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!” 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 25:1-13
In today’s devotional, Heather Hoyt examines the Parable of the Ten Virgins: five wise virgins come prepared with extra oil to last the night, in comparison to five foolish virgins who do not bring enough.
She explains that the five foolish virgins represent those who have an appearance of godliness without a relationship with Jesus, who “honor [Him] with their lips but their hearts are far from [Him],” (see Isaiah 29:13).
Jesus’ contemporaries’ idea of repenting the day before you die has an implication of remaining steadfast in a heart of repentance. This was the focal point of being a follower of Jesus: not just approaching our faith as a check-off list, but daily repenting, loving Him with all of our hearts, souls, minds, and strength.
Heather challenges us with this thought: are we looking for Him, or are we longing for Him? Is the pursuit of His presence the primary focus of your life?
Question: How full is your lamp? What might be causing the oil to leak from your lamp—a challenging relationship, a negative attitude, jealousy, greed, selfishness, pride, or something else?
Prayer Starter: Get quiet before the Lord and ask Him to reveal to you how full your lamp truly is. Then ask Him to reveal the things that threaten to take His place in your life. Hold your hands open before the Lord and begin to surrender whatever it may be, however big or small.
Prayer: Jesus, I come before You in humility, repenting today of putting ______ first in my life over pursuing You and You alone. Where my love for You has grown dim, I confess that as sin and turn back to You. Thank You for Your forgiveness! I choose You today above all other things. I invite You to fill me again with Your Presence, that my lamp today would burn brightly in my world.
Family Chat: If you have a relationship with Jesus now, is there anyone that you need to share the love of Jesus with?
Take Action: In the area(s) of your life that you filled in the blank in confession in the above-suggested prayer—whether it’s in regards to your schedule, your agenda, your job, your family, your entertainment, or something else—phone a friend and confess those same things to him or her. The Bible says that if we confess our sins to God, He’ll forgive us (see 1 John 1:9); but it also says that if you confess your sins to one another, you’ll be healed (see James 5:16).