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.

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.

“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!”

Share The LIGHT

Share the light and hope of Christ with those you meet (Jhn 12:35,36). #ShareTheLight #ShareJesus https://www.bible.com/1588/jhn.12.35-36.amp

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Day 6 of 40 Days of Prayer For Family & Friends – Lord, lead my family and friends to walk in the Light. Our days are numbered on this earth. Every day is an opportunity to dispel darkness wherever we may go. May we choose to walk in the light of knowing Christ.

As a children of the Light [Jesus] we can bring hope and courage to those we meet along the way. We can be a Charlie Brown “Pigpen,“ living in doom and gloom. Or we can be a “Peppermint Party,” spreading joy, light and hope. Choose to walk in the Light. Lord, a sentinel command on the watch is to give those around us hope and joy in Christ.

Happy Feet

Walk daily according to the fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22,23). #FruitOfTheSpirit https://www.bible.com/116/gal.5.22-23.nlt

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Day 2 of 40 Prayer For Family – Father, defeat in my family the desires to walk according to our sinful nature (that which is defiant of God) resulting in sexual immorality, impurity, lust for pleasures, idolatry, sorcery (occult), hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outburst of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, hedonism, et al. Such will not inherit the Kingdom of God (Gal 5:19-21).

But may our family walk according to the Holy Spirit who produces a different result – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, truthfulness and self-control. Lord, fill us with your Spirit. May we all daily close the door on the influence to our sinful nature and walk yielded to the work of your Spirit.

No Greater Mission

Make sharing Christ your priority (Acts 20:22-28). #ShareJesusNow https://www.bible.com/116/act.20.22-28.nlt

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Paul had staked his life on the Gospel. He faces suffering and chains as he proceeds to Jerusalem. Here, Paul is challenging church leaders to give their all, as he has done, for the Gospel of Jesus. Tell others the good news of the wonderful grace of God. Faithfully carry out the mission to which you have been called.

To these elders of Ephesus Paul says, “Guard yourselves and God’s people – his church, purchased with his blood. Feed and care for God’s people over whom the Spirit of God has appointed you.” Nothing is more important. Lord, I could never give my life to anything greater than sharing the gospel with others.

Keep The First Thing, The First Thing

Remain faithful to your call to serve Christ (Acts 20:16-21). #ShareJesusNow #RepentAndTurnToGod https://www.bible.com/116/act.20.16-21.nlt

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Paul is rounding off his third and final missionary journey through Asia to preach the Gospel. He is headed to Jerusalem, anxious to arrive by Passover (a time of celebration). His desire is to deliver an offering collected in his travels, for the Jerusalem church; a very poor and needy church due to persecution and famine.

Paul’s stop near Ephesus begs a meeting with church elders from there. He reviews with them the importance of the Gospel – “Turn from sin, turn to God, put faith in the Lord Jesus.“ Paul had suffered much to preach this message to all people. I can do no less. Lord, it is ever the mission this sentry to, “Influence Men For Christ.“ May I never shrink from my mission.

A Manger Affirms God’s Promise

Look to God for your promised redemption (Isa 32:15–20). #Redemption #GodLovesYou https://www.bible.com/116/isa.32.15-20.nlt

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

It would be depressing if the words of Isaiah were ordered by an angry dispassionate God. But they are revealed by a God of love and compassion who is not willing that any should perish (2Pe 3:9). A day will come when God’s Spirit will be poured out on all men. Indeed his Spirit has already come and indwells every believer.

There will also come a day, at the end of time, when God’s Spirit will be poured out like never before (Joel 2:28f). The promises to Judah to restore justice and righteousness to the land, peace, quietness and confidence to the people of God, is also a promise for the coming kingdom of God. Lord, I stand in the promise of an outpouring of your Spirit on all men like never before.

“HOLIDAYS GOD”

ALTAR TO THE UNKNOWN GOD

(Acts 17:22-24,27-29,32-34) https://www.biblegateway.com/passage?search=Acts%2017:22-24,27-29,32-34&version=NLT

What does this world have in common with the ancient Athenian culture at Christmas?

I read in Acts 17 that the Athenians were worshipping an “unknown god.” They of course didn’t want to accidentally leave out some god whom they did not know and thus offend the divine. This is political correctness at its best (maybe worst) in ancient Athens.

“So Paul, standing before the council, addressed them as follows: “Men of Athens, I notice that you are very religious in every way, for as I was walking along I saw your many shrines. And one of your altars had this inscription on it: ‘To an Unknown God.’”

