Did you know Facebook just turned 10? I guess in the digital world that makes it older than your grandfather. But, in honor of Facebook’s 10th birthday, here is a top ten list that you could spend an hour on and not really feel guilty – my top 10 favorite passages of Scripture:
- Genesis 28:10-22 – I love the story of Jacob’s character transformation as he moves from a deceiver to the man God uses to father the nation that ultimately gives us Jesus. This is one of my favorite moments in that transition.
- Deuteronomy 6:4-9 – I never understood the weight of this passage until I had children of my own, but nothing has shaped my thinking about my spiritual responsibility to my family as much as these few verses.
- 1 Samuel 16:1-13 – David, with all of his faults and failures, captures the heart of what I believe God can do with us when we yield to his purpose in our lives. I love that this passage reflects just how concerned God is with our hearts and how unconcerned he is with the outward appearances.
- Job 38-39 – Job spends much of the book begging to have an audience before God, and then God shows up for the “hearing”. This is what I’d call his opening statement, and is one of those passages in the Bible that makes me smile because God sounds almost a little sarcastic.
- Psalm 71:17-18 – It’s a short one, in the context of a much longer psalm, but it echoes my prayer for my life and ministry. God has been faithful to me from my youth, and I pray for the strength to declare that truth until I’m very old.
- Lamentations 3:22-24 – I just revisited this one for a message in our next series, and was struck again by how God brings some of the greatest declarations of hope and praise out of our most desperate moments.
- Matthew 5:1-10 – The clearest statement I could find of what it would look like to live my life as a genuine follower of Jesus. And the clearest mirror to my faults that I’ve known.
- Ephesians 1:3-10 – I think Paul loaded this passage up with every key theological term he could think of to describe what God has done for us in drawing us into relationship with himself through Jesus. I could spend a month on each sentence and still not be totally satisfied that I had gotten it all.
- Philippians 3:7-14 – This passage has always linked together for me my call as a follower of Jesus and my call to serve as a pastor. Many years ago he called me to let go of the hopes and dreams I had counted as a gain and to pursue his call to serve his people. I’ve never regretted a moment since.
- 1 Peter 5:1-5 – This is the passage I preach to myself occasionally as a pastor, and the one that gets me through the most difficult moments in that calling. All I hope for is the unfading crown of glory that Jesus will give when I’ve finished this life.
So there’s my top 10. Do you have a favorite passage? Go ahead and leave it in the comments below with a little explanation of why it means so much to you.