Monday, June 27, 2011

Perseverance, Persistence, Patience, Prayer

Reading from the Book of Matthew 25:1-10, 21

 1 “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.

All ten of the virgins in Matthew 25:1-10 had the same opportunity, but only half were prepared to take. In a society where people needed oil to provide light, five virgins were wise and had extra oil on hand. The other five were foolish and lost out because they did not keep their lamps filled with oil. When the bridegroom came, the five virgins without the oil missed their opportunity to go with him because they were lazy when they should have been working and were out trying to buy more oil for their lamps at the wrong time.

God is an "equal-opportunity employer." It does not matter to Him what kind of background we come from, what kind of parents or family life we have, what color or gender we are, what kind of education we recieved, or what our physical handicaps may be. None of those things make any difference to Him. In Him, we all have equal opportunity. Anyone who will follow His guidelines and do what He tells them to do can be blessed and used by Him. God puts potentail in all of us and if we are willing to develop it, we will see wonderful things take place in our lives.

 21 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

In Matthew 25:21, Jesus stressed the importance of being faithful to the work assigned us. We want to hear Him say, "Well done, good and faithful servant." It's not the amount of our work that's important, or the status of it, or the notoriety of it. It's the faithfulness with which we do exactly what He has assigned us. Our lives and labors call for perseverance, persistence, patience, and prayer.

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