Satan, the god of this world, has led our contemporary culture down the same path of political correctness. Soon, there will not be much left of the historic meaning of Christmas. We are left with simply a hollow “winter holiday,” devoid of the Christ, devoid of its true meaning.

This is our challenge: As fewer and fewer people understand the true meaning of Christmas, we who know this God, like Paul, must declare Jesus, “whom they do not know” (Acts 17:23).

The world worships at the altar of the “holidays god,” whom they do not know. So, we must proclaim Jesus to them who do not know HIM and we must do so with joy at the opportunity. We say with Paul,

“This God, whom you worship without knowing, is the one I’m telling you about. He is the God who made the world and everything in it. Since he is Lord of heaven and earth, he doesn’t live in man-made temples, His purpose was for the nations to seek after God and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him—though he is not far from any one of us. For in him we live and move and exist. As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’ And since this is true, we shouldn’t think of God as an idol designed by craftsmen from gold or silver or stone.”

Christmas is a time to share the greatest message on earth; the message of the one true God. “Behold the virgin shall be with child, and shall bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel, meaning, God with us” (Matthew 1:23). He is, “The son of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).

He is God who can be known

He has a name

His name Is Immanuel

The God who is with us

Scripture says that some laughed and derided Paul. But others said, “We want to hear more…[and] some joined [Paul] and became believers.”

He is God who can be known

He has a name

His name Is Immanuel

The God who is with us

Election Prediction

Let your faith not be shaken by the affairs of men (Isa 25:6,8-11). #ComeLordJesus #JesusIsLord https://www.bible.com/116/isa.25.6,8-11.nlt

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

The affairs of men will not change God‘s plan.

It is clear that Isaiah‘s view here is apocalyptic and messianic. “In that day,“ is the Day of the Lord. “In that day,” the Lord will rule in richness and abundance. Death will be banished, a thing of the past. Elections? No bearing.

The cause of all tears will be eliminated – hurt, pain, suffering, sickness, persecutions – GONE! God has spoken! The people will shout, “YES! This is the One [Jesus Christ] in whom we have trusted. Finally, every enemy of God will be forever gone. Vanquished. Done. Elections? No bearing.

Lord, my rejoicing and confident heart does not even begin to express my inner excitement at the outcome of your promised return. Elections? No bearing.

To Speak or Not To Speak

Boldly speak up for Christ to those who know him not (Isa 24:1-3). #BoldWitness #Fearless https://www.bible.com/116/isa.24.1-3.nlt

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

How desperate will be those who know not the Lord at judgment – “Priests and people, servants and masters, maids and mistresses, buyers and sellers, lenders and borrowers, bankers and debtors. No one will be spared.” The Lord takes no pleasure in judgment. Yet it will come.

What to do? Can I go through my life knowing I have the answer for any man who wants a reason for the hope within me (1Pe 3:15)? On my watch, if I speak and no one listens, it’s on them. But if I do not speak at all, their lives are on me. Father, may I always be bold to speak fearlessly, clearly, for you.

The Christian & Social Media

What is the role of the Christian on social media and in this world generally?

Prompted by recent censorship of certain media posts by FaceBook and Twitter I righteously wrote these words on Face Book: “Really through with the FB/Twitter big tech arrogance. Been a user for a long time, but I’m canceling my accounts and open to looking for alternatives.”

Not long after my little tirade the Lord had his own prompt to make in my soul. It changed my outlook as a Christian on the social media giants. It changed the way I look at the platforms they afford Christians to make a positive impact, even if they choose to silence our voice. So I compiled these few prompts from history that have fed my faith values.

Jesus said Christians “are not of this world but in it.” (Jhn 17:16-18)

John The Apostle said Christians are to be “in the world but not of it.” (1Jn 2:15-17)

Ricky Skaggs said Christians should be “of the church but not in it.” (Bass Hall; CIRCA 1975)

Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945) said, “The Christian cannot simply take for granted the privilege of living among other Christians. Jesus Christ lived in the midst of his enemies. On the cross he was alone, surrounded by criminals and the jeering crowds. He had come for the express purpose of bringing peace to the enemies of God. So Christians, too, belong not in the seclusion of a cloistered life but in the midst of enemies. There they find their mission, their work.” (Bonhoeffer was a German pastor who died in a Nazi Germany concentration camp for his faith in Christ; he paid the High Cost of Discipleship)

Martin Luther (1483-1546) spoke these words. “To rule is to be in the midst of your enemies. And whoever will not suffer this does not want to be part of the rule of Christ; such a person wants to be among friends and sit among the roses and lilies, not with the bad people but the religious people. Oh, you blasphemers and betrayers of Christ! If Christ had done what you are doing who would ever have been saved?” (Luther was a German monk who forever changed the face of Christianity; he defied the Holy Catholic Church by challenging the dogma of the day with his 95 Theses, stating that salvation is by faith alone and not works)

I have yet to pay the price that any of these men in history have paid. I’m glad they stood faithful in the culture of their day, to speak their mind for the living God. In the end I had to seek the Lord’s forgiveness for my own self-righteousness. Imperfect as I am, it is humbly my goal, by God’s Spirit, to continue to influence men for Christ any where, any time, any place, in any way and on whatever platform God gives me.

