If I have been asked once, I have been asked a thousand times, “Are you ready for Christmas?”
No, I am NOT ready for Christmas!
Well, if by “ready” you mean “have you purchased gifts for every relative and friend, cleaned your house, wrapped everything in red foil, watered the tree, mailed the cards, etc.,” then NO! Quit pestering me, alright! If, on the other hand, you mean to ask if I am ready for Christmas to get here, they yes, I am.
I am not the only person in this situation. Most, if honest, probably wish they had at least another month to get done everything on their lists. It is really hard to get ready for Christmas, traditionally speaking. On the other hand, I hope that we are always ready to celebrate the birth of Christ, which is the point of the whole day, you know.
Aside from getting ready for the Christmas celebrations to come, there are also some other things for which we need to prepare. Last night I gave my congregation three things that all of us should be ready for, maybe even more so than Christmas.
Be Ready to Preach
Paul said, “So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel…” (Romans 1:15). I should be able to say the same, for, just like the apostle, “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth…” (1:16). I should, and YOU should be ready to preach/teach/share the gospel at anytime with anyone.
But you may say, “I am not a preacher, though.” Really? Well, the words of Jesus apply to all of us. He said,
And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. – Mar 16:15 KJV
And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. – Mar 16:15 ESV
Even though you may not be a pastor or Sunday School teacher, if you are not ashamed of Jesus, then it is still your responsibility to “proclaim” the message Christmas, the gospel (“good news”) of Jesus coming to save. Be ready to preach.
Be Ready to Give an Answer
“But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer [a reasonable defense] to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have…” – 1Pe 3:15 NIV
If Jesus is the “reason for the season,” are we able defend the Reason, based on reason and evidence; not hollow, empty faith? There are so many who are quick to attack Christians and the God of Christianity. They claim Christmas is based on a myth no more verifiable than the existence of Santa Claus himself. These same folk who deny Jesus was the Messiah then choose to follow some other pagan god, or no god, and say their “reasons” are more logical. Really? Where is their evidence?
The Apostle Peter, when he said to “always be ready,” knew that there would be those who would question us and ask, “why do you have so much hope?” There are still plenty of people who are without hope in this world. They are looking for answers. What they are not looking for is a fairytale to make them feel good. They are looking for Truth that will make a difference in life, both on this earth and in eternity. Be ready to give an answer.
Be Ready to Go
I am writing this on the day before Christmas Eve, which is the day before Christmas. I know that Christmas is two days away. But unlike Christmas, I do not know if I will be here in two days. There are no guarantees about tomorrow, for one day life on this earth will be over and eternity will begin. However, for many of us, we believe that Jesus is coming back one day.
Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. – Mat 24:44 KJV
I want to be ready for His return. I want to be ready to go with Him. Being ready for that day, I believe, is a lot more important than getting everything wrapped just so, or cleaning house. If any “cleaning house” is done, we should always make sure our spiritual “house” is clean and ready. One day, someday, a trumpet is going to sound…
1 Corinthians 15:51-54 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
Are you ready to go? If not, then there is good news: you can be. You may say that you are not good enough. You may think that you have done too many things to be forgiven. You may think that if God is real, then there is no getting right with Him, because you’re just too bad. Well, if you are willing to put your faith in the Christ of Christmas, the good new is that God is also ready…ready to forgive.
For thou, Lord, [art] good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee. – Psa 86:5 KJV
Get ready for Christmas; but make your heart ready for Christ. The Jesus born in a manger wants to give new life to you. Are you ready?
Questions about faith in Jesus Christ?