The Impact of Scripture
In this episode, we’re going to dive into Sharon’s favorite verses. It’s always interesting to try to boil it down to five. To really boil it down to five was difficult for Sharon. She doesn’t even know if she really got her favorite ones, but she was able to select some that really meant a lot to her.
Scriptures are our lifeline to God. So by getting into verses, really meditating on them and spending time in God’s presence, you allow God to change you and enlarge your understanding.
Your understanding really does make a huge impact in your Christian walk. So we want to encourage everyone to get in the Word. It’s a reflection of the character of God. Every verse in God’s Word reveals a little bit more about His character and Who He is.
Verse 1 – You Are The Apple of God’s Eye
The first verse on Sharon’s list is a Psalm of David, Psalm 17:8. It reads,
Keep me as the apple of the eye;
Hide me in the shadow of Your wings.
On first glance, as you read through that, it’s nice, and people have preached on it before, but it is more of an old world saying, right? It’s not a saying that a lot of people use much anymore. So, when Sharon first read that, she thought, “I guess if you like apples, then that’s great. But why did He use that phrase?”
Then she considered what the words actually meant and that what it was talking about was not an apple, the fruit. Instead, it invokes a similar image to when animated characters have those little white squares or rectangles in the eyeballs – reflections. It’s not actually an apple at all. It’s the reflection of a light source near the eyeball.
So that sounds a little more personal. We want God to keep us as the apple of His eye, but in the Hebrew, it even goes in deeper than that. Literally it means to keep us as the pupil or the daughter of the eye. And what it’s talking about is the reflection of someone that is in the eyeball of someone looking at them.
Apple, But Not the Fruit
And so what the Psalmist is asking God to do is to keep him in the image of His eye, so that God is always looking directly at him and he always has God’s full attention. And Sharon loves that imagery because he’s saying, “God, I just don’t want you to ever leave me. I don’t want you to ever not know where I am or what I’m doing. I want to be so close to You that I see who I am in the reflection of Your eyes.” And Sharon loves that because basically that’s what God wants for us.
And so God’s heart for us is to find our reflection, our image in His eye. How God looks at you, how He sees you, is different than what you may see in yourself. Your reflection in His eye is not the same reflection you see when you wake up in the morning and look in the mirror. With the Lord, our reflection in His eyes is beautiful. He sees the potential. He sees all the wonderful things and He’s full of love. When someone looks at you with love, it changes how you look to them.
And so that’s why Sharon loves that scripture, because it’s saying, “Don’t ever stop looking at me. Help me to find who I am.” That is a core cry of our hearts and this is God acknowledging our need and filling it.
Verse 2 – East and West
Another verse that is special to Sharon also appears in Psalms. She finds that so many of the verses in Psalms really humanize their writers. They were people and they wrote about how they felt when they had a bad day and about what was happening in their lives. It’s very relatable. It’s kinda like their diary. It’s comforting to know that we are not the only ones who sometimes feel rejected or emotional.
To give some backstory, this Psalm was written after Samuel confronted David about his adultery with Bathsheba. David is using this written piece as a confessional – getting on his knees before God and baring his broken heart. He begs God for mercy and asks God, “where are You”?
It’s comforting to know that someone such as David, or the sons of Korah, or other people written about in the Bible who we know go on to do amazing things. He had a moment of humanness, but his journey did not stop there.
Sharon’s second verse is Psalms 103:12, which says,
As far as the east is from the west,
So far has He removed our wrongdoings from us.
Don’t Go Fetch
This verse reminds Sharon of a story.
She was in college and was home for the summer, living with her parents in St. Louis. They both had cars and they both worked full-time, so it fell to Sharon to take care of all the housework. So one day she was folding clothes and playing with their dog, a little miniature schnauzer named Laddie. As she folded and played fetch at the same time, she was talking to the Lord. She asked Him, “God, what you can teach me? In any situation, in life, what can you teach me right now with what I’m doing?” She expected it would be something about clothes and righteousness or something, but what He said was “Don’t go fetch”.
He pointed out Psalm 103:12 to her and said, “When you confess your sins, I take them and I throw them as far as the east is from the west. Don’t go fetch.”
And what He was saying was when you confess your sins to God, He takes them. And as far as He’s concerned, they never happened. They’re gone. They’re no longer yours anymore. Don’t go back and get them and bring them back to Him, confessing and apologizing for them all over again.
It’s almost like when you play fetch with a dog. They are just waiting for you to throw it so they can go get it again. When we do that, it’s because we don’t fathom the depth of forgiveness that God has for us. Our relationship with God is not the same as with people. As many of us have experienced, some people say they forgive you, and they might try, but it still seems to leave a residue on their hearts. But with God, there is no residue. And He doesn’t want us to carry it around anymore either.
That was the whole point of Jesus – He bore that burden, that sin, already. So why would we want to pick it up? He wants you to let them go when you give them to Him.
Verse 3 – God’s Love Freely Given
Sharon’s third chosen verse is in the New Testament. It’s Romans 8:32, which says,
He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?
This is likely a favorite verse of a lot of people, and Romans 8 is full of amazing Godly wisdom and really worth an in-depth study. Sharon is drawn to this verse in particular because of how it describes just how deeply and completely God loves us.
