What is a Life Verse and How Do I Choose One?

What is a Life Verse and How Do I Choose One?

What is a Life Verse and How Do I Choose One?

Some may call it a motto they live by or a key piece of advice or saying from their parents that has always helped them out in any situation.

For Christians, this advice is embodied in the term “life verse,” which is a scripture verse from the Bible that speaks to your heart in personal and profound ways. When you read this verse, hear it said, or think it in your mind, it captures how you live your life, how you define your faith walk, and what will lead your decisions each day.

Choosing one to consider your life verse, however, could be quite the challenge, given that there are 23,214 verses in the Old Testament and 7,959 verses in the New Testament, with a grand total of 31,173 verses to deliberate on.

It is an endeavor that will take time to determine, but it is an endeavor that could bring you closer to God and provide another opportunity to delve into the biblical truths of God’s holy word.

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How to Begin to Find Your Life Verse

How to Begin to Find Your Life Verse

What first must be understood about a life verse is that it is a verse from the Bible that touches you personally and awakens your belief in God’s love and plan for you. The verse could be a recognized verse that everyone loves and has committed to memory, such as Jeremiah 29:11, John 3:16, or Philippians 4:13. It could also be an obscure verse that people may have to search in their Bibles to locate and read in its context.

The point being, this first step in choosing a life verse is opening the Bible and reading through the Old and New Testaments to get a feel for what God’s message is about and who Jesus is to us. Establishing a solid foundation in the importance of God’s Word will help in determining what your life verse will be.

As you move through reading the Bible, you may make notes of verses that seem to jump out at you and create a peaceful feeling inside of you, that may create a feeling of awareness of God’s provision for you to let go of your sins.

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Researching Your Life Verse

Researching Your Life Verse

Along with your personal notes, you may want to look up people’s commentaries online about their favorite verses. You can even search for ideas for life verses to come up with more possibilities.

When you have narrowed down your options to at least a list of ten or twenty verses, look up each individual verse in different translations of the Bible and in a Bible commentary or even Strong’s Concordance for further clarification of the verse’s meaning. Read the context that the verses are each located in: learning who the person speaking was, what the situation was where this was uttered, and what message he or she was trying to convey to those listening.

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Be Wary of Taking a Verse out of Context

Be Wary of Taking a Verse out of Context

An unfortunate problem that can happen with life verses is that some people might take a scripture verse out of context and place a less-accurate meaning or the complete opposite of meaning when viewing the verse. This not only tampers with what God is trying to tell us through this verse from the Bible, but you could be hurting your faith walk and that of others using a verse out of context.

For example, several people choose Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ, who gives me strength,” seeing the meaning as nothing getting in their way because Christ has strengthened them (and wouldn’t allow it).  But, the apostle Paul said before this verse how he knew what it meant to go through trials and what it meant to go through abundant blessings, showing that he was able to get through periods of difficulty and periods of blessing not relying on his own strength but solely on Christ’s.

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Be Wary of Others Who May Take a Verse out of Context

Be Wary of Others Who May Take a Verse out of Context

This is important to keep in mind when asking people their choice of life verse and the reasons why they like the verse. They may have heard it presented to them incorrectly or read the verse and formed their own opinions about it instead of reading further in the book of the Bible. Doing your own research when determining a life verse helps you to know what exactly this verse is saying to your head and to your heart.

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Pick a Life Verse You Can Memorize

Pick a Life Verse You Can Memorize

Now that you have a list of options for life verses, this is where you need to be brutally honest with yourself and your memory. How well can you recall information in general, much less scripture verses?

This isn’t to say that God can’t increase your memory to where you can remember every verse of the Bible and recall it with ease, however; it is important to be real with yourself and know you need to determine a life verse that you feel comfortable in recalling from memory (or at least understand you need time to memorize the verse in its entirety). This will help so you don’t choose a verse that could discourage you if you struggle in recalling it, causing you to give up or question God as to why it is a challenge.

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You Can Have Multiple Life Verses

You Can Have Multiple Life Verses

Don’t feel the pressure of having to narrow your life verse down to one; you can have from one to 100 or more, if they collectively strengthen your faith and remind you of Jesus’s love for you. For me, I have two life verses which remind me of what I am to do each day as a Christian witness and who God is in my life.

Matthew 5:16: “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”

Galatians 6:9: “Do not grow weary in doing good, for you will reap a harvest in time if you do not give up.”

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Why Is a Life Verse Important?

Why Is a Life Verse Important?

The most important step to take during this part of choosing a life verse is letting God join you in making the final decision. Take your list of verses to Him in prayer, asking for His input to come to you. Allow this verse to be your compass to draw you back to Him when troubling times occur or when you feel He is not near.

This perfectly defines what a life verse is and why we all need to have at least one we keep in our memory banks. A life verse establishes intimacy with our heavenly Father and is our tether to remind us of His love and omnipresent nature in our daily lives, whether we feel He is near or not.

A life verse also reveals to us that God’s Word is alive and still appropriate for whatever situation we might find ourselves in when our faith is tested. If your life verse is 2 Timothy 1:7, for example, the verse may remind you that God never gave you a spirit of fear, but He gave you love, power, and a sound mind to know when fear has a hold on you and you need to be delivered of this fear by God.

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A Life Verse Can Inspire Us to Want to Read More of God's Word

A Life Verse Can Inspire Us to Want to Read More of God's Word

Lastly, a life verse can be viewed as a “gateway” for you to explore other verses and books of the Bible, stemming from your appreciation of your life verse and its appropriateness as advice in your life. You can use others’ suggestions of life verses or look around the chapter where your life verse is to see what other spiritual nuggets God has left in His Word you can apply and remember.

Choosing a life verse may not be as simple as it looks, however; the journey to extracting and embracing a life verse that characterizes your faith in God makes the effort even more meaningful. You not only witness God’s Word coming to life before your eyes and in your situation, but you now have, within your heart, a testament to fight the devil, restrain your fears, and dispel false beliefs that God is not who He says He is.

A life verse can lead your life and strengthen your walk with the God who loves you.


Blair Parke is a freelance writer for BibleStudyTools.com and editor for Xulon Press. A graduate of Stetson University with a Bachelor's in Communications, Blair previously worked as a writer/editor for several local magazines in the Central Florida area, including Celebration Independent and Lake Magazine in Leesburg, Florida and currently freelances for the Southwest Orlando Bulletin.

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