Summary: The Bible talks about GOOD sleep, and BAD sleep. There are times to sleep and times to rise up out of sleep. This message explores several in the Bible who were caught "sleeping".
WORDS OF DISTINCTION – “Sleep”
INTRODUCTION: We continue in our series on “Words of Distinction”. We have studied the words “daily”, “adoption”, and “rather”. TONIGHT, we look at the word “sleep”.
“sleep” is a funny thing. When you need the rest, SLEEP often doesn’t come. You toss & turn … fidget … you’re in misery because you can’t sleep. THEN … when you need to stay awake, sometimes SLEEP overtakes you … you can’t help but fall asleep. Someone once said: “You can buy sleep (it comes in a pill form), but you can’t buy rest.”
Some people need more sleep than others. Some can get by with 5-6 hours. Others, like me, need 7-8 hours sleep. Sometimes we SLEEP at the wrong times and in the wrong places. My mother used to go to sleep while in the car, waiting for the light to turn green.
Some people sleep in church. I’ve got lots of stories about that! There can be many reasons for sleeping in church. #1 reason, I suppose, is because of the boring sermon, or the boring preaching. Sometimes it’s because of physical reasons … you are just plain tired, or may have a health issue. Sometimes it’s from staying out too late on Saturday night.
The Bible has a lot to say about “sleep”. Probably because everybody does it. BUT … there is GOOD sleep, and there is BAD sleep.
Matthew 26:45-46 – all turn. Jesus says 2 things about “sleep”:
o 26:45 – “Sleep on now.”
o 26:46 – “Rise, let us be going.” … get up out of your sleep.
There’s a time to sleep … AND … there’s a time to wake up. The Bible seems to puts “sleep” into these 2 categories.
I. “Sleep On.”
SLEEP refreshes us for the events of the next day. In our text, Jesus is headed for the cross on the next day, and He wanted the Disciples to stay up and pray with Him. Every time He went to them, they were asleep. They had missed out on a wonderful experience of ministry. NOW, Jesus says “sleep on” … they will need their rest for the events of the next day.
SPIRITUALLY SPEAKING, there are times when we SHOULD sleep. We see this illustrated in several Bible characters, who we find “sleeping”.
When I think of “sleep”, I think of:
1.- ADAM – Genesis 2:18-22 – all turn
God caused Adam to SLEEP. Adam didn’t sleep because he was tired. He didn’t fail God by going to sleep (like the Disciples). God CAUSED him to sleep. It was GOOD that Adam slept. WHY? Because God was going to do surgery on Adam. I would rather be put to SLEEP whenever anybody is going to do surgery on me.
We can apply this to our SPIRITUAL lives as well. There are some things in our life that God wants “put to sleep”, so He can do surgery on us:
o WORRY – We need to put our WORRY’S to sleep. We need to give them to the Lord, and FORGET those things that are behind, and look in faith to Christ. Philip. 3:13-14 – “forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,  I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”
o GRUDGES – We need to bury them so deep, that they can never surface again. Holding GRUDGES or ILL-FEELINGS against someone is like a CANCER. It eats us up. It doesn’t do near the damage to others, that it does to us. We need to bury the past … not dig it up, again & again. Philip. 3:13-14 (again) – “forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,  I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”
o SINFUL HABITS – We need to put them to sleep, so God can do surgery on us … they’ve been NIGHTMARES too long … ruling & ruining our lives.
When God put Adam to sleep, he awoke … and there was Eve … a help-mate, a companion, a blessing! Those things that are hindering our Spiritual growth … we need for God to put them to sleep, so He can do His surgery on us.
When I think of “sleep”, I think of:
2.- PETER – Acts 12:5-7 – Herod the King had James, the brother of John, killed. When he saw that it pleased the Jews, he arrested Peter & put him in prison.
Jesus said, “Peter, sleep on”, and that’s exactly what Peter was doing. He wasn’t worrying, complaining, or losing any sleep over it … he was sleeping like a baby. His “sleep” was a sleep of peace … and trust in God. Peter had placed his life in God’s hands. God was in control … there was nothing to worry about.