Do justice; love mercy; walk humbly with God.

The’s Top 100+2 –

Countdown Verses #75 - #70

Micah 6:1-8, Countdown #75: Micah 6:8

John 15:1-17, Countdown #74: John 15:13

Hebrews 4:12-16, Countdown #73, 86, 99: Hebrews 4:12, 4:16, 4:15

Psalms 133:1-3, Countdown #71, 85, 96: Psalms 133:1, 133:3, 133:2

1 John 3:13 – 4:3, Countdown #70: 1 John 3:16

More of The’s Top 100+2

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Micah 6:1-8, Countdown #75: Micah 6:8 (4/24/12)

The prophet Micah preached in the Kingdom of Judah during a period of decline. (Generally speaking, God only sends prophets during bad times. When we are behaving ourselves, we don’t need prophets.) Micah’s message was a simple one: Stop sinning and get right with God! Instead of making sacrifices to atone for sins we have already committed, let’s do God’s will in the first place! Our Countdown Verse #75 is one of the Bible’s simplest and most beautiful explanations of what God wants: “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

John 15:1-17, Countdown #74: John 15:13 (4/25/12)

The half-sentence verses we’ve been getting have led fellow-reader Barbara F. to wonder how the verses came to be numbered. The original text had no punctuation, let alone numbers. The Old Testament verses numbers are mostly related to much older divisions that were put into the text by scribes in ancient times to assist the cantor to read it correctly. For that reason, most (but not all) of the chapter and verse divisions in the OT make a lot of sense.

The divisions in the New Testament arose between the 13th and 16th centuries. The verse numbers in particular were put in by a very early printer, not a scholar, and sometimes they make sense, and sometimes they don’t, as we have seen. And, of course, whether a particular verse is half a sentence, one sentence, or two sentences may depend on your translation, as well.

As strange as the verse numbers seem, think how difficult it would be for us to study the Bible together without them! As I said to my hubby the other day, “Verse and chapter numbers are the blessing and the curse of Biblical study.”

Just remember: when you are reading a verse to see what it means, read several verses before and several verses after to be sure you are getting the whole context. When we read our Countdown Verse #74, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down his life for his friends,” we need to understand that we are Jesus’ friends when we love one another, as he commanded.

Hebrews 4:12-16, Countdown #73, 86, 99: Hebrews 4:12, 4:16, 4:15 (4/26/12)

The book of Hebrews is one of the most difficult to read in the Bible, for several reasons. It expects us to be familiar with hundreds of Old Testament verses and concepts, not to mention some Inter-Testamental literature that most of us have never read. It is full of rabbinical-style reasoning; think about reading the fine print in a contract. And finally, the Greek is very difficult, although most translators make this their problem, not your problem.

So I confess to some surprise at finding so many verses from Hebrews in the top 100. As active students of the Bible, we all agree with Countdown Verse #73, “the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” No matter what part of the Bible we read, it speaks to the joys or sorrows or questions that we have today.

Whenever we are tempted, we can take confidence from Countdown Verse #86, “we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.” And whenever we fall short, we remember Countdown Verse #99, “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Psalms 133:1-3, Countdown #71, 85, 96: Psalms 133:1, 133:3, 133:2 (4/27/12)

This little psalm is only three verses long, and all three made it into the top 100! A “Song of Ascents” is sung on the road up the mountain to Jerusalem, which of course is built on Mt. Zion. “Of David” means that David is believed to have written it. Just for tomorrow, let’s all try to “dwell in unity” with everyone we see.
1 John 3:13 – 4:3, Countdown #70: 1 John 3:16 (4/30/12)

Pastor Craig preached a wonderful sermon on a portion of this text this very Sunday, beginning with our Countdown Verse #70, “By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.” Many of the scriptures we’ve read lately talk about love, but the next two verses make it clear that love has to express itself in action, just as Jesus acted in laying down his life for us.

Now, Pastor Craig stopped with 3:24, because he was mainly talking about the power of Jesus’ name and what that means to us. I’ve gone on into the next chapter, because John’s message about the spirits has been divided between Chapters 3 and 4. We know that Jesus abides in us by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, but – and this is an important but – we are sometimes influenced by spirits that don’t come from God. We need to ask ourselves, “Is this spirit from God? Does this spirit confess Jesus by influencing me in a way consistent with the teachings of Jesus?”

More of’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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The illustration showing a view of Mt. Hermon is from the Thomas family Bible, now in a private collection of a family member.

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