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Watch 2022 online sermons » Beth Moore » Beth Moore - I Love the Lord, Part 3

Beth Moore - I Love the Lord, Part 3


Beth Moore - I Love the Lord, Part 3

In the glorious and holy name of Jesus, everybody say, "Hallelujah" and "amen". You may be seated. You have got your Bibles open to what Psalm please? Psalm 116, and I'm gonna read to you the first 16 verses please. It says: "I love the Lord, because he has heard my voice and my pleas for mercy". How many of you know that there has been a time when absolutely, without a doubt, the Lord heard you? The Lord heard you. That he responded in such a way that no one else could have done, when it's so unique to my situation, when he's the only one who could have done it.

I gotta tell you a story, I think. Just pause on my reading and let me tell you a story real quickly. It's such an old story and I've told it a number of times in the past that I tend to not tell it anymore 'cause I always think, "Well, I've told that". But, you know, our stories, our testimonies, are worth retelling. And many, many, many years ago, and I want somebody to hear this because this could happen to you today and many years from now you could still be telling this story. It was something that happened during worship. I was going through a terrible, terrible time personally. I mean, I was right at 40 years old and it was just a season of loss. Anybody know what I'm talking about?

When my mother had passed away and I was tremendously close to my mother. My oldest daughter was going to college, out of town, and so there was that loss. It's such a transition in life. We had raised one of Keith's cousin's children for seven years, thinking that he would be ours always and it was tumultuous, very, very, very difficult but also something that we just thought was going to last forever and that is not the way it panned out. And he was no longer in our home. And I had a very dear friend that moved and it just seemed like God, it just seemed like everything, everything except the size seven piece of concrete under my feet, anybody know what I'm talking about? That everything else was turned upside down.

That only the ground that I was, and it felt like I couldn't move an inch to the right or to the left. It was like only this ground right here is not quaking. Everything else was like a jackhammer had gone to it. And it was just, my whole life felt turned upside down. My marriage was at a very hard point. My husband and I had ridden a rollercoaster in our 41 years of marriage. I love him very much, he loves me very much, but we brought a whole lot of problems into one home and it was sort of at a peak at that point of trial and challenge. And my heart, I felt like that if someone touched me... have you ever not wanted someone to hug you 'cause you knew if they did, it was done? It was done.

That if... I can remember when Amanda, my oldest daughter, was a baby and if I even looked at her and pooched out my lower lip a little bit, hers would pooch out too and she, you know, when you're like, "Oh, sweet, you know, girl," she'd go... you know what I'm saying? That is how that if anyone had looked at me with compassion, I knew there would be, I will not be standing. I will not be standing. Somebody have to call 911. I mean, and I felt like a knife was just in my chest. I don't know how to explain it, where you feel, and I felt like if anybody hugs it, it's gonna just, like, smash in. Just smash in. And people were so used to our family being the size it was. I had long since said I had three kids and I haven't told this in so long I'm not sure I can tell it today. But then I had two and so, like, it was just confusing, confusing. And I taught a very, very large Sunday school class. I mean, hundreds of people. And I was loved at my church and I loved my church.

And so, in order to be left alone, I had to not be seen because I was gonna be ministered to by the people that I knew. They loved me, just like I loved them. And so I'd gone to an evening service and I purposely came in late and I sat in the back and that morning I'd been at church that morning and taught Sunday school and somebody at church handed me a CD, you know, the kind that you actually put in a little slot like in your car and it goes, "Bzzhhhh," like this and then it starts playing. And I know these are very foreign things to us now, but it was something you actually held and stuck in, and had given it to me at Sunday school that morning and I'd thought, "Well", I don't know even why I did this. People gave me stuff like this all the time, but that morning when I got in the car, I just started playing it and it was just fine. It was just fine. It was, you know, it was pretty good, but it was just fine. And I'd gotten through a certain number of songs and so just push a hold on that for just a moment.

So I'd gone back that night. I was standing toward the back and a young woman came to the platform and she sang a song I had never heard. It was the song that has become as familiar a praise song as any of us have ever heard that have been born in the last 20 years. It was, "Shout to the Lord". And something about it, I don't know how to explain it exactly. I can't really even tell you from the lyric why, but I was deeply moved and somehow in that moment, I knew I was going to survive. You know what I'm saying? I was not out of pain. I still had the knife in my chest. But I knew, I knew I was going to make it. And I felt, I knew I was loved. I knew I was loved and that God was gonna see me through. And I remember, I was standing in the back of the church and I stood to my feet and just raised both my hands.

Now, I was one of the very first hand-lifters in our church, and this, you know, did not always go well. It was another reason to stand in the back, you know? I just, I don't know. When freedom overcame me, it sort of started at the shackles in my ankles, but then it just moved up and somehow it just, like, shot my hands straight there. I had never even been to a church where people would raise their hands, but it was the most natural thing I could think to do when I was just overwhelmed with the spirit. So I just stood in the back with my hands raised and it was just like overwhelming. And I felt like it was my song for that day, that I just, and so I told the Lord after the service, I went back to my car and I told the Lord, I said, "Oh, I want that song," and I was trying to repeat the lyrics 'cause I thought, "I don't even know what the name of it is," and I was trying to repeat the lyrics to myself so that I could remember it. I'd never heard it before. Never heard it before.

