There are many, many cherished verses stored up in our hearts. Some we learned in Sunday School many years ago, while others we have come to love and accept through personal trials, bible studies and other opportunities to feast on the scriptures.
A Cautionary Note:
As we read through passages in the bible make sure care is taken to first understand the context of the verses we are reading. Understand to whom they were written first, the historical background, possibly the original reasons the author wrote them in the first place. It can become easy to merely pick and choose certain scripture verses which seem to fit nicely into our lives while ignoring the rest. Do not pick and choose! Yes, we store up specific verses from memory and these are good, but make sure in memorizing verses that you understand the context and meaning as well.
Here are only seven passages of scripture which are meaningful to me that I would like to share with you. There are many, many more passages in the scriptures that I could list here, but these are just a few:
7 Scriptures To Live By:
1. “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” -Proverbs 3:5,6
We place our all in the hands of God when we say ‘yes’ to Christ. As followers of Jesus we must find our footing in this world that is not always safe and “fun”. We endure hardships at times. There will be struggles along the way. We will encounter opposition from time to time. Trials and even persecution may take place to those who follow Christ. Can we place all of our trust in Him? Do we trust Him enough to allow His leading to guide us? Do we really believe that He will make our paths straight? There is nothing here that promises things will get easier. There isn’t anything listed here that states we will find “prosperity” or receive smooth sailing through life. But this Psalm does say that if we acknowledge Him; if we place our trust in Him, if we walk in His ways that He will direct us. Can we live by this, as difficult as life may be sometimes?
2. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27
Jesus was speaking to His disciples in this passage. This is before His arrest and crucifixion. How could Jesus talk of peace in the midst of pending violence and death? How can we find peace in the midst of turbulence our lives today? Truth: God’s peace comes to us despite the world and its craziness around us. His peace can fill our hearts and lives despite the storms that “would our way oppose“. Jesus speaks of an inner peace. A peace that helps us walk by faith. A peace that transcends worldly problems big and small. His peace is eternal when the temporal trials and problems fade away. This is a peace and a passage to live by today!
3. “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trials you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you, but rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.” 1 Peter 4:12,13
Peter writes of trials to a persecuted early church. Suffering, torture and even death were very real to the early church. Today there are still places in this world where Christians are martyred for their love and faith in Christ. We may not face this extreme for our faith…but others do. With that being said, can we stand firmly on the truth of Christ and His resurrected power of salvation despite the suffering we may receive? Is Christ our Lord and Savior only in the good times when things are going our way? I hope not! May we be bold in our faith to stand firm. May His love be reflected in all that we do. May we be dispensers of God’s grace to the world around us even to our enemies and those who would laugh and scorn us. Stand firm and live for Him!
4. “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7
Paul writes to Timothy to remind him of his calling and to persevere. He is young but is following in Paul’s footsteps as a leader in the early church. Leadership, no matter where it is, requires resolve, wisdom and strength. Paul reminds Timothy and also you and me to be bold in our faith, but also that we have been given power of the Holy Spirit to overcome and live holy lives. We can do what God has called us to do. It is not impossible. No task that God gives us is impossible with His Holy Spirit leading us! We are powerless without Him, but with Him we can live this life and we can share this life and hope with others.
5. “Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.” Psalm 55:22
Once again I share with you a passage that is dear to my heart. It seems a lot of these verses that I have selected revolved around trials, suffering, and faith…true! We all endure. We all encounter trouble of every kind. It may come to us in various forms. It will vary from person to person, but ultimately where does our hope reside? The answer: In Christ alone! Psalm 55:22 reminds me of how important my prayer life ought to be with my God. He wants to fellowship with me. A mighty, amazing, all-powerful Creator of the Universe wants to fellowship with little you and me. WOW! A part of that fellowship is sharing with Him our troubles and our concerns. Do we go to Him with our cares…all of them? Is this only a bed time or early morning time conversation? NO! It should be a continual conversation with our Lord. Casting our cares on the Lord isn’t just some wish list of demands. It isn’t just a laundry list of gripes and complaints either. Our cares should include whatever concerns us – big and small as well as the cares of others – our children, families, friends, neighbors and even our enemies. That last segment of this verse says, “He will never let the righteous fall.” I take that to mean He will protect us from spiritual battles. He will uphold us in our sorrows and times of despair. He will ultimately deliver us from this life one day and we will finally know that Divine fellowship fully. What a promise! What a joy to know that we serve a God who is personal and loving and protective of His children!
6. “You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.” Psalm 139:1-6
This passage is near and dear to my heart because of the understand that even before I existed God knew me. I don’t wish to delve into anything theological like “Predestination” or anything…but this is comforting to me and it should be to you as well! God knows us so intricately, so personally. How amazing is that? How awesome is He? So much could be said about His knowledge of us. So much could be written on this topic of prayer and of worship. This Psalm is one of my favorites for the reason that God is a personal God. He isn’t some deity that wound the world up, put it on some cosmic shelf and walked away…No! He lives within us. He communes with us. He loves us so very deeply and longs for us to, in some way, reciprocate this love relationship with Him! What a comfort it is to know we serve a God who knows us so well!
7. “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6 (and verses 1 – 8)
Jesus is the only way to the Father. Some might say this preaches intolerance of other religions. Some might say that this verse is wrong and that there are other ways to “heaven”…but I don’t. I firmly believe Jesus has provided humanity with an eternal hope. But more importantly this isn’t about getting a ticket to heaven. This isn’t about making sure we don’t go to hell. This is about restoring a right relationship with God. Mankind needs salvation. Mankind cannot save itself. We have a hope of restoration, reconciliation and salvation through Christ alone! This is a verse to live by because Christ offers unmerited grace. Christ offers restoration and deliverance from sin. Christ has bought our salvation with His blood. We can live by this verse because we can receive this freely and live joyfully in a restored relationship to the Creator.
What are some of YOUR favorite passages?
What are passages you love to read?
Something more to ponder today! To God be the glory!