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.
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.
Come to God in humble worship (Zep 2:5–15). #EveryKneeShallBow #WorshipTheLord
MORNING WATCH NOTES:
Final and swift judgment will also come upon all those who taunt God’s people. God will use the evil of those nations who hate God’s people (Israel) to discipline his people. But those nations will, “receive the [just] wages for their [sin] and pride, because they scoffed at God and his people” (v15).
There will be a day when the nations of the world will worship the Lord (v11). May the nations of the world bow down in repentance and worship the Lord even today. Lord, there is none who escape your view. All men will one day bow before you. May that day be sooner than later.
May the nations and people of our world humbly surrender their hearts to God (Nah 2:11-13). #FallOfANation #RepentenceOfTheNations
MORNING WATCH NOTES:
The great city of Nineveh, the great Assyrian empire, will be no more. She roamed about the earth fearing no one – all feared her. But she was ravenous for power and shredded without mercy everything on her way to it.
Assyria’s mighty military would be decimated by the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. She would never mercilessly plunder the nations again. Her voice will be utterly silenced for the ages.
Lord, pity the nation steeped in raw power, mercilessly and brutally overthrowing other nations. May we know the goodness of nations that are surrendered to God.
• The sentry cries out: I am no prophet. I am no judge. But nations in our world who brutalize their own people and the people of other nations will suffer mightily. Will Russia suffer the consequences of her brutal attacks on Ukraine? God will be the judge.
Avoid at all cost going down a road of sin and rebellion (2Ch 33:3–10). #HowLowCanYouGo #DepthsOfEvil
MORNING WATCH NOTES:
Jewish history reveals Manasseh, king of Judah, as one of the nation’s most wicked and vile kings. He built pagan shrines. He erected alters with images of Baal and other evil symbols. He worshiped, bowed down, to the powers of the heavens; built alters to these powers in God’s holy temple. He sacrificed his own children to Baal.
Manasseh practiced sorcery, witchcraft and the like. He consulted mediums and psychics – all things forbidden by God. He stirred God’s anger against him. He did more evil than even the pagan nations God had destroyed. He ignored all God’s warnings.
The sentry may question how God can tolerate such sin. Then I am reminded of my once rebellious heart and the extravagant Grace of God.
Stand faithful in the face of human vanity and flagrant disdain for God (2Ti 3:1,2a). #LastDays #SovereignGod #StandFaithful
MORNING WATCH NOTES:
“In the last days.“ I ought to view the days in which I live with as much urgency as Paul viewed the days in which he lived. Certainly the days in which I live are every bit as difficult as the days in which Paul lived.
People love and elevate themselves and their wealth, as much today as in Paul’s day.Men are boastful in their own strength and abilities (witness Vladimir Putin invasion of Ukraine). Many scoff at the idea of God and his sovereign will over men.
Paul wants young Timothy (every Believer) to be alert to these things and be prepared in Christ to lead others through such days. Lord, I see, I am, alert today to the same vanity of men and disdain for the things of God. Enable me to stand faithful in the face of such godless behavior.
May your heart be right with God and men as you pray (1Ti 2:8). #AttitudeMattersToPrayer #BeRightWithGodAndMen
MORNING WATCH NOTES:
How we come to God in prayer is as important to effective prayer as the prayer itself. Nothing will hinder our prayers more than praying with an unholy attitude – full of sin and self-righteousness (Psm 66:18; Mat 6:5).
Another hindrance to prayer is broken relationships with others – harboring anger, bitterness and unforgiveness towards others (Mat 5:23,24; 1Pe 3:7). Lord, may the heart of this old sentry be right with you and with others as I come to my post in prayer each day.
Men may think that they must have fame, wealth and power to have influence. At times men may feel they deserve to be heard. That is pride and arrogance speaking. But when one comes to God, listens to God and follows God‘s counsel, that one, whether great or small, from humble beginnings or advantaged beginnings, may have great and godly influence.
Why is this so? Because God is the one who exalts the individual, in his way, in his time (1Pe 5:6). He does so in meager surroundings and in sufficient to substantial surroundings. For God, it is not about being the best IN the world. It is about being the best FOR the world. I must examine first the one standing in the one square foot of space I occupy.
Lord, you have allowed this old sentry opportunity for godly influence; first in my family, then in my circle of friends and associates; in my realms of life. I could ask for nothing more.
The God of Israel, which is to say, the God of our salvation, has no equal (vv3–5). The Babylonian gods, “Bel and Nebo“ (v1), are harmless against the God of Israel (Bel, chief domestic god; Nebo, god of wisdom and learning (47:10), are man-made gods (lies) that deceive men to think that they know more than God). The arrogant Babylonians will learn this lesson the hard way.
