Victory Church
Be Prepared! Six ways to be prepared for 2024
November 26, 2023

Be Prepared! Six ways to be prepared for 2024

November 26, 2023

Be Prepared!

Six ways to be prepared for 2024

Four levels of Growth



I want to talk to you today about things that we need to cultivate in our lives to prepare for the stormy times ahead.

We should be preparing to be used by God!

When the next crisis arrives, instead of running in retreat, God wants us to advance His Kingdom and influence others!

The days of Casual Christianity are over. Don’t ride the fence.

Ephesians 5:8-21 (NKJV)

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), 10 finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. 11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. 13 But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. 14 Therefore He says: “Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light.” 15 See then that you walk circumspectly (carefully), not as fools but as wise, 16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation (reckless living); but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, 20 giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another in the fear of God.

Don’t be a sleepy believer, unaware of your surroundings or of the time we’re living in…

Romans 13:11-14 (NKJV)

And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. 12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. 13 Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.

Romans 13:11-14 (NLT)

This is all the more urgent, for you know how late it is; time is running out. Wake up, for our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12 The night is almost gone; the day of salvation will soon be here. So remove your dark deeds like dirty clothes, and put on the shining armor of right living. 13 Because we belong to the day, we must live decent lives for all to see. Don’t participate in the darkness of wild parties and drunkenness, or in sexual promiscuity and immoral living, or in quarreling and jealousy. 14 Instead, clothe yourself with the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. And don’t let yourself think about ways to indulge your evil desires.

2 Corinthians 13:5-6 (NKJV)

Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified. 6 But I trust that you will know that we are not disqualified.

1 Corinthians 11:31-32 (NKJV)

For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. 32 But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world.

1 Corinthians 11:31-32 (AMPC)

For if we searchingly examined ourselves [detecting our shortcomings and recognizing our own condition], we should not be judged and penalty decreed [by the divine judgment].

32 But when we [fall short and] are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined and chastened, so that we may not [finally] be condemned [to eternal punishment along] with the world.

2 Corinthians 5:10 (AMPC)

For we must all appear and be revealed as we are before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive [his pay] according to what he has done in the body, whether good or evil [considering what his purpose and motive have been, and what he has achieved, been busy with, and given himself and his attention to accomplishing].

1 John 1:9 (NKJV)

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Six ways to be prepared for 2024

1. Stay Full of the Word.

Covid was a wakeup call! Lots and LOTs of believers have a facade of the Word, but have not yet applied the Word of God to the details of how they live, how they respond to others, what they do in their relationships, how they manage their time, their money, their bodies, and their family relationships.

Psalms 119:130 (NKJV)

The entrance of Your words gives light; It gives understanding to the simple.

Psalms 119:105 (NKJV)

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

Psalms 19:7-11 (NKJV)

The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul; The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple; 8 The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes; 9 The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. 10 More to be desired are they than gold, Yea, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. 11 Moreover by them Your servant is warned, And in keeping them there is great reward.

Psalms 1:1-3 (NKJV)

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night. 3 He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.

Joshua 1:8 (NKJV)

This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.

John 8:31-32 (NKJV)

Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”


meno – to remain. Has the idea of permanency. The Word becomes central to how you approach God, how you deal with Satan and his ilk, how you think of yourself, and how you respond to others.

It’s not just hearing the Word it on Sundays, but making a choice to live it out every day.

2 Corinthians 3:1-3 (NKJV)

Do we begin again to commend ourselves? Or do we need, as some others, epistles of commendation to you or letters of commendation from you? 2 You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read by all men; 3 clearly you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart.

Is the Word in your heart?

The Word of God that I practice is what is in my heart. Nothing else. Only what you practice!

Do others see the Word in how you live your life? In how you dress, in what you post online, in how you relate to the opposite sex?

Do others see the Word in how you treat your spouse?

Do others see the Word in how you treat your children?

Do others see the Word in what you post on social media?

Where are you with the Word? Is it working in you, or is it just something you read in the morning for a little bit, and then go your way thinking little about it!

James 1:22-25 (NLT)

But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. 23 For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. 24 You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. 25 But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.

What I do with the word in the current atmosphere will determine how the current world events affect me!

At his conference for pastors that I attended, Mark Barclay mentioned 4 levels of growth in the lives of believers. All of us here are in one of these stages.

Where are you with the Word?


You have come to Jesus and have been filled with the Holy Ghost and all of this is fresh and new to you.

2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV)

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

(Life Application Study Bible NLT- Study Bible Notes)

Christians are brand-new people on the inside. The Holy Spirit gives them new life, and they are not the same anymore. We are not reformed, rehabilitated, or reeducated—we are re-created (new creations), living in vital union with Christ (Colossians 2:6-7). At conversion we do not merely turn over a new leaf; we begin a new life under a new Master.

While this newness is true individually, Paul is saying much more. Not only are believers changed from within, but a whole new order of creative energy began with Christ. There is a new covenant, a new perspective, a new body, a new church. All of creation is being renewed. So take notice. This is not a superficial change that will be quickly superseded by another novelty. This is an entirely new order of all creation under Christ’s authority. It requires a new way of looking at all people and all of creation. Does your life reflect this new perspective?

1 Peter 2:1-3 (NKJV)

Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, 2 as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, 3 if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.