I got in the car, I started my car, and it played. The CD had made its way all the way to song 14. It was song number 14. I'm saying there was nothing before it. I don't mean in a moment it played. I mean, I started my car and it played. And that seems like such a simple thing but I knew the Lord heard me. I knew he had heard my cry, that my groaning had gone up before him. And to this day, it just seems like such a, to somebody else, it'd be like, "That was your story"? Well, it's one of 'em. But when I think about just doing something so unique when he said, "I'm gonna have them hand it to you and I gotta time this just exactly right". That he had timed how fast I drove, everything, so that it would be positioned at song 14 when I opened that car up. I don't get that kind of God.

Who in the world does that but Jesus? When he does that kind of thing I just look toward the sky and go, "Who are you? Why do you care? What is man that you are mindful of us? The son of man that you care for us. You have made the stars of the heavens. Why in the world would you go to this kind of trouble to make sure I know that you know what I am going through, and that you are with me"? I tell you, I have told people, I will tell you this to the death. If you can find a better deal than Jesus, go find it and do it. Go right ahead. Go right, you find something better than the gospel, go right ahead. You find someone who will give up his perfect life for you, die on your behalf for your sins, be raised again so that you can be raised again to live eternally with him, you go find that deal. Because there is nothing, I'm telling you. What I can testify after 62 years of living and after being as steeped in this thing as you can get, looking around me at all the problems in the church today, all the upheaval, all the division, I'm still gonna tell you, there ain't nothing like the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Nothing, nothing. Nothing.

People ask me all the time, "Why don't you quit? If I got criticized as much as you get criticized", I go, "I tell them the same thing: 'I'm not in it for anybody but Jesus.'" Are you kidding me? Quit, the Lord Jesus Christ, Savior of my life? I will never in Jesus's name as long as he gives me an able body and mind, I will not quit. Because he is worthy. He is worthy. And I need somebody to know I love the Lord. I love the Lord because he heard my voice and he heard my plea for mercy. "Because he inclined his ear to me, therefore I will call on him as long as I live. The snares of death," girls, the snares of death, "they encompassed me; the pangs of Sheol laid hold of me; I suffered distress and anguish. Then I called on the name of the Lord: 'O Lord, I pray, deliver my soul!' Gracious is the Lord, and righteous; and our God is merciful. The Lord preserves the simple; when I was brought low," anybody been brought low? Like, somebody brought you low? I mean, like, sometime, we jump low, and then sometimes, somebody brings us low. Anybody been brought low?

When I was brought low, he saved me. "Return, O my soul, to your rest; for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you. For you have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling; I will walk before the Lord in the land of the living. I believed, even when I spoke: 'I am greatly afflicted'; and I said in my alarm, 'All mankind are liars.' What shall I render to the Lord for all his benefits to me? I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord, I will pay my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people. Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints. O Lord, I am your servant". Somebody's gonna say that today. "I'm your servant, the son," the daughter, "of your maidservant. For you have loosed my bonds".

Anybody ever been rescued by the Lord? I mean, just like, flat out rescued by the Lord. I want you to get the feeling of that verse 3 because one of the things I love about the Psalmist is it creates such imagery. I mean, you can just feel it when something is just, like, wrapped around you, just like wrapped around your legs and you feel caught. The ropes of death were wrapped around me, the torments of Sheol overcame me. Sheol, that was the place of death, the place of departed spirits to them, and very much one of my commentators said, I believe it was in Word Biblical Commentary, that we could translate that in our terminology currently as if to say, I mean, it was like I was in hell. And some of you know what that's like. Anybody besides me? To just go, like, "Honestly? I have been engulfed in the abyss, rescued from something I could not get out of".

You know, I have to ask you, you know, it's a complicated thing when what we need rescuing from is somebody else's big mess. Would somebody testify that with me? We're in somebody else's big mess and there are all sorts of ways this could look. Somebody's very destructive in the home because they are in a big mess and then we're all pulled into it, or maybe it is someone in your life or in your family with a drug or alcohol addiction or gambling addiction and, man, you've been trying your hardest to save them, but every time you get close to them and try to reach in to pull 'em out, it is like you are standing in quicksand. And I mean, you're just like... trying to breathe your way out of that hole 'cause it's something else when you're trying to pull somebody out of a pit that somehow it's the one pulling down, pulling down, that has a whole lot of pressure going on that tug, and how easy it is to fall in with them.

