- 1 Chronicles 29:11 CSB
Yours, Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the splendor and the majesty, for everything in the heavens and on earth belongs to you. Yours, Lord, is the kingdom, and you are exalted as head over all.
- Psalm 24:10 CSB
Who is he, this King of glory?
The Lord of Armies,
he is the King of glory. Selah
- Psalm 45:6 CSB
Your throne, God, is forever and ever;
the scepter of your kingdom is a scepter of justice.
- Psalm 103:19 CSB
The Lord has established his throne in heaven,
and his kingdom rules over all.
- Isaiah 32:1 CSB
Indeed, a king will reign righteously,
and rulers will rule justly.
- Isaiah 33:22 CSB
For the Lord is our Judge,
the Lord is our Lawgiver,
the Lord is our King.
He will save us.
- Daniel 2:44 CSB
In the days of those kings, the God of the heavens will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, and this kingdom will not be left to another people. It will crush all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, but will itself endure forever.
- Daniel 7:27 CSB
The kingdom, dominion, and greatness of the kingdoms under all of heaven will be given to the people, the holy ones of the Most High. His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all rulers will serve and obey him.’
- Zechariah 14:9 CSB
On that day the Lord will become King over the whole earth—the Lord alone, and his name alone.
- Matthew 4:17 CSB
From then on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, because the kingdom of heaven has come near.”
- Matthew 4:23 CSB
Now Jesus began to go all over Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people.
- Matthew 5:3 CSB
“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for the kingdom of heaven is theirs.
- Matthew 5:10 CSB
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for the kingdom of heaven is theirs.
- Matthew 5:19-20 CSB
Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commands and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever does and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never get into the kingdom of heaven.
- Matthew 6:10 CSB
Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
- Matthew 6:33 CSB
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you.
- Matthew 7:21 CSB
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.
- Matthew 10:7 CSB
As you go, proclaim, ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’
- Matthew 13:44 CSB
The kingdom of heaven is like treasure, buried in a field, that a man found and reburied. Then in his joy he goes and sells everything he has and buys that field.
- Matthew 16:19 CSB
I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will have been loosed in heaven.”
- Matthew 18:3 CSB
“Truly I tell you,” he said, “unless you turn and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
- Matthew 24:14 CSB
This good news of the kingdom will be proclaimed in all the world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
- Matthew 25:34 CSB
Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
- Mark 1:15 CSB
The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”
- Luke 4:43 CSB
But he said to them, “It is necessary for me to proclaim the good news about the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because I was sent for this purpose.”
- Luke 9:2 CSB
Then he sent them to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.
- Luke 10:8-9 CSB
When you enter any town, and they welcome you, eat the things set before you. 9 Heal the sick who are there, and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near you.’
- Luke 12:31-32 CSB
“But seek his kingdom, and these things will be provided for you. 32 Don’t be afraid, little flock, because your Father delights to give you the kingdom
- Luke 17:20-21 CSB
When he was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, he answered them, “The kingdom of God is not coming with something observable; 21 no one will say, ‘See here!’ or ‘There!’ For you see, the kingdom of God is in your midst.
- John 3:3-5 CSB
Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, unless someone is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” 4 “How can anyone be born when he is old?” Nicodemus asked him. “Can he enter his mother’s womb a second time and be born?” 5 Jesus answered, “Truly I tell you, unless someone is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.
- John 18:36 CSB
“My kingdom is not of this world,” said Jesus. “If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would fight, so that I wouldn’t be handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not from here.”
- Acts 28:30-31 CSB
Paul stayed two whole years in his own rented house. And he welcomed all who visited him, 31 proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance.
- Romans 14:17 CSB
for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.
- 1 Corinthians 4:20 CSB
For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.
- 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 CSB
Don’t you know that the unrighteous will not inherit God’s kingdom? Do not be deceived: No sexually immoral people, idolaters, adulterers, or males who have sex with males,10 no thieves, greedy people, drunkards, verbally abusive people, or swindlers will inherit God’s kingdom. 11 And some of you used to be like this. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
- 1 Corinthians 15:50 CSB
What I am saying, brothers and sisters, is this: Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor can corruption inherit incorruption.
- Galatians 5:19-24 CSB
Now the works of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, moral impurity, promiscuity, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions, 21 envy, drunkenness, carousing, and anything similar. I am warning you about these things—as I warned you before—that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. The law is not against such things. 24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires
- Philippians 3:20 CSB
Our citizenship is in heaven, and we eagerly wait for a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ.
