Advent Devotional

Matthew 25:1-10

"Then the kingdom of heaven will be comparable to ten virgins, who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.  Five of them were foolish, and five were prudent.  For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the prudent took oil in flasks along with their lamps.  Now while the bridegroom was delaying, they all got drowsy and began to sleep.  But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Behold, the bridegroom!  Come out to meet him.’  Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps.  The foolish said to the prudent, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’  But the prudent answered, ‘No, there will not be enough for us and you too; go instead to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.’  And while they were going away to make the purchase, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast; and the door was shut."

There are several applications we must not miss from this parable: First the foolishness of being unprepared to encounter God when he arrives.  Of course, God is always present.  But at special times He desires to accomplish important things in us: maybe a change of direction, maybe a deepening of relationship, perhaps salvation itself.  Secondly, there will be a time in the future when Christ will return and things as we know them will be no more.  Are we prepared for this great climax of all our hopes?  Third, it is clear that it is unwise to think that we can depend upon the faith and faithfulness of others to prepare us for when God calls.  

Advent is an excellent time of preparation for Christ’s presence.   Take some time in these days before Christmas to open your heart for Christ’s cleansing and ministry so that, in the year ahead, you can be all he desires.

For Reflection & Discussion: What can you do to prepare your heart to encounter Jesus in the weeks ahead?

Prayer: Father, we desire to meet You personally; to know You and to live with Your presence as a part of our daily routine.  For our part we commit to making ourselves ready so that You may come in your perfect timing.  In the Name of Jesus, who is coming.  Amen.
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