Jesus teaches us how to live in the present time. He identifies our present time as the end-time, the time that offers us countless opportunities to testify for Jesus and his Kingdom. The many disasters in our world, and all the tragedies that happen to people each day, can easily lead us to despair and convince us that we are the sad victims of circumstances. But Jesus looks at these events in a radically different way. He calls them opportunities to witness!

-Henri Nouwen


As with many kids, my childhood was largely about sports.    

One thing I learned by being involved with various sports was the importance of preparedness.  Batting practice.  Fielding practice.  Shooting practice.  Passing drills.  Running laps.  Stretching exercises.  Why?  So that we could be ready for the game.

Jesus spent time training his disciples.  In other words, he didn’t send them out into battle without a sword.  He knew that his disciples would face demonic influence in every shape and size as well as Godless thinking in every form—and that they would need to be prepared to deal with such obstacles if they were to be effective in their witness.

I don’t know about you, but I do know about me, and I have been terribly unprepared at times to share Jesus with others.  It doesn’t take training to spout off a bible verse or to tell others they should go to church.  Telling others to shape up doesn’t require spending time with Jesus—having him fine tune you requires more than a vague familiarity with him.  The only effective witness for Christ is the one who points others to Christ, and we don’t have the courage in and of ourselves to do that I have found.  We need to spend time in the shop sharpening our tools, and the shop for Jesus-followers is time in prayer and time in God’s Word. 

15 but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect…   (1 Peter 3:15, ESV) 

Always being prepared.

You can’t expect to be effective whatsoever if you haven’t taken the time to get ready.