- Colossians 1:13 CSB
He has rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son he loves.
- 1 Timothy 1:17 CSB
Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only[a] God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.
- Hebrews 12:28 CSB
Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful. By it, we may serve God acceptably, with reverence and awe,
- 2 Peter 1:10-11 CSB
Therefore, brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election, because if you do these things you will never stumble. 11 For in this way, entry into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be richly provided for you.
- Revelation 11:15 CSB
The seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven saying,
The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign forever and ever.
- Revelation 21:1-4 CSB
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2 I also saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared like a bride adorned for her husband. 3 Then I heard a loud voice from the throne: Look, God’s dwelling is with humanity, and he will live with them. They will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them and will be their God. 4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; grief, crying, and pain will be no more, because the previous things have passed away.
It is cold and I am whiny about the cold.
It’s the the kind of wet and gray cold that seeps into your bones and leaves you chilly despite fuzzy socks, layers of clothing, soft blankets, and hot tea.
Maybe it’s less about the thermometer and more about the bitterness of the wind and the colorless sky that’s convinced me to abandon my afternoon walk and retreat inside.
There are certainly people and places a whole lot colder than I am. Our temps outside haven’t even dipped below freezing and we’ve not seen any snow. So I know there’s nothing really to complain about and I know that winter has barely started here and that colder days are still to come.
This week, though, as this Virginia girl has felt a little overwhelmed by winter, I received my first seed catalogue from our local nursery.
Spring, my friends, is coming.
This is my favorite and most necessary reminder each year in January. The bulbs will begin shooting green up through the soil soon. Tulips and daffodils will bloom in just a few weeks. There will be color and sun and warmth and the best of all, new and renewed life.
On Sunday, I chatted with a friend about our concerns for kids and teens during this pandemic and how many teens we personally know who have begun taking medication for depression. We mourned all this has cost them and how many of them are beginning to feel hopeless.
I told her the same thing I’ve been saying to my kids for about ten months, “we’ll be okay.” All this is temporary sorrow and temporary loss. We mourn, but we rest in God’s faithfulness and pray for those around us fighting much harder situations.
The truth is, though, this temporary sure is lasting a long time.
In fact, ten months of temporary is starting to feel rather permanent.
For our momentary light affliction is producing for us an absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory. So we do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal(2 Cor 4:17-18 CSB)
Maybe one of the transformations happening in me in this long stretch of temporary and this seemingly endless “momentary light affliction” is that this life feels less satisfying and more uncomfortable.
It’s hard to long for the eternal weight of glory when life down here feels pretty cozy and when the joys of this life satisfy all of the longings in my soul.
But we’re meant to long for more than that.
He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.Ecclesiastes 3:11 NKJV
All of this winter discontent and frustration with temporary affliction is stirring up the eternity God has placed in my heart. I want to see His beautiful finished work. I want to see His glory and the fulfillment of His promises.
I want to hear His declaration, “It is finished” and see how He is making everything new.
And this longing for eternity is God-designed so that I’m drawn to Him and so that I seek His presence continually and relentlessly.
It’s a sacred and holy restlessness, a discontent because nothing here can ever satisfy and I can truly only be content in Him.
In the same way, the knowledge that spring is promised and assured compels us to push through winter. This cold dormancy and this grayness will not last forever, so we don’t settle here.
Instead, we look beyond because God will bring us to something far more beautiful and glory-filled than we could imagine.
Here, though, in the middle of this long stretch of temporary, this “momentary light affliction,” in this cold, gray winter, I do something more than look forward to the better that’s coming.
The Psalmist wrote:
Be a rock of refuge for me,Psalm 71:3 CSB
where I can always go.
Give the command to save me,
for you are my rock and fortress.
Our afflictions are tempory, but our God is constant. He is faithful. He does not abandon us in the middle of sorrow.
He is a rock of refuge “where I can always go.” So, even when the temporary drags on and deliverance delays….I go over and over, relentlessly, continually, regularly, day-in and day-out, minute-by-minute straight to Jesus and take refuge in Him.
- Proverbs 3:3 NASB
Do not let kindness and truth leave you;
Bind them around your neck,
Write them on the tablet of your heart.
- Proverbs 11:17 ESV
A man who is kind benefits himself,
but a cruel man hurts himself.
- Proverbs 21:21 ESV
Whoever pursues righteousness and kindness
will find life, righteousness, and honor.
- Proverbs 31:26 ESV
She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
- Micah 6:8 NASB
He has told you, O man, what is good;
And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justice, to love kindness,
And to walk humbly with your God?
