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         When the word at the top of the page appears before you, what do you think of? I
think of a rocket on a launching pad, with wisps of vapor rising from its base, and the
countdown to launch down to “three” (and counting). I think of an athlete well-trained in
the short sprints of track and field, such as the 100-yard dash and the 220 yard dash. His
feet are in the starter‟s blocks, his body is stretched to the starting line, every muscle is
taut with anticipation, and the call has sounded, “Ready … set …”—and the next sound
is that of the starter‟s gun. I think of a racehorse in the starting gate, poised and ready to
spring to the race once the bell rings, the gate springs open, and “they‟re off!”

       The word “ready” is a big word for sinner, saint and servant in the Bible.

       The sinner needs to know that God has made full preparation to save all sinners,
even himself, that the “product” is complete, and that God is at this moment “ready to
save.” Couched in the language of a parable, Jesus pictured His Father as “a certain king
who made a marriage for his son.” The king, of course, is God, and the king‟s son is
Jesus. The invitation to the wedding was presented in these words, “All things are ready;
come to the marriage” (Matthew 22:4). If you are without Christ, you may take the first
statement quite literally. The full price of your salvation has been paid; the full provision
is now available. The invitations have been sent out. The question is, Are you ready?
Everything is provisionally ready, and God is personally ready. “You are a God ready to
pardon” (Nehemiah 8:17). “You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, and plenteous in
mercy to all them that call upon You.” Would you, sir, admit your lostness and
helplessness to save or help yourself, trust Jesus Christ and accept the Father‟s invitation,
and be saved today. “Come, for all things are now ready” (Luke 14:17).

        Then the word “ready” is a big word for a saint, or a Christian. A saint should be
constantly “ready” to “grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus
Christ” (II Peter 3:18). He should be “ready” to “pray without ceasing” (I Thessalonians
5:17), maintaining a prayerful attitude toward God at all times. God said to Moses as he
awaited orders before Mount Sinai, “Be ready in the morning, and come up into the
mountain…., and prepare yourself there to me in the top of the mountain” (Exodus 34:2).
I like to apply this to the mountaintop encounter with God every morning in my daily
quiet time. “Look from the top,” says Song of Solomon 4:8. Occupy and maximize your
position in Christ “in the heavenlies” (a phrase used five times in Ephesians), and take
your viewpoint from that Mount Perspective. The terrain of the earth beneath looks quite
different from a high altitude. Always be “ready” to go “farther up and farther in” with

       Finally, the word “ready” is a big word for the Christian servant. Every Christian
should regard himself as a servant of Christ and of others for His sake.

       When Gideon prepared to raise an army to expel the invading Mideonites from
the land of Israel, a great number of men made themselves available for the fight.

However, God said, “There are far too many volunteers. Most of them are not ready to
pay the cost of discipline and pain in order to defeat the enemy. So Gideon, I want you to
send the entire army down to the river to get a drink of water. The ones who kneel down
to the ground to drink, I want you to send them home. The ones who only stoop and
drink in that posture, I want you to keep them and prepare them for battle.” What was the
difference? The kneelers were incapacitated for quick, momentary movement, while the
stoopers were prepared to move quickly and easily. One was ready, the other was not.
God places a very high premium on readiness among his servants. The ready servant has
prepared himself to meet with God, the delinquent has not.

        The Christian disciple should be always ready to speak to others about Christ.
“Let the redeemed of the Lord say so.” Peter wrote, “Sanctify the Lord God in your
heart, and be ready always to give an answer (Greek, apologia, like a lawyer‟s defence)
to any man who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you with meekness and fear” (I
Peter 3:15). A Christian should always have a ready witness or testimony. He should
have a witness prepared and ready to be spoken at all times. The word “answer” in
Peter‟s statement means “a lawyer‟s brief.” It is a clear and compelling defence of the
Gospel. This means that a Christian should be ready to “go to the front lines” of Gospel
apologetics at all times. II Samuel 18:22 says “How can you run, my son, seeing that you
have no tidings ready?” What a tragedy, for a Christian to “have no tidings” ready after
being a believer in Christ for years. If suddenly the whole human race were your
audience and you had the only witness that could lead them to Christ, could you given
them a powerful Christian witness? Paul said, “I am ready to preach the Gospel to them
that are in Rome also.” And he proved his readiness by actually going to Rome to serve,
to witness, to preach, to be imprisoned because of his testimony for Christ—and to die.
Jesus said, “The fields are white already to harvest” (John 4:35). Harvest do not wait;
they do not consult us for the schedule they follow. Each harvest is a crisis, and will be
lost forever if Christians do not show up in the field to witness and to work.

        The Christian disciple should be always ready to assume a position of
servanthood to share himself and his resources with anyone in need. In II Samuel 15:15,
in a time of extreme national tension and open rebellion against David‟s throne, David‟s
servants said to him, “Your servants are ready to do whatever the king shall appoint.”
What a day that would be in which all believers volunteer to fulfill the King‟s
appointments and speak all that the King‟s tells us to say. Titus 3:1 tells each Christian to
“be ready to any good work.”

      The Christian disciple should always be ready to die. The entire Bible tells us in
many different ways that

                          “Life is short, Death is sure,
                           Sin is the curse, Christ is the cure.”

       Having solved the problem of sin “through Another‟s life and Another‟s death,”
the Christian is ready to die. Not homesick, mind you, not anxious about making the trip
today, but ready if the Grim Reaper comes calling. Paul said, “I am now ready to be

offered; the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight; I have kept the
faith. Henceforth there is a crown of righteousness laid up for me, and not for me only,
but also unto all those who love His appearing” (II Timothy 4:6).

        Christian, you are not fully ready to live if you are not fully ready to die. And you
are neither ready to live or die, if you are not ready to serve Christ.

       Opportunity usually sneaks up to a side window and gently taps on the window
pane—and most Christians shoo it away for one of several reasons: (1) Because their
mentality is not an “opportunity mentality,” and in that frame of mind, (2)They don‟t
recognize the vast opportunity God brings to them, and (3) Most of all, because they have
not prepared themselves to meet the opportunity and minister accordingly. So they go
back to their status quo, though “their status ain‟t nuthin‟ to quo about”!

        This morning, the sports section of the local daily newspaper carried a very
positive article about an athlete on the basketball team of a major university in the area.
Without mentioning his name or the name of the team, let me quote some of the things
reported in the article. “__________ is the perfect example of why a player should
always be prepared. He has spent the majority of the season on the bench for the
_________. That was until recently when he finally earned himself a starting job, largely
because he remained ready instead of sulking about not playing. He made sure his
shooting stayed sharp by getting on the court and practicing whenever he could. „I think
sometimes I made the cheerleaders mad because they were practicing from 7:30 to 10:30
at night, and I‟m like, Man, are they ever going to get off? he said. „I‟m in here 11:30, 12
o‟clock at night, the lights turning off on me and I‟m still out here shooting. There are
things you have to do to be ready for your opportunity because when it comes around you
don’t want it to pass you up because you’re not ready.‟” “They do it to obtain a
corruptible crown (a temporary applause and a temporal trophy), but we an incorruptible
(a durable commendation and an eternal reward)” (I Corinthians 9:25). Should we be
less ready to meet our assignment than they?