Effectiveness of an Alarm

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Ephesians 5:14 says, “Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” Paul wrote this letter to this church in Ephesus, and Paul is quoting from a source in this verse. Part of these words are taken from the propher Isaiah, but Paul is also quoting from a popular hymn of that day. It was an Easter hymn that the early Christians would sing to celebrate the resurrection and to declare the power of the resurrection. Paul is instructing the readers in Ephesians to wake up, because one of the most dangerous conditions is spiritual sleepiness. 

In the fourth century, before most people could read or write, early church leaders got together, and they put together a list of sins, so people would know what not to do. We would know this list today as the seven deadly sins. One of those sins listed seems out of place to many of us though, and it's the sin of sloth. Synonyms for sloth that often come to mind are fatigue, laziness, sleepiness, or lethargic. It just doesn't seem that deadly. The best way to understand sloth is to understand it in a spiritual context of sleepiness or spiritual apathy. It is becoming tired spiritually so that the things that should excite you, don't excite you. The things that God's passionate about, you're not passionate about. 

How do you know if you've got this condition? How do you know if you've become spiritually sleepy? If celebrating the resurrection of Jesus with fellow believers seems like an annoyance to you, then there's a good chance that your heart has become hard, and your eyes have become sleepy. Do you pick and choose what parts of Scripture you care about? When you're spiritually sleepy, you'll use the Bible to make yourself comfortable. You don't use it to convict you or challenge you, but instead you use it to be a blanket that allows you to go back to sleep. 

Reflection/Discussion Questions: Have you become spiritually sleepy? In what ways do you identify this condition in your life?

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