When we were teenagers, my friends and I would jokingly work through various scenarios. Many would include coming up with a game plan if we were suddenly ambushed. I remember one night playing pool at a local pool-hall and creating a check-down list of how we would fight our way out if things got rough.
Yeah, we had too much time on our hands. And, we watched too many kung fu movies.
But, we wanted to be ready for anything. As a boy, I was in the boy scouts and that was our motto: “Be Prepared.” While we didn’t really know what it meant at the time, it was a really great life skill.
Because, life is unpredictable and often unforgiving. We can’t afford to go into our day unprepared for what is to come.
In this, we walk the line of contentment and complacency. While we want to be happy with what God has provided for us, we never want to fall into the trap of laziness. Unfortunately, our culture makes it difficult to both be okay with what we have while also wanting to become better.
In the readings this week, God asks us to be ready for the call – whatever the call is. He wants our eyes open, senses aware, and heart ready.
Yet, how do we get ready? What do we get ready for? How do we prepare for an unpredictable life?
How do you stay ready?
This week we will explore these thoughts based upon the readings below. Join us this week as we explore readiness.
Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, like servants waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. Truly I tell you, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the middle of the night or toward daybreak. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.
After this, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision:
“Do not be afraid, Abram.
I am your shield,
your very great reward.”
But Abram said, “Sovereign Lord, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?” And Abram said, “You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir.
Then the word of the Lord came to him: “This man will not be your heir, but a son who is your own flesh and blood will be your heir.” He took him outside and said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars—if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”
Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.
Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,
the people he chose for his inheritance.
From heaven the Lord looks down
and sees all mankind;
from his dwelling place he watches
all who live on earth—
he who forms the hearts of all,
who considers everything they do.
No king is saved by the size of his army;
no warrior escapes by his great strength.
A horse is a vain hope for deliverance;
despite all its great strength it cannot save.
But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him,
on those whose hope is in his unfailing love,
to deliver them from death
and keep them alive in famine.
We wait in hope for the Lord;
he is our help and our shield.
In him our hearts rejoice,
for we trust in his holy name.
May your unfailing love be with us, Lord,
even as we put our hope in you.
Hebrews 11:1-3, 8-16
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for. By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.
By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God. And by faith even Sarah, who was past childbearing age, was enabled to bear children because sheconsidered him faithful who had made the promise. And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore.
All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.
God, I struggle between the lines of contentment and complacency.
I am not always ready for your call
Often, I don’t want to be ready for you.
I want to be ready for me.
This week, please turn my eyes towards what you have in store
Help me prepare for your call, so I can be ready.
Bless us this week as we study and prepare for the work in store.