How much oil is in your lamp?
How much oil do you have in your lamp?
Preparation is key!
"And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut. " Mathew 25:10
10 virgins went out to meet the bridegroom but only 5 were ready enough to meet Him because they were better prepared. How can we prepare for the coming of the bridegroom and ensure that we have extra oil so that we are found ready?
It is important that we know exactly what this qualifying oil is and that we have extra of it. When we read Mathew 25:1-13, we understand that all the virgins went out to meet the bridegroom, all had lamps, all got drowsy and fell asleep, all the virgins woke up at the midnight cry. The differentiating element between which virgins went in to meet the bridegroom and which ones did not is extra oil!
Something to ponder:
I like things to ponder because they make us think a little bit extra.
At the very start the foolish virgins surely must have noticed that the wise five had extra oil in jars! ("The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps" Mathew 25:4). If it were anything like today's world I can identify two reasons that would have led the foolish five to disregard the need for extra oil: laziness and scorn.
The extra mile:
In Mathew 5:41, Jesus teaches; "If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles." How often do we have the opportunity where someone needs our help in a thing and yes we have been able to help them but only to the exact extent of what they require and nothing more. Often this verse comes to my mind and I feel compelled to do more in the little things I do for those around me. How much more in our walk with Christ should we aim to do more? Jesus died for us on the cross and through this our sins were forgiven, everyone who believes on Him is saved and receives eternal life. (John 3:16). This is a wonderful thing, one which our minds cannot contain. As Christians who have received this free gift, how should we live our lives? Should we walk with Christ the extra mile? Consider a situation in which you gift your child with a precious gift, how would you want them to look after that gift. It would warm your heart if your found them looking after the gift, shining it daily, handling it with care and telling everyone how grateful they are for the gift. I believe this is the extra mile. How we handle our walk with Christ through our actions as doers of the word, is a reflection of if we are walking that extra mile (James 1:22). Do not be a lazy Christian.
One can't help but wonder if the foolish virgins looked in scorn at the wise ones for having that extra oil in jars. Throughout history we read stories of the different names that have been given to Christians that attempted to display an extra "fire" for Jesus, - to mention but a few - Jesus Freaks, crazy fanatics and others. These groups are described as displaying an embarrassing enthusiasm for Jesus! Those that stood in scorn of them would include fellow Christians that did not appreciate this extra display of unchattered religion.
In 2 Peter 3:3-4 we are warned of the mockers and scorners of the last days:
"Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised?Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.”
How many times have you tried to talk to a fellow Christian about the second coming of Jesus and the first verse they throw at you in rapid fire is : "no one knows the hour.." Oh how it were that they could point you to the verses or book of the Bible in which Jesus said those words.
In Mark 13:32-37, concerning the day and hour of the Lord's return, Jesus teaches "Be on guard! Be alert!" and finishes with "Watch!"
"But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare." - 2 Peter 3:3
Now we know we should be on guard, watch , prepare and stay ready. But how should we live in the meantime? In 2 Peter 3:3 we find these tips on how we ought to live as we wait:
1. You ought to live holy and godly lives. (2 Peter 3:11)
2. Make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him (2 Peter 3:14)
With regards to the extra oil, ask the Lord and keep on asking! Ask Him to fill you with His Spirit. It is only by the power of the Holy Spirit the we receive power to withstand especially in these last difficult and dark days as we wait for the return of the king. (Acts 1:8)
“So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.“Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
If you have not given your life to Christ please take a few minutes to ask the Lord to come into your life , surrender all you are to Him, lay all your burdens, shame, guilt past and present at His feet and begin a new life with Him. Speak to Him daily for He longs to receive you and hear from you.
The Lord's blessings, may He find us ready when He returns.