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  • PinkPanther 1:44 pm on October 13, 2018 Permalink | Reply  

    The Parable of the Ten Virgins (Matthew 25:1-13)      

     

    This story as narrated by Jesus Christ is part of the sequence of parables in response to the question of His disciples in regards to the signs of the end of age.

    As per Matthew 24:3 “As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”

    And in reply, Jesus told the lesson of the fig tree, the parable of the talents, and this Parable of the ten virgins.

    This parable is another glimpse of the kingdom of heaven. This illustrates as to how we will all be waiting for that day when Jesus will fling wide the heavenly gates to open and welcome us.

    ___

    Matthew 25:1 “Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom.
    The Torchbearers- In modern times, this refers to the bridesmaids or entourage of the wedding ceremony. For this story, the virgins represent the believers who follow Jesus Christ once they accept Him as their Lord and Saviour and believe on the coming of the end of age also known as the Second Coming.

    • There is also no mentioning of bride just the groom, hence noting that emphasis is placed on Jesus Christ and not anyone else. We are followers and disciples of one Almighty God and our expectations all rely on Him and Him only.


    Matthew 25:2 Five of them were foolish, and five were wise.

    • Again there is classification, there is categorisation. Somehow, this particular phrase is a gentle reminder that indeed our God is a God of order and not of chaos. Paul tells the Corinthians, “Let all things be done decently and in order” (I Cor.14:40). And also in 1 Corinthians 14:33 “ For God is not a God of disorder but of peace–as in all the congregations of the Lord’s people.”


    Matthew 25:3-4 For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps.

    • This is not an ordinary wedding. Normally, weddings are held on daytime, but the couple for this wedding chose it to be on night time requiring the virgins to bring their lamps
    • This highlights the lack of preparation of the foolish! For this story, we know that oil is the essential element for the provision of light. This is similar to a fuel for a car to still move or battery to our mobile phones.

    -This also differentiated the foolish from the wise, with the latter wise being ready and equipped, ready should the resources, in this case..oil should get all exhausted.

    Matthew 25:5   As the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and slept.
    -All of them felt drowsy and not just the foolish… It does not mean it’s not allowed to sleep. They are all exhausted perhaps from waiting so they slept and they were not reprimanded for it. There was no mentioning of the host getting furious and disciplining or urging them to stay awake.

    There is a time for everything. As per Ecclesiastes 3:1 “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven” This is a time for them to rest and to recharge. This equates to recharging our souls and physical beings. And there is a time allotted for it.

    -The bridegroom was delayed, he might not really be delayed but it is his timing preference. He is the groom after all, the main purpose of the existence of the wedding ceremony or that event, alongside with the bride.

    -On the other hand, if only all the 10 virgins have energized themselves, they should have stayed awake all throughout the night until the coming of the groom. Why? The answer is in Matthew 24:42 Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming.

    To keep on waiting, to keep alert, to keep still. You will surely find favours in God’s eyes with your persevering heart and patient spirit. Although they were not reprimanded for it, still the ideal thing that they should have done is wait upon the Lord, eyes wide open demonstrating also their respect towards God’s authority and His power.

    Matthew 25:6    But at midnight there was a cry, ‘Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him. ’
    -It’s special occasion indeed! The second coming is compared to a celebration, a rejoicing to welcome Jesus Christ as He welcomes us, as well into His Kingdom.

    • The groom returned during the midnight. This depicts the unpredictable timing. He will surely come but as to when, no one knows! As per 1 Thessalonians 5:2 “For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night”

    Matthew 25:7 Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps.
    All ladies now have been alert and awake with big anticipation for the coming groom. Same with us here. The day will surely come and we are all anticipating for it. But whether your souls, our spirits are ready or not, that’s a different question. We should bear in mind that it’s not the physical body which will dwell in heaven or which will burn in hell for eternity. Genesis 3:19….until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.”

     Jude 1:21 keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life

    Matthew 25:8 And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.
    This group (foolish) is aware that the other group (wise) had more than enough. While they are waiting, no one considered going back to bring extra or ask for an extra so that they will know right there and then the answer or if the request can be accommodated. Too late for them!

