WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
JULY 26, 2021
TOPIC: DON’T DESPISE TRAINING
BY T. O. BANSO
“They were to be trained for a three-year period, and then some of them would be made his advisers in the royal court” (Daniel 1:5b New Living Translation).
King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon had, by the help of the LORD, defeated Judah and carried away some of the articles of the house of God into into the treasure house of his god in the land of Shinar. Many people of Judah, including those of the king’s descendants and nobles, were also taken captives.
Nebuchadnezzar needed some young men to serve him in his kingdom. He was clear about those to be selected from the young men of Judah’s royal family and other noble families, who had been brought to Babylon as captives. They must possess some qualities. “‘Select only strong, healthy, and good-looking young men,’ he said. ‘Make sure they are well versed in every branch of learning, are gifted with knowledge and good sense, and have the poise needed to serve in the royal palace. Teach these young men the language and literature of the Babylonians” (Daniel 1:4 New Living Translation).
After the candidates had been selected, “They were to be trained for a three-year period, and then some of them would be made his advisers in the royal court” (Daniel 1:5b New Living Translation). This is very important. Nebuchadnezzar placed a strong emphasis on training. He didn’t say because there was a need and the candidates selected possessed the basic requirements, they would be put straight into the royal service. He ensured they were trained for three years, particularly given the fact that they came from a different culture and they needed to be reoriented. It wasn’t enough that they were from Judah’s royal family and other noble families.
The training was so important to Nebuchadnezzar that he assigned the trainees a daily ration of the best food and wine from his kitchens. Verse 18 says when the three-year training was completed, the chief official brought all the young men to King Nebuchadnezzar and he talked with them.
As a leader, parent, student, employee, etc. don’t joke with training. Talents, certificates, degrees, or whatever qualities you currently possess may not be enough for you to succeed at your present level or at the next phase or level you’re aspiring to. Prioritize training for those under your leadership. Also, make yourself available for training. Nebuchadnezzar trained these Jews for three years to get the result he desired from them in royal service. He tried to change their minds.
Training takes time; it also requires other resources. The person to be trained must believe in it and be committed to it. So also must the trainer or the person who is supposed to make the training possible. To become a skilled professional takes time, discipline, etc.
For example, it takes about six years to train as a medical doctor – from the first year in the university until the last year in medical school. The number of years of training for a medical doctor to become a consultant depends on the area of specialty. But quacks in any field don’t need to go through all the rigours necessary to qualify to practise!
What do you want to become? Submit yourself to the required training. Don’t despise training. I told someone who pretends to be a writer that as long as all he does is posting on social media what others have written, deleting their names. He would not settle down to be trained and practise writing for more experienced people to help him vet. He would not become what he pretends to be.
David said blessed be the LORD his Rock, who trained his hands for war, and his fingers for battle (Psalm 144:1). Paul said of himself that he disciplined his body like an athlete, training it to do what it should; he feared that after preaching to others he might be disqualified (1 Corinthians 9:27).
Moreover, Paul told Timothy, “Spend your time and energy in training yourself for spiritual fitness” (1 Timothy 4:7b New Living Translation). He further said bodily training was of some value but godliness was of value in every way (verse 8a). Train yourself for spiritual fitness – exercise yourself toward godliness.
Also, the apostle Paul told Timothy that the things he had heard from him among many witnesses, he should commit them to faithful men who would be able to teach others also (2 Timothy 2:2). From whom are you learning? Who trained you? Or who is training you? In the home, church, or industry, we must not despise training. It is not a waste of money or resources.
Proverbs 22:6 says to train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it. As Malachi 2:15 says, God wants godly children from the marriage union. However, children won’t become godly just because they’ve been born or their parents are church-goers or professed Christians. They must be trained. As part of child-training, the Bible tells fathers not to provoke their children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4).
What training are you giving your children? Paul said, “I was given a thorough Jewish training from my earliest childhood among my own people and in Jerusalem” (Acts 26:4 New Living Translation). He told Titus, “These older women must train the younger women to love their husbands and their children, to live wisely and be pure, to take care of their homes, to do good, and to be submissive to their husbands. Then they will not bring shame on the word of God” (Titus 2:4-5 New Living Translation).
Jesus trained His disciples during the three and a half years of His ministry. That was why they could continue His ministry after His ascension to heaven. He spent more time training them than performing miracles. In fact, He also used the miracles He peformed to train them. In addition, He sent them out to minister to people as part of their training.
Mark 6:7-11 says, “And He called the twelve to Himself, and began to send them out two by two, and gave them power over unclean spirits. He commanded them to take nothing for the journey except a staff — no bag, no bread, no copper in their money belts — but to wear sandals, and not to put on two tunics. Also He said to them, ‘In whatever place you enter a house, stay there till you depart from that place. And whoever will not receive you nor hear you, when you depart from there, shake off the dust under your feet as a testimony against them. Assuredly, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city!’” (New King James Version).
The disciples went out and preached to people to repent. They cast out many demons, anointed with oil many who were sick, and healed them (verses 12-13). Jesus also sent out the seventy-two disciples. Luke 10:17 says they returned with joy, saying, Lord, even the demons were subject to them in His name. In other words, the demons obeyed them in His name.
Don’t be like the false teachers that the Bible says they have a heart trained in covetous practices, and are accursed children (2 Peter 2:14b). The New Living Translation says “they train themselves to be greedy; they are doomed and cursed.” That’s negative training. Train people positively; train yourself positively. Don’t despise training. Training and retraining are key to excellence in life.
Some people are too proud to make themselves available for training. What you don’t know, you don’t know! As long as you are proud and won’t humble yourself to approach those who can train you, you will remain ignorant. You will continue to be a quack or a mediocrity. Swallow your pride. Nobody knows everything. Why should you continue to deceive yourself that you know what you don’t know? “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time” (1 Peter 5:6 New King James Version).
I know a teacher who learnt a particular skill from her class assistant! Today, that class assistant is not anywhere near her as regards this skill. She has learnt so much over the years, and she is still learning. Forget your title. Humble yourself and be trained, whether formally or informally, physically or remotely.
You could be a bishop, pastor, manager, teacher, or whatever is your profession, don’t despise training. Wise people value it and they become better. When you value training and train your staff or go for training, you will get better results. You will recover the cost. Any investment in relevant training is not a waste. Don’t be penny-wise pound-foolish.
Make the necessary sacrifice. Hebrews 12:11 says, “No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening — it is painful! But afterward there will be a quiet harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way” (New Living Translation). Don’t despise training.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, I will not despise training. I will humble myself and receive the relevant training that will make me better in life or my chosen field. Father, help me to be teachable or a faithful trainer. Help everyone who needs specific training to see the need for it and take appropriate steps.
(For over 600 in-depth and powerful messages by T.O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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