Daily Devotion, November 9, 2020 - A Lamp Full of Oil

Pastor: Connie Belmore

Daily Devotion – November 9, 2020
Reading:
Matthew 25:1-13
Weekly Theme: See...Judge...Act
Today: A Lamp Full of Oil

Last week was a challenging week for my family. On Tuesday, my husband and I took our 10-year-old pit bull mix to be euthanized after a prolonged period of deterioration...a very difficult decision for both of us. The very next day, my husband began preparing for open heart surgery and was admitted on Thursday for his procedure which was Friday. As you might imagine, we have done a lot of praying and soul searching. We have been surrounded by a wonderful support system of family and friends and our faith has sustained us through this past week in amazing ways. Praise be to God! My husband’s recovery so far has been remarkable, and we are so very thankful for the way God prepared us for this most challenging week. Without God’s real, felt presence, without the knowledge of prayers going up and being answered, without Godly family and friends, we would not have been prepared.

Yesterday I attended worship and the speaker preached about today’s Scripture reading. She went straight to the question that I believe most people go to in this passage. That question is “were the wise bridesmaids selfish to not share their oil with the foolish bridesmaids?” The answer in short is “no”. The purpose of this parable is not to teach a lesson about sharing but rather to teach a lesson about being prepared. At any given time, we need to be prepared for God to show up in our lives. The bottom line is that the Christian who always is aware of the presence of God who is with him or her, is always prepared for the many situations he or she faces in life. Our lives are enlightened through daily preparation and when things become challenging we feel God’s presence with us through years of reading God’s Word, being surrounded by other Christians, by worshipping and praising and praying to God and by serving others. Challenges remain challenging, but with God by our side, we know and feel God’s presence and know that we will get through them.

Yesterday's speaker came to speak with us about sharing with others through a ministry called ZOE. Yet her message was to encourage us to give to a ministry through which people are empowered and prepared to take care of themselves amidst the challenges they face in circumstances that we cannot possibly fathom. These children are taught through a three-year ministry to take care of themselves with the support of others to walk alongside them. Shouldn’t we all be doing this as Christians...walking side by side with others as we go through the various challenges life throws our way, but with the assurance that God is with us, present through prayers, through the presence of fellow Christians, and through the power of the Holy Spirit?

After his surgery, my husband told me that he never felt alone. He said he could feel God’s power and presence with him and knew prayers were being lifted by so many people and were being heard. Throughout my husband’s life, he has been preparing for this challenge and was ready to face this challenge and has been given peace and hope from the time he was diagnosed and now as he goes through the recovery and healing process. This is what Matthew 25 is about...always being prepared for what life throws our way, knowing God’s perfect plan prevails, and God’s will is done, even during challenging times.

Dear God, thank you so much for the way you prepare us for the challenges of life. You have gifted us with prayer, with prayerful friends, with your love and presence through the Holy Spirit, with your Word and with experiences through which we feel your very presence with us and through which we are never alone. Help us to continuously prepare ourselves for Your Son’s coming... now in our daily lives as well as when Christ returns. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

 
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