Awake, Sleeper, And Rise Up From The Dead

Aug 21

Awake, Sleeper, And Rise Up From The Dead

And Christ will shine on you!

What a promise from Ephesians 5:14! I don’t know if any denominations use this verse in their liturgies, but if not, they should! I’ve already got a tune written out on how it would be sung by the congregation every Sunday. And who knows, perhaps people would heed the words and listen to the sermon! 🙂

While the American church is largely in a comatose state, there is the magnificent exception. Those small pockets of people in our congregations who are alive and well!

Ah, what a breath of fresh air! These are the people who prove that Jesus did indeed rise from the dead, and that the Holy Spirit is a real gift to the church! It seems most churches, no matter how dead or decaying they may be, have one or two people like this. It’s probably the biggest reason why those churches have not yet closed their doors. These people are like God’s best-kept secret agents in His kingdom.

Every church I’ve attended has had at least one of these people. I’ve often imagined…what would it look like to assemble all of these people together in worship, in evangelism, in discipleship, in fellowship…? Of course, the answer to that question is easy: it would look like the bride of Christ! Not just by name only, but in truth.

Sometimes it is hard to be such a person in the midst of a comatose church. You easily become discouraged by what you see around you. Or more accurately, what you don’t see around you. You wonder, “Where is the passion for Jesus here? Why is no one else jumping in with both feet into Christ’s mission?”

Discouragement turns to resentment. “Why do I give my life for Christ–for His church–for His mission, and those to whom I serve just eat it all up and want to consume more, yet they are unwilling to serve others themselves?”

No, I’m not talking from personal experience, ha!

The problem is, when we get into this kind of mindset, we have been derailed. Now we are feeling pride by comparing ourselves to others. Pride is not attractive. It is butt ugly. So we are no longer shining as the bride of Christ. Yikes. We are also making the too-easy mistake that our battle is with flesh and blood. It is not–it is against spiritual forces that have such people in our congregations bound in a comatose state. We have to fight for such people from Satan’s grasp. Not fight against them. In addition, we forget that ultimately, we are not giving our lives to these ungrateful people–we are giving our lives to Christ.

That is hard. It is hard to give to people who are selfish. It is hard to sacrifice to people who refuse to sacrifice. It is hard to give your time to people who seem to have no time to give to the church, the world, or to Christ. But do not grow weary in doing good. Do not let your beauty fade away. Stay beautiful for Jesus. He is coming back for such a bride–one with no spot or wrinkle.

You secret agents have been an encouragement to me, and you are encouraging others as well. You WILL reap in due season, if you faint not.

THIS IS FOR YOU, PEOPLE WHO ARE AWAKE! We are the free–but HIS is the glory!!!!!

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