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.
May we not continue to tempt God by perpetual sin and indifference (Jer 4:21, 22). #RepentTowardsGod #TurnNowToGod #DoNotTemptTheLordGod #LoosingStrategy
MORNING WATCH NOTES:
Jeremiah’s weeping cry to God is, “How long must I see the destruction of war on the people of God?“ God does not say. But he reiterates Judah’s foolishness in not listening to God. They are wise toward doing wrong and but have no idea about how to do right; opposite of Pro 1:1–4.
God was fixed on his judgment of sin (rebellion against God’s way). God would even tell Jeremiah (7:16) to stop praying for Judah. GULP! Nowhere else does God issues such a directive. Oh Lord, I pray that my beloved nation would not continue to test your long suffering; a loosing strategy. May she turn quickly to you in repentance.
Put your full trust in the reliability of God’s Word (2Ti 3:15-17). #WORD #TrustGodsWord #GodsWordEqualsGodsVoice
MORNING WATCH NOTES:
The Bible is an amazing book. It was written by 66 authors over hundreds of years. It’s reliability has been proven over and over again. It is the written record of God’s whole plan of redemption.
God speaks to us through his word. It is good for teaching and understanding truth. It shows us how to live right and do right. It shows us where we are wrong, corrects us. If you want to hear God speak audibly, read God’s word out loud. Reading God‘s word is an encounter with the living God. Lord, thank you for the reliability of your to man.
Be on the alert for those who misrepresent God’s truth (2Ti 3:6–9). #BeVigilantForTruth #FaithWatch
MORNING WATCH NOTES:
“In the last days.” Men will deceitfully contrive and deliberately attempt to mislead vulnerable people into all manner of sin and dispute the truth of God’s word. But such men of depraved minds and counterfeit faith will ultimately be exposed for the imposters that they are.
Just as Moses defeated the magicians in the court of pharaoh (Exo 7:11,12; 8:18,19), so shall deceitful men and imposters of the faith be undone, vanquished. Will I be undiscerning and gullible? Will I be alert and vigilant regarding the truth of God’s word? Lord, may your duty sentry always be alert and on guard for imposters.
Find true contentment in honoring and pleasing God (1Ti 6:6–10). #TrueContentment #Godliness
MORNING WATCH NOTES:
Some people see godliness as a means to an end, doing things a certain way. Things like following the rules, making a public display of wealth and achievement, will result in the good life. But true godliness with contentment is not a means to an end.
Godliness is not doing things a certain way (to find success). It is a certain way of doing everything. The focus is on God not man, on devotion to God not devotion to money and on faith not foolish desires. The key to spiritual growth and personal fulfillment is contentment with God‘s plan for our lives. What I strive for Lord, is to just be pleasing to you. No more; no less.
Remain vigilant for the truths and doctrines of Christ (1Ti 6:4,5). #StayThe Course #TruthWillPrevail #NavigateTruthVsOpinion
Any person who stands for the truth, for what is right, good and decent will eventually suffer criticism. This, though they may be teaching and living out the very words of Christ.
The critic’s self righteous attitude will seek only to elevate or benefit themselves. They will argue any small point to gather influence to themselves. They reveal their own pride and arrogance. They corrupt the truth, cause division and cast disparaging thoughts among the people.
Lord, may I be discerning of such people, remain faithful to the truths of Christ and know the difference between truth and opinion.
Pay careful attention to your good health; people around you depend on it (1Ti 5:23). #StayHealthy #PutYourHealthFirst #EatAndDrinkWisely
MORNING WATCH NOTES:
It seems odd and inexplicable why Paul, in the midst of a discussion of choosing church leaders and doing ministry with widows, would digress and make a comment about Timothy‘s general health. He certainly wasn’t telling Timothy to kick back and drink a couple wine coolers. More like, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”
Paul is passing on practical advice to Timothy (who had some health problems), encouraging him to drink more fruit juice, not alcohol, to stay healthy. It is definitely not a defense of drinking alcohol. No, Paul is saying that it is important to eat/drink healthy to endure the rigors of pastoral leadership. Good advice to anyone.
Father, I am deeply grateful to you for a physician of many years, who has been both friend and wise counselor to me.
