Give Me Oil In My Lamp
Matt. 25:1 ¶ “Then the kingdom of heaven will be like this. Ten bridesmaids took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom.
Matt. 25:2 Five of them were foolish, and five were wise.
Matt. 25:3 When the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them;
Matt. 25:4 but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps.
Matt. 25:5 As the bridegroom was delayed, all of them became drowsy and slept.
Matt. 25:6 But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Look! Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’
Matt. 25:7 Then all those bridesmaids got up and trimmed their lamps.
Matt. 25:8 The foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’
Matt. 25:9 But the wise replied, ‘No! there will not be enough for you and for us; you had better go to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.’
Matt. 25:10 And while they went to buy it, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went with him into the wedding banquet; and the door was shut.
Matt. 25:11 Later the other bridesmaids came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’
Matt. 25:12 But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I do not know you.’
Matt. 25:13 Keep awake therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.
The ten virgins all wanted to be a part of the kingdom. They wanted their lights to shine. Unfortunately there were those who just wanted the world to see their lights. They were willing to put in just enough oil so that their lamps burned for the day and it appeared as if they were ready. Sadly, they were unwilling to put forth the time and the effort that it took to have enough oil for the future. When the time came and the bridegroom returned their lights began to go dim. They wanted to borrow oil from others, but this was not something to borrow, but something to be procured on their own and they were too late for the wedding banquet.
Do you remember the old camp song?
Give me oil in my lamp, keep me burnin’ burnin’ burnin’ —
Give me oil in my lamp I pray (hallelujah).
Give me oil in my lamp keep me burnin’ —
keep me burnin’ ‘till the break of day.
Interestingly there’s an important truth to be found here. Having oil in our lamps only comes from a daily walk with Jesus Christ. He is the source of the oil which we need that will keep our lamps burning brightly. Only when we are connected to him is it possible to burn brightly for him.
In this parable we hear of the ones who don’t have enough oil and just want to burn brightly for the world to see, not for the long-run or the relationship with the bridegroom. Unfortunately there are those who want to have just enough oil to look like a follow of Christ to the world. It all becomes for show because there is not enough oil to sustain them until the time when Christ returns.
As followers of Christ we must understand that we are in this for the long haul. Our lamps will burn out if we don’t take the time with the Master to produce the kind of oil that we need. Also, just going to worship on Sundays means that we are getting just enough oil for that day and then our lamps are burning out during the week and there is nothing for the world to see.
Discipleship and spiritual growth require discipline. The virgins with enough oil were disciplined enough to make sure they had what they needed. They were intentional.
If we are going grow spiritually, we must be intentional.
If the Church is going to grow spiritually and burn for Christ on a daily basis, she must not just be interested in the quick fix, but on the long haul. We must have oil in the lamp.
Give me oil in my lamp — keep me burnin’! This comes with a price, a price which we must be willing to pay if we are not just to burn for a day, but for all eternity. Every one of us needs the sustaining oil that only comes from the presence of Christ. Take time every day to be steeped in him and allow him to produce his oil in and through us.
Lord, give me oil in my lamp. Amen.