Make Ready A People – Pastor Stacey Shiflett

Make Ready A People

Luke 1:17 (see also Rev. 19:7)

Intro: God sent John the Baptist to prepare a people so that they would be READY.

God wanted them to be primed and waiting for Jesus when He came on the scene.

The nation of Israel did not receive Jesus as their Messiah.

They were not READY for Him. (John 1:11 says he came unto his own, and his own received him not…)

However, it is clear that God wants His people today to still be a ready people.

Revelation 19:7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.

God’s calling on my life is to MAKE READY A PEOPLE.

I. The Meaning of Readiness

Definition from the 1828 Webster’s Dictionary: READY, adjective red’y.

  1. Quick; prompt; not hesitating; as ready wit; a ready consent.
  2. Quick to receive or comprehend; not slow or dull; as a ready apprehension.
  3. Quick in action or execution; dextrous; as an artist ready in his business; a ready writer.
  4. Prompt; not delayed present in hand. He makes ready payment; he pays ready money for every thing he buys.
  5. Prepared; fitted; furnished with what is necessary, or disposed in a manner suited to the purpose; as a ship ready for sea.
  6. Willing; free; cheerful to do or suffer; not backward or reluctant; as a prince always ready to grant the reasonable requests of his subjects.

God sent John to prepare a people so that they would be READY.

God wanted them to be primed and waiting for Jesus when He came on the scene.

The nation of Israel did not receive Jesus as their Messiah.

They were not READY for Him.

However, it is clear that God wants His people today to still be a ready people.

God’s calling on my life is to MAKE READY A PEOPLE.

The question tonight is this – are you ready?

How long would it take you to get ready?

Are you a ready people?

What are you ready to do?

II. The Motivation for Readiness

God has set the ultimate example of READINESS.

God is ready to pardon.

  • Nehemiah 9:17 And refused to obey, neither were mindful of thy wonders that thou didst among them; but hardened their necks, and in their rebellion appointed a captain to return to their bondage: but thou art a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and forsookest them not.

God is ready to forgive.

  • Psalms 86:5 For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.

God is ready to save.

  • Isaiah 38:20 The LORD was ready to save me: therefore we will sing my songs to the stringed instruments all the days of our life in the house of the LORD.

God is ready. He’s waiting on you.

Everything that needs to be done is done.

The sin debt has been paid.

III. The Mistaking of Readiness

  • Luke 22:33 And he said unto him, Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison, and to death.
  • Mark 14:38 Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.

IV. The Mindset of Readiness

Ready to receive the Word.

  • Acts 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

Ready to revenge all disobedience.

  • 2 Corinthians 10:6 And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.

Ready to every good work.

  • Titus 3:1 Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work,

Ready to testify/write.

  • Psalms 45:1 My heart is inditing a good matter: I speak of the things which I have made touching the king: my tongue is the pen of a ready writer.

Ready to distribute (money).

  • 2 Corinthians 8:11 Now therefore perform the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to will, so there may be a performance also out of that which ye have.
  • 2 Corinthians 8:19 And not that only, but who was also chosen of the churches to travel with us with this grace, which is administered by us to the glory of the same Lord, and declaration of your ready mind:
  • 2 Corinthians 9:2 For I know the forwardness of your mind, for which I boast of you to them of Macedonia, that Achaia was ready a year ago; and your zeal hath provoked very many.
  • 2 Corinthians 9:3 Yet have I sent the brethren, lest our boasting of you should be in vain in this behalf; that, as I said, ye may be ready:
  • 2 Corinthians 9:5 Therefore I thought it necessary to exhort the brethren, that they would go before unto you, and make up beforehand your bounty, whereof ye had notice before, that the same might be ready, as a matter of bounty, and not as of covetousness.

Ready to give an answer.

  • 1 Peter 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

Ready to preach the gospel.

  • Romans 1:15 So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also.

V. The Mandate of Readiness

Paul was ready to die.

  • Acts 21:13 Then Paul answered, What mean ye to weep and to break mine heart? for I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.
  • 2 Timothy 4:6 For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.

Jesus said be ready for the return of Jesus Christ.

  • Matthew 24:44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.

God said be ready to meet thy God.

  • Amos 4:12 Therefore thus will I do unto thee, O Israel: and because I will do this unto thee, prepare to meet thy God, O Israel.

Conclusion: Are you a ready people?

What are you ready to do?

If not, what are you waiting on?

Are you ready to meet the Lord?

James 4 said:

  • 13 Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain:
  • 14 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.
  • 15 For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.
  • 16 But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil.