By Francis Frangipane
love the Word of God. I have a burning passion that my words, whether
written or spoken, might be filled with the substance of God. I love
comparing translations, researching commentaries and then using that
holy information to prepare teachings. Several years ago, however, I
found myself being corrected by the Lord. I had spent too much time
preparing my message for a service. Suddenly, the Holy Spirit
interrupted my study to recalibrate my focus. He said, "I have called
you, not just to prepare sermons, but to prepare people."
was a subtle, but profoundly significant correction. I was reminded of
John the Baptist who was sent as a "forerunner before [the Messiah]."
God had called John "to make ready a people prepared for the Lord" (Luke
There is a difference between
preparing a message about God and preparing a people for God.
Obviously, sermon preparation is very important, but it is not an end in
itself. The goal is to equip and train people to represent Christ.
we approach the end of this age, I believe our Father is in the process
of training people to serve during the last great harvest. Our destiny
as Christians is to "grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head,
even Christ" (Eph. 4:15). This means, we must not only know that Jesus
heals but know who He intends to heal and how He wants to heal them.
see, our quest is not only to possess accurate theology, but that the
actual "life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh" (2
Reward or Reproof
in life is determined by one primary objective: how functionally
transformed into Christ’s likeness have we become? This reality - man
created in the image of Christ - is the core purpose of our existence
(Gen. 1; Rom. 8:29; etc). In my opinion, the Lord does not need to
examine every individual thing we have ever done, good or evil. All
things are already "open and laid bare" before Him (Heb. 4:13). What He
will probe is the cumulative effect of our life’s choices; He will
measure how Christlike we have become.
If He sees that
we were forgiving even when wounded; if He sees in us a heart that holds
fast its faith even in times of adversity; if He finds us to be truly
repentant and genuinely humble, even when we could boast; and if He sees
we are committed to a life of love, we will have fulfilled the purpose
of God. We will receive a great reward.
the Lord sees in us a soul easily offended or that we blame others for
our joyless, angry attitude; if He scans our inner man and finds we are
self-righteous and judgmental; or if our conscience alternately either
accuses or defends ourselves, then we will render an account for our
life at the judgement seat of Christ (Rom. 1:29, 2:5; 2 Cor. 5:10; Heb.
Thus, it is of the utmost importance that we
settle the eternal goal for our lives. Are we seizing life’s
opportunities to appropriate Christ or are we mostly coasting? Let us
say with vision and assurance, I am preparing myself for God!