One Assault, One Angel

Prayerful Preparation Produces Powerful Possibilities (2Ch 32:20–22). #OneAngel #LordOfHeavensArmies #PrayerPreparation https://www.bible.com/116/2ch.32.20-22.nlt

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

There is a saying in Texas – “One Riot, One Ranger.” Heaven also has a saying, “One Assault, One Angel.”

The fierce fighting monarch, King Sennacherib of Assyria, showed up in full battle array to assault Jerusalem’s gates. He sent messages taunting King Hezekiah and the citizens of the city (vv10–19). He mocked and derided Jehovah God.

Although smaller in numbers the people of Jerusalem were prayed up, prepared and putting faith in God (vv1-8). Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah cried out to the God of heaven. God sent ONE ANGEL and destroyed the whole Assyrian army. Sennacherib went home in disgrace, never to be heard from again – he was killed in the temple of his god, by his own sons. Lord, this one lone sentry has reason to prayerfully expect you to do great things in any given day.

Share The Light Of Christ

Reflect the warmth and the light of Christ in you to others (2Ch 30:1,6,8,9). #LetItShine https://www.bible.com/116/2ch.30.1,6,8-9.nlt

Photo by friend Bob Crocker, New Foundland

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

When God turns on the light of revival, when he pours out his Spirit on his people, that light within becomes brighter, warmer. There is a supernatural inclination to want to share that light. Just so, we see that good King Hezekiah was compelled to send runners throughout all of Judah, even to the brothers in the northern tribes of Israel. “Come, let’s us once again worship, celebrate renewal and give thanks to the Lord.”

Renewed joy and expectations were at an all-time high. God was speaking into the life of Judah. O, that God would speak new life into our lives today. Lord increase the light, increase the warmth, that America would know revival and awakening. Jesus said, “And I, when I am lifted up, will draw all people to myself.” (John 12:32 – NIV)

Lord, may the light within the sentry burn brightly and warmly, drawing others to you.

Is Revival, Awakening Happening?

Be prepared for God to release you in his service (2Ch 29:3–5,10-12). #Revival #SpiritualAwakening https:www.bible.com116/2ch.29.3-5,10-12.nlt

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

I may not know all the ways of God in the onset of revival or spiritual awakening, but I can see clues from God’s word. God used King Hezekiah in Judah to implement a fresh wind of revival. Through Hezekiah God released the Levites (his godly servants) to purify themselves and the temple. Then to perform the ministry they had previously been denied.

Today there seems to be a growing alertness in the people of God. There is a man in leadership who, though not perfect, is a friend toward God. Hostility towards him, the increase of darkness and violence in our society, may be a clue that God is moving in our midst.

Lord, intensify this sentry’s alertness and prayer for those who minister before you daily, who lead in the cleansing of our national sins.

“Git ‘R’ Done”

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Courageously face hardship/opposition to carry out ministry (Rom 15:25,31). #CourageousForJesus. https://www.bible.com/116/rom.15.25,31.nlt

Riots in Ephesus (Acts 19:23-41) had forced Paul (est 55-60 yrs old) to leave that city. He went to Macedonia. A plot on Paul’s life forced him to leave there. But before he left he took a benevolence offering for the poor believers in Jerusalem. He stopped in Corinth (Greece) temporarily. While there he wrote the Romans epistle.

Paul’s plan was to go on to Jerusalem (offering in hand). Then he would go to Spain to preach the gospel, stopping in Rome to meet these Christians. But first he must face opposition in Jerusalem by Jewish Christians who feel he is too influenced by Gentiles.

This Sentry’s prayer: Lord, may I be willing to face any hardship/opposition for the sake of the Gospel. Even if Christians misunderstand or wrongly attack my motives.