    In life, we oftentimes do the exact thing. Wait for the last minute before we act upon anything. We seek for the cure rather than putting in place preventive measures. Or we rather do a bandaid approach in fixing stuff than ensuring that we are equipped with all the critical requirements\necessities from the very beginning.

    We need to be sensitive with what we need. In this parable, these essentials pertain to spiritual needs. To listen to the craving of our spirit for the Word of God… To continuously feed it, as we wait for the day when He will carry our souls away. We are expected to be ready with our torches\lamps with extra oil in them and to have them burning like our spirits as we anticipate His coming. As the song goes: And I will keep Your flame burning in the night , And I’ll be waiting here for You, watching for all Your signs.

    Matthew 25:9 But the wise answered, saying, ‘Since there will not be enough for us and for you, go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.
    In Thessalonians, it is mentioned that even though that the day will come like a thief, the children of God has nothing to be anxious about. Because they are prepared!! They have anticipated the consequences and have developed a backup plan for it.
    1 Thessalonians 5:4-5 But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief.
    For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness.

    Our minds are warned to be ready with the Scriptures. We are reminded to always put on the whole armor of God. Ephesians 6:10-11  Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.
    Matthew 25:10-11 And while they were going to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut. Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us. ’
    Also this somehow reminds me of the story of Lazarus and the rich man.
    Luke 16:25 But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish.   And we hear the rest of the story of the man begging Abraham to send him back to his father’s house so he can warn his brothers so they won’t know longer come to that place of torment. Abraham didn’t allow him to.

    Truly enough, regrets always come at the end. There is no such thing as regretting in the beginning. In the parable, the door was shut and they were no longer allowed to enter. There’s no second chance, there is no questioning of why this and that. They were not present when the groom arrived and that’s it..period. No amount of excuse or reasoning will get them through again. This also proves how extra-ordinary this wedding is. If it is just a simple, ordinary wedding, they will surely be welcomed again in the event, no reluctance but the gate will simply be re-opened for them.

    In our judgement day, that will also be case. Whatever we have done, will either be taken against us or will exalt us. For the unpleasant deeds or unholy thoughts, anything that is not of God’s, there won’t be a chance for us to explain our sides. You did what you’ve done!

    God knows our inner most thought and emotions, anyway. There’s no need for us to elaborate and take a stand ‘coz everything has been documented, recorded, ready to be unravelled anytime. It might be too late!

    Matthew 25:12 But he answered, ‘Truly, I say to you, I do not know you. ’
    It’s all about consistency, coupled with sincerity of the heart and kept faith. It does not matter who commenced first or who stepped up first in their Christian walk. What matters most is who has finished the race.   1 Corinthians 9:24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.

    2 Timothy 4:7-8 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.

    Matthew 25:13 Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.

    Again the last statement is taken both as a warning. The parable was ended again with this reminder or a warning to keep awake and alert. To always be watchful and be vigilant in all circumstances.

    Matthew 24:44 Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.

    This has always been termed as the ‘rapture’ by various religions and denominations. No one knows that day and that hour. Many are aware of it as the Bible has always been reminding this to all of us.

    The underlying question to the children of God is “ Are you ready for it, no matter what day or hour?

    Jesus Christ through His parables did not lack in revealing the kingdom to us. It is for us to act upon them.

    -*-

     

     
  • PinkPanther 1:40 pm on October 13, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , tithes, tithing   

    Tithing and Science of it 

    We oftentimes hear these adages or quotes:

    “Sharing is caring“, ” Be blessed and be a blessing”, the golden rule- ” Do not do unto others what you want others to not do unto unto you... Or in reverse, only do to others what you want them to do unto you, which is basically adopted from the 2nd commandment, “love your neighbour as you love yourself’,

    Our society is flooded with constant reminder, be in the form of slogans, scriptures, advertisements. We wake up, check online through the social media, watch television or simply stroll in the city or a walk in the park. If we’re observant, we will possibly come across a gentle heads up to be good, caring and friendly neighbour.

