Let’s look at what it means to be READY and PREPARED. Being READY without being PREPARED is like trying to buy groceries without money. Ready and Prepared go hand-in-hand. Many times we believe we’re ready but when the time comes to produce we fail due to our lack of preparation.
Matthew 25:1-13 1 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, who took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. 2 And five of them were foolish, and five were wise. 3 For the foolish, when they took their lamps, took no oil with them: 4 but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. 5 Now while the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. 6 But at midnight there is a cry, Behold, the bridegroom! Come ye forth to meet him. 7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. 8 And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are going out. 9 But the wise answered, saying, Peradventure there will not be enough for us and you: go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. 10 And while they went away to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage feast: and the door was shut. 11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. 12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. 13 Watch therefore, for ye know not the day nor the hour.
READY AND PREPARED Before we look at the passage, let’s look at what it means to be READY and PREPARED. Being READY without being PREPARED is like trying to buy groceries without money. Ready and Prepared go hand-in-hand. Many times we believe we’re ready but when the time comes to produce we fail due to our lack of preparation. Being ready is not solely based on our knowledge. Working on a job for 6 months doesn’t mean we’re ready to pass probation. Being a member of an organization for 1 year doesn’t mean we’re ready to be the president of the organization.
I’ve found the following statements to be true for many:
- Ready to lead but not prepared to follow.
- Ready to speak but not prepared to listen.
- Ready for the YES but not prepared for the NO
- Ready for the doors of opportunity to be opened, but not prepared should the doors remain closed.
- Ready to lead but not prepared to follow.
- Ready for promotions but not prepared to fulfill the duties.
A personal example of being ready but not prepared involved a time when I started in a new career. I had no prior experience. However, I spent the first 6 months learning the ins and outs of the business. During that time, my supervisor informed me that she would be interviewing for a position that paid a higher pay wage than mine. I really believed I was ready to be promoted to a higher paying position. I may have been ready, but my supervisor didn’t hesitate to tell me I was not prepared. I was so shocked at her response so, I asked her how I should prepare. She gave me 10 books to read and an additional list of things to change and/or learn.
That’s when I realized it wasn’t enough to be ready, I had to be prepared. About a year later I earned my promotion because I’d successfully demonstrated through my actions that I was prepared. I will never forget that particular supervisor because she was willing to help me with my preparation.
Are you Ready and Prepared? Or, are you just READY? In this 25th chapter, Matthews continues and concludes with our Savior’s discussion utilizing three parables, to quicken us with urgency to be READY and PREPARED for Christ’s second coming. In our TEXT, Jesus describes the KINGDOM OF HEAVEN to 10 VIRGINS 5 are Wise and 5 are foolish (Virgins are Symbolic for the “Pure Church”) and the Bridegroom is symbolic for Jesus. Here in our passage,
Notice the similarities:
- All 10 were virgins
- All 10 had brightly burning lights
- All 10 waited for Christ to come
- All 10 Slumbered and slept
- All 10 were awakened with a shout
- All 10 were taken by surprise
- All 10 lamps needed trimming and filling
But out of the 10 virgins, only 5 took oil in their vessels. The wise virgin’s decision to take extra oil was the crucial difference between the wise and the fool. Listen, if there had been no delay all 10 virgins would have been ready to meet the Bridegroom. But there was a delay. This parable is a message to all Christians about the importance of being ready and prepared for Jesus’ return. We know He’s coming back because John 14: 2-3 says, “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. But we don’t know when because Luke 12:40 says, “Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not. Therefore we must be ready and prepared because Matthew 25:13 says, Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour. Jesus wants us to be READY AND PREPARED. So, let me get to the point, we all have sinned and come short of the glory of God and wages for sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life, for God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in His should not perish but have everlasting life and those of us who made a decision to accept Jesus as our Lord over our lives, and savior of our souls by confessing with our month and believing in our heart that God has raised Him from the dead. We come to church every Sunday to enjoy praise and worship, to participate with our giving, and to listen to God’s word as our Pastor so eloquently teaches us. And if Jesus came right now, this minute, this very second, those of us that fit this description would be ready.
WHAT IF IT’S NOT TODAY, ARE YOU PREPARED FOR WEDNESDAY, FRIDAY AND SATURDAY?
In Matthew 25:4 the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. But, the foolish just took their lamps. We can’t just carry our bibles, read our bibles, and hear the preacher teach the bible. We have to prepare our hearts to received and obey the bible. We have to make preparation to hide God’s word in our hearts so we will not sin against him. His word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. The right type of preparation allows God’s Spirit within our vessels to become ignited. Resulting in our ability to keep our lights shining until Jesus returns,
One lesson we can learn from the 5 foolish virgins is they did just enough to get there, but had no oil in their vessel to insure their lights would continue to shine. The Wise virgins made previous preparation to be ready. In addition, there are several things we can learn from the wise. The wise virgin thought, what if the Bridegroom doesn’t come today. I must be prepared just in case he comes next week, next month or next 10 years. I can’t afford to let my light go out. Every opportunity I have I must learn and obey His words. Also, I must stay in his presence, seek His will, ask for and His direction. In addition, I must lay aside those sins that His blood delivered me from and remove myself from relationships that will cause me to be caught up, tired up and tangled up.
I must learn to worship him spirit and truth because of who he is not just because of what he’s done. This type of preparation will keep me ready, if he doesn’t come today, tomorrow, next week or next year, I’ll be ready because everyday I’m making preparation to meet my Lord.
The foolish didn’t think it took all that, But I’m here to tell you it takes that and some. The passage says the bridegroom came in the midnight hour. Has anyone ever had a midnight in your life, a time when it seem like there was no hope, a time of despair, hurt, loneliness, a time when it seemed like you weren’t going to make it through. One thing for certain and two for sure, it’s going to take more than a Sunday service to get you through midnight in your life. That’s when you have to draw from something extra on the inside of your vessel. When they hear the cry that the bridegroom was coming, that wasn’t the time to watch their oil level and notice that their lights were about to go out nor was it the time to scrambled around trying to find oil to keep their lights shining. The same applies today. We have to make preparation now, we have to forgive our debtors now, we have to study and obey His words now, we have to seek God’s face now, turn from our wicked ways now, accept Jesus as Lord now, walk in our divine purpose now, and trust him with all your heart now and pray to him now.
If we want to be READY AND PREPARED
Matthew 25:13 – “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour. We know it’s soon. But we don’t know the time. It’s imperative to pay attention to your oil level. The following is a list of indicators that your oil is low:
- You can’t forgive
- You can’t stop satisfying your flesh and its lust
- You don’t like fellowship with other believers
- Your communicate doesn’t exhort but tears down
- Your don’t obey God’s word
- Your behavior is the same as it was before you got save
- You don’t have desire to read or attend to bible study
- You don’t have a to pray
- You lack self control
These are just a few of the indicators that your oil is too low. So, when you notice your oil is low, that’s the time to take your vessel in for service (bible study, prayer meeting, church). Remember, preparation will ensure you are READY and PREPARED WHEN OUR SAVIOR RETURNS
“From My Heart To Your Soul”