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An Heroic Ministry
Verse of the day
YWI - working with...
YWI is pleased to work in association with
Fuller Youth Institute, US
Sophia Network, UK
The bridegroom awaits the perfection of His beloved bride.
We’ve often heard the description of the ten virgins awaiting the bridegroom (five wise and the other five not so). The key in that parable, as Jesus related it, was the level of oil in the lamps that the virgins held.
I’ve always fancied myself one of those wise ladies who planned ahead (no one likes to be called ‘foolish’ anyway, right?) As much as the oil represents the Holy Spirit, who empowers us to live a Godly life, it dawned on me that only those who were actually in love with the bridegroom would have made the extra effort of gathering a surplus of oil.
Think about it. If you were expecting a visitor that you didn't care too much about, you wouldn't go to all the trouble of bringing out the 'good' dinnerware. We can profess to love God, but Jesus can see right through our empty lamps if we harbour hatred (or even mild disdain) toward our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.
I give you a new commandment: that you should love one another. Just as I have loved you, so you too should love one another. By this shall all [men] know that you are My disciples, if you love one another [if you keep on showing love among yourselves]. John 13:34-35
I pencilled a question to God: “Is it possible to LOVE You and yet dislike someone?” Even as I wrote that, I knew that the answer would be made very clear to me. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Ephesians 4:2
Whenever we forget our ‘Before Christ’ days, we are in danger of falling into judgement and hypocrisy. There was once a time when the words that came out of our mouths were neither prayers nor praise, when we went to places we wouldn’t think of returning to and when our hearts were infected with all sorts of sin.
Yet Jesus loved us. Even then, during our pre-salvation days. It’s easy to forget that it’s the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives, the oil in our lamps that keeps us in right standing with God. You were cleansed from your sins when you obeyed the truth, so now you must show sincere love to each other as brothers and sisters.Love each other deeply with all your heart. 1 Peter 1:21-23
It may take a lifetime to learn how to love as Christ does. That’s ok. As long as we commit to keeping our hearts beating for Him and yielding to the Holy Spirit, He will continue to use our lips to pray, our hands to heal, our hearts to beat with compassion, our minds as conduits for turning ideas into practical solutions and our feet to carry the gospel to every nation. Because even though we are not quite where we should be in God, we are a long way from where we began! Always remember: “Love loves…”
Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honour giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality. Romans 12:9-14
Cheryl Ramurath is South Africa's Purple Brain. You can read more of her devotional material and articles by logging on to www.purplebrain.co.za