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Wake Up!

Daily Reading: Acts 20

Scripture Focus: And a young man named Eutychus, sitting at the window, sank into a deep sleep as Paul talked still longer. And being overcome by sleep, he fell down from the third story and was taken up dead. (Acts 20.9)

Devotional Thought: I love reading the story of Eutychus in Acts 20. If the Apostle Paul had trouble keeping his listeners awake, then I don't have to feel bad! As is typical for preachers, Paul "talked still longer," and as often happens to church members, Eutychus "sank into a deep sleep."

Eutychus' slumber and near-tragic ending paint a spiritual picture:

  • Eutychus sank into sleep. It was a gradual process. It was not something that happened quickly and obviously. Spiritual slumber is like that. Sitting at the "windows", we become spiritually distracted. Unaware of what is happening, we lose track of where we are, and little by little, we fall asleep.

  • Then, however, "overcome by sleep," Eutychus fell. From his lofty position, he toppled all the way to the ground and was "taken up dead." When we are spiritually asleep, it is not long until the gravity of sin takes over, and pulls us downward. No matter how high we are, spiritual sleep has only one result: a spiritual crash. And, the higher we are the harder the fall.

  • But that was not the end of Eutychus' story. "Paul went down and bent over him, and taking him in his arms, said, 'Do not be alarmed, for his life is in him'" (v. 10). Though Eutychus was dead, there was a spark of life that could be revived. There is a point of no return when death becomes permanent, but Eutychus had not yet reached it. With Paul's quick response and ardent faith, Eutychus was revived. We in the church - who are awake! - must respond in the same way. We are not called to reject the spiritually sleepy, but to revive them.

To ourselves and those we love, we cry, "Wake up!"

Prayer: Lord, help me to stay spiritually awake. And help me, also, to prayerfully and courageously revive the spiritually sleepy. Through Jesus who lives forevermore. Amen.

Psalm of the Day: 21 When my soul was embittered, when I was pricked in heart, 22 I was brutish and ignorant; I was like a beast toward you. 23 Nevertheless, I am continually with you; you hold my right hand. 24 You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory. 25 Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. 26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. 27 For behold, those who are far from you shall perish; you put an end to everyone who is unfaithful to you. 28 But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord GOD my refuge, that I may tell of all your works. (Psalms 73:21-28)

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