As I have hammered into your heads nonstop since I started RamiTalks, I love reading. Have I mentioned that I love reading the Bible? No, I didn't think so. That's a terrible mistake. It's the only book I've read every day for the last, oh I don't know, maybe 100 years or so.
It teaches me, it lifts me, it provokes me, it makes me forget me, and it is just plain lovely. But as with all writing, there are certain verses that just sing to me, sometimes in a language I cannot quite comprehend. Well, it is the Holy Spirit you know. And yet it is always incredible. Since I like forcing RamiTalks on you I decided I would share some of my favourite verses from the Bible, whether you like it or yes. I hope you have a minute or two. And please feel free to shout "Amen!" after reading each verse.
Isaiah 60 v. 1: "Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you." I'm starting with my favourite Bible verse. I can't even explain what I love about this verse. Everything!
Colossians 1 v. 27: "....which is Christ in you, the hope of glory." There is something about the phrase 'the hope of glory' which sounds so....hopeful I guess. It always makes me feel like there is no reason to be despondent. We can hope for glory in Christ, always.
John 15 v. 7: "If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you." Me? Asking for whatever I wish? Eish! But there is a 'remaining' to be done involving words. That's the catch.
1 John 1 v. 5: "....God is light; in him there is no darkness at all." Our Father is light Himself. How dare we even think of darkness when we think of Him?!
Psalm 23 v. 6: "Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever." The certainty of these words are powerful indeed. 'Surely' and 'I will' are just awesome in this context.
Psalm 121 v. 1-2: "I lift up my eyes to the mountains - where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth." We should always be looking up, whatever the circumstances. Who you gonna call?
2 Corinthians 12 v. 9: "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me." Wow! Boasting about wanting to be weak? A human being? Seems impossible, doesn't it?
Psalm 27 v1: "The Lord is my light and my salvation - whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life - of whom shall I be afraid?". A double question, almost daring you to say something contrary.
John 1 v. 1: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." This is how we started, very simply and powerfully stated.
Philippians 4 v. 4: "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: rejoice!" Double entreaty! In case you didn't get it the first time.
Philippians 4 v. 13: "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." I can indeed, and I will.
Isaiah 9 v. 6: "For to us a child is born, to us a child is given;...." The Christmas story, innit?! And it's even more beautiful when sung.
Psalm 34 v. 8: "Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him!" Like we need to be urged to taste anything we've been assured is sweet!
Isaiah 40 v. 31: "....but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary. they will walk and not be faint." Soaring, running, walking, all combined to keep us always moving.
Psalm 103 v. 2: "Bless the Lord, o my soul, and forget not all His benefits." I should bless Him? Not the other way around? You better believe it!
Job 19 v. 25: "For I know that my Redeemer lives, and He shall stand at last on the earth." The certainty of the Resurrection.
Numbers 6 v. 24-26: "The Lord bless you and keep you: The Lord make His face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you: The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace." The most peaceful and heartwarming of benedictions.
1 Chronicles 16 v. 34: "O give thanks unto the Lord; for He is good; for His mercy endureth forever." A good man who is always merciful; certainly not on earth.
Psalm 46 v. 10: "Be still and know that I am God." How to shut up and be quiet....and wait....in expectation.
Matthew 7 v. 13-14: "Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it." I find these verses so....the word fails me. I'm a little frightened and intimidated by them, the threat of a wide gate.
Psalm 118 v. 24: "This is the day the Lord hath made, let us rejoice and be glad in it." He made it! For us! We MUST enjoy it!
Jeremiah 29 v. 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." Always a path to the future, never looking back. Why should you when the plans are from the Lord Himself?
2 Corinthians 5 v. 7: "For we live by faith and not by sight."A daily admonition.
John 14 v. 27: "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." Do you know how many times we are asked not to be afraid in the Bible? Google it.
So there you have it. Not my intention to preach (me, preach??), but rather to share verses that have made an impact onme time and time again. Words that resonate throughout my life wherever and whenever. Words that sometimes make me look crazy because I whisper them to myself as I drive alone, walk alone, sit alone, eat alone. It's great company, the Bible.
I have chosen these verses for two main reasons. The main reason is for their sheer praiseworthiness. The way they have lifted me, inspired me, taught me, and sustained me. The second reason is for the sheer beauty of the words. Shakespeare and Achebe (combined) could not produce such spectacular words. Period.
And it's a great book, the Bible. It's got action, thrills, murder, sex, crime and punishment, family disputes, wars, natural catastrophes, love (wow, love!), romance, betrayal, crucifixion, sword fights, chariots, burning bushes, pillars of salt....and all this without social media, or any kind of media as we know it now.
And yet still it endures as the greatest book ever written.
As Joyce Meyer says, "His Word is the Sword of the Spirit. Speak the Word!" These verses are a very personal view and just a microcosm of the Holy Spirit.