According to BibleGateway.com, they have tallied the top 100 most requested verses on their site. They sampled 25 million Bible passage searches and came up with a top 100 list. This list isn’t actually based on a straight popularity count; simply tallying the most-read verses results in a top 100 list that consists almost entirely of John 3:16 and verses from 1 Corinthians 13, Genesis 1, Romans 8, and Psalm 23. I have decided to expound on the top ten verses in a three-part series. This is the first of that series.
1. John 3:16: For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
For God so loved – God hates the sin, but loves the sinner.” A parent may love his child and desire his welfare, and yet be strongly opposed to the conduct of that child. The world refers to all humanity. This does not mean any particular sect, creed, religion or race, but to every man and woman created by Him, part of the human race that had rebelled and that deserved to die.
When we stop and look at the circumstances at the time of His wondrous gift, we should always be eternally grateful. The entire world was in sin, and exposed to the wrath of God., and all of humanity were living in hopelessness without salvation. For salvation to be accomplished God had to give His only Son. The world had no right to receive the gift of God of themselves; it was a gift – an undeserved gift resulting of the death of Christ upon the cross. Jesus tasted “spiritual death for all mankind,” He died for us all. The gift of God was a free and unmerited gift, as it pleased God to give his Son into the hands of men to die in their place. It was the greatest act of compassion and movement of love that sinners should not perish forever, but be redeemed by the blood of Christ shed on Calvary.
Never has a greater love been so mistreated, never has a greater love been abused, rejected, forsaken, and trampled upon than the love of our God. It is the love of God which we must look at in order to find an answer to dealing with our own love issues. “For God so loved the world”. God still loved after all the rejection by mankind. God still cared for us with a love so powerful that it had no conditions, had no restraint; it was in love that He gave His Son to die for our sins.
Looking at the situation from the human condition seems impossible. Year after year; decade after decade; century after century even stretching into millenniums, the human race was never faithful to God. Yet the love of God carried no bitterness, it harbored no ill will, it showed no restraint, but freely gave that we might be redeemed.
If God had reacted to all the unfaithfulness of man, and given love in the way that we do with our wounded hearts, there would be no Calvary; There would be no empty tomb; There would be no intercessor for our sins; There simply would be no salvation. Thank God for His love in Christ Jesu
2. Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
God knows what His will is for our lives, no doubt about it, that is set in stone. The empty threats of the enemy are not a factor. God says to you, “I know what I have the plans I have for you. Gods says, I have success for you, I will make a way for you, I have a job for you, I made you, I formed you, I breathed life into you and I redeemed you. I promise you that God has a plan for you, so move forward and let Him be God in your life.
As Israel was standing at the foot of the Red Sea with the enemy right on their tail, Moses cried out to God. God then says to Moses “Why are you standing there looking to me? I have told you, everything you need is in your hand. Go forward; stop standing around… get busy. God told Moses, raise your arm, take what is in your hand and stretch it out in front of you.
We have to keep our eyes on God and coordinate our spiritual vision with what God has placed in our hands and in our hearts. I am not trying to slam Moses’ staff, but all Moses had was basically a big stick, but God used it. When God tells us to move forward and to use what we have in our hand we have a lot more than a big stick. We have the infallible living Word of God, which is the anvil that has worn out all the hammers of all the lies of the enemy over the ages. We have the Holy Spirit living in us, strengthening us, bringing us comfort and hope. God’s plans for us are found in His Word.
We have His mighty Word with every promise, every instruction, every commandment, and stories of redemption that we can believe in and stand on. We have in the New Testament the words of our Savior and the message of the cross, by which the Apostle Paul instructs us that through the blood that redeemed us on that Cross, “We are more than conquerors”. We are more than Moses who spread the Red Sea; We are more than David who slew Goliath; We are more than Elijah who called fire down from heaven; We are more than Sampson who slew 10,000 men in battle. We are the offspring of the living God by Christ Jesus and what we hold in our hands is His Living Testament of that New Covenant written in His blood, of which we are partakers by His grace. “We are more than conquerors”.
