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Be Ready - A Devotion

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Luke 12:35-40 (NLT)
“Be dressed for service and keep your lamps burning, as though you were waiting for your master to return from the wedding feast. Then you will be ready to open the door and let him in the moment he arrives and knocks. The servants who are ready and waiting for his return will be rewarded. I tell you the truth, he himself will seat them, put on an apron, and serve them as they sit and eat! He may come in the middle of the night or just before dawn. But whenever he comes, he will reward the servants who are ready. Understand this: If a homeowner knew exactly when a burglar was coming, he would not permit his house to be broken into. You also must be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected.”

Are you ready? Every day, all day are you ready for the arrival of Jesus Christ. Do you want to be ready? You can be simply by faith that allows belief to dictate your attitude and actions in life. I wish it were that easy but with the compounded stress of survival and just trying to get by each day – who has time to focus on the things of God let alone spend all day in prayer and supplication. Let’s be real. There are schedules to keep, lists to check off, places to be and people to see that require our immediate attention at all times. The enemy of our soul has convinced us that we have many priorities in life not just one, but the truth is if we would be ready to serve the Lord each day that we would soon discover that He already prepared everything we need, most of what we want and all of our desires according to His Will for our enjoyment! Trouble is we have changed in our fancy clothes of righteousness for filthy rags of sinfulness and allowed the Light of His Love to go out in the midst of the darkness that we have chosen to live in. The servants were not waiting for the master to return and rebuke them, they were waiting to be rewarded. We must be ready all of the time for the Son of Man to come especially when we least expect it. In doing so, you will find that He is ready to bless you.

We are preparing to go out of town for an overnight excursion just the girls to celebrate my youngest daughter’s birthday. Sugar, shopping and silliness for a quick 24-hour getaway to a nearby destination. The girls are giddy with excitement and for some reason my husband has absolutely no interest in our little sojourn. To be honest, having just returned from spending a couple days with our son while he underwent chemotherapy, unpacking, working, family dinner to celebrate little ones day and now throwing some clothes in the travel bag again to head in the opposite direction after work today did not seem as exciting last night when I went to bed. But today, as I pulled out the duffle bag and began packing, I realized after two years of short trips back and forth to be with our son, it had become a no-brainer so to speak. I no longer worry about what to take – it has become routine. Another thing that I have noticed while getting ready is that I pack much lighter than when it all began. I have found that I do not need as much as I once thought I did and if I forget something that there is a Wal-Mart in every town willing to take my money to replace the missing item. Such day trips in the past would have culminated in days of preparation, many lists and pre-packing, but not anymore. No today, I am looking forward to piling all my girls in the car and spending some time with them. I have realized that I just want to be with them. We have not had precious time like this in a very long time. I must be ready to enjoy our adventure and not locked up in the details. I must be ready to be with the ones that I love rather than making everything perfect.

Genesis 2:1-3 (NLT)
So the creation of the heavens and the earth and everything in them was completed. On the seventh day God had finished his work of creation, so he rested from all his work. And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because it was the day when he rested from all his work of creation.

EVERYTHING of the heavens and earth were completed in Genesis 2:1 by the sixth day. God even said that it was good. (Genesis 1:31) Ok, stop for just a moment and read the verses above again. Everything in them was completed. I have come to know and understand that when God says “everything” that He is more comprehensive than people are. For example, I will ask my kids if they have cleaned their room. They respond – “Yes!” As their mom, I know that my interpretation of “cleanliness” is not the same as theirs so I ask again. Annoyed, they again tell me that it is done. So I begin to rattle off a checklist of things that make up my definition of clean. Did you put all your clothes away? Usually, lose them with the first one but on those rare occasions I am allowed to continue. Did you dust? Did you vacuum? Did you make your bed? Did you close the drawers? Did you? Most of the time, we have a difference of opinion. So when we read the verse that says that everything was completed, we do not understand the finite details of God and that when He uses the word “everything” it means complete lacking no good thing. Every single plan and purpose of God was firmly in place at that moment. From beginning to the end, everything had been decided. God called it good. When God finished His Work, He was satisfied and entered His Rest. I do not read anywhere that He ever stopped resting or went back into creative mode to change his original work. In fact the Word of God tells us that He does not change or lie for that matter. (Numbers 23:19) Why does this matter? We work so hard for a better life when it has already been created and all we must do is be ready to receive it. This is not a long term goal but a short term achievement for every person who lives ready to receive the Goodness that God has prepared for them. It is in everyday life. It is your purpose found in His Presence. If we would learn to be ready to receive from the Lord rather than racing around to make a better life, we would be complete lacking no good thing.