You are reading and memorizing scripture and seeking to apply it to your daily lifestyle. You are getting serious with the Word and your life!

2 Corinthians 3:2-3 (NKJV)

You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read by all men; 3 clearly you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart.

1 Corinthians 6:17 (NKJV)

But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.


Before I came to Jesus, I lived the way I wanted to live. As long as I obeyed civil law, I remained free and pretty much did as I pleased.

But, when I came to Jesus, that changed! It was no longer me living by myself. Now, Jesus in the person of the Holy Spirit and through the Word is living in me! I now live in the light of my fellowship with Him! He has something to say about how I think, how I talk, how I relate to others, how I relate to Susan my wife, how I relate to my children and grandchildren, what I do with my time, the attitudes that I have toward life in general and towards other people, how I do my work, how I relate to authorities, what I do with my body, what I do with my inward motivations, what I eat, when I rest, what I do with my leisure time, etc.

His Word becomes a living letter inside of you!

Ephesians 5:18-19 (NLT)

Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit, 19 singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts.

Colossians 3:16-17 (NKJV)

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

John 6:63 (NKJV)

It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.

Hebrews 4:12 (NKJV)

For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Matthew 4:4 (NKJV)

But He answered and said, “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ ”

Are you becoming an epistle, a letter from God for others to read?

The Lord challenged me in March of 1983 to get up earlier and have a time with Him first thing every day.

I was meditating on Matthew 6:33…

This revolutionized how I live.


Are you a disciple?

Matthew 28:19-20 (NKJV)

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

Not all Christians allow themselves to be disciples! Some refuse to discipline themself by getting in the Word and submitting their thoughts and desires to the Lord.

Matthew 10:37-39 (NKJV)

He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. 38 And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. 39 He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.

Matthew 16:24-27 (NKJV)

Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 26 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 27 For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.


Then he called his disciples and the people around him, and said to them, “If anyone wants to follow in my footsteps, he must give up all right to himself, take up his cross and follow me. The man who tries to save his life will lose it; it is the man who loses his life for my sake and the Gospel’s who will save it.

Luke 14:25-33 (NLT)

A large crowd was following Jesus. He turned around and said to them, 26 “If you want to be my disciple, you must, by comparison, hate everyone else—your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple. 27 And if you do not carry your own cross and follow me, you cannot be my disciple.

28 “But don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it? 29 Otherwise, you might complete only the foundation before running out of money, and then everyone would laugh at you. 30 They would say, ‘There’s the person who started that building and couldn’t afford to finish it!’

31 “Or what king would go to war against another king without first sitting down with his counselors to discuss whether his army of 10,000 could defeat the 20,000 soldiers marching against him? 32 And if he can’t, he will send a delegation to discuss terms of peace while the enemy is still far away. 33 So you cannot become my disciple without giving up everything you own.

John 12:24-26 (NLT)

I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone. But its death will produce many new kernels—a plentiful harvest of new lives. 25 Those who love their life in this world will lose it. Those who care nothing for their life in this world will keep it for eternity. 26 Anyone who wants to serve me must follow me, because my servants must be where I am. And the Father will honor anyone who serves me.

— The Gospel of John, Volume Two (The New Daily Study Bible) by William Barclay

There was a famous evangelist called Christmas Evans who was always on the move preaching for Christ. His friends begged him to take things easier, but his answer was always: ‘It is better to burn out than to rust out.’ When Joan of Arc knew that her enemies were strong and her time was short, she prayed to God: ‘I shall only last a year, use me as you can.’ Again and again, Jesus laid down this law (Mark 8: 35; Matthew 16: 25; Luke 9: 24; Matthew 10: 39; Luke 17: 33). We have only to think of what this world would have lost if there had not been men and women prepared to forget their personal safety, security, selfish gain and selfish advancement. The world owes everything to people who recklessly spent their strength and gave themselves to God and to others. No doubt we will exist longer if we take things easily, if we avoid all strain, if we sit at the fire and cosset life, if we look after ourselves as hypochondriacs look after their health. No doubt we will exist longer–but we will never live.”

When you are willing to change your plans at a moment’s notice, and when you are willing to put what you want to do aside and choose to obey what you see from God’s Word, you have become a disciple!


Are you a person that can put your needs aside and help others.

Can God use you at any time to be an encouragement to someone?

Are you allowing God to use you in the volunteer ministry of your church, like here at Victory on our Victory Serve Team?

2 Corinthians 5:18-20 (NLT)

And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. 19 For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. 20 So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!”

Is the Great Commission your life Mission?

Matthew 28:19-20 (NLT)

Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

So, really, where are you?

Are you a Convert, an Epistle, a Disciple, or have you taken the last step, and are you as minister, an Ambassador for Jesus?

Action Points:

  1. Are you putting Jesus first place in how you live life?
  2. Can the people who know you recognize the difference in you, or do you just blend in with whatever crowd you are with?
  3. Can you see progress in your life spiritually? Can you tell that you are on the growth path from Convert, to Epistle, to Disciple, and then to a person God can trust to be a Minister to others?


Save PDF Locally

Click to save a copy of the filled-in notes to a PDF file on your device

Save PDF to Google Drive

(Android & PC Only) Click to save a copy of the filled-in notes to a PDF file on your Google Drive account

Send to Email

Enter your email address below to receive a copy of your filled in notes