Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. (2 Tim. 2:15)

BEING PREPARED IS an essential element to success. When trying to get a new job, you prepare for the interview. If you are seeking a new relationship, an appropriate date is arranged with a compatible person. And if it’s time to find a different church home, new churches are visited where respected leaders and congregants attend. A desired result can be unintentionally missed if adequate preparation is not achieved. But do we give any thought to being prepared to meet Christ? In that moment, would God be pleased with our best efforts to be a child of the King?

The apostle Paul was not ashamed of sharing his belief in the power of the gospel of Christ. His faith was so strong that he willingly endured suffering and hardship, knowing this was part of God’s purpose and plan for living as a follower of Christ. Paul was a follower of Christ and did what was necessary, including being persecuted, to receive approval from God.

When Jesus returns, we hope our lives will reflect consistent and diligent efforts to know and follow the teachings of Christ. Like Paul, our efforts to be more like Him should include an everlasting love as well as the burdens of sacrifice. Preparing now for our ultimate interview with God will position us to receive His eternal grace and glory.

Preparation is the key to an effective life—on earth and eternally.

Billie Joy Langston writes Christian literature and serves as a Christian hospitality specialist. She is a member of Reid Temple AME Church, Glenn Dale, Maryland.