1 Corinthians 10:1-13, Countdown #38: 1 Corinthians 10:13 (5/29/12)
The BibleGateway.com’s Top 100+2 –
Countdown Verses #38 - #33
1 Corinthians 10:1-13, Countdown #38: 1 Corinthians 10:13
1 Peter 5:1-11, Countdown #36: 1 Peter 5:7
Hebrews 11:1 – 12:2, Countdown #35, 40, 55, 64: Hebrews 12:2, 11:1, 11:6, 12:1
Matthew 6:25-34, Countdown #34: Matthew 6:33
2 Timothy 3:10 – 4:5, Countdown #33: 2 Timothy 3:16
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For those of us who are in the United States, today is Memorial Day, a time when we remember the sacrifices made by our men and women who have served in the military. Please keep them and their families in your prayers today and all days. I got an email the other day that said it is veterans, not preachers, who have given us freedom of religion in this country, and there’s a lot of truth in that. We can look back at generations of soldiers who protected our freedoms and be confidant that other men and women will step up again whenever necessary.
Paul calls on us to remember those who have gone before us in the faith. Our verse for today is Countdown Verse #38, “No trial has overtaken you that is not faced by others. And God is faithful: He will not let you be tried beyond what you are able to bear, but with the trial will also provide a way out so that you may be able to endure it.” One of the most important reasons to study the Bible is so that when trials come to us, we will know
what God has done for those who have gone before, and what God can and will do for us. Confidence in God’s faithfulness is our most powerful antidote for despair.
1 Peter 5:1-11, Countdown #36: 1 Peter 5:7 (5/30/12)
Countdown Verse #36 is another one of those half-sentence verses we’ve been seeing: “by casting all your cares on him because he cares for you.” What are we supposed do by casting our cares on God, who cares for us? Humble ourselves under God’s mighty hand. And it is a humbling experience to let someone else take care of you, no doubt about that.
It’s interesting to me that in the very next verse, we aren’t supposed to be humble at all. Resist the devil! Even though he prowls like a roaring lion, looking for someone to eat! Standing up to the devil, or even to someone who’s being rude to a little old lady or a child, takes courage and pride in being a Christian – which of course you have because you are strong in the faith and proud of all the other Christians who resist evil.
Two words of caution, however:
Hebrews 11:1 – 12:2, Countdown #35, 40, 55, 64: Hebrews 12:2, 11:1, 11:6, 12:1 (5/31/12)
- Make sure you are resisting evil as defined by God, and not merely opposing something that irritates you personally. For example, praise choruses and a rock band in worship aren’t my personal cup of tea, but that doesn’t make them evil.
- Make sure you act lovingly, even while you are resisting evil – when you use the devil’s own tactics against him, he wins.
Hebrews 11 is “the faith chapter,” and it shouldn’t surprise us that four critical verses from this passage have made it into the top 100. The passage is a little longer than our usual readings, but the many examples of faith that the writer gives us are important to understanding our countdown verses.
What is faith? Countdown Verse #35 tells us. “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for, being convinced of what we do not see” (NET Bible).
Why is faith important? See Countdown Verse #40. “Now without faith it is impossible to please him, for the one who approaches God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.”
How can we be confident that our faith is well placed? Countdown verses Countdown #55 and 64 give us the answer. “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, we must get rid of every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and run with endurance the race set out for us, keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith. For the joy set out for him he endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Matthew 6:25-34, Countdown #34: Matthew 6:33 (6/1/12)
Here is a little song I wrote
You might want to sing it note for note
Don't worry be happy
In every life we have some trouble
When you worry you make it double
Don't worry, be happy......
(Apparently copyright 1988 by Bobby McFerrin)
We all know that worry is like sitting in a rocking chair: you keep moving, but you don’t go anywhere. Our Countdown Verse #34 says, “First seek the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” But before and after that, Jesus says three times, “Don’t worry!” We can’t pursue righteousness by sitting in one place and worrying.
2 Timothy 3:10 – 4:5, Countdown #33: 2 Timothy 3:16 (6/4/12)
I haven’t had a for-credit class from my Greek teacher for a number of years, but he is still my teacher. Sometimes I ask him questions about the Greek, and sometimes he just sends information that he thinks I need. Occasionally I sit in on a class he’s teaching for someone else. I continue to learn from him, not only about Greek, but about scriptural interpretation and the Christian life in general.
Timothy was Paul’s student for many years, and even after he had his own churches to lead, Paul continued to teach him, both in person and by letters. We have two of these letters. Our Countdown Verse #33 says, “Every scripture is inspired by God and useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness….” The rest of the sentence comes in the next verse: “in order that
the person dedicated to God may be capable and equipped for every good work” (NET Bible). Paul reminds Timothy here and elsewhere that he has studied the scriptures since he was a little kid, but not just for knowledge or even for training in righteousness. We study scripture in order that
we will be capable and equipped for good works.
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