HikerStanding webIn many circles, we are often asked, “What’s your favorite verse?” or “What is your life verse?” In the biblical candy store of over 31,000 verses, it is hard to choose a favorite. Like the writer of Psalm 119, I love all the verses; they are all inspired and good. Besides, different verses ping in my heart at different times and under different circumstances. In choosing favorite verses, there is the unlikely but possible danger of devaluing the other verses.

Without distinguishing any verses in particular — and with most of the Bible already in hand — the apostle Paul wrote, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (1 Timothy 3:16, 17). Every letter of every word of every sentence of every paragraph of every chapter of every book is God’s Word and is useful!

Nonetheless, there are times when certain parts of the Bible seem most meaningful and relevant to you. I would like to share some personal examples. When I did not have a full-time job, and only a smattering of part-time work, I relied upon Philippians 4:19: “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” This promise was spoken in the context of the sacrificial giving of the church. We did not ramp down our giving to church and missionaries and such, and the Lord provided tens-of-thousands of dollars for our medical and other needs.

Related to that promise was another one: “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us” (Ephesians 3:20). Different epistle, same apostle, same comfort. I thought for sure I would get a particular job that my heart was set on. It did not materialize, but something far better was orchestrated outside of the usual channels for me.

Another recurring favorite is part of a longer passage that sets the context, but the single verse suffices: “For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice” (Romans 7:19). It brings me comfort that the great apostle Paul, arguably the most mature Christian ever, struggled with sin. He didn’t wish to sin (a good sign), but he still sinned and recognized sin as evil (another good sign). Paul’s struggle over sin is evidence of salvation as well as comfort in knowing that while we are in the flesh, sinning will happen; though regrettable and forgivable, it’s not unusual.

One of the first verses I memorized under a pastor who encouraged memorization was Malachi 3:16: “Then those who feared the Lord spoke to one another, and the Lord listened and heard them; so a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the Lord and who meditate on His name.” I have worked in churches and other Christian organizations where it is natural to speak about the Lord (and not get docked for “wasting company time”!). Even outside of that, it is always a thrill to encounter another believer and share testimonies about the Lord’s goodness. I’ve always wanted to write a book, but it is far cooler to know my name is included in a book God has written!

Finally, in my waning years, as “evil men wax worse and worse” (2 Timothy 3:13), and the body doesn’t like to listen to me anymore (2 Corinthians 4:16), this has become a major biblical analgesic for me: “And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful” (Revelation 21:5).

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