October 21 / Proverbs 21 / Matthew 21


Proverbs 21:5

Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty.

Don’t look for shortcuts.

Nothing great comes without great effort.  Prosperity doesn’t happen by itself.  You can maybe cut down the days it takes to become something (engineer, piano player, professor), but that’s only by increasing the hours/day put in.

Hard work. That’s what it takes.  That is one of the laws of the universe God put in place.

Death and resurrection.  That’s another one.  Die to one thing in order to rise to something else.

Yet there is one shortcut, isn’t there?


Jesus is the shortcut to God, to Life abundant and free.  He paid a price and did a work (great effort) that we cannot possibly do, nor do we need to do.  We cannot labor our way to God, make Him like us more, or obtain better scores with Him due to our performance–unless by performance we mean merely serving others and living in the delight of the Father.  The Bible is clear that we will be judged by our works, but nowhere do we see that we will be judged by the results of our works.

Aren’t the results up to God?

Isn’t He the Mighty One working thru us?

It appears we are do to good, flowing from our connection to Him, and then trust Him for the outcome>>>abandoning all outcomes to Him.

If we serve others out of love for God, sincerely, and love for others in a desire for their flourishing, do you think you will still be judged harshly if those we served did not end up choosing Life and doing well?  Is that really up to us?


Love God.

Serve God.

Trust God.

Matthew 21:18-22

Whatever you ask for in prayer, you’ll get it, if you believe.

If you believe.

If you believe.

If you believe.

If you believe.

If you believe.

I believe this.

Here is some helpful commentary from The Gospel Transformation Bible:

This teaching of Jesus on faith and prayer should be interpreted in terms of what he has already said on these topics in 17:14–20. There Jesus emphasized that the power of prayer lies not in the power of the believer but in the power of God. In addition, in 17:14–20 the context of Jesus’ teaching made clear that Jesus was talking about prayer for the accomplishment of God’s purposes, such as the defeat of the demonic world.

Here, then, when Jesus speaks of faith versus doubt, he also refers to trusting in the power of God, and the subject of the believer’s request in prayer is not just anything imaginable but something that furthers God’s purposes. Jesus’ example of ordering a mountain to throw itself into the sea uses hyperbole to illustrate colorfully how powerful God is (for other examples of how Jesus used hyperbole in his teaching, see note on 5:29–30).

Believers who pray unselfishly for the things they think will advance God’s merciful and saving purposes should also pray boldly. They should have faith that God will either do what they ask or will work in some other way that he knows will accomplish his purposes more perfectly (cf. 1 John 5:14–15).

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