Your favorite Christian authors have one. Your friends at church do too. Even the pastor has one. A life verse. We hear about them all the time. Yet the idea of actually finding our own can seem overwhelming.
For some reason, many of us have the perception that finding our life verse is this super-spiritual moment which only happens for some people. But we shouldn’t let our thoughts paralyze over choosing a life verse. God’s Word is “alive and active,” (Hebrews 4:12). We can anticipate great things when we spend time reading and researching Scripture to find a special message.
Are you considering the idea of choosing a life verse, but not sure where to begin? First, let’s ease those anxious thoughts by getting a clear understanding of what a life verse is. The Dictionary of Christianese website defines a life verse as, “A Bible verse that a Christian believes to be specifically representative or predictive of his or her life.” So since the verse is believed to be specific to each of us, there is no wrong answer – or wrong verse, in this case.
The selection process doesn’t have to leave us frustrated. Breaking a daunting task into manageable pieces makes it easier to begin. Then with pure motives and a sincere heart, we can find the life verse that best represents our relationship with our Heavenly Father. Here are four steps to help you choose your own life verse.
1. Pray through the process.
Before opening our Bibles to read, we can ask God to give us knowledge through His words. Jeremiah 33:3 says God will “tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.” Let’s embark on the process of finding a life verse with targeted prayer, then continue praying each time we read a verse or passage. Renewing our prayer focus each day will keep our minds and hearts ready to receive what God has to say.
2. Brainstorm life events.
This step will take some time, but doesn’t have to be completed all at once. Your schedule may allow you to sit down for an hour of uninterrupted time in the morning. Or you may need to tackle the task in several 10-minute breaks throughout the day. Decide what works best for you, and add it to your calendar. During this time, write down answers to the following questions:
What struggles have I faced in my life? What obstacles has God helped me overcome? What has God been teaching me recently? How has my life changed for the better because of my relationship with Christ? When answering, don’t pause to think. Write down everything that comes to mind. The key to brainstorming is getting everything recorded. The more you write, the easier the next step will be.
3. Look for common themes or words. Then look those up.
Do you see any common themes or ideas in your brainstorming? Read back through what you’ve recorded and look for connections. Maybe God has taught you a lot about faith, perseverance, or trust. Maybe He has shown you how to live in freedom, love, or peace. Circle or highlight these important topics. If necessary, narrow down the list to one or two that stand out to you. Then use either a print or online concordance to look up these keywords.
Biblestudytools.com is a great place to start. It provides an easy-to-use, free concordance online. Simply type your topic into the Search tab to find a list of verses related to the subject you’ve chosen.
4. Reflect on one verse at a time.
Next, read through several of these verses. The generated list may show 20 verses or 200. But whatever the number, you will be able to rule out several the first time you read them. At this point, narrowing the list to between 10 and 20 verses will be ideal.
As you read through your shortened list, reflect on each one by considering these questions: Does this verse stand out to me? Do I connect with the words in a special way? Does it feel like God wrote this just for me? If you answer “yes” to any of these questions, write that verse down. Pray as you continue to revisit the words again and again. This process will bring two or three verses to the forefront. And in time, the words that reveal the foundation of your life in Christ will become known.
James 4:8 teaches us this truth. “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.” As we pursue His presence through Scripture, we will feel a deeper connection with His message. And as a result, that special verse will emerge.
Our lives are ever-changing, so it’s perfectly acceptable for our life verse to change also. We may be seeking a life verse for the first time, or second, or third. Wherever we are in the journey, let’s cherish the time spent with Scripture while searching for our life’s verse, knowing “he rewards those who earnestly seek Him,” (Hebrews 11:6). Because after all, the journey is the best part.
Kristine Brown is a communicator at heart who teaches about God’s powerful, relatable Word. She is the author of Over It. Conquering Comparison to Live Out God’s Plan and founder of the non-profit organization, More Than Yourself, Inc. Kristine writes about her God-story and helps others discover their own at www.morethanyourself.com.
Publication date: September 26, 2016