Jesus Feeding the 5,000

A daily devotion for May 30th

Oil in Our Lamps

At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep. At midnight the cry rang out: Here's the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!

Matthew 25:1-6

Weddings were always held at night in the East. Often the festivities lasted for a week and at any time during that week the bridal party was expected to appear. The bridegroom would come to get his bride, and they would walk together to the wedding. Groups of people waited along the way, to join the wedding procession. Here are ten young girls waiting expectantly for the bridegroom.

At midnight came a cry to come out and meet the bridegroom, which plunges us into the rest of the story: Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out. No, they replied, there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves. But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut. Later the others also came. Lord, Lord, they said, open the door for us! But he replied, Truly I tell you, I don't know you. Therefore, keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour. (Matthew 25:7-13)

There is a difference among these ten: five were wise, and five were foolish. The difference lay in the fact that the wise had extra oil. They all had oil to begin with, but the wise took along an extra supply. That is how they endured the unexpected delay of the bridegroom. Oil is commonly used as a type or picture of the ministry of the Holy Spirit, revealing truth. This also pictures those living in the time between the Lord's first coming and his second, waiting for his appearing. Certain wise among us have an extra supply of oil, a supply adequate to meet the test of whatever may come. But there are also some among us who are foolish, lacking adequate supply of oil, who have never really discovered the full ministry of the Spirit. There is a ministry of the Spirit to the minds and hearts of those who are not yet born again, as pictured by the foolish virgins. He enlightens them to a degree, as they read the Bible, and hear such truth as the Lord's return, but they haven't come to the place where this truth has really gripped them. They may have understood it, but it has not yet held them with a personal knowledge of the One who the truth reveals, the Lord Jesus Christ.

The knowledge of the Word must go deeper than the surface, to an obedience of the heart, a trusting, a giving over completely of the central control of your life, your will, to Jesus Christ. This results in the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, the One who holds you steady in the hour of crisis.

Father, you know my heart. Here I am, waiting for the coming of the Lord. I pray that I might understand my true condition and commit myself to the One who alone can prepare me for your coming.

Life Application

Have I allowed the Gospel to be planted deep within me, so that the Spirit can empower me to meet the needs of whatever might come?

This Daily Devotion was Inspired by one of Ray's Messages

Here Comes the Bridegroom

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