Bible Truth Restored

Bible Truth Restored

If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.           1 Peter 4:11

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Bulletin - Dated 14th December 2013

 

 



UP AND DOING FOR THE LORD

The longest period of time that anyone has gone without sleep is, apparently, eleven days - a world record set by an American in 1964. From the fourth day he experienced extreme hallucinations, a phenomenon that is common for anyone who approaches three days without sleep. Scientists like to call these hallucinations “dream intrusions.” Our mind needs to work hard during sleep to organise and file all the emotional and factual data we come across in life; if it doesn’t get the opportunity to do this while we are awake, then performance can soon suffer and eventually dream intrusions will set in.
                   
   Yet the Bible focuses on the flip side of the coin when it uses the metaphor of sleep for spiritual teaching. It tells of the dangers of too much sleep rather than the risks of sleep deprivation. The point seems to be that, as far as human nature generally is concerned, it is more likely that we shall be lazy (being too easy on ourselves) than that we shall push ourselves too hard. While it might be valuable to have an exhortation about taking rest, it’s more likely that we shall need one about waking up and getting down to it! The classic passage on all of this is the one from Proverbs:

“Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: who having no guide, overseer, or ruler, provides her meat in the summer, and gathers her food in the harvest. How long will you sleep, O sluggard? when will you arise out of your sleep? Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: so shall your poverty come as one that travels, and your want as an armed man” (6:6-11).

 With the Lord Jesus himself we see a delicate balancing. It was right for him to come apart into a desert place to rest with his disciples as the pressures mounted, but it was also right for him to rise up a great while before day, and deprive himself of the sleep he could so easily have justified, so that he could pray to his Father.
But Jesus needed to talk to his Father, so he prioritised. We may sometimes be too soft on ourselves, and it’s always wise to review habits and routines. Although it is true that his ministry took place over a particularly intense and concentrated three-year period whereas most of us must sustain discipleship for much longer, the fact remains that he is our prime example.

When did we last put ourselves out physically for God? It can quickly become all too much of a pattern to excuse ourselves from meetings, prayers or Bible readings or other activities because of tiredness. There is a time to fold one’s hands and sleep, yet we are primarily to be children of the day who should be alert and ready to serve. Though we cannot prescribe for others, we must examine ourselves.

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