By Pam Horton
Today I read the story of how ten women were awaiting a guest of honor. Five of them discovered they didn’t have enough oil in their lamps to last through the entire event. They asked the other five to share some of their oil and were refused. The women lacking oil left the premises to go and purchase some. While they were gone, the guest of honor arrived, the doors to the party were closed, and the five who had to go shopping missed out on a fabulous opportunity. If this sounds familiar, it is from the Bible (Matthew 25:1-13).
My devotional today mentions Matthew 25:10, “While they were gone to buy oil, the man soon to be married came. Those who were ready went in with him to the marriage. The door was shut” (New Life Version).
I encouraged my devotional group ladies to keep their spirit full and, if need be, to borrow from someone onsite. By no means should they leave the area to refill their spirit. Then I reviewed the entire story and was surprised to read that the five who left had asked for assistance and were denied, forcing them to seek fulfillment elsewhere. Matthew 25:8-9, “The foolish women said to the wise women, ‘Give us some of your oil because our lamps are going out.’ But the wise women said, ‘No! There will not be enough for us and you. Go to the store and buy oil for yourselves’” (NLV) Wow. The five with plenty of oil weren’t being very Christlike.
Let’s look at this story in more current times. Perhaps you’ve heard the phrase, “Fill your bucket?” Instead of lamps with oil, a bucket with spiritual fulfillment. How was your spiritual bucket filled in the first place? Someone must have shared the gospel with you, and you accepted it as Truth and became a follower of Jesus Christ. Next, you attended church and grew in your faith. You may find worship music to be a bucket filler for you. You read your Bible, perhaps memorized scripture verses, and read a devotional. You may even have joined a small group Bible study. If you did all these things, your bucket must be overflowing. That’s fantastic!
Here is where I get disappointed with our lamp ladies. Although, in their time, they didn’t know the gospel yet, so we’ll let them slide. However, we do know the gospel, and we, as Christians, are instructed to “Go and make followers of all the nations. Baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Teach them to do all the things I have told you. And I am with you always, even to the end of the world” (Matthew 28:19-20 NLV). While keeping our spiritual bucket full and being ready for Christ to return is a beautiful idea, what about those who do not have enough spirit in their bucket?
We must share our spiritual knowledge with others, so they, too, may learn of the amazing grace of Jesus Christ and be given a chance to become His followers.
After we have shared our spirit bucket contents with others, we may discover that it has become almost depleted. How do you refill your spiritual bucket? There are many ways to do this, they are the same things you did to initially fill your bucket. There are a few other things that might refill your spiritual bucket, like a conference or a concert. My favorite way is to turn on a Christian radio station to sing and dance at the top of my lungs, praising God and feeling His love for me. Certainly, you should feel free to reach out to other Christians. Let them know your spirits are low, let them encourage you and help you fill your spirit bucket back up to overflowing.
Our spiritual bucket should continuously be flowing—flowing out to show our love to others, rushing in as we rejoice and remember how much we are loved by God.
Horton grew up believing in Jesus. As a teenager and young adult, she turned away from her faith for a few years. Once she came back around to understand that it's not about religion, but a relationship, she began a never-ending quest to grow closer to God. Through this process, she has learned to Stress Less and Choose Joy. Pam has published seven non-fiction books that are available through Amazon. She has also written articles for the Military Counseling Initiative and Youth Worker, as well as being featured in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Grandparents. Pam and her husband, Jim, own NewDirection Life Coaching, where they encourage others to move positively forward.