Forgiveness Points To God’s Glory

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

May you know the glorious redemption of God (Psm 19:12–14). #Forgiveness #HonorGodWithYourWholeHeart

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

A psalm of David – he gives thoughtful consideration to God’s revelation of himself through the cleansing act of forgiveness. God is quick to cleanse the repentant and surrendered heart from every sin – known and unknown.

The surrendered and obedient soul will be delivered from the absolute control of sin and the guilt that follows. God is a rock and redeemer to those who seek to honor him with their whole heart and actions. Lord, your loving forgiveness points this old sentry to your glorious redemption of his soul. May it be so for the world around me.

Holy Hootenanny*

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Oh that our nation, our churches, our families and neighbors might give God a reason to sing and rejoice over us (Zep 3:14-17). #HolyHootenanny #SweetSongOfSalvation

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

The SONG FEST OF ISRAEL. “Sing O daughter of Zion; shout O Israel! Be glad, rejoice O daughter of Jerusalem! Cheer up, Zion! God himself is singing and rejoicing over Israel with his joyful songs of love.”

Why the SONG FEST? Because God has lifted his hand of judgment and has destroyed Israel’s enemies. He is removing all disaster, troubles and fear from Israel. He is among them again as their acknowledged Savior. His remnant (2:7,9; 3:13) of faithful ones are restored. Lord, you sing sweet songs of deliverance over your faithful ones.

Sing a Sweet, Sweet Song Of Salvation:

* A social gathering, often informal, featuring folk singing and instrumental music, sometimes dancing. It’s “Holy” when God sings over us (Zep 3:17).

There Is Hope

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Hope in, anticipate the righteous reign of Christ (Zep 3:8–13). #HaveHope #HopeRenewsTheSpirit

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Israel would understand from the words of this prophet that though they have been severely judged for sin, there will be a day of deliverance as well. They would be returned to their land a different people, humbled and surrendered. And so they were.

But there will also come a future day when God will judge all nations. The curse of Babel will be broken. All will worship God in one tongue. Rebels, the proud and arrogant will be removed. The remnant of faithful followers will dwell in safety and live to honor God. Lord, we look forward with hope to the day when the proud and arrogant will no longer rule; Christ will reign from his eternal throne.

Death: The Tomb

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Today, if you hear God’s voice, do not harden your heart (Zep 3:1,5 ). #PutFaithInJesus #JesusDiedForAllOurSin

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

I am astounded at the complete indifference of men towards God. Even in the midst of God’s discipline, men sin even more. But this is the depravity of man. Should I be so surprised, is it not the depravity of my own soul? Yet, God is there in their midst, working, doing good and meting out justice.

Today, as I think about the rejection of God in the sinful city of Jerusalem, I think about the Lord Jesus and his descent into a dark tomb, I am struck by three things:

◦ The Son of God entered into our sin infested world to deliver all men from sin, the supreme example of God’s love for us

◦ He was despised and rejected though he did no wrong; men hated him and nailed him to a cross

◦ The justice meted out by God in Christ was the cleansing of all man’s sin by the blood shed by Jesus at the cross; he was our substitute, bore our punishment for sin

WHO DOES THAT?

GOD DOES!

What sorrow awaits those who reject the love of God in Christ.

Deliverance

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Lean forever on God’s delivering hand (2Ti 4:17,18). #GodDelivers #God’sDeliverance

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

I have pondered the litany of names mentioned here by the apostle Paul (vv9–14;19-21). What we know is that the time of Paul’s execution is near. He pauses to recall those who have impacted his life – positively and, oh so negatively.

But only one changed the trajectory of his life and work. The Lord Jesus stood with him, gave him hope, strength. It is the Lord Jesus to whom he turns under every evil attack. Jesus has and will deliver him and bring him safely into the harbor of God’s heavenly kingdom. Lord there is no deliverance like your deliverance.

Ain’t-a That Good News!

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Have courage to stand for the Good News, Jesus Saves (1Ti 1:8-10). #JesusSaves #Ain’tThatGoodNews #TheWarIsOver

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Be ready to suffer for the sake of the gospel. Leading a life separated by heart and virtue from the practices of the world, the flesh and the Devil will put a target on your back. But a life in Christ was God‘s plan for all who believe.

