Monday, February 11, 2019


The current state of affairs is this -  we have a bunch of Lots running around Western Christianity, in a vivid display of “Cultural Christianity”. It is undeniable. In a sense, it is even defined by the Favorite Bible Verses of those of us in North America, compared to the rest of the World.

Now, there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with either scenario. In fact, the choices (of favorite bible verses) are not because of Sin, but due to Circumstances on the Ground. YouVersion is the most popular Bible App in the World. It was started by now Life Church Pastor Bobby Gruenewald from a church in Decatur, Illinois, not far from where we live, who was in line at a busy airport wishing he had a bible to read while waiting…..and waiting. YouVersion is the result and as of 2018, over 950 Million downloads of the Free Bible software. This is a worldwide total and could be up to one billion Bible downloads by now,  2019.

YouVersion can track searches on their App and their findings are very telling. In America, the most popular verse search is, of course – John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only beloved son that whosever believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life". HOWEVER, in the rest of the world outside North America, the keyword searched in the most trackable Bible research in the world is FEAR! Not Love, as in the comfort of our beautiful air-conditioned churches, but Fear as in – Christians who are constantly under the threat of persecution.

In 2017, the most popular Bible verse in the entire world, outside of America was Joshua 1:9, which says "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

In 2018, then, the most popular Bible verse which the world looked up was Isaiah 41:10, which says "'Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’".

Note the basic underlying themes here, in order of their occurrence:
  • Anxiety and doubt in the hearts and minds of God’s people
  • Combined with circumstances on the ground, this anxiety and doubt leads to Fear.
  • But, God ….God shows His love to His people under persecution and distress.
  • He does so by PROMISING to be with them wherever they go (Joshua 1:9)
  • He even promises to strengthen and hold them up, physically, emotionally and spiritually…with His Most Powerful and Righteous Right Hand (Isaiah 41:10).

It will serve us, as well as sober and alert us to what is really going on in our world.  The mundane things we do, which is called "doing life", are necessary. We must work, provide, pay bills, eat, sleep and go to church. But these are the things WE DO, so we can work on WE ARE.

Who are we, really? We are created in the image of God, for good works - absolutely. However, we are also created to glorify God, believe Him and live for Him.  Where we live has an impact on how we believe what we believe. While, we are not literally, yet, under the gun as our brother and sisters in Christ in foreign cultures and dangerous lands, are still accountable for the things we trust, put our faith in and pass on.

Let us, therefore, carefully consider, not just the reason the types of popular verses exist in different parts of God's world, but how we can grow and mature as Christians and then pass this legacy on to the next generation.

No comments: