Something that I have observed in many churches and individuals is what I would like to call, “Catch-Phrase Christianity.” I have no problem with sermons and Sunday school lessons that have to deal with a word study or a nice little phrase out of a scripture. The problem though is that many times we see this done as purely motivational. Disregarding any context in the scripture.
We must be on the guard when we read our Bible for personal devotion and study, prepare a sermon, and a lesson to always be mindful of the context of scripture. How does this word, phrase, or verse fit into the whole of scripture. What is happening to the writer, the characters mentioned, the audience in the context of history. Then and only then can we find our place in the grand narrative of salvation history. It is good to have life or seasonal verses but in order to be Christians that stand strong we must become well acquainted with scriptures, their context, and their application to us. Not in part but the whole.
I’ll end with a quote from Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s book, Life Together.
“There can be equally little doubt that brief verses cannot and should not take the place of reading the Scripture as a whole. The verse for the day is still not the Holy Scripture which will remain throughout all time until the Last Day. Holy Scripture is more than a watchword. It is also more than ‘light for today.’ It is God’s revealed Word for all men, for all times. Holy Scripture does not consist of individual passages; it is a unit and is intended to be used as such.”