I’ve been collecting favorite Bible verses ever since I was a teen. I’ve written them in notebooks and on note cards, I’ve made my kids copy them and memorize them with me, and I now have files and files of them in my computer.
When I need them, Holy Spirit is faithful to pop them in my head, I search them out and cling to them and try to keep them before me (that’s why I have so many on my walls). It’s the only way I am able to run the race.. “keeping my eyes fixed on Jesus, who initiates and perfects our faith.”
Hebrews 12:1 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. 2 We do this by fixing our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects of our faith. Because of the joy set before Him, He endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now He is seated in the place of honor at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again. Think of all the hostility he endured form sinful people; so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
I’ve always wanted to compile a list personal confessions (You know, like the ones that say, “I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.”), so in October I started working compiling a collection and finding a way to keep it before me.
I cut an old cork board into the shape of a cross and tried pining them to it and confessing them, but it looked tacky and I couldn’t get comfortable confessing them. It felt too much like striving to me (see my previous post). He does everything by His Spirit (Zechariah 4:6). My only job is to rest, trust, and believe.
Jesus told them, “This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.” John 6:29
The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it. I Thessalonians 5:24
One day, I had the idea that I could rewrite my favorite verses as confessions/praises of who God is and what He has done in and for me; making it more like a prayer of thanksgiving than a demanding of myself. So I took “I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.” and turned it into “You strengthen and enable me to do all things.”
It’s taken me weeks and weeks and Holy Spirit keeps popping more in my head, but I think I might be close to finishing. I wrote them all using periods for punctuation, but when I confess them it’s more like:
Jesus!!!! You are soooooo AWESOME!! YOU give me STRENGTH!!! HALLELUJAH!!!!! THANK YOU JESUS!!!! THANK YOU for enabling me to do ALL THINGS!!!!!! All this while I am jumping up and down.
Do you know how many favorite verses you have? I was thinking 30 or 40, but so far I have 281 written into praises. I didn’t include the ones like “Wives submit yourselves to your husband.” Although, I could have; it could say, “You enable me to submit myself to my husband,” because He does. I know it’s not my strength, because I often have to dig deep to draw it up from Him.
I have two favorite sources for Bible study:
I’ve been using Bible Gateway for a long time. I love plugging in my 5 favorite versions (NIV, NASB, MSG, AMP, NLT) in and reading them side by side. You can read whole chapters at a time this way on Bible Gateway.
I just recently found the Online Parallel Bible. I like it because it has cross references and commentaries on the same page as the verse; helping me to really study out my favorite verses.
I hope I am not making similar mistakes to when I was collecting my favorite Psalms and leaving out the parts about wanting God to defeat my enemies.. I am sure it won’t be long before Holy Spirit straightens me out where I need it.