Psalm 119:138 (NLT) Your laws are perfect and completely trustworthy.

God’s Word is perfect and completely trustworthy. The definition “law” is what people have trouble with because it restricts our freedom. But if God made everything good, perfect and complete and then made only one way to have it then it would be only logical that one might need some direction in attaining the “everything” that God has for us. But we are not cattle forced down a shoot, but free to choose what kind of life we will live rather filled with blessing or cursing. We are given the liberty to decide whether we live or die each moment on our way to forever. God didn’t force us to choose His Way but took a step back and rested allowing us to choose our own path. He gave us His Word to guide and direct people to every good and perfect thing that He completely prepared ahead of time for them. We must be ready to choose the right path to have the “everything” that God completed for us.

Ephesians 1:22-23 (NLT)
God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church. And the church is his body; it is made full and complete by Christ, who fills all things everywhere with himself.

Knowing the end from the beginning, God sent His Only Son Jesus Christ to cover the sins of all mankind that would prohibit people from entering His Rest and experiencing everything that He has prepared for those in right-standing with Him. Unfortunately, most people do not understand exactly what righteousness is and until recently I have the wrong perception myself. I thought righteousness was doing all the right things, saying all the right words and making me a better me. What I have realized is that who I am is a direct result of God’s everything that was completed in the beginning. He knows everything about me in vivid detail because it was God who made me that way. When I gave my life to Jesus Christ, it was not surrendering anything good but giving all that was left after sin devastated my life for all that Jesus Christ is and every good thing that the Father is offering in His Great Faithfulness and Unfailing Love. See any other person would have gone back on his word with such betrayal and treachery. But not God, even though I fail Him daily – He just overflows in mercy, grace and love for me because He decided to love me a long time ago, righteousness comes when I decide to love God like He loves me. Unconditionally. I want to be right where He is even when I do not understand the details of my life but fully believe that He completed everything before I arrived and it is all good! By accepting righteousness at the foot of the Cross from Jesus Christ my Lord, I am allowed to move closer to God and experience the intimacy and overwhelming joy of His Great Love. By faith, I am made complete in Jesus Christ accepting the Fullness of God’s Goodness to take over my life.

Ephesians 3:16-19 (NLT)
I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.

If only God’s People would come to know and understand the vast potential of the Love of God in their life, faith would become confident hope and we would grow deep roots that keep us pursing a wider, longer, higher and deeper love affair with God. We would be ready to give more and more of our life to discover and experience the Love of God and the Fullness offered in His Son, Jesus Christ. Through His Unlimited Resources, He will empower you. These are the same unlimited resources that the Lord has already designated when He completed “everything”. You have the potential today and God has purposed you to be complete lacking no good thing. Why aren’t you? Maybe you just aren’t ready? We overload our life with the people and things we think we need to be complete only to find discontentment. We spend all our time chasing the American Dream winding up in a potential nightmare. We are overloaded, overanxious and over-it-all, why? Because we are complete in Jesus Christ. God already did it. By turning around and leaving this world behind, taking a step of faith, we will fall in love with God and in turn be wrapped up in His Great Love that is better than life. You will find satisfaction in that moment. Your sorrow will be turned to joy even if the situation has not changed. You will be ready to receive from the Lord.

