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Listening With Love By Randy Kilgore

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1 Listening With Love By Randy Kilgore on Thu May 14, 2015 8:19 am

LesBrewer

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Listening With Love By Randy Kilgore



Read: Luke 18:9-14

Everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted. —Luke 18:14

One August evening in Vermont, a young missionary spoke at our small church. The country where he and his wife served was in religious turmoil, and it was considered too dangerous for children. In one of his stories, he told us about a heart-wrenching episode when his daughter pleaded with him not to leave her behind at a boarding school.

I was a new dad at that time, having recently been blessed with a daughter, and the story upset me. How could loving parents leave their daughter alone like that? I muttered to myself. By the time the talk was finished, I was so worked up that I ignored the offer to visit with the missionary. I charged out of the church, saying out loud as I left: “I’m sure glad I’m not like . . .”

In that instant, the Holy Spirit stopped me cold. I couldn’t even finish the sentence. Here I was, saying almost word for word what the Pharisee said to God: “I thank You that I am not like other men” (Luke 18:11). How disappointed I was in myself! How disappointed God must have been! Since that evening, I’ve asked God to help me listen to others with humility and restraint as they pour their hearts out in confession, profession, or pain.



Lord, may we be quick to listen and slow to speak and to judge. A proud attitude so easily infects our lives. Give us instead a humility that reflects Your heart and love.



We don’t get closer to God by passing judgment on others.



INSIGHT: The story that Jesus tells of the two men who went into the temple to pray reminds us of what God considers important. The religious Pharisee focused entirely on himself and his efforts, highlighting what he did and didn’t do. However, the tax collector, who would have been considered one of the worst sinners of his day, recognized his unworthiness and focused on God and His mercy. Jesus said it was the “sinner” who went away justified before God (vv. 13-14). Jesus wants His listeners to understand that it is not what we do that makes us right with God; it is God who makes us right with Him.

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