Going Forward

So, what do we do now?

What do we do in this world, in this day, in this time, in this era?

In this climate of increasing hostility toward Christians?

How do we glorify God and do people good in an environment where we’re colossally unpopular?

Bailing is not an option unless we really weren’t in it to start with. If an issue causes an exit, we were around Christ but not in Christ. (1 John 2:19) Hiding is ridiculously counterproductive since the reason we’re here is to be lights in the darkness.

So, what now?

My Scripture memory over the last month has had me in the fourth chapter of Ephesians so, for the process to work, I have to read the verses again and again,¬†asking God to peel them¬†from the page and stick them in my head and bind them to my heart. They speak to me in very personal ways but I can’t shake the thought of¬†their relevance to us corporately in a culture growing, in these hot days of summer, icy cold to Christianity. Sometime soon I hope you’ll steal away a moment to read the whole chapter. It is seed for the soil of our time under the sun as surely as it was when God first gave it to Paul. With your patience, I’ll pick out a few segments that might land on some ground firm enough to stand on when we’re shaken. The chapter opens with this:

I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called.

This is the world you and I have been called to serve. This exact world. This exact era. It is not a mistake. It is a mission. Isaiah 41:4 says, “Who acts and carries out decrees? Who summons the successive generations from the beginning? I, the Lord, am present at the very beginning and at the very end – I am the one.” (NET) 1 Peter 2:9 calls us a “chosen generation.” Ephesians 2:10 says that we were created in Christ Jesus to do good works which God prepared for us beforehand. Acts 17:26 says that God “made every nation of the human race to inhabit the entire earth, determining their set times.” (NET) God is sovereign in all things. Never unprepared. Never caught off guard. Nothing happening presently is inconsistent with what Jesus said prophetically in places like Matthew 24.

So, this stage is set for us. We’re on.

Bemoaning will not help us. Believing will. We here in the west have, generally speaking, gotten away with living out our Christianity selfishly, carnally, politically, lazily, and, forgive me and include me, sloppily. We’ve left it for the professionals to do for us while we’ve tried to stay buffered on neutral ground. That’s not going to work now. Christianity has grown too inconvenient. These are days for sanctification. These are days to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which we each have been called. Let’s clear out the cultural camouflage from our closets and go ahead and be willing to look different from the world¬†and love different¬†than the world…

Or looking different is nothing but masquerading. There are people I dearly love on the other side of many of our issues. Wonderful people. My own flesh and blood. I want those relationships. To¬†lose them from my life would break my heart. I’ve got no stones to throw. No condemnation to scream. I breathe by the¬†grace of Jesus alone. My very colorful extended family doesn’t leave me the convenience of discussing cold concepts. These are warm-hearted fellow human beings welcome and wanted in my home. I need Jesus to teach me how to love them well in the midst of believing differently.

(V.2) with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,

What’s not going to serve us well in this era is arrogance. We have to be willing to stare ourselves in the mirror and ask an honest question: does anybody out there in the unbelieving world want what I have? If we have the love and hope of Jesus and the joy of those who know they are forgiven and the security of those who know they are loved unconditionally, and the certainty of those who know where they are headed when this life is over, the answer to that question will be¬†yes. If we’re grossly self-righteous and condemning and lack humility and gentleness and grace and genuine love, we can’t blame their resistance on being put off by Jesus. They’ll be put off by us. We serve this world. That’s what we’re here to do. And we do it with humility and gentleness and patience and love.

(Vv.11-16) And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.

This is a huge part of what provoked me to write this post:

It’s time for us to go forward to church. Not back. Forward. I mean to a local church. It has never been easier to be a believer in Christ and not be invested in a local body of believers. We can sit right in front of a screen every week and watch a church service. We can hear an endless stream of podcasts by our favorite preachers and teachers. We can do Bible studies at home – thank God – ¬†and have praise and worship in our cars on the way to work – I love that, too. And those things are fabulous and edifying but they cannot supplant the local church and us fulfill our missions and follow Christ’s way. I’m asking you to hear me out here. The days we have coming are days that will necessitate¬†– if we’re to live them well and effectively and in the will of Christ Jesus – congregating regularly and being in an intentional community with Bible-learning believers.

I’m not talking about going “back” to church the way we used to do church when Christianity was culturally and politically correct. I’m talking about going forward to church.

