Chains Gone; Been Set Free

Make the gospel clear through your life and witness (Acts 26:29–32). #Witness #KeepItReal https://www.bible.com/116/act.26.29,32.nlt

“Like a bird from prison bars has flown”

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Paul’s last words to the high court hearing his case for bogus charges: “I pray to God everyone here in this audience might become the same as I am [free], except for these chains.” Paul came to this court a prisoner in chains, but totally free in Christ.

All those in the hearing came into the court free of any physical chains, but wrapped up in the chains of a spiritual kind, in bondage to sin and Satan. King Agrippa and all those in attendance could have been set free (as Paul was), if only they would make their appeal to Jesus. Enable me Lord, to make the gospel clear through my life and witness.

Psychology Of The Christian Witness

Be sincere and compassionate in your witness for Christ (Acts 26:24,25,27-29). #SincerelyBold #DontBruseTheFruit https://www.bible.com/116/act.26.24-25,27-29.nlt

MIRNING WATCH NOTES:

At the conclusion of Paul’s defense, Governor Festus blurts out, “Too much study has made you crazy [Paul].” Paul says, “Not really. It’s just the truth.” Paul then turns to King Agrippa and presses him for a decision, “Do you believe the prophets? I know you do.” Agrippa says, “Do you think you can persuade me to become a Christian so quickly?” Paul says, “Yes, I really wish I could.” The two sarcastic remarks (Festus, v24 and Agrippa, v28) are designed to cover how they really felt. Paul was getting through.

Sarcasm can reveal a whole range of emotions (interesting field of study*). Sarcasm is usually a cover for how someone really feels. The best response to sarcasm however, is to focus on the content of a sarcastic statement and not on the tone. Paul’s response to their sarcasm is neither mean-spirited nor defensive. Paul is genuine, self-confident and understanding (vv25,29). Lord, may I possess such sincerity and compassion in my witness for Christ.

* https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/health-fitness/mental-health/how-to-deal-with-sarcastic-people

A Timely Word

Do not fear to speak boldly for Christ (Acts 26:19,20,24-29; Ezk 3:27). #WitnessForChrist https://www.bible.com/116/act.26.19-20,24-29.nlt https://www.bible.com/116/ezk.3.27.nlt

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Paul’s example and appeal is clear. When faced with an opportunity to share the gospel be respectful, tell the truth and share your personal story. These will be your best defense of the gospel. Explain that Jesus came to save those who would turned to him. He died and resurrected that men may have forgiveness of sin and eternal life.

The life, death and resurrection of Jesus are irrefutable facts in history. A personal testimony is an irrefutable fact in history. Simple truth and reason will bring men and women to a point of decision. The rest is up to them to accept or reject. Lord, lead this sentry to speak the message you give, when you give it. The rest is up to you.

(Ezk 3:27) But when I give you a message, I will loosen your tongue and let you speak. Then you will say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says!’ Those who choose to listen will listen, but those who refuse will refuse, for they are rebels.

“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.

Above “Cancel Culture”

Keep sharing the gospel even in a “Cancel Culture” (Acts 25:14-27). #AboveCancelCulture #LibertyFollowsGrace https://www.bible.com/116/act.25.14-15,17-18,23-27.nlt

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

“Cancel Culture“ is nothing new. Jesus was a victim of “Cancel Culture.” Weak politicians enable a culture that seeks to silence whatever does not fit their agenda or narrative. Two Governors, Felix and Festus, sought to appease the Jews of Palestine (a religious special interest group). They sought to “Cancel” the apostle Paul. Now King Agrippa would join in to silence, to cancel, the claims of Christianity. The goal was to shut down Paul’s revolutionary message of grace.

What does the Christian do when politicians and special interest groups seek to silence the gospel message? The Christian does what Paul did. He was relentless in sharing the message of Christ. No “Cancel Culture” will stamp out the gospel message of Jesus. “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty” (2Co 3:17). Lord, enable sentries in the watchtowers to always, in every way, rise above the “Cancel Culture” of the day.

