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January 12, 2013

Don’t Sleep when I am Preaching

Acts 20

On the first day of the week we came together to break bread. Paul spoke to the people and, because he intended to leave the next day, kept on talking until midnight. There were many lamps in the upstairs room where we were meeting. Seated in a window was a young man named Eutychus, who was sinking into a deep sleep as Paul talked on and on. When he was sound asleep, he fell to the ground from the third story and was picked up dead. 10 Paul went down, threw himself on the young man and put his arms around him. “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “He’s alive!” 11 Then he went upstairs again and broke bread and ate. After talking until daylight, he left. 12 The people took the young man home alive and were greatly comforted.

I needed to journal this passage because it reminds me as a preacher not to talk on and on. For two times, there was a subtle description of Paul’s lengthy talk that was putting people to sleep.

As much as I want people to not sleep during preaching, I also need to be sensitive to the people who are listening to the word. I know the Word of God is powerful and sharper than any double edged sword but I also need to know that the brain can only take so much.

It is my prayer that when I preach I will be sensitive to the Spirit of God and to the people listening to my message. I think what is interesting in the story was that the people were more ministered to when they brought the sleeping man back to life.