Galatians 6:1 says: "If anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual, you are spiritual, should go and restore him, but keep watch over yourselves lest you too be tempted," because it is really, really easy to fall in a pit you're trying to pull somebody else out of. Does anybody know what I'm talking about? And sometimes, it's a mess we made ourselves. The hardest ones for me have been my own messes because, you know, if I could blame somebody else, I'm going to. But if it's just me, I mean, it's just me. I got myself into the mess. By far my biggest messes have been my own, and then what do we do? This is what we call at the ministry, Miss Mess. You know, Miss Mess, like, you love Miss Mess but, man, she is a mess. You know what I'm talking about? There's Miss Mess. And sometimes, we get into a mess because this world is a mess. Do not ever forget it is broken and this world, this earth, literally creation according to Romans chapter 8, is groaning awaiting for the return of the Son of God. Just groaning, every day groaning for Jesus to come back and restore it.

And here's what I wanna say to you. Your big mess is not bigger than God's miracle. God's got a bigger miracle than your mess, and I don't know, maybe that doesn't really resonate with somebody, but if it does, that can be salvation. That, to just know, "Lord, you are bigger than the mess I'm in. Your miracle is bigger than the mess I'm in". But I'm gonna tell you something I know without a shadow of a doubt. If you will let him, he will work a miracle in you, whether or not he does that miracle for you. I cannot say enough how critical it is to understand that the biggest wonder that God wants to work is us. You do not know that you do have the capability by his power to love who you hate right now. I mean, who you hate, who you hate, who you despise. You have the capability in him to love someone who your heart is stone-cold dead toward. Anybody know what I'm talking about? I love the Lord because I was helpless and he rescued me.

Now, all of us in Christ have been rescued, even if we feel like we have never been in the jaws of death or darkness because it takes grace to be saved from our sins and from death and the grave and hell, no matter how we are, who we are, or how righteously we've lived. In fact, that can be a stumbling block sometimes because we can think, "Well, you know, I've just never ever done any of that". Well, you still require as much grace as the person sitting next to you because we cannot save ourselves. That's all there is to it. But I can tell you this. This is the good side, the good news, one of the things I love about the gospel, the good news, is that it's good news for any kind of bad news. And so the good news with the bad news of having been in the biggest mess of your life, and perhaps of your own doing, like I had done to my life, is that once you have been rescued and you know you could not possibly have rescued yourself, once you know that, there is no doubting that there is a God in the heavens.

Now, I'm just gonna tell you something. I have struggles with other things and other areas of faith. Whether or not Jesus Christ is real and does what he says he'll do, is not one of 'em. You know how I know that? Because he has done things in my life that do not make any sense whatsoever and they would have taken God to do 'em. Anybody? There's no excuse for me having a life vaguely between the ditches, except that Jesus Christ lives and breathes and walks among us, and pours his Holy Spirit into us. No other excuse. We were helpless and he rescued us. Now, I want you to notice that it says, it's talking about "the ropes of death were wrapped around me". There's such an important part of the Psalm I want you to see. This is a Psalm of David and it's in Psalm 18. Turn there. Leave something in Psalm 116, but turn with me to Psalm 18 'cause I wanna show you a principle. In Scripture, this is true in the Old Testament and the New Testament, and I hope this represents something wonderful to somebody. In Scripture, the place of darkness and the enemy and the things of the flesh, those are always shown as constricting places.

Reason why I wanna bring this up is because some of you think that if you give your life to Jesus, I mean, really do the thing, really do the thing, that your life's gonna be this big. That if you surrender your entire future to him and your life energies and your story to what degree he wants you to tell it, if you give him, I mean, just like free rein, free rein, that your life now is gonna be this big. That could not be less true because over and over again, what Scripture shows us, Old Testament and New, is that without him, we are in a very constrained place. And the place of freedom in him is always described as open space and spacious. I'll show you a perfect example. I wanna read Psalm 18, verses 16 through 19, and I want somebody to take it personally. If you know this is your word for today, I love to mark in my Bible. Write the date, write the date down there. It says: "He reached down from on high and took hold of me".

Picture it in your mind. "He pulled me out of deep water. He rescued me from my powerful enemy and from those who hated me, for they were too strong for me". I wanna stop there just a second. Have you ever had a battle with somebody that you just went, "They've got me". I mean, I have been in a tangle with somebody that I just finally had to go, "You know what, Lord? The thing of it is, I'm pretty dang strong and I cannot compete with them. I can't, this one, I'm beat here. I'm beat here". Rescued me from an enemy too powerful for me, from those who were too strong for me. "They confronted me in the day of my calamity". Okay, you have to go here with me. I have heartbreaks in my life. I have disappointments. I didn't get into all this but my joints hurt.

You might go, "I have a stomach virus". Anybody know what I'm talking about? "I'm having calamity here and you're gonna confront me"? I mean, you just, ever had somebody try to run you off the road when you're, "Oh, I'm having a hard enough time". He's watching out for that. "The Lord was my support". Here it goes, "He brought me out to a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me". I need somebody to know in this house, he rescues because he delights in you, not because, "Well, here I go again. I tell you, these confounded people. Here we are again. Okay, I'm gonna rescue you, but then I'm gonna just, like, drop you off at your house. I mean, I'm gonna bail you out but I don't wanna talk, don't call me for a while. I'll get you out of this mess, but I'm blocking your number". "No, I rescued you because I delight in you". Not just love you. There's a difference. There's a difference.
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