God's promises are for God's children - to enable them to live right in this dark world! If you are a child of God, the same promises that strengthened and blessed my walk with the Lord are yours to claim as well! In fact, there are hundreds and perhaps even thousands for us to take and apply to our lives.
To make this series a little more personal, today and in my next devotional I wanted to focus on verses that have most helped me in my walk with the Lord. What are my seven most used passages since I came to know the Lord as my Saviour, and what are my most favourite passages overall (ones that have been ongoing favourites since they first impressed themselves upon me)?
My seven most used or claimed verses are:
1) Provision - Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Worrying about our needs is one of the greatest fears many of us face on a regular basis - but with promises like these, we do not need to live in fear. What we need to do is be faithful, seek the Lord and do His will - and He will provide for us each day.
There are so many examples I could think of in regards to God's provision in my life - whether big or small. When I moved back to Kelowna in 1997, I was involved in street ministry and started volunteering at the Gospel Mission - because I was 100% sure that was what God had called me to do at that point in time. I was not yet working, but my student loan payments were due to start soon. I remember claiming this verse in my daily prayers, and just trusting that the Lord would do as He said. Very shortly afterwards, a friend from the Bible study group I was leading approached me and gave me $400 to use towards my bills. He had just filed his quarterly tax return, and stated he did not need that money and thought I might be able to use it. Praise the Lord!
Another time, in 1994, I was burdened for my family on my Dad's side that I got to know a little when I was a teenager (lived for a year and a half at my Dad's place in Saskatchewan). My uncle was not doing well - and was without a farm hand, so I offered to come and work for him that summer for free to help him out. He promised to think about it. I made it a matter of serious prayer - that was Wednesday; by Friday morning he called me back with information that a woman that worked with his wife was visiting relatives about 40 miles away from where I was, and her family was driving back to where my uncle lived the following Monday! He had already contacted them, and they were willing to take me with them, without costing me anything. In fact, my roommate drove me to meet them, gave me $20 to take with me, and this family paid for my meals during the trip! God opened the door for ministry to my family, and He provided for ALL my needs!
One of my favourite verses on this theme is:
2 Corinthians 9:8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:
Notice that it is a seven-fold, all encompassing promise. God is always faithful!
1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
This is another one of those primary verses I use practically every day. When I repent, God's forgiveness and cleansing is there for me.
It always comes back to the new beginning and clean slate God offers His children each day - a new beginning that we can always claim by faith when we put our eyes back on the Lord.
Lamentations 3:21-24 This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.
This new beginning is what can give us hope - ie. a confident expectation - when we have messed up or wandered from the Lord; hope of restoration and renewed fellowship with the Lord; hope of renewed usefullness in our service to the Lord. Here is a new beginning each day!
Philippians 3:13-14 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
James 1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
A verse claimed most times when I come to the Bible for reading and studying, and many, many times claimed throughout the months and years since I came to know the Saviour - through all the situations the Lord has placed me in. I need my Heavenly Father's wisdom in every trial and trouble I face!
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
God has NEVER called us to do something He won't equip us to do! If we are lacking strength or resources, I can see two possibilities: Either we are not doing His will, or we are not right with Him and depending upon Him for His strength, mercy, grace, etc.
2 Corinthians 12:9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Hebrews 4:15-16 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
We have a Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, that can identify with ALL that we go through, and is there to give us His mercy and grace when we come to Him in prayer - whenever we need it.
I love doing word studies. The Greek word for help in verse 16 (when traced to its root words) literally means "run to the cry." When I need help and turn to my Lord, He will come running to my cry! What a blessing to my soul! I am never alone, and I never have to face life alone - He is always there for me!
Isaiah 26:3-4 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength:
Whenever I find I do not have peace of mind, it is a strong reminder for me to put my eyes back on the Saviour again! Because when I do, He fulfills His promise to me. I often associate this promise with another similar one:
Philippians 4:6-7 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
If I give all my worries and concerns to the Lord, and leave them in His hands, then He will give me His perfect (complete) peace that passes all understanding. It is a peace within - regardless of what is happening on the outside, a peace regardless of our circumstances. And it is a peace that protects our hearts and minds, where Satan's attacks are directed.
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
I don't need to know what lies in my future - I know the Lord has His perfect plan that He is working out. I just need to give each day to the Lord, and let Him lead me! He knows what He is doing; He is carrying out His purpose according to His will. My responsibility is to make sure I leave my plans in His hands - then trust my Shepherd to lead His sheep in the right paths, and to open or close the doors in my life - doors of opportunity, doors of ministry, doors of service.
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
60 Day Devotional Series: Numbers In The Bible