In Christ we shall have the ultimate victory over sin, the world, the evil one and even death itself. THE WAR IS OVER! For the resurrection of Christ is the down payment of life eternal for all who believe. It was all God’s plan. Like that old Negro spiritual says, “Ain’t-a That Good News!”

How Faith Impacts People

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Be a living example of faith in Christ (1Ti 4:12,13). #ParadigmForLife #ALifeWorthImitating

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

How does one prove his/her maturity? How does one get the respect of others…including those older than yourself? Answer: be an example of godliness. How does one do that? Answer:

• Be careful what you say. Consider carefully what comes out of your mouth.

• Be careful how you live. What you do and how you do it matters.

• Be careful how you love. Be unconditional, be willing to sacrifice for others.

• Be full of faith, expressing it at every opportunity (Faith is trusting the truthfulness of God).

• Pay attention to your purity. Confess sin quickly. Don’t allow sin to gain an upper hand in your life. Finally,

• Stay focused on reading God‘s word and sharing it with others.

Lord, fill me with your Spirit and make me an example of godly living.

Impact Your Orb

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Be an influence for Christ in your world (1Ti 4:6–10). #ImpactYourWorldForChrist

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

It is not a waste of time to patiently study and teach the truths of God’s word to those in your orb of influence. For sure, this will also nourish your faith as well. It is a waste of time to argue over other philosophical issues and empty rhetoric.

Train yourself, discipline yourself, to follow a path of godliness. That will have far better results eternally. Stay faithful to the living God in whom is our hope and salvation. Lord, use me to impact my orb of influence for all of life and eternity.

…In A Nutshell

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Live life in a godly manner; faithfully proclaim the gospel of Jesus (1Ti 3:14-16). #GodsPlanInANutshell #TheGospelOfRedemption

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

In this letter to Timothy, Paul outlines how the family of God, the household of faith (the Church) should conduct itself. He calls the Church the “pillar and foundation of the truth,” the gospel. That is, God became man in the flesh [Jesus] (John 1:1,2). He died to forgive the sins of men and was raised from the dead by the Spirit (Acts 2:22-24).

This Jesus was exalted before the heavenly hosts (Phi 2:9; Heb 1:6). His gospel was/is preached to the nations (Col 1:23) and believed for the forgiveness of sin and eternal life. Then Jesus ascended back into heaven in glory (Eph 4:9,10). This is God’s redemptive plan in a nutshell. Lord, may I live my life in a godly manner and faithfully proclaim the gospel of Jesus.

New Year’s Gift

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Give thanks to God for including all men in his great Redemption (1Ti 2:1,3-6). #WhosoeverWillMayCome

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

If one were the sovereign of a perfect kingdom and could choose one’s own kingdom people, who might that one choose? Would one choose only people like one’s self? One might be highly selective. But God is not like that. He includes everyone of us (even a wretch like me). He excludes no one in his call to come. In fact, he tells us to pray for “ALL“ men to understand this truth and enter into his kingdom (Romans 10:13 says, “Whosoever will may come”).

One may say, “Well, I don’t like God. He condemns my sin, says I will suffer consequences for my sin.“ Yes, but he is also our mediator and he has reconciled all humanity to him by Christ’s death on the cross. He suffered our consequences and purchased our freedom to choose him and his kingdom. All may come to him. We may exclude ourselves, but he excludes no one. This is the message, GOD’S GIFT to the world (Rom 6:23). Thank you Lord, for including me (not excluding me) in your kingdom.

God’s Instrument

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Be an instrument of God’s grace to others (1Ti 1:12-17). #HateSinLoveTheSinner #NoGreaterLove

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Rather than stand in judgment of all the sins of others (vv9–10), Paul acknowledges that he himself is a sinner, mercifully saved by God’s grace. Rather than stand in judgment of other people, Paul acknowledges that the grace and mercy of God toward him fills him with faith and love for others.

Through the eyes of Jesus Christ Paul can say that all, even he, have fallen way short of God’s glory (can’t live up to the law). But all men are eligible for the grace of God. Like Paul, It is NOT my job to stand in judgment of others. The law does that. It is my job to be an instrument of God’s love and grace towards others. It is my honor Lord, to be your instrument.

