A Life Verse


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 Deuteronomy 11:18 (CEV)

Memorize these laws and think about them. Write down copies and tie them to your wrists and your foreheads to help you obey them.

I have heard Pastors and other Christian leaders talk about finding a “life verse.” A life verse is more than a favorite verse; it is the verse that speaks directly to you in a remarkably personal way. With more than 31,000 verses in the Bible the task seemed overwhelming to me, so I put it off. I wondered how one verse could speak to my life now, and ten years from now.

Still, it’s a concept I wanted to explore further. Over time, I read articles and blog posts from various Christian authors. There was no shortage of advice, but still, I couldn’t pick one verse. As I reflected on what verse to select I thought I should pick a verse that I could quote while sharing the gospel, and to give myself encouragement. I googled “Top Memory Verses” and read over 100 suggested verses. Several would have worked as a life verse, but I was not drawn to any one particular verse. There were also personal struggles going on in my life, which made the decision more difficult.

It wasn’t until I set out to read the entire Bible that I found my life verse, tucked away in the book of a minor prophet – Zephaniah. Part of Zephaniah, chapter 3, discusses the blessing of restoration for God’s people. It also points to Christ’s millennial kingdom. As a young adult I ignored the Lord. Although I regret my foolishness, this verse reminds me of God’s great love and forgiveness, and His ability to make great change in anyone’s life, even after disobedience. It also points to a future of hope.

Zephaniah 3:17 (GNT)

The Lord your God is with you; his power gives you victory. The Lord will take delight in you, and in his love he will give you new life. He will sing and be joyful over you.”

What’s your life verse? If you don’t have one I encourage you to find a verse that speaks to you so personally, you find it a special treasure.

Blessings on your day.

 

Image: Google Images

The Restoration of Peter


I wanted to blog about Peter because we all fall short of doing what our Lord asks of us. The Restoration of Peter is a reminder that we can all be restored to Jesus.

What changed Peter? He was one of Jesus’ inner circle, but yet he went on to deny knowing Christ (Luke 22:54-62). Then, in Acts 2, he preached the sermon that converts 3,000 to Christ. Something happened in-between. We know the Holy Spirit came upon the Disciples in Acts 2:1-4. But I think the change in Peter happened before that.

The text I will refer to is John 21.

After the death and resurrection of Jesus, the disciples returned to fishing (John 21:1-3). Maybe they were returning to that way of life, maybe they were simply providing for themselves. We just know they didn’t catch anything that night.

In verses 4-6, Jesus returns and directs their work. The lesson here is that when we work with divine guidance we will be successful.

Watch what Peter does in verse 7. Peter couldn’t wait for the boat to see Jesus again; he had to jump out of the boat to get to Jesus as fast as he could. This is the disciple who had previously denied his Lord.

Peter’s Restoration:

After the disciples enjoy breakfast with their Master, Jesus asks Peter the same question three times. In verses 15-16 Jesus inquires about Peter’s love. Peter responds that “You know I love You.” Then Jesus tells Peter to “feed His lambs and tend His sheep.” Forgiveness and restoration has already been given, along with a command of what to do next.

But Jesus goes on to ask Peter again, this time asking Peter if he loves Him more than “these” (verse 17).

What does “these” mean? It could refer to the large catch of fish, assuming Peter intended to return to being a fisherman. It could also mean the other disciples. In any case, the Lord wants our love and devotion above all other things, and people. One of the ways we do this is in service to other people. Jesus is telling Peter he must give himself to the service of God’s people.

Notice that Jesus does not ask Peter for a public apology, nor does he publicly humiliate Peter. But he does allow Peter three public affirmations of love to replace the three public denials of Him. At the same time, Jesus restores Peter to service.

Finally, in the call on Peter’s life, in verse 18-19, we see the phrase that applies to every one of us, “Follow Me.”

Wherever we fall short, Jesus can and will restore us, and allow us to serve Him, perhaps in miraculous ways. Never think your shortcomings have ended your service to our Great God.

Matthew 4:19 (ESV)

And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”

 Scripture is from www.BibleGateway.com

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