What is a life verse? Do I need a life verse? Am I the only one without a life verse? This discusses the what, why, and how to discover God’s personal message for us through His word.
It seems like everything we do at our church asks us to list our “life verse”. Baptism – life verse; New Comers lunch – life verse; Starting Point sign up – life verse; Awana – life verse; Join the church – life verse. You get it.
But here is the thing….I don’t have a life verse. Yes, I read my bible quite a bit. And I have a fairly good working knowledge of God’s word and love all the history contained within its books. I know that it is a road map of mandates that will help me see my heavenly Father one day and spend eternity with Him. There have been many times in my life when I needed guidance and the verse was there to help me through. No life verse though. So I began a quest for one.
Step one: What the heck is a life verse?
After reading many sources, it seems that a life verse is just your “go to” when you need reassurance of God and his position in your life. It is a verse that speaks truth to you no matter what else or who else crowds your life. The truth that God loves you, Jesus died for you, and the Holy Spirit can guide you through the trials of earthly life.
When I am struggling with something, I like to see all the sides. Take it apart and really look at the basic reasons for its existence. I think that God want us to be more conscious of His word. He gave us these stories to guide us through this life so we can join Him in the next. Being so familiar with His work that I can quote it chapter and verse seems like a good use of my time and will ultimately help me in my quest to be the best reflection of His light possible.
Step two: Choose some verses to “try on”.
I was light hearted with this at first and took a quiz. It did give me a pretty good verse:
Trust the Lord with all; your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your path straight.
Proverbs 3:5-6, NIV
But as I accepted that the quiz did a really good job giving me a verse that totally fit the criteria of a life verse, I realized something. I forgot to pray about it first. So I talked with God:
This idea of a life verse keeps coming up. I have no idea what to say and it keeps coming up. Guide me to the verse that You know will be a cornerstone in my life. Help me discern Your meaning and show me how You want my light to shine for You.
Then I opened my Bible. I used my copy of The New Oxford Annotated Bible. I landed on The Wisdom of Solomon 18:1, “But for your holy ones there was very great light. Their enemies heard their voices but did not see their forms, and counted them happy for not having suffered.”
Problem is, Protestants don’t include this book in their Bibles. Catholics and Orthodox religions do. I’m not really clear on why, though that is now a question in my research log: A list of questions I don’t know the answer to, but would like to know more about.
Not one to give up too easily, I went and got another Bible. After a few flips through, I landed on one that spoke loudly:
You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your being, and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: You must love your neighbor as you love yourself.
Matthew 22:37-39, CEB
But I really wanted a third option. I was really focused on the idea of the trinity here. So I pulled out my bible app and found the verse of the day. I admit, I read through a few before I found one that called out.
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.
John 16:33, ESV
Step three: Pray and read the verses daily.
I am still on this step. I am asking God to speak His truth into my life. My problem seems to come down to this: I need all three of these verses in my life.
If I’m discouraged or unclear about God’s path for my life, Proverbs 3:5-6 seems like God’s answer. For those times when I am not being nice or am impatient with those around me, Matthew 22:37-39 helps me find my footing in God’s light again. And when life gets hard John 16:33 is full of encouragement.
I had hoped to have an ANSWER to the question, what is your life verse? by the time I was done with this post. I haven’t found it yet. However, it has dawned on me that the idea of a life verse doesn’t have to be permanent. It can be fluid and change as life changes and your faith grows. That thinking has made it easier for me to acknowledge that I haven’t found “THE VERSE” for my life yet, but the journey to find one (or three) has been enlightening and has caused me to be reflective of my life and God’s purpose in it, which I think is the point.
What is your life verse (or three)? Share in the comments.