Colossians 2:9-10 (NLT)
For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body. So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority.

Jesus Christ is the completion point for all humanity. Those who choose to live life their own way will miss the “everything” that is part of their plan and purpose that God designated as good with a future and hope at the beginning of time. (Jeremiah 29:11) God prepared all of this in advance for the provision of His Children. He is a good father. But we like the prodigal son have lost our way thinking that the world has more to offer. Today is the day to realize that home is a better place even if I must be a servant in my own house. We are the sons and daughters of God who often choose to serve rather than experience the Love of the Father that requires humble submission of our life. When our oldest son decided it was time to move out of our house and experience his own independence, he made it very clear that the rules of the house were not acceptable and on his own that he could do as he pleased. It only took about six months for him to admit that the house rules weren’t too bad compared to the financial burden of living on his own, cooking his own meals, cleaning his own house, etc. We do not have to do it ourselves living on our own finding our own way providing for ourselves. But faith and confident hope must be confirmed in our action as we live what we belief therefore faith in action equal completion in Jesus Christ. (James 2:22) Whenever we decide to use grace and freedom to live our own way or do things our way, it is in direct opposition to the Plan and Purpose of God which will never result in completion. But by doing things His Way and walking in His Steps following Jesus Christ, we are complete! Readiness is designed as being completely prepared and fit for immediate action. It means to be duly equipped, completed, adjusted (transformed, maybe) and arranged for a purpose. It is to be willing. Are you ready today?

James 1:2-4 (NLT)
Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.

For those who desire to be perfect and complete needing nothing, be ready. Be ready to sacrifice. (Hebrews 11:17-19) Faith is proven when tested. Faith is required to be complete and experience everything that God planned for you from the beginning. It is necessary to fulfill God’s Plan and Purpose for our life. Be ready to receive your salvation. (I Peter 1:3-6) Our faith is essential in receiving salvation which is the summation of God’s Purpose for our life. He wants us to step from death to life. This should be our objective all day every day. Salvation is not earned but a Gift from God that is received by His Grace and Mercy. As we learn to live in His Love by His Grace and Mercy that we have been given, it overflows into the lives of others. Pride melts into passion for other people and patience for their shortcomings are not so different from our own that have been washed in the Blood of Jesus Christ. Be ready to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ by the way you live, the things you do, the thoughts you think and every single time you encounter another person. If you do not have the time or inclination to tell them about Jesus Christ, you can certainly show them. And finally, be ready to suffer. . (I Peter 4:1-2) Say what? To crucify our flesh is going to cause you discomfort, there will be pain. You cannot follow Jesus Christ if “you” get in the way. It is a battle. It is probably the greatest barrier we face in stepping into the Righteousness of God through Jesus Christ. Yet, the pain and suffering of refinement are totally worth the joy of our salvation and the satisfaction of being complete lacking nothing!

Habakkuk 2:1-3 (NLT)
I will climb up to my watchtower and stand at my guard post. There I will wait to see what the LORD says and how he will answer my complaint. Then the LORD said to me, “Write my answer plainly on tablets, so that a runner can carry the correct message to others. This vision is for a future time. It describes the end, and it will be fulfilled. If it seems slow in coming, wait patiently, for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed.

Today, I am ready to enjoy some much needed time with my three daughters. I am ready to stop worrying about what to pack and how to get through the details of today to head out tonight. I am thankful that there is a Wal-Mart close to the hotel so that if we forget anything we are covered, but more importantly I am totally grateful for a God who made this all possible. He planned and purposed these children in my life. He provided the means to go and enjoy an overnight getaway. He purposed for me to have a complete and good life lacking nothing. It is now up to me to be ready to receive it. I will stop complaining and step back up on watchtower and wait for the Lord! I know that He is coming and all these troubles are light and momentary. He has already supplied EVERYTHING that I need as He waits to see that I am ready to receive! Well Lord, I am finally ready!

John 14:3-4 (NLT)
“When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. And you know the way to where I am going.”



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