A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.
Wednesday, August 11, 2021
"Wake Up, O Sleeper!"
Message summary: Today let us hear the call to be "woke" in a Biblical sense. "Awake, O Sleeper!" and seek to live carefully making the most of every opportunity to express your faith in Christ. Live as those who are wise fortifying yourself against the evils of our day.
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"Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you" (Ephesians 5:14).
"Woke" is one of the most annoying and overused words in current usage, at least in our opinion! It has been linguistically hijacked into a term that means "being aware of social and racial injustices", something that should certainly be a concern for Christ's followers.
But "woke", in the context in which we most often hear it used these days, seems to mean going along with the latest faddish craziness such as a belief that there are many different genders which can arbitrarily be added to at anytime or the latest offense du jour. Perhaps you read about a boulder that was removed at the University of Wisconsin due to a single instance of a pejorative adjective being used to describe it in a newspaper nearly 100 years ago.*
The new meaning of "woke" was only added to the Webster Dictionary in September 2017. It's like the word "canceled", another word that has taken on additional meaning. Romans 1 describes the fallen human race: "They invent ways of doing evil". Well, that was true then and it is true now as those seeking to destroy conventional or biblical thinking also invent new meanings for words!
Another example of this is the rainbow. Since its appearance in Genesis believers, and even those not of the faith, considered it to be a symbol of beauty, along with the promise that He would never flood the earth again. "Born again" was always associated with salvation in Christ until recent history suggests the term is one's starting over again, not tied into a spiritual experience at all. Even the word "salvation" and "savior" are used commonly in a much less valued meaning than in the original intent.
"Woke" and "cancelled" are both very useful and descriptive words used in their original meanings. We should be woke. Our daily text teaches this! "Awake, O sleeper".
Canceled wonderfully describes an aspect of our redemption, the greatest cancellation of all time! "He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; He has taken it away, nailing it to the cross" (Colossians 2:14).
Today's Scripture portion presents an outstanding expression of truth which is also a good verse to memorize. What a somber expression of reality, as vitally needed today as when it was originally written by the apostle Paul nearly 2,000 years ago.
We need to heed the call to "Awake, O sleeper and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you". Many commentators interpret this as a quotation from a non-biblical source, possibly a Christian hymn well-known at the time. Others feel Paul may be alluding to Scripture although this is not a direct quote of any known Scripture. One verse that some consider to be a passage Paul was alluding to is Isaiah 60:1, "Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you."
"Awake" means to waken, rouse from sleep, from sitting or lying, from disease, from death; from inactivity, ruins, nonexistence. The present imperative is a command calling for the sleepers to continually awaken or "be woke". Don't hit the snooze button in life! The KJV Bible Commentary asserts, "This is a call from drowsiness to spiritual life".
Today let us be biblically woke, living carefully and making the most of every opportunity to express our faith in Christ. As we are open to the daily opportunities God provides for us, let us also live as those who are wise and fortify ourselves against the evils of our day.
Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, we could be driven to despair in the midst of the evil that surrounds us if we didn't walk in the light of Your truth. We walk in the true wisdom that comes from heaven, not in the flawed wisdom that comes from the world. Help us to make the most of every opportunity to stand up for divine truth in our minds, through our speech and by our actions. May Your glory shine through our lives as we arise from the darkness and show others the way to eternal life. In the name of Your dear Son, Jesus, we pray. Amen.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Asleep In The Light" Video Keith Green
"Oh Lord, You're Beautiful" Video Keith Green
* See here for boulder story
Brooksyne's Note: Last night an hour of deep darkness had settled over our neighborhood with occasional rods of lightning and peals of thunder. We were praying that the storm like setting would result in a good rainfall as we needed it very much. Sometimes it looks like a storm is coming and it passes us by. But this time our border collie, Mollie, was very unsettled and nervous as usual during a storm which is a pretty good sign. She was right and we were not disappointed as eventually the rain came splashing down drenching our yard, flowers, trees and the many rows of field corn across the street. For the last few days we were seeing parched earth due to the dryness so we are thankful for God's showers of blessing. After the rain finally subsided I stepped out on the deck where the darkness had lifted and God blessed our neighborhood with a beautiful rainbow!
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
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