Christian devotions in the Daily-Message

Christian devotions in the Daily-Message

Ten virgins Part 2

“Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And 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. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.''

Matthew 25:1-13

Why couldn't the wise virgins give some of their oil to the foolish virgins? Because each one of us stands before God with regard to his own faith, his own love for and relationship with Jesus. How can anyone believe on behalf of others and love God on behalf of others? It is impossible. We can only believe for ourselves. Certainly, we share our faith with others in that we have fellowship with one another as a spiritual body, but the spiritual body does not just automatically incorporate one if one has not personally confessed to Jesus and in one's own capacity has a genuine relationship with Him. And a relationship with God is based on God's sovereign grace. A grace which we never earned nor could ever pinpoint a specific desire for. Everything we need as Christians is found in God. Lamps are a symbol of confession. One can confess much, and basically everyone can confess – just as every one of the ten virgins had a lamp, they were all outwardly confessors of the living God. People of faith in the Biblical sense clearly did not come to faith in their own power, but only by God's grace and sovereignty. When one has understood and internalized that, it is actually not so complicated to remain watchful and, trusting in God, rejoice and look forward to His return – even if it is delayed! Jesus said that His yoke is gentle and His burden is not heavy. Why then should it be difficult to deal with the matters of faith with a watchful attitude and outlook without becoming weary? In accordance with the Old Covenant, dealing with yokes and burdens were very different. We must have God in our hearts, love HIM, believe in HIM – then we are provided with full lamps and all our needs are met. The Bible tells us that we have, with Jesus, received everything else. If we don't find it, then we are maybe looking in the wrong place? We should therefore be ready, and not be indifferent or chronically frustrated and bored – our hearts and souls should cost something – not to be justified by works, but by love and gratitude, and because there is nothing higher, better or more important in our lives than Jesus Christ. In fact as important as a bride to her groom – when one is totally in love. The Word of God in the Bible and prayer should be a practical expression of a wakeful spirit – a combination of both makes us strong and ready. Then we know what we must believe and don't wonder whether Jesus is in fact coming again. It is written in the Bible!

There are also “Christians” who doubt this, just as earlier many doubted that there would be a resurrection of the dead and a judgement. Also how we treat each other has something to do with wakefulness and thoughtfulness. Is intercession important to me? Are we important to each other, or is it each one for himself, according to the motto: “I have more than enough to do myself” and: “look after number one...”? Love and truth is also like a lamp and oil. Truth certainly also has the content of spiritual truth and love always has some aspect of divine love. Thus, when we worship God in spirit and in truth, then we do so correctly and in the manner of the the five wise virgins, who also slept (because it was already late and the bridegroom had not arrived yet) but, they awoke timely (through faith) and recognized the signs of the time. The fact that everyone slept shows that one couldn't see the difference between them at first glance. A tired virgin is a tired virgin! The wisdom of the blessed virgins, which could only be seen afterwards, is based on the scripture: Matthew 7:24 “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of Mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock.” The question is whether the foolish virgins considered themselves foolish. I don't think so, otherwise they would not have been denied access at the end. Cleverness in this instance, and based upon this parable, includes the insight not to be clever before God. On the contrary, lost in every aspect, off course in the darkness, ignorant, hopeless, damned and struck with spiritual blindness. To be unprepared, is in end-effect nothing other than believing in God in a manner which misconstrues the objective truth and spiritual perception. Quasi, to awaken and recognize the reality, only when it is already too late. It concerns spirit and truth. Whoever believes in another manner – without spirit and truth – is simply foolish and haughty.

(Translated by Linda Gates)


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