a.k.a. pay attention

• Throughout the Bible we find multitudes of warnings.
• One of those warnings that we need to continually beware of is the need to watch.
• So I want to remind us about our need to WATCH.

• The Need to Watch
• 1 Corinthians 16:13, “Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong.”
• Ephesians 6:18, in describing “the gospel armor” Paul reminds us to be “praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—”
• 1 Peter 4:7, “But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers.”
• 2 Timothy 4:5 – Timothy was told to be watchful in all things as he did his work.
• Revelation 3:2-3 – the church at Sardis was told, “Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God. Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you.”
• These are just a handful of passages that call for us to WATCH in various aspects of our lives.

• Why we need to Watch
• The devil is at work –
• 1 Peter 5:8, while not using the word “watch” we are warned to be sober and vigilant (WATCH) because our adversary, the devil, walks about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour.
• 2 Corinthians 2:11 challenges us to not be ignorant of the devices of Satan.

• Why we need to Watch
• Because the Lord is returning -
• From time to time, we have heard lessons addressing false attempts to set the time of our Lord’s return.
• We have identified the failures both by example and as they contradict clear scriptural teaching.
• BUT, even though such efforts are error that does not change the fact that as Christians we need to be watchful.
• Dealing with the Lord’s return 1 Thessalonians 5:6 says, “Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober.”
• In Matthew 24:42-43, Jesus said in a passage I believe to be about His 2nd coming, “Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into.” (Matthew 24:42–43, NKJV)

• Why we need to Watch
• Because error is just around the corner –
• We are always just one generation away from apostasy.
• All it takes is a generation that does not ground the next generation in the truth of God’s word.
• Sadly, we are seeing it all around us.
• Acts 20:31, Paul warned the elders at Ephesus to WATCH because savage wolves would enter and devour the flock.
• Hebrews 13:17 – we are to respect our elders because they watch out for our souls.
• Colossians 2:8 tells us, “Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.”

• Why we need to Watch
• Lest we fall away
• WE have to be careful that we do not let down our guard in our lives.
• We need to guard against complacency.
• Hebrews 3:12 says, “Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God;”
• “Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away.” Hebrews 2:1
• Peter warned His audience to be steadfast noting, “You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked;” (2 Peter 3:17)

• SOME things we should WATCH
• Words –
• We ought to read James 3:1-12 frequently.
• In it we find the danger of the tongue.
• James warns us of the dangers of failing to control our tongues.
• He also notes how it becomes a gauge for the rest of our lives.
• IF we can control our tongues, we can control our whole bodies.
• There are so many ways that our tongues can get us into trouble – lying, gossip, filthy language, criticism, hurtful words, etc.
• “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.” (Ephesians 4:29)
• Proverbs 25:11 says, “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold In settings of silver.”
• Matthew 25:36-37 warns us that for every idle word we speak, we will give an accounting.
• Proverbs 21:23 says, “Whoever guards his mouth and tongue Keeps his soul from troubles.”
• David prayed, “Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips.” (Psalm 141:3)

• SOME things we should WATCH
• Actions –
• What we do is equally important as what we say.
• That is why we need to watch our actions.
• A cursory study of the New Testament reveals that the life of a Christian is about being busy.
• It consists of things that you do and things that you are not to do.
• Matthew 7:21-23 – it is he who does the will of the Father in heaven.
• Matthew 5:16 – Let you light so shine that they see your good works.
• Our example – which includes our actions definitely affect others.
• In dealing with brethren 1 Corinthians 8:9 (and other passages) tell us how our actions affect others.

• SOME things we should WATCH
• Thoughts -
• What we think is emphasized in scripture.
• Philippians 4:8 gives us a list of things we ought to “meditate” on (KJV – “think on these things”).
• 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 speaks of bringing our thoughts into captivity.
• The way we think has a bearing on what we become and how we react in given circumstances.
• There is something to be said about being optimistic (though not prideful or arrogant).
• ALSO, how often do we jump to conclusions because of what we think without investigating?
• Truly, we need to WATCH our thoughts.

• SOME things we should WATCH
• Company -
• We need to WATCH the company we keep as well.
• 1 Corinthians 15:33 warns us that evil company corrupts good habits.
• Proverbs 1:10-15 finds Solomon warning his son to consider his friends carefully.
• Similarly, we need to seek to be with our brethren.
• Ephesians 5:21 calls for us to submit to one another.
• Galatians 6:1 – we seek to restore a brother who is overtaken in sin. To do this, we need to be watchful.

• SOME things we should WATCH
• Heart –
• WE have engaged in extensive study of the heart. It is something we need
• to be concerned about.
Provebs 4:23 tells us that out of the heart springs the issues of life.
It concerns our words –
• Matthew 12:34-35, out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.
It concerns our actions –
• Proverbs 16:9 - “A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.”
It concerns our thoughts –
• Matthew 15:19, out of the heart we find evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, etc. The things that defile a man.
It concerns our company -
• Proverbs 16:19, “Better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly, Than to divide the spoil with the proud.”
• Jesus taught us that the pure in heart will see God – Matthew 5:8

• Conclusion
• Many other things could be added to this list (our prayers, watching ourselves as we deal with brethren overtaken in sin, etc.), but these are sufficient to show us that we need to be watchful in all things.
• What about you?
• Are you alert and watching so that God is pleased with you?
• Consider and remember!

By Carey Scott from an outline by Tommy Thornhill

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