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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Beth Moore » Beth Moore - The God of Again - Part 4

Beth Moore - The God of Again - Part 4

Beth Moore - The God of Again - Part 4

I wanted to show you guys a picture of my bird dog. She's just a baby. She's two years old. Her name is Creak. We call her Creaky. And that's Creaky right there. She's a German Shorthair Pointer. And right there with her are two of my very, very, very favorite in the whole wide world pasture animals. That's my neighbor. Those are my neighbors right there, and that's my neighbor that I call Donk. That's the donkey that is right on the other side of the fence. And, oh, I just, y'all, my whole feed, I looked at my photo album. All of it is noses of Donk, all... the whole thing is.

So I just love him so much. And the cow is Number Nine and 'cause it's got a number nine right here on its ear. And I talk about Number Nine a lot online because I'm not wanting my neighbors to turn Number Nine into a number one and cheese. You understand what I'm saying? I just don't want pickles and lettuce on my Number Nine. But anyway, okay, so back to Creaky. That's Creaky right there. Creaky is the naughtiest dog on the planet, the naughtiest dog on the planet. We have a little bit of acreage. So I put the little, you saw the red, the orange rather, the orange collar around her. It's got a beeper on it. And I hold that beeper in my hand because I don't have to leash her on our property because she can just, like, run free and wild.

The only thing is that if there is any varmint on the place that has perished just long ago enough, like, yesterday, just long enough to be completely putrid, she cannot help but roll her little white fur all over that dead carcass, and it will invariably be when I am going to be late to work. In other words, I take a morning walk before I go to work, and it will be the last few seconds, and I will look at her and I'm just like, "Whaaaaaa". And this is like, "Why"? And I scold her every single time. "Why do you get in the dead? Why do you roll in the dead"? Listen, she is so accustomed to what happens next, 'cause I'm, like, at a fever pitch ten. I'm so annoyed with her. I say, "You know what to do".

I open the door to the house like this. Y'all, she runs to the bathtub and gets in it. I don't have to tell her, and look how shamed she looks, 'cause she knows. She knows good and well. She knows. She knows. And so then I scrub her down, scrub her down, scrub her down, and then I rinse her off like this, and then I get out, sit all the way on the floor, get a big towel, wrap it around her so I can dry her off. And then, of course, I hug her, and, of course, I kiss her, and I tell her, "See, you know, you're so naughty, but I love you so much, and don't be ashamed of yourself, and you going to be all right".

And so, really, y'all, you know, I'm still nuts over her. but I just want to say this to you today in case this resonates with anybody. I'm still going to love her. I'm going to clean her off every single time. But surely there is more to life than a constant cycle of rolling in the dead and God washing us off. Y'all, I lived like that for years, for years. I had such a broken want-to, and by that I mean so much had gone wrong. You know, I go back to my childhood abuse and the sexual abuse that I sustained as a child. I tie it to a number of very, very poor mistakes I made, poor choices that I made, and a lot of mistakes, and a lot of sin, a lot of sin, but, of course, I don't know how much of that I might have been had none of that happened. I don't know. I just know that it's sort of a classic thing. That some of the things that I turned to were very classic things when someone has that kind of a background.

So I don't know for sure, but here's what I will tell you. What had happened was that my desire, my heart was broken. My want-to, it was like I would choose the thing that would destroy me the most. I need to know if anybody can go with me there? Like, if there was a, "Here's your multiple choice. Here are the things that you could decide between. There's A, B, C, and D," I would choose D over and over again, because D would always be self-destruction, what's going to destruct in the end, because I was my own worst enemy, because I thought I was worthless, I thought I was trash, I thought I was unclean, I thought I was nothing but the embodiment of shame, so I had to reconfirm that over and over again. Everything in my life I tried, and so then because I had a real-life heart for God, but, I mean, by the time I was doing some of this stuff, I was in Christ, and I know because the Holy Spirit was doing his job. I would repent, and I was sorrowful. I mean, devastated.

