Getting Ready – Faith not Fear

Getting Ready

Ready for the Gift of Life

Three weeks ago, we pondered Good Friday and all that Christ did for us on the Cross. He offered Himself as the sacrificial Lamb for humanity’s wrongdoings. Jesus Christ’s blood reconciled us to the Father for all eternity. His gift of Life is available to all who will receive His Love.

Ready for the Disciples Question

The disciples of Jesus asked Him on the Mount of Olives, “What will be the sign of Your coming and of the end of the age?”

Jesus responded with warnings, and parables. Jesus shared the parable of the fig tree, the parable of ten virgins, and parable of talents. Let us look at the parable of ten virgins.

Ready for the Call

Jesus Christ said,

“Then the Kingdom of Heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise.

Those who were foolish, when they took their lamps, took no oil with them, but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. Now while the bridegroom delayed, they all slumbered and slept.

But at midnight there was a cry, ‘Behold! The bridegroom is coming! Come out to meet him!’ Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.

The foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise answered, saying, ‘What if there isn’t enough for us and you? You go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’

While they went away to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast, and the door was shut. Afterward the other virgins also came, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us.’

But he answered, ‘Most certainly I tell you, I don’t know you.’ Watch therefore, for you don’t know the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.”1

Ready in Old Testament Times

Jesus Christ was answering His disciples’ question about His return. In this parable, Jesus is the bridegroom who is returning for His Bride (the Church) who has made herself ready.

In Old Testament times, after the bridegroom and bride were engaged, the bridegroom would go prepare their future home by building onto his father’s house. As soon as their home was prepared, he would go fetch his bride. His bride did not know the day or the time her bridegroom would come for her, but she was to be ready.

Likewise, the friends of both the bridegroom and the bride would be on the alert. When the bridegroom began his journey to the bride’s home, their friends would join in – making it a joyful parade-type excursion. So the bride and all their friends needed to be prepared to celebrate the wedding at a moment’s notice.

The Ten Virgins

The five virgins with the extra oil represent those [with eternal life] who are looking with eagerness to the coming of Christ. They have saving faith and have determined that, whatever occurs, be it lengthy time or adverse circumstances, when Jesus returns, they will be looking with eagerness.

The five virgins without the oil represent false believers who enjoy the benefits of the Christian community without true love for Christ. They are more concerned about the party than about longing to see the bridegroom. Their hope is that their association with Believers (‘give us some of your oil’) will bring them into the kingdom at the end.

But one person’s faith in Jesus cannot save another. ‘Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven.

Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I [Jesus] will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’”2

The Wise Are Ready

We desire to be wise and not foolish. We long to be ready for Jesus Christ return by being alert and watching for Him. Yet, we don’t just stare at the sky waiting for His return, we are to live for Him now.

James states,

“Everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.

Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls.

But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was.

But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does.

If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is worthless.

Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.”3

Let us be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger, and humble hearers and doers of His Word by the power of His Holy Spirit. And because of His love, we love others by praying, giving, and serving them. We don’t perform out of fear, but we assist from a heart of love and compassion.

Every act of kindness and every act of service, we do for Him (though the recipient benefits). He is the One who strengthens and encourages us, and He will one day reveal every word and action we have done, whether it is done in love or from fear.

Jesus said even if we give a cup of cold water in His name, He remembers. And God writes down the name of everyone who fears [stands in awe of] Him and esteems His name.4

Getting Ready Song

As we get ready for Jesus coming with joyful anticipation, let us worship Him Who is worthy of our praise, and let us serve others from a heart of love and compassion.

Getting Ready with Maverick City and Upper Room

Recommendations:

Blessed Are You (Beatitudes) Blessed Are You (Beatitudes) – Strength with Dignity

Afraid No More Afraid No More – Strength with Dignity

5 Ways to Overcome Fear To Fear or Not to Fear: Man or God? – Strength with Dignity

References:

1 Matthew 25:1-13 WEB

2 What is the Meaning of the Parable of the Ten Virgins? Published by Got Questions. Retrieved May 5, 2022, from What is the meaning of the Parable of the Ten Virgins? | GotQuestions.org

3 James 1 19b-27 NASB

4 Matthew 10:42; Malachi 3:16

New American Standard Bible 1995 (NASB 1995), copyright 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation.

World English Bible (WEB) by Public Domain. The name “World English Bible” is trademarked.

Bible Gateway Blogger Grid Member #bgbg2 #BibleGateway

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22 thoughts on “Getting Ready – Faith not Fear”

  1. What an encouraging post! “As we get ready for Jesus coming with joyful anticipation, let us worship Him Who is worthy of our praise, and let us serve others from a heart of love and compassion.” You said this so beautifully! Amen!

  2. Coincidentally (although there are no ‘coincidences’ with God), I’ve been singing “The King Is Coming” for a few days.

    May we be truly ready when He comes – and not be caught up in worldly cares! Thank you, Lisa.

  3. It’s so easy to get caught up in everyday life that we forget to look up expectantly. This is a good breakdown of why and how to get ready for his return. We don’t get ready for Him by waiting on a mountaintop, but by serving Him everyday and pointing others to His grace. I have dear loved ones that I pray will come to believe on Him as Lord before it’s too late.

    1. It’s amazing how we have joyful expectation and desire Him to come – now; yet, we are so thankful for the delay, praying for loved ones to join with us!

  4. Great reminder, Lisa! though “But he answered, ‘Most certainly I tell you, I don’t know you.’ Watch therefore, for you don’t know the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.” is a sobering call, we can still get ready and wait joyfully for Jesus’ return!

    1. It is sobering, Donna, yet exhilarating with expectation! We don’t have a set time where we can procrastinate until the last moment, but we’re always cultivating expectancy for the appointed time could be ‘at any moment now’ and has the joy of a child on Christmas morning waiting for permission to run into the Living room.

  5. Hi Lisa, Thank you for visiting with me over at my blog, I really appreciate it 🙂 I so enjoyed reading your post. In these times one could get quite anxious but it is about being ready regardless, and wisdom. I am finding reading God’s word is key, key to overcoming all that anxiety, and key to growing in wisdom, and remaining in God’s peace!
    God bless
    Tracy
    (www.faithhopeloveandtea.com)

    1. God’s Word is key, Tracy, in keeping us anchored in hope, in experiencing His love, in walking in joy, and living a life of peace.

  6. This is a great post! It’s easy to be distracted by the things of this life instead of taking a wider perspective. It’s important to be ready!

  7. My thoughts have been turning to His return as well. While we look forward with anticipation, may we be faithful to pray for those who yet do not know Him. Thank you for reminding us of these truths and to be faithful to “serve others from a heart of love and compassion.”

    1. Joanne, it is a balance of living in the present, yet anticipating the future with joy. It is His mercy that causes Him to tarry; yet, we have hope because He is Faithful and True.

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