Archive for Saturday, June 6, 2009

Faith Forum: What’s your favorite Scripture verse and why?

June 6, 2009

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Shaun LePage, pastor, Community Bible Church, 906 N. 1464 Road:

When I was young, I loved Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through (Christ) who strengthens me.” I foolishly thought that meant Jesus would somehow help me win basketball games.

When I began to think about the meaning of life, I loved Colossians 1:16: “… All things have been created through him and for him.” I realized I had not only been created by God, but also for God! I had discovered my purpose for existence.

When I began to understand God’s holiness and my sinful condition, I loved what Jesus said in John 5:24: “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.” I realized I did not have to earn heaven. I simply needed to take Christ at his word and “believe!”

When I began to “believe,” I desired to live a life that pleased my God, but I struggled with the sin in my life (still do). That’s when I fell in love with 1 John 1:9: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” I love that — God does not expect me to be sinless, but he does expect me to work hard at putting off my sin as a child gradually puts off his childishness.

Today, as a pastor, one of my favorite verses is John 15:5: “Apart from me (Jesus) you can do nothing.” That reminds me that it’s not about me and what I can do. It’s all about Jesus Christ and what he can do in people’s lives. Without him, church is a waste of time. With him, it is eternally significant.

— Send e-mail to Shaun LePage at shaun@community-bible.org.

Ron Channell, pastor, Family Church of Lawrence, 5150 Clinton Parkway:

My favorite Scripture placed me on a crossroads in life as I was striving for success, happiness and fulfillment. It is the very serious question Jesus asked in Matthew 16:26. “What good is it to gain the whole world but lose your soul?” Profound question, when you actually contemplate it.

What if you KNEW your decision to live for Christ would radically impact your eternity? Would that truth be worth a thorough, sincere investigation?

This verse made me hunger to know who Jesus really is. Jesus, whose word tells us that he “is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20). Who says, “Call to me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know” (Jeremiah 33:3). The one who promises us peace, forgiveness, salvation and eternal life. These promises are just a few life-changing blessings our Lord pours over his children.

Before I gave my heart and life to Christ, I thought everything was under control. I was wrong. There was a huge void in my life. Can you relate? By seeking Jesus, I thankfully came to the truth — crystal-clear truth. I was missing my creator living and breathing in me, directing my life.

It’s amazing what happens when you let go and let God. Your priorities, attitude, stresses and worries change. So does your future, all for the better.

I could spend hours expounding on the magnificent things Jesus Christ has done for me, my family and our church family. I’m humbled by the reality that he died for me. He died for you, too. He loves us so much he wants to spend all of eternity with us (John 3:16). That kind of love cannot be found in any person or anything — only in Jesus.

—Send e-mail to Ron Channell at ron@ronchannell.com

Comments

Confrontation 5 years, 10 months ago

Oh, there are just too many good ones to choose from! How about these;

“Happy shall they be who seize your infants And dashes them against the rocks!” (Psalms 137.9)

Exodus 32.27-29 (NRSV): He said to them, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, “Put your sword on your side, each of you! Go back and forth from gate to gate throughout the camp, and each of you kill your brother, your friend, and your neighbor.”

Deuteronomy 28.53-57: Then you shall eat the offspring of your own body, the flesh of your sons and of your daughters whom the LORD your God has given you, during the siege and the distress by which your enemy will oppress you.

Judges 19.22-29: While they were enjoying themselves, some of the wicked men of the city surrounded the house. Pounding on the door, they shouted to the old man who owned the house, ‘Bring out the man who came to your house so we can have sex with him.’ The owner of the house went outside and said to them, ‘No, my friends, don’t be so vile. Since this man is my guest, don’t do this disgraceful thing. Look, here is my virgin daughter, and his concubine.

denak 5 years, 10 months ago

Ahhhhhhhhh, once again the anti-religion zealots could not leave well enough alone.

Funny how so many of them call Christians hyprocrites or accuse Christians of overstepping their bounds or are judgemental and yet, they never fail to spew their own hatred whenever they can't.

Here is a suggestion for you Confrontational...and all the rest that feel..in their smug superiority....that they have to comment.....if you don't believe in the Bible, if you don't belive in Christianity....if you don't have a faith....then just don't comment in the Faith Forum or any other blog that isn't intended for a religious debate.

