Hand Of Discipline

When God disciplines, humble yourself and seek him (Isa 27:8-13). #WhenGodDisciplines #TurnToGod https://www.bible.com/116/isa.27.8-9,12-13.nlt

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

God is not a compliant enabling father. He knows just when and how to discipline. He knows the limits of our ability to withstand testing and trials (1Co 10:13). Discipline is always an option (Heb 12:10,11). It is clear that God is always prepared to discipline his people to purge them from sin (though not every trial is for sin-Jas 1:12; 2Co 12:17; Rom 5:3–6).

In the end, like a loving father, God will come to his own and comfort them. You can count on that. The end result of God‘s discipline is to return to him, to love and worship him. Lord I have known your loving discipline and your comforting embrace. I look to you for the correction and reproof that I need.

Unforgivable?

Never scorn God’s call to repent (Isa 22:12-14). #TurnToGodNow #Repent #UnforgivableSin https://www.bible.com/116/isa.22.12-14.nlt

MORNING WATCH NOTES

Is there such a thing as an unforgivable sin? Yes, there is. This is it, pure and simple. When God calls a people to weep and mourn, to be ashamed and sorry for, remorseful of, sin (to repent) and instead that people just “PARTY ON!” ignoring, even scorning, God’s plea; that is the sin for which there is no forgiveness. How can there be?

The ultimate and unforgivable sin is the sin of rejecting God‘s love and mercy. Oh that I may never run aground of sin and unrepentance.

She Failed To Ask

Do you mourn, will you weep for those who refuse to seek God (Isa 22:5-11)? #WillAmericaReturnToGod https://www.bible.com/116/isa.22.5,8-11.nlt

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Oh the beautiful valley in which the city of Jerusalem sits; it is now filled with enemy chariots of war (vv6,7). Why? Because the people of God rejected him. Judah trusted in her own self-made plans. She built her war chests against the Assyrian enemy. She ran to her armories. She sought to shore up her breached walls. She stored up her reservoirs for war. She did everything but ask God for his help.

Today, I hear much rhetoric from politicians, educators, corporate, media and activist leaders, yea, even the citizenry. There is much talk of war against their perceived enemies. Like Jerusalem against her Assyrian enemy, America runs for her political arsenals, she seeks to shore up her walls of political advantage. She works furiously to fill her political reservoirs. But defeat on all sides will be as swift and sure as was Jerusalem‘s. Why? History teaches us. Because, like Jerusalem, in all of America’s self made plans, her leaders have abandoned the people (v3). She arrogantly pursues her own interests. She never stops to ask for God’s help. He is the one who sets her back on her heels; and though rejected by her, loves her and would save her. If she would only ask.

All of this presses this old sentry to his knees in prayer and mourning for my beloved country. Oh that she might seek for God’s help.

Stir Our Hearts

Oh, that Thy people would listen and turn to God (Isa 22:1-4). #TurnToGod #Repent https://www.bible.com/116/isa.22.1-4.nlt

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Jerusalem (people of God), is located between two mountain ranges. These mountains symbolize the presence and protection of God. It is in this valley that God speaks to the prophet and reveals his vision of things to come.

The vision given Isaiah is not a pleasant one. Jerusalem has rejected the God who has enabled her strength. While they revel, their foundation crumbles. Jesus himself will later lament the rejection of Jerusalem for her Redeemer (Mat 25:36, 37).

Isaiah is left to mourn over the vision of the fall of his people. It is heartbreaking to see a people reject the one who has so blessed there existence. It causes me to weep for America, as she thumbs her nose at God, rejects his love. Oh Lord, stir the heart of this nation (my heart), that she (I myself) would listen and turn again to you.

Forewarned, Forearmed

Be alarmed and turn your wayward heart back to God (Isa 28:18-22). #TurnToGod #RepentTowardGod #ForeWarnedIsForeArmed

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

It ought to cause the people of God to shudder, to hear and to know that God is willing to trample his own when they continue headlong into sin and the rejection of his word. Instead they think they have outsmarted the coming judgment. But God will strike out, cancel, the deal his people have made with pagan forces to avoid judgment. The bed his people have made to lay in securely is wholly inadequate. The bed blankets are too narrow to cover them.

