Username of the writer: janice01
As a Christian, are you spiritually ready for the temptations and challenges you are bound to face while waiting for the second coming of Christ? This is a question that troubled even the apostles in the bible. Throughout the letters, Paul wrote to the different groups of believers; he tried to emphasize the point of spiritual preparation.
Even Jude tries to break it down, stating that the main obstacles on the rise are apostasy, false teachers, and attacks directed at the name of the Lord. Could it be any more accurate? The issues believers faced back then are akin to the ones we usually go through nowadays.
Later on, in verses 20 and 21, he says invigorates us by saying that we should build ourselves up on holy faith, pray in the holy spirit, and remain in God’s love, seeking the mercy of Jesus Christ.
So how exactly do we build ourselves up? How do we ensure that we ascend to our most holy faith and keep ourselves in the love of God?
The parable of the ten maidens
One of the scriptures that can fill believers with hope and lead us to rejoice over the years is in Matthew 25:1-13. It is the parable of the ten maidens. It talks about the ten maidens waiting for the bridegroom to arrive.
Five of the maidens carried sufficient oil to last them through the night while the others did not. The groom was late, and the maidens subsequently fell asleep. However, at about midnight, a cry rang through the air announcing the groom’s arrival. The five maidens who didn’t have enough oil begged the others to lend them some, but since it could not be enough for all of them, they were forced to go and buy their own in the middle of the night. On returning, they were not allowed into the marriage feast.
The scripture is commonly quoted because of the philosophical and deep meaning it has to the lives we live. We are often combated with many ways to go about our daily lives, but how should we do it?
In the parable of the ten maidens, you notice that none of the maidens were admonished for falling asleep. Still, the ramifications were felt, especially with those who were not adequately prepared. Sleeping is a normal occurrence; it is natural for every individual and every being. It is illustrative of the natural activities we partake while we are about our day-to-day lives; working, eating, socializing, and such. They are what makes us human after all, right?
The vital aspect of being a Christian is to live spiritually. This doesn’t entail going to church only but also ensuring that you manifest the virtues of Christ in your daily undertakings. But how do you do this? How do you maintain adequate spiritual preparedness for the return of Christ?
Instructions for Christian living
In the letter to the Hebrews, chapter 13, Paul’s first instruction is to live in brotherly love, to love even strangers as if they were angels. Love was always the virtue advocated by Jesus; in Matthew chapter 22, verses 37 to 40, He lists loving God with your entire being, your mind, soul, and your heart, and loving your neighbor as yourself as the two greatest commandments. Love will always triumph over the vices of the world.
- Reading scriptures
In Luke chapter 4, the devil tries to tempt Jesus repeatedly. In the first temptation, he asks Jesus to turn stones into bread knowingly since he had been fasting. Jesus’ response was to quote the scripture for Deuteronomy 8:3 that man should not live by bread alone.
The second temptation is what strikes us the most, as when the devil himself quotes the scripture from Psalms 91:12, he was tempting Jesus to jump down the pinnacle of the temple, stating that angels must come down and catch him. In turn, Jesus responded by referencing another verse of the Bible, Deuteronomy 6:16, that man shall not test God.
Jesus was the son of God, and even he had to undergo temptations. Therefore, how we, as Christians, should use to overcome the temptations that will inevitably be cast onto us through the course of our life is to study and internalize the word of God. It is only this way that we will be able to understand what the Lord has in store for us, as He says in Jeremiah 29:11.
James 5:13 all the way to 20 talks of the power of prayer. In verse 13, James besieges us to confess our sins to one another and pray for one another because the prayer of the powerful man has great effects. In Jeremiah 29:12, God Himself says that he will answer us if we call upon Him in prayer. Matthew 7:9 reiterates this very point.
The bible is filled with inspiring stories of men of God who prayed, and their prayers were answered, from Elijah, who prayed for fire to rain down from heaven, to Jesus weeping in prayer for the resurrection of Lazarus. Jesus is our savior and friend, and we should be humble and follow His example of praying every day. All it takes is for you to take to your knees, pray, and God will answer you. We cannot say that we have a good relationship with Christ if we do not pray.
- Keeping commandments
God has promised many rewards for those who keep His commandments. Some treasures we can reap when we do so include:
- God will reveal Himself to us and love us (John 14:21)
- God will live with us (John 14:23)
- Our joy will be full (John 15: 10-11)
- Christ will be our friend (John 15:14)
- God will answer our prayers (1 John 3:22)
The world of sin
The last temptation was the devil persuading Jesus to worship him, and in return, he would give Jesus the world. Why would Satan offer the world and all its wealth if, indeed, it was the creation of God? The answer is simple; people have turned to wicked ways, rendering the world the devil’s playground.
God has allowed us to choose the things we do and conscience to understand right from wrong. Even though the world may try to blur out the line between the pious and the immoral, the word of God will always serve as a manual for devoted followers of Christ. A guide illustrated the conduct we are supposed to portray while we live because our choices have eternal consequences. By remaining spiritually prepared, we will become close to God. Doing what is right is great, and God’s commandments are not difficult to follow.
Our Lord is a forgiving God, but a time will come when we have to account for all our actions and be punished for our transgressions. Until then, we must remain spiritually prepared for His return, just like the five maidens who carried enough oil.
Originally posted 2021-06-04 15:26:43.