Marked by Phrases

    Nov 17, 2023 | by Anthony Wade

    Have you ever had a thought come to you or a memory hit you and you are immediately so touched that you must take a moment and compose yourself? Maybe a memory floods your mind and you are overcome with emotion. Perhaps a line from a movie just pops into your head and you immediately get goosebumps just like the first time you heard it thirty years ago.


    These things happen to me all the time. However, it’s usually not lines from a movie. Well, maybe sometimes. After all, every time I think of Forrest Gump saying, “Sometimes I guess there just aren’t enough rocks,” I have to pause and think of how the people around me are hurting. When I think of Oskar in the ending scene of “Schindler’s List” breaking down as he thought of what else he could have done. He saved 1,100 people from being murdered in Nazi Germany and fell into tears as he said “I could have got more. I could have got one more person, and I didn’t.” Just thinking of that changes my whole day.


    But these movie phrases are not the ones that get me so often. Instead, the things that hit me most often are phrases from the Bible that have so impacted me that I can hardly contain my emotions. In fact, I don’t even have to hear them or say them. Sometimes just thinking about them brings tears to my eyes as the world sort of fades away for a few moments and I ponder how Jesus has so touched my life.


    One of those phrases is “At midday, O King.” About thirty years ago, one of the first times I ever preached was to a youth group and I shared this out of Acts 26. Every time I think on that phrase through the years, I ponder Saul as he encounters Jesus on a road. Right in the middle of his journey for a distinctly different purpose, Jesus captures his heart and changes him from the inside out. His whole travel group hit the ground as Saul literally saw the light and received instructions that would shape the entirety of his destiny and Kingdom assignment for the rest of his life. Just thinking of that phrase makes me remember the times in my life when I have had radical encounters with Jesus that have changed the course of my life and ministry. Times he spoke to me. Sometimes those experiences knocked me off my “high horse.” But every time shaped my journey and more accurately defined my purpose.


    There are many other phrases. “To whom shall we go?” “And at midnight.” “Do you love me more than these?” “You are ever with me.” “All that I have is thine.” “Well done.” “And being not weak in faith.” “Father, forgive them.” “Neither do I condemn you.” “Abundance of grace.” “Gift of righteousness.” “Somebody touched me.” “Say to this mountain.” “One like unto the Son of man.” “Take no thought.” “Consider the lilies.” “Who do you say that I am?” “Far above.” “You are complete in Him.” And, of course, “Follow me.”


    These are just a few off the top of my head. I am reminded almost daily how the Word has affected me. It has changed my life. These are not just stories and lessons on paper. These words are truth. They are life, health, and peace. I’m not sure where I would be or what my life would have been without the Word.


    What about you? What are the phrases that make you pause and think on the goodness of God? I encourage you to dive into the Word and allow it to mark you. Allow it to shape every aspect of your life. Determine that its wisdom and direction will be infinitely more valuable to you than some line from a movie. This decision alone may be your “At midday” moment that you can tell someone about thirty years from now. Like in Paul’s life, Jesus wanted to change him so that he could make a difference in his world. Today, allow Jesus to change you in some way to make a difference in your world!

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