A central verse for me.

Just this morning I logged onto my Facebook page and found that one of the high school students in my small group, Rachel was asking people to share a Scripture verse that was meaningful to them. Some have used the phrase “life verse” to describe that kind of Bible verse. One verse in particular sprang right to mind.

For many years now, you might say that I have had my own “life verse”; a verse that I hold dear as a centerpiece, a recentering verse, and an aspiration to reach for. That verse has been Philippians 1:21.

But a couple of months ago, I was reading in the book of Galatians and came across a verse that has since then replaced the Phillipians verse. It sums up the entirety of my life; all my goals, all my dreams, all my aspirations…it’s all I want to be and do. It’s found in Galatians 1:24.

“and they praised God because of me.”

Every day of my life is found in the two words “because of”. It doesn’t matter to me who “they” happen to be, I simply want every person who sees me or knows me to give praise to God “because of” something they see in me. I want my life to cause my wife to praise God. I want my life to cause my kids to praise God. I want my life to cause the teenagers I love and serve to praise God. I want my life to cause anyone who cares to notice to praise God.

And this not some ego-driven goal. This is so much not about me or my life. I only want every breath I breathe to be so drenched in God’s presence that any person who speaks to me or hears me or interacts with me at all knows that I have surrendered my life to God. And let me be quick to echo the words of the Apostle Paul in Philippians 3:12 when he said, “Believe me, I know I haven’t arrived, nor have I become perfect; but one thing I do: I press on to what is ahead so that I can lay hold of that for which Christ laid hold of me.”

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