Beware The “Spirit Of Religion“

Be discerning and reject a spirit of religion* (Acts 25:1-5). #SpiritOfReligion #TraditionsOfMen #SalvationByWorks https://www.bible.com/116/act.25.1-5.nlt

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Two years after Paul had been accused of trumped up charges by Jewish leaders he had not been convicted. He was still in custody. A new governor, Festus, had been installed. He met with the same Jewish leaders that had accused Paul originally. They were still bent on killing Paul.

For two years Jewish leaders carried on in their vindictive murderous spirit against Paul and the “Way“ (23:12-14). A demonic spirit of religion* had consumed these religious leaders. They were desperate to save their “sacred traditions” from the freedoms of grace in Christ; that liberty in Christ which Paul preached. Lord, may we be free of any legalistic form of religion.

* A “spirit of religion” might be defined as any evil spirit that inspires a degree of commitment to religious traditions, works and practices in such a way as to oppose and perhaps even counterfeit the true work of the Holy Spirit. This is a work of Satan to turn people away from the freedom and liberty of grace in Christ.

A Tale Of Thieves & Assassins

You have heard of Ali Baba and the 40 thieves. But have you heard of Ananias and the 40 Assassins?

God will always have the last word; he will not be foiled (Acts 23:12-22). #LastWord

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Be certain to read Acts 23:12-22 ( https://www.bible.com/116/act.23.12-22.nlt ) in God’s ancient Holy Book before you read

…A Tale Of Thieves & Assassins

I will here attempt to draw a parallel between a fictional tale from Arabian Nights and the truth from the pages of ancient Scripture.

Ali Baba, a fictional character in the tales of Arabian Nights, discovers by chance a cave full of hidden treasures in a forest. There were expensive Oriental rugs, carpets, silks and a cache of golden coins. It is the covin of 40 thieves. “Open, Sesame,” is the magic word that opens the entrance to the cave and the treasures within.

When the thieves discover that someone has unlocked the secret to their hidden treasure, they set out to not rest until they had killed the intruder. Meanwhile Ali Baba‘s servant girl discovers their plot. Three times she saves Ali Baba‘s life. In the end the 40 thieves die a horrible death by scalding oil. The servant girl is ultimately rewarded with her freedom from servitude.

Now in the ancient Scriptures, God’s Holy Book, a high priest, identified in Acts 23:2 as Ananias of the Jewish temple in Jerusalem, finds that he has 40 assassins (conspirators) who are willing to kill the apostle Paul, an intruder into the holy dogma of the day. He preaches the gospel of grace through Christ. In this, it is their belief that he has committed high crimes and misdemeanors. They all vow not to eat or drink until Paul is eliminated.

But Paul is not such a criminal as they portray. His only crime is sharing the gospel of Christ. The magic words that open the entrance to heaven’s treasures are, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved.” But, the plot of the assassins to kill Paul is discovered. Not by a servant girl, but by Paul’s own nephew, his sister’s son.

When the nephew alerts the Roman authorities of this plot to ambush Paul and take his life, Paul is immediately removed from the grip of Ananias and the 40 assassins. I suppose they all went to their graves hungry and thirsty. 

_________

Perhaps it is a stretch to compare the fictional story of Ali Baba and the 40 thieves to Ananias and the 40 assassins. Nevertheless, the story of Ananias and the 40 assassins is right out of history, out of God’s Holy Book, from the life of Paul the apostle (Acts 23:12-22).

What can we learn from these two stories? One of them is fictional and the other is true. We learn,

1) When thieves plot against other thieves someone is bound to come to a bitter end.

2) Conspirators and assassins who would plot against one of God’s chosen vessels will themselves be hindered and their attempts at stopping God’s message of salvation will be foiled. God will always have the last word; he will not be foiled.

…And such is the Tale of Thieves & Assassins.

Thread The Needle

Don’t allow traditions to disrupt sincere fellowship among believers (Acts 21:21-26). #SincereFaith #ThreadTheNeedle https://www.bible.com/116/act.21.19-21,26.nlt

Once again Paul finds himself caught between Jewish tradition and the new Christian faith. Again he is confronting the Jerusalem church elders steeped in Jewish tradition. Both Paul and these elders had come along way from the Acts 15 conflict. They all seemed more prepared to yield to each other as being sincere in faith. Everyone seemed confident that various traditions among believers and between church bodies were acceptable. As long as they understood that traditions are not the means of salvation.

