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Sunday, September 5, 2010

Life Verses

The other day I was thinking about the life verses I have set for myself. I have one that I took up for myself, in order to remind me to keep on living for Christ. The second one I have was given to me by my parents, and the third one is given to me by God. Now you may think that’s kind of strange for me to say that last bit. No, God did not specifically say that I had a life verse, but I felt like it was given to me by God because of my name. In the Bible, I noticed a lot of people had names that related to their character. Abigail’s first husband, Nabal, had a name that fit his description- folly. Jeremiah’s name meant that he was appointed by God, which the first chapter in Jeremiah reiterates God’s calling to Jeremiah. So what do names have to do with life verses? Plenty! Although I do not have a meaning for my name specifically, I followed the meaning of another name closely related to mine. According to babynamesworld.com, my name means “ash wood.” Pretty boring and meaningless, right? On first glance, probably so, but as I searched for the meaning of ash wood, I found a deeper answer! Ash tree is a strong elastic wood that is used for items that need to be tough, such as baseball bats and tool handles. Ash wood comes from an Ash tree, which is another meaning of my name. The Latin for Ash tree is Fraximus Excelsior. Fraximus identifies the type of tree it is, and Excelsior basically means “tree.” Excelsior means “ever upward,” in English, as trees only grow up. I felt that described my name perfectly! My name meant that I was to be strong, resilient, and in Christ continue on in Him, never going back to the former life but continuing to gain more in Him spiritually. When I determined what Excelsior meant, I realized a verse that reminded me of my name meaning.
I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
(Php 3:14 ESV)

I felt like God had intended that verse for me as it correlated with the meaning of my name. It’s very fitting for the meaning, isn’t it?
The life verse I gave to myself,
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.
(Heb 12:1-3 ESV)

described my goal perfectly when I was in high school running track. I used that verse to try and help me maintain my focus during practice, and also found it very applicable to the Christian life. I felt it summed up my whole being.
The life verse given to me by my parents is
as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death.
(Php 1:20 ESV)

I think it is a great reminder of how I am to represent Christ.
Life verses are important to have in order to keep our goals in perspective, to remember that the end of man is to glorify God in all that we do. Do you have life verses?