I pray that my words will paint a picture of God's love for you, His treasure, as I bring encouragement from the Word of God and my perspective of events and life filtered through the lense of faith.

For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. II CORINTHIANS 4:6,7

Visit my webpage www.ruthmcmillanmayfield.com to learn more about my ministry, and my books. While you are here, enjoy God's presence.


Parable of the 10 Virgins

Recently the Lord had me read through the entire Bible in about a month's time. It was an amazing adventure filled with insight and revelation about the Word of God, His perspective and my own faith. It impacted my life much like a forty day fast--although it was a 36 day feast! One of the many familiar passages took on a new perspective for me. As the Lord had me begin with Revelation and end with the same book again, it gave me a particular focus on what God Himself had to say on many subjects, including End Times. My bible is now colored with green pencil every where in the Old Testament where God is directly speaking Himself or through a "thus saith the Lord" type indication. The coloring is quite revealing itself.

I have been meditating on this passage in Matthew 25.

Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with
them: But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.

As I often get revelation from God through pictures, I saw these virgins--bridesmaids--waiting in the streets for the wedding celebration to begin. In the beginning all were equally excited, talking about how wonderful the event was going to be, how handsome the groom was, how beautiful they each were dressed in the wedding garments. As time passed some would ask, "How soon do you think He will come?" While the groom delayed some began to loudly proclaim that He would be there any minute. As darkness came and filled the night they continued to proclaim that He was honorable and never late. The bridegroom had invited them with the expectation of His soon coming. "Look, perhaps those are His footsteps we now hear!"

But time passed and the bridegroom did not arrive. The scripture says he was delayed. In Jewish wedding custom we know that the father was the one who decided when the wedding day would be. Everything had to be meticulously prepared and ready. As the virgins waited, each with anticipation, it began to grow dark. Time continued to pass as five of the virgins saw their lamps beginning to flicker. Their oil was running out. Where was the Bridegroom? How could He have invited them and not made it clear that they would have to wait so long? The night was dark, cold and dangerous. Yet they all fell asleep.

Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.

When the alarm came they all awoke. They begged the five others to share their oil, but were refused. They had only enough oil for themselves to last through the entire night. The five who ran out of oil had to leave to buy more. They were labeled foolish by Jesus as He told this parable.

I had wondered why the five wise virgins wouldn't share. God teaches in His Word that we are to share, but there are some things like anointing and revelation that cannot be shared--each has to have their own. These five wise virgins had prepared themselves in case the wait was longer than anticipated--perhaps until the very end of the night. The foolish did not consider that possibility. The were convinced that the Bridegroom would return before their lamps could run out.

This reminds me of those who are absolutely convinced that we will not have to endure through the long, dark night of tribulation before the Bridegroom returns. The parable indicates it was in the middle of the night, later than anticipated by some of the wedding party. Perhaps just a little longer than they were prepared to endure. If we have diligently prepared with extra oil, we can be wise and ready during the darkness, without fear.

I have a heart that has grieved for those mentioned in Matthew 7:21-23.

Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Jesus called them foolish like a man building his house upon the sand instead of the Rock. I picture these foolish virgins just like this when the door is shut. It grieves my heart when people want to enter into the surface blessings of God without true intimacy which often involves suffering and sacrifice. The faith chapter, Hebrews 11 gives us insight for living as true overcomers. (verses 33-39)

...Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and [in] mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:

All it takes is a mustard seed of faith firmly planted in a faithful and mighty God with enough trust to do whatever He suggests. I would like to see everyone diligent to embrace the revelation of becoming overcomers who enter into His rest as mentioned seven times to the churches in Revelation. Oil comes from reading and meditation on God's Word, seeking Him first in all things and living in the intimacy of the knowledge He reveals to you about how much you can trust Him. We must be willing to lay down our lives and participate in His suffering to have the intimacy of His presence that makes us unshakable and walking in the Light, in the dark night that is coming--however long it lasts.

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Mercy has been one of the fruits of the Spirit that I have struggled with. As a person with a "D" personality I am a "doer". I tend to be very black and white and therefore judgmental. From my often difficult life experiences of being homeless, destitute and then by God's grace rising from ashes to self-sufficiency (at least financially), I often wonder why people choose to suffer.

I have learned that in my weakness God's strength is made perfect and is poured into me giving me grace--ability to do what I could not and His favor which opens doors and causes all things to work for my good and His glory. He redeems my life. Both the successes and the failures. I have seen the Lord's mercy at work in my life and my heart. Rather than condemning me for my mistakes, He applies the Blood of His Son Jesus to me as I fall upon the Rock in a broken heap and puddle of tears, acknowledging my need for His Salvation and intervention in the form of redemption.