And so the Lord would just, like, "Here we go again. Here we go again. Go get in the tub". You know, 'cause I've been rolling in the dead, Natalie. I've been rolling in the dead. He'd scrub me off, scrub me down, scrub me down by the blood of Jesus, already paid for on the cross. All the cleaning supplies already bought, already in storage, already ready, right there through the cross. Get out white as snow, white as snow. Now, I'll still have to do that one way or another for the rest of my life. So will you. We will not be able to live this thing sinlessly. We won't, we won't, we won't, we won't, but there's got to be some break to the cycle of rolling in the dead. Because until I could get to a place where God began to renew my mind and I began to believe him about me, believe him about him, and then believe him about the body of Christ, and then believe him about myself, until I did that, I still would go through that same exact cycle.

I'd walk and because I was doing my best. I was doing my best. "I'm doing my best, Lord". And I would say this over and over. I wonder if anybody can relate? "Lord, I'm never going to do that again. I'm never going to do that again. I promise you I'm never going to do that again". Only, of course, I would. And almost always it would be triggered by insecurity. Somebody would make me feel bad about myself, somebody would make me feel ashamed of myself, and boom, I was back in it again because this was the pattern. See, here's the thing. The devil knows what works again and again. It's why we need a God of again and again. And some of the pits that I'm thinking about, I'm so happy to tell you that it has been decades since I've been in some of them.

And you're thinking, "Well, that's because you got old". No, it was before I got old, to just break the cycle of rolling in the dead, rolling in the dead, rolling in the dead, rolling in the dead, rolling in the dead. But, love, that is no longer you. That is no longer you. I want you to turn with me to Jeremiah 44:7, Jeremiah 44:7. I'm going to show you a verse. It just keeps resonating to me. Jeremiah 44 and verse 7, "So now this is what the Lord the God of armies, the God of Israel says: 'Why are you doing such terrible harm to yourselves?'" Is that stirring? Why are you doing such terrible harm to yourselves? See, their idolatry wasn't just harming their relationship with God, it was harming them.

See, God is for us. When he works in opposition to you and opposition to me, it is because we are opposing ourselves. He's going, "Oh, no. No, no. What you are trying to get me to blessing you is going to hurt you, and I'm going to stand against you while you try to destroy yourself". Because I want to just see if this makes any sense to anybody. Have you ever considered that one of our biggest complaints about God is that he is intrinsically good, that it annoys us? I mean, I just want you to come with me. Let us reason together here. Our offense with God and what we most resent about him is that often we realize that he is good and adamantly committed to our good when we are not. We just want him to let us do our thing. I just want us to take a moment this morning and appreciate the fact that God is good.

I want to ask you a question today. What if he wasn't? What if God was mostly good? How do you know which -mmitted it is? What if God didn't hate evil? What if God didn't hate injustice? Can you imagine what that would look like? Our God is good. He does good. He brings good. His ways are good. Would you visit with me, without condemnation, just visit with me the facts, just visit with me the facts, how much misery has our going contrary to God's will brought us? What was the result of our waywardness? Could anybody testify in the house? I'm going to use, I'm going to name a number of things, and I'm going to use the word our, O-U-R, so that we can think of it in community, but there'll be some that I'm going to mention that you haven't, that have not been your thing and nor have they been my thing or something's been my thing, but it's not been your thing, but let's think community here. Let's think in terms of the greater body as I use that word and try to process this together.

What did our greed do for us, our lust for things, our insatiable desire for possessions? What has our insecurity alone done to us? What has it cost us that we have never dealt with, our insecurity, our self-loathing, our narcissism, all of our self-obsessions? How empty and used up did our souls feel after we'd slept around, I ask you? And then when we didn't so much as get a text or a phone call or even a notice at school the next day? What, may I ask you, were the consequences of our adulteries? How did it eat you alive? What agony did the excessive drinking bring? What domination did that addiction bring? What kind of mess did all of our lying get us into? Or maybe no one even knows it's a lie yet, but, boy, it's getting exhausting keeping it up, isn't it? What relationships did our arrogance destroy?

