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Friday, January 29, 2010

Devotional Friday - "So Sleepy" by Pastor Rick Klueg


Devotional Friday
"So Sleepy" by Pastor Rick Klueg from The Baptist Church of Northville


1 Thessalonians 5:6
So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled

The other night, my wife hit me. I guess that makes us even, because I hit her a good one a few years ago. The circumstances were the same both times: We were sound asleep and having a dream. In my dream, I was involved in a fight with someone, and I punched her on the arm in my sleep. In her dream, Barb said it was something about a giant snake she had to fight off. In both instances, the victim did not take anything personally. You cannot hold anyone responsible for an action taken during sleep! Speaking spiritually, however, God warns us to not be like others, who are asleep!

This verse challenges us to be alert and self-controlled, in contrast to being asleep. The issue is not physical sleep, but this is being used as an analogy for one’s spiritual stance. When someone is asleep, he is unaware of his surroundings. Once I fall asleep at night, I am usually “dead to the world.” I sleep through thunderstorms, sirens, and just about anything else. That is a blessing as far as getting proper rest, but it would make it easy for someone to assault or rob me.
The Greek word used here (the name “Gregory” is derived from it) means to keep awake and be watchful. When I worked as a night watchmen at a boys’ detention center, it was my responsibility to stay awake so that the boys would not escape. We, likewise, need to be spiritually watchful, aware of all that is going on around us. We dare not let Satan find his way into our lives unchallenged. We need to be alert.
A second characteristic of sound sleep is that the sleeper is not in control of his or her actions. I am horrified at the thought of punching my wife, but during that dream I was not able to think and process my actions properly. Sometimes sleeping youngsters will hurt themselves as they roll out of bed. Others damage their teeth by involuntarily clenching them during sleep. They would not think of doing such things if they were awake, but those who are sleeping do not have complete self-control.
Interestingly, the word translated self-controlled is a Greek word that originally referred to being sober, free from the debilitating effects of alcohol. The idea is that there are certain conditions in which a person can be “out of it,” not able to think and act normally. Unlike those who do not know Christ, we are to always maintain a conscious, deliberate control over our actions. Overuse of alcohol is one way to lose that control, but it may be lost any number of other ways, from self-indulgence to apathy.

In a world filled with evil spirits and worldly temptations, and in an age when our Lord could come again at any time, we cannot afford to fall asleep for a moment!
Biblical Doctrine: Soteriology – Although we are securely “in Christ” by our justification, we need carefully to maintain a constant, conscious relationship with our Lord.
My Responsibility: Do not let the world, the flesh, and the devil lull me to spiritual slumber.
Question: Would you say that most Christians today are a bit on the “sleepy” side?
Prayer: Lord keep me awake, fully alert to all that is happening around me, and fully in control of my actions and reactions.



3 ***COMMENT HERE***:

Shelby said...

Yes...I htink some Christians are on the sleepy side

Anne Morgan said...

Everything stems from what we really believe is real. We (as a church in general) have become so complacent with our faith. We've swung the pendulum towards His grace & mercy and have left His righteousness and holiness behind. Christ was right to call this age "lukewarm".
Thanks for the reminder, Pastor.

sartinjohn said...

Yes, it is easy to fall asleep. I think of my drives home at 2am, and how tired I am. There are many times I find myself falling asleep driving, so I must turn the volume up on the radio, or roll down the window to stay awake. Sometimes as Christians we must find ways to not fall asleep in our walk with Christ. Such things as turning up the power of prayer, and reading Gods word. Help me Lord not to fall asleep in my walk with Christ.

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