About twelve years ago I remember sitting at Chestnut Ridge Church with 15 other men, taking the opportunity to discuss some of our favorite Scripture passages. Even though it was 6am, everybody in the room had something to contribute to the conversation. When someone asked, “What’s your favorite book of the Bible,” one individual took the opportunity to shout out, “Leviticus!” Naturally, he was the only one.
At the time, my answer to that question was the book of Job. The poetry woven throughout the book, the challenging circumstances he faced, God’s revelation of His power at the end of the book…it’s always been something I’ve had a deep appreciation for.
But after we all took the opportunity to discuss our favorite book, the question turned to, “What’s your life verse?”
Admittedly, this was a more challenging question for me. I had never really had a “life verse,” one verse I would hold onto on a regular basis. For the purpose of the ongoing conversation, I recited Exodus 14:14, “The LORD will fight for you, you need only to be still.” It was a reminder to me that God is ultimately the one who fights battles, and the Old Testament shares story after story of God’s intervention to save His people.
Nine years later, many changes had occurred in my life. I was a father, and had officially been recognized as a pastor. My grandmother offered an encouraging card (as she often did), and wrote down Philippians 1:6, “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion.” It was a verse I had read dozens of times, but through a generous check she offered me, I had this verse lasered onto the back panel of a new ipad.
Naturally, I stored the ipad in a case for most of it’s life. But anytime I took it out to clean the screen I was reminded, “He who began a good work in you, will carry it on to completion.”
Then a couple of months ago I was enjoying some coffee over at the Joe N Throw, when I took a hard fall. The ipad I had used for years took the fall with me, and it hasn’t worked the same since. Sure it works, but it’s very slow and can barely connect to the internet. The added case often made connecting to the internet even more challenging, so I finally just removed the case altogether. Every time I’ve picked it up since then I’ve been reminded, “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion.”
Due to it’s age and condition, my lovely wife just offered to get me a new ipad. Sure, I could’ve gone to Best Buy, Target, or even WalMart to get one. But I wanted to keep that reminder on there, “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion,” so I ordered it directly from Apple.
I share this only to say, I’m quite certain my life verse has become Philippians 1:6. There are days I may feel as if the world is winning. There are seasons I struggle with illness, or frustrations, family challenges, ministry challenges, or other abnormal life circumstances. Admittedly, there are also moments I respond poorly to the situations happening around me. Yet I’m regularly reminded…
That’s my life verse.
And if you’re up for it, feel free to share yours.