Growing up we were encouraged to memorize scriptures. As a child sometimes that just seem like extra homework! I didn’t realize all the value in it until I was a little older. One group of scriptures that my dad encouraged us to learn was Psalm 23 (KJV) The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. As a child I got kind of tongue tied with the King James Version. I was so happy when the Living bible came out. As much as I now love my NIV Life Application bible there are certain scriptures like these that I still love to hear the way I first heard them as a child.
It is also fun to hear some of our favorite scriptures out of the message bible as well…
God, my shepherd!
I don’t need a thing.
You have bedded me down in lush meadows,
you find me quiet pools to drink from.
True to your word,
you let me catch my breath
and send me in the right direction.
Even when the way goes through
I’m not afraid
when you walk at my side.
Your trusty shepherd’s crook
makes me feel secure.
You serve me a six-course dinner
right in front of my enemies.
You revive my drooping head;
my cup brims with blessing.
Your beauty and love chase after me
every day of my life.
I’m back home in the house of God
for the rest of my life.
One of our Pastor’s favorite verse was Romans 8:31 (NIV) What then shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? Another Pastor of ours, his favorite is Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV) 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.
The Bible wasn’t written to just be an amazing history book, which it is. It is God’s Word to us, it’s our answer book! It’s available 24/7 to give us guidance, hope and encouragement. Psalm 119:11 I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. In 2 Timothy it encourages us to study God’s Word so we understand it. Even Jesus used scripture to shut down satan, when he was trying to tempt Him. We don’t necessarily need to know exactly where it is in the bible, but just know that it is there! I can remember that the shortest verse in the bible is “Jesus wept” but I can’t always remember that you can find that in John chapter 11. I have heard this quoted different ways “so in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you” this is what many call the golden rule. It’s a scripture! “Love your neighbor as yourself” you can google it and find out it’s in Matthew, but just know that it even exists! When we first found out our oldest son had been born blind, immediately I knew God’s Word said he wouldn’t put more on us than we could handle. I couldn’t have told you where that scripture was and I couldn’t google it back then, but I can tell you how much comfort that gave us in those early days. Now I can tell you the scripture is in 1 Corinthians 10:13, that’s another good one to also read in the message bible.
If you don’t already, start this week digging into your bible or a bible app. You don’t have to read several pages everyday, even just a few verses is a great start. You don’t have to go in order, pick a book, like John or Proverbs! Ask a friend to read the same book, so you can talk about it… we are encouraged not to just read God’s Word but to truly meditate on it.
Do you have a favorite verse or group of verses? If so, please share!