I often share stories with exactly that theme with believers and unbelievers alike, to build their faith and point them to God. Yet, as I meet beggars on the street, I look in their eyes and see their choice to reject God--it deeply saddens me--I feel no compassion for their situation, only for their choice. And an anger rises within me that I have trouble identifying. When I see the consequences of sin in people's life without repentance, again I feel the same. And I wonder, How does God look upon the poor, hurting people lost in sin, groveling in their penthouse offices and in the filthy gutters in the street?

I used to think I didn't have mercy, or but a tiny seed that I don't seem to know how to grow. My words can be harshest with those whom I am closest to. Like Jesus' words to the Pharisees compared to his compassion on the masses who followed him, although often just to experience their miracle or receive a loaf of bread. The scriptures say, "He healed them all." (Matthew 12:15, Luke 4:40)

There is no question--God is merciful. This is repeated again and again in the scriptures--Old and New Covenants. Just like God is Love, God is Mercy. His mercies are sufficient for each day and each occasion that arises--to us, sometimes unexpectedly. His mercies are in fact new every morning (Lamentations 3:23-24). In Hebrew the word is chesed (pronounced kheh-sed). It is translated in KJV as loving kindness, goodness, tender mercies, loving kindness. It is found in a noun form and verb form, even someone can be a chesid--translated "holy one" (as in God Himself, Psalm 16:10) or chesidim "saints" (Psalm 145:10). This has penetrated my thinking in a new way.

By my faith in the blood of Jesus, my Lord and Savior, I am a saint of God. Nothing like a Joan of Arc, but God calls me his own, redeemed (purchased) with the price of His blood and made to sit in heavenly places sharing in His inheritance. Wow! I could spend the rest of my life just taking that in. So how do I act and live in this revelation? How do I act like a chesidim, a merciful one, a saint, everyday?

Those who know my life know that 2007 was a year of trials and miracles where God sovereignly brought us through the valley of the shadow of death. (Buy the book to read the details.) During the entire ordeal the Lord hovered over us placing us in a cloud of faith and trust in His faithfulness. I did not actively seek God for those things. My faith did not waiver. I never considered any outcome but the Lord's best. Most amazingly to me, the Lord gave me an ability to operate in mercy toward my husband. I sat with him for hours, doing nothing at all just so that he could know at some level of consciousness that I was there for him--completely there with all my focus on him and his needs. I am not a care giver by nature--these acts were very foreign to me and not motivated by a deep love and devotion to my husband. In fact my emotions were kind of numb during most of that time--I believe as a protection of my soul by that same cloud of God's glory and favor that abode with us.

During 2008, we began the next phase of the trial which we had thought was completed. God is with us, but in a different way. That cloud was removed. It reminds me of the Israelites crossing over into the Promised Land. No more cloud or pillar of fire. No more manna. They had to learn how to apply the Covenant given by Moses which spelled out God's mercy toward them, into everyday life--conquering and then settling the Land. Revelations of God's mercy in my own heart and soul are compelling me to understand His Mercy and His Kingdom in deep and amazing ways. It is a fight to conquer the wicked inhabitants in my heart and utterly destroy them. No battle should be engaged without the Lord's direction and counsel. This takes place over time with mistakes and failures along the way. But if I seek first the Kingdom of God, His will and His way in my life, the victory is promised.

I am understanding that I have in my past refused to accept God's mercy in areas of my life that I somehow was ashamed of and thought were unredeemable. Things that would somehow just pass away when we are translated from this life of clay/flesh to the incorruptible in the heavenly Kingdom of God. I desperately need Him to fill my heart and soul with His mercy. To embrace it fully in order that it can exude from my life just like an anointing and like the supernatural faith that operates in my life because I acknowledge my mustard seed faith placed in a omnipotent, faithful Father God. I desire with my whole heart for God's mercy to flow through me.

I ask for God's mercy and protection of those around me, especially my husband, as the Lord explores and brings to light all the dark places I have hidden in my heart. I admit I scream at times. I feel like I am being tortured as I am having to let go of and acknowledge my inabilities to be merciful-mostly due to my own self-condemnation. There is no good in me. I am selfish, self-seeking and wicked--just as the Bible says (Jeremiah 17:9). Yet once again, by the blood of Jesus, I can come boldly to the throne of grace to find mercy. (Hebrews 4:16) Mercy that will fill and heal the brokenness and pain within me. Mercy that will fill me to overflowing with thanksgiving and understanding of the immense love that God has for us all and the unfathomable price He paid to show it. Mercy that was revealed before the foundation of the world. Mercy available each moment of every day. Mercy that will be revealed more and more as the Day of the Lord approaches at the end of this age. Mercy that is love and salvation to those who will have faith in God and destruction and wrath to those who will not. Mercy that is God in us, to us and through us to the world.