Reason To Hope

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Turn fully, faithfully and finally to our merciful God (Jer 3:11–15). #ReasonToHope.

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

As a loving father, God beckons his wayward child, Judah, to return to him. Why? Because God is merciful – he will not stay angry forever. All he asks is that Judah (or anyone living in rebellion against him) surrender their heart, admit their defiance of all that is holy, confess it to God and return home to our loving father.

In return God promises shepherds with hearts after his own who will guide us with knowledge and understanding. Lord, you give me a reason to hope for the future of our nation, of our world. May we fully, faithfully and finally turn to you.

Walk The Talk

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION TO…

…Come in SINCERE repentance toward God; turn fully back to him (Jer 3:6–10). #SincereRepentance #WalkTheTalk #Revival

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Josiah, king of the southern kingdom of Judah was a good and gracious King. He was instrumental in leading Judah in a revival (2Ch 34). Unfortunately it was limited in its scope. The nation was bent on following the example of her sister Israel. So she flagrantly put other gods (who are no gods), gods of her own making, ahead of Jehovah God.

Judah should have learned from Israel‘s total collapse that she should repent and turn sincerely back to God. But she never fully did. Her revival was short-lived and mostly a pretense, a show. She abandoned the One who had saved her, assuring her fate (2Ki 23:25-27). Lord, may I (my beloved nation) learn from the examples of history. May I (my beloved nation) come to you in sincere repentance for sin. May my (our) behavior match the repentance.

When God Stands Down

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

May you not persist to ignore or reject the infinite love of God; he will stand down (Jer 2:31–37). #DoNotIgnoreGod #TurnBackToGod

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

More than just an angry, infuriated lover to Judah (God’s people) the Lord desires reconciliation. He says, “What horrible thing have I done to deserve your rejection? Why do you wish to be free of me? I have loved you, why are you now so ashamed of me?“

God goes on to compare Judah’s alliances with other godless nations like that of a prostitute subduing her lovers. All the while she disregards the poor, leaves them to die. But her newfound lovers will let her down. They will turn on her. She will be led into captivity as God looks on with pity.

Lord at times in my life this old sentry has acted incorrigibly toward you. My sin led me to captivity. You stood down from me. But ultimately my brokenness led me back to you. Your love for me, Oh Lord, is infinitely greater than any humanly contrived invention.

When A Nation Needs Awakening

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Lord, may our nation know the fires of revival and spiritual awakening (Jer 2:-selected). #LordSendRevivalAndAwakening #LordSendRepentanceInTheLand

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Though God has blessed this nation, still Judah (its leaders, priests and people) ignore and worse, reject God. They do not seek the Lord (v8). They refuse to serve the Lord (v20). They are oblivious to their unfaithfulness to the Lord (v23). They thumb their noses at God and brazenly admit they are irresistibly in love with foreign gods, won’t change course. But, they cry out to God when they are in trouble (v27). They presume upon God’s grace and mercy [We’re special.] (v35). Really?

Lord, like Judah, how America has strayed from her moral and spiritual center. Her leaders, priests and people turn a deaf and indifferent ear towards you. She has broken her yoke of surrender to you. She has corrupted the values upon which she was founded. She is oh so stained by her sin ands rebellion against you. She goes brazenly hard after other, lessor gods in total abandonment.

Lord, sweep across our nation like a blazing prairie fire in revival and spiritual awakening

My Life Book On God’s Coffee Table

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

May your life be a beautifully painted landscape unto the Lord (Jer 2:20–25). #CoffeeTableLegacy

Prairie Church, Leadville, Colorado (RWHollar)

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Many are the visions given to Jeremiah which paint pictures of Judah’s apostasy. These word pictures make clear her sin.

Judah is like the beast that has broken off the yoke that bound her to God, to follow after other lesser gods (v20). She is the fruitful vine that had grown wild and corrupt, producing no fruit (v21). She is depicted as linen with stains so bad nothing could remove the stains (v23). She is shown as a wild donkey in heat. She chases nonstop one lesser God after another for intimate relations (v24,25).

I ask myself, if God painted pictures of how I look to him, would it be worthy to be on his coffee table? Lord it is my desire that my life become a beautifully painted landscape onto you.

Abandoning God, A Risky Choice

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

May the nation, the person, who abandons God turn back to him (Jer2:14-19). #Repent #TurnToGod

Abandon God At Your Own Risk

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

The nation of Judah (God’s people) had slipped into dependence upon military might and alliances with other nations for their defense. This instead of dependence upon God. When one turns their back on God the only thing left is self-reliance and/or dependence on others for help. That never works out.

