Keep your lamp full… bricks on my mind

HERE ARE some more bricks I’ve found to build my understanding. I hope some are useful for you to build yours…

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How much time do we spend on leisure, for ourselves? How much time do we spend serving others? Multiply the average result by billions and see where it leaves the world. We must flip this equation upside-down.

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In the parable of the 10 virgins (Matthew 25:1-13), Jesus reminds us to keep our lamps full of oil. Be prepared for things to come, both good and bad. Cultivate your faith for the Lord will come when we least expect it. If you are ready for the 2nd coming of Jesus Christ, you are ready for anything.

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Spiritual readiness comes from spending time in God’s presence. It’s personal prayer and meditation on God’s Word. Jesus got up early to seek his Father’s presence. Jesus made time to pray even though he could have been healing or teaching. If Jesus needed this so much, how about us?

Why did he need this? The best one word answer I can think of is love.

. . .

I’m finding I need to pray more. I admit it’s a struggle. I don’t have the time. But I’m fighting the good fight to go to God. And every time he shows me why.

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We live in tense times. Only by keeping my lamp full will I have the light I need to see through the dark days to come. This may sound pessimistic, but it’s what I observe. It isn’t prophetic, it’s just reading the writing on the wall.

Keep your spiritual fuel tank full. Don’t put it off. Be ready.

. . .

“Look, I come like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake and remains clothed, so as not to go naked and be shamefully exposed.” (Rev 16:15) …

THIS is what will keep me prepared for the coming storm. Let the Lord dress you in his grace.

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When you pray, pray with conviction. Press into the moment, into the presence of God. It’s not a mumbling, going-through-the-motions prayer. It’s giving yourself up to him and letting him tear down the obstacles.

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My hardness, my selfishness, my desire to not see the hurt—I must let God break this in me. It’s breaking down all my pride and crying out, “Yes God, I need you! Here I am. Speak to me.”

. . .

After prayer, it’s hard work. And I mean really, really hard. These are not times to sit back and relax. A follower of Christ cannot have any of that now. Times are tough, people are scared and suffering, confusion spreads… and the light of Christ must shine brightly now more than ever.

We must rise to the task with the risen Lord as our guide. He goes first. His Spirit prepares the way. We follow behind him, in obedience. We go forth, following Jesus, to serve, heal, and bring the Good News.

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For the Body of Christ, it’s not time for leisure. It’s time to roll up our sleeves and confront the struggle. Be on the lookout for where you can make a difference, speak up, offer help, or bandage a wound. You don’t have to do it all, but you must do something. Ask God how you can help—then drive into  it full force.

. . .

For our personal struggles, it’s time to gain courage. Not because we are better or special or stronger than anyone else. Instead, we know what the crucifixion means to our soul. We know that our alternative without God is lifeless and empty. We know that in his promises we enter into a heavenly, spacious land. We know we can be free if we trust in the Lord our God, once and for all.

Gain courage my brothers and sisters.

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Keep your lamps full. See clearly. Shine the light for others so that they may see the goodness of God.

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Yes, we need time to recover and regroup. Even Jesus spent time with family and friends. It’s important. We must maintain a spirit of celebration for there is much to be thankful for. But there is also so much to do, so much need. We aren’t machines, but we are sons and daughters of God.

Let us live fully our identity won for us by the blood of Christ… in a state of watching out for his 2nd coming… and finding him everyday in our neighbor.

. . .

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.  Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

Matthew 5:14-16

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