Thanks for joining our study. On February 12, in Vol. 152, I announced the gold medal co-winners of the competitive Top 10 Favorite Bible Verses Contest. As heralded then, today, the winning list of Robert Littman from Savannah, Georgia, is featured. Robert shared first-place honors with Ken (last name withheld) from Ionia, Michigan.
Since many readers submitted their top 10 favorite verses, I am announcing a second contest today. (And feel free to resubmit.) Robert’s verses show that the contest rules are simple: State your top ten, what the verses mean to you, and why you selected them. Feel free to repeat a verse cited by a previous winner since your understanding and meaning of the verses help to inspire readers. Contest submissions should not exceed 750 words. My email is at the end. Good luck, God bless, and my “esteemed panel” looks forward to reading your entries and selecting the winners.
Now, drum roll, for Robert Littman’s favorite verses. By the way, as “Tinsldr2,” he is a frequent commenter. Note that Robert’s commentary appears after his selected verses.
1. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1).
I also like the parallel in John 1.1: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Everything else follows. The question is WHY he created the world. He was perfect before he did it and didn’t need anything. Perfect in goodness, love, and charity. The way he showed love and charity for us was to create us so we could KNOW HIM.
Myra’s Note: For further discussion, see Vol. 153: “In the beginning..”
2. “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27).
The Lord has no earthly form, so what does this mean? We have some of HIS attributes, free will, reason, LOVE, happiness and joy, and the ability to fashion and make things. However, we are only an image of him and not the same as him. The true essence of God is beyond our comprehension and ability.
3. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength” (Deuteronomy 6:5).
The greatest of all commandments. He created us in LOVE, and naturally, we should love him back.
Myra’s Note: See Vol. 33: “The Greatest Commandment” for a deeper dive into this verse and Jesus’s teaching,
4. “Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord” (Leviticus 19:18).
The second most important commandment. Not only does The Lord want us to Love him, but HE wants us to love each other. This is because HATE and grudges and revenge are not healthy for us, but LOVE is good for us.
5. “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me” (Psalm 23:4).
The whole famous Psalm 23 is so wonderful, but in the darkest of times, we can lean on The Lord — HE is our comfort.
6. “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute” (Proverbs 31:8).
We cannot be silent in the face of evil, even if it is not directed toward us. We must speak out for others’ rights against injustices, or there will be no one left to speak out for us. Yes, I just channeled my inner Bonhoeffer.
7. “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:44).
This is the hardest of all commandments. It is hard to love someone you don’t like, but an actual enemy that wants to harm you is even harder to love. However, hate is destructive in our lives, and love makes us better.
8. “When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, ‘Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her’ ” (John 8:7).
We all are sinners, so before we condemn others, we should look inwards. There are, of course, several parallel verses, but this one is so dramatic.
9. “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:13).
Other translations use the word ‘charity’ instead of love. I cannot speak to the different translations, but both are excellent, and we can’t truly love without charity. LOVE is the greatest thing we have and the greatest gift we can get.
Myra’s Note: God is love. He invented what is the greatest force in the universe. And what did God do to show us His love? The answer is John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
10. “The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen” (Revelation 22:21).
There were so many wonderful quotes and passages that I wanted to put last, but then “ding ding ding,” I felt moved to insert the last verse because I started with the first. What better way could I finish than with a sincere wish for everyone to be filled with the Grace of The Lord?
Myra’s Note: Robert choosing to begin and end with the first and last Bible verses symbolizes an essential truth about Jesus. Revelation 1:17–18 reads:
“When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: ‘Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.’ ”
Then, later in Revelation:
“Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End” (Revelation 22:12-13).
Congrats to Robert Littman for his winning verses with the prevailing theme of God’s love. Be comforted knowing: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son..” Amen!
Author’s Note: All previous volumes of this series are here. The first 56 volumes are compiled into the book “Bible Study For Those Who Don’t Read The Bible.” “Part Two,” featuring volumes 57-113, was published in December.
Myra Kahn Adams is a conservative political and religious writer with numerous national credits. Her book, “Bible Study For Those Who Don’t Read The Bible,” reprints the first 56 volumes of this popular study. “Part 2,” with the same title, reprints Vols. 57-113. Order it here.
Cross-posted at Townhall and Substack.