Mother Theresa once said, “To keep a lamp burning we have to keep putting oil in it.” The same applies to life. Unless we continue to learn, to grow, to excel, to know, we will stagnate and become just an empty lamp waiting …
There are several Bible verses that refer to lamps. Proverbs 31:18b tells us ‘her lamp does not go out at night’. This is not a reference to the night-light we use to get us to the bathroom in the middle of the night because our bladders are shot from childbirth or our bodies are ageing. The night lights of ancient times were kept lit so a weary traveller would know a welcoming home. The use of lamps in this verse suggests we are not only to be hospitable but ready to be hospitable.
Multi-wick oil lamp from 1st Century Israel
Psalm 18:28 tells us we do not keep our own lamps burning. God does. That is a truly interesting statement. When we have reached some maturity in our life walk with Jesus, we start to learn that our lives are all about Him. He is not only the Light of the World but the individual Light of our lives. As we grow, more wicks are added to our lamps making us a brighter and brighter light. (Ancient people added more wicks to their lamps to create a brighter glow.)
The Parable of the Ten Virgins is another well-known lamp story (Matthew 25:1-13). The point of this parable is obedience. The virgins who were not prepared, they had to go and get more oil. When they returned they could not enter the feast because the doors to the banquet were closed. (I really doubt anyone could have heard them knocking with the celebration that was going on.) Had they followed the instructions to keep their lamps trimmed and full they would have been attending the feast of a lifetime. So will we, if we continue filling our minds with His Words and Ways.
Using His Word:
- Be hospitable.
- Be ready. (Unlike the virgins who had not thought ahead.)
- Desire that more of His light shines through.
Heavenly Father, how humbled I am when I realise You are the One filling the lamps. Oh Lord, fill mine to overflowing with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control. Let my lamp continue burning brightly until I am finally admitted to the Wedding Supper of the Lamb. In His perfect Name make it so.
Rewritten and added to a post written in 2011