It was about 9p.m. and I was watching TV when all the lights went out. No electricity in the whole neighborhood. Thoughts were flying through my mind in rapid succession like bullets from an automatic rifle: “I have to get my flashlight. It’s dark. I won’t be able to see out there. Sh..t, I should have recharged the batteries the last time. Do I have any other flashlights? Yes, In my car. Phew!” I was just about to get up out of my chair and all the lights and sounds come charging back to life.
A couple days later I thought about not having the batteries ready for my flashlight. It reminded me of the Bible story about the ten virgins with the oil lamps. They took their lamps to meet the bridegroom and go to the wedding. But only five took extra oil for their lamps so they’d be prepared. The bridegroom was late so the five without extra oil were running out of light. They thought they could borrow some from the others but that wasn’t going to happen.
“Five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.
“And at midnight there was a cry made: ‘Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.’ Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps.
“And the foolish said unto the wise, ‘Give us of your oil, for our lamps are gone out.’ But the wise answered, saying, ‘Not so, lest there be not enough for us and you; but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.’
“And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage, and the door was shut” (Matt. 25:1-10).
We learn from this passage that each of us is responsible to get his or her own oil. No one else is responsible to read the Bible for us and no one else can do our believing for us. An interesting point here is that the wise women didn’t give the foolish ones any of their extra oil. Wow, that’s seems pretty harsh, right? But the truth is that there comes a point when sharing what we have and giving to others comes to a God-ordained halt, and going any further is futility and sin.
It’s hard sometimes to know when to stop with a person, but if we stay too long (longer than the Lord wants), we’re not really helping them and we’re not helping ourselves either. Matthew 22:39 tells us: “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” We love ourselves by doing what the Lord wants, not what people want, and not necessarily what we want either. But God is in charge of the outcome and He knows the best route to get there.
If a relationship is going nowhere, it’s probably time to enlist the help of another laborer! “Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest” (Matt. 9:37-38).
The women who were prepared, went on to the party and the others missed out. The parable about the ten virgins is about being ready when Jesus comes back. Nobody knows when that will be, but there will be a day when Jesus returns and everything changes.
“The day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up” (2 Pet. 3:10).
“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God” (1 Thess. 4: 16).
Jesus said that when the judgment day comes, every man will have to account for every idle word he speaks: “But I say unto you that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the Day of Judgment” (Matt. 12:36).
“That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ” (1 Pet. 1:7).
Our works are to be built on the foundation of Jesus Christ. “If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss” (1 Cor. 3:13-15).
“Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be?” (2 Pet. 3:11).
People want to feel that their lives are meaningful and that they are contributing good things into this world. Once Jesus comes back, we don’t get the chance to do it over again. So let’s let’s unload the burdens the Lord says “leave and let go.”
We only have one life to live here on earth right now, no reincarnation. We need to make every day count to the best of our ability.
We don’t want to miss a chance to say something kind, do something significant for someone else, give a smile, help someone, minister healing, cast out a devil spirit, etc. “We are all the children of light” (1 Thess. 5:5) and we can “walk as children of light” (Eph. 5:8).
“Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel” (Matt. 5:15). Let your unique, God-inspired light shine.
The end of our world is imminent and according to the Bible, it could be any day. Let’s make a difference here while we can. If we think more often about Jesus’ return, we will live our lives more like the women who carried extra oil, rather than the ones whose light ran out.
Like it says in Romans 13:12: “The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.”
If we live like today could be our last, it just could be our best.
After the lights came back on that night, I recharged the batteries for my flashlight. Today I’m recharging my heart for the Lord Jesus Christ.