Why Being Available Trumps Being Prepared in the Kingdom of God

I’m a preparer. No, actually, I’m an over-preparer.

I’ve been that way for most of my life, but because I’m hard wired as a hard worker, I’ve been able accomodate my need to prepare.

As I’ve gotten older though, I’ve realized that when it comes to the things of the kingdom of God, there is something more important than being prepared, and that is being available.

By being available I mean being willing in the moment with no advanced warning to share the gospel, help, minster, or pray for someone. I rarely tell someone anymore, “Let me think about it and get back to you” because (1) I am far too busy and know I’m likely to forget; and (2) such help is best received by the individual when they make their need known to me. The best time to provide help is usually at the point someone is willing to ask for it.

Being available is more important than being prepared because we exist in a reality cabined by time. While God can and certainly has tampered with time in the past (e.g. Joshua 10:12-14), it certainly appears that His default is to work within the confines of time.

This means it is unlikely another person will present their need to you at a time most convenient for you. It is more likely that the moment when someone needs you to respond to the prompting of the Holy Spirit is a time when you are engaged in something else.

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On Building the Bridges of the Kingdom

I am by nature an introvert. Give me a book and a quiet corner and I’m good for 3-4 hours.

However, over the years I’ve learned the importance of relationships, not because I wanted to surround myself with people but because I wanted to advance the kingdom of God. I came to realize relationships are the bridges of the Kingdom.

Just about every good thing that has happened to me spiritually happened through a relationship. I became a Christian because I knew a football coach in middle school who shared the gospel with me at a Fellowship of Christians Athletes meeting after school. I started to grow as a Christian when an upperclassman I met in college discipled me. I was baptized in the Holy Spirit in law school because a guy at a Bible study was bold enough to ask me, and a girl I knew was bold enough to pray for me to receive it.

The relationships Christians build with non-Christians become the means by which non-Christians are invited to church, hear the Gospel, and ultimately cross over the border from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of God. It makes sense then that Jesus told Christians to make friends with people who don’t know Him:

“And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by means of the wealth of unrighteousness, so that when it fails, they will receive you into the eternal dwellings.”

Luke 16:9
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Jack Burke, Jr. Dies at 100

Yesterday was a sad day.

Jack Burke, Jr, legendary professional golfer, instructor, Ryder Cup captain, and founder of Champions Golf Club, died at the age of 100 years.

His death is big news, being picked up by USA today, the Golf Channel and other local and national news outlets. His life though is the story.

As a member at Champions golf club, I had the honor of knowing Mr. Burke. Over the years, I would talk with him when I saw him in the dinning room, coming out of his office at the club, or on the driving range. He was a friendly man and was generous with his time.

Over the last year I saw him more often, usually on Sunday mornings. He would eat a late breakfast the same time each Sunday in the bar area adjoining the dinning room. I would go there for breakfast after our early church service. He was always there.

There are not many golf clubs around the country with a multiple major golf champion walking the halls daily and who will freely answer your questions about the golf swing, his career, or just life in general. But that was Mr. Burke, and it was only one of the many reasons so many loved him.

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What the Resurrection Means for Christians

Today we celebrate Easter. It’s my favorite holiday of the year because of its significance.

It is the most attended church service of the year, which means that many people who do not usually attend church do so on Easter, which means that there are more people who don’t know Jesus at church on Easter than any other day of the year.

Christians, of course, celebrate Easter because the resurrection is the lynchpin of Christianity. As the Apostle Paul said, if Jesus is not resurrected from the dead, our faith is in vain, we are still in our sins, and we should be pitied not followed. I Corinthians 15:14-19. The resurrection proves Jesus was who he said he was and that we can trust Him to grant us eternal life.

But so often overlooked at Easter is what the resurrection means for Christians before they die. The Apostle Paul told the Roman Christians:

But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.

Romans 8:11

We can be assured we will be raised from the dead because the same Holy Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead dwells in our mortal bodies. But if we believe the Holy Spirit can raise us from the dead, we must also believe that the same Holy Spirit can give us victory over sin in our mortal bodies. If we believe the Holy Spirit is powerful enough to overcome the result of sin, we must also believe He is powerful enough to overcome the reality of sin.

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Why the Interactions you Value the Least Matter the Most

This week someone in the IT department of my law firm died. No details were provided regarding the cause of his death, but it appeared his death was not unexpected even though he was only a middle-aged man.

Attorneys in the firm responded to the email of his death by recounting stories of how he had helped them with their computer issues, and how he was always patient with them. That was about as personal as it got.

At first it seemed sad to me that the best we could do was talk about his IT support skills, but then I realized that was the only way we knew him.

I’m sure his family knew him more fully as a person because they related to him as a husband, father, son, or sibling, but they are only a handful of people. We are a law firm of 750. In short, at work he was known more widely but less fully. And that is the case with most of us.

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