Prayer, Creativity & Faith

Making scripture your own

Have you ever asked anyone what their favorite scripture is and why? When I’ve seen this question answered, the responses have been so moving. Insightful. And really beautiful. So I’m going to be sharing some of my friends’ answers to this question—starting with mine.

Interestingly, right after I had this idea, a friend sent me a paper her son had written, and his insights tied right in to this idea.

Paul wrote, “Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:12-14, ESV)

We can’t do this ourselves; it’s only by the grace of God. It’s not my abilities, it’s Jesus making me His own. Because of this amazing truth, my obedience in following after Christ is the only response I can make. I “press on” to make this faith and the promises my own in response to Christ’s love for me. I’m so grateful to Stephen Sells for revealing this insightful new way to see this verse that I’ve read a thousand times.

And that’s what I hope this somewhat-random series will show: how certain scriptures come alive when people make them their own. When we are able to lean on the promises in the Bible and show how they sustain us and comfort us, teach us and motivate us. These most likely will not be great treatises or teachings, but simply conversational snippets from real people who love God.

We’ll start with my favorite verse:

“Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24, NKVJ)

Because this is what that verse tells me: It’s OK to tell Jesus when I have doubts and struggle. It’s OK to not believe or to not be sure of what we believe, or to be skeptical about what we see—as long as we are trying to believe, as long as we’re looking for the answers as a way to be able to embrace Christ, not justify our lack of faith.

This seems to me like one of the most real statements made in the whole Bible, and it sums up my faith walk, which has been shaped by the reality that more than one thing can be true simultaneously. It’s not either/or—either I have faith or I have doubt. It’s and—I have faith and I have doubts. They can exist together, and they often do, and making space for both does not in any way keep me away from God.

“Doubt” gets a bad name in Christianity, and I’m not sure why. God can hold up to every one of my doubts and questions. They’re not a barrier to Him, but a way for Him to let us draw closer. When I trust Him with the truth of my thoughts, the very real feelings in my heart, He never pushes me away. Ever.

Doubt isn’t necessarily about a lack of faith, but perhaps it’s a gateway to a deeper, more authentic faith. At least that’s how it feels to me, and it gives me the freedom to explore without feeling like I’m turning my back on the One I’m trying to grow closer to.

What do you think? Watch for more responses to be posted over the next several weeks, and I would love it if you would share your own favorite verse (and a sentence or two about why it’s so meaningful to you) in the comments below.

One Response to “Making scripture your own”

  1. Susan maddox says:

    Enjoyed this.

Leave a Reply