February 21 / Proverbs 21 / Luke 8

lamp lighting

Proverbs 21:5

The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to want. [NRSV]

Careful planning puts you ahead in the long run, but hurry and scurry puts you further behind. [MSG]

There’s no magic pill, no shortcut, no silver bullet, only a long obedience in the same direction.

Proverbs 21:13

If you close your ear to the cry of the poor, you will cry out and not be heard.

It’s best not to ignore the poor. Remember this is not just the monetarily poor. In Judaism, “poor” typically referred to poor in spirit as much as poor in the physical sense. Honestly, it’s less drain on you to help those who simply don’t have enough money to get by in life than it is to come alongside those who are downcast, depressed, hopeless…

But they are who Jesus sends hope to thru His followers. If you’re not interacting with any horribly broken people, and being the healing of Christ to anyone poor in spirit, then you may ask yourself, “Why am I not?”

Luke 8:17-18

“Nobody lights a lamp, ” continued Jesus, “and then hides it under a pot or a bed. They put it on a lampstand, so that people who come in can see the light. You see, nothing is hidden which won’t become visible; nothing is concealed that won’t come to light. So be careful how you listen. If you’ve got something, more will be given to you; if you haven’t, even what you imagine you have will be taken away from you.”

Take careful note of how you listen to God and His word, for it is life. The more you absorb and share, the more you will be given. Listen below the surface to every parable, to every word from Jesus. Also, listen in this manner to life itself, to every person. Listening well is key to ministry. Jesus always listened for the real and actual need in others. He did not just wait for them to finish their sentence so He could start drilling them with truth.

I think this could also be referring to a teachable spirit and the importance and power of it. The more open you are to God’s workings everywhere in the world, the more you will be granted to see of God. The more open you are to listening for the needs of others, the more of their true needs you will see.

The more you interpret the world thru the light of Jesus, the more clearly you will see the world for what it truly is, the more “enlightened” you will become. But the less light you use (putting the lamp on the ground in the corner behind something), the less you see. Light is taken away from you and vision becomes much more limited.

Life is to be interpreted thru the lens of Christ. It is the lens which contains the most light by far. This life will only make sense in proportion to the amount of light with which you use to look at it.

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