Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. Matthew 25:1, 2.
We are not to rest in the idea that because we are church-members we are saved, while we give no evidence that we are conformed to the image of Christ, while we cling to our old habits, and weave our fabric with the threads of worldly ideas and customs. . . .
The ten virgins are watching in the evening of this earth’s history. All claim to be Christians. All have a call, a name, a lamp, and all claim to be doing God’s service. All apparently watch for His appearing. But five are wanting. Five will be found surprised, dismayed, outside the banquet hall.
We are represented either by the wise or by the foolish virgins. There are many who will not remain at the feet of Jesus, and learn of Him. They have not a knowledge of His ways; they are not prepared for His coming. They have made a pretense of waiting for their Lord. They have not watched and prayed with that faith which works by love and purifies the soul. They have lived a life of carelessness. They have heard and assented to the truth, but they have never brought it into their practical life. The oil of grace is not feeding their lamps, and they are not prepared to enter into the marriage supper of the Lamb.
Be not like the foolish virgins, who take for granted that the promises of God are theirs, while they do not follow the injunctions of Christ. Christ teaches us that profession is nothing. “If any man will come after me,” He says, “let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” . . .
When we stand the test of God in the refining, purifying process; when the furnace fire consumes the dross, and the true gold of a purified character appears, we may still say, with Paul, “Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after. . . . This one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”
Maranatha p. 54
—– A little over a year ago, I sent out an email asking for prayer for my sister going though breast cancer/chemo and radiation treatment. We have wonderful news: She now has 6 months of being cancer free after all the treatments ended!! Thank all of you who have prayed for her. She will go back for more tests for the one-year exam when that time comes. Right now I am singing praises for answered prayer!!! Kathy
Over the years, we have enjoyed the beautiful world God has made. We started camping in Michigan shortly after we were married and have continued camping wherever we have moved. When we lived out west, we were able to go wilderness camping which is far superior to any campground.
One early June, when we lived in Utah, we found a nice spot up in the mountains. It was one of those “pack it in, pack it out” places where there are no facilities and one can feel very close to nature. After we had carried all of our stuff for what seemed like way too long, we found a nice spot under the trees by the river to set up our tent.
The next morning we were delighted to see a yearling female moose very close to our camp. She had been eating waterplants and had become curious to see what we were. She came within about 35 feet of our camp and stood and watched us. We, in turn, stood very still and watched her. Her curiousity satisfied, she walked on and started eating water plants again. We followed at a distance and watched her until the children grew tired.
Moose have a very bad temper, and as soon as he saw her Ron quietly reached for his gun. Thankfully, the moose was docile and did not feel threatened or that encounter could have turned out tragically. My children had learned at an early age to hold very still and be quiet when an animal was around, so it was a good experience.
God’s Holy Word tells us of a time when we will be able to interact with even the wildest of creatures. “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.” Isa 11:6-9 “And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands. They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the LORD, and their offspring with them. And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear. The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent’s meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD. Isa 65:21-25 What a wonderful time that will be! The animals will be gentle and friendly. We will have no fear of them and they will have no fear of us.
Moreover, no evil person will be found in that fair land. “The unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God. Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.” 1 Cor 6:9, 10 Jesus declares, “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. For without are dogs (someone with an impure mind), and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie. Think of it! No drive-by shootings, no kidnappings, no rapes, no domestic violence, no gossips, no deception of any kind will be in Heaven. We will be safe wherever we go without worry, without fear.
Beyond all those wonderful things is the fact that our Great and Glorious Creator and Savior will be there. “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new.” Rev 21:1-5
May we all be there. May we meet in worship around the throne of God. May our Precious Heavenly Father meet with us individually and answer all of our questions that we may understand all that has perplexed us throughout our life is my prayer.