracy

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Humbly surrender your heart to God’s lordship (Jer 11:9–17). #GodlySorrow #Repentance #TurnToGod

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

The reforms of king Josiah (2Ch 34) were short-lived. The people secretly conspired to rid themselves of God’s oversight. They soon returned to their idolatries and immoral lives. Now the pagan idols and altars thought to save them would become their very downfall (v12).

Do not pray for them Jeremiah” (also 7:16; 11:14). Judgment is on the way. The beautiful olive tree of God’s planting (Israel) will suddenly be destroyed for its rejection of God’s leadership. The nation that rejects God will suffer the consequences. Lord, may we in America, as a people, have humble hearts willing to repent and return to you.

Consider: America is not Judah. She is not a theocracy. Judah’s judgment is not America’s judgment. But America was founded upon Judeo Christian principles (biblical principles) of freedom and liberty. America has been blessed by God because of this. For her to conspire against and turn her back on God will bear no less consequences in judgment. Of this she may be certain. I pray God send revival in the church and awakening in the land.

I do not pray for nor wish for any ill will toward any one person or group of people invested in the political system of America. In fact I pray for their redemption who do not know nor honor God. But I do pray for the absolute destruction of any ideology that conspires against God. I pray that lies and deceit would be exposed and that truth, honor, and respect for God be elevated.

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.

“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.