- Zechariah 7:9 ESV
“Thus says the Lord of hosts, Render true judgments, show kindness and mercy to one another,
- Luke 6:35 NIV
But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.
- Acts 28:2 NASB
The natives showed us extraordinary kindness; for because of the rain that had set in and because of the cold, they kindled a fire and received us all.
- Romans 2:4 NIV
Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?
- Romans 11:22 ESV
Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God’s kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off.
- 1 Corinthians 13:4-5 ESV
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;
- Galatians 5:22-23 NIV
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
- Ephesians 4:32 NASB
Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.
- Colossians 3:12 NIV
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
- Titus 3:4-5 ESV
But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared,5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,
- Exodus 20:17 ESV
“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.
- Psalm 23:1 NKJV
The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
- Psalm 37:16 ESV
Better is the little that the righteous has
than the abundance of many wicked.
- Psalm 73:1-5 MSG
No doubt about it! God is good—
good to good people, good to the good-hearted.
But I nearly missed it, missed seeing his goodness.
I was looking the other way, looking up to the people
At the top, envying the wicked who have it made,
Who have nothing to worry about, not a care in the whole wide world.
- Proverbs 14:30 HCSB
A tranquil heart is life to the body,
but jealousy is rottenness to the bones.
- Proverbs 27:4 NIV
Anger is cruel and fury overwhelming,
but who can stand before jealousy?
- Ecclesiastes 4:6 ESV
Better is a handful of quietness than two hands full of toil and a striving after wind.
- Matthew 6:33 ESV
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
- Luke 3:14 NIV
Then some soldiers asked him, “And what should we do?”
He replied, “Don’t extort money and don’t accuse people falsely—be content with your pay.”
- Luke 12:15 HCSB
He then told them, “Watch out and be on guard against all greed because one’s life is not in the abundance of his possessions.”
- Romans 12:6 MSG
So since we find ourselves fashioned into all these excellently formed and marvelously functioning parts in Christ’s body, let’s just go ahead and be what we were made to be, without enviously or pridefully comparing ourselves with each other, or trying to be something we aren’t.
- Romans 13:13 NIV
Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy.
- Romans 14:17 NASB
for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
- 1 Corinthians 3:3 NIV
You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans?
- 1 Corinthians 13:4 NIV
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
- Galatians 5:26 NASB
Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another.
- Philippians 2:3-4 MSG
If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care— then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.
- Philippians 4:11-12 ESV
Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.
- 1 Timothy 6:6-7 NIV
But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.
- Hebrews 13:5 HCSB
Your life should be free from the love of money. Be satisfied with what you have, for He Himself has said, I will never leave you or forsake you
- James 4:14-16 NIV
But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.
- Deuteronomy 11:18-19 ESV
“You shall therefore lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 19 You shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.
- Deuteronomy 32:2 ESV
May my teaching drop as the rain,
my speech distill as the dew,
like gentle rain upon the tender grass,
and like showers upon the herb.
- Psalm 32:8 ESV
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will counsel you with my eye upon you.
- Proverbs 1:2-5 ESV
To know wisdom and instruction,
to understand words of insight,
3 to receive instruction in wise dealing,
in righteousness, justice, and equity;
4 to give prudence to the simple,
knowledge and discretion to the youth—
5 Let the wise hear and increase in learning,
and the one who understands obtain guidance,
- Proverbs 4:13 ESV
Keep hold of instruction; do not let go;
guard her, for she is your life.
- Proverbs 22:6 ESV
Train up a child in the way he should go;
even when he is old he will not depart from it.
- Matthew 5:19 ESV
Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
- Matthew 10:24 ESV
A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master.
- Matthew 19:14 ESV
but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.”
- Luke 6:40 ESV
A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher.
- Romans 2:18-23 ESV
And know his will and approve what is excellent, because you are instructed from the law; 19 and if you are sure that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, 20 an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of children, having in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth— 21 you then who teach others, do you not teach yourself? While you preach against stealing, do you steal? 22 You who say that one must not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? 23 You who boast in the law dishonor God by breaking the law.
- Romans 12:6-7 ESV
Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; 7 if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching;
- 1 Corinthians 15:58 ESV
Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.
- Ephesians 4:11-14 ESV
And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.
- Colossians 3:16 ESV
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
- 2 Timothy 2:2 ESV
and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.
- 2 Timothy 2:15 ESV
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.
