Those Who Were Ready

“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 25:1-13

The parable of the Ten Virgins is given to underscore the importance of being ready for Christ’s return in any event—even if He delays longer than expected. For when He does return, there will be no second chances for the unprepared. Paul wrote for us in first Thessalonians chapter five, he said, “of the times and the seasons you have no need that I write unto you, for you yourselves know perfectly well that the coming of the Lord is as a thief in the night, but you are not the children of darkness, so that day should overtake you as a thief.” (v.1-5)  Now the Lord does expect us to know or be aware of the times and seasons we are living in, however, we do not know the day, or the hour of Christ’s return. Therefore Jesus words to His followers then, and for us today is, to be watching, and to be ready for His appearance.

The parable of the ten virgins are representative of the whole church. And the five wise virgins represent the true body of Christ. No doubt you’ll find others who disagree with this, and that’s fine, this text is not a matter of doctrinal compromise, but rather the interpretation of a coming event. But we can agree that there is a vast church system in our world today, as Jesus said in the parables of the kingdom, how the mustard seed grew into a tree, and every bird came and lodged in its branches. There are all kinds of birds lodging in the overall tree of the church, with some of them not in Spirit and truth. As we look at the church today, And as we know from Scripture the times and seasons we are in. There is very few who would not agree that we are living in the last days events, and one of those events is the apostasy of the church. There are surely many apostate ministers, Paul said, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.” (2 Timothy 4:3-4)  And we know that today, you can hear the unbelief and skepticism that is expressed by so many ministers behind the pulpit of unbelief in the Word of God as inspired and holy, whose doctrinal issues of great concern, give doubt in the virgin birth of Christ, or unbelief in the atoning death of Jesus Christ, and yet, they call themselves ministers. They are in part of major denominations, and are embracing all kinds of ungodly doctrines.

So the church encompasses a broad spectrum of people; some converted and truly saved, and some still unconverted in which if Christ would return today, would be likened to the five foolish virgins who were not ready when the bridegroom came. Jesus makes this clear in the messages to the seven churches in Revelation chapter’s two and three: In fact, He said plainly to the church in Thyatira: “I gave her space to repent of her fornication, but she repented not, therefore I will cast her into the great tribulation, and those who commit fornication with her, unless they repent.” (Revelation 2:21)  The church unfortunately is not a true representation of Jesus Christ. Yet, there are those who are keeping true to the Word of God, true Bible believing pastor/teachers and rightly dividing the Word of God. These are in essence, the true body of Christ, and are witnessing to the world today.

Now the oil in Scriptures represent the Holy Spirit. There are those trying to do the work of ministry in the energy of their flesh. Their own strength, their own wisdom, their own abilities. Trying to help God grow their church, instead of simply feeding His sheep, they orchestrate all kinds of programs to rather entertain the flock, but that’s not what God ever intended for it to be. He will bring the increase, He will cause the growth of the church by adding to it. Our part is to be faithful in the calling to teach His Word, line upon line, precept upon precept.

Beloved friend, It says in the Book of James: Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast or lie against the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. (James 3:13-18)  Now depending on which camp you are in, I believe you can tell who are the five wise, and who are the five foolish virgins awaiting the bridegroom’s return. Let us come out of our comfort zone’s and be about our Father’s business until He comes, you will not regret but probably one thing when we get to heaven, And that is why I didn’t tell more people about Jesus Christ! And His love for them.

Dave and Sophia, Thank you!

May the Lord bless your walk today!

The Lord Stood With Me

Be diligent to come to me quickly; for Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world, and has departed for Thessalonica—Crescens for Galatia, Titus for Dalmatia. Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful to me for ministry. And Tychicus I have sent to Ephesus. Bring the cloak that I left in with Carpus at Troas when you come—and the books, especially the parchments. Alexander the coppersmith did me much harm. May the Lord repay him according to his works. You also must be aware of him, for he has greatly resisted our words. At my first defense no one stood with me, but all forsook me. May it not be charged against them. But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that the message might be preached fully through me, and that all the Gentiles might hear. Also I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His kingdom. To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen!

The Lord fulfills His promise to never “leave or forsake” His children. Paul here is writing from the perspective of the end of his ministry days. There are several points we can find here that are helpful to any of us serving the Lord. First off, Paul is asking help to come quickly. There is an urgency we must have in ministry that allows for the members of the body no time for idleness. Paul also reveals those among him who have forsaken him in ministry, Demas joined Paul and was mentioned in previous epistles, but here he was pointing out that it wasn’t because like Paul, who was a prisoner awaiting execution, Demas left him having loved this present world. Tragic to say the least because of this reason. No doubt hanging out with Paul was dangerous. The work of ministry today, in some parts of our world will cost you your life! And yet, when God has called you into ministry, this is part of counting the cost of being His disciple.

Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you—This Mark that was nephew to Barnabas who created a fight between Paul and Barnabas earlier. When Paul and Barnabas left on their first missionary journey, Mark went with them, but when they had passed through Cyprus and were heading into still some rough territory, Mark got scared and went home and Paul and Barnabas went on alone. Barnabas wanted to give Mark another chance on their second missionary journey, back through some of the same areas to strengthen the brethren that had been converted earlier. That’s when Paul said in effect, “Oh no!” He doesn’t have what it takes. So instead, Barnabas took Mark and headed for Cyprus and Paul took Silas and headed on back into Asia Minor again (Acts 15:36-41). It is interesting that in the Christian body, the church, you will have differences and have disagreements, but the Lord always brings us back. And now years later, Paul is writing of this same Mark, to bring him to me, for he is useful to me for ministry. There is a maturing factor for the Christian saint. One must go through much hardship, Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution (2 Timothy 3:12).