The fundamental issue is faith in the cross of Christ for the atonement of sin, as the solitary means of salvation. What follows after that is a matter of choice and conscience. It is a matter of threading the needle between relationships and religious tradition.

It would seem that relationships over traditions would be a small matter when it comes to the all important mission of taking the gospel to a lost world. Yet, if the world is to see faith in action among believers, then relationships must always trump ritual and religion.

Father, may the faithful sentry seek to find common ground with sincere believers who worship different than they; who have different backgrounds than they, but worship the same Jesus.

God’s “Guardian”

Make it your life ambition that none should perish but have forgiveness and eternal life (Acts 21:10-13; 2Co 9:22; 2Pe 3:9). #GodsGuardian #TrustJesus https://www.bible.com/116/act.21.13.nlt

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

In the movie, “The Guardian,“ Kevin Costner plays Coast Guard Senior Chief Ben Randall. He is the legendary “Guardian,“ one who protects those lost at sea. His protégé, Jake Fisher (Ashton Kutcher), asks Senior Chief Randall, “What’s your number?“ (How many did you save at sea?) Randall replies, “22.” Not many for the legendary guardsman. Then Randall says, “That’s how many I didn’t save. That’s the only number I kept track of.” In the end, Randall gave his own life to save one.

The Apostle Paul was an ancient “guardian“ of the lost souls of men in a sea of humanity. Used of God, he would give his all to save some. Paul is a real life legend who has inspired believers through the ages to give their all for Christ, that none should perish (2Co 9:22; 2Pe 3:9). Lord, I am inspired in my life by your word to give all, that I might save some. May I not fail at that task.

Inspiring notes follow on Paul, as a “guardian” over the lost souls of men:

https://biblehub.com/sermons/auth/french/the_sacrifices_which_paul_was_willing_to_make_in_the_cause_of_christ.htm

Go Sow

Be rooted deeply in the Gospel message (Mat 13:18–23). #FourSoils #TheSower #GospelSeed https://www.bible.com/116/mat.13.18-23.nlt

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Day 33 of 40 days of prayer for family and friends. Lord, I pray that the seed of the Gospel take deep root in the hearts of my family and friends.

When the gospel seed is sown, spread, broadcast, it will fall where it will. Some will not get it (vv18,19). Some will join, then lose interest (vv20,21). Some will be too busy, too involved, to stay connected (v22). Some however, will truly receive the gospel message with much enthusiasm – they will go on to produce much good fruit (v23).

Those who truly receive the gospel seed, live by its message, will continue to grow and be energized by it. They will, through the years, influence many others for Christ. Lord, may the seed of the gospel continue to take root in my heart and produce good fruit.

Father in Heaven, America is in great need of the Gospel seed to take deep root. She is in deep need of embracing the message of the Gospel. I pray she not reject, ignore or overlook your message of grace and forgiveness. May she let that Gospel seed go deep into rich fertile soil. May she yield in repentance. May that seed then sprout forth in a bountiful harvest of good fruit.

The Witness

Be available to God as his messenger of the light (Acts 28:17b,18).

“A Bloom In Winter“

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Day 24 of 40 days of prayer for family and friends. Lord, lead those believing family and friends to be messengers of the gospel.

I am certainly no Apostle Paul. Still, I have a responsibility to be a witness for Christ (Mat 28:19,20). I am to, “do the work of an evangelist, to fulfill [whatever] ministry [to which I am called]” (2Ti 4:5).

Like a blooming rose in winter, I am to be pointing others to the light, turning them from the power of Satan to God; that they might receive forgiveness of their sins and find their place among God‘s people, set apart by faith in Christ.

Lord, it is my honor to be a messenger for you. May I be on the alert to opportunities every day to share the gospel.

No Rejection

Repent and seek from God a clean heart, a renewed spirit of faithfulness (Psalm 51:10,12). #Repentance #Revival https://www.bible.com/116/psa.51.10,12.alt

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Day 23 of 40 days of prayer for family and friends. Lord, may my family and friends be quick to seek God in repentance.

