“I'm Committed To Standing Prepared”Categories: Christian Attitudes, Christian Living, Salvation, Sunday Family Report Articles, The Bible, The Church
One of my preaching mentors wrote: “I have been with my current congregation for 18 years. On my first Sunday in the pulpit, I promised the church that I would never stand before them unprepared. I believe I can say with integrity that I have kept that promise. Could I ‘wing it’ after three and a half decades of preaching? Yes, I could. But I would know, and God would know…”
How does he do that? He simply works diligently enough all the time to be prepared at any time. That perspective is one which he did his best to instill in me, and I am willing to make the same promise to my church family at Eastland. I will never stand before them unprepared.
That perspective is obviously noble when it applies to preaching. It also makes for a great perspective on living. Jesus said, “the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect” (Matt. 24:44). In the course of the next chapter, he went on to give five reasons why his followers must work diligently enough all the time to be ready at any time. He asks us not to stand before Him unprepared.
I think sometimes we imagine that the end of our time will come like the end of Paul’s time. We will see our end on the horizon and be able to calmly say, “I have fought the good fight… there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness” (2 Tim. 4:7-8). But Paul’s circumstance was unique. He was a prisoner, facing the death penalty. Paul could see his end coming. We are not likely to find ourselves in that same situation, but we can live with such diligence that we are ready even today to say, “I have fought the good fight… there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness.”
That same preaching mentor was wont to say, “Sunday will come every week, whether you’re ready or not.” It only took about 1 month of full-time preaching before I realized how right he was.
Take this simple reminder to heart: The final day will come once (Heb. 9:27), whether you’re ready or not.
Be diligent to be ready… today.
- Dan Lankford, minister