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LIFE VERSE BENEFITSJust when I needed it most I found Joshua 1:8 or better still, it found me. Over two decades later, this verse has repeatedly shone a bright light on challenging times – its my life verse.

My life changed radically in May 1994 when I was asked to give leadership to a church that had been known as “the flagship” of the Pentecostal Assemblies Of Canada.

I needed all the help I could get to lead.

The words of Joshua 1:8  caught my attention.  “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid. Do not be discouraged. I will be with you wherever you go.”

Courage and inner strength would come in handy, I thought.

strong and courageous

Do You Have Big Shoes To Fill?

Joshua was a novice leader. He served as an assistant to Moses, the greatest prophet and deliverer of Israel’s history. Moses died. Now, Joshua was “the guy.” There were high expectations and big shoes for him to fill.

Like Joshua, I had never been “the guy.” I served in assistant and associate pastoral roles but never as the “buck stopper.”

Joshua was to lead God’s people into their promised future. That was my role for the church family at Central.

What A Life Verse Is

* A life verse is a short passage from the Bible that serves as a rallying cry to focus and guide your life.

* It brings clarity, inspiration and resolve unlike other Bible verses.

* It serves to continually keep you on track with God’s purpose and mission for your life.

* It is what you can lean into in challenging times.

3 Benefits Of A Life Verse

Bill Hybels lists three benefits of a life verse in his book, “Simplify:”

  1. It clarifies what matters most.
  2. It calls out the best in me.
  3. It creates assurance.

My life verse coached me through some fearfully-thin financial times and a facility relocation process that was thick with discouragement and drama.

I discovered that fear and discouragement are the hounds of leadership and the tenacity demanded of leaders is sustained only by inner strength and courage.

God commanded Joshua to not be afraid or discouraged. Note the use of “commanded.” Not “encouraged” or “inspired.”

With courage being “commanded” of Joshua, I re-thought my assumptions of where strength and courage originate. I discovered from experience that courage and inner strength are by-products of tenacious obedience to God.

Obeying God makes you courageous even if you don’t feel courageous.

How To Choose A Life Verse

    1. Make It Personal

Pick a verse that can help you where you most need support. My life verse found me. I needed courage and strength. My verse showed me how to experience them. Find a verse that fills the gaps in your life.

     2. A Call to Action

An effective life verse serves as a call to action. Find one that drives you to act on the things that matter most.

  1. Succinct

Don’t pick a whole chapter or even a series of verses as your life verse. It should be succinct enough to memorize. Your verse should be concise enough to be repeatable in the crush of crisis.

  1. Hope-filled

Pick a verse that leaves you better after you read it. All verses are true but not all are hope-filled. Your verse should be inspiring, encouraging, uplifting and positive. It should motivate you and infuse you with hope.

  1. Underlined

When picking your life verse go through your Bible and see which verses you have underlined or starred or circled. Read the verses out loud. One will resonate with your spirit. That’s your life verse.

  1. No Rules

Choosing a verse doesn’t mean you can’t change it. You’re not stuck with it. There are no hard and fast rules for this practice. In fact, you may have a few life verses through the course of your life.

  1. Memorize

Once you choose your verse, commit it to memory. Write it in your journal. Post it in places you will see throughout your day. I wrote my life verse in the front of my Bible. I often write it in my daily journal.

Got a life verse? If not why not find one now, or let it find you. Use it as a tool to keep you centered on God’s call for your life.

APPLICATION: What is your life verse? Please leave a comment below.

I write to inspire people to be real, grow an authentic faith in Jesus, enjoy healthy relationships and discover their life purpose. If this material is helpful to you, please follow me.

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Bob Jones

Happily married to Jocelyn for 44 years. We have two adult sons, Cory and his wife Lynsey and their son Vincent and daughter Jayda; Jean Marc and his wife Angie and their three daughters, Quinn, Lena and Annora. I love inspiring people through communicating, blogging, and coaching. I enjoy writing, running, and reading. I'm a fan of the Double E, Bruins, Celtics, Red Sox and Pats. Follow me on Twitter @bobjones49ers


  • Barbara Day says:

    Dear PB: Really appreciate your blog. You’ve always been an inspiration to me (and our family), from the very beginning of your ministry. My life verse (for as long as I can remember) has been Proverbs 3:5,6. As a person who likes to know exactly where I’m going, I’ve had to learn to trust in God’s leading and direction, depend on Him to remove any roadblocks and not try to figure everything out, but rest in the assurance of His promise. May God’s favor follow you wherever you go and what ever you do for Him. Barb

  • Mike Hendrick says:

    Bob: I love this…thank you for sharing…I have this memory of you I thought I would share from my childhood…I remember listening to this old tape from the 1980’s years ago with you leading worship at lakeshore…the song was be bold be strong for the lord God is with you. May you know the strength of God for your best ministry years.

    Really enjoyed seeing you in September. Mike Hendrick

  • Shirley Bidnick says:

    Greetings to Pastor Bob, Joslyn and friends in Jerusalem. My life verse is Mark 10:39, ‘The cup that I must drink, you must also drink’. I hate suffering, my own, and others, but this verse reminds me it is inescapable and there is no sense complaining or asking why. He told us why. Pursuing an easy, pain free life will end in disappointment, but, ‘His grace is sufficient for us…(2 Corinthians 12:9), so we can accept our daily and life challenges.

  • adena lowry says:

    My life verse is 1 Peter 5:10 “And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.”
    A reminder that life won’t be easy, but I can persevere with God on my side. Funny thing, I was at a conference in New York and Natalie Grant was singing. I prayed to ask God to speak to me, something personal, only for me, and Natalie Grant shared that her life verse was “1 Peter 5:10”. God Wink.
    Your story PB reminds me of the song, “You make me Brave” by Bethel Worship. One that my sister-in-law who recently passed away got me stuck on. Give it a listen when you’re back in the country.

  • Carol Burlaka says:

    Hi there, I’m prompted to share the scripture that really speaks to me. Erma Pedde has sent me many cards over the years that really encouraged me. One postcard has stood out. It has the verse “You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart”. As I read it, I couldn’t help but be drawn to the verse just ahead of it ” Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.” Jer 29:12 I just love these 2 verses! He just wants you and me to call upon Him. I can and do, call upon Him. I am finding Him <3

  • Jennifer Wurster Chretien says:

    I am a planner of all things and until I gave my life to the Lord, that included the planning of my life. The verse that has sustained me through trials and that has curbed my urge to plan is Jeremiah 29:11, “for I know the plans I have for you says the Lord…”

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