In Psalm 51 we find king David’s prayer of repentance for his sin with Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11&12). No one, not even the greatest among us, is immune from sin. There are times without number that I have myself failed in so many ways. Yet God, in his grace and mercy, saw and heard in me a contrite, broken heart and he forgave me (v17).

It is no stretch to think that I may ask God to create (do something new) in my heart and renew in me a spirit of joy and faithfulness toward God. Jesus said in John 6:37 that all who come to him will never be rejected. Lord, you have never once denied this sentry the renewal, the refreshing, I have needed to remain loyal to you.

Died; Born Again

Die daily to self; live daily in the abundance of Christ (Gal 2:20). #FreebornInChrist #CrucifiedSelf https://www.bible.com/59/gal.2.20.esv

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Day 18 of 40 Days of Prayer For Family & Friends – Lord, may my family and friends put self to death on the cross of Christ and live daily for him by your Spirit.

My old self (once a slave to the Sin Master) has been crucified with Christ. God sees my death as a legal transaction. The old self died with Christ. With that, my sins were removed from me as far as the east is from the west (Psm 103:12). Galatians 2:20 is my “Death Certificate.“

But, yet shall I live, because if I died with Christ I also was raised with him. Romans 10:9,10 is my “Birth Certificate.“ One day I will be seated with Christ in glory (Eph 2:6). I have the seal of that promise in the Holy Spirit (2Co 1:21; Eph 1:13). Lord, may I live a freeborn man in Christ Jesus.

FREEBORN *

FREEBORN! My new nature is free to praise the Lord Jesus Christ who purchased my freedom at the cross of Calvary. 

FREEBORN! Eternally separated from the harmful and deadly control of the old sin nature. He is dead, vanquished by the blood of Christ. 

FREEBORN! Free to choose as never before. Free to walk in life eternal. Free to act in kindness and love. Free to follow Jesus. 

FREEBORN! Chains of sin broken, chains of bondage shattered, by the New Man, Jesus Christ, who lives in me. 

FREEBORN! Free to serve and do the works of God. Ashamed of nothing. Prepared for eternity. Telling the world, “You can be FREEBORN!”

2016 RWHollar

* (Galatians 6:14-16)

Reflect The New

Reject Satan‘s lies that corrupt our hearts (1Jhn 1:8-10). #ConfessSin #GodCleansesFromSin https://www.bible.com/116/1jn.1.8-10.nlt

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Day 17 of 40 Days of Prayer For Family & Friends – Lord, lead my family and friends to reject Satan’s lies that corrupt our hearts.

When I repented of my sin and Jesus became my Lord, I turned my back on the old Sin master. I turned in the opposite direction and swore my allegiance to a new master, King Jesus. But the old nature still lurks around, tries to convince me I’m still a reflection of my old self.

Satan wants me to believe that nothing has changed in me. But that is a lie. I may fail in my obedience to Jesus from time to time, but I am definitely not a reflection of the person I used to be. When I confess my sin to God, I agree with him that he has changed me for the better. He continues to cleanse and to forgive me. Without you Lord, my life would be an intolerable mess.

Truth Speak

Be clear about Scripture truth to those around you (1Co14:24,25). #SpeakTruthClearly https://www.bible.com/116/1co.14.24-25.nlt

MORNING WATCH NOTES

It is imperative that followers of Christ speak in plain understandable language and terms to a world without Christ, without understanding. Even the use of “tongues“ requires an interpretation to follow, that there may be understanding. The gospel of Christ must be made plain and clear.

When Scripture is spoken clearly people will be convicted of sin. They will fall on their knees and worship God…declare that the presence of God is in that place. I am thankful to attend a church like that. The gospel, Scripture truth, is made clear through many avenues of ministry. Lord, open the mouth of this sentry to speak the truth of your word, that conviction and repentance might follow.

Free To Obey

Live free of Sin’s mastery, freed to obey Christ (Rom 8:1,2). #NoCondemnation #FreeOfSinsControl https://www.bible.com/116/rom.8.1-2.nlt

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Day 10 of 40 Days of Prayer For Family & Friends – Lord, may my family and friends live free in Christ, no longer obedient to Sin’s mastery.

