I am Ready!

When it comes to our spiritual lives and listening to what God has told us in His Word and in the opportunities that God lays out before us, how many of us can make the statement, “I am Ready!” In that statement, we say so much. With those words, we are proclaiming our willingness to take action. With those words, we are showing our humility as a servant, ready to face whatever comes, and we will be prepared to do that simply because we want to obey the voice of the Master.

It is a statement made when we know that what we are doing is more significant than ourselves. It is a statement made when we can see and understand there may be perils to face ahead of us. We make this statement as we gather up our courage and resolve, take action, and face whatever lies ahead. It is a statement that speaks of our preparedness. We have weighed the evidence, we have learned what we need to know, and we are prepared to take on the task. These words are words that God wants us to make in our lives when it comes to our obedience to Him.

These words are words that Paul spoke when he came back from his missionary journey in Acts chapter 21. Paul had been away from home for a long time, but now it was time to go back to Jerusalem and tell them what had happened among the Gentiles as he proclaimed the Gospel message. Paul had some great successes in his mission. Churches were planted, and lessons about God and Christ were taught.

However, it was a difficult work. Those church plantings did not come easy. He was met constantly with those who rose up against him and his teaching. Violently, at times, Paul suffered for taking the message of Jesus to the Gentile world. As hard as it was, Paul knew God was with him the whole time. He found the strength to continue the work that was started and found that strength in Christ.

Now, as he returns to Jerusalem, he will face yet another trial. When he arrived at Caesarea, he entered the house of the evangelist Phillip. While he was there, a prophet named Agabus came to see Paul, and he did not bring good news. He took Paul’s belt, bound Paul’s hands and feet with it, and told Paul that this would be done to the one who owned this belt if he went to Jerusalem. Paul’s trials were not over.

When the people with Paul heard this news, they urged him not to go. They wanted Paul to be safe. Then Paul replied to them: “What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be imprisoned but even to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” And since he would not be persuaded, we ceased and said, “Let the will of the Lord be done.” (Acts 21:13,14). Did you see the statement Paul made? “I am Ready.” He was ready to face whatever trials would come, even death, and he was willing to do that for the Lord.

The prophet Agabus had made Paul’s future clear - trouble is what he faced. However, Paul was ready to go the distance because he was committed to Christ. Paul makes two statements in the passage above that every Christian must plant in their heart and mind. “I am ready…,” and “Let the will of the Lord be done.” These are great words of sacrifice, commitment, humility, and obedience. People who can make this statement and mean it are the people God can, and will, use to accomplish His work. He will use them because these are the people who will allow God to move them to do His will, no matter the personal price.

We keep ourselves from living the spiritual lives God wants us to live. We can blame it on the world, the way it is, and what the world offers, but the decision is ours. Satan cannot make us take action. He can tempt us, but that is all he can do. He cannot force us; the decision is ours. When we commit to Christ to the point where we say I am ready for whatever happens, we will then work for God as Paul did, and we will work for God because we know the importance of the message.

We have the message of eternal life. We have the message of Jesus Christ and how He has died for our Salvation. Paul understood that what God and Christ had done was more important and better for us than anything this world offers. Heaven is a place of peace and joy, and it is forever! Paul knew the importance of the message he taught. He understood the importance of living life and working for God.

I hope we can say the words that Paul spoke, “I am ready.” Let God move us and let us understand the importance of what we are doing for God. This life is only this life, and it is short. Without God, it is meaningless because we take nothing of this world with us in death. We do, however, take the teaching of God and the work of God with us. Heaven is eternal, and it is where God is leading us. He wants us there with Him because He loves us. Let us raise our lives up to God and say, “I am ready; let the will of the Lord be done!”

I’ll Be There for You

 2 Corinthians 1:3-5
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5 For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ. 

The sad reality is that bad things are going to happen to us in this world.  No one will escape without some kind of hardship in their life.  There are so many things that can go wrong for us that will cause misery and heartache. 

Paul reminds us that with all this suffering, there is still hope for us.  Our God is the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort.  We can find peace in Him.  His peace will bring comfort to us in our time of sorrow.  We are to use Him in our darkest hours so He can use us when others are suffering.

We are to be that support for someone going through a difficult time.  We are to be the ones with an eagerness to listen.  Sometimes, people just need to know that someone is there for them.  That is God working in us.   

God has shown us what love looks like, and He expects us to show that love to others.   Here, He is doing the same thing with comforting others.  God is there for us when we are in troubling times.  He wants us to look out for one another.  Care for one another.  We can’t do that if we don’t know one another. 

Love one another and look to see who needs comfort.  If you are struggling, just know that I’ll be there for you with the help of the Lord.

Collins' Commentary

Paoli Church of Christ | 219 Stucker Street, Paoli, IN, United States 

Let the Son Shine In

​September will soon end, just one more Sunday. Next month, we will have five Sundays, which means a last-Sunday fellowship. In the meantime, everyone is to be commended for the support you are giving to “Essentials” and “Running Start”. Supporting our local schools has been a priority for this congregation for a number of years. The food pantry is in need of staple items such as Jiffy cornbread mix and mac/cheese, please remember to add a couple of boxes when you go grocery shopping.

Did you get the handout Lee made for our Wednesday night class? Just in case you didn’t, I attached a copy to the article this week. I hung my copy on the fridge at home as a reminder. So many lessons, and so many reminders, if you aren’t attending class on Wednesday you’re missing out.

Be sure and check the prayer list, lots of needs and lots of appreciation for those prayers. Sonshine is all about the good things going on here at Paoli. The really good thing is all the good things done by the members here which go unmentioned. Thank You everyone for all you do quietly and behind the scenes. Until next week… Remember what James reminds us in Ch. 1 about being “Doers of the word and not hearers only”.

Until next time… KEEP PRAYING, KEEP WORKING, AND KEEP LOOKING UPWARD. It will all be worth it one day. 


Essentials Program needs:

 Men’s and Women’s Deodorant                               

Gary's Teen Talk