There are many verses in the bible that can guide a Christian in their day to day lives.
If each of us was to round up our top five verses, I’m sure our lists would differ hugely.
However, I am pleased to present my own favourite verses and an explanation of the impact they’ve had on myself.
5. Genesis 1: 1 & 27 KJ. ‘In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth … So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female created he them.’
This verse teaches us that even in this materialistic world, we can still share in God’s earth and heaven, if we live in Christ’s image.
But inevitably, throughout our life, it is not just Christ’s image that we look to emulate.
Many years ago, when people asked our young son for his name, he would simply respond to them by saying “I am Priestly Brook’s son”. My wife eventually told him that he was to use his own name in the future, instead of introducing himself as my son.
Soon after this, the Bishop took our church’s centenary service and after the service had concluded, the Bishop (with his microphone still on) asked my three children, “are you Priestly Brook’s sons?”
Then, heard by the entire congregation, my son replied, “We thought we were, but my mum says that we aren’t!”
4. Psalm 9: Abridged 5 & 7. ‘You will not fear the terror of the night … A thousand may fall at your side …. But it will not come near you.’
Psalm 9 was known as the Trench Psalm by the soldiers in the First World War. Think of the horror that they endured: the shrieking of the bombs, bullets flying through the air, exhaustion, disease, and death and injury ever present.
Many solders recited this Psalm during the war, including my great uncle, in an attempt to give comfort and courage to others in a time where these things were needed the most.
Whilst we may experience the dark terrifying nights, it takes us beyond the horror of that experience to know that Jesus, whilst upon the cross, took the worldly burden of evil, sin and death on our behalf.
Through this sacrifice, we are assured that we too will rise and know that a table is prepared for us in the presence of our enemies so that we may dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
This teaches us that we are never truly alone, for God has a plan for our lives and is with us during the most difficult moments in our life.
3. Luke 22:19. ‘He [Jesus] took a loaf of bread and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying.”This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me” And he did the same with the cup, saying. “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.’
My mum, bless her, was rather…economical when it came to food. On the rare occasions that friends visited us, mum would make dinner for everyone.
This often consisted of a small salad with salmon from a tin, mixed with breadcrumbs to make it spin out!
It was never too generous a helping, and when everyone cleared their plates, she would say, “You know, I guessed just right!”
Unlike my mum, Christ gave with unfailing generosity. In fact he gave his life for us.
To celebrate the Eucharist, it is indeed a great privilege to know that on each occasion, the breaking of the bread and the pouring of the wine reminds us that Christ gave his body and blood for us, and that he will never break his covenant.
This teaches us that in Christ, a holy covenant was made, but we too must ensure that we incorporate this into our own lives.
2. Matthew 17: abridge 5. ‘This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased, listen to him!’
The opening verses of Matthew 17 relates to the transfiguration and the passage teaches us that we, like Jesus’ disciples, should listen to the Son of God rather than our own selfish desires.
But this verse also brings back a funny childhood memory for me. When I was a young boy, a group of us, along with our teacher, were climbing Coniston Old Man in thick mist.
As the mist began to thicken, our teacher made no allowances for our lack of climbing ability and ploughed ahead of us, never turning back to see if we were okay.
At one point during the climb, the sun came out and our teacher was ethereally lit in the swirling mist and one of my friends exclaimed “He looks just like Jesus!”
This brought my thoughts to the transfiguration, and this led me to reply, “he may look like him, but Jesus would never have gone ahead and left us behind!”
1. John 3:16. ‘God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but have eternal life.’
To me John 3:16 is the heart of the Gospel. It teaches that everyone will receive the gift of eternal life, regardless of their nationality, Christian denomination, level of wealth or influence.
This is because God loved us enough to send us his only son, not to condemn the world, but to save it.
We should therefore look to project the image of God in our lives, be thankful of the teachings of his son, and sign up to his covenant.
Only then can we be saved in Christ, and God will say that he saw everything that he had made and behold, it was good!
The Reverend Priestly Brook, an Anglican priest, retired in August 2012, from the Colne and Villages Team Ministry in East Lancashire. His Bishop has granted him a licence with ‘Permission to Officiate’. He is married to Christine, with six grown up children. He is a well known preacher and after dinner speaker in the North of England.