My friend Jerry Jenkins was marking the launch of his new book I, Saul with a book signing in Buford, GA. Part of the kick-off celebration, for one lucky contest winner, was a 30 minute private conversation with Jerry. As it turned out, I happened to be present for the first few minutes of that private time and one of the first questions the lady asked was, “What’s your favorite verse in the Bible?”
I was fascinated that she asked that question right out of the blocks. But it was indeed a fair question. I sat there thinking, “I hope he doesn’t say ‘Jesus wept.”
Hearing her ask Jerry that question made me stop and think, “What would my answer be?” Would I want something profound to impress her with my biblical knowledge? Would I pick something obscure that would cause her jaw to drop and wonder if that verse was even in the Bible? Or would I simply tell her my favorite verse. One that I think of often as I walk gingerly along the path as a Christ follower.
Come to think of it, what’s your favorite verse in the Bible?
An all time favorite for me is Proverbs 3:5-6, but the one that stirs my heart at its deepest level is in the Gospel of Matthew. A leper comes to Jesus and says, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” To which Jesus replies, “I am willing; be cleansed.” (Mat. 8:2-3)
Can’t tell you how many times I let that verse bubble to the top in difficult times when sin seems to have its hold on me. Like the leper, I want to be clean. I just need to know that the great physician is willing to make it happen. He always is.
Favorite verses tend to be tethered to special moments in our life when we “stumble” across a verse that speaks to our heart in ways we often can’t describe. They linger in our mind and seem to shadow us throughout the day. We not only learn the words, we absorb the meaning of the words and make the verse our own in ways that are special to us. Our verse may not be anything that speaks to another person and that’s okay. They don’t need to memorize our verse or even know the intimate details of why that verse speaks to us. The verse is our anchor, not theirs.
What verse do you cling to when the storm begins to rage? When your heart is heavy, what words of scripture give you strength to carry the load? If your heart is full of praise, do you have a favorite verse that reflects that? Perhaps you have a verse for every situation. I’m not quite that sophisticated. Like a worn out wallet, I tend to always fall back on the ones I’ve carried in my back pocket for years. But that’s just me.
Oh yes, I almost forgot. Jerry had two verses he shared with the lady. The first, Matthew 5:16. The second, the one he was putting in each book he signed, 2 Timothy 1:12.