DENVER (BP)–God’s redemption was the common thread as three Bible teachers from different generations shared their life stories with nearly 5,000 women at a Deeper Still conference in Denver.
Kay Arthur, Beth Moore and Priscilla Shirer were the main speakers at the two-day event in June sponsored by LifeWay Christian Resources.
Arthur, founder of Precept Ministries International in Chattanooga, Tenn., in a message from 2 Peter, noted that life can be hard. “The economy is unstable. Many of you are out of jobs. Our world is unsafe. Your hurt runs deep because your dreams are shattered,” she said.
Holding up a piece of clay pottery and dropping it to the stage, then meandering through the broken pieces, Arthur said, “I am here to talk about how you can walk among the pieces of your shattered dreams with confidence and strength.”
Arthur explained that Peter wrote his second epistle from prison before he died. His encouragement about growing in faith and his admonishment of false teachers can be applied to modern situations, she said, challenging women to study and memorize Scripture.
Shirer, founder of the Dallas-based Going Beyond Ministries, spoke from 2 Kings 13, noting that as the prophet Elisha was dying, he received a visit from Jehoash, the king of Israel, who was worried that his enemies would have victory over the land.
Elisha instructed Jehoash to take his bow and arrows and shoot them out the window, symbolizing the victory over his enemies, and Elisha placed his hand over Jehoash’s and they shot the bow together.
“Just like Jehoash took the arrows out of his quiver, so are we to take up what we have and obey the Lord’s instructions,” Shirer said. “What are you equipped with? Has God given you a special skill or talent?”
Shirer used a full quiver of arrows on stage to illustrate the point of using all talents and skills for God’s glory. “Use all you have for God,” she said. “Don’t leave any arrows in your quiver.”
Moore, founder of the Houston-based Living Proof Ministries, wrapped up the teaching time from the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5. She set the scene for the audience by explaining that thousands of extremely sick people were crowded around Jesus before He began to speak.
“This was mass pandemonium,” she said. “Jesus looked at those who were sick and said, ‘Blessed are you.'”
Moore said a person is pronounced blessed when God is present and involved in his or her life.
“The hand of God is at work directing all His affairs for a divine purpose,” she said. “In a sense, such a person lives ‘coram deo,’ [meaning] ‘before the face of God.'”
Moore cited three reasons the women at the conference were blessed.
“Blessed are we because God brings glad news,” she said, noting that Matthew 4:23-25 tells how Jesus traveled through Galilee teaching and preaching the good news of the Kingdom and healing every disease among the people.
“Blessed are we because we know we need Him,” Moore said. “I need Jesus Christ more than I need my next breath,” she said in personal testimony of how God healed her from childhood abuse and addiction.
“We can’t be healed until we come to terms with how sick we’ve been,” she said. “Healing is a beautiful thing. Christ regards our estate, and He will be faithful to you.”
Moore encouraged the women to persevere despite seemingly overwhelming problems and to look forward to the ultimate blessing.
“Blessed are we because this all turns out well,” she said, referring to Matthew 5:11-12. In those verses, Jesus tells His disciples, “Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and falsely say every kind of evil against you because of Me. Be glad and rejoice, because your reward is in heaven. For that is how they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
The conference ended with a commission for the women to live lives of humble service, looking to Jesus as the supreme leader in their lives.
The next Deeper Still event will be Dec. 3-4 in Birmingham, Ala. Visit LifeWay.com/DeeperStill for more information.
Kelly Shrout is the employee communications editor at LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.