“There is no condemnation to those in Christ.“ Perfect example is Jesus confronting a bunch of self-righteous, religious zealots in Jerusalem. He confronts their hypocrisy as sinners, condemning another sinner. He exposes their sin first. Then he turns his attention to the one who was condemned.

“Where are your accusers?“ Jesus asks. “None of them can condemn you; neither do I. Go and sin no more“ (Jhn 8:1–11). Christ’s life-giving Spirit frees us from the power of King Sin. I am no longer Sin’s slave in rebellion against God. I am free to obey my new supreme commander, Jesus.

Tap Root To Vibrant Faith

Rely on the soil of God‘s Word to nourish your faith (Col 2:6,7). #HealthyRoots #GrowInChrist https://www.bible.com/116/col.2.6-7.nlt

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Day 9 of 40 Days of Prayer For Family & Friends – Lord, may my family and friends be rooted, built up, strengthened in Christ and overflowing in thankfulness.

There is a way for the Christian to be secure in faith. It must begin with a healthy root system. Roots that go deep into the soil, are succulent and long, provide the best chance for a healthy plant. These roots absorb water, dissolve minerals, feed the tap root, and store reserves. Without a healthy root system the plant will be barren.

The sentinel need of any watchman is a vibrant faith. For faith to grow healthy the sentry must put roots down deep into the Word of God and be built up on the knowledge of Christ. Then, no matter what is going on above ground the sentry will be established in truth, live a healthy spiritual life and bear much good fruit. Lord your word abundantly nourishes my faith life.

Light In The Darkness

Courageously reflect the light of Christ (2Co 4:6) #JesusIsTheLight https://www.bible.com/1588/2co.4.6.amp

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Day 7 of 40 Days of Prayer For Family & Friends – Lord, may my family and friends walk in the light of Christ. The god of this world has thrown a blanket of darkness over the hearts of men. In the dark there is ignorance, fear, evil work and sin (rebellion against God).

But for those who seek enlightenment, courage, good works and deliverance from sin, the promises of God are on full display. His light penetrates the darkness. He exposes the hearts of men in the light of the knowledge of the glory of God, in the face of Jesus Christ. Father, may my life courageously reflect the light of Christ.

Happy Feet

Walk daily according to the fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22,23). #FruitOfTheSpirit https://www.bible.com/116/gal.5.22-23.nlt

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Day 2 of 40 Prayer For Family – Father, defeat in my family the desires to walk according to our sinful nature (that which is defiant of God) resulting in sexual immorality, impurity, lust for pleasures, idolatry, sorcery (occult), hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outburst of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, hedonism, et al. Such will not inherit the Kingdom of God (Gal 5:19-21).

But may our family walk according to the Holy Spirit who produces a different result – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, truthfulness and self-control. Lord, fill us with your Spirit. May we all daily close the door on the influence to our sinful nature and walk yielded to the work of your Spirit.

Keep The First Thing, The First Thing

Remain faithful to your call to serve Christ (Acts 20:16-21). #ShareJesusNow #RepentAndTurnToGod https://www.bible.com/116/act.20.16-21.nlt

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Paul is rounding off his third and final missionary journey through Asia to preach the Gospel. He is headed to Jerusalem, anxious to arrive by Passover (a time of celebration). His desire is to deliver an offering collected in his travels, for the Jerusalem church; a very poor and needy church due to persecution and famine.

Paul’s stop near Ephesus begs a meeting with church elders from there. He reviews with them the importance of the Gospel – “Turn from sin, turn to God, put faith in the Lord Jesus.“ Paul had suffered much to preach this message to all people. I can do no less. Lord, it is ever the mission this sentry to, “Influence Men For Christ.“ May I never shrink from my mission.

“BELIEVE” – More Than A Slogan

You may truly believe God‘s word (Isa 22:25). #Believe https://www.bible.com/116/isa.22.25.nlt

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

One final lesson learned from Isaiah’s Shebna/Eliakim prophecy. The office of Prophet often used real life situations to mimic future events (note Hosea and Gomer, Jeremiah and the Potter). God will always reveal to us what he expects and what will happen if we obey or not. The point? God honors his word. He keeps his promises.

