I was with a small group of guys that are intentional about the lives they lead. It came up that only two of us had a life verse. I loved Mark’s. Picture a young skin-head, white supremacist who was a, drug pusher, addict, ex-con who met Christ in a way that transformed his life in a radical way. In short, you can now picture Mark as a what could be overly simplified as faithful husband, dedicated father, servant to others, and a (grateful) Christ follower. When he shared his life verse with me, I immediately felt empowered and inspired. “I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has given me strength, that he considered me trustworthy, appointing me to his service. Even though I was once a blasphemer and persecutor and violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief. The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus…. Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners-of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever, Amen.”
1 Timothy 1:12-17
How awesome is that!
My life verse was defined for me in 1987 when I found myself with some buddies standing at the Berlin Wall—before it fell when communism was still permeating the lives of millions. I wanted felt compelled to write something meaningful that represented everything that the United States and Jesus Christ stand for. What I wrote did, it has been that verse that has guided me for the last 25 years and, Lord willing, will for the next 50. “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.”
1 Peter 4:10
This verse informed me that I had a gift. Even when I doubted or didn’t feel like I had one, God said to me, “Yes, you do. Now, figure out what it is and use it to serve others.” And, I’ve have been trying to do that faithfully ever since.
I love another buddy’s life verse that has also become their family verse. It has encouraged all of them to live with a heart that God can do even more than they imagine when they feel like they are living richly in God’s presence and also give them the confidence to persevere and expect more in those dark times when it is hard to dream big in your faith.
“God is able to do far more than we could ever ask or imagine. He does everything by his power that is working in us.” Ephesians 3:20
In that long list of things I failed to do as a parent is giving my kids a life verse. But, I survived and you will to. The good news is you can Google, “life bible verse” and probably not get any really good options. It leaves you with the alternative of reading through the scriptures yourself.
This might be just what you need to make reading your bible more relevant and interesting to you if you’ve struggled in this area.
Please send me your life verse or one you are trying on out and tell me why you chose it.