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Preparation is Godly Discipline

Many of us are gearing up for a time of family and friends, of social gatherings and joyful celebrations.

Some of us, however, are facing a time of conflict . . . loneliness . . . mourning . . . memories of what once was. We are looking at this season of joy as a season of dread.

Whichever season we are in, we need to be prepared for what the day has . . . prepared to be representatives of Christ. 

God is strong, and he wants you strong. So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way. This is no afternoon athletic contest that we’ll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels.

 Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet.

If we are prepared, we are ready to rely on God and not on our own understanding. We are ready to handle what this world has for us – ready for the challenges – the flaming arrows, the disappointments, the naysayers, the gossip, the criticism, the judgment. We are ready to handle the joys . . . ready to encourage . . . ready to be hospitable . . . ready to love.

Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life.

God’s Word is an indispensable weapon.

In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters.

We get prepared for these days ahead by practicing and applying truth, righteousness, peacefulness, faithfulness and claiming the power of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Remember . . . God’s weapons are for use in this day. Ask Him to show you how to use them. Read His Word. Sit with Him and His Word in a daily way and listen and converse with Him moment by moment. This is a discipline. It takes practice. It is preparation.

Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out. Ephesians 6:10-18 MSG*

Remember . . . this is not a competition – we want everyone to win . . . to know the love of Christ. We want all our family, friends, and neighbors to be with us in paradise. So pay attention to those who God has placed in your path. Be prepared to encourage each other in love.

*Scripture quotations marked MSG are taken from THE MESSAGE, copyright © 1993, 2002, 2018 by Eugene H. Peterson. Used by permission of NavPress. All rights reserved. Represented by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.

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