B E L I E V E

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Believe Christ came to free men from the law of sin and death (1Ti 1:8-11). #BELIEVE

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Paul refutes the self proclaimed “teachers“ in Ephesus who were mixing grace and the law of Moses. He explains that “the law is good…when used [applied] correctly.“ The law was not given as a list of rules to keep (Gal 5:1) – if you’re 100% righteous you don’t need the law. But who is that righteous? No one! (Rom 3:10)

The law condemns the lawbreaker (note 1Ti 1:9,10). The law is judge, jury and executioner of every man. The law was given to expose man’s sin, that which is rebellious towards God (Gal 3:19). Sin is an attitude of the heart that rebels against God. Lord, your law has taught me that I am hopelessly lost and condemned without the grace of Christ.

Know The Truth

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Stay True to the gospel message and alert to those who dilute it (1Ti 1:7). #TheTruthShallSetYouFree

Bob Taylor – Cup Art (2003);
Josh Reyenga C’mas Card Art (2021)

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

There were those in the church at Ephesus (Jewish converts) who troubled the heart of the innocent. They were introducing that element of the law of Moses that held people in bondage to the law. They supposed, pridefully, that they would be the keepers of tradition in the Jewish faith. They consider themselves purists and were mixing the law and grace.

But this teaching was abhorrent to the gospel message. As Paul will point out to Timothy, they, “the teachers“, had no understanding at all about the purpose of the law. Lord, may I always “test the spirit” of what I am being taught (1Jhn 4:1). Does it line up with God‘s word?

No Place To Hide

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Comprehend God’s animus towards sin, but love for the sinner (Isa 66:18,19a). #GodHatesSinButLovesTheSinner #GodWillJudgeSin #RepentReturnToGod

Grace Flows Where Sin Abounds

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Isaiah makes it clear that, though God’s enemies (disobedient ones) go hiding to commit their sacrilege in private places (17), he sees their sin. He knows clearly who they are, where they are and what they are doing (men love [their private] darkness rather than light for their deeds are evil (see John 3:16-21). Nothing escapes God’s knowledge (Luk 12:2; Heb 4:13).

Isaiah also alludes to a future time (not clear when) that God will hold to account and destroy all his enemies. Every nation will be brought together to see collectively this manifestation of God’s glory and the absolute deliverance of those devoted to him. Lord, you have known my every weakness, sin and failure. Yet, by grace, you loved this old sentry and accepted him in Christ the beloved (Eph 1:6).

No Condemnation

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Understand God’s Word as Good News not bad news (Isa 64:5-7). #GreatestLoveStoryEverTold #GodLovesYou

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Isaiah 64:1-5a extols God‘s goodness and awesome deeds. Then in verses 5b–7 we hear that God is angry with us – what horrible sinners we all are. Yet, surprisingly, “No one calls upon God for help or mercy. So God simply allows our sin to run its course in our lives.“

Why is it that we only hear the bad news, “God is angry,“ and fail to hear the Good News, “God is full of mercy?“ The country song troubadour sings, “I just want to read Bible verses and not the Bible versus me.“

The mournful troubadour only hears the Law and knows he can’t measure up. But he keeps trying. He does not hear and know how God loves him and died for his sin. It is not the Bible vs. Me. It is Sin vs. Me (Titus 3:11). “God did not come to condemn the world but to save it (Jhn 3:16,17).

Yes, “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:23). “But,” Romans 5:8 says, “God demonstrated his love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 8:1 says, “There is therefore now NO CONDEMNATION for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

Father, I want the world to see your love, mercy and grace through me. There is hope for the country troubadour.

See also on this blog “Don’t Give Me No Country Song Jesus.

Remembering The God Who Remembers

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Let your anguished heart cry out to God for his love and mercy (Isa 63:10–14). #CallToRemrmbrance #RepentanceTowardGod

Rembrandt’s Prodigal

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

When we have so grieved the Holy Spirit of God, he will at once abandon us to the consequences of that sin and rebellion. But God is never far away from us (though we may drift a long ways away from him – note Psalm 139:7–12). God will always remember his promises to his people (Isa 63:11 above).

But we too will be brought to our senses as we remember his goodness to us (note the prodigal of Luke 15). This remembrance reveals the heart that is moving to repentance. The wanderer humbly cries out to God in anguish of soul for the Redeemer-Shepherd to once again lead by and fill with his Holy Spirit. Lord, this is the new man in me crying out to you for your love and mercy. God WILL respond.

