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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Beth Moore » Beth Moore - These Words of Mine - Part 5

Beth Moore - These Words of Mine - Part 5

Beth Moore - These Words of Mine - Part 5

So, I want you to go back with me, what is one word? Two words. Three words. Four words. Five words. Six words. Seven words. We're on eight words. Nine words. Ten words. Eleven words. And 12 words. Okay, turn with me to the very end of Matthew. I'm gonna start in verse 16 and read through verse 20: "The eleven disciples traveled to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had directed them". And that we would find out that was Mount of Olives when we compare it to Luke's Gospel and also when we compare it to Acts chapter 1. It says: "When they saw him, they worshiped, but some doubted. Jesus came near and said to them, 'All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.'" "And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age".

Those are your 13 words. Okay, this one is crucial to our intimacy with Christ. Remember, this is what we're talking аbout: having a real live, active relationship where we abide in him and his words abide in us. And we're walking this thing through him, following him wherever he leads, knowing he is gonna go before us. And so, it is imperative that we understand he is never going to leave us nor forsake us, that he is always with us. So, here's where I really wanna encourage you in your faith, and many of you may already practice this. But for someone new, this is what this means, that at all times, you can just, like, talk to him. I mean, like, he is there. And this isn't your imaginary friend. I'm gonna tell you, no imaginary friend could have done for me what the Lord has done for me. He literally pulled me out of the bleakest, blackest darkness, and set my feet upon a rock. There's no one who could have rescued me the way Jesus did, no one. This isn't your imaginary friend. This is the Son of God and very God, and he is right with you.

One of the things that I try to practice, I would have done this just a couple of mornings ago, because I like to journal. I like to keep a record of my intercessions and of my requests. I don't write it out in long letter form. I used to do that. But now I just sort of keep a record of the things that I'm asking of the Lord and of the verses that he's really speaking into me that particular day through my Bible reading. But one of the things that I try to do is, sometimes I will sit up from writing to him and I'll just turn in my chair out to the rest of the den and just speak because it helps me remember. I mean, you're right in here with me, you're right with me. And this is gonna sound so silly but I'm just gonna tell you, these are the kinds of things that have brought life to me. In the car, if I'm just driving somewhere by myself and, you know, I'm gonna be very honest with you.

I know this is a work from God, something I asked for very, very early in my ministry, that it really hit me that when he says in 1 Corinthians 13, "If you do all of this, but you don't have love, just save it, 'cause I can't even hear it. Means nothing and you make all these sacrifices but you don't love me". So, I started praying, "Give me a miraculous love for the women that I get to serve. I mean, miraculous, where I feel a kinship to them, where I mean, where it's just palpable to me". And he's done that, but I can pass a woman on the sidewalk, I can be on a busy street in Houston and just see a woman walking somewhere and I'll just wonder, "Lord, is she in you? Does she know you? Does she know the hope of you? Would you seek her out today and make sure she knows that you love her"? To just talk to him, to just talk, to get in the habit.

First, you might feel silly about it, but realize that he is a greater reality to you and to me than anything and anyone we could see with our eyes or touch with our fingertips. This is the greatest reality of our lives. One of the things that I think we think about when we think about eternal life, it can be an exhausting thought to us, can't it? Living forever and ever and ever and ever, it's like, wow, it's been forever. You know, 10,000 years, but remember with me, we won't have any concept of time. Time will not exist in eternity. We won't be sitting around there going, "Well, it's been about 9000 years now". That's just not the way it's going to work. But to know that our, the presence of Christ will be everything to us, absolutely everything: our joy, our fullness, our satisfaction. And begin practicing that already where you just know he's with you, that he's never gonna leave you.