Just as God defeated the Philistines (Jos 10) and the Amorites (2Sa 5), so he will deliver a defeating, crushing blow to his own people. God’s people ought to be jolted into a repentance and surrender to Jehovah God. But they are not and time has run out. Oh Lord, awaken your people (awaken me) to the disaster ahead if we continue to trust in our own schemes and ingenuity. Bring this old sentry’s heart into alignment with your will and purpose.

Father, would you bring the heart of America into alignment with your will. Would you send revival into the church of America. May your people be alarmed and jolted at the high stakes at risk when there is no humble repentance toward God. I pray your Spirit to awaken the sleepy heart of America from her long slumber. May we we see a sweeping renewal of hearts toward God.

“BORrrING” – NOT!

Don’t ignore the simple truths of God (Isa 28:9–11). #BeOpenToGod https://www.bible.com/116/isa.28.9-11.nlt

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

At times the people of God do not want to hear from the “intolerable moralist“ among them. They have become overconfident in their religiousity. They mock the man or woman of God and so, the message of God is also made a mockery. Such was the reaction of Israel and Judah towards the prophet Isaiah

How does that feel? I once told a brother that his lack of spiritual concern about some circumstances would lead to a bad outcome. I was told that my comments were simply an overreaction. They were not welcomed. Sadly, it turned out I was right. It took several years for that brother to recover.

To the religious know-it-all, God’s correction is all just baby talk to them – they do not wish to hear such repetitious and condescending gibberish. So God will oblige them. He will speak to them in another language. The language of an oppressor; the language of judgment. Perhaps then they will listen. Lord, may I always have an open and willing heart toward you.

The Best “In” Worst Of Times

You may have hope and courage in the worst of times (Isaiah 28:5–8; 35:1-10). # GodsRemnant #StreamsInTheDesert https://www.bible.com/116/isa.28.5-8.nlt

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Whatever the judgments of God on a people, there will always be a remnant. They often go unseen and unnoticed during times of spiritual squalor. While kings and priests and prophets and judges are lost in their filthy lifestyles, reel and stagger in their vision of self aggrandizement and judgments, the remnant of God stand watch.

While the nation falters, God’s remnant goes to battle in prayer and righteous living. The Lord is their pride and joy. He is their justice and their mighty courage. They are to God a “highway of holiness” a flowing “stream in the desert.” For God’s remnant, sorrow shall forever flee (Isa 35:1–10). Oh Lord, you give this old sentry hope in the worst of times.

A Fist Of Fate

When your wayward heart wanders, lead it quickly back to God (Isa 28:1-6). #RepentTowardGod #CureForTheWanderingHeart https://www.bible.com/116/isa.28.1-6.nlt

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Isaiah laments the fall of the northern kingdom of Israel. The pride of her capital Samaria has shaken off the reins of a loving but holy God. Now she faces only sorrow and heartache. Her end will come at the hands of a mighty army. It will come suddenly as a “mighty hail storm and torrential rain.“ It will “burst upon [them] like a surging flood and smash it to the ground.“ It will be “trampled under the enemies’ feet.”

Let the southern kingdom of Judah be warned. Because of Israel’s pride, her once great beauty will fade into oblivion. She has arrogantly shaken her fist in the face of God. She unwittingly brings God’s wrath upon her. Lord, how sin does pervert the human heart. How the sin of pride dismantles good sense. Lord, may my oft wayward heart find its way quickly back to you.

When a nation flaunts its sin, judgement is not far behind. May the wayward heart of America, my beloved country, humble itself, repent and turn quickly back to God.

No Greater Love

Respond to God freely for his great gift of redemption (2Ki 17:38,39). #GraceAndMercy #GodsLove #GodsPlanOfRedemption https://www.bible.com/116/2ki.17.38-39.nlt

God’s symbolic covenant of redemption with Abraham (Gen 15:9-11,17,18)

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

The land taken captive by Assyria was God’s land, the land of Israel, the land of promise to God’s people, his “covenant” people. Genesis Chapters 12-15 tells the story of Abraham‘s covenant encounter with God. God chose Abraham through whom to deliver his messianic redemption. God chose Abraham, not because Abraham was so special. God chose him because he needed an instrument through which to reveal his grace.

The covenant spoken of here is a reminder of God‘s unilateral, unconditional love and grace. This covenant bound God alone to his plan of redemption. Men could never nullify God‘s plan of redemption by their lack of commitment. God seeks for men and women to come to him of their own free will and worship him. Lord, I come freely to offer you my love and devotion, imperfect as it is. I give you thanks for the blood you spilled at Calvary for my sin.

