(NOTE: This sermon series and devotional series is based on a book by Randy Frazee entitled, “BELIEVE.”
You may choose to download or purchase the book as a supplement to your worship and devotional emails.)
Matthew 25:1-13 “At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were foolish and five were wise. 3 The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. 4 The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. 5 The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
6 “At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’
7 “Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. 8 The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’
9 “‘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.’
10 “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.
11 “Later the others also came. ‘Lord, Lord,’ they said, ‘open the door for us!’
12 “But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.’
13 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.
Waiting for someone or something is one thing. Usually waiting is just the passing of time for the day or event to happen. I wait for my birthday. We anticipate Christmas. We look forward to a vacation.
All of these are examples of events we KNOW when they will happen. When we know something will happen, it certainly takes discipline to be ready for the event, but often times, preparation is a few days before.
What if someone said, “We’re taking you on vacation, but we are not telling you what day”? How long could you have everything ready to go at a moment’s notice? Perhaps the first week would be good…first month? Perhaps the longer it took, the more you would doubt it would happen. Toothpaste comes out of your travel kit. The shorts you were going to take, are in the hamper. The cash you planned to take, was spent on something else.
When the timing of something is uncertain, the discipline to maintain readiness every day is tough.
But that type of self-discipline is what Jesus is inviting us to as we wait for his second coming.
We don’t know when he is coming for the second time. But he wants us to be ready.
What does that look like?
Paul in writing to Titus, put it this way:
Titus 2:11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ,
Being prepared focuses on two things: Be secure in God’s grace and forgiveness and saying “No” to ungodliness.
This might be easy for a day or two…but for 2 months…2 years…a lifetime?
It’s why we need Jesus in our place to perfectly live a life of godliness in our place and give us his grace to forgive us and empower us to say no to sin and live for Christ.
The very waiting and preparedness Jesus teaches, is the preparedness he empowers us to have.
Apply: What challenges you to be prepared for Jesus’ second coming?
Prayer: Lord, Jesus we praise you for your work this week on our behalf. Empower us by your Spirit to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives as we wait for your return! AMEN