Much of the correspondence my wife and I receive, as faith financed missionaries for 42 years, includes bible verses that the person writing to us feels deeply about and expresses that with us, as part of their private communication.
It would be difficult to try and recount in any given year the number of such bible verses included in these correspondences or to give a statistical analysis of the most quoted bible verses, although Proverbs 3 verses 5 and 6 would be high on the list.
Proverbs 3 verses 5 and 6 "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths."
This was also the text that my own parents wrote in the sleeve of my 21st birthday gift to me, a Thompson's Chain Reference King James Bible in 1972 which I still uses and treasure.
I recall in 2011 I held a "young writers" mini-conference in Tweed Heads and four of the delegates arrived early enough for them to accompany me to a Saturday morning 8.00am prayer breakfast held at a nearby fellow missionaries home.
As I was driving the question was asked, whether they needed a bible, as I had this same 21st birthday King James Bible. I explained that bibles are provided in various translations, but that I bring this particular bible as I was accustomed to its 1611 English as it proved by generations to be easily remembered with its poetic style.
Yes, many of the great Bible verses from the King James Bible are prose user friendly: This is such a brief selection -
Joshua 1 verse 9 Be strong and of good courage
Psalm 23 The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want
Habahhuk 4 verse 2 The just shall by faith
Malachi 3 verse 10 open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing
John 3 verse 16 For God so loved the world He gave
Romans 6 verse 23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God .
1 Corinthians 15 verse 55 O death, where is thy sting
Hebrews 11 verse 1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for
Recently, a friend from Melbourne sent such a letter with a bible text written at the bottom of the page from Proverbs 16 verse 9. "A man's heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps."
Whenever someone sends a letter with such a bible verse, I stop, open the Scriptures and allow the Holy Spirit to speak into my heart. So many times it has been therapeutic in so many different ways.
Yes, they are often favourite texts, but sometimes, it is a bible verse that is chosen very carefully and not one of those often quoted, and in these instances, I take a step back and note it, and carefully and prayerfully considers its reflective insights.
Moreover when at the Laguna Quays Respite facility where I have more time, I spend a greater amount of time in such reflection.
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He mentors young writers and has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children. Dr Tronson writes a daily article for Christian Today Australia (since 2008) and in November 2016 established Christian Today New Zealand. Dr Mark Tronson’s Press Service International in 2019 was awarded the Australasian Religious Press Association’s premier award, The Gutenberg.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html