The gods of this world (power, fame, wealth, might, knowledge, et al.) lead men away from dependence upon the one true God. That is a sure fire way to lose the blessing of God. If America is to know the blessing of God once again, she needs to deny those deceitful gods of this world and return to him. Lord, deliver my heart from a “know it all” attitude. Deliver my beloved country from prideful dependence upon anything but you.
What kind of person would be motivated to preach the Gospel to make someone else miserable? Who would be so malevolent as to use preaching as a cudgel to hurt someone else? Who would guess that ministers/preachers would be so jealous, so envious of another as to use their ministry to somehow cause harm to another minister and his/her ministry?Paul here identifies some as just that.
These jealous, envious preachers were standing in judgment of the apostle; using Paul’s imprisonment to cause him pain (we’re not told how) and advance their own ministry. Ecclesiastes 4:4,5 says the envy of others will only lead to ruin. In Philippians 2:3,4 Paul will exhort to do nothing out of envy. In the meantime Paul is content to lean on the prayers of others and the careful guidance of God.
Someone has said, you won’t make your candle shine brighter by blowing out somebody else’s candle. Father, give this old sentry a heart of genuine love.
Paul tells us we are to resist the temptation to feel condemnation for how we express our worship of God; the things you do or don’t do in worship. How we worship is not as important as who we worship. For all the traditions of worship are mere shadows that point to Christ himself.
Those who condemn us for how we worship are just not honoring God in Christ. They are too loud and too proud. Their worship practices have become the ends not the means of worship. They have totally missed the point and are certainly not surrendered to God in any way. Lord, may always exalt you and not the rituals of worship.
Day 8 of 40 Days of Prayer For Family & Friends – Lord, may my family and friends show enthusiasm for obedience to your word. The apostle Paul issues five sentinel orders; five imperatives that some up his message in First Corinthians:
1) BE ALERT (awake, vigilant, on guard and alive) to the Evil One’s strategies. 2) STAND FIRM (planted in, anchored in) the truth of the gospel – trust in God‘s truthfulness. 3) BE COURAGEOUS (mature, confident) to speak truth in love and conviction. 4) BE STRONG (as in well fed) nourished and growing in the truth. 5) BE LOVING; love moderates all the attitudes and actions of the sentry on duty.
“HOOAH!” – YES LORD!
* According to Stars & Stripes (military news paper) – “HOOAH” (or “huah”) is unique to the Army. Some say it stands for “Heard, Understood, Acknowledged,” but it is often shouted to express determination and Army spirit. “HOOAH!”
Paul is about to leave the leaders of the church at Ephesus. He will entrust them with the great message of grace. He tells them, “GUARD yourselves…feed and care for the flock – the church. “WATCH OUT!“ Be alert to false teachers and prideful men who seek only a following for themselves. Such people will divide and create disunity in the church.
To “GUARD” and to “WATCH OUT” are a call to arms for the faithful leader in the church and in the family. Standing vigilantly requires him/her to, 1) teach God’s word well, 2) minister in truth and all sincerity, 3) counsel by prayerful insight, sought through tears and deep spiritual connections and 4) sound the alarm when danger approaches. Father, may this sentry effectively share the gospel and express the truth of Scripture by my words and by my example.
The prophecy of Shebna‘s demise in verses 15–19, continue in the prophecy of his replacement, Eliakim. These two men served King Hezekiah at the time of Assyria’s attack on Jerusalem (2Ki 18). Shebna was proud and arrogant; of no known prominence. Eliakim was a man of prominence with a known family history.
Eliakim was, by all accounts, a godly man, an honorable man…a father figure to look up to (“like a peg driven firmly into the wall”). He was given great authority (given the “key to the house of David”). But in the end, Eliakim would also fail the test of leadership under the weight of power and influence. Lord it is the desire of this sentry to honor you in life with whatever much or little is give me. Lord, make it so.
Scripture does not reveal Isaiah’s purpose for singling out Shebna, the king’s steward (secretary). But he was extremely prideful. So highly did he think of himself that he was preparing his grave high up on Mt. Zion. Shebna considered himself worthy of the burial of kings (2Ch 32:33).
But according to Isaiah, God will coil Shebna up into a little ball. He will hurl him into a far away barren land (presumably Assyria). He will disappear, never to be heard from again. Pride, the abuse of power and influence, will not stand with God (2:11,12). Lord, may humility over rule any pride in my heart and in the hearts of our leaders.