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.

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

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.

Majestic Might

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

May my beloved nation see, acknowledge and know the manifest power and glory of Jehovah God (Psm 68:28-35). #God’sMajestyAndPower #ShowUsGod’sGlory

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Oh, you holy ones of God, summon the might and power of God to our world. Pray for God’s majesty to be revealed to the nations. Pray for those enemies of God and his holy ones to be brought low and bow in recognition of the magnificent one who rides (dwells) in the most high and honored heavens; whose voice thunders (resonates) from above.

Sing To He Who Rides The Highest Heavens

This is the God (Jehovah) whose light and glory shines down on his holy ones. He strengthens those who call upon him in the day of trouble. Lord, as the Psalmist so prays for his countrymen, so this sentry prays for his beloved nation and countrymen.

Lord Revive Our Nation

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

May there be a Psm 68:9-11 revival in our nation, communities and families: #Revival #Awakening

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Lord, send an abundance of heavenly showers to refresh the souls of men;

May the people of our nation know God’s peace in their midst;

May there be a bountiful harvest of souls awakened to God’s saving power;

May the needs of your holy ones be met in every possible way;

Lord, raise up a mighty army to spread the Good News of the Gospel.

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.

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.

What Will Transform A Nation?

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Seek to experience and live out the transforming power of the Gospel (Jude 1:1). #TransformingPower #TheGospelTruth

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Jude is considered to be, along with James his brother, a half brother to Jesus. This is interesting in that at one point these brothers were both skeptics (Jhn 7:3–5), thought Jesus was mentally off (Mrk 3:21). Yet, we find them in the Upper Room with their mother, Mary (mother of Jesus) at Pentecost after the resurrection (Acts 1:14).

Jude humbly recognizes his true place in the life of Christ – “a servant.” He and his brother James went from skeptics to leaders in the early church. This is nothing short of the transforming power of the Gospel. Lord, my faith to continue to pray and witness rests in the power of the Gospel to transform people and nations.

“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.

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.

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)

Bare-bones Judgment

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Do not minimize or underestimate the consequences of sin (Jer 8:1–3). #WagesOfSinIsDeath #NoTurningBack #ThoroughJudgment

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

How thorough God’s judgment of Judah will be. Even the dead will be irreligiously and irreverently exhumed. Their bare bones will be spread like manure on the ground before the gods whom they loved, served and worshiped (sun, moon, stars). These gods (who are no gods) are powerless to protect and save them.

All who survive this humiliation will live another, wishing death over life in captivity. When that Day of Judgment comes there will be no turning back. This, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies has decreed. Lord, how can I think any less of my sin before you? What makes my beloved country think she can escape if she ignores God’s call to salvation (Heb 2:1-3)?

Depraved

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Acknowledge the depths of your depravity before God (Jer 7:30–34). #DeplorableDepravedDevastation #TurnNowToGod #LordSendAwakening

The Soul That Defies God

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

The sins of Judah before God were of the most heinous kinds. The Temple of God in Jerusalem was used to worship odious other gods and idols. Shrines were built outside the city where the abominable practice of child sacrifice was conducted. Children were burned alive in the worship of other gods (who are no gods). This was a practice that Jehovah God neither commanded nor even considered.

God says, “This will come to an end; my people will pay a steep price for their sin. I will make the land a desolate place.” Lord, deliver my soul from any deplorable sin that offends you. Deliver the soul of my beloved country from the sin that offends you. May we humble ourselves, repent and follow after God.

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.

Learn From History

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Learn from the past God’s faithfulness to do what he says he will do (Jer 7:11–15). #BelieveGod #PutFaithInGodAlone

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Jeremiah‘s message to rebellious Judah was to look to the past for clues in the present. God had destroyed the first site of the Tabernacle of God in Shiloh, because of the rebellion and idolatry of his people. Surely he will not spare the temple in Jerusalem.

The people of Judah should have learned from history and given heed to God’s word. They were warned. Now God was about to do in Jerusalem what he did in Shiloh. This aged sentry may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer. But I am sharp enough to believe God and take him at his word.

America today is in an abyss of sin. She will pay a heavy price for ignoring God; for flaunting her sin. But if she will turn to God he will be merciful. PRAY FOR AWAKENING!

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.

Terror & Crime Watch

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Listen to God and fear not to speak truth and grace into culture (Jer 6:22-26). #repent #TurnNowToGod #TimeIsRunningOut

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

America should learn the lesson of Judah. Part of God‘s judgment on his rebellious people was invasion, terrorism, cruel and merciless violence. People were afraid to travel across town or across the nation. Where is the security? Lawlessness and plunder rule the day. Like a woman giving birth – the pain is intense but no one comes to her aid (note 4:31).

America today stands in these crosshairs of judgment. Will she mourn and weep bitterly for the good times lost? Or will she weep bitter tears of repentance for sin against God? Lord may we have the courage to stand for you, to convey your message of truth and grace. Lord, give my beloved country a spirit of repentance.