Monday, September 19, 2011

Beth Moore Simulcast - Good Company

September 10, 2011
Living Proof Live Simulcast in Lubbock, Texas

Session 1

Whatever you're dealing with, somebody else is too.  Just like all temptation is common to man, so all struggles are common to man.  Let Jesus get into that business.

Luke 1:1-4 (Theme verses)
Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, 2 just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. 3 Therefore, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, it seemed good also to me to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, 4 so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.

2 Timothy 2:22
Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, in the company of those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

Do your pursuing of God in the company of others! And make that good company.

2 Timothy 4:6-12
6 For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing. 9 Do your best to come to me quickly, 10 for Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me and has gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, and Titus to Dalmatia. 11 Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, because he is helpful to me in my ministry.

Only Luke was with Paul at this point.  All of his beloved friends (Luke and Demus mentioned as such in Colossians 4:14) had abandoned him and gone off.  So Luke had to be the one Paul was dictating to.  Imagine how Luke felt when Paul said "The time has come for my departure..." and then "Luke is the only one with me."  Do you think he paused for a minute as he wrote when Paul got to those parts?  Maybe his eyes filled with tears a little bit for the deepness of their friendship.  He and Paul were clearly best friends at that point.

Acts 16:6-13
Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia. 7 When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to. 8 So they passed by Mysia and went down to Troas. 9 During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” 10 After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them. 11 From Troas we put out to sea and sailed straight for Samothrace, and the next day on to Neapolis. 12 From there we traveled to Philippi, a Roman colony and the leading city of that district of Macedonia. And we stayed there several days. 13 On the Sabbath we went outside the city gate to the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer. We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there.

You can see here where Luke (the writer of Acts) comes into the picture because of the change from they they they to we we we.

Beth spoke some about Paul and Luke meeting when Paul was in Galatia with an illness (Galatians 4:13) and that Luke, the Physician, basically gave up what he was doing and left to go with Paul. She said it was similar to a doctor these days just going home with a client because he loved him so much. She asked - how many of you love your doctor this way: "I *LOVE* my doctor... LOVE him" ? But how many of you, your doctor just loves you so much that "I just love you so much, I'm going to go ahead and come home with you and stay with you for years to take care of you" ? That's what it was like for Paul and Luke. "Luke put the 'company' back in 'accompanied.'"

These days it's hard to actually be alone with somebody because of technology and the fact that we are constantly social-networking to the point that we don't pay attention to the people we are face to face with. I think Beth just wanted everyone to think about the implications of that.

The point of all of this is point #1:
We were created for good company.

2 Timothy 2 :22
Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

We have to also learn to be good company. This is how:

1 Peter 1:22
22 Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart.

1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

Don't just try to do obedience on your own, though. You will fall into a cycle of confession/destruction. Get Jesus involved - DO NOT separate the sinful part of your life out from the rest of what you share with him, do not hide it in the dark. Tell Christ what you need, shine his light on it, and ask him what to do. Memorize applicable scripture to combat whatever you are struggling with and it will REform your heart (disobedience DEforms the heart). (I myself can testify to the power of memorizing scripture and using it when I'm tempted to sin. Ask me if you want to know!!)

At this point, Beth gave a little bit of her testimony saying that she truly believes she would not be alive if it weren't for Christ. She was caught up in a really harmful cycle of looking for ways to self-destruct, and she said that it was not an exaggeration that out of the 180,000 women viewing the simulcast, NOBODY, including the women in the correctional facilities, had made as stupid of choices as she had. She was really transparent and said she couldn't ever look down on someone because she herself has most likely been that someone.

Back to point #1. Our closest fellowship, our best friends, must be people who have purified souls, who call on God, who practically live out God's will. The rest of the people in our lives, we should still love deeply, but we have to use the Philippians 1:9 principle

And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment.

Use discernment and care with the other people in your life or you will get torn up.

When you are trying to minister to someone who is really emotionally troubled ("wigged out" "I've been that woman"), you need to do that in a small group, not by yourself or it will turn you inside out.

To be continued...!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Don't let anyone but God sit in His chair!

If you're like me, you often feel like the people you meet relish picking you apart in their mind - maybe like a gourmet crab, cracking your shell and taking out your insides, contemplating them before they chew them up with a satisfied smile.  You sense them deciding whether you have good or bad character, if they like your hair, if what you said was really intelligent or the stupidest thing they've ever heard.  Later you imagine them talking about you, recounting their entire time with you as if critiquing your debut movie.  

And it doesn't bother you so much when you hit it off with that person, even if you had to act against your nature a little bit (they wouldn't know the difference, right?).  If you feel like they will be raving about you later, you don't really care what they think of you.  It's those people who you know aren't your biggest fans that get to you.  Even if they disgust you, you still feel this pressing need to make them think highly of you because they are doing the J-word, and you just can't handle that.  


We all do it, even if we don't pronounce it over people like monarchs giving sentence.  But the thing is... get ready for this... try as we might to judge, we fail miserably.  Every.  Time.  We try to decide the status or fate of people, whether we mean to or not, but we simply do not hold the power to make such decisions.

Humans can't truly pass judgment because they aren't God.  The first time I realized that, it blew my mind!  No matter what someone says about me behind my back, no matter what they think of me or what disdain they have for me, it's not real judgment.  It's just an opinion, and it holds such dinky weight in comparison to the opinion of God, my Creator and the lover of my very soul.  God's opinion is judgment, and though he hasn't declared his full judgment yet, the day will come.  

More than luckily for people who believe that God's son has come to whisk us away from this epoch of darkness by dying on our behalf (maybe soon I'll dedicate an entry to why this makes perfect sense and why I believe it...) - more than luckily for us, if we have made Jesus director over our lives, and we call on his name for help and strength, we are pre-judged as having good standing with God.  Perfect standing, in fact.  Our mistakes and acts of rebellion are banished and not taken into account.

All that to say we can shut our ears to the un-constructive criticism of those who have "judged" us.  And we can and must shut our mouths and swallow when we feel the need to spit out an un-constructive "judgment."