God has been clear about man’s sin and the Messiah. He would come [has come] to take away all the sin of the world. Those who accept God‘s forgiveness will receive eternal life. Those who do not, choose for themselves eternal death and hell. The prophets have all spoken. Jesus, the Messiah, son of God, has come. He paid the price for sin on the cross. Yes, “the Lord, has spoken.”

Today if you hear God’s voice do not ignore him (Hebrews 3:15). Lord, I believe what you say is truth.

A River Over Which No Enemy Ship May Pass

Be assured of God’s power to forgive, redeem and save completely (Isa 33:20–24). #MightyGod #Redeemer https://www.bible.com/116/isa.33.21,24.nlt

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

In the closing verses of this prophetic section of Scripture Isaiah finishes what he began to say in verse one. “What sorrow awaits you O destroyer“ of my people. The reference here is to Assyria, a pagan nation used by God to bring his people to their knees in repentance (vv7- 9,14,19).

When repentance comes, redemption and forgiveness comes. God encircles his people, his church, as if he were a wide river no enemy can cross. Ships of malicious intent will be permanently disabled, broken asunder (sails fall limp on broken masts with useless tackle). All the treasures of the enemy will become the possession of God‘s people. O Lord, you are the Mighty One; my judge, my king, my redeemer. All of this sentry’s devotion is due the God of Heavens Armies.

Kissing The Face Of God

Are you aware when you kiss the face of God (Mat 25:40)? #TheLeastOfThese #FaceToFaceWithJesus
https://www.bible.com/116/mat.25.40.nlt

MARY DID YOU KNOW…

…that your baby boy will give sight to a blind man?
Mary did you know that your baby boy will calm a storm with his hand?

Did you know that your baby boy has walked where angels trod?
When you kiss your little baby, YOU KISS THE FACE OF GOD…

[Child of God, do you know that you too, “kiss the face of God?”
Every time you feed the hungry,
give drink to the thirsty,
are kind to a stranger,
clothe the naked,
care for the sick and
visit the prisoner, you too
KISS THE FACE OF GOD – Because when you do these things with the last, the least, the lost and the lonely, you are doing it unto the Man-child, Jesus – Mat 25:40]

LISTEN:
https://youtu.be/ifCWN5pJGIE

Fall Of The Mighty

Our greatest need is to stand with God and not against him (Isa 33:10-13). #TurnToGod #Repent #TheMightyHaveFallen https://www.bible.com/116/isa.33.10-13.nlt

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

An enemy brings destruction, God’s discipline for his wayward, prodigal people. What sin has beset you, O man or woman of God? But now, having been broken over your own (my own) sin and humbled in repentance before God, he turns on the rod of his discipline.

By God’s mighty power he smashes the rod of his discipline. He breaks it asunder. He consumes it in flames and it is scattered irreverently, as ashes into the wind. To all the nations of the mighty, are you listening? Are you paying attention to the demise of the enemies of God? None will escape the destruction of God for sins committed. O Lord, you have shown me that there is no benefit in standing against you. Though frail, broken, weak and sinful, the sentry stands with you Lord.

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.

Water Grave*

May our need of God supersede our love of self (Isa 33:7-9) #DeathToSelf https://www.bible.com/116/isa.33.7-9.nlt

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

God will be merciful at the end of the discipline of his people for their rejection of him (vv2-6). But for now, they will weep and mourn. They must, and will have to, come to the end of themselves. They, as we, must realize that we have no righteousness, no goodness in and of ourselves.

It is of paramount importance that God’s people depend upon and trust in God alone who saves to the uttermost. Again we say with Job, “Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him (Job 13:15). Lord, the end of myself is the beginning of my new life. This old sentry must die daily to the old self that he may be resurrected a new man in Christ. The man I used to be has finally died. Baptism is a picture of this.

*Russ Taff beautifully depicts baptism as symbolic death to self in the song, Water Grave.

https://youtube.com/playlist?list=FLyQ3mX9fSxSvAHa75pyRGAw