Proverbs 3:1-12, Countdown # 6, 7: Proverbs 3:5, 3:6 (6/29/12)
The BibleGateway.com’s Top 100+2 –
Countdown Verses #6 - #3
Proverbs 3:1-12, Countdown # 6, 7: Proverbs 3:5, 3:6
Genesis 1:1 – 2:3, Countdown # 5, 46, 62: Genesis 1:1, 1:26, 1:27
Philippians 4:4-20, Countdown # 4, 9, 24, 25, 67: Philippians 4:13, 4:6, 4:8, 4:7, 4:19
Romans 8:1-17, Countdown # 3, 80, 81: Romans 8:28, 8:38, 8:39 – Part 1
Romans 8:17-39, Countdown # 3, 80, 81: Romans 8:28, 8:38, 8:39 – Part 2
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You know the difference between preachin’ and meddlin’, right? Preachin’ steps on my neighbor’s toes, and meddlin’ steps on my
toes. Alternatively, preachin’ gives me comfort, and meddlin’ makes me uncomfortable.
Our Countdown Verses #6 and 7 are preachin’. “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not depend on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” I like the idea that I can trust the LORD, and especially that if I acknowledge him, he’ll clear the road for me!
Unfortunately, these verses are preceded and following by some meddlesome instructions: Obey! Stay away from evil! Give God your money! Embrace correction! It’s not surprising that none of those verses made the top 100.
Genesis 1:1 – 2:3, Countdown # 5, 46, 62: Genesis 1:1, 1:26, 1:27 (7/2/12)
Occasionally you read some excellent theology in novels. In several of Terry Pratchett’s books (e.g., Wee Free Men
), there’s a race of 6-inch Pictsies called the Nac Mac Feegles. The Mac Feegles believe that they are dead
, because this place that they live in (roughly speaking, earth) is so wonderful
that they must be in Heaven!
When you think about it, the place that we are in is
wonderful. Just think about apple trees, or whales, or robins, or babies! The writers of Genesis explain this in a very simple way: God made everything, and it is good
Our Countdown Verses #5, 46, 62 bracket the story of creation:
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. … God said, "Now we will make humans, and they will be like us. We will let them rule the fish, the birds, and all other living creatures." So God created humans to be like himself; he made men and women. (CEV)
Philippians 4:4-20, Countdown # 4, 9, 24, 25, 67: Philippians 4:13, 4:6, 4:8, 4:7, 4:19 (7/3/12)
Wow! Five countdown verses in one chapter
?? People love Philippians 4!
Actually, Paul loved the Philippians, and they loved him, which accounts in part for the joyful tone of this little letter. Furthermore, he didn’t have to lecture them about bad behavior, reprove them for bad theology, or exhort them to mission work. What a relief to Paul! Wouldn’t it be great if our own congregations were as loving, believing, and generous as the church at Philippi?
Here are Countdown Verses 9, 25, 24, 4, and 19 from the International Standard Version:
“Never worry about anything. Instead, in every situation let your petitions be made known to God through prayers and requests, with thanksgiving. Then God’s peace, which goes far beyond anything we can imagine, will guard your hearts and minds in union with the Messiah Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is fair, whatever is pure, whatever is acceptable, whatever is commendable, if there is anything of excellence and if there is anything praiseworthy—keep thinking about these things.”
Romans 8:1-17, Countdown # 3, 80, 81: Romans 8:28, 8:38, 8:39 – Part 1 (7/4/12)
“I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”
“And my God will fully supply your every need according to his glorious riches in the Messiah Jesus.”
I said to my Greek study buddy the other day that the best way to translate Paul would be with a PowerPoint presentation:
She agreed that there is some truth to that. After thinking it over, I’ve decided that circles and arrows would also be helpful. Paul’s arguments are so complex and so tightly reasoned, and his sentences are so long (and this is me
talking!), that finding the appropriate starting and stopping points for the context can be difficult.
There are no countdown verses in today’s reading. This is the first half of the shortest reading I could find that gives the context for the three countdown verses we will see tomorrow. Notice that the CEV (probably just like whatever translation you normally read) makes short, easy-to-read sentences out of Paul’s argument. That almost completely destroys Paul’s original structure, but oh well.
Romans 8:17-39, Countdown # 3, 80, 81: Romans 8:28, 8:38, 8:39 – Part 2 (7/5/12)
I totally understand why the countdown verses in this passage are so popular. They are positive, uplifting, and – above all – clear
. Unfortunately, Paul seems to have just stuck them in at a couple of points when he was overcome by the beauty and kindness of God. Although I suppose you could say that they are illustrations of what Paul is talking about, they don’t have a lot to do with the overall argument, which is roughly as follows:
- There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, which is kind of odd when you think about it, because
- The Law is good, but unfortunately we cannot keep it; however,
- God set aside our guilt under the Law by sending Jesus to take the punishment, and therefore
- The Holy Spirit acts within us to enable us to live for God (thus keeping the spirit of the Law).
- Things look pretty bad right now, but the Holy Spirit also gives us well-founded hope for the future, and
- All that being the case, obviously God has chosen us and takes care of us as his children; therefore
- No one else can harm us.
- Our victory is due to Christ’s love for us!
Notice that the last bullet is something of a restatement and summary of the first bullet.
Countdown Verses #3, 80, and 81 are somewhat extraneous to this argument:
“We know that God is always at work for the good of everyone who loves him. They are the ones God has chosen for his purpose…”
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“I am sure that nothing can separate us from God’s love – not life or death, not angels or spirits, not the present or the future, and not powers above or powers below. Nothing in all creation can separate us from God’s love for us in Christ Jesus our Lord!” (CEV)
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
Copyright 2012, 2013 by Regina L. Hunter. All rights reserved. This page has been prepared for the web site by RPB.
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Bible-study participants. Thanks to the
Holy Spirit for any useful ideas presented here, and thanks to all the readers
for their support and enthusiasm. All
errors are, of course, the sole responsibility of the author.
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