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A Light That Lights the World

Good morning. It is Wednesday, September 29, 2021. Jeanette Stark here

Several years ago, I was the lead singer in a Blues band. One night after practice one of my fellow band mates followed me back to town. It was dark and all of the sudden he turned his headlights off. Now, I realize this is not safe, but it was years ago, and I am only telling you to illustrate something I was thinking about this morning.

As we drove that back country road, me in the lead, WITH MY LIGHTS ON, he followed, completely trusting me to lead the way. It started to make me a bit nervous, but he later told me he was confident that nothing bad would happen.

It reminds me of us following Jesus.

Jesus said ““I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” John 8:12 ESV

What is the light of life?

There are two kinds of light. Physical light that we see with our eyes and spiritual light that we see with our heart, mind and soul. The latter light is the light of Truth, His Word sheds light. It guides us and leads us. Psalm 119:105 says “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”

Have you ever been in a very dark woods at night with only your flashlight? Even a very dim flashlight will light the path in front of you. You do need to see what is to the left or to the right as much as you need to see what is directly in front of you. You need to see where to put your foot. There could be rocks, or a snake, or a hole or the edge of a cliff, but that light will lead your footsteps.

Have you ever been to the Oregon Caves? At one point the tour guide will shut off all the lights, allow your eyes to become accustomed to the dark, and then he will strike a match. It is amazing how much light, that little flicker of flame will give. It is the same with God’s word. Jesus is that light in a very dark world. He will guide us. He will lead us through the darkness.

But, what do lamps need to keep burning? They need oil. Without oil, the lamp is worthless. Without oil, there can be no light. Without oil, there is no guide.

If we look at Matthew chapter 25, we see the chapter in three segments and yet one story. The parable of the Ten Virgins, the parable of the Talents and the story of the final judgement.



“Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps (or torches) and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and slept. But at midnight there was a cry, ‘Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise answered, saying, ‘Since there will not be enough for us and for you, go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.’ And while they were going to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut. Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’ But he answered, ‘Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.”

Who is the bridegroom? Jesus

If we look at Revelation 19, John hears what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out,

“Hallelujah!

For the Lord our God

the Almighty reigns.

Let us rejoice and exult

and give him the glory,

for the marriage of the Lamb has come,

and his Bride has made herself ready;

it was granted her to clothe herself

with fine linen, bright and pure”—

for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.”

Why virgins? If Jesus is the bridegroom, then we are the bride. We are the bride of Christ. We must be pure, not giving ourselves to anyone but Him. They could also be called virgins because they claim to have a pure faith.

What is the oil? The oil is the Holy Spirit.

We also need to have the oil, to light our lamps, to show a dark world the way to Jesus.

“In the parable, all the ten virgins went out to meet the bridegroom. All had lamps and vessels for oil. For a time there was seen no difference between them. So with the church that lives just before Christ's second coming. All have a knowledge of the Scriptures. All have heard the message of Christ's near approach, and confidently expect His appearing. But as in the parable, so it is now. A time of waiting intervenes, faith is tried; and when the cry is heard, “Behold, the Bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him,” many are unready.... They are destitute of the Holy Spirit. Without the Spirit of God a knowledge of His Word is of no avail. The theory of truth, unaccompanied by the Holy Spirit, cannot quicken the soul or sanctify the heart.... Without the enlightenment of the Spirit, men will not be able to distinguish truth from error, and they will fall under the masterful temptations of Satan....” (source whiteestate.org)

The bottom line is we need to be ready to meet Jesus at all times. Whether we take our last breath today or live until Jesus comes, we need to be ready. Ask God for the Holy Spirit. He will freely give that 'oil' to anyone that asks.

Like that old song goes “Give Me Oil in My Lamp”

Give me oil in my lamp, keep me burning.

Give me oil in my lamp, I pray.

Give me oil in my lamp, keep me burning.

Keep me burning till the break of day.

Refrain:

Sing hosanna, sing hosanna,

sing hosanna to the King of kings!

Sing hosanna, sing hosanna,

sing hosanna to the King!

Give me love in my heart, keep me sharing.

Give me love in my heart, I pray.

Give me love in my heart, keep me sharing.

Keep me sharing till the break of day. (Refrain)

Give me joy in my heart, keep me singing.

Give me joy in my heart, I pray.

Give me joy in my heart, keep me singing.

Keep me singing till the break of day. (Refrain)

Give me faith in my heart, keep me praying.

Give me faith in my heart, I pray.

Give me faith in my heart, keep me praying.

Keep me praying till the break of day. (Refrain)

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