“At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
“At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’
“Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’
“‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’
“But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut.
“Later the others also came. ‘Lord, Lord,’ they said, ‘open the door for us!’
“But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.’
“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.
(Matthew 25:1-13 NIV)
At times, we read this and wonder, how unkind to not share. In reality, the prepared virgins did not have extra, if they shared, there lamp would have gone out, along with the lamps of the 5 foolish people.
If a hurricane come ashore in your community, and help is not likely to arrive for 7 days, and you have 3-5 days of supplies in your home, you will straggle to get by. You have no surplus to share. Granted, you are better off having some supplies for your family then none, to avoid becoming a burden on others and supplies already stretched to the breaking point.
What if the virgins had a pot of extra oil? Then they could have shared, and some, or all of the other five could also have met the bridegroom and avoided the shut door.
When we prepare for our families, and put up extra to share during an emergency, we open the door for powerful ministry. If you give precious supplies away when needed most, you can gently ask if you can pray for the receiver of your gift, only the hardest hearts will refuse. The door will open to sharing Christ, simply because you have prepared to help others, and not just yourselves.
1. Have we taken steps to help others during an emergency, with physical goods and ministry training?
2. What additional steps can we as CEN leadership take to help others?
3. What steps can CEN take to encourage the growth of God’s kingdom during an emergency?
Want to be ready for emergencies large and small? Start here with the free Ready Christian program: http://bit.ly/GVpW91