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Shepherd Daily Devotional – Getting Ready

“Abraham Lincoln said, ‘I will study and prepare myself, and someday my chance will come.’ This means, if you don’t get all the knowledge you need, you may not be ready when an opportunity comes your way.”

Written By Ben Dankaka

Meditation – Luke 2:46

In my leadership class, I often teach five leadership principles. They are; vision, intelligence, passion, courage and integrity. These are proven leadership principles that have been used by every great leader in the Bible, including the ones in the secular world. These leadership principles do not operate independently. They are dependent of each other. In fact, they work in a sequential order. To effectively use the principles, you must use the principles as if you are climbing a ladder, beginning with vision. Of the five leadership principles, I encourage my students to spend more time and energy on intelligence.

The intelligence stage is the point at which you do intelligence gathering. That is, it is the period when you have to study, learn and acquire all the information that is relevant to your vision. Without this process, you wouldn’t have the required tools for achieving your goals. For that reason, I advise my students to exercise patience while they are at the intelligence level so they can be fully prepared for the task ahead of them. The importance of preparation in any given endeavor cannot be overemphasized. Abraham Lincoln said, “I will study and prepare myself, and someday my chance will come.” This means, if you don’t get all the knowledge you need, you may not be ready when an opportunity comes your way.

Although He was God, Jesus subjected Himself to this principle. The Bible tells us that when Jesus was 12 years old, his parents temporarily lost Him because He went into a temple and spent three days, sitting among teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. When His parents found Him and complained, He said to them, “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” Notice that Jesus wasn’t found in a farm or in a sheep pen. Instead, He was found in a temple – at the very place where He could get the information relevant to His divine assignment.

Later, we are told that Jesus grew in wisdom and stature (Luke 2:41-52). Since He grew in wisdom, Jesus must have spent His youthful years listening and getting ready for the task ahead of Him. In fact, He possibly spent over 18 years preparing Himself because we are told that Jesus didn’t begin His ministry until He was 30 years old. When you compare that period with the 3 years that He spent on His ministry, you will realize that He invested more time preparing Himself than in the actual work. No wonder, His townspeople were astonished when He taught at their synagogue. They said, “Where did this man get this wisdom?”(Matthew 13:54). What they didn’t know was that Jesus had adequately prepared Himself for that moment. Be like Jesus.

Prayer: Dear Lord, show me how to learn. Amen.

REFERENCES/FURTHER STUDY: Luke 2:41-52; Matthew 13:54

Unless otherwise stated all scripture quotations are from the Holy Bible, New International Version.

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