Lesson 8 – Watch, Work, and Pray

Lesson 8 – Watch, Work, and Pray2015-10-27T05:32:30+00:00

Sabbath, February 20, 2010

“There are three watchwords in the Christian life, which must be heeded if we would not have Satan steal a march upon us; namely, Watch, pray, work.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, p. 283.

Watching

1. What counsel do the Holy Scriptures give in regard to being able to stand when the Lord appears?
Matthew 24:42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.
Luke 21:36 Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.

Why is it so necessary to be watchful?

Matthew 26:41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
James 1:12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.

“God in His great love is seeking to develop in us the precious graces of His Spirit. He permits us to encounter obstacles, persecution, and hardships, not as a curse, but as the greatest blessing of our lives. Every temptation resisted, every trial bravely borne, gives us a new experience and advances us in the work of character building. The soul that through divine power resists temptation reveals to the world and to the heavenly universe the efficiency of the grace of Christ.” –God’s Amazing Grace, p. 114.

2. What huge risk threatens one who is not constantly watchful?
1 Peter 5:8, 9 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.
Revelation 12:17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

“He who overcomes must watch; for, with worldly entanglements, error, and superstition, Satan strives to win Christ’s followers from Him. It is not enough that we avoid glaring dangers and perilous, inconsistent moves. We are to keep close to the side of Christ, walking in the path of self-denial and sacrifice. We are in an enemy’s country. He who was cast out of heaven has come down with great power. With every conceivable artifice and device he is seeking to take souls captive. Unless we are constantly on guard we shall fall an easy prey to his unnumbered deceptions.” –God’s Amazing Grace, p. 332.

Working

3. What commission did Jesus give to His disciples in every age? Can does one hasten the Lord’s return?
Matthew 28:19, 20 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
Matthew 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.
Mark 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

“Let the warning be given them before it is too late. We should now feel the responsibility of laboring with intense earnestness to impart to others the truths that God has given for this time. We cannot be too much in earnest.

“The heart of God is moved. Souls are very precious in His sight. It was for this world that Christ wept in agony; for this world He was crucified. God gave His only-begotten Son to save sinners, and He desires us to love others as He has loved us. He desires to see those who have a knowledge of the truth imparting this knowledge to their fellow men.

“Now is the time for the last warning to be given. There is a special power in the presentation of the truth at the present time; but how long will it continue? Only a little while. If there was ever a crisis, it is now.

“All are now deciding their eternal destiny. Men need to be aroused to realize the solemnity of the time, the nearness of the day when human probation shall be ended. Decided efforts should be made to bring the message for this time prominently before the people. The third angel is to go forth with great power. Let none ignore this work or treat it as of little importance.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, p. 16.

4. The Lord gives one or more talents to each of His disciples. Examine your own talents and how you are using them to benefit those for whom the Lord gave His life.
1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

“We are waiting and watching for the grand and awful scene which will close up this earth’s history. But we are not simply to be waiting; we are to be vigilantly working with reference to this solemn event. The living church of God will be waiting, watching, and working. None are to stand in a neutral position. All are to represent Christ in active, earnest effort to save perishing souls.” –Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, p. 163.

“The work is before us; will we engage in it? We must work fast, we must go steadily forward. We must be preparing for the great day of the Lord. We have no time to lose, no time to be engaged in selfish purposes. The world is to be warned. What are we doing as individuals to bring the light before others? God has left to every man his work; every one has a part to act, and we cannot neglect this work except at the peril of our souls.” –Selected Messages, book 1, p. 126.

“Christ calls upon us to labor patiently and perseveringly for the thousands perishing in their sins, scattered in all lands, like wrecks on a desert shore. Those who share in Christ’s glory must share also in His ministry, helping the weak, the wretched, and the despondent.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 9, p. 31.

5. Is it safe to put off the work for some later time?
John 9:4 I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
Matthew 24:46 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.

“We have no time to lose. The end is near. The passage from place to place to spread the truth will soon be hedged with dangers on the right hand and on the left. Everything will be placed to obstruct the way of the Lord’s messengers, so that they will not be able to do that which it is possible for them to do now. We must look our work fairly in the face and advance as fast as possible in aggressive warfare. From the light given me of God I know that the powers of darkness are working with intense energy from beneath, and with stealthy tread Satan is advancing to take those who are now asleep, as a wolf taking his prey. We have warnings now which we may give, a work now which we may do; but soon it will be more difficult than we can imagine. God help us to keep in the channel of light, to work with our eyes fastened on Jesus our Leader, and patiently, perseveringly press on to gain the victory.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, p. 22.

“How many will mourn for lost opportunities when it is eternally too late! Today we have talent and opportunity, but we know not how long these may be ours. Then let us work while it is day; for the night cometh, in which no man can work. ‘Blessed is that servant, whom his Lord when He cometh shall find so doing.’” –Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, p. 167.

“Probationary time will not permit of long-protracted years of drill. God calls; hear His voice as He says, ‘Go work today in My vineyard.’ Matthew 21:28. Now, just now, is the time to work….” –Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, p. 415.

Praying

6. Prayer was a necessity and a privilege for Jesus. If the Saviour of humanity felt the need of prayer, what should we feel about the necessity of steadfast, fervent prayer?
Romans 12:12 Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer.
Ephesians 6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.
1 Thessalonians 5:17 Pray without ceasing.

“In the work of heart-keeping we must be instant in prayer, unwearied in petitioning the throne of grace for assistance. Those who take the name of Christian should come to God in earnestness and humility, pleading for help. The Saviour has told us to pray without ceasing. The Christian can not always be in the position of prayer, but his thoughts and desires can always be upward. Our self-confidence would vanish, did we talk less and pray more.” –The Youth’s Instructor, March 5, 1903.

“God in His providence does not permit us to know the end from the beginning; but He gives us the light of His word to guide us as we pass along, and bids us to keep our minds stayed upon Jesus. Wherever we are, whatever our employment, our hearts are to be uplifted to God in prayer. This is being instant in prayer. We need not wait until we can bow upon our knees, before we pray.” –Historical Sketches of the Foreign Missions of the Seventh-day Adventists, p. 144.

7. Knowing that the devil is walking about seeking to devour everyone, how confident can one be that the prayer of faith is a weapon capable of thwarting every assault of the enemy, for the honor of the Son of Man?
Luke 21:36 Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.

“The assaults of Satan are strong, his delusions are subtle; but the Lord’s eye is upon His people….

“He does not leave His people to be overcome by Satan’s temptations…. To those who call upon Him for strength for the development of Christian character, He will give all needed help.

“God’s faithful, praying ones are, as it were, shut in with Him. They themselves know not how securely they are shielded. Urged on by Satan, the rulers of this world are seeking to destroy them; but could the eyes of God’s children be opened… they would see angels of God encamped about them, holding in check the hosts of darkness.” –Prophets and Kings, pp. 589, 590.

For meditation

“While we must often impress the mind with the fact that the Christian life is a life of warfare, that we must watch and pray and toil, that there is peril to the soul in relaxing the spiritual vigilance for one moment, the completeness of the salvation proffered us from Jesus who loves us and gave Himself that we should not perish but have everlasting life, is to be the theme.” –Selected Messages, book 1, p. 182.

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