“I am the vine, and you are the branches. If you stay joined to me, and I stay joined to you, then you will produce lots of fruit. But you cannot do anything without me”. John 15:5-6

The desire of every student is to excel and stand out amongst his or her colleagues and contemporaries, even the unserious ones also desire excellence, there has never been any student who goes to school, who labours extensively through class and course work and then come around to pray that at the end of the session it would be failure that would be his or her portion. But often times the number of failures recorded are much more and even those who are God’s children are not left behind. Agreeably, the standard of education in some countries is nothing to write home about and even the desire for learning and studying among our students has dropped and today the path of apathy and misdirection of efforts among youths has become the order of the day, but to enter into His rest we must note that there is a great prerequisite for academic excellence that we can’t afford to do without and that is Jesus. This is the personality and factor that many students do not put first thereby falling prey of failure and limitations. We shall consider this in this article as we study.

Prerequisite is something needed as prior condition: an object, quality, or condition that is required in order for something  else to happen.
Academic Excellence is a state of being very good, being successfully successful in your studies, a situation when a student surpasses, outshines, stands out and does extremely well in the area of his or her studies, it is when a student who had invested efforts, strength and abilities into scholarship produces positive effect by getting result that are worthy of presentation and emulation.
The sole aim of studying is to come out excellently well after been examined and this has always been the expectation of all students but not the result they get, the person we all need to know, understand and learn of if we must excel academically is Jesus. Carefully observe that He had a pattern that brought Him excellence, so let us take a cue;
– Jesus even though embodied with all wisdom in Luke 2:46 was said to be “… sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions.” He listened (concentration, focus and attention) and when He needed more facts, asked questions. We must know that it takes humility, an open heart and a great desire to understand for a man to possess this two keys.
– Jesus knew the difference between what was urgent and what is important, in Mark 1:35-38 it was reported that “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. Simon and his companions went to look for him, and when they found him, they exclaimed: “Everyone is looking for you!”  Jesus replied, “Let us go somewhere else — to the nearby villages — so I can preach there also. That is why I have come.” He knew it was important to pray to draw grace and inspiration, He knew He had the grace of early in the morning and while still dark – He knew how to maximise His time. He knew you need a solitary place for assimilation (do you know where the library is located? Have you ever been there?), Jesus knew everyone looking for Him was to take from Him and not add to Him, He knew why He came and had to go somewhere else. Many people fail in our schools because they do not know why they are there – they pursue everything that appeals to them without focusing on the important.
– Jesus would often say “have you not read..? Matt 12:3,5; 19:4, 22:31; Mark 22:26, Luke 6:3. This is a clear expression from One who has read, it takes one who have read to quote what has been written, Remember Daniel spoke about gaining understanding by reading of books. Daniel 9:2. Jesus was so versed in reading that He spoke so freely from it. IF YOU DO NOT READ, YOU CANNOT LEAD, A READER IS A LEADER.
Having seen Jesus who was full of wisdom and strength triumph, it would not be wrong to use Him as an example to follow – he had the right answer ready for every question. We can excel in our studies as we call to mind a direct instruction that He gave; “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5-6. We must remain in Him for in Him is all manner of intelligence. (Isaiah 11: 1 – 2).

As we remain in Him as His children we must know that we have no excuse to make if we do not excel; age, background, gender, sponsorship, position in the family, type of course, situation, or challenges are not sufficient to stop us if we truly desire to excel.
As we consider Jesus as the prerequisite for academic excellence we must note these ideals for success:
1. Do not keep till tomorrow what you can do today.
2. Study today what you have learnt today, and study it every other day of the week till it is mastered.
3. Make people of like minds your friends.
4. Do not put play before study.
5. Do not be deceived by the chorus of the majority, When asked if you understand, be factual.
6. Always put in your best from the beginning, do not reserve it for the last – answer your best from the beginning.
7. Set a goal at the beginning of the session / semester and run with it with God’s help.

Remember this that William Glasser’s Institute researched;
*We learn 10% by what we READ,
*We learn 20% by what we HEAR,
*We learn 30% by what we SEE,
*We learn 50% by what we SEE and HEAR,
*We learn 70% by what we DISCUSS with OTHERS,
*We learn 80% by what we EXPERIENCED PERSONALLY,
*We learn 95% by what we TEACH TO SOMEONE ELSE.

At this point we see so clearly the reason why Jesus was a Master Teacher, He taught more than preaching and He was very intelligent. Develop the habit of having a reading group wherein you study together, discuss together, reason together and attempt past questions together, let the Holy Spirit be your guide to your reading and set out time to be alone with the Master Jesus as you study and indeed there will be a great difference in your grades and as you study and watch out for your results you will find rest and indeed excel.
It is well with you. Amen.

Tela, Abioye Olasunkanmi
Livingstone Baptist Church, Festac Town
08034937662, 08158890859