The sum total of these verses = ME

Our daughter graduated from college this week, our second college graduation this year. As it so happens, this blog post was precipitated by her. She texted me last month asking a casual question, “What’s your favorite verse mama?” Poor thing. Little did she know that minutes later a text with the following verses landed on her phone.

They tumbled out of me. They were on the tip of my tongue. They are in my cells.

I stared at them. They are who I am.

So this week I share them with you along with brief explanations. I would love to hear what your favorites are!

These are my life verses:

28 He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ. 29 To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me. Colossians 1:28, 29

It is my hope that I spend my life living with this purpose. I am intensely interested in making sure people are firmly rooted in their faith. That means I don’t spend much time worrying about outside behavior but matters of the heart. I like talking about what is underground and behind the scenes as I have posted about before. Please note that in the second verse, the power I rely on is not my own (since I have none). It is my hope that at the end of my life people say I worked strenuously to help others mature in Christ.

These have been on the front page of prayer journal for years:

Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life. Psalm 143:8

  • I find deep comfort in God’s perfection. Others make mistakes with me every day, but not God. His love toward me is always perfect. I trust Him only.

23 Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. Luke 9:23

  • I must remind myself daily that life isn’t about me but rather about God. I don’t plan my day, He does. I don’t do what I want, but what He wants. I have a cross to bear like everyone alive, so I can’t feel sorry for myself. I must lean into the life that is mine and live well through it.

These verses reflect what I hope people see:

14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. Matthew 5:14-15

  • I don’t want to hide my faith. I want to live transparently as a follower of Christ.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1, 2

  • I want to pay attention to my lifestyle and live as simply so I can run with the least amount of encumbrances possible. The more stuff I have the more time it takes to take care of it. The more stuff I want, the more time it takes to shop for it. Not the kind of life I am pursuing, so I aim to live simply so God and people get most of my focus.

13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Phil 3:13-14

  • I make mistakes every day, but I want to be found always pressing onward with each new day God gives me.

27 Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Philippians 1:27

  • No matter what! I always, always, always want to honor God in everything I do no matter how stressful, complicated or harrowing my circumstances.

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 2 Timothy 4:7

29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. Ephesians 4:29

  • This verse I can’t do, but I keep trying. This verse keeps my humble, keeps my striving, keeps me challenged. People tend to downplay words with “didn’t mean it,” “just venting,” “no big deal,” “lighten up,” but every word matters. Every word either takes a relationship forward or backward. Lord, please do this in me!

14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? Romans 10:14

  • This verse keeps me from being lazy in my witness for Christ. I can’t just be a good person and wear a cross necklace. I have to tell people about Jesus. People need to hear from a person that by placing their faith in Jesus Christ, they can have a personal relationship with God and be indwelt by the Holy Spirit. I want everyone in heaven with me.

19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-10

  • This verse keeps me from thinking it’s enough to lead Bible Studies. No, the goal is always to be making disciples, influencing others so that they too become world changers.

In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly. Psalm 5:3

  • I really am like this. I expect God to surprise me with His goodness, take care of me, provide for me, empower me and use me. I am expectant.

15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15

  • I am utterly concerned about the lack of biblical teaching in the body of Christ these days. Too many Christians don’t know their Bible and too many teachers with microphones and huge influence talk more about social issues than the word of God. Sadly, some popular teachers are being led astray and influencing others to do the same. May I love God’s Word and know God’s Word and teach God’s Word.

In this season of wrapping gifts, I can’t help but imagine these verses placed in a box, wrapped in beautiful paper and garnished with a bow. As a group they are beautiful. As a group, they are me.

My precious daughters, both of whom graduated this year (May and December), may you have your own verses that weave themselves into your reality. However, I also give you mine and pray they too become part of the tapestry of who you become.

Picture explanation: Since I teach at the same school, I participated in my daughter’s commencement. Not many mothers and daughters get to do that so we had fun with it.

© 2016 by Oaks Ministries. All rights reserved.

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Planting and Watering

I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes growth.

1 Corinthians 3:6

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