"The will to win is important,
but the will to prepare is vital". ~ Joe Paterno
"What I do is prepare myself until I know I can do what I have to do". ~
"If youíre not prepared, itís not pressure you feel, itís fear". ~ Bruce
"I will prepare and some day my chance will come". ~ Abraham Lincoln
It was early August, and I overheard a conversation
where one man remarked that he had been busy because the football season
had started, and he was the coach of an Upward Flag Football team.
The other man replied that he didn't know that the season started so
early. What this man didn't realize was that that coach was
including the five weeks of pre-game practices as part of the season.
In fact, from the coach's and players' standpoint, as much work would
have to take place in those preparatory weeks than in during the season
What kind of preparation goes on before the regular season begins?
Some things include:
Being physically fit and ready
for the challenges of the sport from the cardiovascular standpoint.
Fine tuning the specific skills
of the sport, such as passing, blocking, carrying the ball
Learning and knowing the rules of
the game, and how they advance as the season proceeds.
Learning the specific plays, both
offensive and defensive, that the team will be running.
Learning what types of plays and
tricks may be used against them by other teams.
Being mentally ready for the
game, maintaining composure and showing good sportsmanship.
And as the season proceeds,
learning the specific talents that the players have both on your and
your opponent's teams.
Obviously there is a lot to do in the act of
preparation, but in the end all of that work is rewarded, especially in
light of the quotations listed at the beginning of this devotional.
Preparation leads to discipline, effectiveness, confidence, and an open
door for opportunities.
The Bible also has something to say about being prepared, in
1 Peter 3:15
"Always be prepared to give an
answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you
have. But do this with gentleness and respect."
Couple this with Acts 1:8 and Matthew 28:19-20 and you have quite a
"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you
will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to
the ends of the earth.Ē
"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the
name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching
them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you
always, to the very end of the age.Ē
Always be prepared . . .
involves having a goal in sight, and the verses from Acts and Matthew
above speak to that. We are to serve Christ by bringing people to
Him. It is reassuring that the Holy Spirit works with us in this
regard, and it is the Holy Spirit that really gets into people's hearts.
Some people might believe that we should just get out of the Holy
Spirit's way, but that is not what we have been commanded to do.
Some things that we can do:
Know the basics of Christ's free gift of
salvation to everyone, with the only things being required on our
part are to accept Christ and Lord and Savior, and to
admit that we are sinners in need of salvation and to turn from that
Know some Bible verses about this. John
3:16, Romans 3:23-24, and Romans 5:8 are some.
See this Bible Verse Collection
outlining the steps to salvation for more.
Know and be able to tell how
belief in Jesus has impacted your own life. Your own personal
story may be the most compelling and effective tool at your
disposal. It is worth some time thinking about this - how you
can tell your story in different situations and to different types
of people. Be prepared. Preparation leads to confidence.
In Peter 1, your personal story is the "hope that your have".
Be prepared to listen to what
others have to say, and what their problems and struggles are.
You may find common threads that may make a connection. For
example if you are talking to someone who has lost a loved one, and
you also have, say how Jesus has helped you through this.
Don't just give a sermon and quote verses.
Finally, I would like to mention
an often overlooked part of the verse from 1 Peter above:
"to everyone who asks you".
What I do all of this preparation and nobody asks me?
Please pray the prayer below and let the Lord do a great work in