The Long Wait. Sermon and prayer point by Pastor E A Adeboye
Read: Matthew 25:1-13
1 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.
2 And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.
3 They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them:
4 But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.
5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.
6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out 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 gone out.
9 But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.
10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: 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 neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.
Imagine that while running a marathon, with all your focus on the finish line, you suddenly run out of energy; would it be easy for you to complete the race? Definitely not! Most likely, you would have to pull out of the race. We see this scenario repeatedly playing out itself in the Christian race. Many people who started the Christian race, who were expected to run the race to the end, have suddenly run out of steam and are falling by the wayside. When the 10 virgins in our Bible reading started their race, they all hoped to finish it. One lesson this parable teaches us is that the race may be longer than expected. If anything, you must plan to run for as long as it takes until you reach the finish line. Only five of the virgins realised the need to sustain their resolve, and so they were careful to carry some extra oil.
Beyond what every other person is doing, what additional preparations are you making and what extra precautions are you taking with respect to the race set before you? If you truly want to reach the end of this Heaven-bound journey, you will need more steam in your reserves. You will need more of the anointing, because it’s not by power nor by might that victory is secured. The anointing that works miracles, signs and wonders is different from the anointing that gives grace to hold the baton till the very end. Your zeal to continue needs to be renewed daily. May you never lack the will or the power to run the race!
We are in a marathon: the course of which can sometimes be longer than expected. It can also be more stressful and more demanding than we ever thought. When I got saved, most of us who were saved at that time believed that Jesus would most likely come back within 10 years of our salvation. I was a lecturer then, and on several occasions, some students would come to me asking “Since the Lord is coming very soon, why are we studying?” I told them that since Jesus asked us to occupy until He comes, they needed to continue their studies and do other legitimate things, especially since we were not told the exact time or day of His coming. A colleague of mine who was supposed to pursue a PhD programme even cancelled it. He believed that Jesus would come really soon, and so acquiring a PhD would be useless. Over 30 years down the line, we are still waiting for the Lord. Don’t be tired of waiting for the Lord’s return. Occupy yourself with the things He gave you to do, and keep being focused. You shall surely reach the end of the race, and you will finish strong in Jesus’ Name.
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