Don’t Give Me No Country Song Jesus

Devote your life to the one true God (2Ki 17:29,32,33,40,41). #WorshipJehovahGodAlone #NoCountrySongJesus https://www.bible.com/116/2ki.17.29,32-33,40-41.nlt

MORNING WAYCH NOTES:

The nation of Israel had fallen to Assyria. A captive priest of Jehovah God was sent to teach the new settlers how to worship God in the land. But they did not worship Jehovah God alone. They continued to worship their own gods as well. Israel had done the same and left many pagan shrines in the land that the new settlers used to worship their pagan deities. Makes me wonder about the heart of the priest who was sent to teach them of Jehovah God.

Today I am mindful of the Country & Western music I hear. Country & Western singers have no problem mixing Jesus, barstools and neon lights, like they all just go together. Get drunk on Saturday night, repent on Sunday morning. To call the name of Jesus is not the same as believing in Jesus (Mat 7:22). Don’t get me wrong. There are a lot of true Jesus followers in country music. But Lord, this ol’ sentry don’t want no “country song Jesus” to command his life. Give me the real McCoy.

Acts “Chapter 29”

Acts “Chapter 29” is your story in the spread of the Gospel (Acts 28:30,31). #GoTell #ShareJesusNow #ActsNow https://www.bible.com/116/act.28.30-31.nlt

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

The Book of Acts does NOT conclude with the words, “Paul welcomed all and boldly proclaimed the Kingdom of God and taught them about the Lord Jesus Christ.“ It moves forward on these words from the first century to the 21st-century and beyond. The Book of Acts does not end as abruptly as it seems. It is just the beginning of the faith story still being written today.

My life as a witness for Christ is “Chapter 29” in the spread of the Gospel. There are new chapters to the Book of Acts being written every day. There are chapters yet to be written. It is as the Apostle John said of Jesus: Jesus did many more unwritten works. [He continues his mighty works among men today and] “the whole world could not contain the books [the chapters] that would be written.” (Jhn 21:25).

Thank you Lord for including my story in your Gospel story. It is my story to share, that others may also be included. “Believe on the lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved [included]” (Acts 16:31).

A Different Drumbeat

Find your delight and joy in the counsels of God’s Word (Psm 1:1,2). #DifferentDrumbeat #MarchToADifferentDrummer https://www.bible.com/116/psa.1.1-2.nlt

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Day 34 of 40 days of prayer for family and friends. Lord, I pray my family and friends would find their delight and joy in the counsels of your Word.

To be in the counsel of the ungodly, the godless, is to be in apposition with them. That is, to throw in with them, to join in wholeheartedly with their godless philosophies. That necessarily means being in opposition to the counsel and delight of God’s law, God’s word.

I come away from this Psalm asking myself, “To what drumbeat do I march?” Do I march 100% in line with the beat of this world’s drum, and enjoy it? Or do I step out 100% in sync with the Word of God? Lord, may I find my delight in you alone and in your Word. I choose to march to the drumbeat of your Word.

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.

To The Fight

Never lose sight of the enemy, who is against you (1Pe 5:8–10). #BeAlert #BeWatchful https://www.bible.com/116/1pe.5.8-10.nlt

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Day 32 of 40 days of prayer for family and friends. Lord, I pray that my family and friends stay alert to the strategies of Satan to destroy them; that they remain firm in their faith.

It is important that believers carry out the standing orders of the duty sentry.

1) Stay alert – don’t be sleepy-eyed. The enemy is real and ready to take advantage of the sleeping sentry.

2) Be vigilant – expectant. Look out watchfully for the enemy to show up at any moment.

3) Resist the enemy – hold out, oppose and repel the enemy by,

4) being steadfast in the faith (immovable, secure).

5) Remember that you have many brothers and sisters throughout the world fighting the good fight and standing watch with you.

Know this, He [God] who has called you will be your strength against all odds and suffering. Father, let me never lose sight of who the enemy is or the battle that I am fighting.

Show A Little Love

Show the same love toward others God has shown you (Eph 4:30-32). #LovingGodLovingOthers https://www.bible.com/116/eph.4.30-32.nlt

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Day 26 of 40 days of prayer for family and friends. Lord, enable my family and friends to encourage the heart of God by being a blessing and not a burden to others.

