Saturday, February 17, 2018

Focus on Faith

Nov. 28, 2017 at 5:03 p.m.

"Being Prepared"

The parable of the ten bridesmaids, in Matthew 25:1-13, follows a discussion of end times and teaches, "Keep awake therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour". Ten girls waited at night for the bridegroom to arrive so that they could go with him to the bride's home, then to his house, where the wedding ceremony would be held. Five had enough oil for their lamps, but five did not. So the five went off to find some oil for their lamps, when they returned late they where not allowed to help with the banquet. The door was closed. The five foolish maidens were told, "I do not know you" in verse 12. Jesus is telling this parable to clarify further what it means to be ready for his return and how to live until he comes.

What kind of preparedness do we demonstrate on a spiritual plane? The parable of the ten bridesmaids is about the coming of the kingdom of God. How does one prepare for such an event? The nation of Israel's entire history was for the purpose of being ready for the Messiah's initiating of the Kingdom. Yet the people of Israel failed to recognize him. They were not prepared when Jesus came, and thus they missed him. Being prepared for his kingdom is found in carrying out these spiritual disciplines: sharing and living by faith, praying for others, reading and studying the Scripture, obeying the teachings of Chris, and ministering to God's people. A bridesmaid's duty in Palestine was to be ready to begin the procession upon the arrival of the bridegroom. A Christian's duty is to live one's entire life prepared to give an accounting to Christ. It is both doing and being. Being prepared doesn't happen at the last second. It is a way of life. Yes, this parable would first remind us to be prepared.

This parable speaks to us about remaining expectant. An indication of the fact that five of the bridesmaids were expectant was demonstrated by their bring in extra oil for their lamps. Perhaps the other five had given up hope that the bridegrooms would really come. A child who knows his birthday is near is exceedingly expectant. There is the assurance that soon his or her special day will arrive. There will be gifts and a celebration and cake and ice cream. The prisoner of war who remains confident that this country is making every effort to secure his release is expectant; anticipating his ultimate freedom, certain that will come.

What is the point of the parable? Isn't it true that thee will come a time when the door to the Kingdom is closed and one is no longer able to enter? If one fills one's life with nothing but self-serving and personal pleasure, no time or interest in the way of Christ, and a hardness of heart to the Spirit's direction, then the door to the Kingdom may be finally closed.

God is calling us to be spiritually prepared throughout our lives, so we might be ready to share in his kingdom, so keep awake you never know the time nor the hour that you will receive his call.



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