All Christians aim for the goal of eternal live and salvation. All want to be saved by Jesus Christ, the Lord. Some however guard themselves more than others that they don’t loose sight of this glorious goal and that they don’t loose their footing on their way there. Therefore they go about their lives very circumspectly and carefully. Others however don’t worry too much. They are very assured of their ways and go about their days rather carelessly. They are somewhat negligent and don’t take their sanctification seriously. Now the apostle calls the first group wise and the second fools, because if you loose your eternal salvation due to present negligence or foolhardiness – then that’s far worse than just some shame or pity. That’s a full-blown calamity and the most serious loss there is. You need to take care of how you lead your daily life. It does matter and you are to take good care to follow the divine will in all you think, say and do. Therefore we should daily lead our lives as those who are wise, following the admonition of the Lord’s apostle so as not to foolhardily loose the precious treasures of heaven as the foolish maidens, who did not take enough oil with them on their way. Rather make sure that you keep your lamps burning and enough oil in reserve.
Almighty and eternal God: You have called us to be your own and follow your ways every day even as we go about our various labours and different vocations. We face considerable temptations and need to fight sin, the world and devil that seek to catch, ensnare and destroy us. Grant us a watchful and faithful heart so that by your gracious help and power we can remain steadfast and victorious against the assaults of evil. Let us discard all sinful ways and make us willing and able to fight the good fight of faith so that we will finally overcome and attain eternal salvation by your grace and mercy through Jesus Christ our Lord and God. Amen.
O for a thousand tongues to sing my great Redeemer’s praise, the glories of my God and King, the triumphs of his grace!
My gracious Master and my God, assist me to proclaim, to spread thro’ all the earth abroad the honors of your name.
Jesus! the name that charms our fears, that bids our sorrows cease, ’tis music in the sinner’s ears, ’tis life and health and peace.
He breaks the power of cancelled sin, he sets the prisoner free; his blood can make the foulest clean; his blood availed for me.
To God all glory, praise, and love be now and ever given by saints below and saints above, the Church in earth and heaven. (Charles Wesley 1707-1788)
This is a rather free translation of Wilhelm Löhe’s devotion for the twentieth Sunday after the high holiday and festival of the Holy Trinity. It is found on Pg. 355 in Lob sei Dir ewig, o Jesu! (Eternal Praise to you o Jesus!) edited by A. Schuster and published in the Freimund Verlag, Neuendettelsau 1949.