“Change the thoughts, and you change the person. If today’s thoughts are tomorrow’s actions, what happens when we fill our minds with thoughts of God’s love? Will standing beneath a downpour of his grace change the way we feel about others? Paul says absolutely! It’s not enough to keep the bad stuff out. We’ve got to let the good stuff in.” – Max Lucado, A Love Worth Giving
When I was a kid I went to AWANA, a weekly church club that focuses on scripture memorization. And because I’m nothing if not irrationally competitive (and spiritual, clearly), every week from preschool until 6th grade I memorized as many verses as my little brain could contain. While I’m sure I bemoaned the practice every once and awhile it’s something that I’m very thankful for now.
(And thank you, Mom, for making me go every week and helping me learn verses by making up little songs. I credit you with my penchant to turn anything I want the kids I nanny for to remember into something that rhymes.)
Those childhood memory verses and so many more have come to mean a great deal to me. They are now my road map for decision making, my comfort and peace, my daily reminders of what really matters.
Over the weekend I felt the need to collect a few of my favorite verses to tuck away in different spaces – over the kitchen sink, in the car, inside a purse, etc. There is undeniable power in scripture, in knowing it and reading it out loud, and I wanted to have that source of strength close at hand.
So I started curating what I thought would be a short list. Just a few special verses. But I kept thinking of more and more to include and before I knew it…I had a gigantic list.
And I LOVE it!!!
I love it so much that I want to share it with you, just in case you are also feeling the need to be surrounded by scripture these days. You can read each verse below, but I’m also attaching the document so you can print it out or customize it to your liking. (You’ll also be able to find the document on the resources page from now on, too.)
Here’s the Word document: Surrounded by Scripture
And here’s the list!
Deuteronomy 10:12-13 So now Israel, what do you think God expects from you? Just this: Live in his presence in holy reverence, follow the road he sets out for you, love him, serve God, your God, with everything you have in you, obey the commandments and regulations of God that I’m commanding you today—live a good life.
Joshua 1:8-9 Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.
Psalm 19:1-4 The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.
Psalm 19:14 May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.
Psalm 118:24 This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Proverbs 4:20-23 My son, pay attention to what I say; listen closely to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to a man’s whole body. Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.
Proverbs 16:3 Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.
Proverbs 21:26 Sinners are always wanting what they don’t have; the God-loyal are always giving what they do have.
Proverbs 31:25-27 She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness. She carefully watches everything in her household and suffers nothing from laziness.
Isaiah 43:1 Fear not for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.
Isaiah 55:8-12 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. This will be for the Lord’s renown, for an everlasting promise, which will not be destroyed.
Jeremiah 17:7-8 But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.
Jeremiah 33:3 Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.
Matthew 6:33-34 People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.
Luke 1:45 And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what had been spoken to her by the Lord.
John 5:39-40 Here I am, standing right before you, and you aren’t willing to receive from me the life you say you want.
Romans 2:4 God is kind, but he’s not soft. In kindness he takes us firmly by the hand and leads us into a radical life-change.
Romans 9:11 What God did in this case made it perfectly plain that his purpose is not a hit-or-miss thing dependent on what we do or don’t do, but a sure thing determined by his decision, flowing steadily from his initiative.
Romans 12:1-2 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritualact of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
1 Corinthians 17:7 And don’t be wishing you were someplace else or with someone else. Where you are right now is God’s place for you. Live and obey and love and believe right there.
2 Corinthians 10:5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
Galatians 6:9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
Ephesians 3:17-21 And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
Ephesians 4:1 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.
Philippians 2:3-4 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
Philippians 4:4-8 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
2 Timothy 1:7 For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.
Hebrews 6:18-19 So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls.
Hebrews 13:20-21 Now may the God of peace—who brought up from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great Shepherd of the sheep, and ratified an eternal covenant with his blood—may he equip you with all you need for doing his will. May he produce in you, through the power of Jesus Christ, every good thing that is pleasing to him. All glory to him forever and ever! Amen.