In one of the Western cities an old sea captain who had crossed the Pacific at least fifty times resigned his position, and being an earnest Christian he devoted all of his time to helping others. He especially gave his efforts to help sailors. He came into the hospital one day and the matron in charge said, "Captain, at the last cot yonder is an old sailor, and he is not long for this world." He marched down between the cots, and as he came nearer he saw around the cot a number of little flags, as if the sailor had gone back to the days of his childhood and had decorated his cot with the flags of many colors. He found the old sailor had served him in the old days, and he said, "Man, what do these mean?" The sailor said, "Captain, have you forgotten how to use the signals? Don't you know how to read flags?" "I am a bit rusty," replied the captain; "if I had the book I could read." "Well, Captain, if you have forgotten I will tell you what the flags say. They say this: `The ship is all ready to sail,' and `She is waiting orders,' Captain," said he, "I know Christ; one day He will come for me."—J. Wilbur Chapman.
Ready to leave behind
Fortune, and friends, and fame,
To preach in the uttermost parts
Salvation through Thy Name.
Ready to yield my all
And go where my Lord shall call!
Ready to stay? Oh, Lord!
Surely 'tis not Thy will
For one so eager to go,
To linger, patient and still?
Ready to stay behind
And watch the rest go on;
To hold the fort at home,
And see that these are won?
Lord, it is hard to stay
When you long to be on your way!
Still, the harvest field at home
Is as ripe as that abroad,
And the man who lives next door
Is hungering after God.
And perhaps He can use me more
When He calls me at last to go,
For the lessons of grace I learned
In the days when I served Him so,
Ready to go or stay—
Lord Jesus, have Thy way!—Barbara Elden Comet.
God is very merciful, but He is just and righteous as well. When men disregard warning and entreaty, then law steps in. I remember when I was living some years ago in Burnley in Lancashire, a woman told her husband, who had always kept aloof from things religious, about a man whom they both knew very well, and who had just died very suddenly. The man remarked, "What a terrible thing to be called away like that without any chance of getting ready!" And the woman could not help replying: "Without any chance of getting ready! Why, he has had fifty-four years of chances!"—Sunday Circle.
Robert Hardy had a dream, and in that dream he thought he was to live only seven days. If you had only seven days to live, how would you live them? How did Robert Hardy begin? He began to study. He began to get ready. He did all in his power each day. He came to the seventh day, and he neared the end of the day. But all at once it was made known to him that he wasn't going to die. He looked around and he was glad, but he said, "Some seven days will be my last seven," and he lived every day as though he were in his last. You will be in your last seven days, some day. Maybe you are there now.—Scoville.
Ready to take from the Master's hand
All things—both good and ill;
Willing in highest place to stand,
Or lowliest nook to fill;
Ready to follow the Saviour's call
Though your heart would rather stay;
Ready to offer to Him your all—
To go with Him all the way;
Ready to serve—though you "were not asked,"
Willing to step aside;
Scorning no small or lowly task;
Fearing nothing but pride;
Ready to suffer the taunts of men
And give in exchange a prayer,
Ready to stand for Jesus, when
No glory is offered there;
Ready to pray, and ready to love,
Ready to serve and give;
Ready to honor the Lord above
Each moment that you live.
Blessed indeed each ready soul
To His dear service true;
Under the blessed Lord's control
We learn of Him through you!—Esther M. Peterson.
The matter of being ready is of such supreme importance that our Lord has not left us without kindly admonition, and as willingness to serve naturally leads to preparedness for service, how vitally important it is that we consider what He has to say on being ready.
Ready to give the gospel (Rom. 1:15).
Ready for every good work (Titus 3:1).
Ready to distribute (I Tim. 6:18).
Ready to give an answer (I Pet. 3:15).
Ready to go where the Lord leads (Luke 22:33).
Ready to feed the flock (I Pet. 5:2).
Ready to die for the Lord Jesus (Acts 21:13).
Ready to be offered (II Tim. 4:6).
Ready for His coming (Matt, 24: 44; 25:10).
Ready also in receiving the Word and searching the Scriptures daily to see whether these things are so (Acts 17: 11).—J. T. Bougher.