But I know you won't.

Dena

P.S. I already know the response to this....."but...but. but..." (sputter, sputter, sputter) "You Christians don't leave well enough alone..." Great come back...and once again..completely missing the point.

wordgenie8 5 years, 10 months ago

Here are a few more more "inspiriting" bible verse suggestions-- though I do get a mischevious chuckle out of Confrontation's less than pious selection. Used to laugh at the verse from Matthew that asks, "What man among you, who when his child asks for bread, would give him a stone?" Myself know quite a few generous paters who might well begrudge food to their children.

Philippians: "Let that mind be in me that is also in Christ Jesus."

Romans 12:2: "And be not conformed to the world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind."

Psalm 19:14: "Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord (Mother God), my rock and my redeemer".

John, saying number 70: "If you bring forth what is within you,what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is in you what you do not bring forth will destroy you".

Psalm 23 excerpts: "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil, for you are with me."...

"You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies".

Isaiah 40:31: "But they who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary, and they shall walk and not faint".

I love Pastor LePage's quote that claims" Without me you can do nothing." Too many people in these parts seem to want to get up in people's business and pretend they know what's best for them and have the ability to save others and help them before they have even put their own houses in order. This is the sort of pride that goes before a fall. It's important to distinguish pity from love--to approach strangers with the former is to commit a great sin and to act like a member of the devil's company.

Confrontation 5 years, 10 months ago

Look at poor Dena. She can't handle criticism of her belief in a skygod. I'm not a fan of genocide, either, and I wouldn't hesitate to express my feelings about it. Are you truly ignorant enough to think that the LJ-World doesn't ask this question in order to inspire a religious debate? Yeah, you definitely need to wake up. If you can't handle defending your "faith," then is it really worth believing in?

Leslie Swearingen 5 years, 10 months ago

Well, I don't believe in a "skygod". I have no idea where God is and don't need to know to believe in him. I know what I experienced when I was baptized into the Catholic church and that is good enough for me. I heard many a religious debate while going though instruction and Bible study as questions were encouraged. I think trouble ensues when someone makes a remark out of meanness and not a desire to communicate.

Leslie Swearingen 5 years, 10 months ago

Oh, and Confrontation you seem to know a lot of Bible verses. Where did you get them from?

grammaddy 5 years, 10 months ago

Church of the Flying Spaghetti monster doesn't have a Bible. We follow the Golden Rule. Not faithless, just scripture-less.

RoeDapple 5 years, 10 months ago

John 8:7 "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone."

jonas_opines 5 years, 10 months ago

Matthew 6:5-6

5 "When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.

6 "But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.

jonas_opines 5 years, 10 months ago

By the way, did some posts get pulled? I ask because I'm missing the "anti-religious zealots." All I'm seeing is Confrontation. Is that poster supposed to be representative of something more than your average troll? Or is he simply fodder to justify some claim of persecution?

Leslie Swearingen 5 years, 10 months ago

Confrontation My mother never sat foot in a church or read the Bible and she would slap you upside the head and leave you for dead. Fool.

Leslie Swearingen 5 years, 10 months ago

Confrontation My mother never sat foot in a church or read the Bible and she would slap you upside the head and leave you for dead. Fool. What are you hiding about yourself?

Confrontation 5 years, 10 months ago

Am I supposed to be hiding something by not answering your silly question? Your mom sure sounds violent. That explains a whole lot about you. Was "fool" said "out of meanness and not a desire to communicate?" I'd hate for trouble to ensue.

Leslie Swearingen 5 years, 10 months ago

I was making a joke, it's the sort of thing we common people say. Is this the first time you have heard it? No, Mommie Dear was not violent. It was not a silly question. You sound so anti-religious so I think it is okay to ask how such a person would know so much Bible.

Katara 5 years, 10 months ago

Irish (Irish Swearingen) says…

I was making a joke, it's the sort of thing we common people say. Is this the first time you have heard it? No, Mommie Dear was not violent. It was not a silly question. You sound so anti-religious so I think it is okay to ask how such a person would know so much Bible. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "Common" only if you're Mr. T.

