Combating a religious heart

Abundant Grace Church


The heart of every Christian should be to have a relationship with God.  As a Christian, a person is to be the light of the world (Matthew 5:14).  Christians are to be lamps that burn light reflecting an active relationship with God.  It is our job as faithful Christians to keep our lamps burning continually by studying the Bible (2 Timothy 2:15), praying (Ephesians 6:18), being faithful and active within the local church (Hebrews 10:25), and following the commandments of Jesus (John 14:15).  If a Christian has a religious heart, that lamp will burn for a while and then will go out due to not being continually refilled by God.  Having a continuous supply of oil keeps a Christian burning and ready for use by Jesus. 

Matthew 25:1-13 tells of the parable of the 10 virgins.  During biblical times, the friends of the bride (the virgins) would gather along the path of the groom (bridegroom) who would travel in retrieving his bride from her family’s house to take her to his home.  Jesus speaks about the 10 virgins to relay how Christians respond to the calling of the bridegroom (verses 1-2).  There were five wise virgins, which means they were judicious in practical affairs, discreet or circumspect, sober, and careful in providing for the future.  These five are more than just smart; they have a spiritual aspect that is lacking within the five foolish virgins. 

After the call of the bridegroom’s coming was made, all the virgins got up from sleep, trimmed their lamps, and were doing something to get a fire burning (verses 6-7).  The act of trimming the wick is an external work of laying aside things that oppose God (sin and distractions), but, on the inside, being empty of oil displays the lack of refilling that is received from God via a true relationship with Him. 

In this passage, it is displayed that the foolish virgins were used to not carrying oil with them regularly.  The need for the oil was not a necessity until they were being left behind.  Many people only seek God when they need something from Him.  These foolish virgins were not diligent in having an abundance of oil to be ready to meet the groom at the appropriate time.  All Christians must be ready for Jesus’ return. 

The wise virgins could not give of their oil but told the foolish virgins to get their own.  The foolish virgins knew exactly where to get the oil but neglected to do so while the opportunity was present.  Everyone is accountable for their own light and being prepared to not only meet the bridegroom but to stay diligent in preparation. 

Christians are commanded to walk with God (Colossians 2:6, Galatians 5:16).  In walking with God, some people can become less focused on a relationship with Him and become religious through action with a lack of heart.  Part of this religious heart is the lack of diligence (steady, earnest, devotion) in maintaining a relationship with God.  Christians must engage their hearts to love and walk with God every day.  If a person cools off for God, they make Jesus want to vomit (Revelation 3:16). 

Just before giving the parable of the virgins, Jesus says that each person must endure to the end to be saved (Matthew 24:13).  Christians will only endure life by knowing God through studying the Bible, praying, being faithful and active within the local church, and following the commandments of Jesus.  May every Christian be diligent in keeping the faith through an active relationship with God. 


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