A Warning and an Instruction
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Soon after moving, I learned some unexpected inconveniences of living in the country. Without warning, we can have a blackout and no electricity. So now I keep candles, flashlights, and lanterns with extra batteries on hand. If I have light, I can survive. I am so grateful to have been born in this era, as I do not know how I would have made it in the 1800s!
It is wonderful how the Lord uses events of our daily lives to teach us Scriptural truth. The 12th chapter of Luke carries both a warning and an instruction:
“Be dressed in readiness, and keep your lamps lit.” (v.35 NASB1995)
“For the Son of Man is coming at an hour that you do not expect.” (v. 40)
Lamps must have oil to provide light. I believe that the lamps represent us, and the oil represents our relationship with the Lord. Our level of intimacy with Him produces either an abundance of oil with a high flame or a low flame, both of which identify how much of Christ is really living in us.
In Matthew 25, the Lord tells a parable of 10 virgins (believers). Five were prepared and ready and five were not. The lives of those who carried extra oil proved their readiness through their close relationship with the Lord. It was their life's priority and enabled them to be prepared for the bridegroom's coming.
When my cousin got married, for months she made meticulous preparations, being certain everything needed was perfectly in place when the moment came to say “Yes” to her bridegroom.
In like manner, the return of Christ for His bride is imminent, and it is soon. While there is much darkness on the earth, as prophesied, it is the church’s finest hour to draw ever nearer to Him, secure our commitment, and shine His light.
In Luke 18:8 Jesus asked, “When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?”
As I read this, I began to examine my own faith. What does the Lord see in my life and the lives of His church? Does He see godly, faith-filled lives? A committed people choosing to make themselves ready for His return? From His first day of ministry, Jesus was completely committed to His Father and in His death, He was committed to us. When He comes again, He is looking for people committed to loving Him and living for Him with all their heart, soul, and mind (Matthew 22:37).
The question that comes to mind is how do we get ready? How can we have this oil and this light? 1 John 1:7 gives us a key: “Walk in the light as He Himself is in the light.” James 4:8 tells us to “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”
Romans 12:2 says we are to “be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
Knowing the Lord and bearing the fullness of His light is the process that makes us ready. Let’s all renew our commitment to be people of faith, people of prayer, with His Word written on our hearts and minds so that He increases in us, and we shine with His likeness, for this is the will of God.
The Lord knows us through and through. Any area where we fall short of His will, if we ask, He will help us become strong in Him to prepare for His coming. I am confident in Philippians 1:6:
“He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”
Scripture is quoted from the New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. All rights reserved.
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