Summary: God calls us to break out of our borders of worship and church. We serve a limitless God so why not give limitless service?
In this story, God calls on us to go beyond our borders! It’d be nice if we realized that our power and purpose do not lie solely within these walls! The church building is a funny building because its contradictory! All other buildings exist to keep out the bad elements! The church building oughta be trying to attract the bad element! What right do we have to vote somebody into the body of Christ? Jesus said “whosoever will…” When you think about it: the church is the only institution with borders. Doctors make housecalls. They have programs where you can take classes at home. Restaurants have takeout! Its time for the church to do takeout!
Morning service is not service! The service is in what we take out to the world! Service is going out into the streets praying for some folk! Service is going to the jails! Service is visiting the sick and shut-in! Service is mentoring that boy or girl who doesn’t have the greatest parental role models!
Yes God wants a church without borders! And he means that literally as in going outside of the building but he also means that figuratively. Some of us put borders around our worship! We just flat out declared how far we’d go when worshipping God! The problem with that is those are physical limitations and worship isn’t supposed to be physical in the first place! We don’t worship in the flesh but rather in spirit and in truth!
I can’t go limiting the spirit! Its impossible to limit the spirit and keep him in borders cause where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty! I’m free! Free to let go and let God have his way in me! When the spirit of the Lord comes upon my heart I’ll feel free to dance like David danced! When the spirit of the Lord comes upon my heart I’ll feel free to pray like David prayed! When the spirit of the Lord comes upon my heart I’ll feel free to shout like David shouted!… You sit and stare like bib lettuce if you want but I’ve made up in my mind to give my limitless God, limitless worship!
Paul had it right! He was on time! The faithful believer worshipped with believers wherever he was. He was in Troas on the oceanfront for seven days, which means he was there on Sunday. No doubt he was tired, exhausted, apparently having had no break for years. Instead of taking Sunday off and strolling on the beach, collecting seashells, he was in worship with other believers! Paul was faithful in worshipping on the first day of the week! He was faithful in observing the day the Lord arose! He was faithful in observing the Lord’s Supper! He was faithful in having fellowship with other believers no matter who they were or where they were nor how poor their facilities!
The faithful minister preached long and fervently. He grabbed every opportunity he could to preach despite fatigue and the need for rest! It says Paul preached until midnight! We’ve put borders on our worship! Physical borders! Time borders! I ain’t supposed to just keep it holy from 12:00 AM to 11:59 PM on Sundays! I’m not just on business for the King starting at 10:45 AM and ending around 1PM! He never sleeps; he never slumbers! I owe it to him to bless the Lord at all times…
In verse nine, we are introduced to a certain young man. I love how God uses these “certain young men.” Its not always about the Noahs, the Joshuas, the Davids but God uses ordinary people! He’s God! He could call on only the best but no! I’m glad he’s a God without borders! So there was this certain young man named Eutychus. Through him, we’re exposed to two critical issues facing believers. In the first place, he fell asleep in church! Eutychus was a hardworking slave! He worked day in and day out, just like Paul! But unlike Paul, when he got to the worship center, instead of getting into it, he feel into a deep sleep! They both had the same physical situation-they were both tired beyond belief! They both came to the same place, at the same time! But the anchor of the story comes from the choice that one of them made! Eutychus chose to fall into sleep!
The word sleep comes from the Modern English word slep from the Old English word slaep akin to the Greek word schlaf meaning “loose or lax.” It has the Indo European base slab which means “slack.” Some of us got our eyes open right now but are still sleep! While others are getting into the work of the Lord, you’re slacking! While others are studying the word, you’re slacking! While others are tithing and giving regularly, you’re slacking! While others are making a joyful noise unto the Lord, you’re slacking! While others are seeking the Lord while he may be found and calling upon him while he’s near! While they are forsaking their ways and returning to the Lord, you’re slacking! While they’re trusting in the Lord with all their heart and leaning not unto their own understanding, you’re slacking! An excerpt from an Arabian proverb that I love says “he that knows and knows not that he knows is asleep! Wake him!” I came today to tell you to wake up! You got talents to use! Wake up! You can sing in the choir! Wake up! You can usher on the usher board! Wake up! You can teach a Sunday school class!