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BiC's Christian Blog

Bic's Blog is a Christian blog for encouragement and exhortation to live the victorious life in Christ Jesus. BiC's Christian Blog exists for encouragement, hope, and to help us grow toward victorious Christian living.

New! I am now writing articles of help and hope for those who aren't Christian. My hope is that you may encouraged as well. These topics have an asterisk * at the end of the title. This part of the blog is just getting started, so please be patient...there are more blog articles on the way!

All posts are welcome except comments that dishonor others. Disagreement is fine, but comments that dishonor others are not accepted.

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Get Ready, Get Set, Wait

Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.
1 Peter 1:13

Prepare
There are many scripture references encouraging us to prepare, being prepared, getting ready, or being ready. Likewise for references to wait or waiting. There are more references to these two virtues than the vast majority of other topics, including references to money, which are mentioned quite often.

But, on the contrary, as the Scripture says, What eye has not seen and ear has not heard and has not entered into the heart of man, [all that] God has prepared (made and keeps ready) for those who love Him [[a]who hold Him in affectionate reverence, promptly obeying Him and gratefully recognizing the benefits He has bestowed]. 1 Corinthians 2:9 (Amplified Bible)

In My Father's house there are many dwelling places (homes). If it were not so, I would have told you; for I am going away to prepare a place for you. John 14:2 (Amplified Bible)

[Prompted] by faith Noah, being forewarned by God concerning events of which as yet there was no visible sign, took heed and diligently and reverently constructed and prepared an ark for the deliverance of his own family. Hebrews 11:7 (Amplified Bible)

From the beginning God prepared for us. He knew each one of us before we were born. He prepared a way back to relationship with Him; He has prepared, in advance, good works for us to do; Jesus has gone to prepare a place for us. We too often think of preparing as way to get something we want – to consume. Ponder the kind of preparation God and our Lord Jesus are doing. It is all about you and me – preparations to receive us, to love us, and to provide for us. God and Jesus model for us what preparation is in the Kingdom of God: a virtue of serving.


Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. Matthew 20:26-28

Since we are a new creation - alive in Christ and dead to the principles of this world, we are called to a new way of preparation that is other-focused. We need a paradigm shift - more accurately, a renewed mind from the futility of our thinking that life on this planet is about us. Our life is not our own. We were bought with a price - a sacrifice prepared in advance. Our preparation needs to be directed outward: preparing to love, preparing to give, preparing to serve, preparing to encourage, preparing to give the reason for our hope, and preparing to be with God and our Lord Jesus in our real world one day.

We are also called to prepare for jobs and careers, relationships, etc., but not simply as means to get something we want or, more dangerously, we believe we deserve (entitlement). This is not freedom in Christ and eventually can lead us into idolatry and bondage.  We prepare, in all things, to have an impact in the lives of others for the sake of Christ and the Kingdom.

Single men and women desiring to be married: prepare your minds and hearts to serve, not be served.
Husbands and wives: prepare your minds and hearts to serve, not be served.
Employers and employees: prepare your minds and hearts to serve, not be served.
Pastors and congregations: prepare your minds and hearts to serve, not be served.
All Christians: prepare your minds and hearts to serve the world, not to be served by the world.

Prepare as God and our Lord Jesus prepare for us.

Wait

For [even the whole] creation (all nature) waits expectantly and longs earnestly for God's sons to be made known [waits for the revealing, the disclosing of their sonship]. Romans 8:19 (Amplified Bible)

God has been persistent in telling me to wait or be patient. It's been an ongoing theme and, at most times, a thorn in my side. I remember the last time He asked me to be patient was through a prayer time with some others. I was in a very good place with God and just I laughed out loud! It just hit me as being very funny because it seemed like that was always His reply to me. I simply laughed and embraced it.

Waiting, like preparing, is a virtue. They go hand-in-hand. We are conditioned, especially in the industrialized world, that waiting is unacceptable, passive, or even weak. But waiting, in the Kingdom of God, is hard work. It requires faith, trust, perseverance, obedience, and self-control.

You will notice in the scriptures that many references to waiting are paired with words like expectantly, or eagerly, or with hope. Waiting, as a Christian, is active not passive. In waiting we prepare, we pray, we seek, we listen, we respond.

For in [this] hope we were saved. But hope [the object of] which is seen is not hope. For how can one hope for what he already sees? But if we hope for what is still unseen by us, we wait for it with patience and composure. Romans 8:24-26 (Amplified Bible)

Composure denotes peacefulness and steadfastness, not anxiety or stress. Waiting transforms us if we embrace it. If instead we constantly choose to resist, complain, and control, we forfeit growing up - gaining maturity. We stay on milk and never move on to the meat of our faith. Patience is fruit of the Spirit. We can't make fruit. Jesus is the vine, we are the branches. Our participation is surrendering our will to the will of God in Christ. This is hard work - definitely not weak or passive!

Begin to embrace waiting as a virtue that leads to being more like Jesus, and less about the object of your waiting. As opportunities arise to be patient or to wait, ask Jesus to be courage, self-control, and obedience in you. And ask Him how you are to prepare while you wait.


BiC

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