God’s plans for our future are found in His Word. God’s promises by the power of the Blood infused with the Holy Spirit give us hope and a future for our life. Let God be God, and He will part the Red Sea in your life. When Moses and Israel stepped out, God performed a miracle for them, and for the first time in history there were footprints seen at the bottom of the Red Sea. Sometimes realizing God’s plan for hope and a new future will lead you where you have never been before. You will not be walking in someone else’s footprints; you will be making your own. You may be leaving footprints where they may have never been seen before in new path blazing through the obstacle that is in front of you, as God destroys the enemy that is behind you. So go ahead and move forward in life knowing confidently that God has it all planned out for you if you will but trust Him.
3. Romans 8:28: And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
This very beginning of this verse should bring us consolation and support as we realize that all things are under the direction of an Almighty God, who has planned for the opportunity of salvation for every soul by the blood of Christ and that good things will work in their lives.
When God says “All things “, he means it. All things includes all of our afflictions and trials; all of the persecutions and calamities to which we will encounter. Included in these could be, but not limited to; divorce, death of a loved one, health issues, bankruptcy, incarceration, thoughts of suicide, depression….the list goes on and on. In all things good and bad, He is at work in us and for us, for our benefit in our lives. Even though we may not understand our own circumstances we must realize that they are among the means that are appointed for our welfare.
I have decided myself to not form a preconceived notion as to what the definition of “good” and “bad” is in my life, as God has a way of redefining what I initially perceive. I am learning(sometimes painfully) not to carelessly throw around terms, like “this is the worst” or “it’s all bad” because I now reside in the New Covenant of the blood of Christ Jesus, and I have no right to throw those words around like I own them or even partially even understand them. When God created the earth He methodically declared all His creation good. We are partakers of His grace and are one with Christ and our mind and our vision should be that of our Lord. But as we many times run around declaring our own things and occurrences good or bad.
We many times have taken the things given to us by grace and revealed in God’s word and warped them to fit our own points of view. The sad part of that is in reality that we are so incredibly limited in our flesh that we could not, even if we made it life’s our sole pursuit, begin to understand the workings of God in our lives and understand what’s actually going on in our lives as He works in us so that all things work for His good in us. If we try to be the mind of God and not submit to His will and ways, we attempt to be our own gods, and that will not work for anyone’s good.
When our Lord tells us in His Grace that all things will work together for good and that is exactly what He means. –Circumstances, good or bad, will cooperate; they will mutually contribute to our good. Being led in grace will remove our affections from this world and place our affections on Him; Grace will teach us the truth about our frail, temporary condition here on earth; Grace will lead us to look to God for support and to heaven for our final home; Grace working in us will produce a subdued spirit, humility, patience, and a compassionate, tender kind disposition. This is the experience of all the redeemed both now and for the past two 2000 years, as it is Grace that has called us according to his purpose and in that grace we will be able to say at the end of our days that all things worked for our good even in trials and affliction for the promotion of true virtue, peace, and happiness in our hearts.
Being called according to His purpose is being filled with the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and being redeemed by His precious blood. In Grace, afflictions are a blessing. To the world, they seem otherwise. Those who live outside grace see afflictions as a curse from God and they produce complaining, instead of peace. Living without grace brings rebellion, instead of submission. Living without grace brings feelings of anger, impatience, and hatred, instead of calmness, patience, and love. We who are in Christ are made a better by receiving afflictions as they should be received, and by desiring that they should accomplish the purpose for which they are sent to glorify God working in our lives, and His grace being sufficient for all our needs.
God has a plan, purpose, and a future planned for all who believe in Christ and become partakers of His grace. We are not saved by chance; it is according to His purpose, His plan. Our future and our hope is not without design; we are the design of God in Christ Jesus and in Him we are eternal. What he does in us He always meant to do. What God always meant to do is his purpose and plan. We are that plan. He has such a purpose in regard to our salvation, for us to be partakers of that divine grace in Christ Jesus that we in turn might love Him and know him as our Lord.