Be alert to false and deceptive teaching (1Ti 4:1-5). #NotAllThatGlittersIsGold #TestTheSpirits #WolvesInSheepsClothing
MORNING WATCH NOTES:
Paul instructs Timothy to be alert to “teachers“ who stray away from the truth and follow deceptive spirits. They say one thing but do another and are not convicted of it. They make rules and disdain what is good, expressing their self-righteousness.
Believers should be reminded that everything God created is good. Believers are to evaluate all things being taught according to the word of God and prayer (see also 1Jn 4:1-3). Reject what is wrong according to God’s word. Embrace what is good as from God with thanksgiving. Lord, keep this duty sentry alert to any teaching that is contrary to your word and sound the alarm.
Be true to your conscience and be strong in your faith (1Ti 1:18–19). #ListenToYourConscience #HoldFastToFaith #FightTheGoodFightOfFaith
MORNING WATCH NOTES:
It is especially important that pastors, like Timothy, hold fast to faith in Christ and keep a clear conscience. Being obedient to the things you know are right, avoiding things you know are wrong, will strengthen your faith and equip you to fight the good fight of faith. Very simple, basic instructions.
Do not violate your conscience. To do so is to doom your faith to failure. Of course, this is good advice for anyone to follow, not just pastors. Pray that your church leaders be true to their conscience and strong in their faith. This is the fight they need to win. Lord, may I too, be true to my conscience and strong in my faith.
Men may think that they must have fame, wealth and power to have influence. At times men may feel they deserve to be heard. That is pride and arrogance speaking. But when one comes to God, listens to God and follows God‘s counsel, that one, whether great or small, from humble beginnings or advantaged beginnings, may have great and godly influence.
Why is this so? Because God is the one who exalts the individual, in his way, in his time (1Pe 5:6). He does so in meager surroundings and in sufficient to substantial surroundings. For God, it is not about being the best IN the world. It is about being the best FOR the world. I must examine first the one standing in the one square foot of space I occupy.
Lord, you have allowed this old sentry opportunity for godly influence; first in my family, then in my circle of friends and associates; in my realms of life. I could ask for nothing more.
Men with fleshly attitudes will always rail against God’s plans. It is true from time immemorial. Man stood in opposition to God in the garden and in the days of the Kings of Israel. They stood against Christ in his birth and in his life. They stood against the spread of the Gospel. They have stood, times without number, against revivals led by the Holy Spirit. How’d all that work out?
Men of the flesh act like clay in the potter’s hands telling the potter, “You don’t know what you are doing. Your hands have no skill.“ No matter, God continues his program of mercy and Redemption. There will be no refuting God’s work among men. Those who refute God will be dishonored. “The Lord of Heaven‘s Armies has spoken!“ Lord you are my Creator, my Deliverer, my redeemer. Mold my life according to your will – I yield to your skilled hands.
Not much will make the heart of the leader know more true satisfaction than for co-laborers in Christ to be “wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose.”
The leader who can realize that, has found a path for personal engagement in the lives of others that most never seem to have time for. It’s not the easiest or most direct route, but it is the most satisfying. Lord, may I be a leader like that in my family, my church and my community.
After you have prayed in private it is time to live your Christian life publicly. So, Paul says, Get Practical. Be prudent in your actions before a watching world…for the sake of the Gospel. Do not waste any opportunity to speak for Christ. And when you do speak, strive to flavor every conversation with grace (Eph 5:15,16).
Listen carefully to what people say so that you might give the best most appropriate response (Eph 4:29). Lord, fill this old sentry with your Spirit, that I may be prudent, alert, attentive, gracious and relevant. Enable my best sensory responses to those around me.
The message here is to represent well the exalted Christ. Let your teaching, counsel [all your conversation] be ordered by the wisdom Christ gives. Let your worship and singing reflect a heart of thanksgiving to God for all he has done. In all you do (everything) honor the name of Christ. Lord, may I always bring honor to your name.
TRIBUTE: I used to tell my children, there were two rules in our house. One, you’re a Hollar you belong to me. Two, you’re a Christian, you belong to Christ. Honor both names wherever you go and in whatever you do. They are now grown, married and have three children each of their own. As far as I know they have always honored the Hollar name and the name of Christ. They still do.
