"Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors. For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favor of the Lord."Proverbs 8:34-35and"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 have 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-----Illustration with 8: Turn the 8 sideways and make two eyes with long lashes and long hair; smile on one side, frown on the other. Portrays five wise virgins and five foolish. Emphasis on the need for our eyes to be watching, waiting, and listening for Christ and the wisdom He imparts until His coming.-----Individuals who are watchful, waiting, and listening are given three special rewards according to our Proverb:1) They are blessed.2) They find life.3) They obtain favor.Daily diligence, discipline, and preparedness provide long term spiritual pay-offs and procure inestimable eternal dividends. Complacency and laziness need to be forcefully and constructively challenged in our every day lives so that we don't grow neglectful of that which we have most need of. The flesh is so quickly and easily deceived. Of the ten virgins who were met by the bridegroom on the day of His appearing, only five were in a state of preparedness, when He actually came. It's interesting to note that all ten believed He was coming but only five prepared themselves with the oil needed to sustain them in the waiting. The gain of the five proved glorious and beautiful for the five who were prepared; and the loss of the five proved catastrophic in the end for those who were not. The attempts to procure position at the last moment were rejected and refused by the bridegroom:He had said he was coming. He had told them to be waiting. He expected them to believe his word.He had given them time to appropriate their choices ...----God's word constantly challenges our temporal mindset with an eternal one and urges us to remain in a state of high alert until He returns.Our state of "preparedness" or lack of ... is going to prove either joyful or catastrophic in the end and the maintenance of our souls in the here and now is of primary importance.Take heed that you are not caught unaware.The Bridegroom is going to return and He has given you time to appropriate choices.Read His word.Heed His word.Be ready.----My living has been careless, Lord, and forgiveness for complacency is sought. Cause my soul to intently pursue spiritual matters and my desires to be realigned with Yours. Let this day bear witness that life is being lived with eternity in mind. Let "abiding with You" be my chief aim and enforced desire ... and let me select for my company those who are absorbed in the task of preparing for Your coming. Let me be ready and let me be waiting when You come, Lord.Let me be as one of the waiting five; joyful and ready at Your appearing.Intensify and breathe life into spiritual longing and labors.Amen.----Three questions:1) The employment of time speaks to your belief system; what does it say of your spiritual readiness?2) The company you keep speaks to the life that you seek. Evaluate closely the conduct of the five individuals you encircle yourself with. Are they foolish or wise in their investment of spiritual matters ... and do changes need to be made in your circle of friends?3) Who is living in a way that suggests a lack of "preparedness" and how might you contribute to their supply of oil?
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