“Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’
“‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’
“But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut.” …
Many people find great comfort and encouragement from the fellowship we find in church. We love feeling included and cared for. We are blessed by those who walk with us through hard moments and who celebrate when we celebrate. In the church, we get to share life with people who also share our faith, and that’s a joyful blessing. And yet, each of us also needs to have our own faith and to develop our own relationship with God through Jesus Christ. It’s not enough to know people who have faith or to sit in the same pew with people who love Jesus. You also need to make that spiritual commitment for yourself.
The foolish virgins didn’t plan ahead, and when the bridegroom finally arrives, their lamps have gone out. They thought they could just borrow some oil from the others, only to be told that that plan isn’t going to work. In the end, they pay the price for not being ready. Jesus is warning us, and people everywhere, that we can’t borrow someone’s faith or ride coattails into eternity. You are responsible for your own spiritual life, for your own devotional habits, for your own times of prayer and worship. We get to walk this journey of faith together with other believers, but each of us has to walk.
We have to keep our lamps burning, fueled by the oil of faith, and we should also encourage others to do the same. You can pray for your friends, you can show them love in a thousand ways, and you can share with them the good news of Jesus, but your faith can’t save them. They need to open their hearts to Jesus, just as you and I have. That’s why sharing the gospel matters so much. God calls us to help people find new life through faith in Jesus, and to find that new life before it’s too late.
Thank You, Lord, for leading me to new life through Jesus my Savior. Help me to grow each day in faith, and use me to share Jesus’ love and message with people in need so they can find new life too. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.____________________________
Pastor Mike Mirakian