Dear Church Family,
Preparation is an important part of each of our lives. We have all experienced the joy and satisfaction that comes from being well prepared for something. Equally, we have all experienced the anxiety and stress that comes with being unprepared. Whether it is a math test at school, a meeting at work, the big game against a rival team, a lifetime of commitment in marriage, or a challenging season of life, the difference between being prepared or unprepared becomes apparent pretty quickly.
Preparation is also an important spiritual principle. Jesus spent three years with his Disciples preparing them for the time he would leave them and entrust the mission of the Gospel to them. He spoke to them often about being prepared. In the twenty-fourth and twenty-fifth chapters of Matthew, Jesus tells several parables about the importance of being prepared for his return. He tells the disciples they should be prepared for suffering in their Christian life. He tells them they should be prepared for Christ's return by being obedient to the mission of the Gospel daily. He also gives an urgent warning about the consequences of being unprepared.
1“At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the groom. 2 Five of them were foolish and five were wise. 3 When the foolish took their lamps, they didn’t take oil with them; 4 but the wise ones took oil in their flasks with their lamps. 5 When the groom was delayed, they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
6 “In the middle of the night there was a shout: ‘Here’s the groom! Come out to meet him.’ 7 “Then all the virgins got up and trimmed their lamps. 8 The foolish ones said to the wise ones, ‘Give us some of your oil, because our lamps are going out.’ 9 “The wise ones answered, ‘No, there won’t be enough for us and for you. Go instead to those who sell oil, and buy some for yourselves.’
10 “When they had gone to buy some, the groom arrived, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet, and the door was shut. 11 Later the rest of the virgins also came and said, ‘Master, master, open up for us!’
12 “He replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you!’ 13 “Therefore be alert, because you don’t know either the day or the hour.
Over the next 21 Days, we are going to Pray and Prepare for what God wants to do in our lives individually and corporately as a church. Part of preparation is consistency. I would like to ask you to prioritize a time each day to read through the Scripture content provided for you, and then take some time to pray. This is how we, “Set our minds on things above,” as we are told in Colossians 3:2.
I am praying for you, as you walk through this season of Prayer and Preparation. I am asking God to encourage and equip you. I am asking Him to give you a new sense of calling and purpose for this ministry that He has entrusted to you. As you read that last line, maybe you thought, “I don’t have a ministry.” Well, I am praying that God would open your eyes to see that you do, and also give you clarity to see what it is.
So, let’s Prepare church! Let’s seek the Lord. Jesus has given us a mission, let’s not let our lamps grow dim like the young women in the parable. Let’s shine our light brightly on Jesus, the great Bride-Groom. He is coming again for His people. Let’s be ready when He returns.
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