The following blog was first seen on KristenHogrefe.com. Thanks so much to Kristen for hosting this and sharing it with her readers! Check out her site for more encouragement and godly challenges!
Last week, Florida had its first measurable snow fall in nearly 30 years! Although we only received a tenth of an inch here in Tallahassee, a long section of Interstate 10 was closed for hours, FSU canceled classes, and several schools closed for the day.
Of course, social media was a-buzz as northerners made fun of us for making a big deal out of such a small amount of snow and ice. But the truth is that we weren’t prepared for this kind of weather—and we never are. That’s because the potential for it is too low to justify the expense of preparing for it.
This experience got me thinking about the topic of preparation, and I wondered what the Bible said about spiritual preparation. After a little research, I found the following three things that every Christian should be prepared for.
1 – Prepare to see Jesus.
“Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready” (Revelation 19:7 NAS).
We may witness the Second Coming of Jesus, or we may pass on to Heaven before He returns. Either way, we will see Jesus face to face one day!
So, how do we get ready to meet our Savior? Through “sanctification,” which is the process of becoming holy. In his best-selling book, The Pursuit of Holiness, author Jerry Bridges states that “Holiness is nothing less than conformity to the character of God.” This is something we must do, not something that is done to us. (See Ephesians 4:20-24 and 1 Peter 1:14-16.)
Here are four ways we can pursue holiness in our lives:
- Know God’s Word. Meditate on it and commit as much to memory as we can. (Psalm 119:15-16).
- Focus on Jesus and everything else will fall into place. (1 Peter 1:13 NAS).
- Do good deeds with a sincere heart. (1 Timothy 6:18 NAS).
- Stand firm against evil but prepare for peace. (Ephesians 6:14-16 NAS).
2 – Prepare to pay the cost.
In The Cost of Discipleship, author Dietrich Bonhoeffer states that true grace “is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life…Above all, it is costly because it cost God the life of his Son…and what has cost God much cannot be cheap for us.”
As followers of Jesus, we must walk in godly discipline. Here are a few ways we can prepare ourselves to pay the cost of our discipleship.
- Be disciplined. (Hebrews 12:4-7)
- Carry our individual crosses. (Luke 14:27)
- Commit all that we have to the Lord. (Luke 14:33)
- Trust in God and do not fear (1 Peter 3:14-15)
[Click to Tweet: True grace is costly because it cost God the life of his Son. – Dietrich Bonhoeffer #grace #quote #bigsisterknows]
[Click to Tweet: What has cost God much cannot be cheap for us. – Dietrich Bonhoeffer #grace #quote #bigsisterknows]
3 – Prepare to share the Gospel.
It is not enough that we believe in Jesus; we must also introduce others to Him. Regardless of your calling or your role in the church, make sure you are willing and able to share the Gospel and to mentor other believers in your sphere of influence.
“I solemnly charge you…preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction” (2 Timothy 4:1-2 NAS).
[Click to Tweet: It is not enough that we believe in Jesus; we must also introduce others to Him. #crosslife #bigsisterknows]
Resolve to Prepare
It rarely snows in Florida, so it makes sense that we would be less prepared than northern states.
But as Christians, being unprepared doesn’t make any sense at all. If we truly love the Lord, why wouldn’t we want to draw close to Him, to be like Him, and to introduce others to Him?
If this list seems daunting, though, don’t worry! The first step is to write down the Scriptures so you can study and meditate on them throughout the year. You may also want to check out The Pursuit of Holiness and The Cost of Discipleship referenced above.
As always, ask for God’s help and guidance. You can pray something simple like this:
“Father God, you said that I should make myself ready for your return, to pay the cost of discipleship, and to share the Gospel. Please soften my heart and harden my resolve that I would be prepared for all the wonderful things you want to accomplish in my life and through it. Let everything I do glorify You. In the name of Jesus, who was and is and is to come. Amen.”
[Click to Tweet: As Christians, being unprepared doesn’t make any sense at all. #crosslife #bigsisterknows]
Are you resolved to prepare yourself spiritually? What methods or tools are you using to help you get started and stay on track?