“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.

The End of Self (A Testimony)

Bow your head in humble repentance for trusting in anything other than God’s resources (Isa 33:7-9) #TrustingGodAlone #DeadManWalking https://www.bible.com/116/isa.33.7-9.nlt

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

What does it mean to come to the end of self? Isaiah answers by pointing Israel (pointing me) to symbols of failed earthly treasures. Treaties for security with powerful earthly kings turn to bitter disappointment. Lebanon, known for its stately cedar trees, wither and die. Sharon, known for its very fertile land, become a barren wilderness. Bashan, known for its abundance of grain and cattle, is plundered. Carmel, known for its thick forests, is utterly defoliated. Earthly resources collapsed around them.

When every earthly ally fails; every earthly resource withers, becomes barron and plundered; everything once thought to be mine by entitlement, deserved or taken for granted, is stripped away, I have come to the end of self. Now I am ready to listen and receive from God.

TESTIMONY: Oh, the battle scars of this aging sentry. They run deep and they run long. But they are every day reminders to me of the grace and the mercy of God in my life. It makes me tremble and weep. But the scars prove the worth of that final death blow to self, to the man I used to be. The scars embedded deeply in my conscience give evidence of battles won by my high and glorious Commander, The Lord of Heaven’s Armies. I must come before you today Lord, in humble repentance for trusting in anything other than you.

Russ Taff beautifully depicts this death to self (pictured in believers baptism) by this song Water Grave.

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

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.

Lord, “Make Good Trouble” In America

U.S. Representative John R. Lewis (1940-2020) was a civil rights activist who worked with Martin Luther King, Jr. He was of the habit of telling folks, “Make Good Trouble.” The purpose of making good trouble was to bring about positive change.  It is clear to me that God makes good trouble himself. The reason God makes good trouble is to bring about change in the human soul. I pray that God would “Make Good Trouble” in the soul of Americans today.

“Your righteousness, O God, is very high, You who have done great things; O God, who is like You? You, who have shown [us] great and severe troubles,shall revive [us] again, and bring [us] up again from the depths of the earth. You shall increase [our] greatness, and comfort [us] on every side.” – Psalm 71:19-21

LORD, WOULD YOU TROUBLE THE HEARTS OF AMERICANS

Lord, would you trouble the hearts of church members and pastors

Would you trouble the hearts of our leaders 

Would you trouble the heart of our President toward God 

Would you trouble the hearts of Congressmen and women

Would you trouble hearts of the Presidential Cabinet members

Would you trouble the hearts of our Supreme Court justices

LORD, WOULD YOU TROUBLE THE HEARTS OF AMERICANS

Lord, would you trouble the hearts of our Governor and Lieutenant Governor

Would you trouble the hearts of our state legislators and it’s courts

“O Lord, do not rebuke [us] in Your anger, Nor chasten [us] in Your hot displeasure. Have mercy on [us], O Lord, for [we are] weak; O Lord, heal [us], for our bones are troubled. [Our] soul also is greatly troubled; [How long], O Lord —[until you restore [us]?” – Psalm 6:1-3  

LORD, WOULD YOU TROUBLE THE HEARTS OF AMERICANS

Lord, would you trouble the hearts of our County Sheriff and deputy staff

Would you trouble the hearts of our County Commissioners

Would you trouble the hearts of our city’s Mayor and Council

Would you trouble the hearts of our School Board members and Superintendent

LORD, WOULD YOU TROUBLE THE HEARTS OF AMERICANS

Lord, would you trouble the hearts of my neighbors 

Would you trouble the hearts in MY HOME 

“They wandered in the wilderness in a desolate way; They found no city to dwell in. Hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them. Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, And He delivered them out of their distresses. Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men!For He satisfies the longing soul, and fills the hungry soul with goodness.” – Psalm 107:4-6,8-9 

LORD, WOULD YOU TROUBLE THE HEARTS OF AMERICANS

Lord, may my heart be troubled for the soul of America

May my heart also be troubled toward you

LORD, WOULD YOU TROUBLE THE HEARTS OF AMERICANS

Lord I pray this great country might find her way back to you again. 

I pray that she would open up her heart again to you.

May she once again know the goodness and mercies of a loving God.

May she enjoy once again your protections, your resources and your wisdom.

Lord, would you turn her heart back to the God who brought her here.

I ask Lord Jesus that you would put down the rebellion of her soul toward the God of our fathers.

“Turn Yourself to [us], and have mercy on [us O Lord], for [we are] desolate and afflicted. The troubles of [our] hearts have enlarged; Bring [us]out of [our] distresses! Look on [our] affliction and [our] pain, and forgive all [our] sins.” – Psalm 25:16-18 

LORD, WOULD YOU TROUBLE THE HEARTS OF AMERICANS

MAY WE, ONE BY ONE, CRY OUT TOWARD YOU;

MAY WE KNOW YOUR DELIVERANCE;

MAY WE OFFER THANKS TO YOU;

SATISFY THE LONGING OF

OF OUR SOUL; AND

FILL US UP WITH

GOODNESS