1 Peter 2:11 – 3:2, 3:7, Countdown #91: 1 Peter 2:24 (4/13/12)
Encourage each other in good works.
The BibleGateway.com’s Top 100+2 –
Countdown Verses #91 - #82
1 Peter 2:11 – 3:2, 3:7, Countdown #91: 1 Peter 2:24
Isaiah 26:1-10, Countdown #90: Isaiah 26:3
Acts 4:1-20, Countdown #89: Acts 4:12
Psalms 37:1-7, Countdown #87: Psalms 37:4
Philippians 1:1-14, Countdown #84: Philippians 1:6
2 Peter 1:1-15, Countdown #83: 2 Peter 1:4
Hebrews 10:19-39, Countdown #82: Hebrews 10:25
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Fellow-reader Dick P. wrote to say that he didn’t recognize the 98th most-popular verse, although he did recognize the two verses that came right before it. I can’t say that I recognize today’s 91st most-popular verse, “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.
” The context for the verse, however, is one I’m thoroughly familiar with, because all too often we have heard that wives are supposed to be subject to their husbands.
If we especially like Countdown Verse #91, we need to pay careful attention to the previous six verses, which tell us not to complain if we suffer unjustly, because Jesus didn’t complain when he
suffered unjustly – and that for our sins!
And as always, we need to look at the larger context, which tells us that we all must be subject to each other. And by the way, Paul says the same thing, so looking at an even-larger context doesn’t change the message.
Isaiah 26:1-10, Countdown #90: Isaiah 26:3 (4/16/12)
We’ve seen a couple of times already that the “memory verse” in a passage doesn’t always happen to be the main point in the passage. Countdown Verse #90, however, is exactly the point of the passage: “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.
” We see this idea not only in vs. 3, but also – in slightly different forms – in vss. 4, 7, 8, and 9, and in negative form in vs. 10. Why this repetition? Two possible reasons:
Acts 4:1-20, Countdown #89: Acts 4:12 (4/17/12)
- It’s important, and Isaiah wants to make sure we get it, or
- It’s a song, and songs tend to have one idea, expressed in several ways.
One of our fellow-readers was wondering yesterday whether she had somehow missed an email, because she didn’t get Countdown Verse #99. (Ooh – good job on the careful reading!) Remember that we are reading passages, not individual verses. Sometimes more than one verse in a passage is in the countdown. Whenever that happens, we’ll save the lower-ranking verse until we get to the higher-ranking verse.
Countdown Verse #87, “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved
,” is a great verse all by itself. It happens to be in a wonderful passage, as well. Three things are of note.
Psalms 37:1-7, Countdown #87: Psalms 37:4 (4/18/12)
- First, all of you “well-educated” readers out there should be warned: everyone you meet knows a lot more than you do about something really important. (I have always found this to be true, and I have a Ph.D.)
- Second, even the Sadducees acknowledged that Jesus’ name had power. They just didn’t want anyone tapping into that power.
- Third, and most important, Peter and John thought that God’s directions were more pertinent than the Sadducees’ directions. They continued to speak boldly in the name of Jesus Christ.
Psalm 37 presents a good example of parallelism, which is the type of Hebrew poetry that’s easiest to recognize in English. The first seven verses can be divided up into couplets very easily. They generally look like this:
- Something is stated;
- A similar thing is said.
Each couplet says pretty much the same thing two times. In verse 1, “Fret not” is parallel to “be not envious,” and “evildoers” is parallel to “wrongdoers”; in verse 2, we see “fade”/“wither” and “grass”/“green herb.”
Our Countdown Verse #87, “Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart
,” is the first half of a couplet. The second half is in verse 5, “Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act.” Taking delight in the LORD equals committing yourself to the LORD; if you trust him, he will take action – and that action will be the desire of your heart.
Philippians 1:1-14, Countdown #84: Philippians 1:6 (4/19/12)
Philippians is the most joyful of all of Paul’s letters, which is impressive since he wrote it from prison. Paul always took great pride in working to support himself so that he would not be a burden to his young congregations. The Philippians were different. They loved Paul so much that they insisted on supporting him financially, and he loved them so much that he let them! In our Countdown Verse #84, “I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ
,” Paul looks forward with confidence and joy to being reunited with his beloved Philippians when Christ returns.
2 Peter 1:1-15, Countdown #83: 2 Peter 1:4 (4/20/12)
What?? 2 Peter 1:5-7 didn’t make it into the top 100? There must be something wrong with this list. 2 Peter 1:5-7 is one of my favorite Biblical sentences, and you should notice that it is three verses long.
You should also notice that our Countdown Verse #83 – “by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire
” – is only half-a-sentence long. The first half of the sentence is in vs. 3. You only become partakers of the divine nature and escape corruption through the knowledge of God who called us
When you read or memorize Bible verses, be sure that you are getting the whole thought, and always remember that the verse numbers are not a reliable guide to where the thought begins and ends.
Hebrews 10:19-39, Countdown #82: Hebrews 10:25 (4/23/12)
Our Countdown Verse #82, “not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near
,” is another one of those half-sentence memory verses. The first part is, “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works.” Why should we do that?
The answer to “why?” starts way back in vs. 19, with “Therefore.” Because we have our great priest Jesus, who has cleansed us and saved us, we should encourage each other in good works, with a special emphasis on meeting for fellowship and worship. (If people don’t see you, it’s hard for them to encourage you!) The passage continues to vs. 39 with an exhortation not to backslide – why would you, when perseverance in faith will lead to the preservation of your souls?
So the point of this verse and this passage is to encourage your fellow Christians in love and good works, knowing that faith in Jesus has saved us and will continue to preserve us. The overall message is similar to that of Ephesians 2:8-10: “For by grace you have been saved through faith… , created in Christ Jesus for good works.”
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