It was over 40 years ago now that God intercepted my life as a 17-year-old kid who didn’t think I needed God in my life. In the corner of the Sheraton Brock ballroom on Good Friday, 1977, one text from the Bible gripped by heart, Titus 3:4-5: When the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved (me), not because of righteous things (I) had done, but because of his mercy. I came to realize that God, in His mercy and kindness was drawing me to Himself and that night I quit ‘fighting’ with God and simply surrendered to His love and grace.
Shortly after coming to Christ I was encouraged to memorize Proverbs 3:5-6: Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and he will direct your paths.
I was young and spiritually naïve when I made a covenant with God to seek to the best of my ability to trust Him; I knew I could not to rely solely on my own instincts, I had to look to His leadership in my life. In a strange but wonderful way, this covenant I have with God has sustained and renewed me for the past 40+ years. It is a rich part of my Christian experience; it is also the very foundation of my spiritual life.
But, as the hymn writer has written, Prone to wander, Lord I feel it. I know how easily I can be distracted; how easily I can come to rely on my own strength. So, there is one verse of Scripture that God has to bring me back to, time and again. It is the centering verse of my life: I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. (John 15:5) I have to cycle back time and again to the words of John 15:5; to recalibrate my heart and mind as I continually learn what it means to abide in Christ.
Over the years there has been one verse above all others, that has come to be for me, my life’s verse; it’s a verse that has an element of stubbornness, of defiance to it: Stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. (1 Corinthians 15:58)
This is the way I would want to live out my remaining days, because one day, more than anything else that drives what I do, I want to hear well done, good and faithful servant (Matthew 25:21) from the One who has called me on this journey, the One who calls me His beloved and is right now preparing a home for me in heaven.
Jesus said…Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. (John 14:1-3) This is the hope that sustains my life as l seek to live with one eye on eternity and look to that day when my Saviour says, ‘welcome home’!
That day will come for all who are in Christ. Until that day, may we all be reminded of one last truth
that so very often lifts and encourages my heart: He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. (Psalm 91:1)
What text, what verses speak deeply to your heart? Use the form below to share your response; to bless and encourage the hearts of others!