Five Transformative Texts

All Scripture is inspired, but there are some texts that speak a weightier word from the Lord.bible pic

Here are five transformative texts which do that for me:

  • Exodus 20:1-7. These are the first three of the Ten Words. It is Yahweh identifying himself; speaking of the overarching significance of recognizing Him and His Name alone. In a culture with competing gods, Israel was to honor the Only True One. Their identity was to singularly flow from who He was. Their purpose as a people all depended upon this. If they failed to have “no other gods” before Him; they would completely fail regardless of any other factors. In fact this is what happened. It all connected back to a failure to heed these first three commandments. This is why this text remains transformative. Prioritize God first. Honor His Name above all names and our hearts will remain The Potter’s clay.
  • Hosea 6:6 (restated by Christ in both Matthew 9:13 & 12:7). The prophet Hosea lived in unstable and ungodly times. Israel had drifted far away from her purpose to be a light to other nations. Dramatically, Hosea’s own life revealed the adultery Israel had committed with other gods. Still, they managed to hold onto ritual–offering sacrifices to Yahweh, which were totally void of heart and meaning. Generations later Jesus would encounter a different Israel, but with the same empty ritualistic approach to God. So he recalled Hosea’s words: I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings. Generations after Christ, we still gravitate toward ritual and away from mercy. “Doing” church can never trump “being” Christ.
  • Micah 6:8. Staying in the Minor Prophets during the same general historical time-frame as Hosea. Micah’s plea to an unrepentant Israel beautifully reveals the kind of people God desires in any generation: He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. This remains a watershed text–wonderfully summing up who God wants us to be.
  • Matthew 22:26-40. The Greatest Commands. This connects to all the other texts. Love God first with everything you’ve got. Then you can proceed to humbly express that love or that mercy or that justice toward others. It is transformation. It is God breathing life and meaning from His being into ours. When His Name is above all names, everything changes. We are truly free to love, serve and obey Him and to freely share these incredible gifts–without boundaries to others. Which brings us to my last text…
  • Matthew 28:19-20. The Great Comission. Yes, Christ urges us on toward sharing: to tell what the Lord has done for us; to “go into all the world.” It is part of our purpose–as it was for Israel. It is the outflowing of the kingdom of God to every tribe and people. It is the way others hear of the One who is above all else.

All of these texts are life-changing. At least they have been for me.

Perhaps you have some transformative texts of your own to share?

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5 Responses to Five Transformative Texts

  1. baltimoreguy99 says:

    In addition to Micah 6:8, texts that have profoundly influenced me are the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus’ account of the Judgment in Matthew 25 and all passages with the phrase “gospel of the kingdom” such as Matthew 24:14. I guess I’m a Matthew Christian!

  2. Mark says:

    Isaiah ch 1 especially v 16-18. The tenets of the faith.

  3. Isaiah 40 – the entire chapter inspires and encourages. 2 Corinthians 5:11-6:3 – a call to action in response God’s invitation for reconciliation. Hebrews 12 and Lamentations 7 – two chapters that help me keep things in perspective.

  4. 5 passages that changed my life!

    1) 1 Tim 3:15: “…the Church of God, the pillar and foundation of truth.”

    2) John 20:21-23: “…If you [priests] forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained…”

    3) John 6:53: “…unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.”

    4) Isaiah 22:22: Gives context to Jesus’ words in Matthew 16; shows that the “keys” belong to the prime minister (pope) in the new Davidic kingdom.

    5) 2 Timothy 3:14-17: Shows that both Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition are important, and that the Old Testament is useful for priests.

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