Be Ready

We spend our lives getting ready for what is coming in the future, both short and long term. We get ready to go to work, cook a meal, get married, retire, etc. In addition to things like these, we must also get ready and be ready for certain things that are of a spiritual nature.

What does it take to be ready? First, we have to know what needs to be done. Second, we must prepare ourselves to do what needs to be done. Finally, we must be willing to do what we have prepared ourselves to do. These will be true whether we are talking about spiritual or earthly matters. For this article, let us consider a few things for which we must be ready that are mentioned in the word of God.

Ready for Every Good Deed

Remind them to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed” (Titus 3:1).

What are the good deeds we need to be ready to do? They are the “good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10). God’s word shows us what these good works are. His revealed word causes us to be “equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

Notice in the verse above that Paul says God’s word equips us for every good work (2 Timothy 3:17). This means that the things that have been instructed and authorized in His word are good works. We do not have the liberty to do whatever we want and call it a good deed. Those who attempt to do this will be condemned for practicing lawlessness (Matthew 7:21-23). Instead of doing the works of man and calling them good, we must “work the works of God” (John 6:28).

How do we prepare to do good works? Since good works are defined in Scripture, we must study to know what God wants us to do (2 Timothy 2:15). We must also give up the things that prevent us from doing good – sin (Romans 6:12-13), laziness (2 Thessalonians 3:13), or any other thing. Once we prepare ourselves, we must then willingly do good – “making the most of [our] time” (Ephesians 5:16) – and use the opportunities we have been given.

Be Ready to Share

Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share” (1 Timothy 6:18).

This instruction was to the rich. However, those who are not rich must be ready to share also. The Macedonians’ “deep poverty overflowed in the wealth of their liberality” (2 Corinthians 8:2). As individuals, we may help both our brethren and those outside of the church. Paul said, “While we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of faith” (Galatians 6:10).

How do we prepare to be able to share and help those in need? First, we must do as the Macedonians did and give ourselves to the Lord (2 Corinthians 8:5). We must recognize that our blessings are from Him (James 1:17; 2 Corinthians 9:8). We also need to work so that we might have something to share (Ephesians 4:28). After doing all of this, we must be willing to share and not feel as though we only do it because we are forced to do so (2 Corinthians 9:7).

Be Ready to Give an Answer

But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense [give an answer, KJV] to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence” (1 Peter 3:15).

This instruction applies to every Christian, not just preachers, elders, Bible class teachers, etc. We must be ready to answer why we have a hope of heaven.

What allows us to hope (not merely wish) for heaven? Peter said we have been “born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Peter 1:3). Jesus’ work in bringing about salvation gives us a “sure and steadfast” hope (Hebrews 6:19). Of course, our hope is also based on what we have done and continue to do, not just what Christ has done. Jesus is “to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation” (Hebrews 5:9). So we need to be ready to give an answer explaining what Christ has done to make salvation possible and why we do what we do in service to Him.

How do we prepare to give an answer? Obviously, we must study (2 Timothy 2:15). But we must also learn how to answer. We should prepare to answer “with gentleness and reverence” (1 Peter 3:15) and “in love” (Ephesians 4:15). Paul told the Colossians, “Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person” (Colossians 4:6). In addition to this, we must learn what kind of questions to avoid. Titus was told, “Avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and strife and disputes about the Law, for they are unprofitable and worthless” (Titus 3:9). Jesus refused to answer the chief priests and elders because they were not interested in His answer.

When we prepare to give an answer, we must also be willing to give an answer despite the consequences. Sometimes our answers will not be popular or well-received. We may lose our friends or face various forms of persecution, but this should not cause us to be afraid. The Lord told Paul in Corinth, “Do not be afraid any longer, but go on speaking and do not be silent” (Acts 18:9). Jesus said the cowardly would be among those who would miss heaven and be punished in the lake of fire (Revelation 21:8). We must be ready to give an answer and be willing to do so regardless of the consequences.

Be Ready to Meet the Lord

You too, be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour that you do not expect” (Luke 12:40).

This was part of a parable spoken by the Lord (Luke 12:35-48). Someday the Lord will return in judgment. We must be ready when that day comes (1 Thessalonians 5:1-6).

How do we prepare for the coming of the Lord? We must be busy doing what God expects us to do (Hebrews 5:9). In this parable, Jesus said, “Blessed are those slaves whom the master will find on the alert when he comes” (Luke 12:37). Those who are not Christians must become Christians. This is done by believing that Jesus is the Christ (John 8:24), confessing that belief (Romans 10:9-10), repenting of sins (Luke 13:3), and being baptized into Christ for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38; Romans 6:3-4). Those who are Christians must continue to “walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light” (1 John 1:7).

Let us make every preparation to carry out God’s will here so we will be ready when the Lord returns to reward the faithful.

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