What’s your favorite Bible passage? Like me, do you find it hard to choose? I have 3 favorites that have stuck with me through the years. The first came to me as the first I ever memorized, without even trying! It was one of those little miracles of spiritual life.
I grew up in a church-going family (until age 12), full of religion but little relationship. Those early years, however, left an indelible mark. From a young age I knew that God is love, and that he loved me. But I somehow missed out on the revelation that salvation is a free gift. Surely we had to earn it, become good enough somehow. That somehow created problems. I knew I could never measure up.
So in my earliest months of walking with God, I lived in terror of the rapture. That time in history when Christ will return to take his children home. Often I would dream (literally) of having missed it. And in my
dreams nightmares, I would waken to find my husband and children gone.
So I’d try harder to ‘be a good Christian,’ to measure up, and become good enough.
Of course, I always failed. I didn’t know then that the way to become Christlike is to spend time with him and in his word.
And that’s when the first Scripture passage I call my own came to me.
The Lord gave me another dream. A real dream, not a nightmare. In the dream, he was coming down from heaven on a white cloud, with rosy clouds all around. And with hands extended, he uttered the following promise from John.
Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place forif I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also, John 14:1-3.
That dream has never left me. Nor have those verses, etched on my heart and mind, through no effort of my own.
Many, I know don’t believe in dreams and visions. But I believe God is sovereign. And who was I to tell him, “You’re not supposed to speak to people in dreams”? Our loving Father always meets our needs. He knew I needed extra assurance of having a home with him.
The second passage came to me through a song from Maranatha Music. Another learned without really trying. Music is a great memory aid.
He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:8.
In many ways, this has become my life verse. An excellent companion to those in John 14. Our home with him is his gift to us. Micah 6:8 is our gift to him. We do justice, love kindness, and walk in humility not because we must — but because we love him and can’t do enough for him. It’s become the goal of my life.
My third favorite verse comes from John, which has never ceased to amaze me.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it, John 1:1-5.
It’s the season of Emmanuel: God with us. And so I’ve added another Christmas tradition to my list. The Christmas Readings, which I found on Bible Study Tools. 25 daily readings, sort of like a Bible advent calendar. And what joy it brings!
God speaks in many ways. Sometimes, though rarely I think, through dreams or visions. Often through his ministers, and always through his word. But I’ve found that no matter the method, it comes as a still small voice, beckoning us to come closer. To his heart, our home. And this year, in a special way, he’s doing that for me, through The Christmas Readings.
God speaks in many ways. May our heart’s cry be to always listen.
[Image ©Mario Scorziello]