The way to grieve the heart of God is to be a bitter, angry, harsh, slanderous and malicious person. Particularly since we know that the Lord Jesus has made his followers one with him. These attitudes and actions should never be counted among those who follow Christ.

Instead, Christ followers should show kindness, compassion and forgiveness, times without number, toward others. They do this out of a heart of gratitude to God for how he has loved and forgiven them for their bad attitudes, words and actions. Lord, my debt to you is repaid in part when I am kind and loving toward others.

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.

From Where Comes Our Hope?

A young minister friend wrote to me this morning:

“I woke up super anxious for the state of our country. Fear of the future. Sad for the brokenness, the hate and sin. I was reminded of Proverbs 21:1:
[The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord; he turns it wherever he will. Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the heart. To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice] I believe it is true. I ask what my roll is. I have peace that it hasn’t changed, to tell people about Jesus, to make disciples. I think about MLK. He stood up against the sin of racism. There are many sins our country celebrates.

But we are to be set apart. It can be very confusing, but very simple at the same time. [I am] resting in knowing that the Gospel is the only solution for any this. [I am] selfishly celebrating that this is not the end, only a stopping place till I get to my eternal home one day.”

I wrote him back:

“Your words are taken as words of the Spirit. I find that God often speaks to me in such ways. Then he reminds me that such things are are given me by him that I may pray and not lose heart.

I take great comfort in knowing that God is at work in and through all the affairs of men.

Some like to say, “God is in control.” Truth is, the men of this age are in control. BUT GOD IS SOVEREIGN OVER ALL. No matter what man does, God uses it to accomplish his purposes. That’s what Jesus said to Pilate, as he claimed to have power to deliver Jesus’ life. [Jesus said, “You would have no authority over Me, unless it had been given you from above; for this reason he who delivered Me to you has the greater sin” (Jhn 19:11)].

I also pray that God would intervene in the affairs of men. I pray that God would sweep across this land like a great prairie fire, ablaze with revival and spiritual awakening.

Psalm 121:1-8
I lift up my eyes to the hills.

From where does my help come?

[The Answer]

My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot be moved;
he who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, he who keeps Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord is your keeper;
the Lord is your shade on your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day,
nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all evil;
he will keep your life.
The Lord will keep
your going out and your coming in
from this time forth and forevermore.”

This sentry takes great comfort in knowing that God is at work in and through all the affairs of men.

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.

Defend Your Ground

Stand your post, remember your great God (Neh 4:14). #OnYourGuard #HonorGuard https://www.bible.com/116/neh.4.14.nlt

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Day 14 of 40 Days of Prayer For Family & Friends – Lord, assure my family and friends of your mighty protection and provision.

Nehemiah gives me great advice for uncertain, even hostile times: 1) do not fear the enemy – Jesus said, “Don’t fear those who kill the body but not the soul; fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell;” 2) remember the Lord your God who is great and glorious; 3) stand and fight for your families and your homes.

Lord, I am standing my post today in prayer, defending in the Spirit, my family and friends from the evil of the day.

Know The Truth

You may trust always in the truth of God (Jhn 8:31,32). #TheTruthWillSetYouFree https://www.bible.com/116/jhn.8.31-32.net

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Day 11 of 40 Days of Prayer For Family & Friends – Lord, may my family and friends trust always the truthfulness of God’s Word.

The one place I can turn to every day for truth is God‘s word. I never have to question if what I am reading is truth or error (2Ti 3:16). As a follower of Jesus I may turn to this book, God‘s word, on any given day, at any time and find truth. [The truth about me; the truth about the world; the truth about men; the truth about God]

Why is this book so trusted? Because it reveals the Word of God, Jesus, the son of God. He himself is the truth sent from God (Jhn 14:6). When the times and epochs are uncertain, when men distort the truth, God’s word, in Jesus, will always point me to the way in which I should go. Lord, for me to abide in Christ is to abide in truth.

We need a revival of truth in America today. We need a revival of men who abide in the truth, believe in the truth and live by the truth of God.

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.

“HOOAH!” *

Enthusiastically carry out God‘s commands (1Co 16:3,4). #Hooah! https://www.bible.com/116/1co.16.13-14.nlt

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

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!”

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.