Posted by: dailywordofdestiny | October 18, 2014

TOP UP THE OIL

KEEP YOUR LAMP BURNING

KEEP YOUR LAMP BURNING


“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, however, took oil in their 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!’ 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, ‘Sir! Sir!’ they said, ‘Open the door for us!’ But, He replied, ‘I tell you the truth, I don’t know you.’ Therefore keep watch, because you DO NOT KNOW THE DAY OR THE HOUR” (Matthew 25: 1-13) (see also vs. 14-30; 31-46; Exodus 35, 40).

Procrastination means to defer action; putting off what needs to be done today until a time more convenient for us. I am realizing with increasing clarity that the ONLY TIME we have to live a VICTORIOUS Christian life is right NOW, this very moment! Many of us live in the illusion of immortality; believing that what we have in this moment and where we are in this segment of time will go on forever. There is a pervasive mindset that “what we don’t get done today, we’ll do tomorrow.” Perhaps there are some who can even recall “setting on the shelf” something you knew God wanted you to do for Him right then. My friend, His Word says (Job 7: 7; Psalm 78: 39) “that He knows how we are formed, He remembers that we are dust and that our days are like grass, we flourish like a flower of the field; the wind blows over us and then we are gone, and our place is remembered no more” (Psalm 103: 14-16). It is wise to remember that your body is a temple (1 Corinthians 6: 19) and it is in a world that is programmed to destroy it (John 10: 10). There is no guarantee for life tomorrow (Proverbs 27: 1). Never underestimate the enemy, but at the same time recognize that you are a “spiritual” being and that Holy Spirit DWELLS within (Psalm 91; Ephesians 2: 22; 3: 17; Colossians 1: 19) and GREATER IS HE than he that rules (for the moment) this physical world (1 John 4: 4-6).

A couple of years ago, I prayed with women each Tuesday evening. We had been meeting faithfully for 11/2 years interceding for the children, youth, family, moral issues, and for unity among the churches in the community. There had been an average of seven women that have persevered in this assignment. It was in January that we felt we needed to let the moms with children know they could bring their kids to these prayer sessions. I felt God wanted the next two generations involved in the recognition of the need for prayer and to see God’s ability and faithfulness in answering prayer. I had noticed an increasing lack of basic Bible knowledge among people of all ages, but particularly in the teens and children. I had gone to many churches of varying denominations and saw very few people carrying a Bible or following along with pastors as they preached and taught God’s Word. Friends, I am NOT talking about a “third world country,” but about the United States of America and about the churches in an area historically known as the “Bible Belt of the U.S.A.!”

I decided to challenge the fifteen – twenty children and teens to memorize Scripture for financial reimbursement. Yes, that’s right; I chose to bless/blackmail them into becoming familiar with God’s Word. The children under twelve years could learn one verse, but that those over twelve years had to do four verses. They had to give the reference and could not use any prompts. I said I would listen to each one of them at the end of the prayer session and that I would pay them if the verses were accurate. It would begin the following week.

Next week arrived and one young girl about ten came to me as soon as I got into the church and told me she wanted to recite John 3:16. Right behind her was another young lady who also wanted to quote John 3:16. During this exchange, two young teens came up and each said, “I forgot; can I use a Bible to learn some verses now?” My response was that no Bible would be opened while we were in prayer. If they could memorize the required verses before we started or before their turn came, I would accept it this time, but in future they would have to have them ready.

I was amazed by the sudden running about to find Bibles and the Scripture about the ten virgins popped into my head. Many of us are like these kids in our relationship with Jesus. We’re busy with day-to-day life and all at once a crisis or situation comes up that we can’t handle all by SELF. We get desperate for His hand of favor and blessing, BUT FIND OUR LAMPS ARE OUT OF OIL! We had intended to keep our lamps filled continually with oil (His presence), but other “things” took priority and we just “put it off.”

Both Moses and Joshua warned the people of Israel about the JEALOUSY of God (Exodus 34: 14; Deuteronomy 4: 23, 24), “Joshua said to the people, ‘You are not able to serve the LORD. He is a holy God; He is a jealous God. He will not forgive your rebellion and your sins. If you forsake the LORD and serve foreign gods, He will turn and bring disaster on you and make an end of you, after He has been good to you'” (Joshua 4: 19, 20). I am so glad that Jesus came and that when we repent and turn from our sin, He forgives us, aren’t you? That Holy Spirit is available, giving as much of Himself as we desire. We alone are allowed to choose how much of His presence we want.

The rest of the story really blessed me. The first girl came to me and quoted John 3: 16 and I paid her $1. The second girl quoted John 3: 16 and I paid her $1. Then a young girl 7 years old came and said she’d like to quote Psalm 100. I asked her which verse she was going to use and she said, “Miss Judy, I want to do the whole Psalm.” AND SHE DID! I gave her $5 and then there was amazing excitement among not only the children, but the adults as well. Two teen girls came up and did their 4 verses (with effort); I paid them $1. They weren’t happy as they saw I had given the 7 year old $5 and wanted to know why? My response was the parable in Matthew 25: 14-28. Now they have all asked (adults too) if they can be included in the weekly memorizing.

Many of you may think that this is not a very “spiritual” method of teaching. I would say that for born again Christians this should not even be an issue; they should KNOW God’s Word and be able to speak it! However, this does not appear to be the case. For this group of sisters and brothers I believe that as they learn parts of God’s Word each week (right now); Holy Spirit will bring revelation and blessing into their hearts and lives (right now). I believe that He will blow gently on those tiny embers within their hearts and they will SUDDENLY BURST INTO A MUCH BIGGER FLAME OF PASSION and LOVE FOR JESUS! Their lamps will be “topped up” with the OIL of His presence each day as they study and memorize God’s WORD! They will have what they need for a moment to moment life of victory (1 John 2: 12-14)! Hallelujah!


Responses

  1. Amen again Judy.

    As I read this message I remembered as a new disciple of Jesus, that part of bible study was to memorize scriptures, like yours about 12 people and we are given little card with scriptures on them to carry with us and take out and read as often as we could. Then speak the word from memory.
    That was the start of my closer walk with the Lord at 60 years of age.

    It is now about 20 years later and it astounds me the scriptures that come out of my mouth, especially sometimes without any of my thought behind it.

    Praise our God who has so filled us with His word

    Blessings, bro ken

    • Praise God for His blessed Word Ken; we never forget it and it bubbles up at just the right times! My Mom is getting confused but even in her confusion she KNOWS God’s Word! How awesome and how comforting to know HE IS ALWAYS WITH US AND HIS WORDS ARE ETERNAL! God bless you my brother! Keep studying right into eternity! 🙂


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