The’s Top 100+2 –

Countdown Verses #14 - #8

John 10:1-21, Countdown # 14: John 10:10
Galatians 5:13-25, Countdown # 12, 30: Galatians 5:22, 5:23
Ephesians 2:1-10, Countdown # 11, 28, 37: Ephesians 2:8, 2:9, 2:10
Matthew 28:5-20, Countdown # 10, 22, 93: Matthew 28:19, 28:20, 28:18
Romans 11:33 – 12:5, Countdown # 8, 13: Romans 12:2, 12:1

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John 10:1-21, Countdown # 14: John 10:10 (6/22/12)

I heard on the news the other night that some lady has been arrested for breaking into people’s houses and cleaning them. My first reaction: “How do I get her to break into my house??”

Most people who break in, however, are up to no good. Jesus contrasts himself with thieves and robbers in our Countdown Verse #14, “A thief comes only to rob, kill, and destroy. I came so that everyone would have life, and have it in its fullest.” (CEV)

Galatians 5:13-25, Countdown # 12, 30: Galatians 5:22, 5:23 (6/25/12)

Those of you who were fortunate enough to hear Javier Gonzalez (here's a Youtube link, a Facebook video link and a plain Facebook link, too) in concert probably remember that he had a few words to say about translations. One reason that I don’t (or maybe can’t) memorize Bible verses is that I read so many different translations – and they are all slightly different.* My only memory verses are the ones I learned as a child from the King James Version. But if I were going to memorize some new verses, today’s Countdown Verses #12 and 30 would be on the list: “God’s Spirit makes us loving, happy, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle, and self-controlled. There is no law against behaving in any of these ways.” (CEV)

I’d probably be better off to memorize the previous couple of verses, in which “being hard to get along with” is listed right next to worshipping idols and witchcraft as a sin to be avoided.

*Don’t write to me and say I should memorize them in Greek. I know that; however, it is unlikely to happen.

Ephesians 2:1-10, Countdown # 11, 28, 37: Ephesians 2:8, 2:9, 2:10 (6/26/12)

Well, folks, I’m sorry to tell you that today’s study tip is mostly about the importance of reading more than one translation. I tell you all the time to get yourself a good, modern translation, right? And the CEV usually is a good, modern translation. Today it falls down on the job so seriously that I just about took out the CEV and substituted something else. Then I decided, no, we need to be on guard against this sort of thing, and how can we be on guard if we don’t know that it happens?

From the Contemporary English Version:
Ephesians 2:2 doesn’t mention the devil. I looked at the Greek and several other translations, and it Does Not mention the devil. The words “the devil” are one of those “commentary fakes” that my grandson warns against, except that this time the commentary fake is right there in the verse! I see no reason to believe that the “prince of the power of the air” – which is what the verse says – is the devil, but that’s the word these particular translators decided to use.

Ephesians 2:2 also doesn’t say that the devil – or even the prince of the power of the air – rules this world or any other world. The spirit doesn’t “have power over” those who disobey God, it merely “works in” them. They are volunteers, not draftees! Never be fooled into thinking that “the devil made you do it.” The devil can’t make you do anything, because the Holy Spirit will help you stay away from sin whenever you ask.

Here's a translation from the International Standard Version that does a much better job of representing the Greek: The CEV’s translation of our Countdown Verses #11, 28, and 37 is okay, but I’m giving you the International Standard Version here because I like it better: “For by such grace you have been saved through faith. This does not come from you; it is the gift of God and not the result of actions, to put a stop to all boasting. For we are God’s masterpiece, created in the Messiah Jesus to perform good actions that God prepared long ago to be our way of life.”

Matthew 28:5-20, Countdown # 10, 22, 93: Matthew 28:19, 28:20, 28:18 (6/27/12)

Much to my surprise, only 15 of the top 100 Bible verses in’s survey are from the Gospels. What’s up with that? And all 15 are from Matthew and John! Now, Matthew and John are mighty fine and I love them, but why didn’t a single verse from Mark or Luke make the list? I ranted a little to my hubby on this, and he said, “I only read the letters; I never read the Gospels.”

So the chances are that you, dear reader, also only read the letters. Poor baby. I’d much rather read the Gospels than the letters. The Gospels tell me how much God loves me, and the letters tell me to clean up my act.

Anyway, if we’re only going to read 15 verses from the Gospels, I’m glad that Countdown Verses #93, 10, and 22 made the list:

“Jesus came to them and said: I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth! Go to the people of all nations and make them my disciples. Baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and teach them to do everything I have told you. I will be with you always, even until the end of the world.”

Please note that Jesus, not the prince of the power of the air, has all authority over the earth.

Romans 11:33 – 12:5, Countdown # 8, 13: Romans 12:2, 12:1 (6/28/12)

Way back in Deuteronomy and Leviticus, God laid down moral principles that put a fair amount of stress on physical and spiritual purity. In consequence, the Jews and early Jewish Christians had very different standards of behavior than, say, the Romans. When Gentile converts first came into the church, they didn’t see any reason to change. (Read 1 Corinthians 5, for example.)

Now, Paul didn’t found the church at Rome, and he doesn’t know these people. He can’t rail at them the way he does at his own churches; nevertheless, he obliquely reminds them of the importance of changed behavior and particularly of bodily holiness in our Countdown Verses #13 and 8: “Dear friends, God is good. So I beg you to offer your bodies to him as a living sacrifice, pure and pleasing. That’s the most sensible way to serve God. Don’t be like the people of this world, but let God change the way you think. Then you will know how to do everything that is good and pleasing to him.” (CEV)

More’s Top 100+2
Countdown Verses #100 - #95
Countdown Verses #91 - #82
Countdown Verses #75 - #70
Countdown Verses #69 - #63
Countdown Verses #60 - #53
Countdown Verses #50 - #44
Countdown Verses #43 - #39
Countdown Verses #38 - #33
Countdown Verses #32 - #23
Countdown Verses #21 - #15
Countdown Verses #14 - #8
Countdown Verses #6 - #3
Countdown Verses #2 - #1a
Countdown Verse #1

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