Life Verse

This originated from a co-pastor at my church, and, with her permission, I have re-posted it. I considered it a great encouragement and discussion starter, and will post my “life verse” as a comment to this post as soon as I am able. To hear from multiple people on this topic, even someone who may not agree with the idea of a life verse, would be enlightening for all who read.

Have you ever picked out a life verse? A life verse is one or more Scripture verses that a person has made part of his or her day-to-day life. It is a verse that one reads, and keeps going back to again, because it has become like a personal standard, goal, or philosophy.

When I was getting ready for my ordination interview, I was told that the board might ask me, “What is your life verse?” That would have been an easy question to answer, if they only would have asked me!

I chose my life verses when I was 14 years old, Hebrews 12:1a – 2. 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. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

I adopted these verses when I started running track and cross-country as a freshman in high school. That first year, when our coach read them to the team, I knew that I wanted to make these verses a part of my life. My goal in cross-country and track was to throw off anything that would hinder me from being the fastest runner that I could be. I always found the lightest pair of running shoes and the school supplied us with the lightest running apparel. (I would post a picture, but I would hear you laughing all the way to my house!)

I have always needed a goal to run towards, so as I ran, I kept my eyes focused on the girl directly ahead of me, and I would catch her. My strategy included chatting with my opponents a bit, until they got tired, and then I would run ahead to catch the next one. Once I had passed all the girls, I put my eye on the finish line. Races were always at least one mile, so I had plenty of time to chat along the way. My coach always tried to discourage me from talking while I was running, but it was my strategy . . . and it worked! I went to the state track and cross-country meets four years in a row.

My goal in life today is much the same. I am not trying to “win” the race to heaven or talk you to death along the way, but take people along with me. I want to touch as many lives as possible in this race called life. I fix my eyes on Jesus, and keep running the race set before me.

2 thoughts on “Life Verse”

  1. Perhaps an unintentional example of what happens to a person who cannot rid themselves of hinderances is also here. Her running stragety was to distract other runners by talking to them. They lost, and she won. I am glad she now uses her communication skills to exhort people!

  2. A mom and dad were worried about their son not wanting to learn math at the school he was in, so they decided to send him to a Catholic school. After the first day of school, their son came racing into the house, went straight into his room, and slammed the door shut. Mom and dad were a little worried about this, so they went to his room to see if he is okay. They found him sitting at his desk doing his homework. The boy kept doing that for the rest of the year. When he brought home his report card, his mom and dad saw an A+ under math. Mom and dad were so happy and asked their son, “What changed your mind about learning math?”

    The son looked at his mom and dad and said, “Well, on the first day, when I walked into the classroom, I saw a guy nailed to the plus sign at the back of the room behind the teacher’s desk, and I knew they meant business.”

    Teachers have to be serious about learning, but not just the learning of their students. At some point in their careers, usually early, just about every teacher will hear the statement, “You only need to be one step ahead of your students.” Seasoned instructors say this to encourage the teacher who is new and inexperienced or too busy to prepare as adequately as they would have liked, this youth teacher still learning their craft, and who may not have had the time to fully absorb the material themselves. As a teenager, I attended a church that used a series of books to progress Christians through a discipleship program. Once a disciple had completed a book with a mentor, the disciple could immediately begin to mentor a new disciple in that same book. Later, as an eighteen-year-old working college student and youth director, sometimes I was barely one lesson ahead of my disciples, let alone one whole book.

    Sometimes, one step seems to be enough. Once we know what Jesus did for humanity through His life, death, and resurrection, we have enough information to teach it to others, but an evangelist must take a step beyond knowledge to life changing belief. As I prepared one Friday afternoon for my Friday evening high school boys discipleship group I read, and was convicted by, Ezra 7:10. Ezra set his heart to study the law of the Lord, to practice it, and to teach it.

    No teacher, religious or secular, or any Christian, sets out to be a hypocrite, but sometimes we just get ahead of ourselves. In Matthew 28:18-20, Jesus calls us all to go and make disciples, thus every Christian is an evangelist and teacher, serious calling, so serious He that put Himself on a cross. From that Friday in my teens and forward, my first priority became to know the Lord, especially through His Word, Ezra’s study. Next, I show my love of God through obedience, doing and maturing in what I have learned, Ezra’s practice. Only then do I have to privilege and responsibility to instruct others, Ezra’s teaching. These are Ezra’s and my proper disciplines in the proper order.

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