There's nothing you can do to make him less with you. He's there, he's there. Get to where you're very cognizant of it, very aware of it. And you take him up on it. Sometimes, just to laugh with him. You see something funny, laugh with him about it. One of the things that I love about the Lord is that you can tell him something and he'll sort of act surprised but he already knew it. You know what I'm talking about? Like, he'll enjoy, like, "You are not going to believe what happened, Lord". But he's going like, "I already knew". But, "I knew before it happened". But just enjoying his presence. And I challenge you, pray for a joy in his presence. The Psalmist said, "In your presence are joys forever more". Pray for that. "And Lord, give me a sense where I enjoy you, where you're a joy to me, Lord, and that you make me feel happy. I feel happy in you".

Sometimes, I'm just on a walk and I'll just, "Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you". And we don't even know necessarily what we're thanking him for. We just know he's so good. Thank you, thank you. Thank you, thank you. I don't know, maybe it's a wonderful thing to know that you wouldn't have three clear words you could put together in your head, had Jesus not saved you, and that's me. That's me. I was absolutely desperate. And my thoughts were tormented, just tormented. And I just set myself up for self-destruction over and over again, such poor choices. Jesus alone can break that kind of a cycle. "I am with you always, to the end of the age". What's next? What number? Fourteen. John chapter 16, and I want you to go to the very end of it. You can tell we're narrowing down on some of these concluding thoughts. Only a starting place with our 15 statements. But you'll see that we're beginning to tie it up now.

So, John chapter 16, John chapter 16. This is crucial. Thirteen words: "And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age". That's Matthew 28:20, the second part of it. Then our 14 words are gonna come from the very last verse of 16. Read it with me. I'm gonna start at 31: "Do you now believe? Indeed, an hour is coming, and has come, when each of you will be scattered to his own home, and you will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me". Verse 33: "I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world". Here's your 14 words: "You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world".

Let me tell you, and this is no casting of stones anywhere because I could not possibly have been more involved in discipleship than I have been in the last 30 and 35 years, but I do believe that we are seeing the fruit of poor discipleship in American Christianity. And I'm gonna tell you one reason why I believe this is true. I don't believe we have been readied for the fact that there is going to be a constant challenge and some kind of suffering in our lives as long as we live. I don't think that we have really been trained how to persevere, how to have strength in trial, how to persevere and endure in our faith in the most difficult of times. I think that's discipleship. And I think what happened and, listen, I am no expert here. I'm just gonna throw you out a theory. I think what might have happened is because so many parts of this nation were formed out of Christian people and Christian principles, and then the nation saw quite a lot of prosperity, I think we began to put this idea of Christian and prosperity together.

That to be Christian would mean that things would always go well for us and that things we would improve, every generation would improve on the last one, be more prosperous than the one before. I think we went on circumstantial evidence, instead of Scripture, because over and over Jesus says, "I need you to know this, that in this world you're gonna have trouble. You're gonna have stress and you're gonna have pressure. It's part of it". And it's been part of it ever since Genesis chapter 3. I try to think of it this way. This helps me for some reason. He said in Genesis chapter 3 when the Fall came in the garden with Adam and Eve and God spoke about the curse that would fall on the earth and on the soil, he said the soil will produce thistle and thorn for you. Some of 'em say briar and thorn. But thistle and thorn.

So, one of the things that I try to keep in mind that at all times, it's either gonna be thistle or thorn. Anybody know what I'm talking about? That be glad when it's thistle. That's what I'm trying to say to you. When it's thorn, it's thorn. But be glad when it's thistle because it's always gonna be one or the other. And here's the thing. It's also true for those who are not in Christ. Life is hard. Life is hard. Suffering comes. Heartbreaks come, loneliness and isolation comes, sickness of the body comes. Darkness and disillusionment, boredom, all the things, but what Jesus tells us: "Do not be surprised when these things happen," but know they don't ever have to happen to you in vain. That he will always do something with it if we'd allow him to. We'll always get to the other side and he will have done something to sow into us, to invest in us, as his children and as his servants, that he can bless and reward unfathomably.

