Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Be Prepared


“Be Prepared” – You might recognize this statement and perhaps have even been told its value over and again. Since 1907 this has been the motto of the Scout movement, both Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, around the world. 

The founder of the Scout movement, Robert Baden-Powell wrote:

The Scout Motto is: BE PREPARED which means you are always in a state of readiness in mind and body ...

·         Be Prepared in Mind by having disciplined yourself … and also by having thought out beforehand any … situation that might occur, so that you know the right thing to do at the right moment, and are willing to do it.
·         Be Prepared in Body by making yourself strong and active and able to do the right thing at the right moment, and do it.

"To do the right thing at the right moment" can be extreme:

Now, more than a century later these same demands lie at the door of every young man and every young lady who desires to become a part of productive society. Not only did Robert Baden Powell along with his wife Agnes set high and lofty standards of life for their scouts and guides to achieve and follow, they further dedicated their lives to spend time teaching and training boys and girls to “be prepared”.

Even in 1907, doing the right thing at the right moment could be considered extreme. It’s no different today than at any other point in history. People who are prepared and do the right thing at the right time are often considered radical or extraordinary.

3000 years ago there was a wealthy man who married a beautiful woman. It was not his first marriage, he had been divorced and in fact, this was at least his fourth wife. At any rate their combined wealth and beauty did not protect them from trouble. The first child they had got sick soon after he was born and he died. Afterwards she became pregnant again and in the process of time delivered their second child, a son. God took a special liking to this son and began to bless him early in life.

As the child grew it became evident that he had a keen sense for gaining wisdom through observation of life. His mother, his dad and his preacher spent extra time with him, teaching him and preparing him for the future. When it came time for this man to take his place in society, he was fully capable … in other words … he was prepared. His mother had told him the truth about life, his father had told him the truth about life and his preacher had told him the truth about life. He was prepared …

Throughout this man’s life he used his special God-given gift to gain insight and increase in knowledge and wisdom through observing others and life in general. God was so impressed with this young man that He told him there would never be another person on earth blessed with more wisdom that he. You probably know the man of whom I speak – his name is Solomon. The richest, wisest and most loved man in the bible.

There are three things you can note about Solomon from his writings:

·         He respected what his mother had to say
·         He respected what his father had to say
·         He respected what he was taught from the Word of God 

Near the end of his life he wrote:

Who can find a faithful man? (Proverbs 20:6b) 

Who can find a virtuous woman? (Proverbs 31:10a) 

In all of his wisdom he realized that there were so few who were willing and prepared to do the right thing at the right time.

One of King Solomon’s last claims was that he had lived all of his life, searching for and gaining wisdom while all along and in the end he could have just realized that everything his father had told him was true.

Tonight I want make sure that you are prepared for this next season of your life. I have travelled around the world many times, I’ve lived in foreign countries, worked in many fields, sat in endless lectures, climbed snow covered mountains, crossed crocodile infested rivers, survived deserts, slept out among the wild animals on the plains of East Africa, faced barracudas and sharks on the ocean’s floor, spent years in the military, ran with the bulls in Pamplona, built businesses, been married 40 years, raised two children and have 8 grandchildren, been a pastor for over 30 years … I was young and now I am older, and I can tell you from experience that the same thing King Solomon said is true – Mom, Dad and the Preacher were right!

There are plenty of smart people entering into the colleges, universities, military and work places of our nation this year, but I dare to say there are fewer who are prepared in mind and prepared in body to do the right thing at the right time. Sad to say … not everyone has been told what is right by mom, dad, and they might not have ever had a pastor who loved them enough to tell them the truth.

Whether you are moving away from home to embrace this next season of life or staying right here and taking advantage of the opportunities presented in Southeast, Texas, allow this older preacher who has been around the block a time or two and who loves you, to give you some points of wisdom that will help you be prepared for what you will encounter. Mark these down as truth and do not let the world take them away.

1.   Refuse to believe what the World says about:
a.   God
b.   Themselves
c.   Christians
d.   You
2.   Stay in Church
3.   Keep in Touch

In other words … be prepared - and endeavor to do the right thing at the right time.