Thursday, June 14, 2007

Guiding Scripture Verse?

Do you have one? I was riding home from the June 12 Detroit Tigers game (yes the one with Verlander's no hitter) with my friend Kurt and we were discussing "life verses" or scripture that guides our thinking and actions. I've never formally said something is my life verse, but it got me thinking that the closest I have come is Micah 6:8 "He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God."

I know that the Lord has been working on me in this area for some time. Humility is not my strong suit, and as a former pastor wisely said "If God has to teach you humility, it will be painful." He is so correct. Loving mercy was harder than I thought. But as the Spirit has shown me the depths of my sin, my heart has softened toward many people. I better understand the concept of those who have been forgiven much loving much. And that I believe, along with some spiritual maturity, is helping me see people differently.

I've always liked Susan Ashton's song "Beyond Justice to Mercy." Take a look at the lyrics and let them dwell in you. I'm sorry I can't find a YouTube of it for you to listen.

I know we don't see eye to eye
We've let angry hearts flare and the bitter words fly
The common ground we used to share
Is harder to find but I believe that it's still there.

I don't know if now is the time
To surrender the silence between your heart and mine
But the love that I've chosen cries out to be spoken
Leaving the heartache behind.

Chorus:
We must reach out beyond justice to mercy
Going more than halfway to forgive
And though the distance seems so far
The love that used to hold our hearts
Longs to take us beyond justice to mercy.

It doesn't matter who's to blame
The love that I have for you is still the same
A tender voice is calling me
To that place of compassion where hearts run pure and free
Where the hunger for vengeance gives way to repentance
Where love will teach us to see.

We can reach out beyond justice to mercy
Going more than halfway to forgive
And thought the distance seems so far
The love that used to hold our hearts
Longs to take us beyond justice to mercy.

To mercy, to mercy.

Chorus:
We must reach out beyond justice to mercy
Going more than halfway to forgive
And though the distance seems so far
The love that used to hold our hearts
Longs to take us beyond justice to mercy...

Doing Christian justice is something I viscerally feel, but struggle to implement. It's different than what she is talking about, which is punishment. Acting justly is being Christlike and righting wrongs. Maybe it is that I am still in school, and not in a position to affect change as strongly as I would like. I'm not sure, but I feel the need, but I struggle with the action. Pray for me on this.

Do you have a life verse? If so, how does it affect your Christian faith? I'd like to hear that.


3 comments:

saeggers said...

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord. 'Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'" (Jeremiah 29:11, NIV)

Especially wonderful to cling to when your world is torn apart, when you are suddenly bereft of the love of your life.

bishopman said...

Aw man! You got to see a no-hitter? That is awesome. I saw Hipolito Pichardo (yes, he's a real baseball player) pitch a near perfect game against the Red Sox (Boggs was the only hit, a clean single).

As to the life verse thing, it seems that it depends on what I am going through at the time. For the last couple years, I have come back to Jeremiah's call in Jer. 1:4-10. I'm not sure why. I think it has to do with Jeremiah's whining about God calling him. I can relate to that.

Kurt said...

Since you gave me a little shout-out, let me return the favor. My life's verse is 1 Corinthians 15:58 - "Therefore my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain." I use this verse to remind me of 3 things: 1. Be CONVICTED. Stand firm. 2. Be CONSISTENT. Always give yourselves full to the work of the Lord. 3. Be CONVINCED. You know that your work in the Lord is not in vain. These reminders have been my ministry foundation for years and years.