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quick to listen

Let’s Be Quick

quick to listenKnow this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.
James 1:19-21

This is turning out to be the verse of the week.  I used it in my message last Sunday.  Without any collaboration, Pastor Seth used it in his prayer in the same service.  It’s back again.
Let’s listen to God.  In troubled times it is more vital than ever that we act after we have interacted with God and his word rather than react to every bit of news or the diatribes that are present on social media.
Let’s listen to godly leaders.  Godly leaders are a gift to the church (see Ephesians 4:11-12). Especially when we are quarantined, we tend to listen to the same media over and over.  Let’s be sure we are selecting men and women of honor and insight.  Have you heard of “confirmation bias”? This is when, as we hear input about our world, we selectively remember only those facts that agree with what we already believe.  That is why we also need to:
Listen to Everyone.  Not everyone thinks like you.  Even sincere Christian people differ in some deeply held beliefs and opinions.  I have been deeply blessed and helpfully informed this past week as people have reached out to me. I have tried to listen with fresh ears.  
Listen Quick, Talk Slow.  When our nation is going through such troubled times, there is great value in just listening.  If we come to any conversation convinced that we “have all the answers,” we will not connect at a level that is truly helpful.
And when we talk, maybe that first conversation needs to be with God.  He is the source of all wisdom and understanding.  Can we really believe that there is already enough prayer ascending to God concerning this time of trouble?
Thank you to all who gathered online on Saturday evening to pray, and for our ICC Prayer Force members who gathered at the church. God’s army has always progressed most surely when it has moved forward on its knees.
All grace to you,
Pastor Mike

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