Pastor Timothy made a good point about the Top 5 Bible Verses of 2011 as listed by BibleGateway.com: None mention sin.
That isn’t too surprising to me, but here’s what bothered me more: Items 1, 3 and often 5 from the list below are also the most misinterpreted verses. I have never — and I mean that literally — heard Jeremiah 29:11 used properly in church. I can’t recall hearing Philippians 4:13 referenced properly either. Even pastors and very committed Christians reflexively quote those improperly.
There is actually a great message in Jeremiah 29:11: God makes huge promises and keeps them. The Israelites had been taken into captivity because of their rebellion and worship of false gods, but God promised to bring them back. And He did. But He did not make a generic promise to prosper all people at all times.
People even throw that verse at non-believers, but that gives them a false sense of security or a bad reason to reject Christianity (deep down everyone knows Jeremiah 29:11 doesn’t apply to everyone in the manner it is used). God’s real message to them is the opposite. If they don’t repent and believe, his plans for them are horrible!
Here’s a post analyzing where people go wrong on Philippians 4:13. It is simple as going back one verse to see what Paul’s proclamation about doing all things through Christ really means. It isn’t about being able to accomplish anything, it is about being able to be content regardless of the situation. The real meaning is even better than the wrong interpretation, but it doesn’t feed our worldly desire to accomplish whatever we want.
Please read the Bible in context so you’ll be part of the solution and not part of the problem. It is the simplest and most effective way to properly understand what God meant.
BibleGateway.com, which has the Bible on line with multiple translations, has compiled a list of the Top 5 Bible verses that were searched on their site for 2011. The list is not that surprising when you look at it. Here it is: In descending order of popularity, here are the top five Bible passages of 2011: 1. JEREMIAH 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (NIV) 2. JOHN 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (KJV) 3. PHILIPPIANS 4:13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me. (ESV) 4. PROVERBS 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart; don’t rely on your own intelligence. Know him in all your paths, and he will keep your ways straight. (CEB) 5. ROMANS 8:28 We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose. (HCSB)