01 May 2015

This 'n' That

I recently attended a simulcast event for a popular women's 'Bible teacher.' Not long after I settled into my seat, a woman from the host church stood up to welcome us and to share with us her 'life verse.' The divine irony of this was that the most recent episode of Equipping Eve, in which I discussed the life verse craze, was airing that very same day. I couldn't help but smile, but my amusement was short-lived as I heard this woman say, "Now, what this verse means to me is…"

I wanted to scream. I wanted to throw a fruit danish at her. Anything to make her stop talking. She had just perfectly illustrated one of the biggest problems with the 'life verse' fad. Grab a verse—any verse—that 'speaks' to you and meets your need. Context? Who needs it! Is the verse no longer relevant to your life and its immediate, fleeting whims? No problem, just grab another one! After all, whatever that verse means to you is all that really matters, right?

Wrong. So terribly, horribly, grievously wrong. Quite frankly, nobody cares what that verse means to you. That is exactly what I wanted to say that day but, of course, I held my tongue. After all, I didn't want to be prematurely removed from the premises, nor did I want to disrespect any person or church. But as I watched women's heads bobbing in agreement, I couldn't help but think about the death of discernment. And I couldn't help but think that, had I stood up and declared to those women that it doesn't matter what that verse means to them, rather what matters is what God meant when He wrote the verse, that I would have received one of two reactions: 1. Nodding in agreement while staring blankly and cluelessly ahead, or 2. Anger.

So, let's forgo this whole 'life verse' thing, shall we? That catchy, pithy verse you've selected is no substitute for the whole counsel of God. Sure, you may never memorize all 66 books, but don't let that stop you from reading them, studying them, and letting them transform you.

With that, what else is there to say except to request that you sit back and enjoy your week in review (kind of):
  • So, what does John MacArthur say about the 'what does this verse mean to you' method of interpreting Scripture?
  • I don't know what makes me more sad, that this 'drug' was approved, or that the LA Times clearly has low standards for their reporters. Spell check, anyone? Also, I had no idea that the elimination of 'submental fat' was a critical medical need. Priorities, people.
  • The only question is: do I choose this shirt? Or this one?
  • Here's your weekly dose of adorable.
  • I'm going to try to read along with Challies on this one (emphasis on try considering what my schedule looks like for the next 3-4 months).
  • "There must be conviction of sin before a sinner is ready for grace."
  • Maybe this is why my cat bolts whenever I start to fiddle with dishes in the cupboard.
  • This could be an interesting series of articles.
  • The curse on mankind:


  1. LOL, When I read your comment about life verses, I had just finished listening to the wonderful S. Lewis Johnson preach 1 Corinthians 9:1-14. That sermon was delivered in 1994. He mentioned life verses while explaining Paul's use of the Deuteronomy 25:4 statement, “For it is written in the Law of Moses, you shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain” in 1 Cor 9. He related that a student came up to him once, and asked,

    "Deuteronomy chapter 25 in verse 4, do you think that was Paul’s life verse? He said that with a smile on his face because everybody had their life verses, and he was just saying it jokingly. He quoted it twice, so I said something about Paul evidently really liked this text, you shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain. He said, Do you think that was Paul’s life verse? And then I wrote afterwards in an outburst of uncommon sharpness, I said, No, but perhaps it’s the life verse of the oxen."

  2. I hope you do get a chance to read along with Challies on the Mystery of Providence. I am going to try also, but 'try' for a different reason. When I went to order Flavel's book, Amazon was out of stock! A Puritan book being out of stock is a god thing, but they didn't set a date on when it'd become available. Maybe when I eventually receive it I can read and catch up. Maybe.

  3. Regarding the life verse: I hear you. I have had that experience numerous times, even amongst family. I was the meany pants at last summers family reunion when I noted that the verse my grandmother "claimed as a promise" was actually for Israel. And this is why I give a clear bearth to women's ministries. Nothing for me there.

  4. Having the gift of discernment is frustrating because it causes one to notice others' lack of discernment. I have often found myself in situations like you describe--including the robotic head nodding--and I am at a loss whether to speak out or keep silent. My experience has been that speaking out rarely results in agreement or even a comment to the effect of, 'well you've given me something to think about.' But not speaking out feels like I'm condoning falsehood or false beliefs. I pray for wisdom on how to handle these situations. ~~Linda

    1. Linda, you took the words right out of my mouth.

    2. Many times I have corrected these fad teachings in meetings and Sunday night gatherings. It was done with much fear and trembling. The truth of the scriptures must be presented , this is what brings glory to GOD. Never be afraid to honor GOD by proclaiming His truth. Jesus has told us that it won't make us the hit of the party but in my 60 yrs of life my expierence with doing this has allowed a few of the people to thank me with tears in their eyes. The feeling that comes over you when just one or two people do this makes it worth all the dirty looks you may get. Remain strong in Christ.

  5. I hear you on the life verse thing. I had often wondered what is up w that. Always wonder what people are talking about when they say they are going to pray Scripture "over" someone, too. Doesn't that kind of sound like using the words of the Bible as some sort of magical incantation? Maybe I am putting too much thought into it. I'll be curious to listen to your Equipping Eve talk on the life verse. Melissa

  6. Roman Catholicism is truly satan's masterpiece.

  7. I was asked to "share about being a mother of teens" at a women's brunch last week where the raffle prizes were (gasp! Sigh!) tickets to the upcoming Beth Moore Conference. Knowing my audience, I took the opportunity to present the Gospel (just in case), urged them to stay away from self help books, and advised them to read the Bible , NOT as a roadmap to life, but as a roadmap to Jesus, in order to actually get to know Him.


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