"What is In Your Lamp," Matthew 25: 1-13, Pastor Richard Strode
Have you ever had to rely on someone to come through for you when their past performance is the sole indicator of what they may do for you in the future? This question was the faith challenge for Jesus' disciples who were cautioned by Jesus to be ready for His return at a date to be determined by God. Even with a marriage proposal or debt repayment we expect a favorable outcome by a specific date. In the parable of the ten virgins Jesus is teaching His disciples and us that we need to be wise, remaining grounded in our faith and sure of the reasons for our belief in the Lord. Using the lamp as a metaphor for life, we must maintain a constant connection to the Holy Spirit and God's Word if we are to sustain our Christian composure and be a light which draws others to Christ. Without the re-fueling of our faith with the Spirit and the Word, the flaming passion of our faith will die out and we become a shell of a Christian when faced with trials and tribulations of this life. Jesus' question to the disciples and us: Are we ready for His return? We are living in the end-times. Jesus has returned to heaven and we await His return for us. Our challenge is not to focus on when He returns but what we are doing when He returns. Our faith must be working and becoming a shining light which directs us toward meeting the Savior.