DON’T LET YOUR LIGHT GO OUT…

MATTHEW 25:6-10: “But at midnight there finally was a shout: ‘Behold, the groom! Come out to meet him.’ Then all those virgins got up and trimmed their lamps. But the foolish virgins said to the prudent ones, ‘Give us some of your oil, because our lamps are going out.’ However, the prudent ones answered, ‘No, there most certainly would not be enough for us and you too; go instead to the merchants and buy some for yourselves.’ But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the groom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast; and the door was shut.” NASB
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OBSERVATION: There is a difference between Biblical interpretation and personal application. Many times, if we are not careful, we will confuse the two. Biblical interpretation is the discipline of understanding the text from the viewpoint of the original author, cultural setting, and the intended recipient. When we read the parables of Jesus it is important to understand what Jesus originally intended to say to those He was speaking to and not confuse this with what we hear in our current culture or from our personal perspective.

However, that being said, as we read the Bible, as we study to understand the original intent of the author, many times the Holy Spirit will give us a personal application from the text. This application does not change the interpretation. However, it is an insight from the text that has a present-day application to our life at the moment. This is what I experienced this morning while reading this familiar parable of the ten virgins waiting for the bridegroom to arrive.

The context of this parable is Jesus answering the question asked of Him by the disciples.

  • “And as He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” ‭Matthew‬ ‭24‬:‭3‬ ‭NASB

In the verses that follow in Matthew 24, and in the parables of Matthew 25, Jesus is addressing these specific questions. The interpretation is focused on the nation of Israel and its condition when Christ returns at the end of the age. These parables are not about the church, the rapture, or the events in heaven as outlined in Revelation chapter 19.

When Jesus returns to set up His Millenial Kingdom there will be those who have made it through the great tribulation among the nation of Israel and those who have come to faith during this tumultuous time. Yet, much like today, there will be true believers and false believers. Oil in the Bible represents the Holy Spirit. Those whose lamps (hearts) were filled with the Holy Spirit will be ushered into Christ’s Kingdom. Those without will be separated from the Lord for all eternity. The key to this parable is Jesus warning to be ready and watching for His return.

  • “But he answered, ‘Truly I say to you, I do not know you.’ Be on the alert then, because you do not know the day nor the hour.” Matthew‬ ‭25‬:‭12‬-‭13‬ ‭NASB

Paul calls us in his epistles to be filled with the Spirit.

  • “So then, be careful how you walk, not as unwise people but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, in which there is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit,”. Ephesians‬ ‭5‬:‭15‬-‭18‬ ‭NASB

Notice the context of Paul’s exhortation. He is calling us to be filled with the Holy Spirit because the days in which we live are evil. In these evil days, it is important to understand what the will of the Lord is. If we are going to walk in God’s wisdom and understanding in these dark and tumultuous times our lamps need to be burning bright. In other words, we better make sure we have enough oil so that…

OUR LAMPS DO NOT GO OUT!

The application I received today is focused on the 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting we are participating in, in our local church and larger church family. This time is focused on spending more time with the Lord in prayer and reflection. As I have been endeavoring to do this I have sensed that my lamp (heart) has been running low on oil. Just as a real lamp needs to be continually filled with oil to keep burning, so my heart needs to keep being filled with God’s Word and the Holy Spirit for my faith to burn brightly.

When my car is low on fuel I need to intentionally drive it to a gas station, stop my car, turn off the engine, and fill the tank with fuel. It would be foolish to think that my tank would be filled as I flew by the gas station at 45 miles per hour. This is also true with my spiritual life. I cannot expect to be filled with the Holy Spirit if I am merely running through life and never intentionally stopping to spend quality time in God’s Word, to pray, to worship, to join with my church family when the doors are open, and to share my faith as God gives me the opportunity!

My lamp can go out if I am not intentional about staying close to the source of oil. God has graciously given us all things that pertain to life and godliness. Yet, much like the gas station on the corner, we must intentionally stop, turn off our engines, and allow the Holy Spirit to fill our tank through God’s Word, prayer, worship, and His presence.

While I rejoice in the fact that I am confident in my eternal salvation, I am also aware that in my daily life, my light can go out in the daily business and struggles of life. My desire is to be filled with the Holy Spirit to overflow so that my light can continue to shine and so that I can lead others to the source of God’s eternal light – Jesus Christ my Lord!

Heavenly Father, change my heart and give me a deeper hunger for Your Word. Jesus, fill me anew with the Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit, open my eyes and let my light shine brightly so that I can be a witness and a blessing to others.

As I wait for Your return – don’t let my light go out!

In Jesus” Name!

About Kirk's Devotional Journal

Kirk L. Zehnder is the Founder of Resurrection Christian Outreach. RCO is a ministry that promotes the growth and vitality of the local church through speaking engagements, seminars, various media tools, and written curriculum and books. This ministry was started over 35 years ago by Kirk as a means to strengthen the church that he was pastoring. It grew as Kirk began to share these tools with other churches. Today many of the materials are being used by local churches both nationally and internationally. Kirk's Devotional Journal is a result of struggling with Bible reading programs that never seemed to work. Kirk feels the Lord helped him discover an easy-to-follow program to Read, Reflect, Pray, and Journal through the Bible in one year. This program is called L.I.F.E. Unlike other programs there are no dates to follow. You can miss a day and still complete your reading. You never feel like the dates and verses you missed are chasing you. You are free to enjoy your daily Biblical journey and listen to the voice of The Lord. For more information on the L.I.F.E. plan, send an email to rcoutreach@aol.com. Kirk is also available for speaking engagements, seminars, and retreats. With over 40 years of professional business and pastoral ministry experience, Kirk brings a unique combination of practical wisdom, humor, and Biblical insight. If you would like Kirk to speak at your church, school, or ministry, please send an email to rcoutreach@aol.com and we will get back to you as soon as possible to discuss your opportunity.
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