Further, this self-reliance is a full on rejection of God, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. He promises here that Judah (anyone who turns on God) will realize how evil and bitter a thing it is to abandon God. It is clear that any nation or person abandoning, rejecting God’s guiding hand (v17) is at risk of experiencing dire consequences.

Offending All Of Heaven

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Remain faithful to the Lord God of Heaven; return to him (Jer 2:1–13). #OffendingAllOfHeaven #Repent #TurnBackToGod #WalkWithGod

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

What is the big problem that Jeremiah is confronting? The people of God eagerly set out to love, honor and obey God. They saw every enemy before them fall. Through the years they grew complacent towards God. They corrupted their lives with worthless idols (other lesser gods) of Canaan. They rejected God.

The priests (ministers), of all people, no longer sought God. Teachers ignored God, rulers turned against God and the prophets began speaking on behalf of other heinous gods.* The heavens were shocked and horrified at this behavior. So, for flagrant willful abandonment of God and detestable worship of heinous lesser gods, God’s people will face certain judgment. Lord, may I (my nation) always remain faithful to you in my life; where I (we) fail may I (we) repent and turn to you.

* Could there be any more clear description of the days and times we live in? Can America continue down this path and not expect to see a reckoning of our behavior? God help us.

Got Steel?

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Be fortified against the opposition of sin and evil (Jer 1:18-19). #ManOfSteel #GotSteel #FightForTruthAndJustice

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

The message Jeremih had for the people – kings, politicians, priests, ministers, the people of God was one of judgment for sin. Jeremiah would be scorned and rejected. But his detractors would fail. God would make of Jeremiah a fortified city, a man of steel, to speak against sin.

Anyone called of God is obligated to teach and explain the whole counsel of God. It is not always a glorious task. Rather it can be and is an inglorious one. Many will not listen. In fact they may fight against you. But God’s promise to the man or woman of God is that he will steel you against the opposition of the world against truth. Lord, this posted sentry is relying upon you to fortify him in the trenches of ministry and prayer.

Never Looked Back

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Come humbly before God, he will not ignore your prayer (Psm 66). #Don’tLookBack #RepentTurnToGod GodCannotIgnoreRepentance

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Psalm 66 is my story. I never get tired of telling it. I can shout joyful praises to God. He has done “awesome miracles” on my behalf (too many to count (vv1–4). He gave me a clear path through troubled waters. I rejoice in him (vv5–7).

My life is in his hands. He has kept my feet from stumbling. He tested me, purified me, captured me, given me a leader worth following – Jesus Christ (vv8–12). I am here paying my vows from times of trouble (13–15).

December 28, 1968, high up in a guard tower in Vietnam, I surrendered to the Lordship of Christ. “I cried out to God for help. I confessed my sin and he listened to me. He did not ignore my prayer [nor any prayer since].“ (16–20). I NEVER LOOKED BACK!

Lord, Save Now

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Lord, send your Spirit into our midst and awaken us from our free-fall into the pits of depravity (Psm 65:5-8). #DeliverUsLord #LordSaveNow #SendAwakeningInOurMidst

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

I cannot help but be overwhelmed by the events of the last 48 hours (Roe v. Wade reversal leak and the violent pushback). But we have seen in this country, violence growing at an exponential rate since the George Floyd murder 24 months ago.

We have seen the violent reactions to draconian measures to control a pandemic. We are witnessing an unprovoked and despotic war against Ukraine by Russia.

Dear Lord, you truly are the hope of everyone on earth, to the furthest reaches of the globe. You can move in mighty strength to save. You can quiet the rage, quell the anger and silence the boisterous threats among us. You lord, are our best hope, our only hope, to save us from our own self-destruction.

Lord, we desperately need you to send your spirit into our midst and awaken us from our free-fall into the pits of depravity. May we be inspired by your awesome deeds to shout for joy.

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.

Scripture Points To God’s Glory

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Savor the value and sweetness of Scripture as witness to God’s glory (Psm 19:7–11). #SweeterThanHoney #LifeGivingInstruction #GodsWord #MoreValuableThanGold

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

A psalm of David – he gives thoughtful consideration to God‘s revelation of himself through Scripture. God‘s word is perfect, trustworthy, accurate, clear and true. God‘s word revives the soul, makes one wise and brings joy. It gives insight for living, is fair, gives warning and reward for obedience.

God‘s word is highly desirable, more valuable than gold. It is sweeter than pure honey to the soul. God‘s word points me to his glory and leads me to eternal admiration for him. Lord, I look to your word for life-giving instruction and knowledge of you.

