What are your favourite Bible verses? It is hard for me to pin down a single, all time favourite. But here are a number of Bible verses that have inspired me over the years, which I keep coming back to:
Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you (Luke 6:27)
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (Revelation 21:1-4)
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:6)
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13:13)
For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength. (1 Corinthians 1:25)
Maybe you can see a theme – love, wisdom and hope!
Do you have some favourite Bible verses? What inspires you?
19 thoughts on “What are your favourite Bible verses?”
Mark 2:3-4. Some men came, bringing to him a paralytic, carried by the four of them. Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus and, after digging through it, lowered the mat the paralyzed man was lying on.
In 1997, as a uni student of unconventional style and habit, I heard a sermon on this story, and I felt that I was given licence to serve God in unconventional ways and do strange things that people might be brought to Jesus. Eleven years on, I haven’t done that well at bringing anyone to Christ, but I’ve done some strange things in His service.
How about Psa 130:1 Out of the depths I cry to you O Lord.
What is the speaker concerned about? Sin/guilt. Forgiveness. But more than that, I think, he’s speaking for the existential yearnings of all of us, for knowledge, experience, relief. and hope. That mystery keeps me going.
When I was in high school I memorized Romans 12:1-2.
These verses were the most influential words on my life ever since then, as it totally flipped my vision of Christianity on its head and forced me to live a deeper faith.
1 Kings 19:11-12
And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake:
And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.
Woe to you who long
for the day of the LORD!
Why do you long for the day of the LORD ?
That day will be darkness, not light.
It will be as though a man fled from a lion
only to meet a bear,
as though he entered his house
and rested his hand on the wall
only to have a snake bite him.
Will not the day of the LORD be darkness, not light—
pitch-dark, without a ray of brightness?
“I hate, I despise your religious feasts;
I cannot stand your assemblies.
Even though you bring me burnt offerings and grain offerings,
I will not accept them.
Though you bring choice fellowship offerings,
I will have no regard for them.
Away with the noise of your songs!
I will not listen to the music of your harps.
But let justice roll on like a river,
righteousness like a never-failing stream!
I’ve long liked Psalm 145, especially verses 3-8: “Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; His greatness is unsearchable. One generation shall extol Thy works to the following one, and set forth Thy mighty acts. I will dwell on the glorious splendour of Thy majesty, and on the records of Thy wonders. Men shall speak of the might of Thy awe-inspiring deeds, and as for Thy greatness, I will recount it. They will pour forth a recital of Thy great goodness, and sing aloud of Thy righteousness.” (Modern Language Bible)
Isaiah, I agree with you on Romans 12:1-2. It is a verse which has guided my understanding of worship in significant ways too.
Hey, and I was thinking it is interesting how many Old Testament verses people are suggesting. While some of my favourites are Old Testament the bulk of them are New Testament. Not quite what I expected. I wonder why that is?
“We will not listen to the message you have spoken to us in the name of the Lord! We will certainly do everything we said we would: We will burn incense to the Queen of Heaven and will pour out drink offerings to her just as we and our fathers, our kings and our officials did in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem. At that time we had plenty of food and were well off and suffered no harm. But ever since we stopped burning incense to the Queen of Heaven and pouring out drink offerings to her, we have had nothing and have been perishing by sword and famine.”
The women added, “When we burned incense to the Queen of Heaven and poured out drink offerings to her, did not our husbands know that we were making cakes like her image and pouring out drink offerings to her?”
Great post, it really got me thinking and spending time in the scriptures.
I love all the verses you highlighted. Some others I love:
James 1:27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their afflication, and to keep himself upspotted from the world.
1Thess 5:21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
1 John 4:8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
Ephesians 3:17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and ground in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth and length, and depth and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
Isaiah 51:11 Therefore the redeemed of the Lord shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head; they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away.
I’m not trying to proselyte but I thought I would share some verses from the unique scriptures of the Latter-day Saints that I love as well:
Mosiah 3:19 For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.
D&C 112:10 Be thou humble and the Lord thy God shall lead thee by the hand and give thee answer to thy prayers.
Moroni 7:41 And what is it that ye shall hope for? Behold I say unto you that ye shall have hope through the atonement of Christ and the power of his resurrection, to be raised unto life eternal, and this because of your faith in him according to the promise.
Ether 12:4 Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God.
So my themes are similar love, hope, wisdom, and perhaps my addition is humility and active love from being grounded in the love of God.
Yeah, there are so many verses that have been significant over a lifetime of walking the Way, it is hard to settle on my favourite. I’m fascinated with various themes that sweep across the times from Genesis to Revelation and the characters that have lived (and are living) in relation to them! However, it’s interesting that a couple of people have posted some which really resonate with me. Romans 12, especially verses 1 and 2 in both The Amplified and The Message, has given me particular inspiration to meditate on, choreograph and dance to, and converse about over the past 7 years.
“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him.” Vs 1 (The Message)
“… as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship.” Vs 1 (The Amplified).
In fact, just yesterday, I was given opportunity at a little indigenous gathering to “go to town” on it… speaking, dancing, praying etc to illustrate it and a few other verses on another favourite theme, faith and faithfulness (Deuteronomy 32:4)
“… respond to the greatness of our God! The Rock: His works are perfect, and the way he works is fair and just; A God you can depend upon, no exceptions…” (The Message)
I concluded with the Rev 21 passage as quoted in Matt’s opening post, describing a time in the future, but a time of which we can have a foretaste now, if like in the words of Amos quoted above, we “let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!
