Shownotes: How Prepared Are You in this Season?
Be prepared by starting with God
There is a lot going on around the world isn’t there? And it is a devastating time for many. In some ways, we don’t know the half of it ‘cause we’re not hearing everything. At such a time, it is important to be prepared and remember that God remains the same and God is our refuge and strength.
Any type of preparation and or response needs to begin with God. We start with reliance on God. To that end, we keep our hearts pure before God, seeking to be holy as God is holy. It is acknowledging and confessing our sins without delay, and repenting.
We also want to be strong spiritually to cope with whatever comes our way. This gives us strength and keeps us from going under the weight of circumstances, of need, of seeming unreality.
In addition, we want to be in a situation where our relationship with God is thriving and the channel between us and God is clear so we can hear from God and know how God wants us to be and what God wants us to do. This will help us to be wise.
Be Prepared with Wise Living
Wisdom is essential. It is a way of living that is in harmony with God and therefore responds appropriately, recognizing life’s complexity and the importance of context and history.
Understand that there is often more than meets the eyes, we avoid knee jerk reactions and being driven by trigger words, drill down and consider as many circumstances as possible before we respond. Allow others with more knowledge than we have to take the lead in particular situations. Be effective in how we use the resources available to us.
When we are wise, we rely on the God who knows infinitely more than we do, as in, everything.
From the Bible we understand that wisdom begins with the fear of the Lord. A reverential regard of God leads us to desire to please God. Thus, wisdom includes a love response, for God is love. Indeed, the fear of the Lord also leads us to godly understanding and living, which includes faith in God out of a pure heart. The channel is now open for God to direct our living and show us how to live and act wisely.
There is regular, every day wisdom that we need. We also need wisdom as to how best to respond to a series of global catastrophes without wearing out or missing the other needs that are part of our daily living. This is wisdom to be responsive and maintain our focus on the other aspects of our call. Ultimately, this is the wisdom to remain before God, allowing God to renew our strength.
James 1:5–6a: If any of you is lacking in wisdom, ask God, who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly, and it will be given you. But ask in faith, never doubting.
Be Prepared with Practical Preparation
Disasters will occur—hurricanes, tornadoes, snow storms, thunderstorms, earthquakes, etc. Along with these come power outages, flooding, etc. Do you keep extra supplies and rotate those that are time sensitive? Do you have an evacuation plan? These links will give you more details.
There are people whose job it is to monitor situations and tell us what to do when. However, we can do some advance preparation, monitor pending situations and ask God for direction? Just be prepared.
Of course, we can’t prepare for all eventualities. Sometimes even with the best preparation, disasters can happen so quickly that we are stuck, though God is not stuck. That does not mean we should never prepare. That would be folly. And so
Stay close to God, seek God’s wisdom for how we are to prepare; even where we are to live. What is God telling you about emergency preparedness?
The better prepared we are, the better able we will be to help others. In the moment, we will be less focused on our needs and more available to help others, especially those who have limitations that they need help overcoming.
Now, some people say that preparing is lacking faith in God’s provision. Well, with pure and sincere hearts, our dependence is always on God, seeking God’s wisdom. However, to say don’t prepare is like saying don’t buy groceries. God will provide.
God can and does provide. However, not having because of a lack of preparedness is different from not having because you lack the capacity to have. Be as wise as the ant. Do what you are able to do as God leads. Do so with confidence in God as we seek to live holy and godly lives.
This is National Preparedness Month. There is a lot happening and more to come. We remember a lot on this day. We mourn with those who are mourning. We pray for those who are recovering. We do what we can in practical and tangible terms. We hold out the light and say do not be afraid as we place our hope and confidence in the God who loves us enough to send Jesus Christ to die for our sins and salvation, the one who has conquered sin and death.
Use the links above and prayerfully assess your preparedness level.
A place where you can contribute to disaster relief and know that your funds are going completely to relief efforts: http://umcor.org
Psalms 46, 121, 42; James 1:5–6a; Proverbs 6:6–8
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Unless otherwise stated, Scripture quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version.
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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