Mar 15, 2012

What are You Buying For Your Lamp?

As I have said in the past, one of the things that I like to do when I’m not playing hockey is to walk around hockey rinks to look for pucks to take home to my growing collection. Recently, while taking one of these walks, I wasn’t really enjoying the walk, not because I hadn’t found many pucks, but because it didn’t bring any real joy. I decided that I would drive to another hockey rink to look for pucks hoping to change my mood. 

While in route, a thought occurred to me; “Did I want Brasso or Oil for my lamp?” The Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins came to my mind. It is a story from the Bible that tells of ten virgins who were all waiting for the Bridegroom to come:

 “Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept. “And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming, go out to meet him!’ Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps.  And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise answered, saying, ‘No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’ And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut. “Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’ But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming."  (Matthew 25:1-12)

I continued on my way to the next hockey rink when once again the thought came to my mind; “Did I want Brasso or Oil for my lamp?” NOTE: Brasso is the brand name of a multipurpose product created to clean, remove tarnish and leave a brilliant shine on certain types of metal.

I replied, “I want fresh oil!”

“Then turn the car around and head home”.
I knew what that meant. If I want fresh oil for my lamp, I needed to respond and set aside time to spend with God; in communication, in worship, in reading the Bible, and in prayer. I needed to spend time with God.

The question before me had to do with how I would spend my day. Would I spend it “applying Brasso” to make who I was and my ministries look fresh and bright? Or would I be more concerned with what was on the inside which comes only from a relationship with Him.

I thought of Jesus’ words to the religious leaders two thousand or so years ago;

Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean. “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.” (Matthew 23:26-28)

So, I headed home and spent the next several hours with God; in communication, in worship, in reading the Bible, and in prayer. and He filled my lamp with fresh oil ready to shine for His purposes.

"Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved."

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