Everyone's Life Verse

In certain churches and Christian circles, there’s a common question that’s asked, “What’s your life verse?” It’s supposed to mean something grand, but I’m afraid that in most cases, it is not.

It sounds spiritually mature to ask and answer this question. But after 49 years of my new birth, rarely have I heard this question or answer come from a place of substance—of eternal value and weight. Rather, both this question and its answer are more often in the vein of, “What’s your all-time favorite verse? You know, the one that reminds you of how special and wonderfully loved you are and comforts you when you need it most?”

In the past, I too have asked and answered this seemingly deep, but shallow question. Why? Because at that time in my life, I didn’t know any better. And by God’s grace and mercy, I’m inclined to extend His compassion to others who have and still ask and answer this question in like manner, rather than harshly condemn them for not knowing any better as I do now (cf. Rom 12:3). For participating in this activity is not sinful in itself. But it is unwise since it can lead to the sins of pride, self-righteousness, and false-piety.

None of us are born knowing and thoroughly understanding everything. Nor do any of us, at any time in our lives, wake up one morning and suddenly have full knowledge and understanding of all things—save Christ Jesus.

But as we draw nearer to our Lord Jesus, singularly focusing on His face, His Word, His will, and the majesty and beauty of His holiness and love, we can’t help but think more like Him, talk more like Him, have a heart more like Him (loving what He loves, hating what He hates, being humored by what He’s humored by).

Just as it is with all created things that are still alive (people, animals, plants, etc.) we are conformed to what, where, how, and with whom our time and energy is most spent.

If our time, energy, and resources are largely spent on temporal things, then our minds, hearts, and speech will bear the fruit of that (Mt 6:19, Gal 5:19-21); clearly revealing who or what is most precious to us, and what we most cherish and treasure (Mt 6:21, 7:21).

Matthew 6:33, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” could, by all accounts, be everyone’s life verse.

This singular verse magnificently encompasses what most pleases God our Father, and suits every situation and circumstance for anyone—for our entire lives.

Are you sick? Are you hungry? Are you poor and needy? Are you proud and suffering the fruit of that sin? Are you lonely, or are you too overwhelmed with company? Are you misunderstood? Are you mistreated? Are you persecuted for Christ’s sake? Are you happy and well? The list goes on.

Whether we experience pain or pleasantries, it is always good and right to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. In pain, this diligent and daily practice keeps us from acting in, or being overcome by: anger, fear, and anxiety. In pleasantries, it keeps us from acting in, or being overcome by: megalomania, false humility, and self-indulgence.

It is in this holy and happy practice of seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness that we are (in any and every circumstance) enveloped in the inexplicable blessedness and peace of wholly submitting to, and resting in, the good and perfect sovereignty of the LORD GOD Almighty (cf. Prov 3:5-8).

But know that the LORD has set apart the godly for


   the LORD hears when I call to Him.

Be angry, and do not sin;

   ponder in your own hearts on your beds,

       and be silent.                      Selah

Offer right sacrifices,

   and put your trust in the LORD.

There are many who say, “Who will show us some good?

   Lift up the light of Your face upon us, O LORD!”

You have put more joy in my heart

   than they have when their grain and wine abound.

In peace I will both lie down and sleep;

   for You alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.

~Psalm 4:3-8

For further encouragement and warm exhortation on Matthew 6:33, listen to my pastor’s sermon from February 6, 2022, The Christian’s Pursuit. You’ll definitely want a journal, pen, and tissues (because you’ll find yourself both grateful and repentant as you listen).