Don’t Forget Your Lamp. And Bring Extra Oil.

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March 31, 2022

1 Peter 4:7 NIV

7 The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray.

CONSIDER THIS

Let’s take one more day here on this seventh verse of chapter 4. We never know all a verse holds until we get inside of it. A verse of Scripture can open up like an entire cathedral of revelation. There is always more than we can possibly see and comprehend. I wish I were in my twenties again if only to have more time to walk the sacred terrain of the Word of God. 

7 The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray.

I wonder if Peter was remembering the time Jesus told them this parable.

“At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were foolish and five were wise. 3 The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. 4 The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. 5 The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep. (Matthew 25:1-5)

Or maybe Pete was remembering this incisive word from Jesus:

42 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. 43 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him. (Matthew 24:42-44)

Jesus seems to be saying exactly what Peter is saying here—or maybe it is the other way around. Jesus actually had quite a lot to say on this matter of “the end of all things broken and the beginning of all things made new. Here is a sampling from Matthew 24 and 25 alone.

  1. We are living in the age of the last things. 
  2. Only the Father knows the date and time. No one else knows. Therefore, beware of anyone who claims that they know. 
  3. The chances of him returning at a time when you expect it is very low. The chances of him coming when you do not expect it are high. Therefore don’t worry about expectancy. Concern yourself with vigilance and preparedness. 
  4. The end could come at any time; even this moment. It could also take quite a long time, even well beyond your lifetime. Do not concern yourself with the when; only vigilance and preparedness. 
  5. There’s a 100% chance you will grow tired and weary and you will need sleep. In your lifetime, you will fall asleep on the job. 10 out of 10 crashed in the parable. 
  6. It’s OK. Sleep happens.
  7. Wakefulness matters. Preparedness matters more.
  8. There’s a 50% chance you will not be prepared. It’s not enough to bring your lamp. You must bring extra oil. 
  9. Here’s what can’t happen. You can’t run out of gas (or oil in this case). At all cost, do not run out of oil. 
  10. Don’t forget your lamp. Bring extra oil. 
  11. And you are going to need a band of sisters or brothers. Ten is too many. Five may be more like it. Without a band you are a rope of sand. 
  12. And in case you forgot already—don’t forget your lamp. And whatever you do, bring extra oil. 

But what does this metaphor mean? What does it mean to be prepared for these things?

The lamp is often analogized to the Word and the oil to the Spirit. Word and Spirit. One without the other is the same as neither. Word and Spirit, bonded in union, banded in fellowship, on fire—not consumed. This is what we try to be about every single day here on the Daily Text: Word and Spirit, Church and Kingdom. Until he returns. 

7 The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray.

Last word on this point. Now is the time to prepare. There will come a point where it will be too late. It is not too late now. I urge you and want to help you in every way we can—be ready. Today. This moment. Everything can change. 

THE PRAYER

Jesus, you are the Messiah, the Son of the Living God. You are the Word of God made flesh and the one in whom the Spirit dwelled in all his fullness. You give us the Words of Life inspired by the Spirit of Truth. Train us in this way of the lamp and oil, the Word and the Spirit. And bring us into awakening fellowship. Bring us into a fellowship of awakening leaders. We want to stay awake. Even more we long to be prepared. Thank you that this is your longing for us. Praying in Jesus’ name, Amen.

THE QUESTION

Are you awake? Are you prepared? How are you staying awake and prepared? Do you have a band yet? We can help.

For the Awakening,
J.D. Walt
Sower-in-Chief
seedbed.com

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Farmer. Poet. Theologian. Jurist. Publisher. Seedbed's Sower-in-Chief.

4 COMMENTS

  1. J D, You seem to be advocating that the way forward requires that the Holy Spirit would call together committed believers into cell groups for the specific purpose of mutual spiritual formation, so that they in turn can leaven the whole loaf. If so, I’m on board.

  2. When Christ in you connects with Christ in me, an instant sense of kinship happens, even if we’re strangers. When we sense that connection, we tend to open our hearts to each other and begin to actively experience our unity in Jesus. It’s no longer a theory or an empty theological point. It’s real and joyous!

    Christianity has been routinized so that too often we assemble as if in a classroom, merely to sit together and be taught (or retaught) Christianity 101 as if it were a religious curriculum instead of a supernatural lifestyle. By doing so, we miss out on “the unity of the Spirit” and “the bond of peace.” Early Christians seem to have met without a steadfast routine, trusting in the active presence and leadership of the Spirit to guide and direct the meetings. In fact, Romans 8:14 says that being led by the Spirit is characteristic of the children of God.

    When “bands” or “cell groups” or “house churches” meet to surrender to the leading of the Holy Spirit by allowing each person to obey the prompting of the Holy Spirit, an amazing thing happens. One after another (see 1 Corinthians 14:26) people begin to say and do what the Spirit tells them to, and it soon becomes obvious that a supernatural presence is directing the meeting. Suddenly everyone knows that the living Jesus is in the house. I’ve been in that kind of meeting hundreds of times, and they always fill me with a sense of awe and amazement at the demonstration of the reality of the presence of the risen Jesus through ordinary people.

  3. How do I form a band when I live somewhere where there are no other believers, other than a few very aged catholics. There is virtually no evangelism here, and so very few of any protestant faith. I am pretty much alone (other than my wonderful husband) and have no Christian friends, all have no interest in God. We need help here, we need awakening here, but none comes. I cannot do it alone. My heart is breaking.

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