I remember shortly after I began attending my current church there was a sermon series that focused entirely on choosing a life verse. I found it strange that the leadership would focus on something like that for a month and a half straight. To me, having a life verse was not that important. Kind of like spaghetti cheese—it’s nice to have, but how many people really use it?
I went along with it anyway, though, and was led to select Joshua 1:9, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened; do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (ESV). I memorized it and put in in the back of my mind, thinking that I wouldn’t really need it.
Fast forward a little over a year. I have found that verse to be a living word of God He has spoken to me when I have been broken and worn down. That’s the importance of a life verse: It’s not just a passage you like the sound of or that speaks of blessings or benefits, but it’s a verse that will speak a breath of a greater power into your life when you most need it. I no longer think of it as something arbitrarily chosen or unnecessary. I believe it is a verse that has been written for me to find God’s peace, wherever I am now.
My church does something really cool for our baby dedications. Each child’s parents choose a verse for the little one. Part of the process of dedicating the child and their parenting to serving the Lord is they pray the verse over the child and commit to rear them in that verse.
One of my nephews shares my life verse, and he is becoming bold and fearless. I can already see the basis of a courageous character being made in him as he is being raised under the words of Joshua 1:9. There will come a time where he will find his own verse that God has for him, yes, but for now he is beginning to embody God-given courage.
I lacked that courage growing up. I was cautious, timid, and at times fearful. The boldness I find in my life verse fills me with the courage I lack—the courage to be honest in conversation, open and available to others, or to simply get out of bed some mornings. My life verse fills me with courage and faith, even in a situation as simple as being in a new group of people.
The beauty of God’s word is that it shows us His character and how He fills our shortcomings.
Do you have a life verse? What is it? What reasons did you have for choosing that specific verse?
Photo credit: UnlockingTheBible