|COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (BP) -- With acrid smoke from devastating wildfires still looming over Colorado Springs, approximately 5,000 women there lifted their voices in praise and worship to God at a Living Proof Live conference featuring Bible teacher Beth Moore.
Fires have charred nearly 18,000 acres in the Waldo Canyon area of Colorado Springs, burning hundreds of homes and forcing the evacuation of 32,000 people. Yet author and Bible teacher Moore said, "There was no doubt that this is where we needed to be this very weekend."
Living Proof Live events are sponsored by LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.
"Pain, peril and threat put us in a posture to listen like nothing else," Moore told attendees, adding that LifeWay opened the doors to women at local evacuation shelters to attend the July 28-29 event for free.
In a subdued, somber beginning to the usually spirited opening, Moore asked women who had been evacuated from their homes or lost their homes entirely to stand and allow others to pray for them. Moore prayed for the 65 women and led the attendees in a reverent responsive reading.
Moore said she debated whether she should change her material because of the emotional weight the fires have brought to the Colorado Springs community but concluded her message was applicable.
"Sometimes we need a new start, but what we need more often is a good finish," Moore said, directing attendees to Acts 20:24 as her focal passage of Scripture. "You and I live in a culture of a million starts and a handful of finishes. We need the strength and presence of mind to finish well."
Across her three teaching sessions Friday night and Saturday morning, Moore shared truths about finishing, drawing repeatedly from Scripture to illustrate how God directs the believer to walk a path of intentionality for the purpose of bringing about completion.
"Biblically, every new start has a corresponding finish," Moore said. "You are on the course you are supposed to strategically walk for the purpose of finishing. Scripture tells us we are made perfect by reaching the intended goal God has established for us."
Moore cautioned attendees to not settle for a life of passivity and inaction with a mentality of "God's in control; it'll all be perfect in the end so I can rest now."
"The process of walking the strategic role God has for us is where we get more interested in the Healer rather than focusing on the healing," she said.
"The fire did not end anything," Moore said. "Yes, it wiped out homes and decimated so much beauty. But hear me clearly: Nothing ended this week . Something started.
"From these ashes, something beautiful will emerge," she said. "What started here in your beautiful, great state can be a beautiful testimony for the living God."
But "out of anything beautiful He would bring out from the ashes, it would be you," Moore said to the attendees. Continued...