And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut. Matthew 25:10
Have you ever known someone that was always late? Someone who struggled with getting going at the right time. Someone that no matter how much advanced notice you gave them, you could never depend on them showing up on time? Or maybe you are someone like that. There are actually people out there that think you should know and depend on them being late for anything they say they will do. What about those who always have an excuse for not getting a job done? You know, the ones who are so wrapped up in their own circumstances, that they never get around to doing what they say they will do? The reason they are always late is because they do not prepare ahead of time.
Today’s reading is about some that showed up too late. Jesus is explaining what it is like to live in the kingdom of heaven. He is not actually talking about living in heaven, but He is talking about the kingdom principles that we live our life by in this world. He told about ten people who look the same and hold the same station in life. They seem to be equipped the same, but five of them are wise and five are foolish. The thing that sets the wise apart from the foolish is that they were prepared. It’s not that some were watching, and some weren’t. They were all sleeping when the call came, but the wise were able to get up and go immediately because they had equipped themselves for the event ahead of time. When the foolish finally did show up, they were not allowed to enter, not because they were late, but because they were not prepared. They did not have the oil that their lamp required to be burning when the groom arrived. Interestingly enough, when they did arrive, they could not go in because they were told “I do not know you.”
2 Timothy 3:17 tells us that we are to be equipped/prepared for every good work that God has called us to, and with God’s help, we are well able to do that. As a Christian and as God’s people, we are not only to be ready for the Lord’s return, but we are also to be ready each day to complete the assignments that our Father has called and equipped us for. This is one of many principles that He set up at the beginning to enable people to succeed in the things they put their hand to.
So today I want to encourage you to start making a plan to be prepared and ready on time. I like to call it margin. That is when you leave enough space and time to get ready and arrive at appointments not just on time, but before on time. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you come up with a plan and then empower you to stick with it. Don’t let your reputation be one of always being late and making others wait for you to arrive unprepared. Start being the one who is the first to show up and able to help prepare that place for the meeting to come. Take on this kingdom principle today and your life will begin to shift from the stresses of rushing to the peace of being ready ahead of time.
Today’s scripture reading: Matthew 25:1-13
1 “Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.
2 Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish.
3 Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them,
4 but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.
5 But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept.
6 “And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!’
7 Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps.
8 And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’
9 But the wise answered, saying, ‘No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’
10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut.
11 “Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’
12 But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’
13 “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.