My maternal grandmother lived with us until she passed away when I was in early high school. She was born in rural Arkansas in the mid 1880s and died in the sprawling city of Houston, Texas in 1973. During her earthly tenure, life in these United States moved from horseback to automobiles and from jets to spacecrafts. She sat in front of a television screen utterly transfixed as Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon and, with words thickly accentuated, made a statement anyone in that generation knew by heart until the day they died: “One small step for man, a giant leap for mankind.” Perhaps no word characterized the era my grandmother occupied like “leap.” Progress didn’t meander along. It long-jumped. It was faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.¬†The west wore a big S on its chest and a¬†red cape fluttering in the wind.

Never one to believe in keeping an opinion to herself, she scoffed openly every time she heard a person long for the good old days. “You can have them,” she’d say. Then she’d commence into a diatribe like this:

“Go right ahead and swelter in the heat. I’ll stay in the air conditioning.

Go right ahead and huddle in front of a small fireplace when it’s freezing outside and grab your pillows and sleep in there, all of you, because your rooms feel like they’re 20 degrees below zero. I’ll take a heater.

Go ahead and scrub your clothes then put them through the ringer one by one and hang them on a clothes line. I’ll put mine in the washer and dryer.

Go ahead and milk that cow early every morning. I’ll go to Piggly Wiggly. Just go right ahead. The good old days are yours for the taking. Cut your electricity off and have at it. As for me, I’ll keep the days we’re living in.”

The moment Pillsbury put out the first canned biscuits, my grandmother never rolled out another batch of homemade dough. She cracked open a can of biscuits on the counter in the gladdest defiance of the good old days.

I guess in some ways that’s how I feel about church and the general climate of Christianity in my upbringing. I loved church passionately. It was a lifeguard throwing out a buoy to me, flailing in waters way over my head. It meant more to me than I have breath and words to articulate. I walked through those doors three times a week minimum. But I do not wish for the good old days of church. I’ll take today. In my upbringing, practically everybody went to church whether or not they believed in God. It was America. And, in my part of the country, it’s what Americans did because American, by and large, meant Christian. But we didn’t speak much about¬†Jesus outside those walls. Salvation was something you received around eight or nine years old instead of every day for the rest of your life from the moment you called Jesus Lord. My family growing up wouldn’t have known to get down on the floor together on all our knees and cry out with one unified heart for God to come and rescue us from our destruction, our bitterness, our despair, our unforgiveness, our addictions and our hypocrisies. We’d never been taught or shown such a thing. Issues like rampant prejudice and sexual abuse never came up. Church didn’t sort through the trash. Collectively, church was mostly about being proper. Respectable. And, where I came from, American. I don’t have anything against being proper, respectable, or American. I want to be all those things. But it’s a new America and one the cross of Christ foresaw. The tide of Christ’s blood reached these banks way back then. He hasn’t moved off shore. This is the new America we who live here are called to inhabit on purpose and serve well.

I was raised in a thick Christian atmosphere. I have not been out of church for a single month in my entire life. In all those years I never heard anyone pray like I hear people pray today. That doesn’t mean plenty of people weren’t praying the roof down somewhere. I just didn’t happen to be where they were. I heard sweet prayers and meaningful prayers and reverent prayers and, all of them, genuine prayers. And they were heard by God, bless His Name. I cannot fathom where I’d be without them. They mattered greatly. But I never heard anybody pray under such an unction of the Holy Spirit that I had to open my eyes to see if they were lit up like a torch. I didn’t hear prayers like that at church until the last few decades. I don’t mean screaming and yelling. That doesn’t move me. ¬†I’m just talking about an atmosphere filled by the power and conviction of the Holy Spirit where the Word of God is not just taught, it is walked and stalked and pounded out on the pavement of our workplaces and social environments and under the roofs of our very own homes. An atmosphere not of convenience but of desperation where the Word of God has the power to break addictions and mend factions. When I was growing up, the only people who studied their Bibles were clergy. Good Lord, we’ve come a long way.

My experiences may not be yours. Maybe for you, days of the past really were the good old days. But whether we’d have them back or not, they are gone. Yesterday’s gone. LONG gone. Jesus longs to work here and now and among us in this world.

A gift has come to us if we’ll receive it. Our old way of doing things won’t work anymore. We won’t get away with being lazy in our faith and in our spiritual disciplines, not if we’re going to join that great cloud of witnesses one day who did their jobs well in their generations and did not shrink back in the face of hostility. We won’t get away with sharing the good news in a bad mood. Nobody will buy it. We won’t get away with virtual church. We can’t be equipped that way. We can’t fulfill our callings autonomously and self-contained. ¬†We won’t get away with all our fracturing and infighting over secondary issues. We’ll¬†need each other too badly. The padding on the Body of Christ in America has been stripped away with the last threads of nominal Christianity. We’re lean these days. Just listen to the statistics. But make no mistake. Lean can be strong. Lean can run fast and hard with the gospel around the globe.

