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Willing To Listen

Willing To Listen

23 September 2009

Scripture:

27 “But if you are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you. 28 Pray for the happiness of those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you.” (Luke 6:27-28 NLT)

Jesus wasn’t always easy to hear and understand. Or maybe it was that he said things that were too easy to understand. Mark Twain said, “It’s not the things in the Bible I don’t understand that bother me. It’s the things I do understand.” Jesus upset the religious people (who really truly believed they were right) by coloring outside the lines, by acting in ways that didn’t fit within their behavioral boundaries, by saying things that challenged their religious comfort zone.

Sincere-hearted ordinary people and even many very irreligious people flocked to him. He seemed to be the real deal. But Jesus had challenging truth for even the sincere-hearted people. Jesus told them that they needed to love their enemies. Read this if you think it’s easy to live teachings of Jesus: “29 If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn the other cheek. If someone demands your coat, offer your shirt also. 30 Give what you have to anyone who asks you for it; and when things are taken away from you, don’t try to get them back.” (Luke 6:29-30 NLT)

I’m ready and willing to listen to the truth. I’m not satisfied with religion and I’m not satisfied with how effectively I live the teachings of Jesus. In the movie “A Few Good Men,” Tom Cruise’s character says, “I just want the truth!” Jack Nicholson’s character shouts back at him, “You can’t handle the truth!” I’m willing to listen – I just hope I can handle the truth, because Jesus just keeps on truth-telling and I’ve got to keep on truth-hearing and truth-living.

Prayer:

Father, I’m willing to listen and I want to hear the truth. I don’t know if I can handle it or not, but you sent your Holy Spirit to lead me into living the truth that Jesus spoke. Help me not to rationalize and excuse myself from practicing the pure and simple truth. Help me not to waffle on speaking the truth in love to those I influence. Amen.

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