That disciple whom Jesus loved therefore said to Peter, “It is the Lord!”~John 21:7b NKJV
“What’s your favorite Bible verse?”
I find the question overwhelming.
“Are you serious?” Is my rhetorical reply.
Among the tens of thousands of verses that declare His determined goodness, deep affections, and divine and deliberate planning, how can I select a single favorite verse? God pours out His supernatural heart to man with gestures of love so grand they are unspeakable. Cover to cover our Bible captures the incomprehensible. The written Word is a sacred gift. Sometimes I feel only Jesus, the Word, possesses the power to narrow the scriptures about Himself in that way. It’s easy when you authored it and possess all wisdom and power.
Still, I get the heart of the question—to share my favorite verse—and so I think I may have finally settled on my life’s verse, “It is the Lord” John 21:7b ESV. This phrase has become my prayer.
It is the Lord!~John 21:7b NKJV
Sacred truth aside, I appreciate the Bible as a work of art. The way the stories are told, and how they share a unified message shows this book is divine. There is no way man could craft its equal if he were given all of eternity to do so.
Tucked away in the book of John, I’ve come to realize that this one verse perfectly echoes all I ever hope to find in this life. First, that men would know that all the good done on this Earth is from the hand of the Lord. The beauty in life was initiated by Him, and it is sustained by Him alone.
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.~James 1:17 NKJV
How often do we sing songs about our love for God? We make lofty promises about praising Him in the valleys, only to fall away when we go through one. God knows this, just like He knew Peter would betray Him and forsake Him. He also knew David would commit adultery, Hezekiah would go astray, Israel would worship idols, and yet God is still faithful to mankind despite our wanderings.
God hears us.
He keeps us.
He awakens us day by day, and pursues us even in our unworthiness with unapparelled kindness.
God’s power is revealed in countless mercies, in the goodness that we received via Christ on the cross, and through the gift of His Spirit who teaches us how to live.God’s power is revealed in countless mercies, in the goodness that we received via Christ on the cross, and through the gift of His Spirit who teaches us how to live. #VineWords #ShandaNeighbors #ItistheLord Click To Tweet
The goodness that we see in the Earth, the faithfulness and mercy that we experience every morning, it is from the Lord. From creation to the cross, it is the Lord who is good. The people in our lives are gifts from the Lord. The one who told me about Christ, my patient spouse, my children, my friends, these are gifts from the Lord.
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth). Finding out what is acceptable to the Lord.~Ephesians 5:8-9 NKJV
His goodness goes deeper than what is happening on the outside. It includes what is happening on the inside. That nudge to do good—this also is the Lord. That passion, talent, or gift you have—it is there because of the Lord. The opportunity to use it—this is the Lord’s doing. The purpose you feel—it is the Lord equipping you. I now realize this is the confession I want spoken over me—that others might look at me and see that it is the Lord within me that helped me to succeed.
Cover to cover our Bible captures the incomprehensible. The written Word is a sacred gift.~Shanda Neighbors, Contributing Author to Love Knots: Stories of Faith, Family, and Friendships
John knew and recognized Jesus. Therefore, I want people to know and recognize that the Spirit of Jesus is welcomed within me. Much like Jesus spoke of favorably of two vital commands—love God and love others—He has granted me the insight to do the same. I want the confession of men regarding me to be, “It is the Lord working within her.” May it be second only to Father God speaking His confession over me, “Well done.” May you live a life that proclaims in words and in deeds, ‘”It is the Lord,” and may the Master, our Heavenly Father, one day recognize all of us with a “Well done good and faithful servants.”
What deed have you done recently that you can boldly declare, “It is the Lord.”?
Father God, You see me. You recognize who I am, and my shortcomings, and yet You reveal Yourself through me, choosing to be present within me. Let me live mindful that all good comes from You, and all the glory belongs only to You. Let my satisfaction be solely in what You would say of me. Be pleased with my life, for the Kingdom and its glory, I submit to Your will and ways on this Earth now and forevermore. Help me to live according to the good name of Jesus Christ who is Lord of all.
Copyright 2021: It is the Lord!: Shanda Neighbors: All Rights Reserved
Meet Our Contributor
Shanda Neighbors’s island upbringing has afforded her the ability to pardon Eve.
She too enjoys gardening and picking produce. Her husband eats all she offers him. No questions. She enjoys serving large crowds, but she’s a natural overfeeder. She will supply too much nourishment no matter the crowd size. Food is her love-language.
Shanda was born and raised in the Bahamas. This has determined both her internal clock and thermostat. She struggles with being on time and is not trusted to set the temperature anywhere. You can always find her outdoors…over 60s and sunny…probably in a jacket. Anyone who invites her to go skiing hates her. Period.
Shanda is a miraculous work in progress. She credits her family with helping that work along. Chief among them is her husband who has demonstrated the power of love and patience. Outside of Jesus, she has had no greater advocate than her beef-and-potatoes husband. Shanda has two daughters who are her treasures.
Shanda is passionate about truth and the reputation of God. This translates into her speaking and writing. Her goal is to live amazed by the love, glory, power, and goodness of our God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, and to share His story with as many people as possible.
Shanda is a devotion writer for VineWords: Devotions and More, and a contributing author to Love Knots: Stories of Faith, Family, and Friendships (VineWords Publishing). She is a devotion speaker at Word Weavers Piedmont-Triad, NC, and she is available for speaking engagements. Her long-term goal is to enter the media industry.
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