Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Are you sleepy?

I Thessalonians 5:6---"Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober."

Most would agree that we live in uncertain times. Not only is our economy in flux, but so are our laws by which we are governed! Not only in our own country, but in nations around the globe.

As someone once said, "The times, they are a changin'."

Normally, most folks resist change when it's thrust upon them. But it seems that many folks these days are hardly aware enough to resist the changes we are facing on the world scene! They just seem to go along with things as if everything is going to remain the same, and the status quo will be maintained.

Unfortunately, the church, the body of Christ, is caught up with the rest of the world in this strange malaise. Our eyelids are growing heavier and heavier; we struggle to stay awake to watch and pray, to stand and obey.

Remember when our L-rd Jesus Christ was in the Garden of Gethsemane? He told his disciples to, ".....tarry ye here, and watch with me". What did they do? Not being able to stay awake, they slept!

The L-rd had been warning them recently about his death. He had tried to prepare them. But it just didn't sink in. Even though the L-rd had been their constant Companion for three years, they seemed clueless regarding His ultimate mission. They didn't sense the importance and significance of His request to watch with Him. So they slept.

It's interesting that we are commanded again and again, throughout the Scriptures, to watch!
Now, I ask you, How can one watch if one is asleep? Do you think a sleepy watchman is a good watchman? What happens when a guard falls asleep while on watch duty?

The consequences of sleeping on duty are serious, and the punishment also. The enemy is allowed to creep in and attack, wreaking havoc, gaining ground. A guard who falls asleep on duty is derelict in his responsibility which is a betrayal of his fellow-soldiers! His self-indulgent behavior risks the well-being and very life of his compatriots.

Are we not told that we're to be good soldiers of Christ? Yet, we sleep on.

I Corinthians 16:13---"Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong."

Colossians 4:2---"Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving."

II Timothy 4:5---"But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions...."

Not only are we to watch, for our own sakes----but we are to watch for the welfare of others, also.

Friends, we have a responsibility to be watchful for one another. Yet, what troubles me is that oftentimes there is such little concern for others within the body. Many of our congregations name our prayer requests in church each week. But how many of us really carry those requests with us throughout the weeks and months, faithfully bearing each others' burdens? We may take up space in a pew, sing a few hymns, listen to a sermon, but are we really part of the fellowship? Do we care for one another as the Bible instructs us?

Love is an action verb! The disciples said they loved the L-rd. He asked them to watch with Him....but they slept.

We say we love the L-rd. But are we any different in our behavior? It's one thing to say we love the L-rd, another to live it. We say we love one another, but do we demonstrate that love? Are we more concerned for others than ourselves?

We are also to watch for His appearing!

Are we asleep when it comes to that, too? I fear that many of us who call ourselves Christians think little about the L-rd coming in the clouds for us. Why, if more of us had that on our minds and hearts, wouldn't we see more faithfulness in church? Wouldn't we see more unselfishness among the brethren? Wouldn't we be living as if the L-rd were coming back any minute?

Instead, we are so caught up in this world system. Our jobs and pleasures and various other time-consuming (or wasting) activities consume our thoughts and energies. Meanwhile, we barely make time in our week to worship and think upon G-d and His Word. We are more busy earning a living, spending money, entertaining ourselves, being sidetracked by the enemy, that we, in all honesty, do not give the L-rd the priority He should have in our hearts and lives.

Not only do we suffer the spiritual consequences of that, but so do our families and churches.

No.....we indulge ourselves in sleep. Even though the L-rd has been trying to warn and prepare us.........we sleep on our watch.

Revelation 3:3---"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 the hour I will come upon thee."

I Peter 4:7---"But the end of all things is at hand; be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer."

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