His love is truly unfathomable, so far beyond our understanding. In this scripture God is saying, “Look, if I didn’t spare Jesus, My favorite, My best for you, how in the world am I going to hold back anything else?” So let’s stop and consider the usage of the word “spare” in that context.
So a good tip when you’re studying scripture is to always pay attention to the verbs. In that particular context, God is talking about sparing Jesus from His crucifixion, from having to leave heaven, take on the form of man, and live 33 and a half years on the earth before dying a painful, excruciating death.
When you ask, “Did Jesus deserve to die?”, the answer is no. He was completely sinless even to the end of His life. He didn’t deserve punishment or death or any of the suffering He experienced. And so the whole concept of sparing Him is from the idea that God didn’t save Jesus from the challenge and the purpose that He was sent for.
Our New Identity in Jesus
This verse encourages us to look at the character of our Heavenly Father and Jesus. We can see their level of commitment and how they look at you now through the lens of Jesus’s perfect sacrifice.
What’s so intense about that is They don’t see you or your sin anymore. When you receive Christ, you become a new creation. That’s what the Word says. So now, They see you differently. And that’s the part that a lot of people may struggle with, wondering what they look like to God, compared to who they were before salvation.
The truth is, when we accept salvation, the sinless nature of Jesus covers us like a blanket. Jesus is Who God sees when He looks at us. That’s how He can freely give us all, which was His purpose to begin with. And now we know that if He didn’t spare Jesus, how the world is He going to spare providing for our water bill? Or spare healing for our health condition? Or spare empowering us to parent our children with wisdom and love?
He is pouring out His grace and His blessings. That’s His heart for us. He gave us Jesus to show His overwhelming love to us.
Verse 4 – What It Means To Be New
Continuing in the New Testament, Sharon’s next verse is 1 Corinthians 2:12-13, and it says,
Now we have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God. We also speak these things, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words.
We have received Christ, Who God has given to us, so that He could freely bless us and give us all things. But He’s also given us of His Spirit so that we can know what belongs to us and what things God has given to us.
This is what God did and what Jesus did on the cross. And here’s why all this changes for you when you become a believer and a new creature. We didn’t have to do anything to earn salvation. We didn’t have to pay any money, or do enough good deeds to qualify. All we had to do is receive.
What We Received Beyond Salvation
Our journey doesn’t end at salvation – it’s just the beginning. When we really start to believe that we have all the things that God says we have, when we acknowledge them as the Holy Spirit reveals them, that’s when our Christian walk really starts to amp up. That’s when speaking His promises out loud – the second part of the verse – unlocks a new level of maturity.
To jumpstart our faith, we need to speak God’s promises over ourselves, our lives, and our families before we see them come to fruition. And as we start speaking out, the Holy Spirit reveals greater spiritual wisdom to us. God wants us to be bold and step out in faith – trusting Him and leaving our comfort zones.
When we’re listening for that spiritual wisdom, we must always make sure to compare it to the wisdom in God’s Word. If we are hearing something and it contradicts His Word, or it encourages us to sin, that is obviously of the devil, not of God. The Word says there are many spirits and we have to be discerning to make sure we stay on the right path. The Holy Spirit is our Helper in this and one of His goals is to help us walk in the fullness of what God has given us through Christ. That’s why fostering that relationship with the Holy Spirit is so important.
Verse 5 – Believing God’s Promises
Sharon’s last favorite verse is 2 Corinthians 1:20 in the Amplified Version, which says,
For as many as are the promises of God, in Christ they are [all answered] “Yes.” So through Him we say our “Amen” to the glory of God.
This verse is based on the whole idea of a promise. You know, there are a lot of people that been in church their whole lives and never really kind of contemplated that God’s made a lot of promises – a lot of things about which He said, “This is what I want to do, or have done.”
When you have only ever engaged in religion, going through the motions of attending church weekly, but haven’t actually experienced real relationship with God, it can be hard to grasp God blessing us without us having to earn it through our “goodness”. True Christianity is about letting Jesus be “good” for us and trusting God for our free salvation, which is a promise. Because of that first promise, all subsequent promises of God find their veracity.
Because of Jesus, our prayer can be “yes” and “amen”. We are simply agreeing with God and trusting that He is going to do what He said He is going to do.
Reason for God’s Promises
You can see the character of God revealed through His promises. If you are a parent, think about how you relate to your own children. You want good things for them, right? You want to make sure they have clothes to wear and food to eat because you love them. God sees us just the same way.
A relationship takes two people connecting, making an effort on both sides. God provides the promises, so our role is to agree with them and trust He will fulfill them. Just like on Christmas morning, in order to receive your present, you have to unwrap it. And God gets joy from seeing us receive, just like the gift-giver on Christmas. That’s why our prayer should be “yes” and “amen”. That’s us holding our hands out, ready to unwrap the gift and receive.
God doesn’t bless us out of selfish need to be praised, He genuinely wants to share His goodness with His children out of love. He wants to grow your relationship and show you His love for you. So let Him bless you and trust in His promises!
Why These Are Sharon’s Favorites
You may have noticed a pattern, or common theme, in these 5 verses. They all involve our identity in Christ – how God sees us and how we should see ourselves. This is something many Christians struggle with and Sharon is passionate about helping others achieve that new understanding of their identity.
She hopes that hearing about her favorite verses helped you grow in your spiritual walk and that you learned something new. If you would like to share your own favorite verses, reach out to us through our social media!