4¬†There is one body and one Spirit‚ÄĒjust as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call‚ÄĒ 5¬†one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6¬†one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.¬†

We won’t get away with all our carnality. It’s cheating us of the Spirit. And, boy, do we need the Spirit.

22 put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

We won’t get away with these things if we’re to walk worthy of our callings in a culture increasingly unwelcoming to Christians. Not if we’re going to love people who hate us. Bless people who curse us. Help people who hurt us.

And that is a gift.

Our lives will be over before we know it. And we will stand before Jesus and look at His glorious face and marvel over His worthiness of every ounce of our devotion. And we won’t be able to do this over. We’ll have only had this one chance to do this thing with all our hearts. Let’s not go back to church. Let’s go forward to it. Let’s not go back to the Bible. Let’s go forward to it. Let’s not go back to prayer. Let’s go forward to it. Let’s not go back to the way the Holy Spirit worked yesterday. The pipe is breaking. The Spirit pouring. He’s doing something wildly significant today. Let’s congregate, Church, under the nearest spout, so we can spread out¬†and splash on a dry and thirsty land.

for we are members one of another. (V.25)

And the devil’s not playing out there.

 

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207 Responses to “Going Forward”

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Comments:

  1. 151
    Katheryn Cooper says:

    This is spot on! I have decided to teach this to my ladies Sunday School class this Sunday and have now read it over and over, becoming more passionate and convicted with each reading. I have also printed out memory verse cards for Ephesians 4:1-2 for each of the ladies that will be there. Praying now continuously that I will be able to read this to my ladies with all the passion, love and humility that it deserves and that my ladies hearts will be as moved as I am to “go forward” to church and into the world they each live in.
    Thank you Beth again for putting the truth of God’s Word into action!

  2. 152
    Jenni says:

    Thank you for sharing, Beth! I have been so excited about heaven these last few weeks as God has peeled the blinders off my eyes to see the world as it really is, a place that hates Christians.

  3. 153
    Jackie says:

    Excellent word, Beth. You so eloquently expressed many of my own thoughts. I shared this with my Monday night ladies Bible study group. We’re studying your “Breath” this summer. We watched Session 3 Monday evening, and this blog post was the perfect companion. I just LOVE God’s timing.

  4. 154
    Vickie says:

    Beautiful, just beautiful and flippin scary too. Anyone notice the give away had 2,200 plus comments but this one had less than 160. Are we so numb now….are we functioning on auto pilot more often than not? Are we acting all saintly and worldly at the same time? I’ll take the time to comment for “free” but forget “serious”, it’s just too serious! We live in “serious” so we seek “free” and easy because we are overwhelmed with “serious”. Sorry for venting….probably won’t even make it past moderation….whatev. Just an fyi, I also commented for the free stuff too. A great friend won so I feel like I won too because I know her…lol. Sometimes, I just don’t get us….that’s all I’m venting about. May our LORD and SAVIOR rise up in each and every one of us in the here and now…may HIS will be stronger in us than our own stinkin will. May we choose HIM instead of us. Peace out LPM!

  5. 155
    Ann Thiede says:

    Thank you, Lord God, for Beth, for her intense devotion to you and Your Word, for the way You speak through her and touch our lives and encourage us to throw off any fetters and let You at us. I am so very, very grateful. Use each of as, as part of Your Glorious Body, to touch this world beyond ourselves. In the name of Your Christ.

  6. 156

    Yes, Yes, YES! This is what I’ve been feeling in my spirit! Come, Lord Jesus! Move in your church!

  7. 157
    Monica says:

    Thank you so much Beth. I have been wrestling with how to even digest everything going on in our world, let alone how to communicate it well to my sons and even what my calling is in my blogging/social media platform. I absolutely love all of your words here and it just resonated with me. I think I need to turn my frustration/discouragement into a new attitude of moving forward. Yes, and Amen! ūüôā
    ALoha to you-

  8. 158
    Sharon Crouch says:

    Oh, Beth, Amen and amen!! I know so many that do not go to church (they are able to go) but
    choose to watch preachers on TV. There is so much being taught that is not Scriptural. I always
    try to encourage ladies to find a church in which they are being taught the Word and in which they
    can worship God.

