A number of years ago while teaching at a Christian high school, I was introduced to the concept of ‘life verses’. Basically, life verses are verses of Scripture that speak so powerfully to a person that the person’s life is impacted. The verses may supply encouragement, provoke a change of heart, bring correction, or provide instruction. I was already aware of Scripture verses that had impacted me in these ways, and I had written several of those verses in my journal. I had not, however, identified these verses as my ‘life verses.’
Since my introduction to the idea of life verses, I have made a habit of keeping my life verses close at hand. I write them on index cards and carry them in my purse, so they are handy when I need them. I read and ponder them frequently. One such verse is Jeremiah 29:11, “‘For I know the plans I have for you’, declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'” This verse sustained me during a difficult time several years ago as Steve and I considered a major change in our life. We were certain that God was leading us to make this change, yet nothing was working out. When I would become discouraged, I would recite this verse many times throughout each day. Eventually God set things in motion for us with results that were far better than if our earlier attempts had succeeded. God was teaching us to be patient and wait for His plan to be fulfilled.
Five years ago, God revealed to me that I should write a Christian novel. This idea seemed very foreign to me, given my background is in math and finance. Yet, God assured me that He would help me to accomplish the task if I would rely on Him. Two verses gave me the courage to step out in faith and undertake this task. I wrote them on index cards which I kept by my computer as I wrote. One was John 15:16, “You did not choose me; I chose you and gave you this work and I gave you this work to produce fruit.” This verse not only reminded me that writing a novel was God’s idea, but it also promised me that people would come to know God through reading the novel. The second verse was “If you see that the job is too big for you, that it’s something only God can do, and you trust Him to do it–you could never to it for yourself no matter how hard and long you worked–well, that trusting-him-to-do-it is what gets you set right with God, by God. Sheer gift.” (Romans 4:5, The Message) This verse encouraged me to continue to rely on God for the words to write. I was well aware that I was not up to the task on my own, and I needed to be reminded to trust God to do it in me and through me.
For the past few weeks, I have been pondering a word to choose as my ‘One Word’ for 2013. The One Word campaign encourages people to choose a word to focus on for the year, rather than making resolutions which are quickly broken. Last year my Word was ‘intentional’ and in 2011 I selected ‘delight’ as my word. This year I have not selected a word, but rather a new life verse. The verse that God keeps bringing to my mind is “Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labors on what does not satisfy?” (Isaiah 55:2)
This single verse encompasses important principles of money management and time management. We should spend our money on things that sustain and improve our life, and we should be our time in tasks that bring joy and satisfaction. I believe that if this verse is foremost in my thoughts this year, I will be less likely to waste my money or my time. I will not clutter my life with possessions I will discard in a few weeks or months and I won’t fritter away my time in meaningless activity. So rather than making resolutions or even choosing a word to focus on this year, I have chosen a verse that I believe will impact me and the way I live my life in 2013 in very positive ways.
What Scripture verses have most impacted your life? Do you have a verse you will focus on during this year?