The First 15

Monday August 24, 2020

by First Methodist Mansfield

A Life Verse


Isaiah 26:3

3 You will keep in perfect peace
    those whose minds are steadfast,
    because they trust in you.


Isaiah 26:3 has become a very important verse of scripture for me. I remember it best in the NLT (New LIving Translation), “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!” 

My good friend, John Wheat, remembers it best in the KJV (King James Version), “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.”

Notice that each version of this passage uses a slightly different expression for the original Hebrew word “sā·mūḵ,” which you can see in the NIV as “steadfast”; in the NLT as “fixed on”; and in the KJV as “stayed on.” These expressions describe a human mind that has set a course for life that is locked-on to God. Perhaps one expression or version especially resonates with you.

John Wheat once told me that Isaiah 26:3 has been his life verse, one that the Holy Spirit led him to. This verse has guided John’s path of discipleship ever since he was a young man in his early thirties. Now in his early nineties, John would say that in all the ups and downs of his life, God has always been faithful, more than worthy of John’s trust, and that over all these years, the perfect peace that only God can provide has centered his life in both following and sharing the teachings of Jesus Christ. You see, John is a truly amazing bible teacher, pastoral care provider, prayer warrior, and, as so many would say, a wise friend who truly listens and cares. Our church family and community have been richly blessed and many people have come to trust in Jesus Christ through the spiritual gifts of John’s volunteer ministry here. I’m guessing that, like me, you are very thankful that John was led to Isaiah 26:3 to guide his path those many years ago.

Isaiah 26:3 reminds us that what and who we set our minds on today creates a path, a trajectory for what our lives will look like down the road.

  • What does Isaiah say will be produced in us when we trust in God and keep our thoughts “steadfast”, “fixed on” or “stayed on” God?
  • Like John Wheat, do you have a life verse that guides your path of discipleship? If not, John would be more than happy to share his with you!

Prayer for Today

John Wheat once shared this beautiful prayer written by Henri Nouwen with me.

Dear Lord, even when I know everything about you, even when I have studied all the Scriptures with care, even when I have a great desire and willpower to work in your service, I can do nothing without the gift of your Spirit. Often I realize that the clearest vision of the true life, and the most sincere wish to live it, is not enough to make me a true disciple. Only when your Spirit has entered into the depth of my being can I be a real Christian, one who lives in and with and through you. O Lord, I pray for the power of your Spirit. Let this power invade me and transform me into a real disciple, willing to follow you even where I would rather not go. Amen.

The First 15

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