I have a feeling that everyone has a favorite scripture verse or verses. These are verses like John 3:16 or the 23rd Psalm. I would venture to say that even non-church goers have a favorite scripture or a saying that they attribute to scripture, like "God helps those who help themselves." Scripture, even in a few words, has power to empower lives and thoughts.
I feel bad for those scriptures that no one picks or remembers. They are placed in the sacred cannon for a reason, and they have the ability to empower but they just don't flow off the tongue.
One of my favorites that is tough to remember is one that won't flow. In fact, the scripture sounds more like a take off of Abbott and Costello's "Who's on First."
Romans 7:15-17 New Revised Standard Version
15 I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.16 Now if I do what I do not want, I agree that the law is good. 17 But in fact it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me.
This is a favorite, because it is so true; at least, it is in my life. I have tried to memorize this in the past, but it is such a tongue twister for me that I gave up. I don't have to have it committed to memory in order to know that is what I'm doing.
I know what is right and good and just, but time after time I do what is wrong and bad and unjust. My own selfish nature and desire are given more power (by me) than the nature of Christ within me thanks to the love of God.
The question is why? If I know what is right, why not do it 24/7? Can I use the excuse that "I'm only human?" or is that not acceptable or a cop out?
Whenever I mess up, and I do so regularly, I remember this verse and I'm haunted by my failure once again to be all Christ wants me to be and all Christ knows I can be. I then move to another verse ... "... I'm chief of sinners."
And then like a computer that moves on to the next doc I remember another great verse from Romans 8:28
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God's love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow-not even the powers of hell can separate us from God's love.
And so it goes. How grateful I am for the power of scripture that changes lives, but more so, how grateful I am for the love of Jesus Christ that says, "it's okay, get up, let me dust you off, and let's try again." (uh ... that is from the heart and mind of yours truly --- that's how I hear Him say it.)
What scriptures touch your life? I hope they go deeper than just John 3:16 and the 23rd Psalm (which are great, but we can't stop there).
Listening and trying to hear,
Thank you for the opportunity to preach Home Coming at Rock Springs on Sunday. God has a great plan and a glorious future for this community of faith.