What fall from our pedestal did our pride bring? 'Cause it will do it every time, our stealing, our cheating, that thing that led to our getting arrested, losing our job over proving untrustworthy, our porn addiction, our racist hate, our violence, our bloodshed and anarchy? What did they do for us? God essentially says to us, "You want me to approve of you destroying yourself, and you throw a tantrum because I won't bless you to do whatever you want while I'm trying to get across to you. There's something inside of you, a very deceitful heart that if left to itself will take you down".

Psalm 30 says that weeping lasts for a night, but joy comes in the morning. I'm not being a prude here, y'all. I don't have a prudish past. I'm not naïve. I'm just going to tell you I have been in this thing with Jesus for decades, and I have done it all the ways, and I can tell you that revelry last for the night, but misery comes in the morning. Did we really want a God that was good with all that stuff? Can you imagine a God that just goes, "Have sex with everybody. Everybody, come bring it to the temple". That's what they were doing in the temple.

These were the kind of gods they chose in the world, caste systems of the haves and have-nots, the superior and the inferior. That was the nations, it wasn't our God. Our God is a God that says, "Be good to people as I am. Love your neighbor as yourself". He tells us, this is our God that tells us to live lives of love, to help people, to be humble, to be a servant, to live holy lives. And holiness is not prudishness, its wholeness. Let me say that again. Holiness is not prudish, its wholeness. For morals is not perfection, it's living out from under the domination of sin. We are annoyed, let's admit it this morning. We are annoyed with God because he is committed to our good.

Some of us think, "We don't want to follow him 'cause he's not going to let me do what I want". Oh, yeah. And you know what? What you want in your heart of hearts, in your natural flesh, in your carnal self is to ultimately destroy yourself. This is a God that goes, "Well, I mean, like, what you hate me for is that I'm committed to your flourishing". Anybody getting a word this morning? I'm going to tell you something. I am not a young woman. I have lived a measure of my life in the pit, in rebellion, and then in just bondage, and sorrow, and chaos, and oppression, and abuse. I've also known unspeakable joys and love and laughter. I'm going to tell you right now, I have never seen a single answer out there that competes with the gospel.

There is nothing that makes better sense of the condition of the world and of the human heart than the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. There is no relief to the heavy burden of our human egos like the call of the One who bids us to die to ourselves and find life in him alone. There has been no psychological breakthrough that exceeds forgiving others as we ourselves have been forgiven. There is no global panacea like grace. Read every bestselling book on Amazon about living your best life, and not one can compete with eight simple words from the mouth of Christ, it is better to give than to receive. That, beloved, is the secret to a fulfilling life. There's no other Savior tender enough that no bruised reed will he break. No other Savior mighty enough to pull you from the ravenous mouth of the grave. This, y'all, this is the God we resist, the one who wants our souls to prosper.

What would we trade for his nearness? Thank God he's good, and thank God that he has a remedy for our self-deceiving hearts that constantly tell us that we would rather do what would unravel us instead of what would build us up. I'm so happy to share point number three with you. No burning down is so complete God cannot build again. I love that God recreates. He can recreate just the way he created to begin with, ex nihilo, from absolutely nothing. 'Cause you're going like, "Well, he needs something to rebuild". Actually, no. No. It could have all been burned down, just burned down, just burned down, and he can still rebuild. I want to show you something, and it's the reason why these passages are so important, because even though we... I have loved looking at this history, it's not just history for us. This is a living, breathing gospel that we're about to see in Jeremiah 31.

