Weekly Devotional 052024

The Power of a Life Verse

By Gary Mueller

“This book…shall always be with you; you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and you will be wise.” –Joshua 1:8

What exactly is a “life verse” and why should it matter to you? Over the course of my life and all of its challenges, my firm belief is that the two most difficult things for a Christian to nurture are faith and trust in God. In fact, the Apostle Paul describes the shield of faith (and trust) as one of the most important weapons in deflecting the flaming arrows of Satan (Ephesians 6:16).

Despite all that life throws our way, the Bible tells us over 365 times to “have no fear” and “be not afraid.” Why? Because daily challenges are a reality, and God really wants us to hear His message of encouragement.

A few years ago, I attended a program at PLC called the School of Ministry. While learning about the idea of ministry as “serving for God,” one of the instructors mentioned the concept of a “life verse.” As a former company executive, I was very familiar with goals and objectives, but had never realized the relevance of having a “Godly” objective for my life. This was an epiphany to me and made me consider what I should be doing with this concept going forward.

Another central point I learned was the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19–20). Interestingly, the only direct command in the original Greek is to “make disciples.” This commission tells us to make disciples throughout the world until everyone has heard it, underscoring the need to educate ourselves with the truth (i.e. the Bible) to be fully equipped to share with others and apply it to our own lives.

Jesus Himself invoked important Bible verses when He met Satan in the wilderness. Personally, when ministering to recruits at Camp Pendleton, knowing key Bible verses is crucial along with the guidance of the Holy Spirit to encourage those going through tough times.

My personal life verse speaks to the essence of my mission: “Love the Lord with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:30-31). These verses give me direction and protection, helping me to deflect the flaming arrows and fears I face.

Genuine love for God means trusting Him fully as Scripture tells us to do. Faith then goes beyond the tangible to a belief in the unseen; a trust in our God who always keeps His promises. This faith strengthens trust and increases our love of God.

Reciting these verses, stored in my memory, has helped refill my cup of hope too. With over 7000 promises in the Bible, recalling a few of them when I need them gives me renewed purpose, faith, and encouragement.

So, I urge you to develop your own ‘life verse’ to inspire you, and keep a few meaningful verses at the ready as your sword and shield. All of it will help you live out Jesus’ commission of serving others no matter where Satan aims his arrows. Perhaps one of these verses below can get you started and keep you ready. They have always been a big help for me in my times of trouble. Lift up your shield!

“The Lord says, ‘If you love me and truly know who I am, I will rescue you and keep you safe. When you are in trouble, call out to me. I will answer and be there to protect and honor you.’” –Psalm 91:13-15 (CEV)

“Have courage and do not be afraid; for I, the LORD your GOD, will be with you wherever you go.” –Joshua 1:9

“I will never leave you or forsake you.” –Hebrews 13:5

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God…” –Isaiah 43:1-2

“’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. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you…’” –Jeremiah 29:11-13

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