One of the foundational principles of our Christian walk is the command to Be ready.
There are many times in our lives when we can be taken off guard due to a circumstance, a question or a life shattering event. These are the moments when it is evident if we have been building our foundation prior to this moment. Just as James 3:7-11 reminds us we can’t have blessing and cursing come from the same mouth and what we are filling our hearts and minds with will always spill out. In this same way if we don’t establish boundaries prior to a temptation, or take all thoughts captive when they run willy nilly threatening to derail our peace our and joy, we can’t walk as effective Christians in the world we live in today.
Case in point, after hosting a group of boys for our churches DNow event for the last two years, we decided due to our crazy travel schedules and the work I’m doing getting ready for a book release, we would not be host home this year. We did opt in to our class helping for a meal prep and serve, but our home wouldn’t be invaded with the boys who never sleep. Seriously..no sleep.
But last night during our small group dinner we got the call. Host home was sick and couldn’t house the boys this year after all and could we help. I refuse to tell you that I was thrilled with the news and couldn’t wait for the boys to arrive. But the reality was that they didn’t have another home to go to and we had the room.
Years ago when we bought this home we weren’t 100 percent sure why God has chosen this home for us. It was way larger than what we needed or wanted and had lots of open space for large groups. Through the years we have always been of the mind that God gave us this home and since it was his anyway that we would be sure to entertain small groups, small parties, and yep 9th grade boys for the weekend as well.
If this wasn’t our mindset it would have been so much easier to stick with our busy schedules and the very real legitimate reasons we had for not hosting this year. We already had a busy weekend with a small group dinner, hosting dinner for the DNOW kids and a baby shower. But our commitment was already in place long before. We long ago established that our home was a ministry opportunity whenever and however God saw fit to use it. So there was our yes.
You can’t make wise decisions in the midst of difficulty. These have to be made in advance. Just like you can’t harvest a crop you didn’t plant, (Prov. 20:4) you can’t be ready without advanced preparation.
Sluggards do not plow in season; so at harvest time they look but find nothing.
We have many opportunities to choose to be ready in our Christian lives. But we must prepare in season when seas are calm and life is easy. To be adequately prepared and ready, we MUST take advantage of the time in between.
- We are told to be ready in season and out of season to give an answer for our faith, and to encourage others in the faith.
2 Tim 4:2 Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage–with great patience and careful instruction.
Col 4:6 Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.
I Pet. 3:15-16 but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.
Philippians 2:15 so that you may be blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and perverse generation, in which you shine as lights in the world.
Titus 2:8 and wholesome speech that is above reproach, so that anyone who opposes us will be ashamed that he has nothing bad to say about us.
How do we prepare? Daily walk with God – reading and studying our Bibles, praying and meditating/memorizing Scripture each day. Letting our walk talk louder than our talk.
- We are told to be ready for conflict
*Be battle ready because of conflict.
Eph 6:14,15 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.
*Be battle ready because of the offense of the gospel
I Cor 1:18 For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.”
*Be battle ready because of fiery trials and temptations
John 16:33 These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”
I Pet.5:8 Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
I Cor. 16:13 Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.
2 Tim 3:12 Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.
Matt 10:22 You will be hated by all because of My name, but it is the one who has endured to the end who will be saved.
- We are told to be ready for eternity whether because our physical bodies die, or because the Lord Jesus returns to capture us away.
Matt 24:42-44 Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming. But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into. For this reason you also must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will.
Matt 25:1-13 Then the kingdom of heaven will be comparable to ten virgins, who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were prudent. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the prudent took oil in flasks along with their lamps. Now while the bridegroom was delaying, they all got drowsy and began to sleep. But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. The foolish said to the prudent, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the prudent answered, ‘No, there will not be enough for us and you too; go instead to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.’ And while they were going away to make the purchase, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast; and the door was shut. Later the other virgins also came, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open up for us.’ But he answered, ‘Truly I say to you, I do not know you.’ Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour.
Luke 12:40 You too, be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour that you do not expect.”
John 14:3 If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.
I Cor. 15:52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.
What is it that God is calling you to Be Ready for today?