Today, while it is still called today, is filled with opportunity and purpose. Even if you have only one hour left before you sleep there is ample time to surrender all and yield to the Heavenly Father’s will. Too often, those who truly abide in Christ find themselves consumed and distracted by the troubles, desires, and passions of this world. In doing so we fail to fulfil our real purpose here on earth, which is to serve the kingdom of heaven. However, we are no different than Jesus’ disciples in the garden of Gethsemane. On the night He was betrayed Jesus asked His disciples to keep watch and pray. “Then Jesus returned to the disciples and found them sleeping. “Were you not able to keep watch with Me for one hour?” He asked Peter. “Watch and pray so that you will not enter into temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak.” (Matthew 26:40-41) We should not fault ourselves in this struggle because it is our natural human behavior, but instead we should seek the power of the Holy Spirit, promised to keep us through these times, to give us strength and help our focus.
Jesus taught about these times. “At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take along any extra oil. But the wise ones took oil in flasks along with their lamps. When the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and fell asleep. At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’ Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’ ‘No,’ said the wise ones, ‘or there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’ But while they were on their way to buy it, the bridegroom arrived. Those who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet, and the door was shut. Later, the other virgins arrived and said, ‘Lord, lord, open the door for us!’ But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I do not know you.’ Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.” (Matthew 25:1-13)
The ten virgins in this parable are all of you and me. The bridegroom in this parable is Jesus. The foolish virgins are the ones who knew the truth, but chose to ignore it as they lived their lives as they saw fit. The wise virgins are those who surrendered their own will to do the will of the Lord. The extra oil for the lamps of the wise virgins is the Holy Spirit, which will keep their lights shining brightly even to the end. Jesus will come for all of mankind, but will we be wise servants ready for His return, or will we be foolish pretend servants aimlessly living out life in this world unprepared for Jesus’ return. This is the question that makes all the difference in our lives here on earth and more importantly forevermore. The human body is weak and without the Spirit of God living within us we remain nothing more than citizens of this lost world. However, for those who have truly surrendered everything in this world to follow Jesus, the Spirit of God will always be there to give us the strength to stay alert and keep watch for His return.
“If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Advocate to be with you forever—the Spirit of truth. The world cannot receive Him, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. But you do know Him, for He abides with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. In a little while, the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you are in Me, and I am in you. Whoever has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me. The one who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and reveal Myself to him.” (John 14:15-21)
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