Discovering my life verse in the Bible

As I retired to bed, I just felt like wanting to read the Bible. So, I took my physical Bible. And not knowing what to read, I asked a simple question, ‘God, what should I read?’ Immediately I heard an answer. A book which begins with an ‘E’. So, I thought, Ephesians? Then it doesn’t feel like that’s the one. Ecclesiastes? Could be!

I quickly thumbed through the introduction of that book. Eugene Peterson brilliantly wrote the intro. And I knew this is what God wants me to read.

As I hungrily complete the last chapter—I came to the final word of that book, which is:

Fear God. Obey His commands.

Or, in the Message version:
Fear God. Do what he tells you.

I like the AMP version, though. Ecclesiastes 12:13

It gives clarity to the phrase ‘fear God’. It removes the unhealthy connotation which may be attached to the word, ‘fear’.

Worship Him. Show profound adoring awed respect. Wow.
Knowing that He is Almighty God. Therefore WORTHY to be worshiped in this manner. Wow.


Next, keep His Commandments.
Gulp.

Now, I know of the Ten Commandments in the Old Testament of the Bible. But I also know of the Great Commandment, which to me, is the mother or rather father of all commandments. This is it.

To quote Matthew 22:35-40 AMP from the Bible:

One of them, a lawyer [an expert in Mosaic Law], asked Jesus a question, to test Him: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
And Jesus replied to him, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.
The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself [that is, unselfishly (adjective) seek (verb) the best or higher good for others].’
The whole Law and the [writings of the] Prophets depend on these two commandments.”

To fear God (out of reverence for who He is), to obey His commands to love Him with all my heart, soul, and mind, and to love others as myself…

BAM! I think I’ve found my life verse.


Further references on the Great Commandment from Wikipedia

The most important lesson I learnt from Elijah House ‘Keys to Transformation Seminar’.

God speaks through the Bible
I’ve attended a two-day ‘Keys to Transformation Seminar’ at Elijah House. And this question posted to the attendees at the start of the seminar got my immediate attention—

Do you take God’s words lightly?

My instant response was, of course not!

But just take a look at this verse from the Bible:

Do not judge, or you too will be judged. Matthew 7:1 NIV

Or, another translation in AMP

Do not judge and criticize and condemn [others unfairly with an attitude of self-righteous superiority as though assuming the office of a judge], so that you will not be judged [unfairly]

And I have the truth staring at me. I do take God’s words lightly!—because I do judge others.

(For a clearer context of this verse, consider to read this article by Wayne Stiles ‘Judge not, lest ye be judged—what Jesus meant’, then come back to continue reading this post)


That caused me to be worried, and I’d better be…

What other words from God have I taken lightly?

Those words which I’ve read and understood in my mind, but I didn’t ask God to help me live it out.

I worry not because of a fear of being punished, or of blindly sticking to religious laws. I worry because it shows a lack of my honour for God.

I worry because God’s words are truth, and I’m defying His words!

A shift happened—now when I read the Bible, I have a renewed interest in what God is saying to me through His words. The Bible became personal. And rich.

‘Do you take God’s words lightly?’ became my wake up call in my journey of knowing God.

 

 

 

The Beatitudes NIV & Message versions

Loving the message from the Message version of the bible

The Beatitudes

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. – NIV

“You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule. – MSG

Blessed are those who mourn,
    for they will be comforted.- NIV

“You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.– MSG

Blessed are the meek,
    for they will inherit the earth.- NIV

“You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.– MSG

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
    for they will be filled.- NIV

“You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.– MSG

Blessed are the merciful,
    for they will be shown mercy.– NIV

“You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourselves cared for.– MSG

Blessed are the pure in heart,
    for they will see God.– NIV

“You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.– MSG

Blessed are the peacemakers,
    for they will be called children of God.– NIV

“You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family.– MSG

Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.– NIV

“You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom.– MSG

“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.– NIV

“Not only that—count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don’t like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble.– MSG

No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. (1 4:12 NIV)