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Forward: Trim Your Lamp Now

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Trim Your Lamp Now

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When you read the following passage from the gospel of Matthew, how does it make you feel? What is your initial reaction? Can you imagine yourself in this very situation?

I’d like to have you place yourself in this situation right now. Imagine that you’re there:

“Ten bridesmaids…took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. But only five of them were wise enough to fill their lamps with oil, while the other five were foolish and forgot. So, when the bridegroom was delayed, they lay down to rest until midnight, when they were roused by the shout, ‘The bridegroom is coming! Come out and welcome him!’ All the girls jumped up and trimmed their lamps. Then the five who hadn’t any oil begged the others to share with them, for their lamps were going out. But the others replied, ‘We haven’t enough. Go instead to the shops and buy some for yourselves.’ But while they were gone, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was locked” (Matthew 25:1-10 Matthew 25:1-10 [1] Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened to ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. [2] And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. [3] They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: [4] But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. [5] While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. [6] And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom comes; go you out to meet him. [7] Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. [8] And the foolish said to the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. [9] But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go you rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. [10] 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.
American King James Version×
, The Living Bible, emphasis added throughout).

These powerful, sometimes personally incriminating verses can apply to the actual return of Christ and the marriage supper, but also to our present spiritual condition and whether or not God’s Spirit dwells in us. Or put another way, how much we let the Spirit influence our thoughts and actions! How much oil do we have on a daily basis? How much urgency for the truth do we have?

We are told that we will be blessed if Christ returns to find us as faithful and wise servants—doing the work He has given to us and allowing His Spirit to guide us in our daily lives. If we are watchful and awake, His return will not be at a time in which we are unprepared.

However, if we are not aware of the coming of the Bridegroom—that is, do not have God’s personal presence in our livesand allow ourselves to get caught up in thoughts and actions that are sinful or even just unimportant, then we are not awake, and we will beunaware and unprepared until it is too late!

I guess the question for you and me is: Will we be watchful, alert and awake in preparation for that day? Are we ready at this moment, if now is the defining time for us? God does not lie, and He says that the salvation He offers to us will be forever.

“Later, when the other five returned, they stood outside, calling, ‘Sir, open the door for us!’ But he called back, ‘Go away! It is too late!’ So stay awake and be prepared, for you do not know the date or moment of my return” (Matthew 25:11-13 Matthew 25:11-13 [11] Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. [12] But he answered and said, Truly I say to you, I know you not. [13] Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man comes.
American King James Version×
, TLB).

Now is the time we have to prove ourselves. Now is when we have to be most vigilant in our duties. Now is when our oil lamps must be full and the wicks trimmed. Now is when we must do the work given to us. Now is the time to recapture a sense of urgency.We must be awake, doing the work of our Father and living righteously in preparation for the return of the Bridegroom for the wedding supper.