Jump Start # 3075
Titus 3:1 “Remind them to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed.”
Our verse today and the one that follows is descriptive of the character, attitude and nature of disciples of Jesus in the world that we live in. Be subject. Be obedient. What follows is, “be peaceable, gentle, showing consideration for all men.” These words were written under the cloud of the fierce Roman Empire. It is to that pagan and oppressive government that the early Christians were to be subject, obedient, gentle, and peaceable. They were not to be rising up and causing rebellion. They were not to be suspicious. They did not have to have someone keeping an eye on them at all times. The Christians were living the golden rule.
Tagged at the end of our passage today is the expression, “be ready for every good deed.” That little thought is layered with ideas for us.
First, good deeds come in many different ways. “Every” good deed, not just a good deed, or, THE good deed. Every. Lots of ways good deeds are expressed and shown. Helping someone out is a good deed. Taking food to someone is a good deed. Giving someone a ride to services is a good deed. Giving someone some money is a good deed. Visiting the hospital, sending a card, having a conversation with the intention of encouraging someone, all good deeds. We could spend a long time listing the various ways of doing good.
The beautiful thing about good deeds is that they come in so many different forms. Maybe you’re not gifted with saying the right words at the right time. That doesn’t mean you cannot do good deeds. You do something else. Maybe you’re good with tools, you can help someone. Maybe you’re a yard guy, there’s something you can do. Maybe you can sew, that’s something you can do. There are so many talents within a congregation and when we are all busy doing things for one another, great things will happen.
Second, there is a sense of “being ready” for good deeds. The Galatians were told, “as you have opportunity let us do good to all men.” Opportunity and being ready are next door neighbors. When the opportunity comes, we may not be ready. And, when we are ready, there may not be an opportunity. Ready to serve. Ready to move into action. I’ve found that opportunities to serve often are not convenient times. You have a busy Saturday all planned out, and someone needs your help. You adjust. You work things in your schedule. You put others first.
Third, just how does one get ready for good deeds when he doesn’t know what will be required? I think the being ready is more of a spirit and an attitude. You may not have what you need in your tool box or pantry, but you are ready to serve. So, a quick trip to the store and off you go to help another. Being ready is that “Here am I, send me,” attitude.
Peter used that same phrase, “being ready” as he addressed being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account of the hope that is in you. Being ready. Being ready to serve. Being ready to answer. Being ready to shine. Being ready to go into action. We can spend so much time in the huddle, talking about what ought to be done and how best to do it, that we actually get nothing done. Break huddle and execute a game plan.
Fourth, being ready is something that we find in the life of our Lord. Questioned, He was ready. Asked to come heal, He was ready. Challenged, He was ready. When one is not ready, then he is often surprised, caught off guard and liable to make mistakes. Be ready. Jesus was ready for Judas and the guards to arrest Him. He was ready for the nails. He was ready to give up His spirit. Jesus was always ready.
He is ready for forgiving you today. He is ready to intercede for you today. He is ready for your prayers today. He is ready to lead you today. Jesus is ready. He is always ready.
When we are not ready, opportunity slips by and our lights do not shine. “I was going to talk to that visitor we had last Sunday, but I needed to talk to my friend first. When I got done, the visitor was gone.” Be ready. “I was going to take some food to a family that had a surgery, but we had company and then I got busy at work and now a month has passed and the person is back to services.” Be ready. “My teenager wanted to talk last night but I was in the middle of a movie and told her that we’d talk later. When the movie was over, she was already asleep in bed.” Be ready.
Being ready often means putting the needs and the moment of others first. It means going, even when you do not feel like going. It means serving when you do not feel like serving.
Be ready…are you?