- 2 Timothy 3:16 ESV
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,
- Titus 2:7-8 ESV
Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, 8 and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.
- James 3:1-2 ESV
Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. 2 For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body.
- Exodus 33:14 CSB
And he replied, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
- Psalm 4:8 CSB
I will both lie down and sleep in peace,
for you alone, Lord, make me live in safety.
- Psalm 46:10 NASB
Cease striving and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
- Psalm 62:1 CSB
I am at rest in God alone;
my salvation comes from him.
- Psalm 62:5 CSB
Rest in God alone, my soul,
for my hope comes from him.
- Psalm 73:26 CSB
My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart,
my portion forever.
- Psalm 116:7 CSB
Return to your rest, my soul,
for the Lord has been good to you.
- Psalm 119:28 CSB
I am weary from grief;
strengthen me through your word.
- Psalm 127:1-2 CSB
Unless the Lord builds a house,
its builders labor over it in vain;
unless the Lord watches over a city,
the watchman stays alert in vain.
2 In vain you get up early and stay up late,
working hard to have enough food—
yes, he gives sleep to the one he loves
- Psalm 138:3 CSB
On the day I called, you answered me;
you increased strength within me
- Proverbs 3:24 CSB
When you lie down, you will not be afraid;
you will lie down, and your sleep will be pleasant.
- Isaiah 40:28-31 CSB
Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the whole earth.
He never becomes faint or weary;
there is no limit to his understanding.
29 He gives strength to the faint
and strengthens the powerless.
30 Youths may become faint and weary,
and young men stumble and fall,
31 but those who trust in the Lord
will renew their strength;
they will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not become weary,
they will walk and not faint.
- Isaiah 41:10 CSB
Do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be afraid, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you; I will help you;
I will hold on to you with my righteous right hand.
- Isaiah 50:4 CSB
The Lord God has given me
the tongue of those who are instructed
to know how to sustain the weary with a word.
He awakens me each morning;
he awakens my ear to listen like those being instructed.
- Jeremiah 31:25 NASB
For I satisfy the weary ones and refresh everyone who languishes.”
- Matthew 11:28-30 NASB
Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
- Luke 18:1 NASB
Now He was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart
- John 16:33 NASB
These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”
- 2 Corinthians 4:16 CSB
Therefore we do not give up. Even though our outer person is being destroyed, our inner person is being renewed day by day.
- 2 Corinthians 12:9 CSB
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is perfected in weakness.”
Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may reside in me.
- Galatians 6:9 CSB
Let us not get tired of doing good, for we will reap at the proper time if we don’t give up.
- Philippians 4:13 NASB
I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.
- 2 Thessalonians 3:13 CSB
But as for you, brothers and sisters, do not grow weary in doing good.
- Hebrews 12:3 CSB
For consider him who endured such hostility from sinners against himself, so that you won’t grow weary and give
- Deuteronomy 4:29 ESV
But from there you will seek the Lord your God and you will find him, if you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul.
- Deuteronomy 6:5 ESV
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.
- Deuteronomy 10:12 ESV
And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lordyour God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul,
- Deuteronomy 13:3 ESV
you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams. For the Lord your God is testing you, to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
- Deuteronomy 30:6 ESV
And the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring, so that you will love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live.
- Joshua 22:5 ESV
Only be very careful to observe the commandment and the law that Moses the servant of the Lord commanded you, to love the Lord your God, and to walk in all his ways and to keep his commandments and to cling to him and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul.”
- 1 Samuel 12:20 ESV
And Samuel said to the people, “Do not be afraid; you have done all this evil. Yet do not turn aside from following the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart.
- 1 Samuel 12:24 ESV
Only fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart. For consider what great things he has done for you.
- 1 Kings 8:61 ESV
Let your heart therefore be wholly true to the Lord our God, walking in his statutes and keeping his commandments, as at this day.”
- 1 Chronicles 28:9 ESV
“And you, Solomon my son, know the God of your father and serve him with a whole heart and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches all hearts and understands every plan and thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will cast you off forever.
- Psalm 86:11 ESV
Teach me your way, O Lord,
that I may walk in your truth;
unite my heart to fear your name.
- Psalm 119:10 ESV
With my whole heart I seek you;
let me not wander from your commandments!
- Psalm 119:34 ESV
Give me understanding, that I may keep your law
and observe it with my whole heart.
- Psalm 119:58 ESV
I entreat your favor with all my heart;
be gracious to me according to your promise.
