One of my dear friends picked a life verse for each of her children and has prayed it for them their entire lives. I did that with my youngest child, but for none of my other children. I was driving to work last week pondering what my life verse would be if I had to pick one. I never have.
Since I was driving, the only verses I could consider were ones already in my heart. I arrived at work with two in my heart…one offense verse and one defense verse. I figure that is okay because no sports team wins without both offense and defense.
My Offense Verse
This is the only verse that hung out there on top…and it’s an odd one.
To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me (Colossians 1:29).
It’s an odd verse because it needs the verses before and after it to be entirely understood. However, just linking it to the preceding verse reveals enough about what I want to spend my life doing:
We proclaim him,
admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom,
so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ.
To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy,
which so powerfully works in me
(Colossians 1:28, 29).
It’s not fun verse. It’s a fight verse, a struggle verse, a work verse. Who wants that?
I can’t say I want it, but this verse makes sense in my soul for three reasons:
1) Struggle and hardship are woven into the fabric of everyone’s lives. No exceptions.
The human experience is difficult for every person because of the general curse under which all mankind lives (Genesis 3:13-19). For Christians who want to live boldly for Jesus Christ, life invites even more difficulties because Satan wants to thwart our efforts (John 10:9-10). He does not want us to share Jesus with anyone or help anyone with their walk with the Lord (Revelation 12:12, 17) . Therefore, I have signed up for a life of struggle. That is just the way it is.
2) Life is short…really short.
Pay attention to the next blink of your eye. (pause) That is your life’s length compared to eternity.
Man’s life is like a breath; His days are like a fleeting shadow (Psalm 144:4).
3) I want my life to count for things that last forever.
Only a few things last forever: people’s souls (John 3:16), God’s Word (I Peter 1:24, 25), heaven on earth (Revelation 21:1-4), and God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
From this short list, I can only have influence over one…people’s souls. Everything else will occur or exist regardless of me. So for me, it’s all about the people.
I am all in.
I want to struggle for a blink of an eye to invest in peoples’ lives,
relying on the power of the Holy Spirit (God’s energy) that
lives inside of me.
My Defense Verse
This verse has seen me through some difficult times. Because our world is broken, things happen to us that are out of our control and people hurt us. In those times, I grab this one verse and hold on tightly.
Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ (Philippians 1:27).
I can respond well to anything that happens to me (relying on His energy that so powerfully works in me). Other people are responsible for their behavior. I am responsible for my response.
It is my aim that whenever someone looks at how I am responding to the big, bad, difficult, broken parts of the world, that the banner of Jesus would be able to be hung above my head. I seek to honor Him and live in such a way that I am worthy of His name.
I suppose since I have not been praying these verses for my entire life, I cannot call them my life verses.
They are now officially my rest-of-life verses.
Jesus, may they be found true of me.
I don’t have many blog subscribers yet and have no idea how many nameless people are stalking my blog (smile) but thank you for checking in on what God has put on my heart each week. I know I am an intense person…kind, I hope…but intense. I know there are other blogs you could read while you sip your coffee. Know I pray for you. I pray for my blog readers, book readers, and Oaks Ministries Advisory Board members. Because of my offense verse, I understand I am powerless in my own strength. It is my job to release His power through prayer on your behalf in order to have anything about my life count for eternity in yours. The Lord hears your name if I know you…and He knows who you are if you and I have not met.
I would love to hear some comments to this blog post. Does anyone else want to share their life verse, or a favorite verse?
May we all work for His story…and respond in His way…on this spectacular Sabbath day.
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