  9. 159
    Donna Prakas says:

    Beth, I know that you took a leap of faith and left your church of many years to help plant a new church with your son in law. Having been baptized as an Orthodox Christian,
    I attend a Greek Orthodox church, I recently visited an American Orthodox Church in Macon, Georgia where my parents live. My husband who is Greek, loved it. I wish that we had a church like this in my community. I found it beautiful and I loved hearing the liturgy in English. I was wondering which church you visited in Thessoloniki, could you blog a little about your experience there. It is my hope that one day I too can visit the area of Christ’s first church. Thank you for your encouraging words about church and community.

  10. 160
    Vicki says:

    YES, Beth!! I know you have heard this from The Lord. Oswald Chambers (who so seemed to know God and seek after Him) said, “Beware of harking back to what you once were when God wants you to be something you have never been.” Sometime last year, I was reading John 13-17. It was Jesus’ last night with his disciples. Think about what we would say if it was our last night with those we love–what we would so desperately want them to know and understand. I could not get away from this passage and felt The Holy Spirit bringing this passage alive to me. Then, finally in John 17, Jesus prays some very specific prayers for some very specific groups of people–first for His disciples in verses 6-19. Then look who he prays for in verses 20-26, “My prayer is not for them alone, I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message.” THAT IS US! And look what He prayed for us, “that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you… I in them and you in me so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” WOW, still gets to me rewriting it here! He prayed that we would be one! We have to put aside our many big and small differences to come to complete unity. I truly can’t fathom how this could possibly look or even happen, but that just lets me know it will have to be the work of The Holy Spirit. I think we are in this time now, the time you just so perfectly described. If anyone reading this feels led, please join me in praying that we, The Body of Christ, will become ONE so that the world will know HIM and He will be glorified on this earth as He is in heaven.

  11. 161
    Faith says:

    Ohh, Amen!! Thank you! I have been reading so many articles and blog posts, talking to other believers, etc., trying to wrap my mind around things and articulate my own thoughts on current events. I appreciate the encouragement in this post and I resonate with your message. Things are hard and scary but like you said, lean can be good, and God can work through all of this in a powerful way. He has been convicting me of so much and stirring up my heart in a new way, with a fresh urgency and fervency. There’s too much to wrap my mind around or put into words, but I do pray for God’s people in the U.S. and around the world to press closer to Him and be purified, refined, unified and strengthened through the challenges of current events rather than discouraged, unrighteously angry, sarcastic, or demoralized.

  12. 162
    Connie Feight says:

    Thank you,sister.

  13. 163
    Donna Oliphint says:

    Wow! I’m supposed to teach my Sunday School class Eph. 4:11-17 on August 9. Thanks for my lesson!
    I know I tremble a little when I watch movies such as Woman in Gold or others about the Holocaust, knowing how close Christians are to similar circumstances. Thanks for the encouragement to strap on my armor a little tighter and go forward!
    Blessings…

  14. 164
    Linda McMorris says:

    Amen and Amen. It is tempting to hide in our bedrooms with our bibles but that is not what the Lord Jesus called us to do. He said, “GO!”.

    Sharing this post!!

  15. 165
    Jill says:

    This is something I struggle with, ponder over , pray over, and puzzle over. I, like you Beth, have never NOT gone to church. I believe down to my very being, and have done bible study after bible study. And here is my question:

    Why am I so turned off by so many Christians??

    Is it the prosperity gospel?? I had a wealthy Christian woman actually say to me, ” God just knew I had to be rich, otherwise I would of had to have worked at the Dairy Queen!” As if, she was super blessed, had said the right prayers and had done everything right so Santa Claus… I mean God had given her a bunch of money. And any one else… well they just weren’t blessed/ special/ God’s BFF.

    Is the politicians? I won’t mention any names, but I wish most of them weren’t on our side.

    Is it when someone talks about how God gave them a good parking spot in the Neiman’s parking lot?? When the person next to them has a special needs child that they have prayed, and prayed and prayed over and God wants them to accept a burden beyond comprehension. God gave you a parking space????

    Is it the person that comes to the teacher’s lounge, the church, the bible study and says” ‘Hate the sin! Not the sinner! The wages of sin are death! Well I’ll tell you one thing ALLL of those Gays are going to hell!! ” While someone is sitting there silently with a gay child that they can never tell a soul, and they love so very much.