A Charge To Keep

May our lives be an encouragement and example to others (Rom 14:1,12,13; 15:1,7,16) #AChargeToKeep

https://www.bible.com/116/rom.14.1,12-13.nlt

https://www.bible.com/116/rom.15.1,7,16.nlt

My eternal charge, next to the spread of the gospel and to watch and pray is to build up, edify, all those in my path. I cannot effectively spread the Good News or, with good conscience, watch and pray, if I am at the same time tearing others down or causing them to stumble.

As I grow in Christ I am responsible to encourage others by my witness, prayers and Christlike example. This is my charge to keep – influence men for Christ. Lord, may this, my charge, be so for you.

Created For Glory

The injustices of men,

The violence of men,

The setbacks of men,

The failures of men,

The dissidence of men,

do not override the majesty of God.

Man was created for greater things than he has achieved. So bring your angry divided heart to a banquet of joy in Christ.

“O Lord, our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth! Your glory is higher than the heavens. You have taught children and infants to tell of your strength, silencing your enemies and all who oppose you. When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers— the moon and the stars you set in place— what are mere mortals that you should think about them, human beings that you should care for them? Yet you made them only a little lower than God and crowned them with glory and honor. You gave them charge of everything you made, putting all things under their authority… O Lord, our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth!” (Psalms 8:1-6, 9 NLT)

https://www.bible.com/116/psa.8.1-6,9.nlt

Where Is The Church In 2020?

AMERICA, yea even the world has been experiencing an upheaval of the COVID-19 pandemic, major social unrest and devastating economic fallout. The entire world has been in lockdown, sheltering in place, to slow the spread of a deadly virus. In midst of this life altering lockdown has come the cries of “police brutality” after the death of an African-American man in Minneapolis. The streets of cities large and small in America and around the world have been filled with protests and violence. 

I found myself expressing the notion to some that during this time in 

history, the church seems noticeably absent.

With “shelter in place,” cover your face and social distancing orders, people are not only cut off from each other, but Christians have had no voice. In fact they have been told not to gather for worship and if they did gather they were told, “Do not sing.” Couple this with the social unrest and clashes within our culture, there is a perfect storm. 

Where is the church? Why, she is locked away at home. Muzzled by a mask and not allowed to get close enough to anyone to have a conversation. Having a conversation is what the church does best. Let alone taking to streets and being at risk of not only a pandemic but also violence. Christians have been neatly stashed away while Satan, the evil one, the enemy of the hearts of men, runs loose in the streets and operates unhindered by the likes of any Holy effort inspired of God. 

The church has been reeling. BUT, she is getting her legs back under her. Christians have stepped up with online posts, blogs and webpages. They are online and they are not silent. Pastors are preaching to more folks than ever, online. New avenues of ministry are being sought after.

In addition, the numbers of online prayer calls have increased. Thousands of intercessors around the world are breaking the barriers in the atmosphere of cyber space. Their voices of praise, adoration, confession, repentance and surrender to a holy God are being lifted to the throne room of heaven daily. The church is showing up online with force and the power of the Holy Spirit to win the hearts of men. 

We are seeing answers to our prayers.

We are seeing clarification for parents and teachers about starting school up again in the fall. We’re not there yet, but we’re getting there. The spike in COVID-19 cases in Fla and Tex has begun to plateau.  

CBN News, July 21, 2020: 

Mike Ansari, who runs Mohabat TV, one of the most popular Christian satellite channels in Iran told CBN News that Mohabat TV is recording 10 times more online [conversions to Christ] than this time last year.[1]Ansari says, “We are registering around 3,000 personal decisions by Iranian Muslims to leave Islam for Christianity during this ‘COVIDF revival’” That’s three thousand people each month who have decided to follow Jesus Christ since the pandemic began in March, [2020]. 

The large number of people leaving Islam is causing a backlash against the church. Dozens of Christians have been arrested and imprisoned for responding to the gospel message since March, [2020].

Kingsley Clement Reports on July 19, 2020, hundreds marching for Jesus over the Brooklyn Bridge.[2] This is the church taking Jesus to the streets

A friend working in Church Relations at the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention reported to me on July 13, 2020, that SBTC pastors and SBTC staffers are proposing, “RETHINK.” Rethink ministry. Re think Evangelism. Rethink opportunity. Rethink church. Rethink, Rethink, Rethink.

So … Where Is The Church In 2020?

“She IS here. She IS present and she IS accounted for. 

Jesus Has NOT Forsaken His Beautiful Radiant Bride!”

ALL GLORY TO GOD!

[1]https://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/world/2020/july/spiritual-pandemic-of-hope-grips-iran-as-thousands-accept-jesus-christ-amidst-covid-19

[2]https://www.facebook.com/kingsley.clement.39/videos/2723506047932856