How Can We Be Prepared for Unexpected Situations?

We Can’t Know Everything That’s Going to Happen, But We Can Still Be Prepared

Getting ready for things that we weren’t expecting or wanting can be hard.

Like a kid that’s told to get ready. What they hear when they’re told, “We’ll be leaving in five minutes.” is… Get undressed, start a finger painting and lose at least one shoe.

It’s reasonable that young kids don’t fully understand the concept of getting ready. It’s less tolerable when we’re adults.  

In Luke 12:32-40 Jesus is trying to prepare His disciples for their mission going forward after His death. He’s trying to help them see the bigger picture.

He tells them to get ready for eternity and not get sidetracked with things of this world. He tells them to be ready like a servant waiting for his master to come home. We don’t know when our lives will end, so we need to get ready now, so that we will be ready when the time comes.

Being prepared is making a decision and taking action before you need to. If you wait until it’s time…it’s too late.

Being prepared requires work. It’s not something that just happens. This is why a lot of people don’t want to be prepared for things. It requires study and training to get prepared for anything.

If it’s worth doing, it’s worth the effort.

We can’t just show up and expect to perform at our best.

Preparation is the difference between success and failure. People who are good at what they do, don’t perform at that level without putting in time and energy to get that way. Preparation is an advantage.

Being prepared requires willingness to put others ahead of ourselves.

At Texas A&M they have a tradition of the 12th Man. This dates back to 1922 when the Aggies were facing a top-ranked team in a football game.

An Aggie by the name of E. King Gill, a squad player for Texas A&M’s football team, was up in the press box helping reporters identify players on the field below — and what was happening on the field wasn’t pretty.

The Aggies found themselves plagued by injuries, with their reserves seemingly dwindling with every play. As Texas A&M Coach Dana X. Bible looked across his rapidly emptying bench, he suddenly remembered Gill’s presence in the stands. Bible waved Gill down to the sideline and told him to suit up. Gill ran under the bleachers and put on the uniform of injured running back Heine Weir, who had been knocked out of the game in the first quarter.

Gill returned to the sideline, where he stood ready to play for the entirety of the game. When the last play was run, the Aggies found that they had pulled off one of the greatest upsets in college football history, winning the game 22-14.

And Gill remained standing, the only player left on the team’s bench.

Gill’s willingness to serve his team in 1922 has passed down from generation to generation of Aggies for nearly one hundred years, as Texas A&M’s student section stands together during entire football and basketball games, a symbol of the 12th Man on the team.

The power of the 12th Man is echoed in the unity, the loyalty, and the willingness of Aggies to serve when called to do so.

And it is the reason that Texas A&M has earned a name that embraces Gill’s simple gesture of service: Home of the 12th Man.

Preparation is a choice. It requires willingness, sacrifice, learning and training. Are you prepared?

What Does it Mean to Prepare the Way for Jesus?

It’s About Getting Things Ready for Him to Move in

What if you had a close family member that needed a place to live. You decided that you were going to let them move in with you. What would you need to do to get ready for them?

You would need to make some changes to accommodate them, but they’re worth it.

In Luke 3:1-6 John is telling us how to prepare for Jesus moving into our lives. We will need to make some changes…but He is worth it.

Preparation involves knowing and doing.

There’s a story from the Old West when some Apache Indians stole a paymaster’s safe from the calvary. They knew it contained precious gold that was valuable. They tried all sorts of things to open it. They beat it with tomahawks, drug it behind their horses, heated it in a fire, tried blasting it with gun powder and finally threw it off a cliff.

Despite their efforts, nothing worked, they finally gave up and left it behind.

Later the Army found it and in a few minutes the paymaster had it open using the combination.

What the Indians were unable to do with a huge effort and struggle, the paymaster did simply with a few twists of his wrist.

He was able to do this because he knew the combination.

We need to know the right combination to open ourselves up so that Jesus can move in.

This combination includes repentance and commitment to righteous living.

Repentance is reviewing one’s actions and regretting past wrongs and committing to actions that show and prove the change. Righteousness is the perfect holiness of Christ. It is an essential attribute to the character of God; quite literally meaning “One who is right”. Think of it as the polar opposite of sin.

Gift cards are popular at Christmas. The problem is that too often they never get used. Half of Americans have unused gift cards averaging $300 per household. There are billions of dollars of unused gift cards floating around out there.

What good is a gift if it goes unused?

We’ve been given the Gift, but we have to use it, or it’s no good.

Don’t let your gift go to waste. Open yourself up and prepare for Christ to move in.

Why You Should Put on Your Armor Before the Battle Begins

Preparation is Important, But Only Goes So Far

Every day of our life is a battle…some bigger than others. The important thing is to be ready before we are in the middle of one.

Preparation is the act or process of preparing. The state of having been made ready beforehand.

What does, being prepared for the battle of life look like?

Being prepared requires intelligence. This is the ability to learn or understand new or trying situations. The ability to apply knowledge in one’s environment… Information concerning an enemy.

When it comes to intelligence most often, we think of IQ or Intelligence Quotient. This is determined by a standardized test assessing an individual’s intelligence… “Book Smarts”.

There is also another form of intelligence. EQ is emotional intelligence or Emotional Quotient. This is one’s ability to identify, evaluate, control and express emotions… “Street Smarts”.

When it comes to winning battles which kind of “smart” is more important?

Is IQ or EQ more important? It used to be thought that book smarts were the primary determent of success. Research has found that individuals with strong leadership potential, tend to be more emotionally intelligent, suggesting that a high EQ is an important quality for winning battles.  I think without street smarts it’s hard to use book smarts.

Too often we react without having thought. Being prepared before the battle will help to minimize saying things in the heat of the moment. Comedian Craig Ferguson says there are three things we need to ask ourselves before we respond in the heat of a battle.

  1. Does this need to be said?
  2. Does this need to be said by me?
  3. Does this need to be said my me now?

Taking the time to think before we speak is good advice.

We are all different and this means our armor will be different. Your armor won’t fit me and mine won’t fit you. When David was going into battle with Goliath he put on Saul’s armor, and it didn’t fit. 1 Samuel 17:38-40 It was too heavy and bulky. Instead, David used the armor that God had given him.

We all need to wear the armor that God has given us.

It’s up to us to put on that armor.

  • Belt of TRUTH
  • Breast plate of RIGHT LIVING
  • Shoes of the WORD of GOD
  • Shield of FAITH
  • Helmet of SALVATION
  • Sword of the SPIRIT

Preparation doesn’t mean we’ll never be hurt. But this armor helps us to continue standing during battles.

It doesn’t mean we won’t be afraid. It means we’ll act differently when we are.