Summary: To run a marathon of 26 miles, you must first be able to run a single mile. Being prepared is being ready for the task at hand.
Matt 24:36-44 (NIV) Opening scripture
36 "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 37 As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39 and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 40 Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left. 42 "Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. 43 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.
To run a marathon of 26 miles, you must first be able to run a single mile. As the front of your bulletin shows, the two are training for the race. Being prepared is being ready for the task at hand.
If you were going to have a barbeque, you would first fill the barbeque with briquettes and light them in advance. You want them white hot so you can cook on them.
Being ready to start, is being ready to go from the start to the end, to complete the task. Being ready is building the faith that you can accomplish what you started, whether it is a race or a BBQ.
To know what the Lord expects of you is getting ready to serve.
Joshua 3:13 (NLT) The priests will carry the Ark of the LORD, the Lord of all the earth. As soon as their feet touch the water, the flow of water will be cut off upstream, and the river will stand up like a wall.”
When the Priests entered the water with the Ark, were they ready to go swimming or were they ready for God to do something big?
Moses instructed them to step into the water, but would they have done it if they did not have faith that Moses was following God’s instructions? They were ready for God to stop the water so they could be victorious in their obedience. Their faith was ready for God to use them.
On your mark, get set, GO! Getting ready, be prepared, now do what you are prepared to do. Are you where the Lord can use you? Are you ready to be used?
1 Peter 3:15-16 (NIV) 15 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. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.
Do you find yourself a little tongue tied when you know that the Holy Spirit has made an opening, but you don’t know what to say or do? A moment later you kick yourself for not saying or doing what you knew you should have said or done.