    Is it the single mom that goes to church and everyone whispers behind her back? Oh we all are PRO LIFE !! Just don’t make us have to really support or extend a kindness towards that woman.

    My prayer is that we can become something so incredibly loving, kind, so magnificent, so beyond words that people want what we have. Let us preach the Gospel everyday. Let us use words only if necessary.

  16. 166
    Elissa says:

    I’m so glad I read this tonight. Thanks for posting.

  17. 167
    Candis Oswalt says:

    Thank you Beth, I must say that my spirit/soul/self has been so troubled at the viciousness Christians are treating each other with. How can we possible hope to reach the lost and dieing for Jesus Christ if we are spending our time tearing each other up. Thank you for sharing your heart and I pray that we will all listen to what the Spirit of God is saying to us. 19 Behold, I do a new thing: now shall it come forth: shall you not know it? I will even make a way in the desert, and floods in the wilderness.
    Isaiah 43:19 (GenevaBible) I am also lifting you up in prayer as you continue in this ministry God has called you into.

  18. 168
    Fred says:

    Your message may have been the most on point of any I have read or heard on “today”. The time you grew up in sounds very familiar, and distant. I ask you for three prayers:
    1. My wife has a pet scan tomorrow morning. Pray that I am able to be the husband she needs through a difficult time.
    2. I will see a Dr. Friday over my coughing up blood for the past month. Pray for God’s hand of peace on Lyn and I.
    3. Pray I will always have the courage to speak God’s truth boldly and effectively as a witness for Christ.
    Thanks for listening,

    • 168.1
      Remetter C. Freeman says:

      Dear Beth, I just had to respond to your comments on the Church of yesterday. I guess it depends on what Church you attended. You see I attended such a church, that you speak of. I attended Sunday School beginning at the age of four, and was baptized at the age of eleven. He emphasized that we were now a new creation in Christ, old things were past away, behold all things had become new. We were now not to go to places we used to go, do the things we used to, but show the world we were different. I attended Bible Study, Baptist Training Union, taught Sunday School,and Vacation Bible School. I continued to grow, witnessing to others about the saving knowledge of Christ. Our Pastor taught “strictly” from the Bible. and encouraged us to be different from the rest of the world , To this very day, I am criticized because of my strong belief in studying the word daily, and doing “his will”. I am happy at the age of “85”, I can still say thanks to a man who was perhaps before his time, but who truly made a difference in my life, and my walk with the Lord. His name, Dr. John D. Bussey. Oh, and may I also add, when we prayed at prayer meeting, we actually got down on our knees. I will always remember our old fashioned sessions. Thanks for allowing me to respond. God’s richest blessings be with you, and yours always.

  19. 169
    Pamela McDonald says:

    Oh my, Beth, this is spot on!! Thank you for your boldness in speaking what God has placed on your heart. Love “lean can be strong”. May we have the courage to spread the Gospel wherever we are.

  20. 170
    Fran McCurry Plott says:

    Beth, I really read this today for the first time. And I will save it and forward it and read it again when I feel discouraged, distant from God, or too long away from scripture. This is fuel for the fire that MUST burn in my Christian soul. Like you said, I must talk it, walk it, even stalk it!

    Thank you my Sister, Siesta, and friend!
    Fran

  21. 171
    Vicki says:

    Thank you, Beth for the reminder of just how relevant God’s Holy Word is in our lives today! I too, have been convicted by how we cling to the past and live with such a vanilla attitude in the world, time and place God has planted us. My prayer for this summer is that God would do a mighty work in my heart, to give me a passion for the lost and hurting in my world. Forgive me, Father for my comfortable and passive attitude to the mission You have given me in this time, in this place. Help me to live it out in honor and glory to You!

  22. 172
    Robin says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! I need to know how to continue to shine a light in this world while still loving and being in relationship with those who believe differently than I do. I will be mediating on these verses starting now.

  23. 173
    Shelley says:

    Wow Beth. Thank you for writing what my heart needed to see/hear.

  24. 174
    Melanie Beam says:

    Amen and amen!!!! The time is now……

  25. 175
    Vickie says:

    Would love to have a copy of the commissioning statement at the end of the convention in Greenville. Loved the way Beth went from Genesis to Revelation in such a short time. Would not mind a copy of that, too. Were are the DVDs too????

    • 175.1
      LPM-KMac says:

      Hi Vickie, We are so happy to know you enjoyed the Living Proof event in Greenville! The commission will come to you via email. Not every event is produced into teaching DVD’s, so we do not have copies of it. You are welcome to check back in about 8 weeks to know if this will be an event that LPM will release. Blessings!

