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Hanging on every word........

Dear Friends,

Luke 19:47 “Jesus was teaching at the temple every day, but the chief priests, scribes, and leaders of the people were intent on killing Him. Yet they could not find a way to do so, because all the people hung on His words."

His enemies could not find a way to discredit Him because He meant what He said, He spoke with integrity and knew what He was talking about.

I think about this when I give my camp devotions at vespers. Normally I talk for no more than five minutes because I appreciate the example of Jesus. Consider that He:

-did not waste His words

-did not chase rabbits!

-did not ramble, embellish or talk about Himself incessantly

-always had something to say!

How many times during the day do fail to communicate so nobly and responsibly!!! In Jesus time the same folks that were guilty of babbling prayers and savoring the attention of the crowds with the oratory—the same leaders of Jesus time spoke in haste and in arrogance and pride —knew better than to silence someone like Jesus in front of a crowd that was, for once, paying attention to a religious figure! Oh that God would raise more men and women like this in America (and particularly in Washington, DC!)

I get the idea that when Jesus spoke there were no personal anecdotes or references to His family, upbringing, or personal victories. He did speak to impress people with His wit or accomlishments, but instead spoke about His Father, His Father’s Kingdom and how His Father expected His children to treat each other. I cannot imagine that He told a joke or that He spoke a second longer than He needed. He spoke, in my opinion, with an economy of words and spoke with both purpose and authority.

Do I? How much time do I waste just gabbing or talking about things that do not matter or don’t need to be said? How often am I just looking for a chance to show folks just how much I know or have read; do I really command attention when I speak because it’s become my reputation to only speak when I know what I am talking about and to only speak truth?

Does your priest or pastor? Some folks in the pulpit speak, but no one is listening. Why? Because the one delivering the message does not compel us to hang on every word. There’s either too much being said to win the approval (or laughter) of the listeners, or too little being said about the “I am that I am”, or the one speaking lacks the credibility to be taken seriously. I pray that I am found to be worth hearing……

Warmly,

Dean Barley

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