April 21 / Proverbs 21 / Matthew 21


Proverbs 21:5

The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.

So yesterday I made a fire to burn the many accumulated branches in our, now formerly, hillbilly-looking yard. It was the first time in a long time I can remember that I actually took the time to set up the sticks, logs, and kindling correctly instead of my usual haphazard throwing down of burnables into an oxygen–starving randomness, and then lighting and lighting and lighting it until my forearms ached and fingers got tired wondering why this won’t burn!!! It’s ridiculous. It’s the definition of insanity-doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

But yesterday I slowed down and employed diligence. I maybe even grew up a little and matured before my eyes, if even a micron or two. And what was the result of taking the time to pile things intelligently? A beautiful long burning fire that started quickly and easily and was even glowing at 5:30 this morning when I looked out upon it. It felt good. Much like Han Solo, “sometimes I amaze myself,”–which is not so hard–but seriously, it is worth it to just slow down a bit, experience your experiences, doing nothing to just get it done or over with, and to simply enjoy the results of diligence, on any scale.

Now is the time when we connect the dots of the fire starting metaphor to our lives, including what we call our “spiritual” life, but I believe we are all sharp enough to draw the obvious conclusions here. Talk amongst yourselves.

Proverbs 21:21

Whoever pursues righteousness and kindness will find life, righteousness, and honor.

“Energy flows where direction goes,” they say.

Proverbs 21:25-26

The desire of the sluggard kills him, for his hands refuse to labor. All day long he craves and craves, but the righteous gives and does not hold back.

Proverbs 21:29

A wicked man puts on a bold face, but the upright gives thought to his ways.

Do you want to look good or be good?

Matthew 21:28-46

The kingdom of God is grasped with the heart and the spirit.

So Jesus spoke in stories. Understanding parables requires a receptive heart rather than a logical mind. This is why they obscure Jesus’s teachings for those whose heart is unwilling to listen. It is foolishness to those listening only with the mind.

The mind analyzes, the heart receives.

May we ask better and better questions, and tell greater and greater stories to get to the hearts of people. May we not look to appeal only to people’s intellectual ascent, but relationally attract them to Christ. At the same time, may we never stop proclaiming the gospel that penetrates the hearts.

The point of human history and existence is seen in Jesus Christ.

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