"Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning." Luke 12:35
Someone has described negligence as the lack of preparation or the failure to anticipate an event. The result is apt to be that a sudden development finds the individual unprepared and at a very serious disadvantage to cope with it.
In the time before the great deluge the people were negligent. Instead of making preparation, they were neglectful or preoccupied with other things. They were, as Jesus said, "eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark" (Luke 17:27). It was the same with the people of Sodom and Gomorrah prior to the great destruction. And the situation will be no different in the days preceding our Lord's Second Coming.
To be prepared means to be ready to make the most of opportunities that present themselves. As Christ's disciples and witnesses it is well for us to be prepared to testify to our faith in Jesus Christ. Saint Peter tells us, "Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have" (1 Peter 3:15). The apostle could write this with a poignant recollection of that fateful night at the high priest's palace when and where he was not ready to give truthful answers to the questions he was asked. Instead, he denied Jesus.
Saint Paul seemed always to be ready, always prepared, to capitalize on opportunities to witness to the Gospel. He was ready with an answer when the shaken jailor in Philippi asked how he could be saved: he was to believe in Jesus as his, and his household's, Savior. Further, Paul liked to have his congregations do things in order--for example, to be ready with the offerings so that, when he came that way, he could pick them up and deliver them to the starving saints in Jerusalem.
For all of life it is true, opportunity favors the prepared person.
PRAYER: Lord God, help me to be ready to share Your love wherever necessary. Amen.
(Devotions from "With Jesus Every Day" copyright 1997, CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time emailing of this link to a friend. For information on other devotional material, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.)