- Psalm 138:1 ESV
I give you thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart;
before the gods I sing your praise;
- Jeremiah 29:13 ESV
You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.
- Joel 2:12 ESV
“Yet even now,” declares the Lord,
“return to me with all your heart,
with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning;
- Matthew 22:37 ESV (also Mark 12:30 and Luke 10:27)
And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.
- Nehemiah 8:10 NIV
Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
- Psalm 22:19 NIV
But you, Lord, do not be far from me.
You are my strength; come quickly to help me.
- Psalm 27:1 NKJV
The Lord is my light and my salvation;
Whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the strength of my life;
Of whom shall I be afraid?
- Psalm 28:7-8 NIV
The Lord is my strength and my shield;
my heart trusts in him, and he helps me.
My heart leaps for joy,
and with my song I praise him.
8 The Lord is the strength of his people,
a fortress of salvation for his anointed one.
- Psalm 29:11 CSB
The Lord gives his people strength;
the Lord blesses his people with peace.
- Psalm 37:39 NKJV
But the salvation of the righteous is from the Lord;
He is their strength in the time of trouble.
- Psalm 46:1 NIV
God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
- Psalm 118:14 NIV
The Lord is my strength and my defense;
he has become my salvation.
- Psalm 119:28 NIV
My soul is weary with sorrow;
strengthen me according to your word.
- Psalm 138:3 NKJV
In the day when I cried out, You answered me,
And made me bold with strength in my soul.
- Proverbs 18:10 NASB
The name of the Lord is a strong tower;
The righteous runs into it and is safe.
- Isaiah 12:2 NIV
Surely God is my salvation;
I will trust and not be afraid.
The Lord, the Lord himself, is my strength and my defense;
he has become my salvation.”
- Isaiah 33:2 NIV
Lord, be gracious to us;
we long for you
.Be our strength every morning,
our salvation in time of distress.
- Isaiah 40:29 NIV
He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
- Isaiah 40:31 NIV
but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
- Isaiah 41:10 NASB
‘Do not fear, for I am with you;
Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you, surely I will help you,
Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’
- Habakkuk 3:19 NIV
The Sovereign Lord is my strength;
he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
he enables me to tread on the heights.
- Mark 12:30 NIV
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’
- 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 NIV
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
- Ephesians 3:16 NIV
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being,
- Ephesians 6:10 NIV
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
- Philippians 4:13 NIV
I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
- Genesis 1:2 CSB
Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness covered the surface of the watery depths, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters.
- Genesis 1:21 CSB
So God created the large sea-creatures and every living creature that moves and swarms in the water, according to their kinds. He also created every winged creature according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
- Job 38:8-11 CSB
Who enclosed the sea behind doors
when it burst from the womb,
when I made the clouds its garment
and total darkness its blanket,
when I determined its boundaries
and put its bars and doors in place,
when I declared, “You may come this far, but no farther;
your proud waves stop here”?
- Psalm 8:3-9 CSB
When I observe your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you set in place,
what is a human being that you remember him,
a son of man that you look after him?
You made him little less than God
and crowned him with glory and honor.
You made him ruler over the works of your hands
you put everything under his feet:
all the sheep and oxen,
as well as the animals in the wild,
the birds of the sky
and the fish of the sea
that pass through the currents of the seas.
Lord, our Lord,
how magnificent is your name throughout the earth!
- Psalm 89:9 CSB
You rule the raging sea;
when its waves surge, you still them.
- Psalm 93:4 NASB
More than the sounds of many waters,
Than the mighty breakers of the sea,
The Lord on high is mighty.
- Psalm 104:24-26 CSB
How countless are your works, Lord!
In wisdom you have made them all;
the earth is full of your creatures.
Here is the sea, vast and wide,
teeming with creatures beyond number—
living things both large and small.
There the ships move about,
and Leviathan, which you formed to play there.
- Psalm 107:28-30 CSB
Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble,
and he brought them out of their distress.
He stilled the storm to a whisper,
and the waves of the sea were hushed.
They rejoiced when the waves grew quiet.
Then he guided them to the harbor they longed for.
- Psalm 139:9-10 NASB
If I take the wings of the dawn,
If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea
Even there Your hand will lead me,
And Your right hand will lay hold of me.
- Psalm 146:5-6 CSB
Happy is the one whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the Lord his God,
the Maker of heaven and earth,
the sea and everything in them.
He remains faithful forever,
- Isaiah 43:2-3 CSB
When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you,
and the rivers will not overwhelm you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be scorched,
and the flame will not burn you.