  26. 176
    Lori_Tampa says:

    Thank you for publishing this. I was not raised Christian. I was raised, “able to choose” for myself. Well that was bull hookey… I posted this on my Women’s group and on my FB page. Let’s not be afraid or angry, let’s be active Christians and follow Jesus’s example. Thank you Beth..

  27. 177
    Nique Eagen says:

    “These are warm-hearted fellow human beings welcome and wanted in my home. I need Jesus to teach me how to love them well in the midst of believing differently.”

    Dear Beth,

    This means so much to me and it’s what I needed to hear from you. I, too, have some different beliefs than you do, but the fact that you give me grace, instead of condemnation and choose to continue to love those who think differently is very important to me. I love your teachings and this just helps me to continue on with them, knowing that you have such an amazing heart.

    Thank you.

  28. 178
    Christiana says:

    Thank you Beth for this word!!! It was timely and very personal. I divorced my husband of 18 years and found myself in church every sunday for the two years we were seperated. The Lord specifically put him back in my life and we are now remarried and happy…however, Steven is not a believer and he makes it nearly impossible to get back to church. I miss the fellowship and I pray daily that he will join me. Any advise? This is a really difficult season of my life!!!

  29. 179
    Julie Reynolds says:

    I keep coming back to this over and over again. Such a good word for the Body of Christ. Thank you for sharing your heart with such wisdom.

  30. 180
    Carla Bachand says:

    Beth,

    Such an appropriate and spot on dialogue about what’s happening in this world. I too have been working on memory verses from Ephesians 3 and 4. Thank you, Lord, for your precious word and this woman whom you have equipped to teach it and share it!!

  31. 181
    Trudy says:

    We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.
    Romans 3:22 NLT

  32. 182
    gerry warkentine says:

    This summer I have had a broken hip! Lot of sleepless nights. Recovering from surgery now; this hit me like a thunderbolt!!

    “What we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory He will reveal to us later.”
    Romans8:18

  33. 183
    Dianna Cordsen says:

    You have said so eloquently what has been on my heart for many months! Amen.

  34. 184
    Jodi Schiebout, Jackson, TN says:

    Well said, Miss Beth. I appreciate you – thank you for carrying a torch of evangelism and spurring so many of us on with challenging and encouraging Scripture.

  35. 185
    alisha says:

    Thank you

  36. 186
    Andrea Henley says:

    Nailed it. And you’re right in line w a pastor I listen to from a distance now but have so much respect for. Makes me think of your New Years posts…yup. Winds are changing, Spirit is moving.

  37. 187
    Gina says:

    Thank you!!! Your insightful words are soo encouraging. My family and I recently moved to another country where I know my faith will be as conspicuous as my accent. This is exactly what I needed to hear. Xoxo

  38. 188
    Judy Heindl says:

    Thanks Beth, for the words God has given you to share, they are very encouraging.

  39. 189
    Linda Spahr says:

    Linda Spahr in Lusby, MD
    You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in your word.
    Psalm 119:114 NIV

  40. 190
    Cheryl Lynn Sword says:

    Flint, Texas

    Teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

    Psalm 90:12
    NIV

  41. 191
    Tanya Atwood says:

    Tyler, Texas

    Teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

    Psalm 90:12
    NIV

  42. 192
    Kim says:

    Thank you!!!!! amen sister.

  43. 193
    Denise says:

    Psalm 27:1-3 English Standard Version (ESV)
    The Lord is my light and my salvation;
    whom shall I fear?
    The Lord is the stronghold[a] of my life;
    of whom shall I be afraid?

    When evildoers assail me
    to eat up my flesh,
    my adversaries and foes,
    it is they who stumble and fall.
    Though an army encamp against me,
    my heart shall not fear;
    though war arise against me,
    yet, I will be confident.

  44. 194
    Fran Hunsucker says:

    Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.
    James 4:10

  45. 195
    Fran Hunsucker says:

    But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.
    2 Corinthians 12:9

  46. 196
    Dee says:

    Dee, Prescott AZ
    Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16, ESV

  47. 197
    deb oakes says:

    Deb Oakes Alliance, nebraska NKJV

    Hebrews 10:23 ” let us hold on to the confession of our hope without wavering for he who promised is faithful.”

  48. 198
    nat.k.hawaii says:

    isaiah 30:21 NIV
    whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you saying, “this is the way; walk in it.”

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