Summary: This sermon is a call to be spiritually alert when we are tempted to be spiritually sleepy.
Some time ago Judy (my wife) and I attended a funeral on a Sunday afternoon. At that funeral I had an embarrassing experience with drowsiness. In fact, to be totally honest¡I fell asleep at the funeral. Falling asleep was not so bad. The embarrassing part occurred when Judy elbowed me and I jumped. I felt like the whole world was watching me at that moment. There are times when falling asleep is appropriate. However, there are times when falling asleep is totally inappropriate. Falling asleep at a funeral is inappropriate. Falling asleep in your spiritual life is also inappropriate. When this occurs Jesus will issue a wake up call. He will spiritually elbow you into alertness. We find such an example in the Gospel record. We will use Mark 14:37-41 for a text. Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane. He was nearing the cross and was struggling with the agony of the cross. He asked His disciples to pray, while He prayed. Three different times Jesus left the disciples and went into the inner recesses of the garden to pray. Three different times he returned to find them asleep. They were asleep physically but also spiritually. Jesus gave them a wake up call. That call is still active upon God¡¦s people.
Will you accept Jesus wake up call? I heard about a pastor in a small church who was annoyed by one of his elderly members who fell asleep during his sermon every Sunday. After the service one Sunday, the pastor struck a bargain with the old man¡¦s grandson, who always sat with his grandfather. He told the boy if he could keep his grandfather awake he would pay him a dollar a week. This worked for two weeks; the aged man was very alert and listened to the sermons. On the third Sunday, however, there he was, up to his old tricks again, sound asleep in the pew. After the service the pastor called the boy over and said, ¡I am disappointed in you. Didn¡¦t I promise you a dollar a week to keep your grandfather awake?¡¨ ¡Yes,¨ replied the boy, ¡but Grandpa gives me five dollars not to disturb him.¡¨
(Contributed to Sermon Central by Lynn Malone)
Some people do not want to be disturbed. What does Jesus¡ wake up call mean to us? What does he desire that we wake up and see? Notice three principles in this text.
I. Wake up and see your spiritual deficiency. I believe those disciples did the best they could. They were tired and exhausted. They meant well. They had good intentions. However, in spite of their best intentions they were unable to come through. They were unable to deliver.
Illustration: When our youngest son (John) was a boy Judy had an encounter with him that illustrates this point. John was at a stage when he gave Judy a run for her money in trying to sit through a worship service. Since I was the pastor there was little help I could offer during these times. On one particular occasion John was warned to keep quiet. After several warnings he was carried from the sanctuary and given a spanking. At the conclusion of the spanking he was asked if he could return to the worship service and behave. Judy said he merely shrugged his little shoulders with a questioning ¡I don’t know.¨ Judy said she realized this hyperactive child was unsure if he could be quiet. She said he was being as honest as he knew to be.