Paul prays for the believers in Colossae. His prayer is broken up into three parts.
1 of 3 – Paul prays that these believers would have a growing knowledge of God‘s will; spiritual wisdom and understanding. Then Paul explains how that would work itself out. [They did not have the advantage of the complete word of God as we do today] They would walk worthy of their call (honoring/pleasing God), they would produce good fruit in their lives (acts of service and goodness), and they would continue to grow in the knowledge of God (get to know God better and better).
It is important that we read and study God’s word. But not to accumulate or pile up more and more facts (we could pass a test). No, we read/study God‘s word to get to know him better and better. Knowing him, his ways and his will, we will be better able to honor and please him. We will know how to produce gracious acts of service in his name, that achieve good results. Finally, knowledge of him begets more knowledge, more honor, more good fruit…and so it goes.
I may not pray this specific prayer each day. But it is my desire that every prayer I pray over family, friends and country has the effect of their growth in the knowledge of God‘s will; spiritual wisdom and understanding.
The “Book of the Lord“ is God’s book of promises and prophecies written down. Why? Because it is no hidden writing. It is open for all to see. What is written, is open for all to search and to find truth. What God has written shall be revealed as truth to all who have eyes to see (2Ti 3:16; 2Pe 1:19-21).
The prophecies given of God reveal and foretell the complete destruction of God’s enemies [Edom]. No one need guess, no one need wonder. For the plan of God is written for the ages. All may see it and all may be informed by it. Father, your word, your promises and your prophecies inform me of truth. I have seen truth come to life with my own eyes. Your Book is my book. I receive it and I pray it so for others who come after me.
Day 39 of 40 days of prayer for family and friends. Lord, may my friends and family dwell on all things honorable and speak truth and healing.
Proverbs Chapter 12 reveals that men will be judged by what they think and what they say. Many there are who stay awake at night planning to do evil. They arise in the morning to carry out their plans. They lie and deceive with their tongue. Stinkin Thinkin!
But the wise and honest among us remain calm and just tell the truth. Their words bring healing. Truth always stands the test of time. Lies and dishonesty will be exposed. Know this, two things will influence what you think and say: 1) the books you read; 2) the friends you keep. So Lord, “fill my mouth with worthwhile stuff and nudge me when I’ve said ‘nuff.” – Susan Jeffers
Day 37 of 40 days of prayer for family and friends. Lord, I pray that my family and friends engage with and apply your word every day.
Here is a question for the ages: “How does a young man stay pure?“ Or anyone else for that matter. The Bible answers its own questioning the same verse, “…by obeying [God’s] word [the Scriptures].“ To do that I must take time to read God‘s word, meditate on it, digest it, memorize key portions of it, understand it and apply it (see vv10–16).
God’s word, like a Military Field Manual, contains all the how to‘s for procedures important to soldiers serving in the field. The prayer sentry, the soldier-saint of God, could no more function without God’s word than the citizen-soldier without his/her Field Manual. Lord, may I engage with your word daily as vital to my survival in the spiritual battles I face.
Day 26 of 40 days of prayer for family and friends. Father, lead my family and friends to honest trustworthy friends; may the be that kind of friend.
The theme of Proverbs 11 is “Godly“ living, that is, righteous, gracious and morally sound living. When the godly lead a people the whole city celebrates; upright citizens are good for a city (a nation)…leave a legacy of prosperity. But the wicked tear a city apart, leave a legacy of failure. When they are no more, the people rejoice (vv10,11,14).
The godless destroy friends with their words, they belittle their neighbors and gossip about them. But truth and knowledge will vindicate the godly. The godly hold their tongue and they keep confidences with friends.
Lord, may I always have honest, godly and trustworthy friends and advisors. May I be that kind of friend and advisor. May honest, godly and trustworthy men and women lead our cities and nation.
Only a foolish man or woman would take a know-it-all position towards life. Such a person looks despicably upon wisdom and knowledge – they cannot be told anything. But a wise person (who, by the way, may not be the most educated person in the room) will stop, look and listen. Then they will speak in measured, carefully spoken words.
The hallmark of a person who is wise is their reverence and respect for God. There in lies the foundation of all wisdom and knowledge. Father, may I be still and silent before you; the ears of my understanding open and ready to receive true knowledge.