A Hearty Thanksgiving

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Make room in your heart for thanksgiving unto God for his redemption (Isa 62:8–12). #Thanksgiving https://bible.com/bible/116/isa.62.8-12.NLT

Lift Heart And Hand In Thanks To God

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Isaiah says that when God‘s people leave the gates of exile in Babylon they will know a new security and God‘s protection. Such security promotes peace, prosperity, praise and thanksgiving. So raise the banner of God high over the land – look, the Savior is coming! He brings his reward of Redemption.

To the church age and beyond, into the millennial reign of Christ, the people of God will be known as his people – a people redeemed by the blood of the Lamb (1Pe 2:9; Rev 22:12). Lord, on this Thanksgiving Day, I lift my heart and hands to you in praise for your great love and redemption.

What’s Yo Name?

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Be for sure certain your name’s written in the Lamb’s book of forever life (Isa 62:2-4; Rev 2:17; 21:2). #EternalLife #NewNameWrittenDownInGlory #TheLambsBookOfLife

Revelation 2:17

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

In Isaiah‘s prayer, it is revealed to Israel (and to every other nation) that once she has entered into the light of God‘s righteousness, she will get a “new name.” No longer will she be known as “Forsaken“ and “Desolate.” Her new name will be “God’s Delight, God’s Bride (intimate companion“ (see also Isa 56:5).

As it was and is for Israel, so shall it be for the Church Age. The Apostle John tells us that all who come into the righteousness of Christ will receive a “New Name” (Rev 2:17). That name is written in the Lamb’s book of forever life (Rev 21:27). Lord, how awesome it is for the faithful sentry to know that his/her name, “New Name,” is written down into the records of glory.

This great old gospel hymn says it all.

His Riches For My Rags

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Rely fully on Christ to replace your sin & shame with his righteousness (Isa 61:7) #GarmentsOfPraise #GreatExchange #RagsToRiches https://bible.com/bible/1588/isa.61.7.AMP

The Great Exchange: A Garment of Righteousness For My Shame

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Isaiah 61:7 summarizes verses 3–6. It expresses a marvelous exchange of joy for shame and dishonor, a double portion of joy at that. In context the nation of Israel will be delivered from Babylonian captivity and find herself immeasurably blessed among the nations.

But the prophetic future here describes a spiritual Israel, life in the kingdom of God. The Messiah, Jesus Christ (described in vv 1,2; see Luk 4:18-22) will deliver beauty for ashes, blessing for mourning and praise for despair. Lives will be rebuilt, remade, in the righteousness of Christ (note 2Co 5:21).

Lord, thank you for the precious treasure of Christ’s righteousness given the duty sentries, in exchange for our sin and shame.

Faith Affirmed

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

May you believe and follow Jesus as the fulfillment of prophecy (Isa 61:1,2). #JesusFulfuillsProphecy # https://bible.com/bible/116/isa.61.1-2.NLT

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Somewhere around 650 BC Isaiah penned this prophecy. 700 years later a Jewish carpenter from Nazareth, named Jesus, stood and read these words in temple worship…

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him(Luk 4:18f).

In the middle of verse two he stopped and said, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing“ (Luk 4:21). Everything about that day in worship was normal until Jesus stopped here and laid claim to these verses for himself as the Anointed One, the Messiah of Israel.

Nothing would ever be the same again. Not the for Jesus, not for the nation of Israel nor the rest of mankind. History was at a pivot point. Three years later Jesus would die on a Roman cross to forgive the sins of mankind and open the door to eternal life. Lord, my faith and belief in you is affirmed. I will follow you to the end as the faithful fulfillment of this prophecy.

Mine Eyes Have Seen The Glory

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Be renewed in joyful expectation of the glorious reign of Jesus (Isa 60:19-22; Rev 21:22-25). #MineEyesHaveSeenTheGloryOfTheComingOfTheLord https://bible.com/bible/116/isa.60.19-22.NLT https://bible.com/bible/116/rev.22.6-20.NLT

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Isaiah continues to prophesy of the marvelous reign of our Redeemer King – God’s Messiah, Jesus Christ. This is his promise to his people. He will stand at the head of the New Jerusalem, exalted (v9). His people, though they have faltered and have known God‘s discipline (v10), will be called the City of the Lord (v14).