    Even nature and science teach us the principle of tithing and sharing.

    First is the principle of capillarity which is defined us the tendency of a liquid in a capillary tube or absorbent material to rise or fall as a result of surface tension. The great example of these is ” plants” way of existence.

    The so-called photosynthesis which is the process by which green plants and some other organisms use sunlight to synthesize nutrients from carbon dioxide and water. Humans or nature through rain water these plants. From the soil, they absorb it along with other nutrients…go through the roots, ascending through the stems and reaching the leaves. They produce flowers and fruits and send these back to nature again.

    Water represents the blessings that God poured upon us symbolized by the roots. For the plant to produce something value, the water should rise up. This should be shared to stems and leaves which symbolize our brothers and sisters and going ‘up’ to illustrate giving back to Heaven through offering and tithing in church, whose role is to deliver the good news on the Kingdom of God.

    We have pollination which is the transfer of pollen from the anthers of a flower to the stigma of the same flower or of another flower. In order for the life cycle to continue, pollination must occur.

    The pollen or seeds are the blessings, the pollinators ( bees, butterflies, etc) are us. Studies show that as the pollinators are transferring the benefits, they are likewise benefitted throughout the process.

    The proceses of evaporation.. condensation and precipitation!

    Another is you donating blood- we all know that the blood you donate bring another essential lifeline to the one in need but research demonstrates benefits to the donor, too. It is as good to your health as it is for the receiver!

    These are just few of the countless processes sorrounding us, all depicting these cycles. You get.. you give.. you get… you give and the cycle continues. Be blessed and be a blessing to others or the other way around.. be a blessing to others and be blessed.

    So the next time, we wonder why do we need to share to others or to bring back to God…. Look around us. Nature has its answers. God explains it through His creation.

    We simply need to be more observant….

     
  • PinkPanther 11:13 am on October 7, 2018 Permalink | Reply  

    My Sunday Notes – “Discovering God’s Will For Your Life” 

    ==============================================================

    By Harrison Conley 07 Oct  (Hillsong Church 11am service) 

     

    ======================================

    Moses set an example for us.

    Genesis12:1  The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you”

    • By faith, without knowing he was going, he followed God!

    ==============================================================

    It takes faith to follow Him when you don’t know where you are going.

    Hebrews 11:8  By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going

    • Not knowing where you are going
    • requires flexibility
    • requires faith

    ==============================================================

    We should be followers of Jesus and be flexible

    Remember that we are not leaders but followers of Him

    ==============================================================

    He is not giving you a GPS .. He is not giving you a map

    Instead,  He has given you a COMPASS in the form of desires

    ==============================================================

    The favour of God is on you and not on the options.

    Genesis 13:8-11  So Abram said to Lot, “Let’s not have any quarreling between you and me, or between your herders and mine, for we are close relatives. 9 Is not the whole land before you? Let’s part company. If you go to the left, I’ll go to the right; if you go to the right, I’ll go to the left.”10 Lot looked around and saw that the whole plain of the Jordan toward Zoar was well watered, like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt. (This was before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.) 11 So Lot chose for himself the whole plain of the Jordan and set out toward the east. The two men parted company:

    ==============================================================

    If faced with multiple options, apply these tests:

    1. Prayer test

            Have I prayed about this?

    1. Wisdom test
    • Is this option in alignment with God’s Word?
    • Is there noticeable?
    • Does this fit my values?
    1. Joy test
    • Do I find fulfillment on this?
    • Do I prefer this choice over another?

    ==============================================================

    The most common way that God guides us is through the doors He shut

    Acts 16:6   Next Paul and Silas traveled through the area of Phrygia and Galatia, because the Holy Spirit had prevented them from preaching the word in the province of Asia at that time.

    ==============================================================

    Proverbs 16:9  “A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps”

    ==============================================================

    His favour is on you and not on the destination

    Point your direction towards the desires of your heart and keep moving

    And always remember that our GOD is sovereign!

