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Tuesday, February 28, 2023
We had six blue birds at our feeding station in the front yard two days ago until our dogs frightened them away. They must have returned to our neighbor's house since it's their favorite feeding spot. Perhaps this is a photo of one of them taken by our neighbor Doug.
"Wake Up, Sleeper!"
Message summary: Today as men and women who strive to understand the present times let us heed the clear Scriptural call to be alert and sober. Let’s not snooze away precious minutes, but let us wake up completely and move into action!
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“But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. This is why it is said: ‘Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.’ Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise” (Ephesians 5:13-15). “So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet” (1 Thessalonians 5:6-8).
The "snooze alarm" allows a few extra moments of “snoozing” after the initial alarm rings on modern alarm clocks. Now even smart phones have this feature. I don’t know when it was first invented but I still remember when it was a new feature to Brooksyne and me. At the time it seemed like such a great idea for an alarm clock.
In the early days of our marriage we seriously considered features on small items like alarm clocks before purchasing. I suppose having a snooze alarm at that time cost a bit more and we wanted to make sure it was worth it. We bought one with a snooze feature and couldn’t wait to get home and check it out!
Had someone finally found the answer to this need or more accurately, desire, we and millions of others have for just a “few more minutes of sleep” each morning? Ours even had a repeat feature and it appeared to be unlimited. I don’t know what our personal record is for the repeat use of this feature but it’s sure more than a couple of times! It seems we could always use a “just few more minutes of sleep”.
Brooksyne uses her phone alarm and the “snooze alarm” on extra early mornings. I notice the snooze on the iPhone is set with a default interval of 9 minutes which I am sure has a reason.
Actually for us the snooze alarm is kind of a stumbling block to actually get ourselves going in the morning. We’ve learned that regardless of whether or not we snooze a bit longer we must still go through those first couple of drowsy-feeling minutes after waking up as well as getting our joints loosened up as we have reached the age of stiff and arthritic joints. Nine more minutes of sleep doesn't help one iota with that inevitable afflictions of age!
Is there a spiritual lesson here? We think so! In fact we use the term “wake up” in various non literal ways. If someone is making bad choices and headed down the wrong path we say "They need to wake up". We also use the term for groups of people such as "America needs to wake up".
Today's first text has these words, "Wake up, sleeper". Although not certain, Paul may have been alluding to Isaiah 60:1, "Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you."
Our second text refers to a much more important type of sleep from which we need to "wake up". It begins with the phrase, “So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober.” A commentary points out that the meaning in this passage concerning “asleep” is the sense that one becomes secure and unconcerned in sin as well as indolent and careless in the performance of the call on their life and the work God has prepared for them to accomplish.
Bible teacher D. Edmond Hiebert writes that awake and sober:
"denote a condition free from every form of mental and spiritual loss of self-control; it is an attitude of self-discipline that avoids the extremes of the ‘reckless irresponsibility of self-indulgence on the one hand, and of religious ecstasy on the other.’ It inculcates a calm, steady state of mind that evaluates things correctly, so that it is not thrown off balance by new and fascinating ideas. Such 'level headedness' is a constant Christian need." (My, is that the truth today!)
The Precept online Bible commentary states concerning this spiritual sobriety:
“Take things seriously, being aware of their real importance and be ever mindful of their consequences in time and in eternity. The sober saint approaches life, not as a jest, but as a serious matter for which he is answerable to God. Let us not become intoxicated by Satan’s three vintage wines – the lusts of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, or the boastful pride of life" (see 1 John 2:15,16).
Today as men and women who strive to understand the present times let us heed the clear Scriptural call to be alert and sober. Let’s not snooze away precious minutes, but let us wake up completely and move into action!
Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)
Stephen and Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, help us to be people who join the ranks of those who are not asleep or unmindful of that which You have for us to do. We want to be awake, sober and vigilant in carrying out the task You set before us including that of being godly messengers who faithfully teach and live by the whole counsel of Your Holy Word. We seek to honor and glorify Jesus Christ in all that we do so keep us awake, self-controlled, alert, and ready. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Wake Up My Soul" Click to listen on YouTube Matt Redman
"Awake My Soul" Click to listen on YouTube Brooke Ligertwood There are several songs by this musician we enjoy and she is having a concert we are considering going to next month here in Lancaster.
Doug got a great shot of this Blue Jay with the thick, black stout bill, and bright cobalt colored feathers with white underparts. They're beautiful to admire but not so nice when feeding them - they get a bit hoardish and aggressive to the smaller birds.
And here's Doug snapped Brooksyne's favorite bird - the red cardinal. She recognizes their trill from a great distance and watches till she sees him come within view. One thing's for sure the cardinal cannot easily hide in the branches due to it's bright red coat.
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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.
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