For many years I have selected a theme that our church will focus on and strive for during the current year. On Sunday, January 8, I shared this year’s theme with the church family.
Last July, as I was preparing for our annual pastoral staff calendar planning meeting, I sensed the Lord nudging me toward this year’s theme. I discovered it in Titus 2:13: “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.” When I read those words, God stirred in my heart—it spoke to me of the need for Christians to be Ready! Ready for the Lord to return! Ready to live an authentic Christian life while we watch and wait for the Lord to come! Ready to be the salt and light that the Lord has called us to be! READY, in all things that pertain to the Christian life.
How does the Christian live ready and remain focused in a world that is quickly moving away from God?
- Maintain a daily walk with God. It is impossible for a Christian to stay focused on what is clearly important from God’s perspective without taking some time each morning to meet with God. I know some people have their devotions in the evening, but personally, I know how important it is for me to start my day focused on God and His Word. I have a designated place where I do my Bible reading and prayer time. Develop this habit, and find a place where you, too, begin your day with God.
- Attend a good, solid church. A Bible-oriented, New Testament church is the place God designed for believers to develop in the faith. I honestly don’t know a Christian that has a Biblical mindset and walks faithfully with Christ that doesn’t connect with God and other believers by attending church a few times a week.
Growing up, I knew that unless I was sick or our family was out of town, there was only one place we were going to be on Sunday morning, Sunday evening and Wednesday night. God used that time in my life to develop my heart and life for the church. It was where my closest friends were. It was a place where I made life’s most important decisions. It was where I was convicted of my lost condition by the Gospel. It was the place I was baptized into the fellowship of believers known as Cleveland Baptist Church. It was where I heard the still small voice of God calling me to ministry and full-time service. I love the church and can’t imagine my life without the church family.
Let me hasten to say that it isn’t enough just to be a member, you need to be engaged in the ministry of the church. Find a place to serve the Lord with a sincere heart of joy and love for Christ.
- Witness for Christ. No matter where our travels take us, it is guaranteed that we will meet and be engaged with unsaved people—sinners in need of a friend and in need of a message that can change their eternal destiny. We aren’t to be closet believers; rather we are to be vivacious living testimonies of the grace of God. The Bible speaks of us needing to be ready to give an answer of every man that asketh us of the hope that is within us.
Friend, are you living ready? If not, I encourage you to apply these truths to your life. If you do, you will find yourself focused and ready for Christ’s return.