    ==============================================================

     
  • PinkPanther 1:14 pm on November 6, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , depression,   

    On the edge 

    Sometimes when you’re down

    And you feel that the world is against you

    When you look behind and you see no one

    And no one sitting next to you

     

    When you’re heart is crushed

    And your spirit is drowning

    When your eyes couldn’t cry no more

    As you’re exhausted from breathing

     

    When you’re embarrassed to face tomorrow

    And you don’t feel like getting up the next day

    When you feel like slapping yourself

    As you could not hurt someone else

     

    When you walk on thorns

    And brushing the cold wind

    When you’re enduring the heat and pain

    As you’ve got no choice

    You just have to bear it

     

    How can you continue your life

    How can you breathe again

    How can you open your eyes the next day

    And start as if nothing happened

    How can you forget everything in a snap

    And continue to move on

    To move forward

    To cherish a brand new day

    To bury the past

    To dream again

     

    How to live again

    When you feel like you’re a living dead

    How can you face tomorrow

    If you have to start all over again with this cycle

    How can you get up

    When you feel like you’re down forever

     

    How can you say

    I was dead

    But now .. can I live again?

     
  • PinkPanther 3:14 pm on August 22, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    Brace yourself 

    in Your hand, I commit my spirit

    Redeem me O Lord, O God of truth.

     

    Today, I have so many realizations. (yes, again)that I strongly desire to share with you. There are times in our life that we felt that we are left behind, that our prayers remained unaswered even though we earnestly pray for these things or we religiously seek for these needs. Sometimes, we are put into circumstances where we subconsciously lean on this side of having this self-pity syndrome knowing that our efforts are futile.

     

    However, it is also through these scenarios where we intentionally struggle to determine beforehand what is in store for us. Through these difficulties, we cling to a higher spiritual mode than relying on our selfish perspective in life. We see through these situations… we read between the lines, we pay special attention to the object itself and not just to the dark shadow it produces. We become more observant, more analytical, more objective, more forgiving, more patient, more humane and more thankful.

     

    Counting your blessings has deemed to be an ultimate option for us not just to ease the pain or disappointments that kept on wrestling inside our minds, but moreso to become more sensitive of the role we play or we should be playing in this society of blessings-seeking people!

     

    How can you be different? How can you be thankful if you feel that your prayers are still unanswered? How can you be patient knowing that your needs are already in the bag? That your wants and needs are already answered and are coming in the most unexpected moment of your life? How can you be a living testimony if you yourself are doubting if your prayer will be answered? It’s a matter of believing.. of having this faith on something unseen. It’s believing, trusting, depending on the powers of a Higher Being who made and is making everything possible according to His will. It’s believing not simply on “coincidence” but coincidence with Divine intervention. Everything is happening to your life.. because He said so and not just because that is what you wanted it to be. You’re just a passenger in this vehicle called ‘life’ and unless you let Him as your driver, then you’re driving your car in your passenger’s seat. Come to think of it. Just by imagining how difficult it is to do that… that is exactly what you are doing in your real life. Extending your arms to reach the steering wheel, your legs to reach the brakes while your eyes fixed on the road to keep the wheels on the go!! Bumping into something or someone is just a second away!

     

    Yeah I know, I am just typing my thoughts as they come. And sometimes these are just clutters on my mind.. but what the heck! This is my blog anyway(he he) and most of the time I am sharing these ideas with my inner self.. for her to read in her spare time..when everything calms down. 🙂 When her mind is open and receptive enough! 🙂 I guess she’ll appreciate this much much more at that moment. Until then, I will just let my thoughts pour and write them down….

     

    -greentwo

    (5 May 2010, 12:18am)

     
  • PinkPanther 3:10 pm on August 22, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    Moving 

     
  • PinkPanther 1:49 pm on August 13, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    The Holy Spirit 

    Preparation:

    1. What happened to the disciples of Jesus on the Pentecost?

    Fulfillment of the promise of Jesus which He mentioned in:

    Acts 1:4-5. And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, “you heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” and Acts 1:8. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

    They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in tongues.

     

    1. What effect did the Holy Spirit have upon the disciples in Acts 2?

    With the manifestation of the Holy Spirit and its power, this strengthened the disciples of Christ more.  The power was made evident in the congregation and more believers were brought to God. More souls were saved and the Word was made known to more people.

