March 14, 2018 Quit Napping!

This week we are talking about something near and dear to my heart…Naps!

·         How many of you love to take a nap?

·         There are benefits to naps:

1.       Energy boosts

2.       Increased Creativity

3.       Improved Memory

4.       Improved Mood

5.       Increased Awareness

6.       Increased Productivity

7.       Reduced Fatigue

8.       Lower Stress

9.       Reduced Risk of Depression

10.   Reduced Risk of Cardiovascular Disease

·         So there are at least 10 great reasons for taking a nap, I need to tell this to my kids. They HATE naps.

·         I love it when I can take a nap after Sunday morning service. It doesn’t always happen, but when it does I can testify to most of these benefits. I feel much better and can concentrate better.

But, should we take spiritual naps?

NO! QUIT NAPPING!

Tonight we are going to talk about why taking spiritual naps are not good for you. The body needs rest but the spirit needs to be strengthened.

Turn to Matthew 26:36-46

·         This is a familiar passage. I have taught on this before. We looked at the interaction between Jesus and the Father. Tonight we are going to look at the other people involved:

o   Peter, James and John

o   Who is Peter? (A knucklehead who sticks his foot in his mouth…but Jesus chose him to do something major).

o   Who are James and John? (The sons of Zebeedee. Asked Jesus to sit at his right and left hand, Jesus told them they would face the same death that he will.)

·         36-39- The Dilemma

o   Jesus takes Peter, James and John to come with Him to pray. He chose them over the other 8 disciples that were there, which is significant. (Judas has left at this point) These men were considered to be Jesus’ inner circle.

o   So the three men were given a task to do while Jesus cried out to the Father over His mission.

o   Jesus was at a difficult time in His earthly life. He was dealing with the stress and weight of all the sin of the world being put on His shoulders. He was not concerned about the physical punishment that awaited him but the thought of being separated from God for the first time ever. He was ready to be the sacrifice for our sin, but the full wrath of God awaited him and it pushed him to his humanly limits.

o   So these yielded to Jesus’ request. They stood strong and prayed and petitioned the Father while Jesus spoke to Him as well from a distance, they encouraged each other and Jesus during this time. They were spiritual giants.

§  Just Kidding…they fell asleep.

·         40-41— Nap Time!

o   Jesus comes back and finds them asleep.

§  Who does Jesus direct the conversation to? Peter

·         Why do you think He does this?

·         What does Peter do only a few verses before this happens? Let’s look at verses 30-35

·         He makes the claim that he will never deny Jesus, even if he has to die.

·         This is why I call Peter a knucklehead. He makes bold claims and ends up sticking his foot in his mouth.

·         If we are all honest with ourselves, we make claims like that too, though. We make deals with God, that if He gives us something or prevents us from dealing with something we will do something in return…

o   Some of my personal favorites in my life

§  “God if you let me pass this test, I will study harder next time.”

§  “God if you don’t let that cop give me a speeding ticket, I will slow down.”

§  “God if you let me do this, I will do that…you get the idea.

·         We tend to make deals to try to get us out of trouble or to make ourselves seem more spiritually mature to God, and others. The funny thing is, Jesus knew what he was going to do and even told him. So for Peter to even say it wouldn’t happen shows how much of a knucklehead he really was, and how much of a knucklehead we can be, too.

o   “The Spirit is willing but the flesh is weak”

§  What does this mean?

·         Let’s look at what Paul had to say about this in Romans 7:15-23

o   What I want to do, I don’t do and what I don’t want to do, I do.

o   When we get to the point that we think we have everything figured out about this Christian Life we begin to nod off and end up falling on our face.

o   What we can learn from Paul’s words here and from Peter’s actions is that we can always grow spiritually. There isn’t going to be an “I’ve finally arrived” moment in this life. We can always grow closer to God.

·         42-44 Drooling on their Pillow

o   Jesus came back a second time and they were asleep again. This time he let them sleep.

o   I think that Jesus had one of those “smh” moments. You know, when you ask someone to do something important and then they still don’t do it…all you can do is shake your head and walk off. So He was clearly disappointed in them but He went back to praying.

o   This entire interaction was a pointer to spiritual warfare.

§  How you ask?

·         Prayer

·         When you pray, how often does your mind wander? You start off strong and then begin thinking about a TV show or what someone said, or what you want to eat for lunch after church. (We’ve all been there)

·         How many times have we started praying for something and then next thing you know there is a puddle of drool on your pillow and a little bit on your cheek?

·         It’s so easy to get distracted when we are trying to do spiritual things.

·         Reading your Bible

o   How many times do you get up and go do something you conveniently remembered needs to be done?

o   Or, you constantly check your phone for notifications

o   You get phone calls/texts interruptions left and right that don’t normally happen (Happened to me constantly today).

o   I kid you not, it happens every time.

§  Sometimes you will hear from someone that you haven’t heard from in years.

o   So, Jesus walks off and goes back to praying

·         45-46 The Wake-Up Call

o   Jesus returns for a third time after praying to the Father and wakes them up and tells them the time has come. Everything that he has been telling them that he would accomplish, that moment is finally here.

o   Peter, James and John have failed to do what Christ has asked of them and we all know what happens at Jesus trial. All 11 Disciples abandon him. They fell asleep physically and spiritually because they could not do what Christ told them. I wonder if they didn’t really believe that he was going to be captured and crucified… it makes you think.

o   Had they really believed that He would be crucified, do you think they would have tried a little harder to petition the Father on His behalf?

Conclusion:

·         I want to ask all of you a question. Are we napping spiritually? Are we like Peter, James and John, sleeping when we need to be aware of what is coming?

o   Let’s think again about what Paul said, “What I want to do, I don’t do and what I don’t do, I do. The fact that we realize that we mess up shows humility in our lives. We need to wake up from our spiritual naps and constantly remind ourselves that we will always have room for growth until we are standing with Christ in heaven.

Spend a few minutes praying that God would speak to you about your spiritual health, that you would stay humble and always seek to grow spiritually.

Comments