2 TIM 2:1 I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires,...
Friends, we know from the above scripture that time is going to separate the true worshippers from the false. We are going to come into a season whereby those who know and accept the true message of the gospel are going to be seperate from those who only accept that which they are either conditioned to receive, or that which they personally choose to believe. A sort of "pick and choose" gospel that is becoming more prevelant in this world than ever before. Let's look at some root words and additional scripture to help us determine how to live in these challenging times.
PREPARATION: The actions or process of making ready; Being made ready.
EXPECTATION: The strong belief that something will happen, or be the case in the future.
The state of prepared expectation is the combination of these definitions. In other words, Make yourself ready because of a strong belief that in the future people will not endure sound doctrine, but will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance with their own desires. In ministry (service to others) we must be about the truth and not just the truth as WE see it, but rather the truth as God gives it. We must stand prepared to deliver truth and know that in the future there will be those who will not accept it. However, since we prepared based upon this belief we will not be found wanting in the balance of God's coming judgment. We will have delivered our soul. Let's look at some other key words in this preparation.
INSTANT: Standing by, being at hand, urgent.
SEASON: Opportunely, convenient, timely
2 Tim 2:2 tells us to be STANDING BY, AT HAND, ACTING OPPORTUNELY at all times! A state of prepared expectation will allow us to be just that way. We need to persist in it, whether convenient or not.
PHIL 1:20 According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.
According to my most sincere belief that my work in Christ will not be in vain, because I have given the truth that is truth, not the truth that people want to be truth!
ROMANS 8:18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19 For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God.
ALL CREATION waits for the revelation of the true sons of God. Even if some people will only allow what is familiar to them, truth is always coming through because nature itself demands it!
LUKE 12:20 "But God said to him, 'You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?' 21 "So is the man who stores up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God."
This is the END for those who only gather to themselves people who tickle their ear, feeding them a limited and false gospel. God help us to remain expectedly prepared for the outcome of this life, and give a true answer to those seeking salvation.
LUKE 19:13 And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.
Here preparation meets expectation! Work until God returns, using his gifts and talents to secure a profitable kingdom on earth. Work for tomorrow, living for today. Lay your plans but root it all in the fact that this life is just a vapor, and at some point God will call to reckon all that you have done. Ask yourself this: "Am I accepting truth over my own philosophy? Am I building the Kingdom of God within and around me, or just an Empire of comforting lies?"
JAMES 4:13 Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit." 14 Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. 15 Instead, you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that."...
Aim for all life has for you, but don't act as though it is yours alone! One day God wiill circumvent all your future plans and demand your soul. What then can you say to him? Will it be the truth that you accepted or only allowed?
JEREMIAH 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
Through preaching and teaching and reading God's Word, and studying His plan for your life you will come to understand that he has an expectation too, and has prepared for you to meet it. Are you then preparing yourself for him? Are you expecting His path to unfold, or limiting him into a box of your own personal expectation?
Living in a state of prepared expectation means that you know that you are instant in and out of convenience, and receiving things that at times may be hard to digest! It means that you know to whom you belong, and you are not content with just tickling preachers. You long for truth, no matter how hard it may be at times, because you understand that God has a prepared expectation for you, too! Loved ones, know that if God is prepared to provide you with what is needed, it is because he EXPECTS to see you in heaven with him in the end. He (thus we) are not given to just spewing convenient truths. We must hold to what he holds to: TRUTH. Even if it hurts, truth is still the grandmaster of your life if you intend to see the LORD and enter into his glory at the end of your life.
Ask yourself; "Am I truly living in a state of prepared expectation?" "Can I truly accept the truth, or am I using my own convenience filter to weed out the uncomfortable bits?" God will answer you, and lay his plans for you. But sometimes those plans include valleys, dark times, and faith building moments that don't fit into our own idea of service and life. Stand true, friend. Stay prepared, be expectant. In a state of Prepared Expectation, you will always know what to say and what to accept, and it will always be the truth!
Elders Mark and Dana Neddeau