Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Faithfully serving the Lord requires faithful preparation.

            A while back I read a story about a young boy who was growing up in the ghettos of Louisville, Ky. While it was a tough, poor neighborhood, this young man was fortunate to have parents who loved him and did the best they could in raising him. When he was twelve years old, they scraped together enough money to buy him a brand new bicycle. A few days later, however, it was stolen. When the angry young boy went out looking for the thief determined to get his bike back, he ran into a policeman who asked him what he was doing. The policeman, fearing the boy was headed for trouble, tried to turn his attention in another direction. He invited him to go to the gym and began to teach him to how to box.
The young boy was Cassius Clay who later took on the name of Mohammed Ali. He went on to become one of the greatest fighters to ever enter the ring. When asked once how he prepared for his fights, Ali said that he did all the things every fighter does but then Ali added, “To this day I never found my bike, but every time I got in the ring, I’d look across at my opponent and say to myself, that’s the guy who stole my bike!”
For two and a half years, Jesus had his disciples in training camp. He was not training them for a boxing match but for ministry. He was equipping them for the tough work that lay ahead. Late in Jesus’ ministry we often find Jesus taking his disciples aside. His goal was to spend some time with them, teaching are preparing them for the work that lay ahead. He knew how difficult things would be. He knew the temptations and trials they would face so he worked to keep them focused on the ministry they would carry out.
As we go through life, our task is the same. The Lord has called upon us to live our lives for him. While we may not be evangelists or preachers, we are his disciples. We are the ones he has called to faith, the ones called to live our lives to the glory of his name.
The only way we can do this well is by being prepared. The only way this can be done is by staying close to Jesus and his Word. As summer activities wain and fall schedules kick in, don’t forget to include worship and the study of God’s Word in your schedule. Keep your eyes focused on Jesus and you will be ready for anything that comes.