Picking only 3 "favorite" bible verses is tough. The Bible in its entirety is more precious than diamonds and more satisfying than P.F Changs (EVEN WHEN IT DOESN'T FEEL LIKE IT, KIDS. JUST TRUST ME - IT IS). But, you will find as you navigate through life that the Lord gives you particular verses or books of the Bible to encourage you, to motivate you or to give you direction for a certain time. Other verses are "life verses" a part of your destiny in Christ, specifically meant to align you with his plan or spur you on to fulfill that purpose that YOU were created for. Those verses move your heart and bring conviction no matter the season, no matter the moment.
I chose to share with you 3 verses that are precious to me as "life" verses. Little glimpses into my personal callings and purposes in Christ.
"I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death." -Philippians 3:10
This verse has daily impact on my life. Specifically, the last 6 words. BECOMING LIKE HIM IN HIS DEATH. My sweet Jesus died by choice. He was God, He is God. He could have taken himself down off of that cross at any moment. Believe me, people taunted him and mocked him about that very thing. He had the power to remove himself from the cross and rescue himself from death - BUT HE DIDN'T. He chose instead to lay his life down - for me and for you. He chose to take the weight of our sin and our ugliness upon himself and pay the penalty for all of our wrong-doings so that we could be reconciled to God and live for eternity with him in heaven. There is nothing that would have redeemed our souls but His death - and so he chose to die.
"Knowing Christ, the power of his resurrection, participating in his sufferings and being like him in death" is HARD. BUT I WANT TO DO IT. How do I know Him? How do I understand the power of his resurrection and participate in his suffers? - I DIE. I choose to say "no" to my flesh and "yes" to Jesus. I choose to lay my life down for others, to let go of the ways of this world and hang on to my Savior. I choose Him over me - daily. Jesus, at any second could have removed himself from crucifixion but instead he chose, each moment he hung there, to remain on the cross and likewise it is my ambition to choose, with every minute, to die to my flesh and selfish desires. I wish I could tell you that eventually "dying to self" becomes EASY. But, I have found that no matter how many times I have done it I still have to purpose and fight to do it again. It is a perpetual choice - "death is gain... to die is to live." And so, I want to be like Him in his death because it is only then that I will truly know Him and knowing Him is worth it all.
"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." -James 1:27
It should come as no surprise to you that this is a verse that has had life-long impact on me. Specifically, in terms of looking after orphans. By the time you are reading this blog there may be 15 Uhrichs in our "little" family. IT IS SO POSSIBLE. This verse encompasses my calling. I was made to be a mother to the motherless (and your dad was created to be a father to the fatherless.) God has been clear in commanding us to be adoptive parents and he has set the most perfect example by first adopting us into his family to be heirs to the throne of God not through heredity or anything we have done - but through grace, mercy and unconditional love. It is our pleasure to be adoptive parents - we are the blessed ones. THIS IS RELIGION THAT GOD OUR FATHER ACCEPTS AS PURE AND FAULTLESS. And - let's not forget the final part of the verse "to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." This world has a way of creeping in and polluting us subtly - it can be so subtle that we are completely unaware of it. Unless we are walking closely with the Lord, spending time with Him and prioritizing our time, daily, to be transformed into his image - we can become conformed to the ways of the world rather quickly. Being "in the world but not of the world" is a tough feat and it takes constant reliance on Christ. Go there by whatever means necessary.
"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." -2 Corinthians 4:16-18
In this world we will have trouble but HE HAS OVERCOME THE WORLD. (John 16:33) Bad things will happen to you. It breaks my heart to even type that - but it is the truth. Giving your life to Christ does not mean that you are guaranteed balloons, rainbows, unicorns and cotton candy for the rest of your days. These verses are important to me because I have had my share of sad/difficult experiences. At only 28 I have several battle scars from wounds I endured over the years. But the markings that remind me of broken relationships, abandonment, miscarriages, special needs and a cancer scare now sparkle in the light of a life lived beyond those moments. It has all been for GOOD.
As your Mommy, there is much of me that wishes I could prevent all of your heartaches and disappointments but there is another part of me that knows that the spiritual value of "light and momentary troubles" (EVEN HEAVY AND SEEMINGLY PERPETUAL TROUBLES) is much more impactful than the temporary hardship that they produce. This may seem so cliche but - these verses remind me of a pearl. A pearl is a beautiful, precious commodity yet, it is produced under stress and irritation. (GOOGLE IT.) Though it may prove difficult at first, choose to fix your eyes on Christ and on eternity during rough times in life. Hold on to hope. I promise you that though your sufferings may seem long or unfair - they will depart. Have patience. Choose to lean on Christ and take every opportunity to learn valuable lessons about dying to self (SEE THE FIRST VERSE THAT I NOTED ABOVE). If you choose Christ during your sufferings you will emerge from your troubles stronger and wiser. I know, this last verse seems depressing but there are two things that I can promise you:
1. As long as we are on this earth your Daddy and I will be there for you to carry you, hold you, encourage you and pray for you through all of life's events.
2. He (Christ) has overcome the world. You already have victory over whatever you are going through because of Jesus and his death on the cross. His stripes have healed you, he promises a "way out" from all temptation, he loves you so dearly and he is an "ever present help in times of trouble."
Read The Word. Store it in your heart. It is a powerful weapon and a strong shield.
I love you.