    A great evidence is more on Peter as He boldly and confidently declared the Word of God and Jesus’ power to the people. Peter delivered a sermon at the Pentecost after he heard that others were mocking those who are filled with the Holy Spirit to be have been filled with wine.

    Acts 2:14 But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them: “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words.

     

    Along with the other prophets, they became witnesses and shared the gospel and their own account in their communion with Christ. They began to prophesy as what Peter foretold in Acts 2:18-19. even on my male servants and female servants. in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy. And I will show wonders in the heavens above. and signs on the earth below,  blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke;

     Holy Spirit

    1. The Holy Spirit is a person
    • Part of the Holy Trinity:

    The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit…all these three are taken collectively.  The Holy Spirit is a person and has a persona, a character of its own. We should think of the Trinity as similar to our body which has the physical body itself, then the soul and the spirit. They can be described separately but are co-existing and functioning harmoniously as one.

    • The Spirit of God already existed since Genesis . When God spoke the word, everything came in to existence.
    • The Holy Spirit is the “Breath of God”:

    In the Old Testament, He created the first man and gave him life through His breath. Genesis 2:7  “then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature”

    • From the Genesis  of the Old testament to the baptism of Jesus Christ in the New Testament:

     Luke 3:16. John answered them all, saying, “I baptize you with water, but he who is mightier than I is coming, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire

    Mark 1:10-11 And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”

    • He is not a force, a thing or an influence:

    He is a person who gives wisdom, speaks to your heart, disciplines, guides. He enters into your heart and dwells there  if you welcome Him. He restores your soul and cleanses you of you let Him. The Holy Spirit also has emotions and expresses them. Ephesians 4:30. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

    He is a teacher, a Helper. He is the Spirit of God that was sent to us, for us.  In John 14:25-26  “These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.

    Because of the Word and the Holy Spirit, we are able to discern what’s right and what’s wrong. The Holy Spirit convicts us, disciplines us, guides us so we won’t stumble and if we did, we will be able to get up and persevere.

     

    • We find Him at the Creation

    The Spirit gave life to the creation. As mentioned in Genesis 1:2 “ The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.”

    The heavens and the earth are designed by the creative work of the spirit. For God to perform the miracle of creating the earth and the universe, He did this His Spirit. His Spirit has always been there since the beginning of time. This only confirms that we can call upon the Holy Spirit as He knows the past, the present, and the future.

     

    • We find Him in new birth

    No one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and spirit.

    John 3:5-7.  Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’

    This is what Jesus explained when asked how one can see the Kingdom of God.  Baptism with water will be fully completed once we are baptised with the Spirit. Once we are born again.

    • The presence of the Holy Spirit within the heart of a believer is the very presence of God in his heart.

    If you have the Holy Spirit, you have God. We are all sinners and we are redeemed through the cross when Jesus die for us. And everyday, we should seek for His forgiveness for our wrongdoings. And with that, we should continually seek for His Spirit to dwell in our body and aim for His righteousness. In His righteousness, He will bring us out of trouble.

    Romans 8:9-11.  You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.

     

    • We find Him in the renewing of the Christian

    The Holy Spirit who dwells inside us is transforming us

    He leads us in the process of transformation and directs us towards that direction of following Christ.

    This journey will be completed at the second coming.

    • We should live by the Spirit. How? How can the Spirit transform us from within?

    This is letting the Holy Spirit do His work in our lives as He dwells in our hearts. This will involve an ultimate change of hearts as we accept Christ, a renewal of minds, a complete transformation of our whole being. This involves letting go of our pride and ego and humbling ourselves . Our day-to-goal no longer focuses on selfish ambitions and our intentions are no longer influenced by this world but rather to seek first the kingdom of God. And all of these can only be possible if we allow the Holy Spirit enter our hearts and act upon us.

    As per Romans 12:2 “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will “We need to always be sensitive to the voice of the Spirit and practise in the living in the presence of God. 

     

     

    -*-

     
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