Cloak, books, parchment—Paul had very few possessions and only cared for what he might have needed to benefit others. He was an avid reader, and had great learned skills.

Watch out for Alexander the coppersmith—Pray for those, the Lord said, who despitefully use you, so when Paul makes the statement; May the Lord repay him according to his works. Could have been the way Paul prayed for him. Paul was totally forsaken by all of his friends. And this I love most. All the men forsook me but nevertheless, the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, and that is all I or you need to remember. That the Lord stood with me. That the message might be preached—When the goal of your life is to be pleasing to God, then you can be assured that God will be supplying what you will need. Grace is unmerited favor God gives to all those who are His. Mercy is not getting what deserve, and the message of the gospel is that mankind does not have to suffer the judgment of their sins. We can have our lives be transformed by the washing and regeneration the Holy Spirit brings into our lives. By proclaiming the gospel to such a cosmopolitan, pagan audience, Paul could say that he fulfilled and reached the Gentiles with the gospel for which he was sent to, and this was a fulfillment of his commission given to him by the Lord. When his work of ministry had reached it’s fulfillment, he was called home to be with the Lord. Irony is, that every work we commit to do, to serve Christ by serving others, in this case, Paul’s writing his letters to the church, will be rewarded by God one day for all those who have come to Him for forgiveness and salvation.

Beloved friend, The Lord will deliver us from every evil work, on the basis of the Lord’s presence through His Spirit at work in me, He will never leave me nor forsake me. His strength is in His Word of promise, and the fulfillment of our destiny, that is, to be with Him forever. Paul had this assurance, and so can we. Jesus Christ, by His death and resurrection has gone ahead of us, only to return for us, until then, He has preserved me for His heavenly kingdom—Paul knew, like we can know, that the completion of our work here on earth, means our entrance into the Lord’s glorious presence and eternal kingdom. Amen.

May the Lord bless your walk and work for Him!








These are the sons of God

Therefore brethren, we are debtors—not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.  Romans 8:12-17

When we placed our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, we were born again. We were made new in Christ. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17). It was prophesied from the Old Testament: “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you.” “I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.” (Ezekiel 36:26-27) We received a new spiritual heart as this promise to Israel is proclaimed. We have been chosen by God to live as His redeemed people, in the newness of life. Now, how does a new creature in Christ grow in a life of obedience? Our natural thinking might assume that a Christian could grow in obedience by simply doing his best to walk in the will of God. But then, how would you interpret Ezekiel’s prophecy: “I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes.” It is through the help of the Holy Spirit that we put to death the deeds of the body or that they become subservient and the spirit becomes dominant. The Holy Spirit is to be the heavenly dynamic in developing a life of obedience.

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God—Is my life being led by the Spirit of God? One of the ways I can tell is when the Spirit is leading me sometimes through fiery trials, there is given illumination divinely clarifying Scripture to make it understandable for me that enables me to withstand the ground I’m on. Meaning God has given us a life that is to remain steadfast in the places for which He has placed us in, To be still, and know He is God (Psalm 46:10). He is delivering me, and He is entrusting me with these circumstances I’m in, so that I will remain faithfully strong in dependence on Him. Divinely enabling us to obey Scripture. As you look at you life, can you honestly say, “Yes, my life is being led by the Spirit?” The Scripture does warn us not to be deceived, The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. We ought not to deceive ourselves into thinking more highly ourselves than we ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith (Romans 12:3). For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God.

For you have not received the spirit of bondage—That is, the bondage to our flesh (old life) any longer. A disobedient life would include attitudes and actions that our fallen sinful physical bodies would naturally crave. These are to be taken the cross, to be rendered as crucified with Christ. Paul, in his epistle to the Colossians wrote: Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them (Colossians 3:5-6). The Holy Spirit dwelling in every believer wants us to respond properly by His enabling us concerning such matters. They are overcome through our yielding to the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16).

But you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”— The work of the Holy Spirit is not automatic nor robotic. Rather, it is a relational matter. God is a superior trinity: Father, Son, and Spirit. Man is an inferior trinity: spirit, soul, and body. And man meets God in the area of the spirit, and it is there realized in our lives through humble dependence on His power that we now can and will overcome this flesh by faith in believing in Him and His Word. When the Samaritan woman asked Jesus “Where do we worship God?” Jesus answered her, “Woman, the day is coming, and now is, when they that worship God neither worship in this mountain nor in Jerusalem. For God is Spirit, and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth” (John 4:23). God is a Spirit, so the place I meet God is the place of the spirit. Now if I am living for self, then I am a living body, soul, and spirit. Yet, I cannot have then no fellowship with God, as long as I’m being dominated by my body appetites and natural lusts. This is our problem. Our old nature still wants to rule! I have no fellowship with God, because God will not deal directly with my flesh, my body. If I’m ruled by my body I have the mind of the flesh, which is spiritual death, and separation from God.

Beloved friend, It is when we depend upon the Holy Spirit to lead us in the path of obedience that we truly live as obedient children of God. “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.” (Romans 8:14) Thus I am united with God, and I have fellowship with God. He speaks to me through the Holy Spirit by revealing His Word to me. I have all the assurances  the Bible promises to those who are born again. And so do you, if you have surrenderd your life to Him. Being led by the Spirit is truly the only way to live this earthly life. You will be a great blessing to your families, neighbors in your community, and also to your co-workers and friends. I am now a child of God, and heir of God, and co-heir with Christ. Indeed, I will suffer in this life, but God will always be with me. A true independence day, is when someone gives their life to Christ, for he is then set free from condemnation of sin, and is born again of the Spirit of God. And therefore have been enabled to enter His rest and become His righteous children. Praise the Lord! And Happy Independence Day!

May the Lord bless your walk with Him today!