I wanna read to you out of 1 Peter chapter 4. I'm starting at verse 12 that says: "Dear friends, don't be surprised when the fiery ordeal comes among you to test you, as if something unusual were happening to you". 'Cause we're like, be like, "Whoa! How did this happen"? He's gonna go, "Listen, don't be surprised. Don't be surprised". "Instead, rejoice as you share in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may also rejoice with great joy when his glory is revealed. If you're ridiculed for the name of Christ, you're blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or a meddler. But if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed but let him glorify God in having that name. For the time has come for judgment to begin in the household of God. If it begins with us, what will be the outcome of those who disobey the gospel of God"?

Anybody know what he's saying? I means, it's gonna start with us. Start with us. When he talks about fellowshipping in his sufferings, another place that you would find that truth is in Philippians chapter 3 when Paul talks about that I may fellowship in his sufferings, and he talks about in Philippians chapter 1, I just love it so much. He said, "I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually advanced the gospel". One of the things that we can ask of him, Lord, with whatever I'm going through, let it advance the gospel. Use this in me to cause me to minister with more compassion, with more love, with more humility, 'cause I'm gonna tell you something. That's when really big favor that God could do with us through our strugglings, it's just the pure humility. Nothing will destroy our ministries and all of you have one.

If you're in Christ, you have one. You have one. You're being equipped for ministry, Ephesians chapter 4 says. Every single one of us. Your ministry essentially is how you live out your calling, what you're gifted to do, for the sphere of influence you're in as part of your calling in Christ. And that humility is so important in ministry because pride is a destroyer. It is a destroyer of good, solid ministries. To go ahead and accept, okay, we're gonna have suffering in this world, but what I can do is, I can lean totally into Christ in this and I can say, "Get everything out of it that you want," and then when his glory is revealed, we're not even gonna know what to do with ourselves. Just that the sense that all the suffering is over, that even the aches and pains in your body, boom, just gonna be done.

Now, remember, our four words. Try to tell 'em to me without looking. What were our four words? Do what? Very nice. "Do not be afraid". Okay, this one is saying that we are to be courageous. It says: "You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous"! Exclamation mark. "I have conquered the world". Okay, there's a difference between not being afraid and being courageous. Not being afraid is the absence of fear. That's not all we're looking for. We're not just looking to be absent of something. We want something to be present. Present. And so, I love where one of our sisters wrote, "Take heart, daughter". Because that's a little bit about what I'm saying to you. I love where Jesus says, "Take courage. Take courage". Sometimes, it helps me to act something out physically.

When I really need to be brave and I don't feel brave, sometimes I'll just hold my hands out to him and go, "Okay, I wanna take courage. Hand it to me. I need your courage, Jesus, 'cause I don't have any myself. I need you to... I'll take it from you. Put it in my hands. Put it in my heart. Give it to me. Give me what I need". He just does it miraculously. Listen, there's somebody so brave in you. There's the spirit of somebody that walked right on the water, the spirit of somebody that, I mean, just said, "Be still," and the storm was. Who way before that said, "Light be," and light was. I don't know if we ever really think about the implications of the fact that the Spirit of the living God is dwelling in us who believe. Wouldn't it be something for him to really empower us to live the thing out at the full optimum ministry of our calling? To just begin to say the thing to him, "Do the thing. Do the thing, Lord. I want in the thing. Do it. Do it". Fourteen: "You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world". Are you ready for 15? Took us a while to get here, didn't it?

Look in John chapter 15. John chapter 15. I can't even tell you how glad I was when I turned to it. I knew how I wanted this to end, but I very much needed it to have exactly the right number of words. That was going to be a challenge, because I wanted it to start out a certain way and I wanted it to end a certain way because my prayer was that it would be bookends to tie up, to put together, everything we had talked about in between. What was the word one? "Mary". Okay, I want you to look at this one. This is John chapter 15, verse 9. I'll read it to you as it says this: "As the Father has loved me, I have also loved you. Remain in my love". Okay, listen carefully, because see, this is what puts it together for us. That Jesus knows our name. You need to know and I need to know he knew what he was getting when he got you. You weren't a big surprise to him, like, "Whoa, if I'd have known she was gonna turn out like that".