For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, and your Savior.
I have given Egypt as a ransom for you,
Cush and Seba in your place.
- Jeremiah 31:35 CSB
“This is what the Lord says:
The one who gives the sun for light by day,
the fixed order of moon and stars for light by night,
who stirs up the sea and makes its waves roar—
the Lord of Armies is his name:
- Amos 9:6 NASB
The One who builds His upper chambers in the heavens
And has founded His vaulted dome over the earth,
He who calls for the waters of the sea
And pours them out on the face of the earth,
The Lord is His name.
- Micah 7:19 CSB
He will again have compassion on us;
he will vanquish our iniquities.
You will cast all our sins
into the depths of the sea.
- Habakkuk 2:14 NASB
For the earth will be filled
With the knowledge of the glory of the Lord,
As the waters cover the sea.
- Matthew 8:27 CSB
The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the sea obey him!”
- Revelation 15:2 CSB
I also saw something like a sea of glass mixed with fire, and those who had won the victory over the beast, its image, and the number of its name, were standing on the sea of glass with harps from God.
There’s building. And then there’s re-building.
My son is a builder-of-Legos. They are the first item on any birthday or Christmas wishlist and they are his favorite presents to open and play with as soon as the celebration time is done. In just six years, he’s amassed quite a collection of super-hero, Star Wars, and dinosaur Legos.
(And this is what can drive me crazy).
He does not keep his Legos together, perfectly constructed, high on a shelf, all the pieces still in the right places. (How could we possibly have enough shelving to do that?)
No, as soon as the Legos are built, they are played with relentlessly. Pieces come off. Those pieces then become new creations with pieces from other sets, a mishmash of Lego bricks.
There are some of us (me) who like things to always look like the instruction manual, as if there is a “Right” way to build with these Legos. When a piece comes loose, we pull out the picture and put it back exactly where it is supposed to go.
My son is not that person. He swaps dinosaur legs and superhero bodies, and he combines kits relentlessly. He is silly at times and innovative at other times.
Sometimes I envision having so much free time that we can spend days sorting the Legos back into sets and then following those instruction manuals once again to put them all together the right way once more. This sounds like the ultimate project for me. Get everything “right” and all will be right with the world.
That hasn’t happened yet.
It would take extensive time and great effort, of course, because I truly think building is far, far easier than re-building. Building starts with such a clean space. The pieces are clearly sorted and separated. Building does not begin with confusion.
But re-building starts with brokenness and mess and rubble and has to restore what’s broken and re-make or even re-design what is lost.
In the book of Nehemiah, God’s people rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem that had been destroyed by their enemies and had lain in ashes and mounds of rubble for years.
During the rebuild, they were taunted, mocked, and threatened by new enemies, and yet they kept working. Some guarded while others built. Some built with one hand holding a weapon and the other hand laying bricks. They refused to be sidetracked, delayed, or stopped.
The rubble, however, almost defeated them. Nehemiah 4:10 says:
In Judah, it was said:
The strength of the laborer fails,
since there is so much rubble.
We will never be able
to rebuild the wall.
” (Nehemiah 4:10 CSB).
That’s what almost broke them.
Kelly Minter writes in her study on Nehemiah:
It was that exhausting rubble that just about took them down. What rubble in your life is presently the most discouraging and exhausting? (p. 56).
This year, it’s easy to be defeated by brokenness. Ministries, jobs, finances, churches, school plans, friendships and connections with others… all may be in need of rebuilding, and such rebuilding is exhausting and hard.
We can’t just jump in with a brand new vision, a clean slate and build. No, we need to re-build. There are hurts tangled up in this. There is sadness over what is lost. There is stuff we have to let go of and get rid of. There is letting go of the known. There is anger and frustration. There is uncertainty. There is a feeling of helplessness and powerlessness because we have no control.
There is a tremendous desire to just get things back to the way they were before, the way they are “supposed” to be—and then set those constructions high up on a shelf so they can never be changed again.
That is not our reality. So we need God to equip us for the rebuilding, to strengthen us to face enemies and strengthen us to clear out the seemingly never-ending rubble and start raising the walls again.
Nehemiah said to the discouraged, worn-out, battle-weary people of Judah:
“Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your families, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes” (Nehemiah 4:14 CSB).
Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome.
This is not too much for Him. That is the reminder I need. It may take time, it may take creativity, it may mean hard work and standing against the Enemy.
The truth remains, though: Our God isn’t just able to build; He is able to rebuild. He has done it before and He can do it again.