Matthew 24:42; Mark 13:37; Luke 21:36; Revelation 3:3
People have different experiences in life that make them lose what they already have. They fail to watch when it matters most. It happens in times of weakness or wealth, affliction and abundance, temptation and triumph, conflict and conquest, hardship and happiness. Esau failed to watch over his birthright when he was weak and hungry. David did not watch when temptation came to him and he fell. Gideon could not manage his triumph and he yielded to idolatry. But the Lord wants His children to watch, whatever is happening to them or around them. Believers in Christ are to be on guard against the enemy at all times in spite of their prevailing situation.
In the human body, every part is important, but some parts are more important than others. The head is more important than the fingers; the heart that circulates blood is more important than the arms. We must therefore give priority to certain aspects of life to remain alive. Difficulties and challenges come and go but life must be protected and preserved in order to sustain it. There are many parts to the Christian ministry, but some aspects are more important than others and Christian believers must watch so that the enemy does not take advantage of their carelessness. Before Jesus went to the Cross, He told His disciples to watch. After His resurrection and ascension to heaven, He repeated the same warning. Now, from His exalted position at the right hand of the Father’s Throne the message remains the same. “Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.”
1. FOUNDATION EXPERIENCES FOR ALL MEN
Psalm 11:3; 2 Timothy 2:19; Matthew 12:37; 1 Samuel 2:3; Proverbs 24:9; Isaiah 55:7; 1 Timothy 4:2; Proverbs 4:20,21,23.
The foundation of a building or family is very important to the survival of the building or family. If the foundation of an individual’s Christian life is destroyed for lack of watching, there is little he or she can do. The Lord enjoins believers whose foundations are firmly rooted in Christ to ensure that they flee or depart from iniquity. They are to guard and watch over their Christian foundations with all carefulness. The desire in their hearts to follow Christ to the end must be sustained by all means. God’s call to every true follower of Christ is to watch. Moses, a great man of God who brought the children of Israel out of Egypt was caught unawares when the people provoked him to anger because they had no water to drink. God had told him to speak to the Rock, not the people but he called the people, “rebels” and struck the Rock two times. He lost the opportunity he had been waiting for forty years – to lead the children of Israel to the land of Canaan. Christians should be careful not to lose their labor of many years for a few minutes of speaking angry words. Therefore, we should watch our words, “For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words, thou shalt be condemned”; constantly evaluate our actions; control our thoughts; keep our conscience tender and sensitive, and our hearts with all diligence.
2. FUNDAMENTAL ESSENTIALS IN MINISTRY
Luke 1:17; Colossians 1:28; Isaiah 56:10; 1 Corinthians 16:9,13; 2 Timothy 4:3-5; Acts 20:28; Psalm 26:8.
The fundamental thing in ministry is to prepare for the second coming of Christ. Getting to heaven is more important than any other thing in this world and every Christian believer should make this a guiding principle in the service of the Lord. Our preparation to be with God in eternity should dictate our actions. It amounts to a waste of life if believers are busy with church activities but they are not ready for eternity. If people are not ready for the rapture despite their labor for the Lord, they have wasted their time. God is not interested in the size of our cathedral, bank account, or the quality of our music. The fundamental thing is to get people saved, sanctified, pure and rupturable. If leaders are going to present a perfect church to Christ they must watch over the people under them. To uphold the fundamental things effectively, Christian servants must watch over the watchmen or workers under them to ensure that they maintain their Christian experiences; watch against the adversaries that want to destroy the church or oppose the true gospel; they must preserve the truth so that believers do not turn to fables because we live in days of apostasy; they should watch over the congregation to ensure it conforms to standard; and watch over God’s habitation where people worship Him to make sure it is conducive for fellowship, else the church will not grow.
3. FRUITFUL EVANGELIZATION BY ALL MEMBERS
Acts 8:4; Psalm 68:11; 2 Corinthians 10:4; 1 John 2:27; 1 Corinthians 7:29; Philippians 3:13,14; Matthew 13:24,25,28.
Christians should be motivated and mobilized to evangelize sinners outside the church. Every member should help others to come to the church. “The Lord gave the word: great was the company of those that published it.” Everyone who knows the Lord must join the great company of the publishers of the gospel. If believers, as soldiers of the Lord are going to succeed in the business of soul-winning, they must carry the weapons of our warfare needed in dealing with demons of religion, ideologies of men, principalities and powers and demon-possessed sinners. The spiritual armor of God is capable of canceling, conquering and crushing the strongholds of the enemy. The believer should watch over the anointing in his life that breaks the yoke and penetrates the heart of sinners; he should watch his time, unlike the children of Israel who missed the blessings of God because they did not know the time of their visitation. Then he should watch his calling which is high, holy and heavenly so that he can take the ship of the people of God safely to harbor. Finally, he should watch over the harvest so that the enemy does not sow tares among the wheat. There are priorities in life and ministry and believers must be diligent enough to watch over them.
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1. Thy Word is a lamp to my feet,
A light to my path always;
To guide and to save me from sin,
And show me the heavenly way.
Thy word have I hid in my heart,…
That I might not sin against Thee,…
That I might not sin, that I might not sin
Thy word have I hid in my heart.
2. Forever, O Lord, is Thy word
Established and fixed on high;
Thy faithfulness unto all men
Abideth forever nigh.
3. In the morning, at noon, and at night
I ever will give Thee praise;
For Thou art my portion, O Lord,
And shall be through all my days!
4. Thro’ Him whom Thy Word hath foretold,
The Saviour and Morning Star,
Salvation and peace have been brought
To those who have strayed afar.