Look now at passages 31 through 33. "'Look, the days are coming,' this is the Lord's declaration, 'when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. This one will not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors on the day I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke even though I am their master,' the Lord's declaration. 'Instead, this is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after those days,' the Lord's declaration. 'I will put my teaching within them and write it on their hearts. I will be their God and they will be my people. No longer will one teach his neighbor or brother and saying, "Know the Lord," for they will all know me from the least to the greatest of them,' this is the Lord's declaration. 'And I will forgive their iniquity and never again remember their sin.'"

Would you turn with me to Hebrews chapter 8? Hebrews chapter 8. All you're going to have to do, if your Bible is laid out in a traditional way, all you're going to have to do, look in the chapter for the indention and where it looks like it's verses to a song. Look at that portion of it. You're going to see that there's going to be a part of it that is going to be prose, and then there's going to be part that is set off to the side, and this time it's because it is quoting straight out of the Old Testament. You want to know a little bit of Bible trivia? This is the longest chunk of Old Testament scripture that is quoted in one piece in the New Testament.

Now, New Testament constantly quotes the Old Testament, but this is the longest piece, the longest segment that you would find in scripture, and it is straight out of Jeremiah 31. I want you to notice with me it is about the heavenly priesthood. You'll see that at the beginning of your chapter in Hebrews 8. And it says in verse 7, "'For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion for a second one, but finding fault with his people,' he said: 'See, the days are coming when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah.'"

Go on down to where it says in verse 10, "This is the covenant that I will make: I will put my laws into their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people". Verse 12, "For I will forgive their wrongdoing, and I will never again remember their sins. And by saying a new covenant, he has declared that the first is obsolete. And what is obsolete and growing old is about to pass away". It is completely fulfilled in the cross of Christ. Completely fulfilled. The reason why it's so important that you hear him say, "And I will remember them no more," is because for the old covenant people there was always the next Day of Atonement, back at it again, back at it again. There would have to be another offering for sin because, of course, the people had been rebellious. They had wandered. They'd gone their own way, had to go back after it again.

So, I mean, like, if you thought this way, you only got, like, 364 days a year that you felt like you were sort of under what happened at the last Day of Atonement, and then you're back at it again. Only it says Jesus once and for all went to the cross bearing all of our sins, all of our sins, gave his sinless life. Completely God, completely man on the cross, was stone cold dead, laid in the grave, the stone rolled in the front of it, and on the third day when it was very dark in the morning, how I love that God didn't wait until it was light. He's like, "You know what? I've been waiting long enough. I'm God of the morning. I'll say when it's morning. It's morning. Get up".

Can you imagine? Can you imagine? He's overcome the grave, overcome death and hell for those who placed their faith in him. I just simply ask you today, what on earth do you have going better than Jesus? I'm just asking you who else died for your sins that you might live? Who else you going to place your faith in? I'm just asking you a question. Come, let us reason together, because you can look this world over, and you will never find a deal like the gospel. Never, never, never, never. It says, "Your law is written on my heart".

Okay, okay, okay, okay. Did you see that part where it says, "And I will write them on the heart"? Okay, so they had been, all these laws had been on the stone. And in those days under the old covenant, the Holy Spirit only came upon certain individuals for their task or for their office. So we see the Holy Spirit on Moses. We see a time when the Holy Spirit fell on 70 men who were in a group together.

We see the Holy Spirit on David as he was crowned king. We see about roughly 100 people in the Old Testament that had the Holy Spirit on them or in them, but see, everything changes in the new, and on that day of Pentecost when he appeared to them for 40 days, said to them, ascended from the mountaintop and said to them, "You stay here in Jerusalem till the promise of my Father comes, the Holy Spirit comes". And this is the earnest deposit on that new covenant, because the new covenant is the covenant of his blood. His Holy Spirit lives in us. And so what we're doing now, it's not just coming, it's not this outward motivation, just to try to be good, that's not our aim. My aim in life is not just to be good. It's got to be better than that. It's to know God and to walk with him and to be driven from the inside out instead of the outside in.
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