What verse/story/chapter/concept do you find the most challenging in the Bible? Is that broad enough? The death of Job’s family? Conquering the promised land? Dying to self? I remember being a teenager and hearing the verse in Philippians 2 about considering others better than yourself and thinking “It doesn’t really say that…does it?” When have you been struck by a verse to strongly as to have to do a double take and read it again to make sure you really read what you thought you read?
What would you pick?
A combination of Matthew 18:5 & Matthew 5:23. Randy Lowry said it well this weekend at SGW — that when it comes to interpersonal conflict & figuring out “whose turn it is” to settle a dispute — “when you’re a Christian, it is ALWAYS your turn.” That takes a lot of pride-swallowing.
That James 1:2 verse is one that would be nice to redact, too. PURE joy? Come on… let’s be reasonable…
Matthew 5:48 and its demand for perfection always made me wince.
Matthew 5:25-34 tells me not to worry because God will take care of me. Easy to read, hard to actually do.
I would pick those out of the Sermon on Mount, but the whole lesson there is so challenging. Just pulling off all of those verses successfully seems daunting.
Looks like I botched my reference… I am not perfect once again… I should have said Matthew _6_ : 25-34
James 2:19 is my favorite verse, but also fulfills the qualification “most challenging to me”
It says that perfect belief(faith) is not enough. It has to be a life-changing faith, and further, changing in the right way. Sometimes “adequate” faith seems monumental to me, so this verse is tough.
A bit from floatingaxhead last week emphasizes the point.
“Simon himself *believed and was baptized.*
…You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God.
I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin.”
—(excerpts from Acts 8:9-25. emphasis mine)
Taking the Proverb that says Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he shall not depart from it literally.