That's not what happened here. When he chose you, he knew everything he was gonna have to deal with in you. He knew exactly how the thing was gonna go. Like, he's not changed his mind about you. But what we gotta know is he knows my name. He called me by name. He chose me; I didn't choose him. And then you gotta know, you gotta know, you gotta know, you gotta know, and you gotta live in it every minute of your life and so do I: My God loves me. That no matter what happens, we may never figure out in this lifetime why we went through that particular thing, but let me tell you what it's not. It's not because Jesus does not love you. I want you to understand how profound this is, and I wanna let it sink in to my needy heart as well that he is saying to us, "Listen carefully. As my Father who is God seated upon the throne has loved me," and I'm quoting this for Jesus. "Has loved me, Jesus, in the same way that my Father loves me, I love you. Now live in it". Try to wrap your brain around that. You are loved beyond breadth and length and height and depth.

Ephesians chapter 3 says: "This love that surpasses all knowledge," we can't even wrap our minds around how very much we are loved, so it's got to be constant that you are walking in that truth above all others. I don't know why this is happening, but I know that Jesus loves me. I know that not only does he love me, he doesn't just love me a little bit. He loves me the same way his Father loves him. His heart is completely unbridled toward me. Nothing is restricted in his heart. Absolutely nothing. It is the full expansion of divine love and is directed toward me as his very own. Now live in it. Now live in it. Now live in it. Now live in it. I wanna tell you a silly story, just so silly. My husband and I, oh my goodness. We're just, like, nickname people, kind of nutty people, very, very quirky people, two very quirky people that met up and it just became a whole quirky household. But Keith is just, he's just one for the history books, just one for the history books.

What has been very, very important is that Keith has always been one of the most handsome men I have ever seen, and that has helped when times were hard. Anybody know what I'm talking about? He just was cute. He was cute, and that helped a lot. It helped a lot. But some years ago, I can't even remember how many now, maybe 7 or 8 years ago, we were in a movie. I can't even remember what movie we were watching. But we'd already eaten our popcorn, and so we were holding hands. I wish I could remember the movie 'cause it would be so great to know what was it that prompted such a thing. But he was holding my hand and then he brought it up to his mouth and he kissed on the top of my hand, you know, like this. He kissed on the top of my hand and he whispered to me, "Elizabeth". He always calls me by my first name. "Elizabeth," he said, "you're such a flower".

I went... That's one of the most romantic things I'd ever heard in my life. I'm a flower. I couldn't even concentrate on the rest of the movie. I thought, "What kind of flower"? I mean, would I be like a daisy? Would I be, you know, like a, what kind of flower? What kind of flower? It was all I could think about, is like what kind of flower am I? And so I just, like, I just was obsessed with it, just absolutely obsessed with it. So we get in the car and I don't, my husband approaches driving like the SEAL team approaches battle. Does anybody else's do that? He has a pickup, he's always got a pickup.

I can't even tell you how this thing goes. I mean, he's watching like this. Anyone that pulls out is a conspiracist. Like, they're all waiting for him to get close to them so they can pull out in front of him. It's just, it's a race to get home. I don't care if we've got all evening, it is a race to get home. It is a constant competition with all of the other drivers but all I could think about, I said, "Honey, did you remember what you said to me in the movie"? He said, "What, what, what"? He's just driving like this, driving all around, driving so intense. I said, "But do you remember what you said to me"? And he just hollers over to me like this, he goes, "You're a flower". Never did know what kind of flower I was. Dahlia, rose, a daisy, a daylily, a sunflower. I could have been all sort of flowers, but no, no. Lord knows just what kind of flower you are. I just want you to know, he just thinks you are lovely.
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