PREPARATION FOR POSITIVE CHANGE
A Message by Pastor Tola Odutola at the Sunrise Service on Sunday, June 18, 2017
Reference Text: Matthew 1:1-6 [KJV]
For there to be a Positive Change in your life, you must be ready for it. There is nothing as frustrating as been put in a situation that you are not ready for. Most times, we lose such opportunity because we are embarrassed and cannot stand on our own. One of the keys to Positive Change is preparation. According to dictionary definition, preparation is getting things done in anticipation of an upcoming event. It is also the process of getting ready for an occurrence. Often times, we go through challenges in life but we have no idea that God used those challenging times to prepare us for the future. Every successful man or woman has been baked in the womb of preparation, and were able to take advantage of the opportunity.
Some people wonder why there should be preparation if one has faith, but God Himself is the Master of preparation. We see in Genesis 2:7-9 that before God created man, He had already prepared the Garden of Eden and everything that man needed. Most times, laziness does not make Believers get prepared. Don't quote Scriptures when you should be preparing. In John 14:1-2, Jesus said to His Disciples "Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you." If Jesus can prepare, why can't you prepare?
Advantages Of Preparation
1. It gets you ready for opportunities in life.
2. It adds and gives value to your lean resources.
3. It gives confidence in any assigned post or job.
Few things catches you by surprise when you are prepared. Most times, preparation does not give room for excuses.
In our reference text, one would not have expected Tamar who had slept with her father-in-law to be in the genealogy of Jesus Christ. We also see that Rahab, the prostitute was in the genealogy of Jesus Christ. Likewise, Bathsheba and Ruth. These examples should humble every Believer, so that people are not discriminated because of what they have gone through. Looking at the story of Ruth, we see that Ruth was an unbeliever married to the son of Naomi. Naomi went through hard times in life; she lost her husband and two sons. You might be going through hard times now, but God is preparing you for a greater impact in life. Most times, when going through challenges in life, the first option for some people is to go back to the familiar territory. In Ruth's case, she made up her mind to stay with Naomi and God prepared her in certain areas of her life.
1. We see that God was preparing Ruth in the area of patience and loyalty. If you are going to enjoy Positive Change, you need to understand patience and loyalty. Ruth said to Naomi "Entreat me not to leave you, or to turn back from following after you; for wherever you go, I will go..." When going through challenges, the first thing you notice is that people who are not committed to you, will start to leave you or stop picking your calls. God was preparing Ruth for greater impact (Ruth 1:22). If you are patient enough, you will get to your Bethlehem in time for your harvest. That is why Job said in Job 14:14, "If a man die, shall he live again? All the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come." If you don't know how to wait on God, it will be difficult for you to reap a harvest. Waiting makes you matured and ready for Positive Change. Are you waiting right now? Keep on waiting, because God will show up for you in the Name of Jesus (Acts 1:4-5). Apostle Paul understood the principle of waiting when he said in 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 [NKJV] "Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal." If you are waiting on the LORD right now, please be encouraged that your waiting is not an everlasting wait; because in due time, God will show up for you in Jesus Name.
2. Ruth was prepared by God - humbling herself as she gleaned from people. There are some preparations done intentionally e.g. wedding preparations. But there are some preparations you go through that are not intentional, you just know you are going through some things. Ruth 2:1-3 says "And Naomi had a kinsman of her husband's, a mighty man of wealth, of the family of Elimelech; and his name was Boaz. And Ruth the Moabites said unto Naomi, Let me now go to the field, and glean ears of corn after him in whose sight I shall find grace. And she said unto her, Go, my daughter. And she went, and came, and gleaned in the field after the reapers: and her hap was to light on a part of the field belonging unto Boaz, who was of the kindred of Elimelech." To glean is to take what is left from the table and what you get can sustain you (Matthew 15:27). If you are not humble in life, it is almost impossible for God to lift you up; because God will create situations around you that will make you to glean, bend or bow in order to survive, and hence, become someone that God can use as a result of your humility. At the time Ruth was gleaning, no one would have thought that her name would appear in the genealogy of Jesus Christ (Matthew 1:5). Gleaning will make you humble and see life from a different perspective. Are you gleaning right now? Don't lose faith because there is a better tomorrow for you.
3. Ruth never forgot her connection to the blessing (Ruth 2:14, 2:17-18). Every river that forgets its source, will dry. Today, many people are embarrassed and ashamed to talk about what they have gone through in life. Has God blessed you but you have forgotten where you came from or you don't even talk about it? Don't forget that you went through it all for God to bring you to where you are today. In Matthew 1:5, we see that the name Ruth was among the progenitor of Jesus Christ, as she had gone through preparation.
For God to take you to where He wants to take you to, He will take you through preparation - some intentionally but many, unintentionally. Even though God slays you, trust Him (Job 13:15). Hence, stand on Hebrews 12:2 which says "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross." Learn not to be distracted when facing challenges in life, focus on God because of where He is taking you to.
In conclusion, have you surrendered your life to Jesus Christ? Do so today, because Jesus Christ is the One that truly transforms lives, and when He transforms your life, no one can argue with Him.
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