BTW many "anti-religious" (not really sure how you are defining that since you seem to make it a blanket statement) people know quite a bit about the Bible, the Quran, and many other religious texts because they have actually read/or studied them.

It really is a bit silly to claim that "anti-religious" people know little about the Bible since traditionally Catholicism dictated the priest to educate the people about the Bible and the Catholic interpretation of it rather than have the people actually read it themselves. It is one of the reasons that Gutenberg was considered so controversial.

letsgetwise 5 years, 10 months ago

grammaddy: Do you know where the Golden Rule originated? See Matthew 7:12. I believe the skygod has some pretty good advice.

Newell_Post 5 years, 10 months ago

Matthew 10:34 Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.

Exodus 21:23-25 When people who are fighting injure a pregnant woman so that there is a miscarriage, and yet no further harm follows, the one responsible shall be fined what the woman’s husband demands, paying as much as the judges determine. 23If any harm follows, then you shall give life for life, 24eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.

(Harming a woman is a crime against a person. Causing the miscarriage of an unborn fetus is property damage, The unborn fetus is property, not a person. Translation per the New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America.)

Newell_Post 5 years, 10 months ago

OK, so how do we reconcile these two?:

Matthew 7:12 In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets.

Matthew 10:34 Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.

Does this mean we really have some deep-seated desire for others to attack us with a sword?

Newell_Post 5 years, 10 months ago

OK, enough with paradoxes and conundrums. The real answer is 1 Corinthians 13. I sure hope that one turns out to be the genuine article at the end of the day. Nobody has ever topped the King James translation.....

1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,

5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;

6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;

7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.

10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

jonas_opines 5 years, 10 months ago

letsgetwise (Anonymous) says…

"grammaddy: Do you know where the Golden Rule originated? See Matthew 7:12. I believe the skygod has some pretty good advice."

Never impose on others what you would not choose for yourself. — Confucius, Analects XV.24

The same idea is also presented in V.12 and VI.30 of the Analects.

Feel free to look up the historical timeline, and you'll find that Confucius predates Jesus by a good 450 years at least, and Confucius was regarded as a regular man, albeit a sage.

Not to say that his philosophy was not in practicality treated as a religion later, but he was always viewed as a man with good ideas.

TacoBob 5 years, 10 months ago

Confrontration, you noted these verses:

Judges 19.22-29: While they were enjoying themselves, some of the wicked men of the city surrounded the house. Pounding on the door, they shouted to the old man who owned the house, ‘Bring out the man who came to your house so we can have sex with him.’ The owner of the house went outside and said to them, ‘No, my friends, don’t be so vile. Since this man is my guest, don’t do this disgraceful thing. Look, here is my virgin daughter, and his concubine.

Curious - what is your take on this passage?

BigPrune 5 years, 10 months ago

Simon Peter's Primacy over the 12 Apostles. He is mentioned 195 times in the New Testament setting the course for the Papacy, and a far higher number than St. John, mentioned a mere 29 times throughout the New Testament.

Peter is also always listed first among the Apostles. Incidentally, Judas is always listed last.

I can name Scripture but there are so many to list. It set the stage for the next 1500 years. Read Matthew 14:26-33 - there's a part that says, "And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it."

Luke 3:3 says Jesus also preached to the crowds from Peter's boat.

Mark 16:7 the angels single out Peter when they tell the Holy Women to "go, tell his disciples and Peter" about the Lord's Resurrection.

Luke 24:33-35 we see that the risen Christ appears to Simon Peter first, before appearing to the other Apostles.

Acts 1:15-26 it is Peter who leads the Apostles in selecting a replacement for Judas.

etc., etc.

begin60 5 years, 10 months ago

RoeDapple, jonas-opines, and Pilgrim2 have some good bible- reading ideas. Thanks for posting these. Corinthians 1 is insightful too, but these days around Lawrence I'd be more into honest mean-spiritedness than intrusive, fake, saccharine so-called "Christian" concern that often ends up harming more than it helps.

camper 5 years, 10 months ago

Most anything in Gospel. Especially Jesus' parables.

camper 5 years, 10 months ago

The Old Testament just makes me fall asleep, and much of the stuff sounds exactly like the violent parts of other religions which condone terrorism. The hope I'm clinging too is that the New Covenant abolishes the old. Otherwise, I have no use for the Bible.

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