Rise & Shine

2019-01-06Rise-and-shine.jpg

God intended His church to stand out, not to be asleep, so that others may come to know Him. Satan has a lullaby - apathy and complacency. A lack of interest, a lack of concern, a lack of enthusiasm. The devil is not concerned that we’re in church, in fact he encourages is so long as we are ineffective while we do it. If we can attend church but be apathetic about the lives of other people, then we are no danger to him.

From the beginning of time God has sounded an alarm to wake His people and make them effective. The people Isaiah was preaching to in about 700 BC are not any different than we are now - they have gotten sleepy and need to have an alarm raised to draw them to attention.

Scriptures used: Isaiah 60:1-3, Proverbs 6:6-11

Full sermon notes below:

Rise and Shine

Isaiah 60:1-3

Darkness comes on the earth - there are times where it seems like people have turned so far from God. Today may not be the worst the world has ever been. God did destroy Sodom and Gomorrah and then He destroyed the entire earth in Noah’s day because of wickedness. Nevertheless, there is a darkness in the world today and we are being called by God to, “rise and shine!”

God intended His church to stand out, not to be asleep, so that others may come to know Him. Satan has a lullaby - apathy and complacency. A lack of interest, a lack of concern, a lack of enthusiasm. The devil is not concerned that we’re in church, in fact he encourages is so long as we are ineffective while we do it. If we can attend church but be apathetic about the lives of other people, then we are no danger to him.

From the beginning of time God has sounded an alarm to wake His people and make them effective. The people Isaiah was preaching to in about 700 BC are not any different than we are now - they have gotten sleepy and need to have an alarm raised to draw them to attention.

For most of us, an alarm is necessary to get us started on our day. And alarms are not a gentle, soothing melody - they’re an annoying ring or buzz so that we don’t drift back off to sleep. If we’re asleep, we are not aware of the dangers around us - that’s where the enemy would like to keep us. If a tornado is raging outside, you would think we would be awake and aware, but we can easily sleep right through the danger because we’re just not aware of what’s going on around us. With all of the dangers and difficulties in the world around us today, you would think people would want to be Christians and have that safety and security that comes from a relationship with God, but that’s not the case. We’re sleeping through the danger.

Proverbs 6:6-11

Look at the ant, you bum! It needs no one to tell it that it needs to be prepared for what’s coming - build up food for hard times that will one day come. Jesus warned us that a day would come when we would be hated for His name’s sake. We can see the animosity toward Christians growing all the time. Are we taking the opportunity to save up the Word of God in our heart to prepare for it?

Examples of God’s people being asleep on the job:

  • Jonah became apathetic. The city of Nineveh was a wicked people, but God was giving them a last chance to change their ways before being judged. While Jonah was on the ship heading in the opposite direction of where God was sending him, he went down into the ship and went to sleep. He clearly had no concern for the Ninevites who were headed to destruction. God has to send a storm as an alarm to wake Jonah up. “Wake up and call on your God!”

  • Samson was the strongest man in the world - no one could stand against him. He killed 1,000 men with the jawbone of a donkey! But he, too, had weaknesses and Satan knew what his buttons were (he knows what all of our buttons are!). Samson’s weakness was women and over a period of time, he drifted further and further from his calling and purpose by compromising. First the honey from the carcass he shouldn’t have touched, then the marriage to a woman who was not only not Jewish, but actively working for the enemy. Every time he went to sleep, she would do something to undermine his strength (and he kept going along with it!). What is the enemy doing to rob us of our strength and our power - maybe it seems obvious to everyone else, but we’re ignorantly walking right into our destruction.

  • The parable of the 10 virgins - 5 were wise enough to be prepared, but 5 were foolish and unprepared. When the bridegroom came, they were all asleep and only those who were prepared ahead of time were able to rise and act when the time came.

  • In another parable, a man sows wheat seed in his field, but while asleep, an an enemy came and planted weeds among the wheat.

  • As Jesus prayed over the massive task He was about to undertake at Calvary and asked the disciples to pray for Him. And they fell asleep. Over and over, they fell asleep. Their spirits were willing but their flesh was weak, according to Jesus.

This is the first Sunday in January. What better way to start our year than to be reminded by God to be awake!? Not a flimsy New Year’s resolution that will be forgotten in a week or two… but if we are to heed God’s alarm, quit hitting the snooze button on God’s calling, we could be prepared and ready!