Heavens Declare God’s Glory

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

See and give thanks to God for nature’s witness to his glory (Psm 19:1-6). #TheHeavensDeclareGodsGlory

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

A song with David – the psalmist gives careful thought to God‘s revelation of himself in nature. The skies overhead proclaim God‘s glory. Daily the skies open up over every nation – good and evil. God reveals himself every day in the beauty of the heavens and in the vast expanse of the cosmos (Rom 1:19,20).

God paints the skies at sunrise and sunset. Even when no one is there to observe it, God paints. The sun follows its course. Men set their watches, their calendars and seasons according to God‘s courses above. Oh Lord, though the eyes of this sentry grow dimmer by the day, let them take in all your glory and goodness in the natural world around me.

When Idols Fall

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Rid yourself of anything that comes between you and God (2Ch 34:1–7). #WhenIdolsFall #SeekGodWithYourWholeHeart

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

So, young Josiah was eight years old when he became king of Judah (he followed his wicked father Amon). It is hard to know exactly how and when the prophet Zephaniah may have influenced Josiah, but by age sixteen he had begun to earnestly seek Jehovah God.

Then, at age twenty, Josiah destroyed every pagan shrine, altar, carved image and symbol of the pagan god Baal. He purified, cleansed, all of Judah and Jerusalem. Revival was on the way. Lord, I see that revival begins when I seek you and my heart is cleansed of every idol (something I love more than you).

Coming Home

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Follow the Lord faithfully; find hope in his word (Zep 3:18–20). #HomeComing #TogetherAgain https://bible.com/bible/116/zep.3.18-20.NLT

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Zephaniah closes his prophetic words to the nation of Judah with a clear message of hope and rejoicing. “On that day,“ the day of deliverance from their enemies, being “gathered” together is mentioned several times. It is God who does the gathering. The word will go out to all who have been mocked, shamed, ridiculed, oppressed, expelled and disbursed. “Come home!”

“Come home!” The enemy is defeated. It is the remnant, God’s faithful ones, who will rejoice and come together again. They will be honored as favored ones. Their good name and fortunes will be restored. God has said it. It will be and it was so. God’s word is full of hope for those faithful to him. Lord, may we see such a revival, such an ingathering, as this today.

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).

Nations Bow

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Come to God in humble worship (Zep 2:5–15). #EveryKneeShallBow #WorshipTheLord

How God Views Our World

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Final and swift judgment will also come upon all those who taunt God’s people. God will use the evil of those nations who hate God’s people (Israel) to discipline his people. But those nations will, “receive the [just] wages for their [sin] and pride, because they scoffed at God and his people” (v15).

There will be a day when the nations of the world will worship the Lord (v11). May the nations of the world bow down in repentance and worship the Lord even today. Lord, there is none who escape your view. All men will one day bow before you. May that day be sooner than later.

Consequence Of Sin

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Never flirt with nor tolerate sin in your life (Zeph 1:10–18). #CertainDestructionOfSin #NoEscapingSin’sConsequence

Don’t Ignore Sin

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

This prophecy takes your breath away. It is swift, sweeping and severe (it took me a couple of days to absorb it). The prophet minces no words. God fully intends to punish sin and purify his people. When judgment comes, people inside the walls of Jerusalem will wail in sorrow over their destruction. No one, no sin, will be overlooked, to the darkest recesses.

Property and homes will be destroyed. Plants, vineyards, all life will be destroyed. Strong men will weep. Distress, gloom and blackness will sweep the city. It’s walls will be smashed. Blood will run in the streets and bodies will lay rotting on the ground. Life in Jerusalem will come to a terrifying end. Why? Because of sin (v17).

Lord, remove toleration of sin in my life (the life of my nation) far from me (from us). “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.” – Psalms 139:23-24 NLT

Swift Judgment

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Do not delay turning to God in faith (Zeph 1:10,14). #SwiftJudgment #TimeToRepentIsNow #TodayIsTheDayOfSaving

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

God is oh so long-suffering with man in his sin and complacency. Messages of warning are sent out to repent and turn to God – judgment is coming. Eventually there will come that watershed moment when God‘s wrath over sin will pour forth like the sudden unexpected crack and devastation of a lightning strike. Swift, powerful, deafening, destructive.

We see the storm clouds gathering. We hear the distant thunder. We feel the atmospheric changes. Now the rain of God‘s judgment is falling upon us. A cry of alarm goes out, but it’s too late to run for cover. Father, the cry of the sentry is that the time to prepare, to repent, is now, while there is still time. May the nations not delay to turn to God in faith.