When, I “get it wrong” and “do it wrong”, Matt 6:9-13 is another favourite passage, and I do meditate, especially on “Your Kingdom is come, Your will is done As in heaven so also on earth” EVERY day, as I dearly, though at times embarrassingly unsuccessfully, wish to co-operate with that!
Just in case anybody is interested, here is a
Galilean transliteration of the Lord’s Prayer (Aramaic Language)
Avvon d-bish-maiya, nith-qaddash shim-mukh.
Tih-teh mal-chootukh. Nih-weh çiw-yanukh:
ei-chana d’bish-maiya: ap b’ar-ah.
Haw lan lakh-ma d’soonqa-nan yoo-mana.
O’shwooq lan kho-bein:
ei-chana d’ap kh’nan shwiq-qan l’khaya-ween.
Oo’la te-ellan l’niss-yoona:
il-la paç-çan min beesha.
Mid-til de-di-lukh hai mal-choota
oo khai-la oo tush-bookh-ta
l’alam al-mein. Aa-meen.
“(Therefore, this is how you shall pray:)
Our heavenly Father, hallowed is your name.
Your Kingdom is come. Your will is done,
As in heaven so also on earth.
Give us the bread for our daily need.
And leave us serene,
just as we also allowed others serenity.
And do not pass us through trial,
except separate us from the evil one.
For yours is the Kingdom,
the Power and the Glory
To the end of the universe, of all the universes.” Amen!
Thanks for you input Dave. While I don’t consider the LDS scriptures authoritative, as you have obviously gathered, I nevertheless found it interesting to hear from you about what you find inspiring. You’ve got me thinking about a follow up thread now.
Matthew 11:28-30 (from the Message): 28-30″Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
John 1: 14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
15 John testifies concerning him. He cries out, saying, This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’
16 From the fulness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another.
17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
18 No-one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father’s side, has made him known.
There are more, but these two especially!
Zeph 3:17 The Lord, your God, is in your midst, a warrior who gives victory; he will rejoice over you with gladness, he will renew you in his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.
I just like the image of God singing about us.
Lots of good stuff here…
From my perspective…
Genesis “In the beginning God…”
… and God said… and there was…
… so God created people in Gods’ image…
… and God blessed them…
… and God said “be fruitful…
… multiply… fill the earth…
… exercise authority as a good steward…”
… and God saw… it was all very good!!
To my mind that’s the good news that Jesus came to reNEW for us… we have a reNEWed Testament…
Chris S noted: “I just like the image of God singing about us.”
Why is that image so powerful? It’s wired into our dNA… because we’re made in the image of God…
What if we consider that in Genesis it could read
“… and God SANG… and there was…”
What if heaven rings with the sound of God singing? What if the great dance of perichoresis is to the tune of the song sung by the eternal God?
What if our very existence is marked by moments of resonance when we bring our own song into line with the great song (Rom 12:1-2), among lives of disonance.
Why is it that people of all cultures like music, why do babies relate to music? What if the power of some music to move people was because it was closely related to the celestial harmonies of the Godhead.
What if the good worship services we inexplicably encounter have simply tuned in to God’s wavelength for a time.
Why are nightclubs packed and radio stations subscribed… are all really seeking to hear the celestial tune?
He who has ears to hear…
Let’s take some time and tune in… hear the music and join in the dance… whether it is a season of celebration or a time of lament, it is God who sets the time signature…
A Celtic Son
The last couple of posts sure struck a chord with me! That Zeph 3 verse has been “with me” for a long time, ever since it was brought to my attention that the word “rejoice” there is a bit of a tame version of the Hebrew word meaning “to spin around in violent emotion”. The perichoresis (Greek) obviously involves a bit of ecstasy and jubilation from time to time, it seems! It’s in a context of encouragement that God restores and re-creates even after the disastrous consequences of blatant and consistent disobedience. That kind of grace and mercy flowing from the abunDANCED God-head is sure worth singing and dancing about. Thanks, Chris S for sharing your favourite, and ACS, I really like how you made the connection with Rom 12:1-2, and that there are also less exuberant seasons such as lament (and even mourning) that are timely and appropriate in God’s scheme of things…
Yes, the response to this thread has been very interesting for me too. Celtic Son, very poetic. Love it.
For all creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed.
Thanks Matt. Yes, I realize the LDS scriptures will not be viewed as authoritative in this forum but for exactly the reason you mentioned, to understand what is inspiring to others, I wanted to share and I think you’ve created a safe place where someone like me, as a non-traditional Christian, could do so. So I appreciate that. You sparked a great discussion.
…now why is this wee abbess not surprised to find our wandering Celtic Son commenting on this thread? Hmmm, now…. :^)
I have more “favorite” verses than I have favorite books (from an old blog thread, that), but I have one that resonates strongly with me because of my focus on hesed:
Micah 6:8 “What does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy (hesed) and to walk humbly with your God”
…and Matt, I think that my love of the OT comes from the power of the concept of covenant/hesed that comes from it…and connects to the truth that Jesus came to be and show…and then most of the book of James becomes a favorite (along with 26 others!)
“Forget the former things, do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.”