God’s people will know him as Savior and Lord (v16). The sun will never set on his people, his Temple, his City (v19,20; Rev 21:22-25). God will be their everlasting and eternal light (v20). God concludes with these words: “At the right time I, the Lord, will make it happen.“

Today, this aged sentry is renewed with the words of that old battle hymn, “Mine eyes have seen the glory of coming of the Lord. Glory, Gory, Hallelujah.”

Rise n’ Shine!

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Look for the light of Christ to shine into your darkness (Isa 60:1–6). #RiseNShine #Reveille #TheGloryOfTheLord https://bible.com/bible/1588/isa.60.1-3.AMP

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Comes a righteous king (Isa 59:16b – 20) to set men right with God. “Rise n’ Shine,“ Oh Jerusalem, the glory of the Lord appears over you. In the midst of heavy darkness the light of the world will shine upon you. Nations will come to your light. The people of Zion will return to you. Your wealth will be renowned.

Isaiah looks over the horizon of time to an age when men will come to the light. Jesus our redeemer, our Messiah, came into a world of darkness. He is the light of men (Jhn 8:12; 2Co 4:6). He will come again as conquering king. “Thus saith the Lord,” through Isaiah. Lord, you have shined your light into my darkness; may your light be reflected through me to others in darkness.

On this Veterans Day I can say that quiet literally the Lord Jesus shined into my darkness. It was December 28, 1968, between 2:00 & 3:00 AM. I was on watch in a guard tower in Vietnam. Jesus broke into my darkness and nothing has been the same since.

Wonderful Savior

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Have open eyes and hearts to the Savior, Jesus (Isaiah 59:17–21). #Salvation #Redeemer #Repentance

Yeshuah, Jesus, Weeps & Prays Over Jerusalem

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

God’s answer to the sin of men and there inability to save themselves is to send a righteous, sinless redeemer. He will be dressed in righteousness and robbed in Divine passion. He will judge God’s enemies, all of sin and deliver Salvation.

This redeemer Prince from Jerusalem (Yeshuah [Jesus] Rom 11:26), will keep covenant with Israel, save her from her sin. Indeed all of mankind will benefit, from east to west, from the Lord’s salvation. All those who turn from sin will know the salvation of the Lord. Lord, what a wonderful, merciful and thoughtful Savior you are.

Perilous Predicament

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Accept ownership of your sin, it’s consequence and repent (Isa 59:1,12–15) https://bible.com/bible/116/isa.59.1-15.NLT #GodToTheRescue #Repentance

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Isaiah reminds Judah that God had not left them. They had left God. Their sin (subsequently, my sin) has piled up on them (vv2–8) and testifies against them. Their destruction is eminent (Babylonian captivity). So, before there can be confession, cleansing, forgiveness and redemption there must be a recognition of sin and acceptance of responsibility for it.

Like Judah, I must own my sin before God, accept my lostness (recognize my perilous predicament) before I can reach out to the one (Jesus) who has come to rescue me, to pull me to safety. This is repentance: recognizing that I am a sinner bound for eternal destruction and accept salvation from God.

Lord, your word exposes my sinful and rebellious heart. I have seen my sin for what it is before you. I repent and receive your cleansing, forgiveness and redemption (Jhn 3:16; 1Jn 1:9).

A Priori

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Come to God’s Word with an open heart and mind (Isa 55:8–13). #APriori #PromiseOfRedemption https://bible.com/bible/116/isa.55.8-12.NLT

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Man need look no further than nature and the universe to see the hand of God (Rom 1:20). No mere botanist could command the heavens on a world wide timetable to fertilize the earth for eons. No mere theologian could have divined such a marvelous plan of redemption for all the earth and all the men in it, time immemorial. In fact, they follow after the “a priori“ acts of God.

Men simply study to try and understand what God has already done and/or has spoken through his word. God has ordained all of nature, the universe and his word to honor his name and be an everlasting sign of his power and love. Everything works together to achieve God’s grand purposes. Lord, give me an open heart; this simple sentry cannot wrap his mind around so great a plan of redemption.