Mixed Up

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Expose and expel any idolatrous worship of the heart (Zeph 1:5–9). #MixedUp #HonorGod #TurnToGod #Judgment

Who Are You At Worship?

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

The height of hypocrisy is to claim to love and serve Jehovah God, then worship the gods of Baal and Molech as well. The people of Judah had mixed the religious practices of many religious pagan beliefs. Isaiah condemned this practice, as did Jesus (Isa 29:13; Mat 15:8).

For the idolatrous worship of Judah, God will bring sweeping judgment (vv2–4). Religious leaders will be severely judged for their role in misleading the people. The deceitful practices of the heart will be destroyed. So it was when Babylon destroyed Jerusalem. So it will be in the end of time. Father, search for and expel any idolatrous worship in me; in my nation.

Forsake Ungodliness

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Maintain a pure heart towards God, free of ungodly influence (Zph 1:2-6). #GiveGodAPureHeart #ForsakeUngodlyWorship #VeraciousDevotionToGod

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Zephaniah unloads a stark message from God to the people of Judah. One of the greatest sins of Judah, if not the greatest, was the worship of Baal, the worship of Molech. These pagan gods were hideous in their nature. They elevated child sacrifice, burned by fire – destroyed.

Ashtaroth was a third popular (female) God, although not mentioned here, but by other prophets of God. So, sexual rites and temple prostitutes were in abundance. Impressive temple structures, loud music and lude dancing had captivated the hearts of God’s people. Lord, give this intercessor sentry a pure heart, free from the worship of any other gods but you.

Listen For God’s Voice

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Enlist and heed the words of mature godly voices (Zph 1:1). #GodlyVoices #ListenForGod’sVoice

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

The young Josiah takes the throne as King of Judah. He was eight years old. The country is in terrible spiritual decline. There was much complacency and no sorrow for sin. A prophet, Zephaniah, appears on the scene.

Zephaniah is an older relative of Josiah. He was a descendent of Hezekiah, Josiah’s great grandfather. Not sure exactly when Zephaniah ministered, but he helped to fan the flames of religious revival during Josiah‘s reign. He was no doubt a tremendous help and influence on the young king. Lord, this old sentry is always in need of mature godly voices to speak into my life.

A Call To Personal Surrender

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Come in full surrender to God for genuine revival (2Ki 23:26,27). #Revival #FullySurrenderToGod #Repentance

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Even though Josiah became one of Judah‘s greatest kings – he led according to God‘s ways – God was still angry with Judah for all the wickedness of Josiah‘s grandfather, Manasseh. (Certainly Josiah‘s father, Amon, did nothing to redirect Judah spiritually).

Other prophets will address Judah’s spiritual malaise during Josiah‘s reign. (2Ki 2:16-20 explains that judgment will be postponed until the end of Josiah’s reign) Even the spiritual greatness of a leader is no guarantee that the people will genuinely surrender their hearts to God.

Lord, This sentry understands that revival comes only as individuals sincerely repent and surrender fully to God (beginning with me).

Grieved

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

May the nations call upon the living God in repentance (Nah 3:8–19; Isa 55:6). #CallUponGod #TimeIsShort #RepentAndTurnToGod

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Naham’s prophesy is that Assyria and her capital city, Nineveh, will be utterly destroyed. Annihilated. Because of her insane arrogance, brutality and cruelty, her indulgent sin and rejection, even defiance of God, she will be decimated. The fatal blow to ancient Assyria came at the hands of Jehovah God. No one would mourn her passing. All celebrated the obliteration of this superpower.

I’m Grieved For Our World Today

Just as predicted, Assyria was no more. This should sober the world today, grieve us, to repentance. Like the north winds are a sign of the coming winter, so the prophecy of Nahum over Assyria should serve as a harbinger of things to come in our world today. The nations of the earth should take heed. There will be a day of judgment, a day of reckoning. May God send an awakening into our world. May God awaken our world from her sleep of death.

Nowhere To Run, Nowhere To Hide

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Look to God to defend and deliver you from oppressors (Nah 2:1,2). #GodIsMyDeliverer #GodIsDefenderOfTheDefenseless

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

God says to the godless rebels who defy him and ransack his people, “Prepare for battle. Put on your best readiness. Then watch, as I destroy the one who destroys. Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide. God mocks the defenses of the wicked (note Psm 37:12-15). They are no match for the God of Israel.

Chapter 1 has introduced Assyria to her assailer, her judge. Chapter two and three will define her judgment. Make no mistake, God will destroy the godless in the end. He will rescue the defenseless. Lord, may I always look to you as my defender.