I know the verse, but obviously I’m not very good at applying it:
But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have…*
Preparation is important. I know when I’m heading to a board meeting at work, I need to be prepared for my part on the agenda. On Friday’s I prepare for the Monday staff meeting. When I was getting married or pregnant with my first child, I had much to do to be prepared for what lay ahead.
Preparation is a part of life. When company comes, I clean the house and go to the grocery to be ready for their arrival. Our years in school are preparation for life and work.
The question is: On what do we spend the most time preparing? If we claim Christ as Lord in our life and place him as first in importance, then our focus in preparation should be in sharing the gospel with others.
Though I’ve spent decades in ministry, I’m still a work in progress on this. I proved it during a recent trip to the hair stylist.
It was a quiet moment. No one else was in the store. I was her captive client, and she was my captive audience. After telling me that the store owner was closing down their franchise, I began to ask her what she was going to do. She talked about her boyfriend and their plans, which did not include marriage. No need. They’d both been there, done that, and their mutual commitment was enough — no paper needed.
That’s when I flopped. I was so focused on how to respond to this revelation and her confidence in her situation, that I failed to call on the Holy Spirit for help and simply missed the opportunity. Haircut finished, I walked out the door.
I was unprepared, and I knew it.
After spending several days confessing and asking the Lord for guidance, I got a phone call. It was my hairstylist, just letting me know she’d actually ended up with a job here in town (though she lives outside of the county). I was happy to visit her in her new location.
Happy? I was ecstatic!
That’s what I love about our God; he gives us another chance, when we’re repentant and willing to try again.
So, what am I doing in the meantime? Getting prepared and hoping my hair grows out fast!
“Put on the full armor of God,” says Paul, and that includes fitting my feet with “the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.”*
I don’t want to be standing before the Lord on the End Day hearing him say, “Carol, you missed that opportunity.” I’m working for the “well done, good and faithful servant.”
Have you been caught unaware and unprepared? You don’t have to stay that way. God’s given us everything we need to prepare us for being ready witnesses to the amazing news of Christ.
Let’s stay prepared and ready to share to his glory.
Grace and Peace
*1 Peter 3:15.
*Ephesians 6:11, 15.